Officials in Kannapolis are hoping a new partnership with a real estate developer will help revitalize their downtown area with a $300-million infusion of new growth.
The former textile town north of Charlotte paid $8.75 million to buy 46 acres of its own downtown in 2015. The plan was to take shuttered buildings and faded blocks and pair up with developers to build there, with the city paying about $12 million for a new parking deck to stimulate development.
The first phase of the plan, a $60 million apartment and retail building from Florida-based Lansing Melbourne Group on West Avenue, is supposed to start construction in the next few months. On Monday, Kannapolis City Council is set to consider a proposal from Alabama-based Corporate Realty, Inc., for a public-private partnership to develop four more projects in downtown Kannapolis.
The first, on West Avenue, would be a five-story, 280-unit apartment development in two buildings, connected by a pedestrian bridge, with retail on the ground floor. That would be completed by the spring of 2020, next to a new sports complex Kannapolis plans to start construction on this year.
Other projects would include revitalizing the historic Gem Theatre and creating more “historic creative office space,” building an age-restricted senior citizen community and a prospective corporate headquarters office building. The combined value of those projects would be $300 million, Kannapolis officials said.
If Kannapolis City Council approves an initial agreement with Corporate Realty, Inc., a final agreement could be completed by the summer.