Development

Kannapolis looks to partner with developer for $37.5 million mixed-use project

Rendering of a planned “demonstration project” in Kannapolis that would include apartments, retail and office space in a bid to revive the city’s downtown.
Rendering of a planned “demonstration project” in Kannapolis that would include apartments, retail and office space in a bid to revive the city’s downtown.

Kannapolis is seeking a developer to partner with it on a $37.5 million project, the first phase of a redevelopment effort meant to revive the city’s downtown with millions of square feet of new shops, offices, restaurants, apartments and hotels.

The former mill city north of Charlotte bought more than 40 acres of its downtown last year for $8.75 million from David Murdock. He owns Dole Foods, funded the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis and bought the former Pillowtex mill, which closed in 2003.

Now, after completing a study of potential redevelopment, Kannapolis is looking to build on the land it bought.

“Our research has shown this project will be a key igniter for our downtown revitalization. People who are living in a downtown drive the economy by expecting to have shops, restaurants and entertainment options with walking distance,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg, in a statement. “We have already had numerous inquiries developers and businesses excited about the opportunity to be a part of our City’s future.”

For the first phase of the redevelopment, Kannapolis plans to partner with a private company to build three four- to six-story buildings on the 200 block of West Avenue.

Here are some key facts about the city’s plan for this phase:

▪ Kannapolis will sell the land to the developer, and the project will be privately owned.

▪ To sweeten the development, Kannapolis will spend an estimated $4.1 million to build a parking deck on the site.

▪ The project will include about 200 residential units, including studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

▪ Shops and restaurants will also be included in the buildings, on the ground floor.

▪ Construction could start in spring 2017, if Kannapolis locates a developer and agrees to terms.

Kannapolis City Council will review a request for proposals next month and solicit developers over the following three to four months.

The city’s ultimate goal is to lure thousands of residents, shops, restaurants and office space to downtown Kannapolis over the next two decades, along with a baseball stadium, performing arts center and hotels. The city’s downtown has struggled since the Pillowtex closure cost 4,340 jobs and left a huge mill and warehouse complex empty. The mill space has since been demolished, and while old buildings have been preserved in downtown Kannapolis, many sit empty.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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