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Cabarrus Magazine

Kannapolis to Purchase Additional Downtown Properties

Apr 09, 2015 11:49AM ● By Jason Huddle

KANNAPOLIS – The City of Kannapolis has negotiated to purchase two additional properties in downtown Kannapolis: the former K-Town Furniture site at 136 Oak Avenue and a property located at 206 S. Main Street. The Kannapolis City Council will consider authorizing a formal contract to purchase the properties at their April 13 regularly scheduled meeting.

The K-Town Furniture site is 2.85 acres and has a 48,818 square foot facility which was formerly used as a furniture showroom. The City will pay $875,000 for the property which has been appraised at $1,125,000 and is owned by the Uwharrie Bank. The house, located at 206 S. Main Street, owned by RJL Properties, LLC, has been used in the past as a home and most recently as an office. It will be purchased for $325,000 and it has an appraisal of $365,000. Both properties are current vacant.

“The properties are integral to our strategic plan to revitalize downtown. Both properties are in our target redevelopment area. It makes sense to gain control of these sites now in order to ensure the properties are developed in the most appropriate way possible to benefit our entire revitalization plan,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg.

“We believe these two additional pieces of property are key to our plan, especially the K-Town site which links the North Carolina Research Campus property to the downtown core properties. It is crucial that we find the right partner to develop the site in the best possible manner to benefit the campus and our revitalized downtown,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

In March the City announced a historic strategic revitalization plan that included the purchase of eight blocks of buildings located on Oak Avenue, West Avenue, S. Main Street and West First Street. This property includes the former Cannon Village, the Gem Theatre, the current Kannapolis City Hall offices, Wells Fargo Bank, the current Kannapolis Police Department and the former Plant 4 site. The buildings have a total of 653,395 square feet. The City is now in the early stages of developing a long term strategic revitalization plan for the properties.

The City is contracting with the non-profit Development Finance Initiative, at the UNC-CH School of Government to assist in the revitalization of downtown Kannapolis.  The Development Finance Initiative (DFI) partners with local governments in North Carolina to attract private investment for projects including building reuse, community development, downtown revitalization, economic development, and neighborhood redevelopment.

Once the strategic plan is in place the City and DFI will work to attract developers who will purchase the property for a mix of residential apartments, offices, retail stores, restaurants.  The City and DFI will also develop a plan to invest in people attractors such as a baseball stadium, family event attractors or a performing arts centers. The City anticipates this will take a minimum of 10 years to reach a status of significant development. However, the City has already begun working to attract development activity.

The City began exploring the possibility of acquiring the property last summer after completing studies on economic development, transportation, infrastructure and parks and recreation. The studies focused on how to best create economic development and jobs throughout the City, the downtown core and to capitalize on one of the City’s primary assets – the North Carolina Research Campus.

Two public informational meetings on the purchase of the downtown properties are scheduled for April 15 and April 20 from 6-7 p.m. at the Train Station. The train station is located at 301 S. Main St.

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