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Cabarrus Magazine

Kannapolis: Pride in Progress

Sep 01, 2018 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

Kannapolis: Pride in Progress


- Louis Glickman, Real Estate Investor

While areas of Cabarrus County have been identified as experiencing exponential commercial growth, K-Town is becoming Boom Town in its own right.

While the Downtown Revitalization Project is looking like a lot of dirt at this point, there’s much going on beneath the surface. New waterlines, stormwater and sewer utilities, irrigation and technology ductwork are being installed.

“We’re replacing 75-year-old infrastructure, Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg says. “It’s progressing street by street and will be complete in a little less than a year.”

Above ground, site grading, sidewalks, streetlight bases and asphalt are paving the way for the linear urban park, due to be complete in about a year as well.

Some major milestones will take place this month with regard to VIDA, the mixed-use demonstration project being developed by Lansing Melbourne Group (LMG). “Lansing Melbourne Group is finalizing financing with lenders. September is the closing month and then we’ll see the 279 apartments and retail started,” Legg explains.

Also in the works is the sports and entertainment venue. “We’re getting close to finalizing a lease with the team (Kannapolis Intimidators); that’s been an ongoing process,” Legg says. “We’re also in the middle of the bidding process and should have that wrapped up in the next couple weeks (around September 1). There are two City Council meetings in the month of September: the 10th and the 24th. At one of those meetings, we’ll take both proposals to City Council for adoption. We’d like to get started a little earlier than scheduled.”

As for the next phase of private investment to complement VIDA, Legg says, “We’re looking at a longer-term group in Birmingham, AL: Corporate Realty Group. We’re in just the beginning stages with them.

“We don’t want too much going on at one time. We want it staged in the right way. With the completion of the sports and entertainment venue and the apartments in 2020, we think retail will fill up pretty quickly.”

Adds Kannapolis Director of Communications Annette Keller, “People will say they want it done quickly, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; we have one chance at it.”

Besides all the buzz downtown, Amazon is putting the finishing touches on its one million-square-foot distribution center on Macedonia Church Road near Highway 73 and Kannapolis Parkway.

The $85-million facility will employ some 600 people. “Our understanding is they will be able to begin operating out of that facility this month,” Keller says.

With development bringing jobs to the county, residents will follow. According to the City of Kannapolis, about 300 new homes are being built there each year. The City forecasts its population to pass 50,000 by the end of this year.

According to its Development Projects map (next page), 1,765 single-family homes are in various stages of construction; some join the already completed 1,516 homes in subdivisions like The Farm at Riverpointe, Kellswater Bridge and The Falls.

“There are approximately 5,000 permits issued for new homes that have been built or will be constructed over the next five to 10 years,” according to the City of Kannapolis. “They range from starter homes at the $200,000 price point to homes that average $400,000 to $500,000.” 

The Afton Ridge corridor is experiencing monumental mixed-use development, and the city of Kannapolis is glad it’s on their side of the line. In 2014, the cities of Concord and Kannapolis agreed upon a boundary that cannot be crossed by either city for the purpose of annexation for a period of 20 years.

With its prime location at I-85’s Exit 54 and Kannapolis Parkway, commercial real estate developers like Charlotte-based Childress Klein are all in.

The firm is developing Afton Ridge Business Park. Spec building Afton Ridge I was built in 2015 and offers 360,000 total square feet. Afton Ridge II is now being leased and can accommodate tenants needing 52,000 to 260,000 square feet. Both have been designed for distribution or manufacturing. According to its website, “When fully

complete, it will offer a true mixed-use development with shopping, apartments and offices to complement the two million square feet of planned industrial real estate.”

Enjoying the momentum, Kannapolis has grown by 14 percent since 2010, ranking it as the 20th largest city in the state.

Article By: Kim Cassell

Photos courtesy: City of Kannapolis and Michael A. Anderson Photography

Graphic Courtesy: Childress-Klein

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