Kannapolis will buy two more downtown properties

Kannapolis will buy two more downtown properties

April 9. The City of Kannapolis plans to buy two additional properties in downtown Kannapolis: the former K-Town Furniture site at 136 Oak Avenue and a property located at 206 S. Main St. The Kannapolis City Council will consider authorizing a formal contract to purchase the properties at the April 13 meeting.

The well-known K-Town Furniture building sits on 2.85 acres. The 48,818 square foot facility has been appraised at $1.125 million and is owned by Uwharrie Bank. Kannapolis will pay $875,000 for the property. The city will purchase a residential structure at 206 S. Main Street, owned by RJL Properties, for $325,000. Formerly used as an office, it is appraised at $365,000. Both properties are 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.

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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