Guest Columnist: Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg Gives Update on Downtown Revitalization Project
With spring upon us, the downtown Kannapolis revitalization project is continuing to move ahead right on schedule. We’re fortunate that the city now controls a significant portion of the land downtown, which means our project components can move from the planning phase into design and construction relatively quickly.
The project consists of four main parts: the master plan, the demonstration project, infrastructure/streetscape, and the sports and entertainment venue. Where does each of these important parts of the downtown revitalization project stand currently?
The Kannapolis City Council adopted the master plan for downtown revitalization in July 2016. The plan, which will serve as a roadmap for the revitalization process over the next two decades, includes several types of development:
- public anchors, including a performing arts center
The Demonstration Project site is the 200 block of West Avenue and will include 280 studio, one-, two-and three-bedroom apartments in a two-building complex. A 425-space parking deck is included in the project. A hotel is likely to be developed in the next phase of the project. The block of existing historic buildings, including the former Cabarrus Bank Building will be preserved and incorporated into the project.
The city completed the Request for Proposals phase of the project and received two proposals. The Kannapolis City Council selected Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based Lansing Melbourne Group (LMG) as the developer. A Master Development Agreement has now been adopted. The City will sell the property and construction will begin in late 2017 into early 2018.
In the past year, the City has worked with its development partner the Development Finance Initiative (DFI) and Charlotte based Land Design, Inc. to create a design for a unique new streetscape that incorporates outdoor dining, green spaces and social hubs. The design will maximize parking and traffic flow, encourage people to walk, and preserve and enhance the city’s historic areas while supporting the attraction of new restaurants, retail and entertainment businesses to the downtown.
The infrastructure portion of the project focuses on replacing and upgrading underground utilities, including sewer, water and storm water. In addition, the project is expected to include the implementation of new technology as well as correcting utility routing challenges.
We expect work to begin this summer into fall.
Sports & Entertainment Venue
City Council approved architects Populous and Creech and Associates Inc., as the project designers. In addition, City Council approved a preliminary plan outlining the site orientation along with current architectural trends that could apply to a baseball stadium.
Considerations may include seating options, dining venues, event spaces, technology and spaces for children. Council members hope the facility design will provide community members and baseball fans with more options for entertainment and socializing.
The City Council approved the preliminary schematic design in February, and the architectural drawings are in progress. Construction is scheduled to begin in early to mid-2018.
As we move into summer, we will continue pressing forward with all the needed steps to make the downtown revitalization project a reality.