KANNAPOLIS— Residential, commercial and industrial growth is gaining significant momentum in the City of Kannapolis. The city is experiencing a tidal wave of development as a result so many factors including the quality of life for people, the I-85 corridor, proximity to the Charlotte region, a welcoming attitude to companies and more.
“It’s the old adage of throwing a rock in the pond and the ripples begin to expand outward – this is happening in Kannapolis. As growth happens in the Charlotte region and moves up the I-85 corridor, companies and people look for cities to move to and we are a great place for people to locate,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “We have a progressive city council and staff who have put the pieces in place to ensure we are able to attract companies like Amazon to our front door.”
Later this year, Amazon will open a one million square foot distribution center in Kannapolis. Additional industrial growth includes the Linder Industrial Machinery Company, ISE, the Gateway Business Park, a spec building and more. Each of these facilities will bring hundreds of jobs to the city.
Under construction are also a number of mixed use developments with restaurants, shops, apartments and single family homes. There are approximately 5,000 permits issued for new homes that are built or planned to be built over the next five to ten years. On average 300 homes are being completed annually which equates to roughly 1,000 new residents.
This means the city could have a population of 50,000 at the end of this year, according to staff.
“People want to be in Kannapolis. We hear daily from people who want to move here, open a small business, or a firm who wants to bring their company and jobs to the city. We have been busy planning for the post-recession growth we knew would come our way. Since 2007, our tax base has increased from $2.4 billion to $3.8 billion, due to the new growth. This growth in our tax base is allowing us to move forward with the Downtown Revitalization Project and other items such as new fire stations, greenways and more,” Legg added. “We are making investments in our infrastructure, not just in the downtown, but in the western part of the city where much of the growth is now occurring.”
Another significant growth catalyst is the Downtown Revitalization Project which is now underway. An investment of infrastructure and streetscape improvements, including an urban linear park will be completed in Spring 2019.
This investment by the city has already attracted two major developers, the Lansing Melbourne Group and Corporate Realty, who will build mixed use districts in the downtown. Construction on a new sports and entertainment venue, home to the Kannapolis Intimidators will begin later this year.
Director of Communications Annette Privette Keller said having the industrial and commercial developments helps balance out the large amount of houses that are being built each year.
Keller said many people have asked how the city is paying for its new infrastructure developments, and the answer comes from property taxes from all the growth.
“A lot of people say ‘Are you ready for the growth? Have you planned for it?’ And I think we have. We’ve known this infrastructure needed to be replaced. Now we are working on the downtown because people want places to go, the parks and greenways and everything like that,” Keller said. “All of these things are underway and it really is putting all the puzzle pieces together and staying on top of it, and we think we’re there. We’re working on it pretty hard.”