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City of Kannapolis expects growth trend to continue in 2021

In January, the Kannapolis Zoning Commission approved almost 500 new multi-family units,...
In January, the Kannapolis Zoning Commission approved almost 500 new multi-family units, reinforcing the continued strength of the multi-family market in the City.(City of Kannapolis)
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 2:20 PM EST
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - From the City of Kannapolis: In 2021, the City of Kannapolis expects to see a continued trend of positive growth in both residential and commercial development as a result of the Kannapolis City Council’s emphasis on strategic economic development policies and investments, along with a strong regional economy. Numerous subdivisions, apartment and townhome communities and commercial and industrial projects have been approved or are in the process of being approved. Kannapolis is the 20th largest city in North Carolina and the population is approximately 51,000.

From 2017 to 2020, the City issued approximately 300 permits annually for new single-family homes. While these numbers reflect a very strong single-family housing market, the majority of residential growth occurring during this time period was in the multifamily market with several apartment and townhome projects receiving permits. In 2017 there were no multifamily permits issues but in 2018, 492 units were permitted and in 2019, 724 units were permitted for multifamily residential development. In 2020 the number of permitted multifamily units dropped to 270  as several projects continued to progress towards completion - such as VIDA – a mixed-use development that will serve as one of the anchors for the City’s downtown redevelopment efforts.

In the same four-year time period permit values for commercial development were between $60,000,000-$108,000,000 annually. In 2017 commercial development permits were valued at $60,584,426: 2018 - $108,867,559 and in 2019 - $81,206,890. These investments included light industry and logistics facilities such as Amazon and Prime Beverage. In 2020, commercial permit values declined to  $38,769,367, reflecting the overall regional economic decline due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus.

Growth continues to occur primarily in the western area of the City, especially along Kannapolis Parkway. The City has captured the attention of several national home builders such as D.R. Horton, Lennar, Pulte, and MI Homes who are now building new homes in Kannapolis. Residential development in the Kellswater, Austin Corners, Trinity Crossing and The Falls neighborhoods continues. Construction is also continuing on apartment developments including VIDA and Coddle Creek Apartments.  Work recently began on the City’s newest multifamily development – Argento at Kellswater Bridge – a 270-unit project located at the corner of Rogers Lake Road and Kannapolis Parkway.

For development projects starting construction in 2021, the numbers for residential and commercial permits are expected to be strong.

In January, the Kannapolis Zoning Commission approved almost 500 new multi-family units, reinforcing the continued strength of the multi-family market in the City.

(Information on these and other development projects is available on  the City’s Development Projects Map, which may be viewed electronically at: https://cityofkannapolis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=956df05f7cff4544aa1d27c1ca1ae56b)

“We have a total of 7,400 residential units approved or under review at this time. These are single family homes, apartments, and townhomes. With this growth, the City’s Planning Department is continuously looking for ways to improve the development plan review and approval process to facilitate that growth,” said Zac Gordon, Planning Director for the City.  Last year, Kannapolis made the transition to the Accela electronic plan review, approval and permitting system.  Online Planning forms and applications have also been updated, along with the City now offering applicants the option of making online payments, making the development plan review and approval process easier to navigate through for those wanting to develop in Kannapolis.

A healthy sign of growth in Kannapolis is the number of infill development projects, including Grand Sabana, Martin Circle Townhomes and Hillside. These projects will be located in the older established areas of the City.

Development related to the Downtown Revitalization Project includes VIDA, the mixed-use development of 284 apartments, along with street level commercial and restaurant space, which will open in late March 2021, and Pennant Square Townhomes which expects to break ground in spring 2021 and will feature 128 for sale units. The new Atrium Health Ballpark, and West Avenue Streetscape have also been completed. Dozens of businesses have opened downtown including restaurants, boutiques, a brewery, a bicycle shop, a hair salon and a barber shop.

Commercial development also continues to show growth with new national restaurants planned for Kannapolis Parkway across from Afton Ridge.  Several large light industrial development projects along the I-85 corridor are also currently under review by the City, which reflects the continued strong market for logistics, light manufacturing, and assembly in Kannapolis, as well as Cabarrus County.

“We continue to see the benefits of our investments in water and sewer infrastructure. The investment in our transportation corridors, such as Kannapolis Parkway, West Avenue, Main Street, and the new I-85 Exit 65, are leading developers and companies to our City. This  means new jobs and opportunities for our residents,” said Kannapolis City Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

Other factors contributing to the development of the city include a high quality of life, location along the I-85 corridor, proximity to the Charlotte region, and a welcoming attitude to new companies and support for the expansion of existing businesses.. “As growth happens in the Charlotte region and moves up the I-85 corridor, companies and people look for nearby cities to move to that offer a welcoming business atmosphere and great quality of life for their employees,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg. “We have a forward-looking City Council and staff who have invested in the right things to ensure we attract quality companies and grow responsibly.” In the last four years the city has welcomed a one million-square-foot Amazon Distribution Center, the Linder Industrial Machinery Company, the N.C. Food Innovation Lab and the Prime Beverage Manufacturing facility on Kannapolis Parkway. Each of these facilities has brought hundreds of jobs to the city.

The Planning Department is also in the final stage of updating its Unified Development Ordinance (UDO).  This document, to be known as the “Kannapolis Development Ordinance (KDO),” will be a modernized and user-friendly set of development regulations which will further streamline the development plan review process and will implement the City’s Move Kannapolis Forward 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Completion of the KDO is anticipated in 2021.   “With this growth in houses, comes new residents to our City. We are also strategically planning and investing in capital projects in order to continue our tradition of delivering quality services for our residents,” Legg noted.

To join the City of Kannapolis business community contact Irene Sacks, Director of Economic Development, at isacks@kannapolisnc.gov or 704.920.4326.

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