City of Kannapolis launches Imagine Kannapolis project

The Kannapolis City Council is launching the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Planning Process
The Kannapolis City Council is launching the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Planning Process(WBTV File)
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 3:49 PM EDT
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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - From the City of Kannapolis: Over the last seven years the leaders of the City of Kannapolis have dedicated themselves to revitalizing the City’s downtown and strengthening the economic base. Bold steps to purchase real estate, invest in infrastructure, construct public assets, launch the Discover a Healthy Life brand, and to attract private investment have paid huge dividends for the City.

Accomplishments include:

  • Welcoming companies such as Amazon, Prime Beverage, Gordon Food Company, the N.C. Food Innovation Lab, Linder Industrial; all who have created thousands of jobs and millions in regional investments.
  • Purchasing and selling downtown properties that have resulted in private investments totaling over $100 million with another minimum of $100 million projected to begin within the next year. These investments include over 30 new small businesses, VIDA Apartments, Pennant Square Townhomes and the planned 200 Main Apartments and Stadium Lofts Mixed Use Development.
  • Constructing the West Avenue Streetscape, Atrium Health Ballpark, VIDA Parking Deck, Fire Stations 2 and 3, and the Irish Buffalo Creek Greenway and the first phase of renovating the Gem Theatre.

While these are tremendous successes City leaders are not resting on their laurels but are asking: “Imagine Kannapolis”: What do we want the City of Kannapolis to look like in 10 or 20 years? How do we build on our qualities as a city? What do we need to do to prepare for the next generation? Where are we going? And how do we get there?

The Kannapolis City Council is launching the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Planning Process. The goal will be to establish a future vision for Kannapolis, determine focus areas (such as public safety, transportation, and economic development) needed to bring the vision to fruition, set strategic objectives for each focus area, develop a financial and operational plan to achieve the objectives and begin implementation of the strategic plan.

“Over the last decade we have made much progress in rebounding from the devastating loss of our largest employer. We have demonstrated that we can revitalize our downtown and attract new companies to our city. Now, it is time to go a step further. What does our city look like in the next decade? What is our vision for our city?” commented Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.

The Kannapolis City Council invites the public to become involved with Imagine Kannapolis by volunteering to participate in an Imagine Kannapolis focus group. The purpose of each focus group is to develop the specific strategies needed to achieve the City’s vision within a specific focus area. It is anticipated that the focus groups will only meet a few times over the next four months and the entire strategic process will be completed this year. Additional public input opportunities will include public surveys and public comment via City social media channels.

“We are cognizant of people having a lot on their plates. While this is a very important process for our City, we want the focus groups to be collaborative, represent the demographics of our City, to be thorough, but to also be fun and rewarding as we work to discover what our future will be,” said Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg.

The focus groups will be coordinated by City staff and will consult with subject matter experts as needed. The first group focused on Homelessness and Transitional Housing and is already meeting. An additional three groups will focus on Historic Preservation, Environmental Stewardship and Neighborhood Improvement.

The Historic Preservation Focus Group will include exploring the ideas of a history museum by the Kannapolis History Associates, a request by the Kannapolis African American Museum and Cultural Center for a facility and a Cannon Family Tribute. Consideration of what a museum might look like in today’s era such as online and virtual options versus brick and mortar options for historic preservation and promotion as well as hands on programming versus static displays.

The Environmental Stewardship Focus Group will discuss a set of initiatives and investments to make Kannapolis more environmentally sustainable and more physically attractive. Items could include litter cleanup programming, new gateway improvements along I-85 exit corridors, more proactive code enforcement, tree planting, more preservation of natural areas, reestablishing the Beautification Commission, an Adopt-A-Stream Program, stream restoration, and improved recycling participation.

The Neighborhood Improvement Focus Group will focus on plans that would help stabilize existing neighborhoods and make them more resilient. This group will discuss what physical investments could help with this process such as sidewalks, street trees, monument signage, enhanced solid waste service, assistance with developing neighborhood groups, proactive code enforcement, rental registration program, policies to limit investor-owned properties and strategies to improve existing manufactured home parks.

A fifth focus group, the Recreation Facilities Focus Group will be led by the City’s existing Parks and Recreation Commission. Over the next four months City staff will also be working with additional focus groups such as Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety facilities. These groups will be internal based with staff and stakeholders such as NCDOT participating in the process.

If you would like to be a part of the Imagine Kannapolis Strategic Planning Process, by serving on the Historic Preservation, Environmental Stewardship or Neighborhood Improvement Focus Groups please complete the application and check the box designating that group.

Find the application at www.kannapolisnc.gov/ImagineKannapolis. Applications are due July 18, 2022.

For more information contact Annette Privette Keller, Director of Communications, at 704.920.4311 or aprivettekeller@kannapolisnc.gov

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