South Main Street in Kannapolis scene of latest economic growth spurt
Several new businesses enjoying success in 100 block of South Main
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - The astonishing transformation of one local city continues. Almost 20 years ago Kannapolis was the site of one of the biggest manufacturing job losses in state history when Pillowtex shut down, but since that time, the city has reinvented itself by making bold moves like purchasing nearly 50 acres of downtown property in the hope that developers would take interest.
You’ve heard about the success of West Avenue spurred by the Atrium Health Ballpark. While that part of downtown continues to reach new heights, there’s also a story to be told on S. Main Street.
“It’s been fabulous,” said Connie Beasley of The Spice & Tea Exchange, one of several new businesses now open in the 100 block. “Our name is still getting out there, we’re still getting new customers and we already have our repetitive customers coming in.”
“Main Street is a wonderful location, we’re blessed to be here, very excited to be here,” said business owner Tracy Brownlee.
Brownlee operates Boujee Babies, an upscale shop selling high quality, affordable children’s clothes. It is also thriving.
The biggest shop on the block is the Antique Marketplace. There will soon be more than 100 booths here in two stories with vendors selling all kinds of things.
When the Marketplace draws a crowd, it helps the other shops.
“When they have big events it seems to always play into our favor and we’re grateful for that as well,” Brownlee said.
Mike White and Sondra Merrill were personal trainers working out of the basement of their home. They outgrew their basement and opened the H-P-T High Performance Training gym on S. Main. Sondra says all of the business owners in the block are working together to help each other succeed.
“Not only are we neighbors with these people, but we’re forming relationships and we’re networking together,” Merrill said.
“We wanted to be a part of Kannapolis, we wanted to be a part of downtown, and the growth of Kannapolis,” White added. “It’s very exciting to see how more businesses are yet to come and will continue to come.”
An Irish pub will also be opening soon.
These properties were all part of the original purchase of 46 acres, or 8 blocks of empty or underused downtown property. Using the ballpark as a catalyst, growth has been beyond city leaders expectations, and that’s working out well for these new business owners.
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