Residents to begin moving into first of 3 new downtown Concord apartment buildings in April
More than $200 million in public-private investment taking shape
CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - The landscape in Concord is making major changes, thanks to more than $205 million in public and private investments downtown. The huge Novi projects, the courthouse expansion, and the new streetscape are bringing about the biggest change in the history of downtown.
In April, the first residents will begin moving into the Novi Flats, located adjacent and connected to the Cabarrus County parking deck.
Novi Flats features upscale finishes in all 48 residential units, including ground floor retail, and represents an estimated $11.2 million investment downtown.
“This is a massive change for downtown Concord. We’re talking about 100′s of new residents in our downtown which is really a pretty small footprint when you look at the true downtown area, and then it will also change what it looks like. It will change your view no matter where you’re looking from,” said Paige Grochoske, Downtown Development Manager for the City of Concord. “We are certainly in the throes of construction. We have three separate apartment complexes under construction right now.”
In the City of Concord 2021 updated Master Plan, it says “since the 2016 Downtown Master Plan, over $15 million has been invested by the public sector in downtown to help leverage over $32 million in private sector investment. Currently, a total of $205 million of public and private sector investment in major downtown projects is underway with some nearing completion.”
The Novi Rise property is one of three residential and mixed-use projects underway in Downtown Concord by Lansing Melbourne Group (LMG). In August 2021, LMG broke ground on three major developments – Novi Rise, Novi Flats, and Novi Lofts – which together represent an estimated $70 million of private investment in downtown.
The Novi Rise property represents an estimated $38.5 million in private investment. The project will include 167 units including studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments with underground parking and retail space on the street level.
Located next to the new City Hall on Market Street, Novi Rise will be the largest of the three projects and will host the largest amenity offerings that will be shared among the projects. Novi Rise is designed to stand 7-stories tall. The Novi Rise building will also include one level of parking underneath it consisting of ~75 spaces.
On-site amenities will include a lounge, fitness center, work pods, conference room, dog washing station, and secure Amazon package lockers. These amenities will be accessible to the tenants at the Novi Lofts and Novi Flats projects as well, which will tie the residents together in a sense of community as well as creating even more foot traffic along Market Street. Novi Rise will also have mixed-use retail spaces available on the ground level.
Novi Lofts represents an estimated $20.3 million investment in downtown. After many years of vacancy, the City sold the old municipal building at 26 Union Street South to LMG to make way for Novi Lofts across the street from the Cabarrus Creamery and next door to Gianni’s.
According to developers, “considering this lot’s unique location sandwiched between Union Street South and Market Street, LMG will pay special attention to the integration of the retail units into the surrounding environment on both Union and Market Streets.”
Novi Lofts will offer 89 residential units, ground-floor retail, and a roof-top restaurant.
In addition to the Novi projects, the county is working to complete the $100 million expansion of the Cabarrus County Courthouse.
The expansion/renovation will update the aging 45-year-old building and help with an ongoing increase in local court use. Overall the project will include 240,000 square feet in new construction, 72,000 square feet in existing facility renovations.
Work on the new streetscape project is also underway. Concord City Council approved the plan for a new Downtown Streetscape in October 2019. The new plan includes 22-foot wide sidewalks, reduced 11-foot travel lanes, new ADA-accessible parking spaces, new poured concrete sidewalks with brick paver accents, added street trees and landscaping, new smart light poles, updated city utilities, space for public art, and plenty of room for new outdoor dining.
The Downtown Master Plan identified the completion of a new Downtown Streetscape as a catalytic project for downtown Concord. According to the plan, a new Downtown Streetscape will send a positive signal to the private market. It will incentivize the creation of outdoor cafes, adding life to the street and changing its perception, especially at night.
The increased foot traffic and street life will attract new restaurants/nightlife and retailers, and make reuse of now-vacant upper stories more attractive to office and residential uses. The new streetscape will also increase property values and redevelopment opportunities downtown, according to city officials.
“Having all those people here living and working really energizes our downtown,” Grochoske added.
“The amount of people moving down here, they’re going to use all of the different businesses and create different jobs,” said Brad Lagano, Economic Development Manager for the City of Concord.
Those who have shops in downtown are hopeful.
“We serve protein shakes, energizing teas, protein coffees, and good vibes to the community of Concord,” said Megan Baranko, the owner of Union St. Nutrition.
Baranko hopes those good vibes translate into a boom in business once all the new residents move in.
“Long term I’m looking forward to a lot of new faces downtown,” Baranko added.
Grochoske also pointed out that downtown Concord is becoming a destination for companies looking to relocate headquarters.
“In addition to a lot of residents and new opportunities with restaurants and shopping moving into the area, we do have a number of headquarters moving into our area on second floor types of spaces, offices building up,” Grochoske said. “We actually have three new headquarters here in downtown Concord.”
Zipline International, Rempac Manufacturing, and LMG have all established offices in downtown Concord, according to Grochoske.
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