The Kannapolis City Council has unanimously approved a redevelopment proposal and the sale of the Downtown Phase One Block One properties on Monday night. The Lansing Melbourne Group will be the new owners of the properties and they have announced their first tenant, the Hollywood Burger Restaurant, which will be located in the former Restaurant 46 space.
Phase One of Block One includes eleven buildings in the heart of downtown on West Avenue. The buildings, which date from the 1930-50s, are located around the corner from the Gem Theatre, across from the entrance to the Sports and Entertainment Venue, and two blocks north of the VIDA Mixed Use District. By partnering with a developer experienced in adaptive reuse, the City’s goal is to preserve these buildings and activate them as part of the downtown business district.
The buildings have prime commercial footage and are considered to be some of the most valuable and historic pieces of property in Kannapolis. They are located at 101, 103, 105, 111, 109, 113, 115 and 119 West Avenue, as well as 112, 114, and 116 W. A Street.
Earlier this year the City solicited for development partners for this block. Two proposals were received. After evaluating the proposals and conducting due diligence, City staff and the City’s downtown revitalization advisors at the Development Finance Initiative, recommended the selection of Lansing Melbourne Group (LMG) as the developer of the block.
LMG will buy Phase One of Block One for $450,000 and invest an additional $2.6 million to renovate the commercial spaces. VIDA, a mixed-use district under construction on West Avenue, is also being developed by LMG.
“This is an important block of buildings in Kannapolis and we look forward to making these historic spaces come alive with new businesses and people. We have a commitment from Hollywood Burger, which hopes to be open in April in time for the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers baseball season. They were recently voted the top burger place in Hollywood, California. We are also negotiating with a national fitness gym chain, a men’s barber shop, an ice cream store and a health food restaurant to go into these buildings. We anticipate announcements with more specifics on these businesses soon,” said Kent Gregory, Partner of LMG. Nine apartments will be located on the second floor of this block.
He also provided an update on the VIDA Mixed Use District. A steak restaurant and bicycle shop are expected to open in the Old Cabarrus Bank Building Block. VIDA is expected to open in December of 2020.
“We are pleased that LMG understands our vision for this important historic block in our City. Our partnership with the firm on the VIDA mixed-use district has been positive. We are excited about their planned renovations to the buildings which will maintain our downtown character while updating the spaces for the needs of today’s businesses,” commented Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
The remainder of the Block One, which contains properties on N. Main Street, and West A Street, and Block 2 (south of Block One on West Avenue) will be sold in a phased approach in the future as to not oversaturate the real estate market too quickly. The City will retain ownership of the Gem Theatre and its adjacent properties along First Street.
The properties are in a designated Opportunity Zone and the City is in the process of applying for historic district designation – which could give developers the potential to use these tax credits as financing tools.
Kannapolis Downtown Revitalization Project:
The City of Kannapolis is investing $113 million in three catalyst projects to revitalize downtown. The projects include the recently opened West Avenue Streetscape, the Sports and Entertainment Venue (the new home of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Minor League Baseball Team) and a public parking deck in the VIDA Mixed Use District. Construction on the $60 million VIDA development is well underway and it is expected to open in early 2021. The Sports and Entertainment Venue will open in April 2020 for the new baseball season.