Construction on the Rise
Salisbury Post, September 03, 2009
by Emily Ford
Housing construction has picked up in Kannapolis, a
sign that residential developers
may feel more
optimistic about the economy and the future of the
N.C. Research Campus.
The city is issuing
more residential zoning permits, and about 25
housing developments are underway, said Ben Warren,
Kannapolis Planning Director.
"Everybody is still
counting on what's going to occur on the North
Carolina Research Campus," Warren said.
biotechnology hub founded by billionaire Dole Food
Co. owner David Murdock suffered several setbacks
during the recession, but Warren said the $1.5
billion endeavor is still an economic driver for
"I do feel
optimistic," said David McDaniel, who chose
Kannapolis for a luxury apartment complex because of
the Research Campus. "The improvements they've
already put in place are leading a path toward
Orlando-based Integra Springs will build a 312-unit
upscale apartment project in a gated community in
Kellswater Commons. Located on Rogers Lake Road just
off the Kannapolis Parkway, site work has begun on
the 20-acre parcel, and units should open in early
2010, McDaniel said.
The city's first
luxury apartments, Integra Springs plans to market
directly to the Research Campus.
"We chose this
location because of the influx of new jobs and the
potential for new job growth," McDaniel said.
The number of
residential zoning permits issued in Kannapolis has
increased steadily since December 2008, when it hit
bottom at 13.
they've really taken a drastic increase," Warren
said, up to 39 permits in June.
The city issued 339
residential permits in 2008-09, less than the 492
issued the previous year.
"Even though this
year's numbers are less than those posted last year,
the recovery rate is greater," Warren said.
Campus, which includes 17 private companies and
eight universities, lost a major tenant in June when
Pharmaceutical Product Development Inc. pulled out
and took 300 potential jobs.
Murdock said this
summer that food and beverage giant PepsiCo's plans
to join the campus are in flux.
And the state froze
hiring and spending for the public universities at
But after several
stagnate months, construction at the campus is
underway on a 60,000 square-foot Rowan-Cabarrus
Community College building, and the city is
preparing to build a new public health department
When jobs come, new
homes will follow, officials predict.
construction is boosted by economies that have
strong job growth, and that is one
of our goals at the
NCRC," Lynne Scott Safrit, president of campus
developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina, said in an
e-mail. "As the campus continues to develop,
residential construction should be a very strong
component, both on the campus and in the surrounding
Castle & Cooke put
its own luxury residential development on hold when
the economy soured.
Townhomes would have occupied the south end of
Cannon Village, where Cannon Mills Plant 4 once
The Research Campus
already rises on the ruins of Cannon Mills Plant 1
at the other end of downtown.
summer's setbacks and possible layoffs this month at
the University of North Carolina Nutrition Research
Institute due to budget cuts, Safrit said the
Research Campus has momentum.
"With the RCCC
building under construction and the progress
underway in the core lab with getting the various
labs up and running, we are quite pleased with our
momentum, particularly as compared to other areas of
the state and the country," Safrit said.
has followed the ups and downs of the Research
Campus. His enthusiasm hasn't waned.
didn't only affect them, it affected everybody.
Ultimately, it will turn around," he said. "If you
believe in a location and you believe in the
principles that drove you there to begin with, with
time and patience it will bear fruit in the end."
6,000-square-foot clubhouse, sports entertainment
center, movie room, pool and 1,000-square-foot
exercise room, Integra Springs could help Research
Campus employers attract young professionals,
begun on another large apartment complex in
Kannapolis, The Grand on Orphanage Road with about
500 units, city planner Warren said.
recently sold subdivisions to new owners who have
downsized as a response to the economy, he said.
Shiloh Church Road, with about 200 homes in
development, will offer starter homes at $150,000. A
second phase plans homes in the $250,000 range.
The sale of
Castlebrooke Manor on Jim Johnson Road is still in
progress, Warren said.
for one-acre lots with $800,000 homes, the new owner
wants to decrease lot sizes to about a half-acre and
offer from 100 to 250 homes in the $350,000 range,
"Developers see a
need for housing in Kannapolis," he said.
subdivisions in western Kannapolis are attractive to
people in nearby Huntersville and Mooresville. And
planners see the Kannapolis Parkway as host to
Research Campus spin-offs like pharmaceutical and
medical companies, Warren said.
"Those people will
need somewhere to live," he said.
requested annexation by Kannapolis, the city won
legislative authority in 2007 to annex land in
western Cabarrus County from north of N.C. Highway
73 to the Mecklenburg, Iredell and Rowan county
other cities, Kannapolis couldn't annex land more
than three miles away, or land closer to another
The city has
voluntarily annexed four subdivisions since then,
developments are still in early stages. Build out
will take from five to seven years, depending on the
economic recovery, Warren said.
Kannapolis could see more than 7,000 new
single-family homes and hundreds of new apartments
become available in the next decade.