June 28, 2015
Kannapolis City Council members have finalized the purchase agreements for properties located in the downtown area. The City has purchased land and buildings for $7,550,000 from Castle & Cooke, NC, LLC and Atlantic American Properties, Inc. These firms are owned by Mr. David Murdock. The City is also purchasing K-Town Furniture from the Uwharrie Bank for $875,000 and a house located at 206 S. Main Street house for $325,000. The closing period will end in September and at that time the City will take ownership of all the properties. The legal process began in March when the City signed the initial offer to purchase the properties in a ceremony held at City Hall.
The purchase includes properties located on Oak Avenue, West Avenue, S. Main Street and West First Street, including the former Cannon Village, the Gem Theatre, the current Kannapolis City Hall offices, Wells Fargo Bank, the current Kannapolis Police Department and the former Plant 4 site.
“Just like buying a personal home we submitted an initial purchase offer which allowed us time to officially analyze the assets we are buying, which properties to purchase, determine what renovations may be needed, how best to plan for the revitalized uses of the property, and negotiate the best price we could for the properties,” commented Mayor Darrell Hinnant. “It has been a long process but well worth the wait. We all know how much time it takes to buy one house. We have in essence bought many houses and it took time to complete the purchase.”
“We will now move forward full speed ahead with the strategic plan for revitalizing the downtown. A market and site analysis as well as Phase II of the baseball study are the next steps in our process. We look forward to having public presentations on these phases,” continued Hinnant.
During the inspection and evaluation phases it was determined that the downtown properties were worth more than previously estimated. The properties have a total tax value of approximately
$25 million. The City was able to negotiate with the owners of the properties and the final purchase price is $8,750,000 – an additional $2,000,000 increase above what the city originally expected to pay.
“While this is a significant investment for Kannapolis, City Council has concluded this is an opportunity we must make to ensure the long term economic vitality of our downtown core and entire city. We believe our strategic plan for revitalization will pay huge dividends for the entire city’s economic future,” commented Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
The City will pay for the purchase with bonds. The bonds would be paid back with a 3 cent property tax increase which is part of the 2015-2016 fiscal budget and the sale of the properties to developers. “The City does not want to be in the property management business any longer than we need to. The goal is to develop a good strategic plan and find private sector investors to sell or partner with,” Mike Legg continued. City Council will vote on the 2015-2016 budget Monday, June 29.