KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — All the entertainment options you would expect in a dense, urban setting are now going into one of Charlotte's most suburban places: Kannapolis.
On Tuesday morning the city broke ground on a sprawling new downtown district called VIDA. It will include restaurants, a brewery, hundreds of apartments geared toward millennials, a hotel and a parking deck.
“This is certainly the most exciting thing we’ve ever seen,” said downtown business owner Darrell Jackson.
He's run a retail business in Kannapolis for more than 30 years and thinks VIDA will be so big it will become the region’s center of gravity.
“Rising tides raise all boats and ships, so it’s going to help all the small towns around this area," Jackson said.
Late in 2018, crews started repaving streets and building a new downtown minor league baseball stadium for the Kannapolis Intimidators.
“We think it is going to be in the middle of everything in another five to 10 years," said Peter Flotz, the developer behind VIDA.
Flotz is with Florida-based Lansing Melbourne Group. He’s worked in more than 30 states and told Channel 9 he has never seen anything like the Kannapolis downtown development plans.
“The biggest thing that makes this different is the city controls the entire downtown," Flotz said.
City leaders bought out Kannapolis’ entire downtown several years ago, so they could create a new district from the ground up.
Mayor Darrell Hinnant said the new baseball stadium will be the cornerstone of the revitalization project.
“When they're not playing baseball, we’re going to have concerts and soccer tournaments and lacrosse tournaments, so it will be a venue all year round for our community,” the mayor said.
VIDA is on track to open in December 2020, and the new ballpark is expected to open before the start of the 2020 season.
Overall, more than $300 million has been invested in downtown revitalization projects.
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