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Birkdale Village inspires rebirth of Kannapolis

Downtown Kannapolis will most definitely begin transforming before our very eyes, starting this fall. The City has hired a “construction manager at risk” to help ensure on-time, on-budget delivery of the West Avenue streetscape. The first component of the city’s Downtown Revitalization Project will be Birkdale Village incarnate, with vintage buildings, plenty of brick and the carefully tailored, street-level ambiance that draws a crowd.

And investment. When completed, the Revitalization Project is expected to bring over $370 million in private investment.

Construction manager Barton Malow in Charlotte will manage the $22 million streetscape project which includes dozens of key components, ranging from electric service and gas to garbage cans and pavers along West Avenue.

Annette Privette, spokeswoman for Kannapolis, said planning meetings require upwards of two dozen people representing different disciplines, since one component can affect another and another.

“We’ve all visited Birkdale Village…whenever anyone goes anywhere for a conference we bring back photos, pictures of streetlights, sidewalks and even trashcans,” Privette said.

One of the visionaries of downtown Kannapolis is the man who once owned it: Billionaire David Murdoch, the founder of the adjacent North Carolina Research Campus. He visited Birkdale Village to get a sense of the appealing streetscape there.

“We’re very blessed that we have a wide main street now,” Privette said, explaining that the new streetscape is designed to curve and wind through the main core of downtown on West Avenue. Land Design in Charlotte is in charge of design.

It will feature green and outdoor spaces that will complement the new sports and entertainment venue, apartments, retail and restaurants. It will also include improvements to the surrounding streets of downtown.

Infrastructure improvements include replacing and upsizing sewer, water, storm water, natural gas, electricity and the installation of technology.

The project gets under way in October.

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