Kannapolis (A Charlotte Neighborhood)

Kannapolis is a city in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, northwest of Concord and northeast of Charlotte and is a suburb in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The city of Kannapolis was incorporated in 1984. The population was 42,625 at the 2010 census, which makes Kannapolis the 20th largest city in North Carolina.

It is the home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A baseball affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and it is the hometown of the Earnhardt racing family. The center of the city is home to the North Carolina Research Campus, a public-private venture that focuses on food, nutrition, and biotech research.

Early meaning and usage of the city’s name was a direct reference to Cannon Mills Corporation, or James William Cannon himself. Early published name variations include “Cannon-opolis” and “Cannapolis”. A widely accepted origin of the word “Kannapolis” comes from the combination of the Greek words kanna (reeds, not looms) and polis (city), which some believed meant “City of Looms”.[9] Dr. Gary Freeze, Catawba College history and politics department chairman, said a Concord newspaper used the name “Cannon City” in 1906. After mill workers or newspapers called the town “Cannapolis”, J.W. Cannon asked Cabarrus County commissioners to give the town the name, but starting with a “K”.

Kannapolis historian Norris Dearmon said the K might have been to distinguish the town from his Concord mill village. Since, Freeze said, “Jim Cannon didn’t study Greek,” Cannon did not name the town “city of looms”.[10] In 1906 J.W. Cannon purchased the land that later became Kannapolis, and acquired a total of 1,008 acres in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. Approximately 808 of those acres of farmland, purchased along the historic wagon road between Salisbury and Charlotte, became the location of the new textile mill, Cannon Manufacturing. Cannon Manufacturing began production in 1908. In 1914 Cannon Manufacturing became known as the world’s largest producer of sheets and towels. Shortly after, Mr. Cannon opened plants in Rowan County, Concord and in South Carolina totaling 20,000 workers. Mill founder J.W. Cannon’s youngest son, Charles A. Cannon, consolidated all the separate mills into the giant Cannon Mills Company in 1928.

Kannapolis is located on the boundary of Cabarrus and Rowan counties, with a greater portion of its area in Cabarrus County. U.S. Route 29 (Cannon Boulevard) passes through the city east of the downtown area; U.S. 29 leads northeast 15 miles (24 km) to Salisbury and south 7 miles (11 km) to ConcordInterstate 85 bypasses the city on the south and the east, with access from Exits 54 through 63 (five exits total). I-85 leads northeast 65 miles (105 km) to Greensboro and southwest 21 miles (34 km) to Charlotte.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.5 square miles (84.2 km2), of which 31.9 square miles (82.7 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 1.73%, is water.

North Carolina Research Campus

 David H. Murdock Core Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus

The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis is a 350-acre (140 ha) research center. Corporations, universities and healthcare organizations have forged a public-private partnership at the intersection of human health, nutrition and agriculture by focusing on food and nutrition and biotech research. The partners include Appalachian State University, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory, Duke UniversityMURDOCK Study, General Mills, JC Med, MonsantoNC A&T UniversityNC Central UniversityNC State UniversityUNC-Chapel HillUNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro.

David H. Murdock, owner of the real estate company Castle & Cooke and former CEO of Dole Food Company, and Molly Corbett Broad, president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, unveiled plans on September 12, 2005, for the research campus, as an economic revitalization project that encompasses the site of the former Cannon Mills plant and entire downtown area of Kannapolis.

During the next few years, the NC Research Campus was developed by Castle and Cooke in collaboration with UNC General Administration and several North Carolina universities, including NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and others. In 2008, faculty from NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro, NC A&T, NC Central, and Appalachian State moved into the Nutrition Research Institute building, operated by UNC-Chapel Hill, and the Plants for Human Health Institute, operated by NC State. The buildings are owned by Castle and Cooke, which rents the space to the UNC system in a rent-to-own agreement.

Funding for research and education activities at NCRC comes from federal and private research grants and donations, which support individual laboratories, and from the North Carolina State budget, which supplies general operating expenses and salaries for faculty and support staff. Funding from the Legislature is disbursed to individual universities to support their operations at NCRC.

The David H. Murdock Research Institute, a not-for-profit research institute, operates a Core Lab facility that offers genomic sequencing, metabolomics profiling, and other research services.

Notable people

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