Kenton Place looks to rezone for multi-family use
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – The Kenton Place development has had its share of troubles since its inception nearly 15 years ago.
Kenton Place’s first major development was the Palace Cinema.
A movie theater group bought the Palace Theatre in 2005 and placed a deed restriction on the property prohibiting future owners from using the building as a movie theater.
“That left a big empty tenant space that they have had a hard time filling,” said Cornelius Town Planner Jason Prescott.
Recently, the other major center at Kenton Place, the Lowe’s Foods grocery store, also left after being bought by Harris Teeter.
“So they are left with quite a bit of retail without any anchors drawing people to the development,” Prescott said.
Gary Cangelosi, owner of Kenton Place, has asked the Town of Cornelius to rezone part of the property in front of the theater to eliminate any commercial use on the bottom floor of the lot and increase the number of residential apartments to 82.
Kenton Place was planned around the same time as Birkdale Village, and the two properties are competitors.
Nearby residents, mostly from neighboring The Greens at Birkdale Village, attended a community meeting Sept. 4 to question Cangelosi about the new development proposal.
He said that while traffic will increase, it will be far less than if the space was used for retail.
Prescott said the planning department is recommending the rezoning be denied.
“It goes back to commercial aspect, and the town boards want to promote commercial development,” Prescott said. “Taking away the mixed-use aspect will take away the commercial aspect of the development and commercial space (from the town).”
Cangelosi’s counters that the rezoning will add more nearby residents to support the other Kenton Place businesses, Prescott said.
The Cornelius Town Board will hold a public hearing Nov. 5 to discuss the rezoning application and give residents the chance to voice their opinions about the development.