Kannapolis is a thriving city of 38,245 people located along the I-85 corridor in the Charlotte-region of North Carolina. The history of Kannapolis entered a new era on July 30, 2003 when Pillowtex officials announced the closing of their 16 facilities nationwide and in Canada. Because the decline of Pillowtex took over 20 years, the city had the opportunity to develop a $1.5 billion revitalization project:
The North Carolina Research Campus
David H. Murdock, owner of Castle & Cooke, Inc. and Dole Food Company, Inc., and Molly Corbett Broad, President of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, unveiled plans on September 12, 2005 for the North Carolina Research Campus, a massive scientific and economic revitalization project that encompasses the site of the former Cannon Mills plant and entire downtown area of Kannapolis, North Carolina. The NC Research Campus is a joint venture between Dole Foods, Duke University and the University of North Carolina system. Duke University will also locate its Institute for Translational Medicine to the NC Research Campus. In addition to the Institute, Duke scientists will also run the Core Lab.
Scientists from across the country are being drawn to the research center, thus creating the need for new communities like, Irish Creek.