By EMILY FORD, Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Standard & Poor’s has agreed to visit the to consider rating the stalled $30 million tax increment financing bond package.

If the agency assigns an investment grade rating to the TIF bonds, the development could be unprecedented. Rated bonds are more appealing to investors and could help Kannapolis secure a lower interest rate if the city sells the bonds.

Standard & Poor’s will come to Kannapolis in June to analyze the Research Campus, a life sciences complex owned by billionaire Dole Food Co. chairman David Murdock. The agency researches stocks and bonds and issues credit ratings for debt based on the risk of default.

The agency is "very positive about giving these (bonds) an investment rating," Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg said. The news has given momentum to the bond package, which has languished since the recession forced Kannapolis to shelve the project in 2008.

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