REGIONALREPORT TriadThe future of history
In January 2011, Quaintance-Weaver Hotels LLC entered into an agreement with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to study the feasibility of turning the cigarette-maker’s iconic former headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem into an upscale hotel with 120 to 180 rooms. But Dennis Quaintance, CEO of the Greensboro development company, says the numbers didn’t add up. Cost of the project, estimated at $50 million, wasn’t prohibitive because tax credits and loans are available, but in the current economic climate corporate customers are cool to the idea of upscale room rates. Reynolds is disappointed the deal didn’t happen, spokesman David Howard says, but others have shown interest in the 22-story, 314,000-square-foot structure, vacant since 2009. “It’s a beautiful building in a great location,” he says, noting interested parties envision condominiums, office space and mixed-use development as well as a hotel. Quaintance didn’t rule out revisiting the project should the economy improve. Forsyth County tax records value the building and land at $12.3 million.
“It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators. There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.”
— A statement from New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LP, explaining why it plans to sell its stake in Madison-based Freedom Group Inc., whose subsidiary made the rifle used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December.
HIGH POINT — Dallas-based AT&T will acquire the wireless operations of North State Communications, which plans to focus on its broadband and data-center businesses. The $23.5 million deal is expected to close in the first half of the year.
WINSTON- SALEM — Herbalife will open an East Coast manufacturing plant here, investing $130 million and creating 493 jobs within three years. The Los Angeles-based maker of nutrition products and supplements will retrofit the shuttered Dell computer plant.
RURAL HALL — Ellwood Advanced Components will expand its local plant, investing $33 million and adding 55 workers to its 145 within five years. The company, which makes turbine blades, is a unit of Ellwood City, Pa.-based Ellwood Group. The average annual wage will be $49,028, higher than Forsyth County’s average of $42,588.
WINSTON-SALEM — BB&T eliminated its mandatory retirement age for CEO Kelly King, who would have hit it this fall when he turns 65. A retirement age of 70 for directors — including King — is still
MOUNT AIRY — Willow Tex will open a plant here, investing $6.1 million and creating 37 jobs within three years. The Rockford, Ill.-based company makes and distributes synthetic leather. Average annual salary will be $56,041, higher than Surry County’s average of $29,484.