STATEWIDE Western Region
A lifestyle resort is reborn
Atlanta-based EquiTrust USA is reviving plans for a massive, $14 billion lifestyle resort and retail center in Jonathan Valley, just west of Asheville on Interstate 40, that could create up to 3,500 jobs in its first phase of development. The project was conceptualized in 2003 by The Cataloochee Cos. and made public in 2007, but it stalled during the recession. EquiTrust, created in 2012 to direct investment capital to a lifestyle and retail development in the Southeast, acquired the company’s assets in February. Plans for Cataloochee Wilderness Resort include a lodge with a conference center and spa, 1 million square feet of space for retail and fine dining and a plaza with boutique hotels, residential units and office space. Later phases would add golf courses, a ski resort and an equestrian center.
FOREST CITY — Fontana, Calif.-based Team Air Inc. will create 70 jobs and invest $4.2 million over the next three years in a manufacturing plant here. The company makes custom HVAC products for large commercial and industrial clients including hotels, hospitals and universities. Pay for the jobs will average $39,503 a year, 26% higher than Rutherford County’s average annual wage of $31,347. Team Air will get a $50,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund if it meets job-creation and investment goals.
ASHEVILLE — Extended Care Physicians acquired the clinical assets of Spartanburg, S.C.-based Network Geriatric Services, giving the geriatric-physician network 65 doctors and nurse practitioners at more than 100 nursing homes, assisted living centers and retirement communities in North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. Financial terms were not disclosed.
LENOIR — Bernhardt Furniture will expand operations at one of its plants here because of increased demand for two of its product lines. The family-owned company, which employs 1,200 at eight plants in western North Carolina, will add 10 jobs initially and expects to hire more by midyear, when the expansion is expected to be completed.