PPD founder Eshelman donates $100M to UNC

December 4, 2014

Fred Eshelman pledged $100 million to create a new research institute at UNC Chapel Hill's pharmacy school that bears his name. It's the largest individual donation the university has ever received. Eshelman founded Wilmington-based Pharmaceutical Product Development, which was sold in 2011 for $3.9 billion. 

Wilmington completes riverfront land sale to hotel group

December 4, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Despite a pending legal challenge, the city of Wilmington completed the sale of a .76-acre riverfront property to Harmony Hospitality, which plans to build a $33.6 million Embassy Suites hotel there. The site is adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center, which opened in 2010. A rival hotel group had challenged the sale, contending the city was offering to sell the land to Harmony below market value.

Charlotte office tower for sale

December 4, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The 20-story 101 Independence Center at Trade and Tryon streets in uptown Charlotte is for sale. Bank of America is the largest tenant in the 565,000-square-foot building, which is owned by KBS and Gramercy Property Trust. A source reports the asking price is $120 million.

Charlotte's Olde Mecklenburg named top brewery tour in US

December 4, 2014

(USA Today)

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte won USA Today's 10Best readers' poll for best brewery tour in the nation. Burlington, Vt.-based Magic Hat Brewing came in second, while Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing – which broke ground in May on an East Coast brewery in Asheville – was third.

Raleigh incubator expanding to Greensboro

December 4, 2014

Raleigh-based business incubator HQ Raleigh, which hosts more than 90 companies at its downtown Raleigh offices, is expanding to Greensboro in a partnership with Gate City developer Andy Zimmerman.

NC awards innovation grants to 13 startups

December 4, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

North Carolina awarded grants totaling more than $640,000 to 13 companies to help fund research and development. Twelve of the recipients are based in the Triangle area, while one – Seatox Research – is based in Wilmington.

Highwoods acquires Florida property for $68.3M

December 4, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Highwoods Properties acquired a 16-story office building in Orlando, Fla. for $68.3 million, the company announced this week. With the purchase of the 246,000-square-foot building, the Raleigh-based real estate investment trust now owns 1.5 million square feet of office in Orlando's central business district.

CommunityOne names new market president for Gastonia

December 4, 2014

(The Gaston Gazette)

Charlotte-based CommunityOne Bank tapped Reggie Gaither to be market president and commercial relationship manager for the Gaston County region. Gaither was a relationship manager for Wells Fargo in Charlotte and Gastonia. CommunityOne was formed in 2013 through a merger of Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite and Asheboro-based FNB United Corp.

Greensboro's Unifi partners with UNC Athletics

December 4, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro-based Unifi is partnering with UNC Athletics in a plastic-bottle recycling challenge. The company's REPREVE division makes products from recycled fibers. To create awareness for the program, each person attending UNC's basketball game vs. Iowa on Wednesday was given a green UNC basketball t-shirt made from two recycled bottles. If the Tar Heels meet a campus recycling goal, Unifi will make a donation to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Skvarla to replace Decker as Commerce secretary

December 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker will step down Dec. 31 to lead a digital-media company. N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources leader John Skvarla will take her place. Decker was appointed to the post in January 2013 following a 30-year career in business, including 17 years with Charlotte-based Duke Energy (Cover story, June 2013).