Eastern

I-40 has boosted economy, strained local roads in the Port City

June 29, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover County's population has grown from 120,284 to more than 216,000 since the last segment of Interstate 40 was completed in 1990, while Brunswick County's population has more than doubled. Now the N.C. DOT and local leaders are at odds over how to alleviate increased congestion on city streets.

Uber expands to NC beach towns

June 29, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Uber has expanded the availability of its ride-hailing service to coastal communities along the East Coast, including Beaufort, Wrightsville Beach and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Report: Outer Banks national parks at risk

June 25, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new study shows the Outer Banks could lose cultural resources including lighthouses and forts valued at more than $2 billion due to sea-level rise. The report, released by the National Park Service, says seas are expected to rise by 1 meter during the next 100 to 150 years.
Related: Land's end: As the shoreline creeps closer, leaders debate the need for action or restraint

Pender County approves 34% tax hike

June 24, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Pender County commissioners approved a 34% property-tax increase to help pay for infrastructure improvements in the rapidly growing coastal county. The owner of a $250,000 home will pay about $1,700, up from $1,225 annually.

Wilmington's Live Oak Bank files for IPO

June 23, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Live Oak Banshares plans to raise $86.2 million in an initial public offering, according to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The parent of Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank, an SBA lender, filed for an IPO last April but changed its plans after receiving an investment from Boston-based Wellington Management.

The paradoxical image of Vertex Rail

June 22, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Seven months after Vertex Rail announced plans to hire 1,300 people at a manufacturing site in Wilmington, another company led by CEO Don Croteau has filed for bankruptcy and the company has said it joined a new joint venture with a private-equity partner and a Chinese rail-manufacturing firm.

Wilmington shopping centers sell for $192M

June 19, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

CBL & Associates Properties, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based REIT, paid $192 million for Wilmington's Mayfaire Town Center and the smaller Mayfaire Community Center. Mayfaire Town Center, a mixed-used development, was started in the early 2000s. Anchor tenants include Belk and a 16-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater.

Williams Mullen to vacate Wilmington office

June 19, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Williams Mullen will close its Wilmington office by the end of August, consolidating with its Raleigh offices. The law firm, which has 230 attorneys in the Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., says it will continue to serve its Wilmington clients.

Dayco Products closing 3 distribution centers in eastern NC

June 18, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Dayco Products will close three distributions centers in Cumberland and Robeson counties by early 2016. The Tulsa, Okla.-based company did not say how many jobs will be lost, but a local official said the two Fayetteville centers employ 180 people. Dayco, which makes engine components for the automotive, construction and other industries, says it plans to consolidate distribution into one facility in the central U.S.

GE awaits decision on Export-Import Bank

June 17, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Employees of GE Hitachi and GE Aviation near Wilmington are watching to see if Congress will reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which gives foreign companies loan guarantees to purchase products that are made in the United States. A GE spokesman said the company, which employs about 3,000 in the Wilmington area but does most of its business outside the U.S., needs the Export-Import Bank to stay competitive. The bank is scheduled to shut down June 30.

Hospitality industry watches, waits after shark attacks

June 16, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Town governments and real-estate rental agencies along the North Carolina coast have had a few inquiries following recent shark attacks at Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach, though vacationers don't seem to be canceling their summer beach plans.

Strata Solar hiring 200 in Fayetteville

June 16, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Strata Solar is looking to hire 200 workers to build solar farms in Robeson and Scotland counties. The Chapel Hill-based company plans to build 30 farms in the state next year.

Compromise reached over Bonner Bridge replacement

June 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Two conservation groups agreed to drop a lawsuit dating back to 2011 that prevented the N.C. Department of Transportation from replacing the aging Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet in the Outer Banks. The DOT will build a 2.8-mile bridge parallel to the existing structure along N.C. 12. As part of the compromise, the DOT will consider building a new, 7-mile bridge south of the inlet, re-routing parts of N.C. 12 out of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Belhaven mayor repeats 300-mile walk to support rural hospitals

June 15, 2015

(WRAL.com)

Adam O'Neal, the mayor of Belhaven in Beaufort County, is completing his second, 300-mile walk to Washington on Monday and plans a news conference to urge Congress to help save 283 rural hospitals in danger of closing. Belhaven's Pungo District Hospital was shuttered in 2014 after it was acquired by Greenville-based Vidant Health.

GE Hitachi taps new CEO

June 15, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Pending General Electric's $13.8 billion acquisition of French turbine maker Alston, expected to close Aug. 21., Jay Wileman will become president and CEO of Wilmington-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Caroline Reda, CEO of GE Hitachi since 2010, will lead GE's new Power Services business.

Vertex Rail forms joint venture with Chinese company

June 12, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Vertex Rail Technologies was renamed Vertex Railcar Corp. as the company entered into a joint venture with private-equity investors and a Chinese railcar manufacturer. Don Croteau will remain CEO and will serve on the company's board of directors. Vertex has announced plans to hire 1,300 workers at a manufacturing facility in Wilmington.

Wilmington startup Next Glass teams up with Total Wine & More

June 12, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Next Glass, the Wilmington-based app that helps users make beer and wine selections, will partner with Total Wine & More to offer in-store recommendations for customers. The startup caught the attention of the Maryland-based retailer more than a year ago, when the company placed an order for 6,000 bottles of wine for testing and analysis.

DENR orders Duke Energy to stop groundwater contamination

June 10, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered Duke Energy to "take immediate action" to control coal-ash contamination at its Sutton plant in Wilmington after tests showed high levels of boron in monitoring wells. A Duke spokeswoman said the utility is awaiting state permits to begin closing the plant's ash basins.

Wilmington's GNF gets $100M contract

June 9, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Global Nuclear Fuel, a General Electric-led venture with Hitachi and Toshiba, said one of its customers signed a contract extension valued at more than $100 million. The agreement will allow GNF to provide fuel reloads at four of New Orleans-based Entergy's power plants through 2021.

Enviva's storage domes near completion at Port of Wilmington

June 9, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Enviva has almost finished construction on one of two wood-pellet storage domes at the Port of Wilmington. A second dome will be finished in about six weeks. The Bethesda, Md.-based company says each dome will be able to hold up to 45,000 metric tons of wood pellets, which are used as a cleaner alternative to coal.