Eastern

Wilmington seeks public input on short-term rentals

February 9, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington residents appear to be divided over short-term rentals, such as those offered on VRBO.com and Airbnb. It joins other N.C. cities, including Asheville and Raleigh, that will consider developing new rules for the practice.

Aquesta preps to open first Wilmington branch

February 9, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Cornelius-based Aquesta Bank received regulatory approval to open its first branch outside the Charlotte metro area. The new Wilmington branch will allow it to build on its presence there; Aquesta opened an insurance-services office there more than eight years ago. Aquesta has seven branches and had $293 million in assets at the end of 2015.

New Bern hospital undergoing $64M renovation, expansion

February 3, 2016

(New Bern Sun Journal)

Projects underway at the 52-year-old CarolinaEast Medical Center will add more than 30,000 square feet of space and renovate 70,000 square feet. Plans include expanding the ER, improving labor and delivery services, and building two new operating rooms and a cancer-treatment center. Work is expected to be complete in late 2018.

Sanderson Farms plant in Robeson County to open in early 2017

February 3, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Construction of Sanderson Farms' $145 million chicken plant and nearby $17 million hatchery is underway, according to a spokesman, and the facilities are expected to open in January. The chicken processor said it will create more than 1,100 jobs.

Two TV series filming in Wilmington receive state grants

February 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

TNT's Good Behavior and the History Channel's Six could receive up to $13.8 million in state film grants, according to a release from the N.C. Commerce department. The two projects, which will film in Wilmington, are expected to generate more than $57 million in direct in-state spending.

Sheerer named provost at UNC Wilmington

February 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Marilyn Sheerer, interim provost at UNC Wilmington since June, was named to the position on a permanent basis. Sheerer will serve as chief operating officer of the university, which enrolls more than 14,000 students. She succeeds Denise Battles, who left to become president of the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Wilmington's Live Oak Banchares reports strong Q4 earnings

January 29, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Live Oak Bancshares reported net earnings of $5.7 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $2.4 million for the same period in 2014. The nation's No. 2 SBA lender, Live Oak's net income for the full year was $20.6 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, a 59% increase over the previous year.

CSX not scrapping plans for cargo hub

January 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

CSX said Wednesday it is still committed to building a $272 million container hub along Interstate 95, despite Gov. Pat McCrory changing his stance on the project that he originally promoted as a boon for economic development in eastern N.C.
Also: Wayne chasing CSX terminal after Johnston site rejected

Anti-drilling advocates lobby on Capitol Hill

January 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Actors including Ted Danson and Kate Walsh joined elected officials including Rep. Mark Sanford from South Carolina at an anti-drilling summit in Washington, D.C. The federal government is expected to release by March a five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leases that includes waters off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. The event was organized by conservation group Oceana.

McCrory: Johnston County site not a viable option for rail hub

January 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Tuesday the proposed site for a CSX railroad hub in Johnston County may not be a viable option. A spokesman for McCrory said the state will continue to work with CSX to find an alternative site. CSX announced the $272 million project last week, though some landowners don't want to sell their properties to the Jacksonville, Fla., company, which could forcibly purchase the land through the power of eminent domain.

Meanwhile, officials in Wayne County say residents would support a CSX intermodal rail yard either within its borders or in nearby Johnston County.

Wilmington Chamber supports controversial CSX project

January 26, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce issued a statement supporting the proposed CSX intermodal freight hub near Interstate 95 in Johnston County, citing potential benefits to the ports and Eastern N.C. businesses that use them. Johnston County commissioners have said they support the $272 million project, though they are urging CSX to seek an alternative site after some landowners objected to selling their properties to the rail company.

2 successful exits for Wilmington investment group

January 25, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington Investment Network experienced nearly a tenfold return when Austin, Texas-based Greenridge Investment Partners in December bought an 80% stake in Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems, a Raleigh-based SaaS (software as a service) company. WIN, a group of 35 Wilmington investors, also received a return on investment in last week's $4.2 million sale of Wilmington's Oak Court Apartments to a Charlotte-based group.

Hoke County ethanol plant lays off 20

January 25, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Tyton NC Biofuels has ceased production and laid off 20 of its 46 employees. Lower gasoline prices and disappointing local corn production contributed to the decision, according to General Manager Rick Brehm. The company, a partner of Danville, Va.-based Tyton BioEnergy Systems, bought the plant for less than $15 million in 2014, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

Aquesta Financial expanding in Wilmington

January 22, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Aquesta Financial Holdings will open a second insurance-services office in the Wilmington area and plans to open a full-service bank branch there in the spring. The Cornelius-based company has five bank branches, mostly in north Mecklenburg County, and four insurance-services offices.

Duke Energy sets solar record

January 21, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte-based utility installed more than 300 megawatts of solar power in North Carolina in 2015, enough to power 60,000 homes. Duke spent $500 million to acquire four large solar farms, mostly in eastern N.C., and buying solar energy from other developers.

Entity with ties to PPD raises $71M

January 20, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

X-Co Holdings LP raised more than $71 million in a securities offering, according to an SEC filing. X-Co Holdings is listed a biotechnology entity that shares the same address as Wilmington-based Pharmaceutical Product Development, which is owned by private-equity firms The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman.

Wilmington's Next Glass to merge with California software company

January 18, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Next Glass, the Wilmington-based technology company that provides personalized wine and beer recommendations, is teaming up with Untappd, a Los Angeles-based software company that offers an app for beer enthusiasts. Untappd will become a subsidiary of Next Glass; financial terms were not disclosed.

Enviva keeping close eye on EU probe of its largest client

January 18, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

A spokesman for Maryland-based Enviva says the company isn't too concerned over the European Union's investigation of Drax, the wood-pellet producer's largest customer that is seeking to convert a coal-burning plant to a biomass plant. Enviva last year built a storage facility at Port of Wilmington to ship pellets from its plants in Hertford, Northampton and Sampson counties.

CSX plans $272 million cargo hub in Johnston County

January 15, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The 450-acre intermodal railroad terminal could attract new employers to eastern N.C. and move more goods through the Port of Wilmington. Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX is seeking $100 million from the state to help finance the project, which will create 300 construction jobs.
Also: Proposed CSX intermodal terminal would mean boost for port

Bald Head officials seek bigger buffer for wind turbines

January 15, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Brunswick County and Bald Head Island officials are concerned that potential wind-energy developments will be visible from "Old Baldy" lighthouse. Under a federal plan, wind leases could be available as close as 12.7 miles from the lighthouse.