Eastern

Wrightsville Beach solar company files for direct public offering

May 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

In an S-1 filing, Koolbridge Solar disclosed plans to make about 2.5 million shares of common stock available to third-party buyers. The company is developing a residential breaker box that uses solar energy during sunny times and pulls power from the electrical grid only when solar energy, either direct or stored, is not available. The company expects its Smart Load Center, which will retail for about $600, to hit the market in the first quarter of 2017.

ECU names former Georgia state senator as its new chancellor

April 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cecil Staton, 58, is currently interim president of Georgia's Valdosta State University and vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia. He served as a Republican state senator in Georgia from 2005-2014. The Greenville, S.C., native will begin July 1 and will receive an annual salary of $450,000, making him the third highest-paid chancellor in the UNC System. Staton succeeds Steve Ballard, who is stepping down after 12 years in the position.

Loss of conference will cost Wilmington nearly $1 million

April 27, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The American Institute of Architects' decision to move a regional conference from Wilmington to either Georgia or South Carolina over HB2 will cost the Port City about $1 million, according to estimates. The event was expected to bring in between 1,000 and 1,200 visitors.

Houston Astros owner tours Fayetteville

April 26, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was in Fayetteville on Monday, where he had preliminary talks with local officials about bringing a minor-league baseball team to the area. Crane said he hopes to have a stadium built by 2018.

Recruiter says Cumberland would benefit from CSX rail hub

April 21, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The president of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corp. said a controversial $272 million CSX rail hub, originally planned for Johnston County, would be good for Cumberland County and the state ports. Russ Rogerson said if the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company doesn't opt to build the terminal in Johnston, "we would certainly be interested in talking with them."
Related: Rail project would boost economy, officials said

Hunt: Recession is over, invest more in education

April 20, 2016

(The Daily Reflector)

Former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt says a child's earliest years are "the most important years" and, speaking in Greenville on Tuesday, he reiterated the importance of early childhood education and having the best teachers. Hunt launched Smart Start in 1993 to help families with preschoolers secure resources for early childhood education programs. Hunt says now that the economy is improving, it's time to raise teacher pay. "Raise it strongly," he says.

Brunswick County has the most vacation homes in NC

April 19, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Brunwick County had 23,941 vacation homes in 2010, a 54% increase over 2000 when the county had 15,540 seasonal homes. Tourism spending in Brunswick increased to $496 million in 2014. Brunswick includes the popular vacation towns of Oak Island, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.

ECU reveals plans for $55M stadium renovation

April 18, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Plans for Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium include a new press box and redesigned grandstand seating. The project will be financed through a $15 million fundraising effort ($10 million has already been committed); the remainder will come from sales of "premium" ticket plans, including club-level seats with a lounge area. Construction will begin after the 2017 football season and should be completed in time for the 2018 season.

Chiltern leasing bigger office in Wilmington

April 18, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Chiltern, a contract-research organization with headquarters in the United Kingdom, is moving to a larger space in Wilmington's Barclay Center. The new office is about 10,000 square feet larger than the CRO's current space in nearby Barclay Commons.

Hearing for Amazon Wind Farm case set for Wednesday

April 13, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lawyers will debate whether an additional regulatory review is required for Amazon's $400 million wind farm that is under construction in northeastern N.C. A couple from Perquimans County contends the wind farm must be reviewed again since the current project differs from the original proposal. The wind farm will be the largest in the Southeast and represents the region's biggest economic-development project.

Suddenlink drops WRAL in Greenville viewing area

April 13, 2016

(The Daily Reflector)

Cable provider Suddenlink is dropping Raleigh-based WRAL from its lineup after WRAL switched its affiliation to NBC after more than 30 years as a CBS affiliate. The change should benefit WITN, a Chocowinity-based station that broadcasts NBC in the Greenville region.

Medical-products manufacturer opens HQ in Pitt County

April 12, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

DR Burton Healthcare Products will open its headquarters and manufacturing center in a 29,000-square-foot space in Farmville, aided by a building reuse grant from the N.C. Commerce Department. The company makes surgical and respiratory products. The company didn't say how many people it plans to hire.

Wood-pellet domes almost complete at Port of Wilmington

April 11, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Two white, 170-foot-tall domes at Port of Wilmington are nearly ready for use by Enviva, a Maryland-based company that will store wood pellets inside them for shipment to Europe. The pellets are produced at a plant in Sampson County. The company expects to begin shipping by the end of the third quarter.

3 former NewBridge execs to open Southern Bank office in Wilmington

April 7, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Paul McCombie, Leon Pruzan and Lenny Smith leased space for a loan production office in Wilmington. All three worked for Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank in the Wilmington market. Southern Bank is based in Mount Olive and has more than 60 office and about $2.6 billion in assets. In February, Southern acquired Heritage Bankshares of Norfolk, Va.

New Hanover Regional CEO stepping down

April 6, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Jack Barto will retire no later than June 30, 2017, according to a news release. Barto has been president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for 12 years. John Gizdic, currently chief operating officer, will succeed him.

Massive Pender County development could launch soon

April 5, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Construction could begin in late April on Blake Farm, a 1,300-acre mixed-use development in Pender County. The project will be built in phases and could take 10 years to build out. Plans call for 2,200 residential units and about 50 acres of commercial development, including a YMCA and events center.

Study: Offshore wind farms could impact vacation rentals

April 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A study by N.C. State University shows that building a wind farm off the North Carolina coast could harm tourism and vacation rentals if the turbines were visible.

Cable manufacturer to close Wilson County plant

April 4, 2016

(The Wilson Times)

After 60 years in Wilson County, Nexans will close its Elm City plant on June 30 and 113 workers will lose their jobs. The French company makes wire and cable for the aerospace and defense markets. Decreased sales and declining market prices contributed to the decision to close the facility.

Greenville airport seeks new use for 90 acres

April 4, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Officials at Pitt-Greenville Airport want to develop an industrial park on 90 acres it purchased in 2011. The airport authority paid $1.8 million for the land, intended to serve as a buffer to prevent development such as housing that would interfere with flight patterns. With fewer commercial flights, the airport is seeking new revenue streams and says a commercial/industrial development could provide jobs for people in northern Pitt County.

New Hanover apartments sold for $22M

April 4, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

New York-based Gamma Real Estate paid more than $22 million for the first and second phases of The Park at Three Oaks, an apartment community with about 200 units in Ogden, located in northern New Hanover County.