Vertex Railcar adding jobs as orders roll in

December 16, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Vertex Railcar says it has two orders for a total of 1,100 railcars that will keep the manufacturer busy through most of 2016. The company, which eventually plans to hire 1,300 people in Wilmington, has completed its first 60 cars. Vertex currently has 189 employees and is still hiring, according to Foster Sayers, the company's lawyer.

Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit over Amazon wind farm

December 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A judge on Monday denied a request to throw out a lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Amazon Wind Farm in northeastern North Carolina. A couple from Perquimans is seeking a lengthy regulatory review of the $400 million project, which is already under construction, that developers say would kill the project.
Read "Hot Air," from BNC's December issue, to learn more about the Amazon-financed project

Wilmington shopping center to expand

December 15, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The owners of Mayfaire Town Center in Wilmington submitted plans to expand the shopping center by more than 90,000 square feet. CBL & Associates bought the 700,000-square-foot center for $192 million in June; the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company has since sold a portion of the complex, Mayfaire Community Center, for $56.3 million.

Report: Wilmington's PPD explores sale, IPO

December 14, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Pharmaceutical Product Development could be looking at a possible sale or initial public offering that would value the company between $7 billion and $8 billion, according to a Reuters report. The contract research organization employs about 1,500 people at its Wilmington headquarters and more than 14,500 worldwide. PPD was founded in 1985 by Fred Eshelman, who made more than $275 million when he sold the company to two investment firms in 2011.

Beach towns raise concern over proposed wind turbines

December 14, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Property owners at Bald Head Island and other coastal communities worry that proposed offshore wind turbines will have a negative impact on tourism and future development. The federal Bureau of Energy Management has designated three areas off the North Carolina coast for wind-energy development.

TNT series to film in Wilmington

December 11, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The Wilmington film industry received some good news Thursday: TNT will film nine more episodes of Good Behavior, a TV drama starring Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, in the coastal city. The pilot for the series was shot in Wilmington this fall.

Kinston still courting minor league baseball

December 10, 2015

(Kinston Free Press)

Though a deal to bring minor league baseball to Kinston fell through last summer, the town is still in talks with the Texas Rangers to put a franchise in Grainger Stadium for the 2017 season.

Philips to lay off 50 at Pender County plant

December 8, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

At least 50 people will lose their jobs when Philips closes its plant in Burgaw. Layoffs will begin April 1 and the plant will close by Sept. 1. The Netherlands-based lighting-products manufacturer previously announced it was closing its only other North Carolina plant in Henderson by Jan. 1.

NCDOT contracts with company to operate rail spur serving Global TransPark

December 8, 2015

(The Sun Journal, New Bern)

Gulf & Ohio Railways will operate a 5.7-mile rail spur that will connect freight from the Global TransPark in Kinston to New Bern and Port of Morehead City. The cost of the project is $14.3 million.

UNC Pembroke startup incubator seeking applications

December 7, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

UNC Pembroke's $1.2 million entrepreneurship incubator will officially open for business following a ribbon-cutting on Monday. The Robeson County facility, which was aided by grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Golden Leaf Foundation and others, includes space for nine tenants. The incubator is seeking applications from interested startups.

Wilmington's LIve Oak Bank exits SBLF program

December 4, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Live Oak Bank has paid the U.S. Treasury $6.8 million to exit the Small Business Lending Fund program, which was established in 2010 to provide capital to community banks to encourage small business lending. Eight North Carolina-based banks have been a part of the program.

State OKs removal of wet coal ash at Wilmington plant

December 4, 2015


The state issued the first permit allowing Duke Energy to begin draining coal-ash ponds at its Sutton power plant near Wilmington. Dry ash is already being removed from Sutton and three other plants; this is the first permit for removing wet ash.
Related: NC regulators find violations at another Duke coal-ash deposit site

New Jersey tech firm moving headquarters to Brunswick County

December 1, 2015

(Wilmington Star-News)

MicroSolv Technologies is moving its New Jersey headquarters to Brunswick County, drawn by lower costs, CEO Bill Ciccone said. The company will break ground on its new offices in Leland Business Park on Dec. 2. MicroSolv plans to employ 15 people at the 11,000-square-foot headquarters. Construction should be complete by April.

Greenville names new economic-development manager

November 30, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Roger Johnson will replace Carl Rees, a City of Greenville employee for 18 years, as head of economic development. Johnson, currently special assistant for development for the City of Wilmington, worked for Progress Energy, now Duke Energy Progress, from 2003-10.

Attendance up 12% at Wilmington film festival

November 25, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A total of 17,630 people attended this month's Cucalorous Film Festival in Wilmington, an increase of almost 12% from 2014. Financial information has not been released.

Foreclosure sale of Wilmington mall delayed again

November 24, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The public auction of Independence Mall in Wilmington was rescheduled for Dec. 22, marking the third time the foreclosure sale has been delayed. Centro Independence, the mall's owner, defaulted on a $110 million loan.

AAIPharma investing $15.8M in Wilmington expansion

November 23, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The contract drug development company will add 37 jobs over three years; the number could climb to 50 by 2019. Wilmington-based AAIPharma will receive up to $550,000 in state and local incentives. The company employs nearly 400 people in Wilmington.

Group says offshore drilling a matter of 'when,' not 'if'

November 23, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Executives from Shell Oil joined the pro-drilling group Consumer Energy Alliance in Wilmington Friday to discuss the potential impact of drilling for oil and natural gas off the North Carolina coast. A Shell representative said offshore drilling in southeastern N.C. could bring new jobs to the Port of Wilmington.

Weyerhaeuser spinoff would include New Bern mill

November 19, 2015

(New Bern Sun Journal)

Washington-based Weyerhaeuser, one of the world's largest wood-pulp products companies, is considering selling or spinning off its cellulose fibers business, which could impact a pulp mill in New Bern that employs 300 people.

Wilmington shopping center sells for $56.3 million

November 17, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

CBL & Associates Properties will sell Mayfaire Community Center, a 210,000-square-foot shopping center anchored by a Harris Teeter grocery store, to Principal Real Estate Investors for $56.3 million. Tennessee-based CBL paid $192 million in June for the center and the larger Mayfaire Town Center.