Eastern

Duke Energy gets federal OK in $1.2B power plant deal

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Federal regulators approved a $1.2 billion deal that will allow Duke Energy Progress to buy back four power plants that supply electricity to 32 towns in central and eastern N.C. The towns took on $3.6 billion in debt to buy minority stakes in the power plants in 1982, and their customers have paid an average of $240 to $600 more a year for electricity than Duke Progress customers (Statewide, September).

Three eastern NC hospitals in talks to form joint venture

December 9, 2014

(The Daily News, Jacksonville)

Onslow Memorial Hospital has entered into exclusive negotiations with Greenville-based Vidant Health and New Bern-based CarolinaEast Health System to discuss forming a partnership that will allow patients access to more providers and services.

Wilmington's Envision Mortgage to merge with Raleigh's North State Bank

December 9, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Envision Mortgage will merge with Raleigh-based North State Bank Mortgage. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close Dec. 31, were not disclosed. North State Bank has seven offices in New Hanover and Wake counties.

Wilmington plans waterfront improvements

December 9, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The city of Wilmington held a public workshop to help prioritize projects proposed as part of its Waterfront Improvement Plan. Potential projects include an urban park, reconstruction of a section of the city's river walk and public art.

New Hanover county manager supports sales-tax increase

December 8, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet believes a temporary quarter-cent sales-tax increase would boost economic-development efforts in the Wilmington area by creating a sustainable fund for recruiting new business.

NC State's sale of Hofmann Forest is canceled

December 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. State's controversial plan to sell its 79,000-acre research forest has fallen through because the buyers were unable to secure financing for the $131 million deal. Chancellor Randy Woodson said the university will likely try to find another buyer for Hofmann Forest, which is in Onslow and Jones counties.

Craven County approves incentives for Moen warehouse

December 5, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Moen will break ground on a new 203,000-square-foot component warehouse at Craven County Industrial Park in the first quarter of 2015. County commissioners unanimously approved $650,000 in incentives for the project, which is expected to be operational by fall 2015. The Ohio-based faucet-maker employs 700 at a local manufacturing plant.

No layoffs in Fayetteville call-center consolidation

December 5, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A spokeswoman for Sykes Enterprises says the consolidation of two Fayetteville call centers will not result in layoffs. In a letter to the state Department of Commerce, the company had said the consolidation could lead to 226 layoffs, but all employees at the location that is scheduled to close by Dec. 11 were offered jobs at the company's new office. 

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.

Dominion says pipeline would mean $6M in property-tax payments

December 2, 2014

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

The 550-mile proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would provide more than $25 million annually in local property taxes –including $6 million in North Carolina – according to estimates from Dominion Resources. Announced in September, the pipeline would bring natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale basins to North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Low-impact development underway in Leland

December 1, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The developer of a 313-acre development on the Cape Fear River plans to use low-impact principles to preserve the local environment. River Bluffs could contain up to 740 homes at buildout; most of the homes in the development's first phase will be priced at $400,000 and up.

Erosion worsens at North Topsail Beach

December 1, 2014

(Jacksonville Daily News)

A weekend storm worsened erosion at the north end of Topsail Island, where the town's building inspector recommended shutting off power to 22 vacation rentals and other structures where conditions could create a fire hazard. 
Related: "Land's End," November

Brunswick to buy land once owned by leader

November 26, 2014

(The Star News, Wilmington)

Brunswick County plans to purchase 35 acres of waterfront property that was once partly owned by its board chairman, Phil Norris. The $3.5 million deal will close on Dec. 12. It was set up by Norris, who says he took a minimal role after suggesting the property to the parks and recreation department who were looking for land for a waterfront park. Independent appraisers value the land at more than $7.7 million. 

Fayetteville hotel goes to auction in December

November 26, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Prince Charles Hotel, opened in 1925 in downtown Fayetteville, will be sold to the highest bidder in an online auction scheduled for Dec. 10-15. The minimum bid for the bankrupt historic property is set at $200,000; the current owner bought the hotel and some adjacent property in 2007 for $1.9 million. The adjacent property is not included in the auction. At its height, the hotel hosted wedding receptions, political functions and other gatherings in its top-floor ballroom.

Wilmington's Cucalorus film festival sets attendance record

November 25, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

For the second year in a row, MovieMaker Magazine named Wilmington's Cucalorus film festival, which was held Nov. 12-16, among the top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World. Started in 1994, the festival attracted 15,743 attendees in 2014, an increase of 7% over last year, and screened 241 films.

Lumber Bridge poultry plant gives away Thanksgiving dinners for more than 17,000

November 24, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Mountaire Farms in Robeson County donated food for about 17,500 people as part of the company's Thanksgiving for Thousands program. Ninety-seven churches will help distribute the food boxes, which include chickens, yams, brownie mix and cranberry sauce. 

Goldsboro Country Club to close

November 24, 2014

(The Goldsboro News-Argus)

Goldsboro Country Club, chartered nearly 70 years ago, will close its doors by year-end. The reason for the closure was unclear.

Wilmington startup launches app for wine and beer drinkers

November 21, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Wilmington-based Next Glass launched on Thursday its much-anticipated app designed to help beer and wine drinkers find brands they will like. The tech startup held its beta launch on Nov. 5, with 20,000 people signing up within 24 hours. Next Glass has raised more than $3 million from investors, according to CEO Kurt Taylor.

Moen expanding in New Bern

November 20, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Moen will build a 200,000-square-foot component warehouse in Craven County to support its local faucet-assembly plant, where it employs 700 workers. The new warehouse will replace a current one in Kinston, which is managed by a third-party operator. The North Olmsted, Ohio-based company will add at least 75 jobs in New Bern within a year. Some of the jobs will go to employees from the Kinston warehouse that is closing.

Wilmington film studios halt tours to undergo renovations

November 20, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington has halted its popular weekend tours to complete renovations including improvements to roads, sound stages and landscaping. Tours will resume in March and will include sets from CBS Television's Under the Dome, which will begin filming its third season in early 2015.
Related: ABC's 'Secrets and Lies' wraps production, will premiere March 1