Eastern

$21M entertainment center proposed for Fort Bragg

December 12, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service finance committee approved plans for an entertainment complex that includes a 42,000-square-foot movie theater and 40,000 square feet of dining space at Fort Bragg. The $21 million to $23 million center is scheduled to open in early 2017.

Kentucky company in talks to acquire Columbus County railroad

December 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A Kentucky company is close to making a deal to purchase Carolina Southern Railroad in Columbus County, which has pledged $1.8 million in economic-development incentives to the company. Commissioners in Horry County, S.C. also pledged $1.8 million for R.J. Corman Railroad Group to restore the idled rail lines.

American Airlines adds second flight from Wilmington to NYC

December 11, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

American Airlines plans to add a second daily nonstop flight from Wilmington to New York City in February.

Sanderson Farms plant back on the table in Cumberland

December 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Cumberland County commissioners will hold a public hearing in January on whether to offer incentives for Sanderson Farms to open a $113 million chicken plant that would create about 1,000 jobs. The board informally voted against offering incentives prior to November's election, but two new commissioners have since joined the board.

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

Recount confirms Beasley's court race win

November 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cheri Beasley, an associate justice, was confirmed the winner in the statewide N.C. Supreme Court race after a recount was completed Monday. The final tally showed Beasley received 5,410 more votes than opponent Mike Robinson, a Winston-Salem lawyer, out of more than 2.4 million votes cast. Beasley was appointed to the seat in 2012. 

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.