Entegra Financial hires former CertusBank exec

May 4, 2016

(American Banker)

The holding company for Franklin-based Entegra Bank named Lola Hart its chief accounting officer. Hart oversaw the liquidation of Greenville, S.C.-based CertusBank, which struggled financially after three executives were fired amid reports of excessive spending. Tim Strom, previously with Greer State Bank in South Carolina, was named director of mortgage lending.

Caterpillar to shutter Morganton plant, lay off 110 workers

May 2, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Caterpillar said last week it will close its engine plant in Morganton by the end of 2017, eliminating 110 jobs. The cuts are part of a global restructuring; Caterpillar says sales in construction, oil and gas, mining and rail continued to decline in the first quarter. The company recently reduced its workforce in Winston-Salem and plans to close a plant in Franklin.

Visitor spending on the rise at national parks in NC

April 29, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The latest report from the National Park Service shows that 17.8 million visitors spent $1.19 billion in North Carolina in 2015, supporting 19,984 jobs and generating an economic impact of $1.67 billion. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most popular attraction in the NPS with more than 15 million visitors in 2015. 

Asheville brewer adding 2nd location

April 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's Wedge Brewing will open a second location in an 8,000-square-foot building in the city's River Arts District. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months and should be complete by the end of 2016.

Equestrian center acquires more land for hotel, condos

April 26, 2016

(Hendersonville Times-News)

A spokeswoman for Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring said the1,400-acre resort has acquired additional land and will begin construction on a 180-room hotel, 40 condominiums priced from $450,000 to $1.3 million, and an additional 29 log-cabin rental homes.

Duke LifePoint challenges tax value of Jackson County hospital

April 25, 2016

(The Sylva Herald)

Jackson County appraisers valued Harris Regional Hospital and affiliated properties at $42 million, but Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint, which acquired the hospital in 2014, says the 80-acre property is only worth a little more than $13 million and will challenge the appraisal.

David Jackson, 'Voice of the Mountaineers,' resigns after 16 seasons

April 19, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

David Jackson, associate athletic director at Appalachian State University, has resigned after working as a sports broadcaster at the school for 16 years. Known as "the Voice of the Mountaineers," Jackson said his schedule, which involved heavy travel and lots of weekend work, made it difficult to balance life with his wife and two children.

Inside Asheville's failed beer deal

April 18, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A look at Buncombe County's failed effort to attract Deschutes Brewery, a deal that would have involved an investment of up to $200 million and brought up to 237 jobs. Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes — the nation's sixth-largest craft beer company — instead chose Roanoake, Va., for its East Coast hub.

Asheville business owner: Don't boycott my store over law I despise

April 15, 2016

(The New York Times)

The owner of Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe in downtown Asheville writes an op-ed that describes how local businesses suffer when artists, customers and others boycott North Carolina over a law many don't support. Linda-Marie Barrett urges opponents of the law to consider new ways of protesting.

Asheville becoming less of a 'BYOJ' town

April 14, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

For years, the sentiment was that if you wanted to move to Asheville and didn't want to wait tables for a living, you might need to "bring your own job." While 7.2% of Asheville workers are self-employed, higher than the state and national rates, local economic developers say job openings are plentiful and there is growth in fields outside of hospitality, including in the technology and startup sectors.

ASU dedicates site for new $70M health-sciences building

April 14, 2016

(The Watauga Democrat)

The new building will house Appalachian State's Beaver College of Health Sciences, which formed in 2010 and is now the second largest college at ASU with more than 3,000 students. LS3P is the architect and Rodgers Builders in the construction manager for the 203,000-square-foot building.

Yarn-maker breaks ground on Burke County expansion

April 14, 2016

(Morganton News Herald)

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group is investing $8 million on an expansion of its Valdese plant. The company plans to add 25 jobs to its 140 when the addition is complete in 2017.

Report: Asheville rents are highest in the state

April 12, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Asheville is $1,180 a month, up 7.6% from a year ago, according to San Francisco-based Apartment List. Charlotte and Durham are second and third, with median rents of $1,140 and $1,100 respectively.

HGTV house in Asheville is on the market

April 8, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The HGTV Urban Oasis house in West Asheville is for sale. The price tag for the 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom home: $490,000. That's more than double the sales price for a similar size home in the area, but realtor Mike Figura says the price is higher because the home is fully furnished, and because it's a "TV star." Washington resident Crystal Harriman won the home in a sweepstakes last year but decided not to keep it.

Buncombe commissioners point fingers after loss of Deschutes brewery

April 7, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners bickered over the loss Deschutes Brewery, which picked Roanoke, Va., over Asheville for its East Coast brewery, in a seven-hour meeting Tuesday. Commissioners who supported purchasing a $6.8 million parcel to attract the Oregon-based company blamed Republican Commissioner Miranda DeBruhl. DeBruhl opposed the land purchase, publicly called the deal a "fairy tale" and, according to Chairman David Gantt, pressured the company to make a decision at a critical point of negotiations.

Another western NC economic recruiter disbands

April 5, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Smoky Mountain Development Corp. is disbanding due to a revenue shortfall. The organization was founded in 1984 and serves 10 counties in western N.C. Executive Director Alan Steinberg says the group's revenue has declined due to fewer businesses in the region obtaining 504 loans, which help small companies buy properties.

Wilkes Regional picks Wake Forest Baptist to take over management

April 4, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The board of directors of Wilkes Regional Medical Center voted 13-0 to pursue a long-term lease agreement with Wake Forest Baptist. Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System has managed the 130-bed hospital since 2006, while Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has supplied doctors for the ER. Wake has agreed to invest $238 million in the 63-year-old hospital and possibly purchase it from the town of North Wilkesboro. Novant and Duke LifePoint also submitted proposals.

Condo plan near Country Club of Asheville draws criticism

April 4, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Developers are proposing a 184-unit condo project in Woodfin, adjacent to the Country Club of Asheville. Nearby residents are raising objections to the plan, which also calls for a dozen single-family homes on the 114-acre site. The property now pays taxes on about $47,000 of assessed value, while taxes are deferred on more than $1 million of value because of a forestry-related program, according to Buncombe County tax records.

N.C. Rural Economic rebounds after state funding cut

April 1, 2016

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is recovering from a loss of state funding in 2013. The nonprofit agency, which aims to boost the economy in rural North Carolina, received $20 million to $24 million annual for three decades. The center has $3 million in operating expenses and a $5 million reserve.


Asheville's HomeTrust Bancshares adds 3 directors

March 29, 2016

The holding company for HomeTrust Bank increased the size of its board from 10 to 13 directors, adding Laura Kendall, Richard "Stick" Williams and Robert "Bob" James Jr. Kendall is a managing director at Aurora Management Partners. Williams retired last year after 37 years at Duke Energy, and James, a banking-industry veteran, has worked for Grant Thornton as a senior adviser since 2012.