Article Title Issue

Square footage


Sqaure Footage

Older Americans are embracing the tiny house. The trend that became a movement, with North Carolina at the center, might just save retirement. 






Charlotte region: Southern exposure

NCtrend: Southern exposure


Statewide: West region, December 2015

Monthly report of business news from the West region.


Clean-up crew

Statewide: Clean-up crew


Builders' best

2015 Building NC


Statewide: Charlotte region, November 2015

Monthly report of business news from the Charlotte region.


High rise

High rise


Statewide: Triangle region, July 2015

Monthly report of business news from the Triangle region.


NCtrend: Down on Main Street

NCtrend: Kannapolis city leaders plan to lift their quaint downtown by buying up property.


Statewide: Charlotte region, April 2015

Monthly report of business news from the Charlotte region.


Statewide: Western region, February 2015

Monthly report of business news from the Western region.


Land's end

As the shoreline creeps closer, coastal leaders debate the need for bold action or quiet restraint.


The 100 at 30

Cover story: S&D Coffee and the state's biggest private companies still pack a jolt.


NCtrend: Home again

NCtrend: He built the top-selling Carolina coastal community − then moved back to Eden.


Tower of power

The landmark Reynolds Building is the latest piece of the tobacco empire downtown developers want to renovate.


Statewide: Charlotte region, July 2014

Monthly report of business news from the Charlotte region.


Statewide: Western region, July

Monthly report of business news from the Western region.


Getting out of rehab

Feature: Tax breaks for renovating historic buildings breathed life into dying downtowns. Now the credits are expiring.


Statewide: Eastern region, February 2014

Monthly report of business news from the Eastern region.


Regional Report Eastern January 2014

Hatteras Island businesses hope the latest sand to settle under the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge won't shift for some time.


The woman in charge

Small Business of the Year Runner-up: Garris Grading and Paving Inc. By the time Angela Alvarez Garris decided to build up an asphalt plant, she was fed up with people who refused to belive a woman could own and operate such a ostensibly manly business.


It's a family tradition

Small Business of the Year Runner-up: Crayton Commercial LLC, a one-man operation in New Bern that had built or revitalized seven shopping centers since 2008.


Regional Report Triangle December 2013

Highwoods Properties Inc. went on a diet to get fit but seems to have its appetite back.


Team building

Cover story: Former football stars Terrence and Torry Holt want to win fame in the construction game.


Regional Report Charlotte October 2013

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts recommended The Ryland Group Inc.’s stock this summer in part because of the Westlake Village, Calif.-based homebuilder’s presence in Charlotte, which the New York-based investment banking firm deems one of the best housing markets in the nation.


Regional Report Triangle October 2013

Some Pittsboro residents believe the proposed Chatham Park development will cramp their lifestyle, turning wide spaces into tight places.


Top 75 public companies

Bigger Spenders. A rise in returns for the top public companies mirrors a comeback in consumers’ confidence.


Let the sun shine

Industry insiders fear the sun will set on the subsidy that makes solar such a bright spot in a dreary economy.


Runs in the family

Mac Jordan spends decades reviving the mill in Saxapahaw his grandfather resurrected.

Regional Report Triad February 2013

A Greensboro developer has backed off an idea to turn the Reynolds Building in downtown Winston-Salem into an upscale hotel.


Regional Report Western January 2013

After Superstorm Sandy hit, Bostic-based Defiant Marine Inc. — a marine salvage company Ferris founded in 2010 — sent a crew to New York City to pump out the Montague Tube, which carries the subway under the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn


High on the hog

Small Business of the Year Runner-up: Prima Tech USA Inc. is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of animal-health applicators.


The last one out

The economy is better, but top contractors are still suffering in the recession's wake.


How top private companies are growing

Top private companies in North Carolina are growing by acquisitions, reinvesting, rebranding, introducing new products and gaining new partners.


Cache a check

Shareholder return is rising faster than CEO compensation, our list shows. And that’s without a nay say-on-pay vote


Cache a check_copy

Shareholder return is rising faster than CEO compensation, our list shows. And that’s without a nay say-on-pay vote


A slow ride

The tepid growth of the Top 75's market value reflects the recovery's current sluggish pace.


Regional Report Charlotte June 2012

SunEnergy 1 LLC, a Mooresville-based solar-panel installer, has taken advantage of the spike in solar-energy tax breaks, with contracts jumping from about $50 million last year to an estimated $130 million in 2012.


Regional Report Charlotte May 2012

For the eighth time in 10 years, Statesville-Mooresville in Iredell County was Site Selection magazine’s top U.S. micropolitan area 


Regional Report Triangle March 2012

When Bob Geolas was a boy, his father took him to see construction at Research Triangle Park. Now he's the president and CEO of the Research Triangle Park Foundation of North Carolina.


Work starts to pick up

Business North Carolina's annual ranking of the state’s largest employers shows many have more jobs, indicating less unemployment ahead.


Memories are made of this?

Once again, G.D. Gearino reviews the year that was, putting such a spin on it that 2011 feels quite dizzy.


Down in the trenches

Small Business of the Year Runner-up: In 2008 and 2009, Marvin Mercer scrapped for clients, calling on everyone he knew. Once, he heard two strangers talking about engineering in a restaurant, so he just walked up to the table and laid down his card. Nothing seemed to make a difference. Money was so tight that he and his wife, Wendy, who together own Mercer Design Group PC, were scrimping on paper and ink, and he had taken to nagging employees about turning out the lights. They even considered filing for bankruptcy. “We were probably within a week or two weeks of closing the doors,” he says.


Wait and seethe

2011 Top Contractors: Anxious for an upturn, top contractors keep their companies stoked with whatever work there is, wherever they can find it.


Where the heart is

Feature: Two Tar Heels injured in Iraq prove charity starts at home by building and renovating houses for disabled vets.


Regional Report Charlotte November 2011

When Julian Clayton was a kid, the family computer was so heavy and bulky that the only place to put it was the granite countertop of a bar in the basement. Now his Salisbury-based company Crescent Construction Services LLC relies on a device that weighs less than 2 pounds.


30 that count

The host of public television’s Carolina Business Review selects the key figures influencing the Tar Heel economy.

NC 100 2011

Participation in the annual ranking of private companies is voluntary and has been since the list started in 1984.

Supply-side economics

Around midnight, the spring sky spawned a twister that tore through Belmont, a small town just across the Catawba River from Charlotte. It ripped an 82,000-square-foot warehouse in half, strewing structural steel and sheets of siding like shrapnel and soaking the ruins in rain.


Bringing fore closure

On a weekend night, EpiCentre lives up to its name. Men, women, girls and boys stroll among its stores and restaurants, sometimes venturing inside or stopping to chat with friends.

Under Construction

In downtown Charlotte, the $195 million NASCAR Hall of Fame’s swooping lines evoke speeding race cars, while three hours to the west in the Smoky Mountains, the Cherokee Central Schools complex — 10 buildings, including three schools — is an earth-toned $108 million project blended into its natural surroundings.

Regional Report Charlotte November 2010

This past summer, Charlotte-based Simonini Builders Inc. received word that Professional Builder magazine, the bible of housing contractors, wanted to include the company in its hall of fame.

The land of plenty

A look at how new immigration has revived old fears about race, resources and diversity in North Carolina.

Success is relative

In the television series Father Knows Best, patriarch Jim Anderson often served up the wisdom of his experience to solve some problem caused by the inexperienced youth of his three children.


Regional Report Charlotte February 2010

In plain talk, a pyrrhic victory means: “We burned down the house, but at least we got rid of the cockroaches.” That might apply to builders and developers whose lawsuit caused the state Court of Appeals to overturn Union County’s impact fee on new homes.


Regional Report Triangle January 2010

Steve Zelnak, 65, became president of Martin Marietta Corp.’s aggregates division 27 years ago and led it through its spinoff and initial public offering as Martin Marietta Materials Inc. in 1994.


Building on the past

In good times, Doug Allen’s company needed to beat only two or three other contractors to win an industrial construction project. But when Asheboro-based J.H. Allen Inc. recently went after a job in Eden, it was one of 60 companies looking for work.


The essence of time

I’m gonna ask you a couple of silly questions,” an emergency responder tells the small, gray-haired man settled into a metal chair on a sidewalk. “Do you know what today is?”


Regional Report Triangle October 2009

Three years ago, David Joyner got into his car and went to see some mayors in western Wake County about making a planned bypass around Raleigh’s west side a toll road.


The realities of realty

On Sept. 17, 2007, a for-sale sign was jammed into the front yard of my home, which I had bought just 2 1/2 years prior (which is to say, near the peak of the housing market). Thus began my education in real estate.


Regional Report Charlotte September 2009

EpiCentre, with its 15-story hotel, movie theaters, bowling alley, bars, stores and offices, covers a block of downtown Charlotte. Developer Afshin Ghazi estimates it has cost about $180 million.


Regional Report Western September 2009

Floridians have long flocked to western North Carolina, so when a cloud settled over the Sunshine State real-estate market, Florida developers moved up, too (“Take the High Ground,” December 2007).


Regional Report Triangle July 2009

For more than two years, Stock Building Supply LLC offices occupied one of three floors in Colony Corporate Center in north Raleigh.


Getting nailed by tight credit

Last year was perhaps the worst in a decade for commercial builders in North Carolina, according to Carolinas AGC Inc., a trade group for general contractors.

Legal Elite - Construction

2009 Legal Elite winner: Construction - Michael L. Wilson, Johnston, Allison & Hord PA, Charlotte

Legal Elite - Real estate

2009 Legal Elite winner: Real Estate - C. Steven Mason, Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan LLP, Raleigh

Regional Report Western January 2009

Even with golfer Tiger Woods involved, selling high-dollar real estate might seem like a long shot these days.

Regional Report Charlotte December 2008

Light rain falls on a lunchtime crowd as men in hard hats and reflective vests prowl a cluster of construction sites on the south side of downtown Charlotte.

They try to go with the flow

Growing up in Winston-Salem, Darrell Westmoreland spent a lot of time working on his grandfather’s farm. As an Eagle Scout, he built hiking trails and went on frequent camping trips. “I was taught the importance of the environment and that you should take care of the land.”

Economic outlook

North Carolina’s society has become multicultural, its economy has become more diverse, and the state has prospered in recent decades. But leaders must adjust their policies for a more metropolitan economy — focused on cities and suburbs — and address a widening disparity between rich and poor, says Ferrel Guillory, director of The Program on Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill.

Regional Report Charlotte October 2008

Three years ago, downtown Charlotte’s condo market was cooking.

Sin of omission

Needless to say,” Charles Flowers e-mailed me, “this is a troubling letter.” He was referring to one that Will Sears, a Boone real-estate broker, had written about the cover story in our August issue on Bobby Ginn and Laurelmor, the mammoth residential and golf resort in Wilkes and Watauga counties.

Regional Report Triangle September 2008

Soleil means sun in French. And the Soleil Center hotel-condo tower proposed for northwest Raleigh would reach closer to it than any of its immediate neighbors. When finished, it will be the city’s tallest building — 43 stories and 480 feet. But right now, Soleil Center is stuck in the soil near Crabtree Valley Mall. Foundations have been laid, according to a statement by the developer, Soleil Group Inc., but the company is restructuring financing before going vertical. Soleil Group co-owner Sanjay Mundra didn’t return phone calls.

Regional Report Western September 2008

Bobby Ginn’s Laurelmor project is struggling financially, but he has one thing in his favor. The real-estate market is so bad that lenders aren’t eager to foreclose — even on the high-dollar acreage of western North Carolina’s largest residential development.

Peak performance

Barrett Freeman steers a Toyota Tundra up the side of a mountain east of Boone and Blowing Rock, crunching along a steep gravel road whose sides are shored against erosion. This is the resort development of Laurelmor, and the terrain underscores its wildness and size.

Coming down the line

Outside, Charlotte is coming to life. Back home from a nearby YMCA and showered, a muscular man with a shaved head buttons his starched shirt and loops a striped tie under its collar. Four floors down the elevator and out on the street, he walks half a block, then waits in an open-sided shelter. A recorded voice breaks the stillness: “Train approaching.”

J. Allen Fine

Like most businesses tied to real estate, title insurance has taken a hit from the subprime crisis. Not only has demand dropped due to fewer sales, but claims are up, Allen Fine says.

John Cecil

Jack Cecil says Biltmore Park, about 1.1 million square feet of condos, town houses, apartments, offices and stores a rock skip from the French Broad River, is his company’s first venture in New Urbanism “unless you want to go back in family history.”

Ken Kirkman

When it comes to coastal development, Kenneth Kirkman, 58, has seen it all.

Pat Riley

Pat Riley built houses while working his way through high school and college in Pennsylvania. In the last 17 years, he played a major role in building North Carolina’s largest privately owned residential real-estate company.

Wendell Bullard

As a kid, Wendell Bullard had a practical, if unusual, answer to what he wanted to be when he grew up: “I wanted to be a businessman.”

Economic outlook

Despite some winter rain, North Carolina is still mighty dry. In mid-January, more than half the population was subject to mandatory water restrictions. An additional 25% was under voluntary restrictions. How has the drought affected the state economy?

Eddie Belk

Where some see blight, Eddie Belk sees beauty. He has made a career of rehabilitating old buildings.

Frank Harmon

Frank Harmon draws with his ears. The Raleigh architect approaches his projects almost like a journalist, interviewing his clients repeatedly to understand what they need and, just as important, what they want.

Lou Jurkowski

In the 14 years since starting Icagen, Kay Wagoner, 58, has seen more ups and downs than Keith Richards’ blood-alcohol level.

Michael Williams

Michael Williams would prefer you not think of him as “that whitewater guy.” He designed the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

Rence Callahan

Rence Callahan, Vice President - Walter, Robbs, Callahan & Pierce Architects, Winston-Salem

Pat Rodgers

To Pat Rodgers’ way of thinking, construction is a simple business. You do what you say you’re going to do, do it on time and stand behind your work. She has hammered those planks into a more than $350 million-a-year business.

Take the high ground

For a quarter-century, each July University of Florida Foundation officials have packed up orange and blue banners, balloons, Gator cups and other UF paraphernalia and driven eight hours to throw a party at the favorite summer getaway spot of some of the university’s most generous donors: western North Carolina.

Legislative trash talking

n 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that moving garbage constitutes commerce. As a result, New Jersey couldn't prohibit Philadelphia from trucking trash across the Delaware River into the Garden State. Nearly three decades later, North Carolina’s political leaders decided that they didn’t want this state to become New Jersey’s, or any other state’s, dumping ground.

For what it's worth

Jim Rogers made more than $3 million in salary and bonus as chief executive of Cinergy Corp. in 2005, the year before the Cincinnati-based electric utility merged with Charlotte-based Duke Energy Corp. When he agreed to work for stock and options as Duke’s CEO last year, it made a good impression on shareholders but not his wife. “I can’t honestly say there wasn’t a comment from the other part of my team,” he admits.

A slippery slope

It was February, when trees are bare and secrets hard to hide. Not that Jackson County has many. Though strangers keep pouring in — its population has grown by more than a third since 1990 — it still has only 36,000 residents, so it didn’t take long for rumors of a protest to reach Sheriff Jimmy Ashe.

All aboard

During the Depression, conductors on the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina — wags called it the “eat taters and wear no clothes” — sometimes let locals ride free if they couldn’t pay the fare between Boone and Johnson City, Tenn.

God is my co-signer

The late-winter chill has seeped into Liberty Hall, an empty concrete and metal box big enough to hide a Wal-Mart. It's in a part of Charlotte where a few blocks separate grungy from gentrified.

Crane company exec has given RTI a lift

You couldn’t blame Earl Johnson Jr. for sticking with the plan at RTI International. It generated $546.3 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, up 16.8% from the previous year. He’s been on the nonprofit research organization’s board since 1972 and its chairman — just its second — since 1993.

Commercial builders do not expect to hit the wall in '07

Even in good times, life in the construction industry can seem like a nerve-racking creep along an I-beam several stories high. When work is easy to find, prices for building supplies go up and labor gets harder to find and keep. But having too much business is better than the alternative.

Legal Elite - Construction

First job I can remember was working in the cafeteria at Forest Hills School in Wilmington circa 1944. Pay was free lunch. There were about three or four other children working in the cafeteria. In hindsight, I realize that some of them had to work for lunch, whereas I did not. Years later, I met a Wake Forest professor and former football player a few years older than I am who told me about an incident. Some parents objected to white kids — schools being all-white or all-black back then — from Seagate, a poor rural area, being bused to Forest Hills School and were successful in getting attendance districts rearranged to exclude them. I was oblivious to the social tensions. Perhaps my job in the cafeteria kept me closer to the kids that had to work for something to eat and away from some of the kids whose parents were such insufferable snobs. If that is the case, I hope it had a positive influence on my value system and how I interact with people.

Lend leash

Battered by the economy after its biggest deal, Insteel Industries also had to battle its bankers.

Flights of fancy

Metal buildings line Gribble Road in Matthews, east of Charlotte, housing a private garbage-collection service, car repair shops and other businesses. In one, Kevin Schoolcraft pushes through a door from offices into a shop that covers a quarter of an acre. It is filled with the smell of wood — Brazilian cherry, walnut, white oak — and the whine of saws.

Investor's portfolio gets fine tuning

Real estate is Chris Smith’s area of expertise. He’s president of Charlotte-based Allegiance Realty Corp., which owns about 2.1 million square feet of office space and 1,700 hotel rooms around the U.S.

N.C. house buyers have little room to complain

It might seem hard to believe as you’re glancing through the real-estate listings, but houses in much of the state are priced about right, says a national study by Global Insight Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based economic forecaster, and National City Corp., a Cleveland-based bank.

Pay setters

Chairmen of compensation committees give the lowdown on why executive pay keeps going up.

GAAP toothed

Terry Stevens gathers reference books and a few family photographs for an elevator trip from the sixth floor to the fourth. Perhaps a dozen employees of Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties Inc. will join him there. They’ve got a lot of work ahead. Eleven-hour days, probably. For the next few months — what remains of 2005 — Highwoods has dibs on one day each weekend.

Home wreckers

Before putting up a multimillion-dollar monster manse at the right address, builders often tear something down.

Down Mexico way

Illegal immigration is suppressing Tar Heel wages, but this boon to business also is creating a new underclass.

He has developed an edifice complex

From his sixth-floor office in the Masonic Temple Building, Greg Hatem has a front-row seat for downtown Raleigh’s makeover. It’s a change that Hatem, 46, helped start 11 years ago when his Empire Properties LLC bought and renovated an empty warehouse nearby.

$5.5 million gets you a giant fixer-upper

Long, long ago — at least in cybertime — there was the dot-com boom. Five years after it went bust, its echo is producing the ultimate handyman’s dream. It’s 23,000 square feet, and the two-lane bowling alley is nice on days when the tennis court is damp.

Developer is able to fill in the blanks

David A. Spetrino Jr. always liked to build things. As a kid, it was tree forts in his Dumfries, Va., backyard. When he finished one, he would tear it down and try a new design. In high school, he was a carpenter’s helper in nearby Dale City, framing houses. While attending Radford University, he shifted gears and got a real-estate license. Even then, he bought and renovated houses for rentals, and during summers, he would build barns.

Increased cost of materials hammers builders' margins

Be careful what you wish for: You might get it. North Carolina contractors have been hoping for more private work for the past three years but instead had to settle for lower-margin public projects. Now private-sector work is back: Retail and multifamily residential building are booming, and even speculative office projects have begun to stir.

Black and white issue colors project

The office manager had come back from lunch, so the visitor got up and closed the door. What Sam Helms had to say was private, but Tommy Vaughan wouldn’t keep it that way. He claims Helms offered to pay his Ahoskie company not to work on a $94 million prison project near Tabor City.

Fare shares

CEOs keep pulling down princely pay packages, but one is just taking stock, betting a
fortune on its performance.


Skyline drive

Kevin Archer and his wife, Leslie, had looked at five or six condominium sites in downtown Charlotte when they rode the elevator to the top floor of a 13-story building one Sunday in January. The Archers were planning to move to the Queen City from Hickory, but they hadn’t seen anything they wanted to buy.

Conditions put it together for builders

For two years, commercial builders leaned heavily on publicly funded projects to survive. But an improving economy stimulated a rebound in the private sector last year. “There’s just not much bad news out there,” says Tony Plath, a UNC Charlotte banking professor and consultant to the Carolinas Associated General Contractors.

For whom Bell tolls

In a conference room at his company’s headquarters, a gray-haired man whose 59-year-old physique is beginning to assume the contours of a pear fishes in his pocket for a crumpled Burger King receipt. He points with pride to the senior-citizen discount on his lunch. “I was glad to get that 47 cents.”

Harris sinks more than money in Saks project

Most Charlotteans who live around Quail Hollow Country Club know their Saks from a hole in the ground. In a tale with twists befitting a store that once hoped to sell them $2,000 Louis Vuitton handbags, they thought they were getting the former. They got the latter instead.