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Western

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Thanks to the addition of its Brevard brewery − which produced 46,000 barrels of beer in 2013 − the Colorado-based company earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies.

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based Noble Cider will open a new 80-barrel cidery and taproom in early 2015. The craft-cider maker will move into a 9,000-square-foot building in West Asheville. The new space will allow Noble, which uses North Carolina-grown apples, to increase annual cider production from 14,000 gallons this year to at least 40,000 gallons. 

Asheville river district could receive millions more

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville could receive as much as $8.5 million in additional funds to redevelop its River Arts District. The federal government awarded the city $14.6 million for transportation improvements in the area, and the city will invest $14.6 million. 

Group says fracking supporters bused in homeless to boost numbers at hearing

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An environmental group says the N.C. Energy Coalition bused in a group of homeless men unfamiliar with the practice of hydraulic fracturing from Winston-Salem in an effort to bolster the number of fracking supporters at a public hearing in Cullowhee on Friday.

About 600 turn out for final fracking meeting

September 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

About 600 people attended the state's final public hearing on hydraulic-fracturing regulations. The majority of the speakers at the four-hour meeting in Cullowhee opposed the practice. The N.C. Geological Survey retreated from plans to collect rock samples in Western N.C. to test for potential shale-gas deposits.

Buncombe likely to provide incentives for Wicked Weed expansion

September 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners will vote Tuesday on giving almost $75,000 in incentives to Wicked Weed Brewing for its previously announced expansion. The beer company will invest at least $6.5 million and add 75 jobs over four years as part of the agreement.

Equestrian center brings challenges, benefits to Polk County

September 11, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Tryon International Equestrian Center, opened July 2, is already having an impact on Polk County, which lacks enough hotels to accommodate the thousands of spectators the 1,400-acre resort expects to draw. The $100 million project, still under construction, will eventually include two hotels, an RV park and other lodging (Regional Report, August).

Asheville breweries expand to keep up with demand

September 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Craft beer sales are up 20% over last year, and Asheville breweries are spending millions to keep up with demand. The area's largest project is New Belgium's $175 million brewery under construction in West Asheville, which expects to hire up to 350 employees by spring 2015.

Final fracking hearing expected to draw more than 500

September 10, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

Environmental-protection groups predict more than 500 people will attend North Carolina's final public hearing on fracking at Western Carolina University, even though legislators announced last week the state Geological Survey won't test for natural-gas deposits in Western N.C.

Asheville gets $14.6 million federal redevelopment grant

September 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The City of Asheville will receive $14.6 million in federal grant money to help redevelop the River Arts District and other communities.

Operator of Pisgah Inn gets 10-year contract extension

September 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Bruce O'Connell has won a contract to operate the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway until 2025. O'Connell made national headlines when he defiantly kept the 51-room inn open during the federal government shutdown last October. He plans upgrades to the inn's restaurant and gift shops.

Buncombe could lose hundreds of potential jobs if state doesn't act

September 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners have approved local incentives for two companies that would bring a total of 450 jobs to the region, but those jobs could be in jeopardy if the state doesn't pass legislation to expand economic-development incentives.

Judge sends three to prison in 'Black Diamond' fraud case

September 5, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal judge sentenced three hedge-fund managers to prison for their involvement in the "Black Diamond" Ponzi scheme (cover story, August 2012) that bilked 400 people, including many from Western N.C., out of $40 million. 

UNC Asheville waits for new chancellor to develop property

September 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville officials say they will hold off on developing plans for 22 acres of recently acquired property near its campus until incoming Chancellor Mary Grant assumes her position in January. 

Asheville called quirkiest town in the U.S.

September 2, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Asheville the quirkiest town in the U.S., citing Friday-night drum circles at Pritchard Park, Vortex Doughnuts' local beer-of-the-day doughnuts and unique dining experiences.

NC Apple Festival kicks off today in Hendersonville

August 29, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.

Chinese lumber company could buy Stanley Furniture plant

August 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Tide & Times Group USA, a Chinese-owned lumber exporter with a headquarters in Charlotte, is in talks to buy part of the Graham County manufacturing plant previously occupied by Stanley Furniture (Regional Report, May). Robbinsville Mayor Steve Hooper said the company would hire 20 workers initially and could expand its workforce to 150.

Board finds contractor accountable in Boone motel deaths

August 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors suspended one contractor's license for a year and filed a complaint against a second contractor for mistakes at a Boone motel that led to the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.

Success of Cherokee casino threatened by competition

August 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation hopes to mimic the success of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by building a $339 million casino in Cleveland County. More than 3 million people a year visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, and the tribe has used a portion of the proceeds to build a new hospital, justice center and schools. 

Lawmakers restore funds for Evergreen Packaging

August 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Hours before adjourning its legislative short session on Wednesday, state lawmakers restored a $12 million incentive for Evergreen Packaging's paper mill in Canton that will help pay for new natural-gas boilers to comply with EPA regulations.

Charlotte

Uptown park kicks off First Ward development project in Charlotte

September 19, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte developer Daniel Levine broke ground Thursday on a 4-acre park in uptown's First Ward. The park is the first phase of a major redevelopment project that will create what Levine calls Charlotte's version of New York's Greenwich Village. The development could include as much as $1 billion in offices, retail, hotels and 1,500 residential units and will take 12 to 15 years to build, Levine says.

Former Philip Morris plant will house electric battery maker

September 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The company that bought the former Philip Morris cigarette plant in Concord will make batteries for electric vehicles and other commercial uses, according to online job advertisements. Victory Industrial Park paid $68.5 million for the 2,100-acre Cabarrus County site in April. A company spokesman said the business is not ready to make a formal announcement regarding its plans.

Family Dollar rejects Dollar General deal again

September 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer) 

Family Dollar rejected Dollar General's third offer within a month, asking shareholders not to sell stock to the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer. The companies' CEOs first met in October to discuss a potential merger. Matthews-based Family Dollar said Wednesday that CEO Howard Levine agreed at that time that if a deal was made, the combined company's headquarters would be in Tennessee.

Bank of America, BB&T pass midyear stress tests

September 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Bank of America, San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. and Winston-Salem-based BB&T all reported they have passed midyear stress tests, which show they would be able to maintain minimum capital ratios in the event of an economic downturn.

Greenville, SC-based CertusBank to sell mortgage, wealth divisions

September 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Greenville, S.C.-based CertusBank plans to sell its mortgage and securities divisions. The bank, started in Charlotte in 2010, is shedding those lines of business as part of a restructuring led by new CEO John Poelker. The bank's three founders and top executives were fired earlier this year after shareholders expressed concerns over mismanagement.

Duke Energy to invest $500 million in solar projects

September 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy will invest $500 million in North Carolina solar projects. About half the money will be used to acquire and build solar farms in Bladen, Duplin and Wilson counties. The Charlotte-based utility also plans to purchase power from five additional solar projects across the state.

AvidXchange adding 600 workers in Charlotte

September 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A software company will add 603 workers in a headquarters expansion in Charlotte. AvidXchange will invest more than $20 million in a four-story,115,000-square-foot space at the N.C. Music Factory. The company, which provides automated payment and invoicing services for businesses, employs about 300 in three states.

Nucor to acquire Kentucky steel mill for $770 million

September 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Nucor will buy Kentucky-based Gallatin Steel Co. for $770 million. It's the biggest acquisition for the Charlotte-based steelmaker since March 2008, when it bought SHV North America Corp. for $1.44 billion. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

Charlotte airport seeks to borrow $100 million for next phase of expansion

September 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport plans to borrow $100 million from PNC Bank for terminal renovations and additional parking. The projects are part of a $1 billion planned expansion. The airport's new $120 million hourly parking deck is scheduled to open in November.

XPO Logistics to grow in Charlotte

September 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The CEO of XPO Logisitics says the shipping company plans to keep growing through acquisitions, and its Charlotte office, where it employs more than 360 workers, will grow as well. The Greenwich, Conn.-based shipping company completed a $615 million acquisition of High Point-based New Breed Logistics earlier this month.

CommunityOne CEO stepping down

September 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Brian Simpson will step down as CEO of Charlotte-based CommunityOne Bancorp effective Sept. 30 after three years in the position. President Bob Reid is expected to succeed him. Previously called FNB United Corp., the bank changed its name and moved its headquarters from Asheboro to Charlotte after the 2013 merger between subsidiary CommunityOne Bank and Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite.

Monroe paving company pleads guilty in fraud case

September 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Monroe-based Boggs Paving pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government. CEO Drew Boggs and four company executives have already pleaded guilty in the scheme, in which they exaggerated the role of a minority subcontractor to bilk the government out of $87 million in contracts.

Developer proposes $60 million project in midtown Charlotte

September 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A local developer wants a 1.7-acre parcel in midtown Charlotte rezoned for a $60 million mixed-use project. Baxter Place, across the street from Charlotte's Metropolitan development, would include an eight-story building with a hotel, offices and retail space. Goode Properties' project plan is 40 feet higher than the location's current height restrictions.

GKN Driveline breaks ground on $100 million plant expansion

September 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

GKN Driveline broke ground on a previously announced expansion at its Catawba County plant. The company, which makes automotive components including all-wheel-drive systems and transmissions, plans to hire 228 workers by 2018. 

Paulson could determine fate of Family Dollar

September 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Paulson & Co., Family Dollar's third-largest shareholder, also holds about 4 million shares of Dollar General. The hedge fund was founded by billionaire John Paulson, who has yet to take a stance in the bidding war over Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores.

Chiquita sitting down to talk with Brazil-based companies

September 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Chiquita Brands International has begun talks with Cutrale and Safra, which have offered to pay $13 a share, or $611 million, for the Charlotte-based produce company. Chiquita postponed a shareholder vote on its proposed merger with Dublin-based Fyffes until Oct. 3 after the Brazilian companies urged shareholders to reject that deal.

Mixed-use project announced for Gleneagles site in south Charlotte

September 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Harris Land Co. filed a rezoning petition for a long-vacant site near Quail Hollow Club in South Charlotte. If the application is approved, the 19-acre site will be developed into offices, retail, condos and a hotel. Owner Dee-Dee Harris announced plans for a similar project more than a decade ago, but it was never completed.

NewDominion Bank CEO Hipp to retire

September 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

John Hipp will retire as chief executive officer of Charlotte-based NewDominion Bank at year-end. Hipp joined the community bank in 2010. Current CFO Blain Jackson will succeed him as CEO.

Dollar General plans hostile bid for Family Dollar

September 10, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dollar General will attempt a hostile takeover of Family Dollar Stores by taking its $9.1 billion offer directly to the Matthews-based company's shareholders, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company will offer to pay $80 a share in cash. The tender offer will allow the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer to begin antitrust discussions with the Federal Trade Commission.

Amazon to open distribution center in Concord

September 10, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Online retailer Amazon plans to open its first distribution center in North Carolina near Concord Regional Airport in Cabarrus County. It is unknown how many jobs will be created or how much space Seattle-based Amazon will occupy, though the company has posted job openings online for the new location.

Triad

VF Corp. hires leader for jeanswear research center

September 19, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

VF Corp. has tapped Sudhakar Puvvada to lead its Global Jeanswear Innovation Center at a yet-to-be-determined location in Greensboro. Puvvada comes from Kentucky-based chemical company Ashland Inc., where he was vice president for technology platforms, and worked in product development for 14 years at Unilever.

Three health care systems form shared-services company

September 18, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Raleigh-based WakeMed and Greenville-based Vidant Health are forming a new partnership to lower supply chain costs and share certain IT infrastructure and clinical protocols. The three hospital systems will continue to operate independently after the formation of the new shared-services company, which has yet to be named.

High Point furniture company committed to keeping local jobs

September 18, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, which employs 85 at its high-end furniture manufacturing plant in High Point, remains committed to keeping manufacturing jobs here rather than following the industry trend of moving production overseas.

Cone Health cuts Medicare readmissions

September 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Readmissions of Medicare patients have fallen at Cone Health, saving the Greensboro-based hospital system $21 million over 18 months. The Affordable Care Act began in 2012 requiring hospitals to cut Medicare readmissions or pay a penalty.

Tobacco farmers face end of buyout program

September 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The last checks from the tobacco buyout program will be distributed to about 425,000 farmers and landowners in October. Though many tobacco growers have gotten out of the business, those who remain are thriving due in part to a strong export market.

Judge approves bankruptcy plan for Mocksville tobacco companies

September 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved a liquidation plan for three Mocksville tobacco companies. Renegade Holdings Inc., Renegade Tobacco Co. and Alternative Brands Inc. entered bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Former owner Calvin Phelps began serving a three-year prison term in May after pleading guilty to charges related to avoiding federal surcharges on cigarette sales. 

Florida court throws out hundreds of tobacco lawsuits

September 12, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Florida appeals court has thrown out 750 Engle lawsuits against U.S. tobacco companies, nearly 10% of the the 8,000 cases pending in Florida courts. The Engle cases originated from a 2006 class-action lawsuit that was decertified, allowing for class members to file individual lawsuits for cigarette-related illnesses.

Wilmington's Atlantic Corp. to buy Greensboro paperboard plant

September 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Memphis, Tenn.-based International Paper will sell its Greensboro paper- and packaging-plant, along with locations in Hazelton, Pa. and Sturgis, Mich., to Wilmington-based Atlantic Corp. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Third executive named in ZeekRewards case

September 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The receiver in the ZeekRewards.com case will seek to recover $2.27 million from Darryle Douglas of Huntington Beach, Calif. Douglas received the money from the Lexington-based Ponzi scheme, which was shut down in 2012.

High Point mayor resigns, pleads guilty to worthless check charge

September 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

High Point Mayor Bernita Sims resigned Wednesday and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of writing a worthless check. A Guilford County Superior Court judge sentenced Sims to six months house arrest and 4 and a half years of supervised probation.

Krispy Kreme reports lower 2Q earnings

September 10, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts fells short of analysts' earnings projections in the second quarter, despite a 7% increase in sales to $120.5 million.

BB&T buying The Bank of Kentucky for $363 million

September 9, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T Corp. will acquire The Bank of Kentucky for $363 million in a cash and stock transaction. Crestview Hills-based Bank of Kentucky has $1.9 billion in assets and 32 branches in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. Winston-Salem-based BB&T, which operates 82 branches in Kentucky, will move from fourth to second place in market share in the state.

Reynolds American calls for ban on vapor e-cigarettes

September 8, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American wants the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of vapor electronic cigarettes, which the company says are subject to tampering and offer fruit and candy flavors which appeal to youth and children. 

 

Shareholders approve RF Micro-TriQuint merger

September 8, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Shareholders approved Greensboro-based RF Micro's planned $1.5 billion acquisition of Hillsboro, Ore.-based TriQuint Semiconductor. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

Inmar acquires Canadian coupon company

September 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Inmar has bought Canada-based Millennium Process Coupon. Inmar provides inventory management and coupon clearing for retailers and manufacturers and employs more than 920 people. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Reynolds subsidiary to launch nicotine gum

September 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Reynolds American subsidiary is planning a national rollout of a nicotine replacement therapy gum. Zonnic will be sold in convenience stores and gas stations, where most people buy tobacco products. GlaxoSmithKline's Nicorette currently claims 43% of the market share of NRT products.

Wake Forest Baptist receives $18 million cancer-research grant

September 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center received an $18 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop cancer screening and prevention programs and conduct controlled clinical trials.

BB&T to acquire 41 more Citibank stores in Texas

September 4, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T Corp. will purchase 41 Texas Citibank branches representing $2.3 billion in deposits for an undisclosed amount. The Winston-Salem-based bank bought 21 Texas branches from New York-based Citigroup in June. The deal, expected to close in the first quarter, will give BB&T 123 branches in Texas.

Randolph megasite group could form independent authority

September 4, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

A group of businesspeople that has been accumulating land for a megasite in Randolph County could form an authority to try to recruit a large auto manufacturer. The group is comprised of members of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, though the nonprofit economic-development group doesn't have authority to grant land to a prospective company.

Hanesbrands completes purchase of European apparel company

September 4, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hanesbrands Inc. completed a previously announced $528 million acquisition of Paris-based underwear and intimate-apparel manufacturer DBApparel on Friday. It's the second huge deal in less than a year for the Winston-Salem company, which paid $585 million for Iselin, N.J.-based Maidenform Brands Inc. in October.

Triangle

HCL Technologies adding 1,237 jobs in Cary

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

HCL America was awarded up to $19.6 million in state incentives to create 1,237 jobs in Cary over the next five years. The technology-services company has created 513 jobs since 2008, when it received a $5 million incentive. The company, a subsidiary of India-based HCL Technologies, chose North Carolina over New York, Arizona and Texas for the new jobs. 

Raleigh drone developer raises $10 million in funding

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Indiana-based drone developer PrecisionHawk has raised $10 million in venture capital funding, which will allow the company to double its work force of 45. The company's CEO and two vice presidents are based in Raleigh ("Pie in the sky," September). PrecisionHawk collects and analyzes data collected by sensors and software built into its unmanned aerial vehicles.

Red Hat to buy Irish software company for $82 million

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Red Hat will acquire FeedHenry, a software company with offices in Ireland, England and Massachusetts, for $82.2 million. FeedHenry offers cloud-based mobile applications. The deal is expected to close in Red Hat's fiscal third quarter. 
Related: Red Hat earnings exceed Wall Street's expectations

Painter named managing partner of Plexus Capital

September 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Plexus Capital, an investment firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh, named Michael Painter managing partner. Painter, 40, is one of the firm's original co-founders and is based in Raleigh. He succeeds Bob Anders, who will remain a full-time partner.

Report: NC entrepreneurs raised $266 million in first half of 2014

September 17, 2014

(The News & Observer)

North Carolina startups raised $266 million during the first half of 2014 − up 31% from a year ago − according to a report from Triangle-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development. The entrepreneur support group included venture capital, angel investors and government and nonprofit grants in its calculations. 

Botox-maker said to consider Salix acquisition

September 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals rose more than 4% Tuesday after CNBC reported that Irvine, Calif.-based Allergan might be considering an acquisition of the Morrisville-based drug developer. Salix announced in July it is merging with Cosmo Technologies, a subsidiary of an Italian pharmaceutical, and moving its headquarters to Ireland.

Shareholders approve First Citizens merger

September 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shareholders of Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank and Columbia, S.C.-based First Citizens Bank and Trust approved a merger of the two banks on Tuesday. First Citizens of Raleigh will acquire South Carolina's First Citizens for about $639.9 million. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

Red Hat opens Silicon Valley office to Triangle startups

September 17, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Raleigh-based software company Red Hat will provide work space for Triangle startups associated with the American Underground at its Mountain View, Calif., offices. 

Durham-based Cree files patent infringement suits

September 17, 2014

(WNCN.com)

Durham-based Cree has filed patent infringement lawsuits against two competitors in Wisconsin, where the company has had a strong presence since its 2001 acquisition of Ruud Lighting. The patents protect the lighting company's LED component portfolio, the company said in a statement.

Software company exceeds growth expectations in Raleigh

September 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Florida-based Citrix attributes growth in Raleigh to the success of its ShareFile software and a talented pool of workers in the area. The company is relocating to a 170,000-square-foot office near downtown that will allow it to employ about 800 workers. Citrix received state and local incentives in 2012 to increase its local workforce from 130 to 470.

Salix enters agreement with Indian pharma to sell drugs in Canada

September 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement to allow Lupin, the third largest Indian pharmaceutical company by sales, to market and sell some of Salix's drugs in Canada. Salix, ranked 12th on Business NC's annual list of Top 75 Public Companies based in North Carolina, announced in July it plans merge with Italian drug maker Cosmo Pharmaceuticals SpA and move its headquarters to Ireland.

Red Hat exec left for job at Google

September 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A former Red Hat executive is now vice president of cloud platforms at Google. Brian Stevens, who served as the Raleigh-based software company's chief technology officer for nearly nine years, resigned as of Sept. 5.

Childress Klein buys Cary office building for $12.5 million

September 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Charlotte-based Childress Klein Properties paid $12.5 million for a Cary office building. The 93,351-square-foot building was owned by Arcon Group, the real-estate arm of Goldman Sachs.

PNC Bank prospers in Southeast after RBC purchase

September 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Jim Hansen, regional president for the Eastern Carolinas at PNC Bank, says the bank is thriving in the Southeast since its 2012 acquisition of Raleigh-based RBC Bank. The Pittsburgh bank has experienced 22% annual revenue growth in Southeastern markets.

Raleigh's PRA Health Services files for initial public offering

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based PRA Health Services plans to raise as much as $375 million in an initial public offering, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The world's fourth-largest contract research organization was acquired by private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for $1.4 billion in 2013.

Highwoods acquires Raleigh office building for $92.3 million

September 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Highwoods Properties acquired the 374,000-square-foot One Bank of America Plaza in downtown Raleigh for $92.3 million. Raleigh-based Highwoods also sold 14 office and industrial buildings in Greensboro to Virginia-based Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners for $28.2 million. The REIT has sold $158.8 million in assets so far this year.

Art Pope named to most powerful billionaires list

September 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Former state budget director Art Pope is ranked No. 15 on a list of the country's top billionaires who wield the most political influence. Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries tied for first place on the list, compiled by Darrell M. West. West is the author of an upcoming Brookings Institution Press book titled "Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust."

Morrisville tech firm secures $10 million in financing

September 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Netsertive, a Morrisville-based digital marketing company, has secured more than $10 million in new financing, including more than $7 million from Durham-based Square 1 Bank. The company, whose clients include Electrolux, Chrysler and Samsung, plans to use the money to invest in technology and personnel.

Bayer CropScience to break ground on RTP greenhouse

September 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Bayer CropScience will break ground Monday on a $29.6 million, 29,500-square-foot greenhouse at Research Triangle Park. Construction is expected to be completed by late 2015. 

NC State opens residence hall for entrepreneurs

September 3, 2014

(WRAL TechWIre)

N.C. State opened Innovation Hall, a residence hall that will serve as a headquarters for student entrepreneurs and includes a 24-hour workspace with SMART Boards, 3D printers and a conference room.

Eastern

NC solar projects awarded $55 million in federal funding

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $55.3 million in federal loan guarantees for 22 solar energy projects in North Carolina, including ones in Hertford, Columbus and Warren Counties.

Cary developer plans second Wilmington apartment project

September 19, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Symphony Properties plans to build a 256-apartment complex on about 15 acres along Wilmington's Independence Blvd. The Cary-based company is also developing the 278-unit Sawmill Point apartment project in downtown Wilmington.

Dominion to hold public meetings on pipeline project

September 18, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources will hold a series of public meetings in Eastern N.C. next week for residents to learn more about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Meetings will be held in Pembroke, Fayetteville, Smithfield, Nashville and Weldon.

Cumberland County postpones decision on proposed chicken plant

September 17, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

After failing to reach an agreement over incentives for Sanderson Farms' proposed $113 million chicken-processing plant, Cumberland County commissioners decided to put the project on hold. The plant would create 1,000 jobs in Fayetteville, though many residents and property owners are against it due to concerns over property values and environmental impact.

NJ Gov. Christie in Wilmington to support Tillis

September 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis in Wilmington Tuesday to support Tillis' campaign for U.S. Senate. About 40 protestors demonstrated outside The Dixie Grill, where the lawmakers attended a rally, many disgruntled over Tillis' involvement in reducing North Carolina's film incentives.

Campbell University has most NC undergrads

September 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Since 2009, Buies Creek-based Campbell University has enrolled more undergraduate students from North Carolina than any other private college or university in the state, according to a report based on data from the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities.

NCDOT, SELC seek compromise on Bonner Bridge replacement

September 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Transportation is working with the Southern Environmental Law Center to find a solution to replace the Outer Banks' Bonner Bridge. The SELC has proposed a 17-mile bridge to replace the aging structure, while the DOT wants to build a less expensive parallel bridge. The two parties say they are in talks to work out a compromise.

Dollar stores proliferate in southeastern NC

September 15, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The nation's top three dollar-store chains operate a combined 40 stores in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, and more are planned. The smaller-store format allows the stores to act as corner or convenience stores in locations without grocery stores nearby.

Fayetteville may link chicken-plant incentives to local hiring

September 12, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Fayetteville City Council may require Sanderson Farms to hire mostly Cumberland County contractors to build its proposed $113 million chicken plant in order for the Mississippi-based company to receive local incentives. The city could also require the poultry producer to hire county residents to fill the majority of its 1,000 jobs.

Film industry awaits guidelines for new grant program

September 12, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Film productions are still waiting to learn how to apply for the state's new grant program, which will go into effect in 2015. Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, says television and film projects planning to film in early 2015 will begin searching for locations by early October.

Enviva to invest $214 million in wood-pellet plants

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Enviva will invest $214 million and create 160 jobs at two wood-pellet mills in Richmond and Sampson counties. The Maryland-based company will receive up to $1.7 million in state incentives if it meets job creation and investment targets. The wood pellets will be shipped from Port of Wilmington to Europe, where they are used for fuel (Timber Tantrum, August).  

NC State alters controversial Hofmann Forest sale

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. State University will now sell 56,000 acres of its research forest near Jacksonville to an Alabama-based investment company that specializes in sustainable timber management. The original buyer, Hofmann Forest LLC, will buy the remaining 23,000 acres.

Boeing order brings more work to GE Aviation plant

September 10, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Production will increase at GE Aviation's Castle Hayne plant due to an Irish airline's $22 billion order for Boeing planes. Engine parts for the aircraft will be made at the New Hanover County plant. 

Floyd promoted to president of Vidant Medical Center

September 10, 2014

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Brian Floyd was named president of Vidant Medical Center effective Oct. 1. Floyd is currently executive vice-president of the Greenville medical center. He will replace Steve Lawler, who will become president emeritus and market leader for Vidant Health before retiring in 2016.

Coalition forms following pipeline announcement

September 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A group of 22 environmental protection groups in Virginia and West Virginia are teaming up following the announcement of a proposed $5 billion natural gas pipeline that will run through both states and eastern North Carolina. 

WNCT wants to oust WRAL from Greenville, Kinston markets

September 9, 2014

(Kinston Free Press)

Media General, which owns Greenville-based CBS affiliate WNCT, has asked the Federal Communications Commission to remove Raleigh-based WRAL from cable packages offered in Kinston and Greenville.

Wilson's FCC petition draws comments from telecom leaders

September 8, 2014

(The Wilson Times)

About 150 comments have been filed with the FCC since the City of Wilson asked the federal agency to overturn a state law that would allow it to expand its Greenlight broadband network beyond county lines. Netflix wrote in favor of the city's request, while AT&T, CenturyLink and USTelecom opposed the petition.

New Hanover Regional to acquire SEAHEC

September 8, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover Regional Medical Center will acquire SEAHEC, a continuing education center for Southeastern N.C. health-care professionals. NHRMC will gain 25 physicians and more than 100 additional employees when the deal is completed.

Belhaven revokes building permit for 24-hour Vidant clinic

September 5, 2014

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

The town of Belhaven revoked a building permit for Vidant Health's proposed 24-hour health-care center and helipad. The Greenville-based hospital system is involved in a legal battle with the town, which wants to assume ownership of and reopen the shuttered Vidant Pungo Hospital. 

Related: Pungo parties spar in Greenville

Jones named chancellor of ECSU

September 5, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The UNC Board of Governors named Stacey Franklin Jones chancellor of Elizabeth City State University. A mathematician and software engineer, Jones has served as a management consultant based in Washington, D.C., since 2011 and has held leadership positions at colleges in South Carolina and Maryland.