Regional

Across the state

What's going on in each region

Jump directly to: Western | Charlotte | Triad | Triangle | Eastern

Western

Carpet manufacturer expanding in Rutherford County

June 30, 2015

(RC Catalyst)

White Oak Carpet Mills will add 40 jobs at its carpet- and rug-manufacturing operations in Rutherford County. The company will invest more than $4.1 million over three years in Spindale, where it has being making rugs for 16 years. White Oak is a division of Wichita, Kansas-based CAP Carpet.

Hi-Wire Brewing set to unveil new Asheville brewery

June 29, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Hi-Wire Brewing will open its new, $3 million brewery near Asheville's Biltmore Village on July 25. The new facility will allow the beer company to boost annual production from 5,000-6,000 barrels to 55,000 barrels.

Small businesses await change as AdvantageWest winds downs operations

June 26, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

AdvantageWest began the complicated task of finding homes for its many economic-development programs before the organization announced it would close by year-end. Nonprofit Mountain BizWorks will acquire the Advantage Opportunity Fund, which provides loans to startups, and the ScaleUp WNC small-business consulting program.

Seven Falls developer sentenced to federal prison

June 26, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Keith Vinson, 56, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his involvement in the Seven Falls development scheme in Henderson County, in which alleged conspirators had "straw borrowers" take out loans they did not intend to repay to buy lots in an upscale golf community.

Duralee Fine Furniture adding 41 jobs in Morganton

June 25, 2015

(The News-Herald, Morganton)

Duralee Fine Furniture is expanding in Burke County and plans to add 41 new jobs at its 180,000-square-foot plant. A division of Bay Shore, N.Y.-based Duralee Fabrics, the company received a $410,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority for renovations to the building, which was built in 1963.

Mills River cidery preps for production

June 25, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Bold Rock Hard Cider expects to begin production at its new, 22,500-square-foot Mills River facility by the end of the summer. The Virginia-based company plans to use Henderson County apples in its hard cider.

A-B Tech closing Enka campus

June 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College will close two buildings on its Enka campus by the end of September as part of a cost-cutting effort. The Enka campus houses programs including a small business incubator and craft beverage institute; President Dennis King said the school will try to relocate as many programs as possible.

TE Connectivity meets goal of adding 40 jobs in Buncombe County

June 22, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners awarded TE Connectivity more than $37,000 in incentives in exchange for the company creating 40 jobs in Fairview over the last two years.

Asheville's 5x5 economic-development plan exceeds goals

June 19, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Since July 2010, 36 companies have invested more than $1 billion and created 6,385 jobs in the Asheville region, according to the Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition. The activity exceeded the goals of Asheville's 5-year economic-development plan, which aimed to create 5,000 jobs and draw $500 million in capital investment in five target sectors.

Oskar Blues ramps up production at Brevard brewery

June 11, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

With a 30% increase in annual sales, Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard will increase capacity from 85,000 barrels to 210,000 barrels. Construction on the project, which includes a 17,000-square-foot building addition and an expanded wastewater treatment building, is expected to be complete in six months.

Montreat College welcomes students from Florida school

June 10, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Montreat College has extended an offer for students of the shuttered Clearwater Christian College in Florida to transfer without delaying graduation or incurring additional costs. Each Clearwater student would receive a $6,000 award in addition to other financial aid for which the student may be eligible.

Asheville breweries pay living wage to retain, attract employees

June 8, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

More than a dozen breweries in the Asheville area pay their employees a certified living wage, while others strive to pay workers fair wages in a competitive industry and an expensive housing market. The Asheville Brewers Alliance estimates local brewers employ more than 1,000 people.

AdvantageWest to close by year-end

June 5, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

AdvantageWest will cease operations by year-end after 21 years. The regional economic-development group, which represents 23 counties in western N.C., is working to transfer its programs to other nonprofits in the region.

Asheville's AvL Technologies adding 90 jobs

June 4, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

AvL Technologies will create 90 new jobs in an expansion of its Asheville plant, where it makes mobile satellite antenna systems. Buncombe County commissioners approved incentives of more than $300,000 for the 21-year-old company. AvL will invest at least $11.5 million in facility improvements.

Three sentenced to prison in Seven Falls case

June 3, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three people involved in the Seven Falls real-estate and bank fraud case were sentenced to prison on Tuesday. Eight people have received prison time in the case, which involved a failed residential development in Henderson County. Developer Keith Vinson is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.

A-B Tech faces budget shortfall

June 2, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College will lay off six employees and cut another four jobs through attrition as a result of an unexpected budget shortfall. The college will receive less state funding than expected due to a 4% drop in student enrollment.

Blowing Rock health care facility to open March 2016

May 29, 2015

(The Watauga Democrat)

Construction of Chestnut Ridge at Blowing Rock, a health care facility on 68 acres that will replace Blowing Rock Hospital and an extended-care center, is moving ahead of schedule and is now 47% complete.

Record job growth lifts Asheville housing market

May 28, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Local job growth – which is twice the national average over the last year, according to an economist with Nationwide Insurance –  and steep rents are contributing to a strong housing market in Asheville.

Duke Energy to shutter Asheville coal plant

May 20, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke Energy Progress said Tuesday it will close its 376-megawatt, coal-fired power plant at Lake Julian within five years. The utility will build a new 650-watt, natural gas-fired plant that also will utilize solar energy. Duke plans to invest $1.1 billion in the project, which includes a new transmission substation in South Carolina. Pending state regulatory approval, the new plant could go online by 2020.

Western NC, upstate SC leaders join forces

May 20, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Business leaders from western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina met Tuesday to discuss taking a regional approach to economic development. The inaugural meeting of the I-26 Regional Business Leadership drew more than 80 business members from cities including Asheville, Spartanburg, S.C., and Greenville, S.C.

Charlotte

Charlotte's BSN medical to buy Texas company

June 30, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

BSN medical, a Germany-based medical-device company that has its U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, will acquire Texas-based FarrowMed. FarrowMed makes compression wraps to manage swelling. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charlotte considers new stadium to attract Major League Soccer

June 29, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

The city of Charlotte could use tourism dollars – funds from taxes on hotels and prepared food and beverages – to build a new stadium with up to 25,000 seats if it can land a Major League Soccer team. Memorial Stadium, built in the 1930s in Charlotte's Elizabeth neighborhood, would be demolished to make way for the new stadium.

Huntersville tire distributor grows through acquisitions, investments

June 29, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

American Tire Distributors' net sales have more than doubled over the last five years, from $2.17 billion in January 2010 to $5.03 billion in January 2015. The Huntersville-based company, which serves as a middleman between tire manufacturers and retailers, narrowly missed earning a spot on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies ranked by revenue, coming in at No. 514.

Sealed Air has begun hiring in Charlotte

June 26, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Sealed Air broke ground Thursday on its new headquarters, where it plans to employ 1,262 with an average annual salary of about $120,000; about half of those workers are expected to be local hires. The company, which had revenue of $7.8 billion in 2014, said it has already hired about 180 people in Charlotte.

Food Lion parent to be acquired for $10.4B

June 25, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dutch grocery-retailer Royal Ahold will buy Delhaize, the Brussels-based parent of Food Lion, for about $10.4 billion. Potential impact on Food Lion's 2,300 employees at its Salisbury headquarters is unclear.

Sealed Air breaks ground on Charlotte HQ

June 25, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Sealed Air will break ground on its new Charlotte headquarters on Thursday. The maker of Bubble Wrap is moving its headquarters from Elmwood Park, N.J., and plans to employ more than 1,200 people in Charlotte.

Electrolux CEO stepping down

June 25, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Keith McLoughlin is stepping down as CEO of Swedish appliance-maker Electrolux, a little more than two months after Jack Truong resigned as CEO of the company's North American division. Electrolux North America said earlier this month it was cutting 1% of its workforce, including an undisclosed number at its Charlotte headquarters.

Movie-studio project could be headed to SC

June 25, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Studio South, the company that once proposed building movie studios at the site of the former Eastland Mall in Charlotte, is now considering building a $125 million studio complex on the Catawba Reservation in York County, S.C.

Trucking-software company bringing 191 jobs to Hickory

June 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Blue Bloodhound will create 191 jobs over three years in Catawba County. The company, which provides software for the trucking industry, will invest $400,000 in its location in the historic Moretz Mills in downtown Hickory.

Duke Energy to close 12 ash ponds

June 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy announced plans to remove coal ash from 12 ponds, mostly from its plants in Chatham County and Goldsboro. Most of the ash would be stored in open-pit clay mines in Chatham and Lee counties. The utility began excavating ash from its Riverbend power plant near Charlotte last month.

Google begins building fiber network in Charlotte

June 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Google said it has begun construction of its high-speed Internet fiber network in northern parts of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, though the company declined to provide a timeline for completion.
Related: Google to begin construction of Triangle fiber-optic network

Charlotte wins bid to host 2017 NBA All-Star Game

June 23, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte will host the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, an event that attracts thousands of basketball fans from across the country. Other cities that have hosted the game have seen an economic impact of around $100 million. Charlotte City Council last fall approved spending $27.5 million over five years for renovations at Time Warner Cable Arena, which will host the February event.
Related: Charlotte businesses could see sales boost from 2017 NBA All-Star Game

Charlotte's Allen Tate dies at 84

June 23, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Allen Tate, who founded a Charlotte-based residential real-estate firm that now has about 40 offices in the Carolinas, died Monday after years of declining health. He was 84.

Northwood Ravin wins bidding war in uptown Charlotte

June 23, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council voted to sell a 3.8-acre parcel of uptown land to local apartment developer Northwood Ravin, which offered almost $14.2 million for the property. Another company, Morgan Bond, offered an upset bid of $15.1 million, but the company failed to meet a deadline for an escrow deposit. Four companies had bid on the property at Stonewall and Caldwell streets.

Premier's Devore is NC's highest paid CEO

June 22, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Susan Devore, CEO of Charlotte-based Premier, earned $24.9 million in total compensation last year, marking the first time a woman has ranked as the highest paid executive of a North Carolina-based public company.

Charlotte City Council to vote on plans for Stonewall property

June 22, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council will decide Monday on whether to sell a 3.8-acre parcel of uptown land to local developer Northwood Ravin, which offered nearly $14.2 million for the property, or Morgan Bond, which put in a higher bid but didn't provide a fully funded escrow account before the deadline. Four developers have bid on the property.

Dollar Tree to slash prices, update look of Family Dollar stores

June 19, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser says the company plans to cut prices of some items and spruce up the appearance of Family Dollar stores after its $8.5 billion acquisition of the Matthews-based retailer is complete. The deal, expected to close in early July, will give the combined company more than 13,000 stores.

CLT considers ways to welcome Uber, Lyft

June 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Aviation Director Brent Cagle says Charlotte Douglas International Airport could create a designated spot for ride-booking services such as Uber and Lyft to pick up and drop off passengers. Cagle also said he wants to create a remote parking lot to serve as a dispatch hub for taxis, shuttles and ride-sharing companies.

Steel Tube expanding in Statesville

June 18, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Steel Tube will double production capacity at its Statesville plant, adding 32,000 square feet and up to 20 new employees. The company makes galvanized steel tubing for construction and other industries.

SouthPark mall begins interior, exterior renovations

June 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte's SouthPark mall is getting a facelift, including enhancements to the front entrance and food court and new seating areas with Wi-Fi availability and chargers. Gastonia-based Pinnix will handle construction, which begins this month. The mall will remain open during the renovations.

Triad

Officials map out future for Winston-Salem's Innovation Quarter

June 29, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Officials are finalizing a master plan for the second phase of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, the business and research district in downtown Winston-Salem where more than 3,000 people – including scientists, engineers and educators – now work.

North State Communications to buy Charlotte IT firm

June 26, 2015

(High Point Enterprise)

High Point-based North State Communications will acquire Charlotte-based IT company Stalwart, the companies said Thursday. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter; financial terms were not disclosed.

BB&T board approves share buyback plan

June 26, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T announced Thursday plans to repurchase up to 50 million shares of common stock. Based on the 52-week share price range of $34.50 to $41.70, the Winston-Salem-based bank could spend up to $2 billion on the buyback program.

Hatteras Financial to acquire two Denver companies

June 26, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hatteras Financial, a Winston-Salem-based REIT, agreed to buy Pingora Asset Management and Pingora Loan Servicing, both based in Denver.

Krispy Kreme re-enters Chicago market

June 24, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Krispy Kreme will open eight stores in the Chicago area through an agreement with a franchisee. The Winston-Salem-based doughnut company exited the Chicago market in 2008, after a separate franchisee filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed its shops.

BB&T acquires The Bank of Kentucky

June 23, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T completed its $363 million purchase of The Bank of Kentucky, gaining about $1.9 billion in assets and 32 branches. One of the offices is in Cincinnati, where CEO Kelly King said BB&T will look to add more branches. The Winston-Salem-based bank is still awaiting regulatory approval of its planned $2.5 billion acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Bancshares, which is expected to close in the third quarter.

Judge finds Yadkin Valley hospital operator in contempt

June 22, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A federal judge ruled the company that operated Yadkin Valley Community Hospital must pay the county damages from May 22 – when the group abruptly closed the 20-bed hospital – until it is reopened or July 31, when its contract expires.

Triad leaders hold public meeting on megasite plans

June 19, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Representatives from Greensboro, Randolph County and HDR Engineering held a public meeting Thursday to answer questions and explain the process of assembling and designing the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, an 1,800-acre property local officials hope will attract a large-scale manufacturer such as an automaker.

Carroll plans 28-story tower in Greensboro

June 18, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Roy Carroll wants to build a 28-story office tower in Greensboro that would be the fifth-tallest building in North Carolina. The Greensboro developer hasn't chosen a site for the 561-foot-tall building and says he won't break ground until the building is leased.

Thomas Built Buses completes High Point expansion

June 18, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Thomas Built Buses has completed the installation phase of its $12 million High Point expansion that includes adding new equipment and hiring more than 150 new employees. The school-bus manufacturer is eligible for more than $370 million in local incentives.

Matheny to become CEO of Downtown Greensboro

June 18, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The nonprofit Downtown Greensboro Inc. plans to name Zack Matheny president and CEO at a press conference on Thursday. Matheny resigned his seat on the Greensboro City Council on Tuesday to accept the new position.

Fabric company expanding in Maiden

June 16, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Carolina Nonwovens will invest $12.2 million in its Maiden plant, adding 35 jobs over three years. A subsidiary of Washington, N.C.-based National Spinning, the company makes nonwoven fabrics for use in products such as bedding and outdoor cushions and insulation for autos and appliances.

Wake Forest Baptist receives $20M for cancer research

June 16, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center received $20 million from an anonymous donor to research the use of a type of muscadine grape extract as a treatment for cancer. Native to the southeastern U.S., the muscadine grape contains high levels of antioxidants.

Reynolds diversifies offerings with Lorillard purchase

June 15, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American CEO Susan Cameron said the Winston-Salem tobacco company now owns a "dream portfolio" of brands following Friday's $29 billion acquisition of Greensboro-based Lorillard.

Lidl chooses Virginia for US headquarters

June 15, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

German grocery-store chain Lidl said it will invest $202 million to establish its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., and open a distribution center and regional headquarters in Spotsylvania County, Va. Lidl is considering a site in Alamance County for a distribution center.

Reynolds-Lorillard deal expected to close Friday

June 12, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American is expected to complete its $29 billion acquisition of Greensboro cigarette-maker Lorillard today. The complicated deal, which also involves Imperial Tobacco Group, is not expected to result in significant job losses in the Triad.

Reidsville's Chinqua Penn sells for $650,000

June 12, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro's Mitchell Barnett Properties paid $650,000 for Chinqua Penn Plantation, the historic Reidsville property built in the 1920s that was once owned by the UNC system and was purchased in 2006 by Calvin Phelps, who owned Mocksville-based Renegade Tobacco ("Rise and fall of Renegade," October). The original asking price for the 23-acre property was $1.9 million.

 

President of Kernersville Medical Center steps down

June 12, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Joanne Allen, president of the 50-bed Kernersville Medical Center, will retire at the end of the year. Chad Setliff will succeed her and also will become president of Clemmons Medical Center and Medical Park Hospital. Setliff also will be chief operating officer at all three hospitals, which are part of Winston-Salem-based Novant Health.

GE holds grand opening for renovated Mebane plant

June 12, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

GE Industrial Solutions showed off a new $6 million showroom and renovated labs at its 400,000-square-foot facility in Mebane, where the company employs more than 500 workers. GE makes lighting panels, switchboards and automatic transfer switches at the plant.

 

Qorvo to replace Lorillard on S&P 500 index

June 11, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Qorvo, the new company formed as a result of a merger between Greensboro's RF Micro Devices and Oregon-based TriQuint Semiconductor, will be added to the S&P 500, replacing Lorillard. Greensboro-based Lorillard will be taken off the index at the close of trading Thursday; the tobacco company is expected to be acquired by Reynolds American on Friday.

Triangle

Lenovo's top shareholder raises $2B

June 30, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

China-based Legend Holdings, which holds a 30.6% stake in Beijing-based Lenovo, raised $2 billion in an initial public offering on the Hong Kong exchange. Lenovo, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville, employs about 3,500 people in the Triangle.

Duke Progress cancels HVAC repair program

June 30, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy Progress is discontinuing its HVAC repair program as of Aug. 31. The program debuted in 2010 and offered customers insurance on heating and cooling repairs in exchange for a fixed monthly payment. Customers who signed up for the program within the last 12 months will receive refunds.

Cree shares tumble

June 26, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shares of Durham-based Cree hit a 52-week low Thursday after the company said it was restructuring its LED business and cut its revenue forecast. Cree's shares are down 16% this year.
Related: Hot and cold: Cree

Durham-based Cree to restructure LED manufacturing

June 25, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

LED bulb-maker Cree plans to consolidate two manufacturing facilities in Durham as part of an $85 million restructuring. Sales of its LED products fell 23% in the company's third quarter. Cree expects fourth quarter revenue will be about $375 million, lower than the $420 million to $440 million the company had previously predicted.

Merck cuts contract jobs at Durham plant

June 25, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Merck cut an unspecified number of contract positions at its Durham vaccine-manufacturing plant as part of a global effort to improve operations. A company spokesperson said no full-time jobs were cut at the plant, which employs about 1,400 people.

Bayer CropScience holds grand opening of renovated RTP campus

June 24, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Bayer CropScience celebrated a $33 million renovation at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park. The company also broke ground on a $26.9 million greenhouse that will serve as an R&D center for soybeans, cotton and wheat. The subsidiary of Germany-based Bayer produces seeds and crop-protection products and employs 785 in the Triangle.

MetLife unveils $110M Cary campus

June 23, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Cary campus of insurer MetLife is now officially open. The New York-based company unveiled two buildings on 26.5 acres where it employs more than 1,000 people. Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties built the $110 million campus. MetLife announced in 2013 it was adding more than 2,600 jobs in Cary and Charlotte; the company was awarded more than $94 million in incentives.

UNC Hospitals prepares to open Hillborough campus

June 23, 2015

(The Times-News, Burlington)

UNC Hospitals will open its new 68-bed medical center in Hillsborough in August. The emergency department will open July 6. The 256,000-square-foot facility will employ about 450 people. The Hillsborough campus was created to move less complicated cases from UNC's main hospital in Chapel Hill.

Former Cisco exec named CFO of Red Hat

June 23, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based software company Red Hat named Frank Calderoni executive vice president and CFO. Calderoni was CFO of California-based Cisco Systems for seven years and was named one of Institutional Investor magazine's Best CFOs in the U.S. from 2012 to 2014. He replaces Charlie Peters, who is retiring.

Dunn's Select Bank to acquire 2 Yadkin branches

June 22, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Dunn-based Select Bancorp will acquire Yadkin Bank branches in Leland and Morehead City. Yadkin said in April it planned to sell or close about a half-dozen branches as part of a cost-cutting effort. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Formerly New Century Bancorp, the parent of Select Bank & Trust has 14 branches, mostly in eastern N.C. (Read more about Select Bancorp, from our June issue)

Proto Labs adding 170 jobs in Cary

June 19, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Proto Labs will invest $25 million in a new Cary facility and add 170 jobs over the next five years. The publicly-traded, Minnesota-based company acquired Raleigh-based FineLine Prototyping, a 3-D printing company, in April 2014 and currently employs 106 in Raleigh.

Tech entrepreneur starts Cary-based venture-capital fund

June 19, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

David Gardner, who has founded or co-founded seven startups, has raised $10 million – with commitments for another $2 million – for Cofounders Capital, a Cary-based venture-capital fund that will invest in Triangle-based software companies.

Chatham agrees to store coal ash for $19M

June 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy will pay Chatham County almost $19 million in exchange for allowing the utility to store up to 12 million tons of coal ash at a landfill in Moncure.

Durham's Chimerix raises $173 million

June 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based Chimerix raised $173 million in a stock offering. The drug developer offered 4.34 million shares priced at $39.75 each. Chimerix plans to use the funds to finance ongoing clinical trials for its antiviral drugs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield to offer Triangle-only health plan

June 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield will launch a lower-cost ACA health-insurance plan available only to residents of seven counties in the Triangle. Costs were not disclosed, though the company said monthly premiums under the limited-network plan will be about 15% lower than its most comprehensive state plans.

HQs exit Triangle as M&A activity heats up

June 15, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Since December, Four Triangle-based companies – Salix Phamaceuticals, Square 1 Bank, Stock Building Supply and The Pantry – have announced they are being acquired or merging with other companies, causing hundred of layoffs and leaving the area with fewer headquarters.

Maker of 'female Viagra' raises $50M

June 12, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Raleigh-based Sprout Pharmaceuticals raised $50 million from investors in New York and Connecticut to help it prepare for the launch of its drug designed to boost the female libido. Last week, an FDA advisory committee recommended approval of the drug.

Chimerix looks to raise $150M in stock offering

June 11, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chimerix plans to raise up to $150 million in a public stock offering, expected to close on June 16. The Durham-based drug developer plans to use the proceeds for research and development and general corporate purposes.

Microsoft acquires Morrisville software company

June 11, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Microsoft has acquired BlueStripe Software, a Morrisville-based provider of application management technology, according to a blog post Wednesday. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

NC IDEA awards grants to five startups

June 10, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Durham-based nonprofit NC IDEA awarded grants totaling nearly $250,000 to five North Carolina-based startups. Recipients include a Cary-based online shoe club and a Raleigh-based coding tool for educators.

Eastern

Armstrong Marine debuts first boat

June 30, 2015

(Jacksonville Daily News)

Armstrong Marine has completed the first boat at its Onslow County facility. The Port Angeles, Wash.-based company announced last year plans to hire up to 200 people at the former Hatteras Yacht plant, which closed in 2008. Armstrong makes aluminum boats for law-enforcement agencies, the military and others.

I-40 has boosted economy, strained local roads in the Port City

June 29, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover County's population has grown from 120,284 to more than 216,000 since the last segment of Interstate 40 was completed in 1990, while Brunswick County's population has more than doubled. Now the N.C. DOT and local leaders are at odds over how to alleviate increased congestion on city streets.

Uber expands to NC beach towns

June 29, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Uber has expanded the availability of its ride-hailing service to coastal communities along the East Coast, including Beaufort, Wrightsville Beach and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Report: Outer Banks national parks at risk

June 25, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new study shows the Outer Banks could lose cultural resources including lighthouses and forts valued at more than $2 billion due to sea-level rise. The report, released by the National Park Service, says seas are expected to rise by 1 meter during the next 100 to 150 years.
Related: Land's end: As the shoreline creeps closer, leaders debate the need for action or restraint

Pender County approves 34% tax hike

June 24, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Pender County commissioners approved a 34% property-tax increase to help pay for infrastructure improvements in the rapidly growing coastal county. The owner of a $250,000 home will pay about $1,700, up from $1,225 annually.

Wilmington's Live Oak Bank files for IPO

June 23, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Live Oak Banshares plans to raise $86.2 million in an initial public offering, according to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The parent of Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank, an SBA lender, filed for an IPO last April but changed its plans after receiving an investment from Boston-based Wellington Management.

The paradoxical image of Vertex Rail

June 22, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Seven months after Vertex Rail announced plans to hire 1,300 people at a manufacturing site in Wilmington, another company led by CEO Don Croteau has filed for bankruptcy and the company has said it joined a new joint venture with a private-equity partner and a Chinese rail-manufacturing firm.

Wilmington shopping centers sell for $192M

June 19, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

CBL & Associates Properties, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based REIT, paid $192 million for Wilmington's Mayfaire Town Center and the smaller Mayfaire Community Center. Mayfaire Town Center, a mixed-used development, was started in the early 2000s. Anchor tenants include Belk and a 16-screen Regal Cinemas movie theater.

Williams Mullen to vacate Wilmington office

June 19, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Williams Mullen will close its Wilmington office by the end of August, consolidating with its Raleigh offices. The law firm, which has 230 attorneys in the Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., says it will continue to serve its Wilmington clients.

Dayco Products closing 3 distribution centers in eastern NC

June 18, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Dayco Products will close three distributions centers in Cumberland and Robeson counties by early 2016. The Tulsa, Okla.-based company did not say how many jobs will be lost, but a local official said the two Fayetteville centers employ 180 people. Dayco, which makes engine components for the automotive, construction and other industries, says it plans to consolidate distribution into one facility in the central U.S.

GE awaits decision on Export-Import Bank

June 17, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Employees of GE Hitachi and GE Aviation near Wilmington are watching to see if Congress will reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which gives foreign companies loan guarantees to purchase products that are made in the United States. A GE spokesman said the company, which employs about 3,000 in the Wilmington area but does most of its business outside the U.S., needs the Export-Import Bank to stay competitive. The bank is scheduled to shut down June 30.

Hospitality industry watches, waits after shark attacks

June 16, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Town governments and real-estate rental agencies along the North Carolina coast have had a few inquiries following recent shark attacks at Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach, though vacationers don't seem to be canceling their summer beach plans.

Strata Solar hiring 200 in Fayetteville

June 16, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Strata Solar is looking to hire 200 workers to build solar farms in Robeson and Scotland counties. The Chapel Hill-based company plans to build 30 farms in the state next year.

Compromise reached over Bonner Bridge replacement

June 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Two conservation groups agreed to drop a lawsuit dating back to 2011 that prevented the N.C. Department of Transportation from replacing the aging Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet in the Outer Banks. The DOT will build a 2.8-mile bridge parallel to the existing structure along N.C. 12. As part of the compromise, the DOT will consider building a new, 7-mile bridge south of the inlet, re-routing parts of N.C. 12 out of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Belhaven mayor repeats 300-mile walk to support rural hospitals

June 15, 2015

(WRAL.com)

Adam O'Neal, the mayor of Belhaven in Beaufort County, is completing his second, 300-mile walk to Washington on Monday and plans a news conference to urge Congress to help save 283 rural hospitals in danger of closing. Belhaven's Pungo District Hospital was shuttered in 2014 after it was acquired by Greenville-based Vidant Health.

GE Hitachi taps new CEO

June 15, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Pending General Electric's $13.8 billion acquisition of French turbine maker Alston, expected to close Aug. 21., Jay Wileman will become president and CEO of Wilmington-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Caroline Reda, CEO of GE Hitachi since 2010, will lead GE's new Power Services business.

Vertex Rail forms joint venture with Chinese company

June 12, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Vertex Rail Technologies was renamed Vertex Railcar Corp. as the company entered into a joint venture with private-equity investors and a Chinese railcar manufacturer. Don Croteau will remain CEO and will serve on the company's board of directors. Vertex has announced plans to hire 1,300 workers at a manufacturing facility in Wilmington.

Wilmington startup Next Glass teams up with Total Wine & More

June 12, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Next Glass, the Wilmington-based app that helps users make beer and wine selections, will partner with Total Wine & More to offer in-store recommendations for customers. The startup caught the attention of the Maryland-based retailer more than a year ago, when the company placed an order for 6,000 bottles of wine for testing and analysis.

DENR orders Duke Energy to stop groundwater contamination

June 10, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources ordered Duke Energy to "take immediate action" to control coal-ash contamination at its Sutton plant in Wilmington after tests showed high levels of boron in monitoring wells. A Duke spokeswoman said the utility is awaiting state permits to begin closing the plant's ash basins.

Wilmington's GNF gets $100M contract

June 9, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Global Nuclear Fuel, a General Electric-led venture with Hitachi and Toshiba, said one of its customers signed a contract extension valued at more than $100 million. The agreement will allow GNF to provide fuel reloads at four of New Orleans-based Entergy's power plants through 2021.