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Western

Entegra Financial hires former CertusBank exec

May 4, 2016

(American Banker)

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

Caterpillar to shutter Morganton plant, lay off 110 workers

May 2, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Visitor spending on the rise at national parks in NC

April 29, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Asheville brewer adding 2nd location

April 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Equestrian center acquires more land for hotel, condos

April 26, 2016

(Hendersonville Times-News)

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

Duke LifePoint challenges tax value of Jackson County hospital

April 25, 2016

(The Sylva Herald)

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

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

April 19, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Inside Asheville's failed beer deal

April 18, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

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

April 15, 2016

(The New York Times)

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

Asheville becoming less of a 'BYOJ' town

April 14, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

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

April 14, 2016

(The Watauga Democrat)

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

Yarn-maker breaks ground on Burke County expansion

April 14, 2016

(Morganton News Herald)

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

Report: Asheville rents are highest in the state

April 12, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

HGTV house in Asheville is on the market

April 8, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Buncombe commissioners point fingers after loss of Deschutes brewery

April 7, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Another western NC economic recruiter disbands

April 5, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Wilkes Regional picks Wake Forest Baptist to take over management

April 4, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Condo plan near Country Club of Asheville draws criticism

April 4, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

N.C. Rural Economic rebounds after state funding cut

April 1, 2016

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

 

Asheville's HomeTrust Bancshares adds 3 directors

March 29, 2016

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

Charlotte

Investors in Pittenger land firm agree to new management

May 4, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Investors in U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger's former real-estate company have agreed to forgo legal claims against the firm if it turns over control to Charlotte-based South Street Partners. The FBI and the IRS are examining whether the Charlotte Republican improperly transferred campaign money from Pittenger Land Investments in 2012; Pittenger has denied any wrongdoing.

Charlotte's Passport raises $8M in new funding

May 4, 2016

(Charlotte Agenda)

Passport, a Charlotte-based startup that develops software that allow people to pay for parking spaces with a mobile app, raised $8 million in a financing led by MK Capital and also included existing investors Grotech Ventures and Relevance Capital. The company has raised a total of $17 million. Now in 250 markets, Passport plans to use the money to expand into new markets in the U.S. and internationally.

Lincoln Harris completes purchase of Charlotte Observer site

May 4, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte developer Lincoln Harris paid $23.1 million for the second half of the former Charlotte Observer site, according to someone with knowledge of the deal. The company closed on the first portion of the downtown site last month for $11 million. Records show the developer is planning a mixed-use development, though the company declined to comment on plans for the site.

Topgolf to open Charlotte entertainment complex in 2017

May 3, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Topgolf paid $4.4 million for a 14-acre site in southwest Mecklenburg County, where it plans to open a three-level entertainment complex in early 2017. The company expects about 450,000 annual guests in its first year and plans to hire 450 full- and part-time workers. About half of Topgolf patrons are nongolfers, the company says.

Pair of buildings in southwest Charlotte sold for $21.5M

May 3, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A call center and light industrial building in Charlotte's Steele Creek area have sold for $21.5 million. The buyer of the buildings, which total 204,800 square feet and are fully leased, was a joint venture between CIP Real Estate and CrossHarbor Capital Partners. Brokerage firm HFF represented the seller, Fort Properties.

In Denver, Charlotte leaders find familiar housing concerns, different approach to transit

May 2, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte city leaders wrapped up a visit to the Mile High City last week, where they discovered another city in the midst of a construction boom, with more than 18,000 apartments built, under construction or planned since 2010. Like Charlotte, Denver leaders expressed concern over having too many rental units and not enough affordable housing. The city's thriving transit system has been aided by a 1-cent sales tax across eight counties; Mecklenburg County has a half-cent transit tax that covers just the county.

First-quarter profit jumps 55% at Charlotte's CommunityOne

May 2, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

CommunityOne Bancorp CEO Bob Reid said the bank's pending $350 million acquisition by Capital Bank Financial is expected to close in the second quarter. With about $10 billion in assets, Capital Bank will be the second-largest bank based in the Queen City when the deal closes.

Ally's new general counsel to be based in Charlotte

April 29, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Ally Financial named Scott Stengel, 44, its new general counsel. Nearly half of the Detroit-based lender's 16 top executives now will be based in Charlotte. The company's CEO, chief financial officer and chief compliance officer are already based in the Queen City. Stengel replaces William Solomon, who is based in Detroit and is retiring.

Duke Energy to increase investments in renewables

April 29, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Duke Energy plans to increase its wind, solar and biomass capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, raising its goal of 6,000 megawatts set in 2013 by 33%. At the end of 2015, the company owned or purchased nearly 4,400 megawatts of renewable energy: 49% wind, 39% solar and 12% biomass.

BofA shareholders approve directors; CEO calls for HB2 repeal

April 28, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

At Bank of America's annual shareholder meeting, CEO Brian Moynihan repeated the bank's position that HB2 should be repealed. Shareholders approved all directors and compensation for top executives, while Moynihan fielded questions about continued weak stock performance and defended his decision to maintain his primary residence in Boston. Related: How much NC bank CEOs get paid

Ally Financial misses earnings expectations

April 27, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Ally Financial reported first quarter profit of $250 million, down from $576 million for the same period a year ago when the Detroit-based lender sold its Chinese auto-finance joint venture. Adjusted earnings of 52 cents a share fell short of analysts' projections of 54 cents per share. Ally CEO Jeffrey Brown is based in Charlotte, one of the company's largest employment hubs with about 800 workers.

$70M mixed-use project approved in Rock Hill, SC

April 27, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Rock Hill City Council on Monday approved a $70 million development on the Catawba River that could include 300 apartments and condominiums and 235,000 square feet of commercial space. Premiere Design Solutions, based in Rock Hill, is the developer. Rock Hill is about 26 miles southwest of downtown Charlotte.

Regulators approve $55B Charter-Time Warner deal

April 26, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charter Communications received antitrust approval for its $55 billion bid for Time Warner Cable, which employs more than 3,100 people in the Charlotte area. Stamford, Conn.-based Charter is also buying Syracuse, New York-based Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion. The deals will create the nation's No. 2 cable provider; Comcast will remain No. 1.

Eastland Mall site in Charlotte to become K-8 school

April 26, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council voted 8-2 to sell 11.4 acres that was once the site of North Carolina's largest shopping mall to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for $650,000. CMS plans to build a language-immersion school for 1,000 students on the site. Some neighbors protested the plan, favoring holding out for a project that would attract more private investment.

PayPal courtship began last summer; 500 jobs were planned

April 25, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

The California-based payment processor initially proposed bringing up to 500 jobs to Charlotte in five years — higher than the 400 previously reported — according to Charlotte City Council minutes. Earlier this month, PayPal withdrew its plans for the Charlotte expansion over HB2.

Conover's Rock Barn course going private

April 25, 2016

(Hickory Record)

The Jones Course at Rock Barn Golf and Spa is going from semi-private to private, beginning May 1. The course hosted the Greater Hickory Classic until 2015, when the event was canceled due to lack of a title sponsor. General Manager Det Williams says the tournament's future is doubtful. Rock Barn's second course, considered less challenging, will remain semi-private.

Group to provide update on $37M Kannapolis project

April 25, 2016

(Independent Tribune, Concord)

At a Kannapolis City Council meeting on Monday, Development Finance Initiative will discuss hiring a commercial broker and provide updates to its downtown revitalization plan that includes about 200 residential units and about 30,000 square feet of retail space.

NBA commish says HB2 must change or All-Star game will go

April 22, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday the league is interested in working with government officials to change the law, which he again called "problematic." The Duke University graduate said a change is needed for the league to play in "a celebratory NBA event" in North Carolina. The 2017 NBA All Star game is scheduled to take place in Charlotte.

Charlotte Venture Challenge honors startups at annual event

April 22, 2016

(ExitEvent.com)

A Charlotte-based company that makes a surgical-guide system for placing dental implants and a company developed by an Elon University student that makes single-use sleeves to keep coffee warm for three hours were among honorees at the 15th annual Charlotte Venture Challenge. The CVC was started to promote startups out of UNC Charlotte but has expanded, this year attracting nearly 100 entrants from across the Southeast.

Wells Fargo cutting 91 jobs in Fort Mill, SC

April 22, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Decreasing demand for refinancing and fewer foreclosures are the reasons the San Francisco bank cited for the layoffs. The cuts were part of 251 nationwide layoffs Wells Fargo announced this week. Thirteen workers across North Carolina also lost jobs.

Triad

Wake Forest Baptist completes Cornerstone acquisition

May 4, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has completed its purchase of Cornerstone Health Care, the state's largest doctor-owned medical group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. High Point-based Cornerstone, with more than 80 offices and 300 physicians in central N.C., will operate as a separate business unit.

Ackman tells Herbalife employees, 'Go find another job'

May 4, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman continued his assault on Herbalife on CNBC Monday, advising employees to leave the company and find another job. The nutritional-products manufacturer employs more than 400 people at its Winston-Salem plant. Ackman has accused the company of operating as a pyramid scheme; despite his attacks, Herbalife's stock has risen more than 40% in the last year.

Sales surge boosts first-quarter results for gun-maker Ruger

May 3, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. reported a 50% increase in first-quarter profit to $23.3 million and a 26.3% increase in sales. CEO Michael Fifer said sales of new products — those introduced in the last two years — accounted for 29% of total sales in the quarter. Ruger employs more than 200 people at a 220,000-square-foot plant in Mayodan.

Hanesbrands appeases investors with 3-prong strategy

April 29, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hanesbrands' shares had fallen to a 52-week low of $23.25 earlier this year, with investors wondering what the Winston-Salem company would do next. On Wednesday, the company announced its largest acquisition to date — it will pay $800 million for Pacific Brands of Australia — and approved a share repurchase authorization for up to 40 million shares. Its board also declared a first-quarter dividend of 11 cents a share.

Hanesbrands buying Australia's Pacific Brands for $800 million

April 28, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Pacific Brands is Australia's top underwear company, best known for its Bonds brand. It will be the sixth acquisition for Winston-Salem-based Hanesbrands in the last three years. The company paid $585 million for Maidenform Brands in 2013 and $528 million for European manufacturer DBApparel in 2014 and just announced a $228 million deal to buy Champion Europe.

High Point U announces $160M in new construction

April 28, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The university will build a residence hall for 310 students, a $60 million science building and a $70 million arena and convention center. The arena will have 5,000 permanent seats but will be able to accommodate up to 6,500 people for concerts and ceremonies. The convention center will hold up to 2,500 people. The projects will be paid for through fundraising and operating revenues.

BB&T communications chief to retire

April 28, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Cynthia Williams, chief corporate communications officer since 2009, will retire June 30. Williams, 63, was part of the Winston-Salem-based bank's executive management team. She joined BB&T in 2003 through its acquisition of First Virginia Bank.

ITG Brands to lay off 375 in Greensboro

April 25, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

ITG Brands said it will lay off about 375 workers in June as a manufacturing agreement with Reynolds American expires. ITG bought the cigarette plant last year when Winston-Salem-based Reynolds acquired Lorillard in a $27.4 billion deal. A union representative said the company is planning additional layoffs.

2 BNC Bancorp deals on hold

April 25, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BNC Bancorp, parent of Bank of North Carolina, said its $141 million acquisition of High Point Bank has been delayed until the third quarter. High Point-based BNC entered an agreement in March giving it more time to complete its acquisition of Southcoast Financial, originally scheduled to close by March 31. The delays are due in part to two New York advocacy groups questioning BNC's lending practices involving minority and underserved loan applicants.

Report: Mass layoffs planned at Lorillard plant in Greensboro

April 22, 2016

(YesWeekly.com)

ITG Brands plans to cut as many as 500 jobs at the former Lorillard tobacco plant in Greensboro, according to an email an ITG executive sent to a union representative. The company is expected to file a WARN notice with the state Commerce department on Friday detailing the specific number of employees that will lose their jobs.

Yadkin Bank closing 12 branches

April 22, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Following its acquisition of Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank, Yadkin Bank expects to save at least $28 million by closing about a dozen branches. The $431 million purchase gave Yadkin a total of 110 branches. Yadkin CEO Scott Custer said he expects many affected employees will be able to find other jobs within the company.

Renovated Whitaker Park building welcomes first tenant

April 22, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reason to Believe is a manufacturer of skincare and hair products with eight employees. The company hopes to employ 40 by year-end and 100-200 by 2020. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco said last year it would donate 125 acres of the Whitaker Park manufacturing plant to a development group that plans to renovate the site for business and industrial use.

BB&T reports 8% increase in first-quarter profit

April 21, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T reported $527 million in net income in the first quarter, up 8% from the same period a year ago. Total revenue was $2.6 billion, up $240 million compared with the first quarter of 2015. Earlier this month, the Winston-Salem-based bank completed acquisitions of National Penn Bancshares and insurance broker Swett & Crawford.

Honda Aero announces $21M expansion in Burlington

April 20, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Honda Aero will invest $21 million in a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its Burlington plant, creating 30 new jobs. Engines made and tested here are delivered to Honda Aircraft in Greensboro for installation in the HondaJet light aircraft. Honda Aircraft delivered the first HondaJet, which can seat up to seven people, in December.

Analysts weigh in on potential LabCorp-INC Research deal

April 20, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Burlington-based LabCorp has held preliminary talks with Raleigh's INC Research about a possible deal, Bloomberg reports. INC, a contract-research organization, employs about 1,000 poeple in the Triangle. Analysts say a deal makes sense, as one of INC's strongest areas — testing drugs that affect the central nervous system — is one of LabCorp's deficiencies in its Covance CRO business

Best high schools in NC? Depends on which list

April 19, 2016

U.S. News & World Report ranks Greensboro's Early College at Guilford as the top public high school in North Carolina, with Raleigh Charter High School in second place (see the full list here). The Washington Post on Sunday released its ranking of America's Most Challenging High Schools, with Raleigh Charter topping the list for the Tar Heel state.

Feeling low in High Point

April 19, 2016

As the spring High Point Market wraps up this week, organizers will take stock of HB2's impact. Business owners like Mark Weinstein are not feeling the love.

Qorvo to acquire Dutch chipmaker

April 18, 2016

(Nasdaq.com)

Greensboro-based Qorvo will acquire GreenPeak Technologies, a Netherlands-based semiconductor company that develops RF chips for "smart home" communications (applications include home security, fire detection, lighting control and temperature monitoring) and the Internet of Things, a market expected to grow to $2.3 billion by 2020. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Carter stepping down as CEO of Greensboro's HAECO

April 18, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Kevin Carter, chief executive of HAECO Americas, will step down May 31. Carter has led the aircraft-maintenance company, formerly Timco Aviation Services, since 2008. Deputy Chief Executive Richard Kendall will replace him. HAECO employs about 1,600 people in the Triad

Logisitics company creating 60 jobs in Greensboro

April 15, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

NFI, a privately held company based in Cherry Hill, N.J., will move into a 1.6-million-square-foot distribution warehouse previously occupied by Kmart. The company provides transportation and warehousing services. NFI employs 8,000 people and say it has $1.2 billion in revenue.

Triangle

Quintiles merging with IMS Health to form $17.6B company

May 3, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Durham-based contract-research organization Quintiles is merging with Danbury, Conn.-based IMS Health Holdings in a deal valued at $9 billion. The combined company will have a market value of nearly $18 billion. The new company will be called Quintiles IMS Holdings and will maintain dual headquarters. Quintiles CEO Tom Pike will become vice chairman of the new company.

Raleigh drug developer files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

May 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

NephroGenex said Monday it has hired an investment banker to help sell its assets. The drug developer completed its initial public offering in February 2014 at $12 a share; its stock was trading at 18 cents a share on Monday afternoon. The company was in the midst of a restructuring and had been attempting to complete a reverse merger.

Jim Blaine handing off top job at SECU

May 3, 2016

Jim Blaine, one of the most important financial executives in North Carolina over the last 40 years, is retiring as CEO of State Employees' Credit Union. The group grew by more than 100-fold during his tenure.

INC Research reports 17.7% growth in service revenue

May 3, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based INC Research posted service revenue of $249 million in the first quarter, up from $211.5 million a year ago. Despite the strong results, the company laid off 3% of its workforce, or about 175 people worldwide, due to a realignment of its therapeutic business units. About 30 workers in Raleigh lost their jobs. CFO Greg Rush says the company is still growing, adding about 800 workers last year, including 100 in the Triangle.

BASF slashing 106 jobs at RTP

May 2, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

German biotech firm BASF is cutting its plant technology unit — its headquarters is at RTP — in half, with layoffs beginning June 30. About half of the affected positions are scientists. The company opened a $33 million, 80,000-square-foot expansion of its RTP research campus in 2013.

Co-founders of Durham's Bronto Software step down

May 2, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A year after selling Bronto Software to San Mateo, Calif.-based NetSuite for $200 million, Joe Colopy and Chaz Felix have left the email marketing company they co-founded. Carolyn Sparano, who has been with the company for nearly a decade and was most recently vice president of client services, was named general manager. Colopy and Felix say they plan to stay in the Triangle area.

Duke president stepping down in 2017

April 29, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke University President Richard Brodhead will take a year's sabbatical then return to teaching and writing. He has led the university for 12 years. During his tenure, he has overseen more than $1 billion in construction projects and the opening of a new campus in China.

Report: Ingram stepping down as chairman of Valeant

April 29, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Drugmaker Valeant's newly appointed CEO Joseph Papa is expected to assume the role of chairman, The Wall Street Journal reports. Current Chairman Bob Ingram is expected to give up his post as early as Friday. Ingram, a former CEO of Glaxo Wellcome and general partner at Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners, has been chairman or lead director of the Quebec-based drugmaker since 2010.

Cary considers plans for $51M mixed-use project

April 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Northwoods Associates would invest $46 million and the Town of Cary would pitch in $5 million to build a 55,000- to 75,000-square-foot office and retail building,188 apartments and a parking deck in downtown Cary. The historic Ivey-Ellington House would need to be moved to make way for the project. 

Drugmaker creating 275 jobs in Durham

April 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Aurobindo Pharma will invest $31.7 million and create 275 jobs in a Durham research and development facility. The India-based company makes semi-synthetic penicillins and other generic drugs. Aurobindo could receive up to $3.8 million in state incentives if it meets hiring goals.

Yadkin Bank closing 12 branches

April 22, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Following its acquisition of Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank, Yadkin Bank expects to save at least $28 million by closing about a dozen branches. The $431 million purchase gave Yadkin a total of 110 branches. Yadkin CEO Scott Custer said he expects many affected employees will be able to find other jobs within the company.

Raleigh Chamber: HB2 cost region 1,000 tech jobs

April 21, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

In a statement opposing HB2, Raleigh Chamber President Tim Giuliani said that a technology company has scrapped plans for a possible 1,000 job-expansion in the Triangle area over the controversial bill. The statement also mentions the loss of 250 jobs from Deutsche Bank and calls for the immediate repeal of HB2.

Raleigh drone startup raises $18M

April 21, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

PrecisionHawk, based in Raleigh, raised $18 million for software improvements and to launch a new drone priced at $16,000. The company is led by Bob Young, cofounder of Raleigh-based software company Red Hat. To date, privately held PrecisionHawk has raised a total of $30 million.

FDA rejects Morrisville company's surgical robot

April 21, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shares of TransEnterix fell 50% in after-hours trading following the company's announcement that the Food and Drug Administration rejected its application to sell its surgical robot. SurgiBot would have been only the second surgical robot approved for general surgery in the U.S.

Analysts weigh in on potential LabCorp-INC Research deal

April 20, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Burlington-based LabCorp has held preliminary talks with Raleigh's INC Research about a possible deal, Bloomberg reports. INC, a contract-research organization, employs about 1,000 poeple in the Triangle. Analysts say a deal makes sense, as one of INC's strongest areas — testing drugs that affect the central nervous system — is one of LabCorp's deficiencies in its Covance CRO business

Durham's Argos Therapeutics cutting 18 jobs; COO resigns

April 20, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Durham drug developer Argos Therapeutics is cutting 13% of its workforce, or 18 employees, reducing its head count to 117. Fred Miesowicz is stepping down as chief operating officer but will remain a consultant with the company, which makes cancer treatments. Argos went public in 2014 and later that year announced plans to build a new 100,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Durham that would create 230 jobs. The company was awarded up to $9.5 million in state incentives for the expansion.

Oppositions mounts to CSX hub in Four Oaks

April 19, 2016

(WRAL.com)

At a public hearing on Monday, U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon was among speakers opposing a proposed CSX cargo hub in Four Oaks. The town in Johnston County expects to have an answer about the CSX project within a few days. Mayor Linwood Parker supports the project, which the state Commerce department says could bring as many as 8,000 jobs over the next five years.

Best high schools in NC? Depends on which list

April 19, 2016

U.S. News & World Report ranks Greensboro's Early College at Guilford as the top public high school in North Carolina, with Raleigh Charter High School in second place (see the full list here). The Washington Post on Sunday released its ranking of America's Most Challenging High Schools, with Raleigh Charter topping the list for the Tar Heel state.

Triangle condo market picks up

April 18, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Developers are finding success with smaller-scale condominium projects in the Triangle area. At 1300 St. Mary's in Raleigh, 32 of 39 units are under contract, with prices ranging from $199,900 to $750,900. Developer White Oak recently completed a nine-unit project in Durham where units sold for about $350 per square foot.

Triangle startups raise $63.7M in first quarter

April 15, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Despite what many predict will be a challenging year for fundraising, a dozen Triangle-area startups raised $63.7 million in the first quarter, more than the $50.9 raised in the fourth quarter of 2015 but less than the first three quarters of last year. Biotech company Envisia Therapeutics raised $16.5 million and Valencell, which makes technology for wearable devices, raised $11 million.

Eastern

Economist: Port of Wilmington will benefit from Panama Canal widening

May 3, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The Port of Wilmington needs to stay focused on accommodating growing demand for imports and exports within the state, PNC economist Mekael Teshome said in a report, rather than competing with larger ports. A widened Panama Canal is expected to open June 27. The N.C. State Ports Authority is investing $100 million at the port to accommodate more than one post-Panamax ship at a time.

Wrightsville Beach solar company files for direct public offering

May 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

In an S-1 filing, Koolbridge Solar disclosed plans to make about 2.5 million shares of common stock available to third-party buyers. The company is developing a residential breaker box that uses solar energy during sunny times and pulls power from the electrical grid only when solar energy, either direct or stored, is not available. The company expects its Smart Load Center, which will retail for about $600, to hit the market in the first quarter of 2017.

ECU names former Georgia state senator as its new chancellor

April 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cecil Staton, 58, is currently interim president of Georgia's Valdosta State University and vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia. He served as a Republican state senator in Georgia from 2005-2014. The Greenville, S.C., native will begin July 1 and will receive an annual salary of $450,000, making him the third highest-paid chancellor in the UNC System. Staton succeeds Steve Ballard, who is stepping down after 12 years in the position.

Loss of conference will cost Wilmington nearly $1 million

April 27, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The American Institute of Architects' decision to move a regional conference from Wilmington to either Georgia or South Carolina over HB2 will cost the Port City about $1 million, according to estimates. The event was expected to bring in between 1,000 and 1,200 visitors.

Houston Astros owner tours Fayetteville

April 26, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was in Fayetteville on Monday, where he had preliminary talks with local officials about bringing a minor-league baseball team to the area. Crane said he hopes to have a stadium built by 2018.

Recruiter says Cumberland would benefit from CSX rail hub

April 21, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The president of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corp. said a controversial $272 million CSX rail hub, originally planned for Johnston County, would be good for Cumberland County and the state ports. Russ Rogerson said if the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company doesn't opt to build the terminal in Johnston, "we would certainly be interested in talking with them."
Related: Rail project would boost economy, officials said

Hunt: Recession is over, invest more in education

April 20, 2016

(The Daily Reflector)

Former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt says a child's earliest years are "the most important years" and, speaking in Greenville on Tuesday, he reiterated the importance of early childhood education and having the best teachers. Hunt launched Smart Start in 1993 to help families with preschoolers secure resources for early childhood education programs. Hunt says now that the economy is improving, it's time to raise teacher pay. "Raise it strongly," he says.

Brunswick County has the most vacation homes in NC

April 19, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Brunwick County had 23,941 vacation homes in 2010, a 54% increase over 2000 when the county had 15,540 seasonal homes. Tourism spending in Brunswick increased to $496 million in 2014. Brunswick includes the popular vacation towns of Oak Island, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.

ECU reveals plans for $55M stadium renovation

April 18, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Plans for Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium include a new press box and redesigned grandstand seating. The project will be financed through a $15 million fundraising effort ($10 million has already been committed); the remainder will come from sales of "premium" ticket plans, including club-level seats with a lounge area. Construction will begin after the 2017 football season and should be completed in time for the 2018 season.

Chiltern leasing bigger office in Wilmington

April 18, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Chiltern, a contract-research organization with headquarters in the United Kingdom, is moving to a larger space in Wilmington's Barclay Center. The new office is about 10,000 square feet larger than the CRO's current space in nearby Barclay Commons.

Hearing for Amazon Wind Farm case set for Wednesday

April 13, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lawyers will debate whether an additional regulatory review is required for Amazon's $400 million wind farm that is under construction in northeastern N.C. A couple from Perquimans County contends the wind farm must be reviewed again since the current project differs from the original proposal. The wind farm will be the largest in the Southeast and represents the region's biggest economic-development project.

Suddenlink drops WRAL in Greenville viewing area

April 13, 2016

(The Daily Reflector)

Cable provider Suddenlink is dropping Raleigh-based WRAL from its lineup after WRAL switched its affiliation to NBC after more than 30 years as a CBS affiliate. The change should benefit WITN, a Chocowinity-based station that broadcasts NBC in the Greenville region.

Medical-products manufacturer opens HQ in Pitt County

April 12, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

DR Burton Healthcare Products will open its headquarters and manufacturing center in a 29,000-square-foot space in Farmville, aided by a building reuse grant from the N.C. Commerce Department. The company makes surgical and respiratory products. The company didn't say how many people it plans to hire.

Wood-pellet domes almost complete at Port of Wilmington

April 11, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Two white, 170-foot-tall domes at Port of Wilmington are nearly ready for use by Enviva, a Maryland-based company that will store wood pellets inside them for shipment to Europe. The pellets are produced at a plant in Sampson County. The company expects to begin shipping by the end of the third quarter.

3 former NewBridge execs to open Southern Bank office in Wilmington

April 7, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Paul McCombie, Leon Pruzan and Lenny Smith leased space for a loan production office in Wilmington. All three worked for Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank in the Wilmington market. Southern Bank is based in Mount Olive and has more than 60 office and about $2.6 billion in assets. In February, Southern acquired Heritage Bankshares of Norfolk, Va.

New Hanover Regional CEO stepping down

April 6, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Jack Barto will retire no later than June 30, 2017, according to a news release. Barto has been president and CEO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for 12 years. John Gizdic, currently chief operating officer, will succeed him.

Massive Pender County development could launch soon

April 5, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Construction could begin in late April on Blake Farm, a 1,300-acre mixed-use development in Pender County. The project will be built in phases and could take 10 years to build out. Plans call for 2,200 residential units and about 50 acres of commercial development, including a YMCA and events center.

Study: Offshore wind farms could impact vacation rentals

April 5, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A study by N.C. State University shows that building a wind farm off the North Carolina coast could harm tourism and vacation rentals if the turbines were visible.

Cable manufacturer to close Wilson County plant

April 4, 2016

(The Wilson Times)

After 60 years in Wilson County, Nexans will close its Elm City plant on June 30 and 113 workers will lose their jobs. The French company makes wire and cable for the aerospace and defense markets. Decreased sales and declining market prices contributed to the decision to close the facility.

Greenville airport seeks new use for 90 acres

April 4, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Officials at Pitt-Greenville Airport want to develop an industrial park on 90 acres it purchased in 2011. The airport authority paid $1.8 million for the land, intended to serve as a buffer to prevent development such as housing that would interfere with flight patterns. With fewer commercial flights, the airport is seeking new revenue streams and says a commercial/industrial development could provide jobs for people in northern Pitt County.