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Western

$26M Cherokee Justice Center opens

December 18, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a $26 million justice center Wednesday near downtown Cherokee. The 76,000-square-foot center will house a tribal police station, courthouse and a 96-bed jail.

Greensboro hotel group proposes 104-room Asheville hotel

December 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's hotel boom continues with a proposal for a five-story, 104-room hotel near Merrimon Avenue and Interstate 240. Greensboro-based CN Hotels owns the property, which would be developed by a Greensboro-based group listed as Asheville Property. The city's zoning commission is scheduled to review the project Jan. 7. 

Catawba Brewing set to build Asheville brewery

December 17, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Catawba Brewing will begin construction next week on a 5,400-square-foot Asheville brewery that will include a seven-barrel system, two bars and a courtyard. The Morganton-based brewer will keep its tasting room in Biltmore Village after the South Slope brewery opens, which is expected to be by spring.

Duke Energy considers lease rights sale at Asheville's Grove Arcade

December 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke Energy says it is exploring options and may be looking to sell lease rights for four floors of the historic Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. The Charlotte-based utility owns the leasing rights for office space and 42 apartments at the 269,000-square foot structure.

Entrepreneurs struggle to get loans

December 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Small businesses in Western N.C. – even those with a track record of success – find it difficult to obtain funding through traditional small-business loans.

Craft breweries seek creative names to stand out in crowded field

December 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Craft breweries look for clever names to stand out in a crowded and ever-growing marketplace. Asheville Brewing uses 40 to 60 names a year, including some with comic-book names such as Rocket Girl and Ninja.

 

Asheville may increase housing density rules

December 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Asheville City Council could vote Tuesday on rules that would increase housing density as much as 400% per acre in 11 of the city's 32 zoning districts. Under the new rules, developers could build up to 40 units per acre.

Developers seek approval for 667 apartments in Asheville

December 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three proposed apartment projects would bring a total of 667 new apartments to Asheville. The largest of the three, a 309-unit complex on Fairview Road, has residents concerned over increased traffic volume they say will make the road more dangerous. Asheville City Council is expected to vote on the projects Tuesday.

Strong start for choose-and-cut tree farms

December 8, 2014

(The Watauga Democrat)

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in Watauga County are cautiously optimistic following a strong opening weekend. Most tree farms in the area are reporting above-average sales for the season.

Developer cleared to build nine-story Asheville hotel

December 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

MHG Tower has received approval from a city technical review committee to begin construction on a new Marriott hotel in downtown Asheville. The nine-story hotel will be built on the site of the former BB&T building parking garage. The 17-story main building will later be converted into condominiums and a boutique hotel.

Network aims to revive Western NC's textile industry

December 1, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Carolina Textile District – a regional network of more than 80 manufacturers and other businesses – is helping its members pool supply-chain resources and create new jobs in Western North Carolina's textile industry. 

Recount confirms Beasley's court race win

November 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cheri Beasley, an associate justice, was confirmed the winner in the statewide N.C. Supreme Court race after a recount was completed Monday. The final tally showed Beasley received 5,410 more votes than opponent Mike Robinson, a Winston-Salem lawyer, out of more than 2.4 million votes cast. Beasley was appointed to the seat in 2012. 

Boone brewery plans to add cider

November 26, 2014

(The Watauga Democrat, Boone)

Boone-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery Inc. is seeking permits to add cider to its operation. The company's CEO says Hard Mountain Cider LLC, a subsidiary of the brewery, already has a winery permit from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to produce hard cider. The cider operation will likely start with three employees, and production could begin by the end of this year.

McConnell Golf to acquire Country Club of Asheville

November 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf will acquire The Country Club of Asheville – North Carolina's oldest private country club – for an undisclosed amount. When the deal closes, McConnell Golf will own ten golf clubs in the Carolinas. The company acquired Greenville's Brook Valley Country Club last month. 

Asheville sets tourism record in October

November 24, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County's hotel occupancy rate reached 86.2% in October, a 7.1% increase over last year's rate and the highest ever, according to hotel-data company STR Global. Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to spend a record $4 million on advertising for the fiscal year which began July 1 (Statewide, October).

Pardee Hospital lets CMO contract expire

November 20, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Pardee Hospital' board of directors decided not to renew the contract of Chief Medical Officer Robert Kiskaddon, who had served in the position for four years. The 222-bed Hendersonville hospital did not give a reason for the decision or announce whether an interim CMO has been appointed.

State suspends license of contractor who performed work at Boone hotel

November 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A state board has suspended the license of a contractor from Independence Oil and LP/Gas who performed faulty work on a pool heater at a Boone hotel where three guests later died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The board previously suspended the license of a heating contractor from Boone-based DJ's Heating Services for failing to recognize problems with the pool heater at the Boone Best Western following the first two deaths.

Asheville tech company acquired by NY digital media company

November 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based DoctorDirectory has been acquired by New York-based Everyday Health for $65 million and the company expects to add up to 20 employees to its existing 81 by year-end. Located in Asheville since 1999, DoctorDirectory provides communication between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. 

Lumber company adding 114 jobs in Graham County

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oak Valley Hardwoods, a Charlotte-based subsidiary of China-based Tides and Times Group USA, will create 114 jobs and invest more than $10.1 million in a lumber operation in Robbinsville. The company will take over the former Stanley Furniture factory, where 400 workers – about 13% of the workforce in Graham County – lost their jobs when the company shuttered the plant earlier this year (Statewide, May).

Belk to close Biltmore Square store by January

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Charlotte-based Belk will close its retail store at Asheville's Biltmore Square Mall by the end of January, a company spokeswoman said. The mall is being transformed into an outlet center that is expected to open in the spring. Belk has another local store at Asheville Mall on Tunnel Road.

Charlotte

Google delays high-speed fiber announcement

December 19, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Mountain View-Calif.-based Google has delayed an announcement on whether it will bring its high-speed fiber network to Charlotte and eight other cities. The technology company says it will provide more information early next year.

Hickory loses golf tournament in 2015

December 19, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The 2015 PGA Champions Tour has replaced the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Golf & Spa with a tournament in San Antonio, Texas. The tournament was unable to line up enough sponsors.

Charlotte-based Dynacast sold for $1.1 billion

December 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A Swiss investment-management firm will buy Charlotte-based Dynacast International for $1.1 billion. Dynacast makes metal components for small electronic devices such as car key fobs and operates 23 manufacturing plants in 16 countries.

Union County, Monroe approve $917K in incentives for Scott Safety

December 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Union County and the city of Monroe approved incentives of up to $917,000 for Scott Safety, a division of Ireland-based Tyco International, to invest $28 million in an expansion of its local plant. The company would add 67 jobs to its existing 600. Scott Safety, which makes respiratory-protection and other safety products for law-enforcement officials, is also considering sites in England and India. 

Credit union regulator sues BofA, US Bancorp

December 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The National Credit Union Administration Board filed a lawsuit claiming Bank of America and US Bancorp failed as trustees for mortgage-backed securities following the 2008 credit crisis.
Related: Countrywide whistleblower to receive more than $57M

Two pension funds in talks with BofA over Moynihan's dual roles

December 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The California State Teachers' Retirement System and the office of the New York City Comptroller confirmed they are in discussions with Bank of America regarding the bank's decision to change its bylaws – and name CEO Brian Moynihan chairman – without a shareholder vote.

Advocacy group says Duke building too many power plants

December 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Durham-based environmental advocacy group NC WARN says Duke Energy and other utilities are wasting billions of dollars by building too many power plants. Duke responded by saying that WARN is criticizing the company for replacing its coal-fired plants with cleaner natural-gas fired and solar ones.

Piedmont Natural Gas requests rate reduction

December 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas filed for a 5% rate reduction in the Carolinas that could save customers about $5 a month during January, February and March. If approved by the states' utilities commissions, the new rates will go into effect Jan. 1.

Asheville's HomeTrust Bank names new Charlotte leader

December 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

HomeTrust Bank hired Jeff Mylton to lead the Asheville-based bank's expansion in Charlotte. Mylton comes from Fifth Third Bank. HomeTrust entered the Charlotte market this summer when it acquired Charlotte-based Bank of Commerce for about $10 million. 

Groundbreaking held for new Charlotte office tower

December 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Developers and state and local officials broke ground Monday on a 25-story office building in Charlotte, the city's first uptown office tower since the 48-story Duke Energy Center and the 32-story 1 Bank of America Center opened in 2010. Babson Capital Management will be the anchor tenant when the 630,000-square-foot building is finished in spring 2017.

BofA fails two mortgage-settlement tests

December 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America failed two out of 31 tests that measure compliance with a 2012 legal settlement over mortgage loan-servicing and foreclosure practices. The Charlotte-based bank must implement a plan to correct the behavior or it could face penalties. New York-based Citigroup was the only other lender involved in the settlement to fail a test. 

Queens University names Premier's DeVore BusinessWoman of the Year

December 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Queens University of Charlotte will honor Susan DeVore, CEO and president of Premier, as its 2014 BusinessWoman of the Year. DeVore joined the Charlotte-based company, which provides supply-chain services for the health-care industry, in 2003 and was named CEO in 2009. The company became publicly traded in 2013, raising $874 million in its initial public offering.

Israeli plastics manufacturer chooses Gaston County for new plant

December 15, 2014

(The Gaston Gazette)

An Israel-based plastics manufacturer will invest $13.1 million and create 75 jobs over five years in Bessemer City. Tosaf USA will begin construction on a manufacturing plant in Gaston County – the company's first in the U.S. – in early 2015. A local economic-development leader said access to Northern Southern's rail network and I-85 were critical factors in luring the plant. 

Charlotte's new economic development director settles in

December 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte's new economic-development director says he will focus on promoting the Queen City's attributes, including its workforce and logistics hub. Bill Cronin, 49, says the city and and North Carolina shouldn't feel pressured to match every incentive package from competing locations. 

Concord airport seeks $79.7M for expansion

December 12, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Concord Regional Airport is requesting $79.7 million from the Federal Aviation Administration for improvements, including a $40 million separate terminal for anticipated growth in commercial flights. Las Vegas-based budget carrier Allegiant Airlines began passenger service last December, and City Manager Brian Hiatt says other carriers have expressed interest in Concord.

Patrick Cannon sells stake in Charlotte parking company

December 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon has sold his share of the parking business he founded to owner Jeff Feemster. E-Z Parking also lost its contract with Carolinas HealthCare System, though the hospital system says its decision to switch vendors was unrelated to Cannon's arrest and imprisonment. 

Adviser says Family Dollar should delay vote

December 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Institutional Shareholder Services said Family Dollar Stores stockholders should postpone a Dec. 23 vote on the Matthews-based retailer's pending deal with Dollar Tree. The shareholder advisory group says delaying the vote could result in a higher price. 

Dozens of vacant manufacturing sites for sale in Hickory area

December 12, 2014

(Hickory Daily Record)

Catawba County has 69 vacant warehouses and manufacturing buildings listed for sale, but city and county leaders say they need to build a high-end business park to meet market demands and recruit new companies. 

PNC rolls out redesigned branches in Charlotte

December 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank has redesigned two of its Charlotte bank branches to allow customers to do more self-service banking using tablet devices and computers. PNC CEO William Demchak said the bank will focus more on converting its existing branches to the new model and less on closing branches.

Carolinas' first curling center to open in Charlotte

December 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A $1.8 million curling center will open Saturday in north Charlotte, the first dedicated to the sport in the Carolinas. The 17,000-square-foot building features enough ice for up to four games to be played at a time. A curling center is scheduled to open in the Triangle area in about a month.

Triad

Morgan stepping down as executive chairman of Krispy Kreme

December 18, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Jim Morgan will remain chairman of Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, though in a non-executive role as of Jan. 29. He was chief executive of the Winston-Salem-based company from January 2008 until June 2014, when Tony Thompson became CEO and president (Statewide, December).

New economic-development agency proposed for Guilford

December 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Officials from Guilford County, High Point and Greensboro are considering establishing a new, countywide economic-development group for recruiting business to the area. Greensboro and High Point currently have separate job-recruiting agencies.

Cone Health reorganizes senior officials

December 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Greensboro-based Cone Health has reorganized its top leadership roles, giving some of its senior officials new titles. Executive Vice President Judy Schanel will become chief operating officer and Chief Medical Officer Mary Jo Cagle will become chief clinical officer.

Shareholder votes on tobacco merger set for Jan. 28

December 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American and Lorillard have scheduled shareholder votes on their proposed merger for Jan 28, according to a joint regulatory filing. Winston-Salem-based Reynolds announced in July plans to acquire Greenboro-based rival Lorillard – which owns Newport, the nation's most popular brand of menthol cigarettes – for more than $25 billion ("Buying a brand," August).

High Point's Oak Hollow Mall stuck in transition

December 15, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Nearly four years after High Point University bought Oak Hollow Mall with plans to house graduate programs there, the mall is still operating as a shopping center, though most of its stores have closed. Dillard's and Sears – two of the mall's five original anchor stores – have not sold their buildings to the university.

Krispy Kreme debuts rewards program

December 12, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts launched an app in four of its markets that will allow customers to earn rewards points for free doughnuts, coffee and other items at its retail stores. 
Related: Krispy Kreme earnings report disappointing 

Another grocery store proposed for Friendly site in Greensboro

December 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

An Atlanta developer wants to build a shopping center anchored by a grocery store at the corner of Hobbs Road and Friendly Avenue in Greensboro. Earlier this year, a different developer proposed building a Trader Joe's grocery store at the site but was forced to drop its plans after neighbors protested the rezoning.

Reynolds, BAT file requests for lawsuit dismissal

December 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem based Reynolds American and British American Tobacco filed requests this week for the N.C. Business Court to dismiss a lawsuit attempting to block Reynolds' pending acquisition of Greensboro-based Lorillard.

High Point University to receive its own zip code

December 11, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

Starting in 2015, High Point University will have its own unique zip code. A surge in enrollment in recent years has led to the university receiving 93,000 packages this year, compared with 12,000 in 2007.

HIgh Point Regional drops trauma center designation

December 10, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

High Point Regional Hospital voluntarily withdrew its Level 3 trauma center designation in July, according to a spokeswoman from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. A representative from the health system said the hospital still treats trauma patients despite the change in designation. North Carolina has 12 trauma centers across the state.

Wake Forest to build $100M medical school

December 9, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will move its medical-education programs to its Innovation Quarter research park in downtown Winston-Salem. Half the funds for the $100 million project will come from a capital campaign while the other half will come from historic tax credits. The building is expected to open to medical students in July 2016.

Winston-Salem's IMG College faces job cuts

December 8, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The parent company of IMG College will cut 3% of its workforce over the next few weeks, which could lead to the loss of 27 jobs for the Winston-Salem-based sports-marketer. IMG Worldwide, parent of IMG College – which has partnerships with more than 90 universities – was acquired by Beverly Hills-based talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in 2013 in a deal valued at about $2.4 billion.

Hanesbrands adding 75 jobs at Mount Airy sock plant

December 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hanesbrands will invest $500,000 and add 75 jobs at its Mount Airy sock manufacturing plant, where the Winston-Salem-based apparel-maker currently employs 230. The town will provide $67,500 in incentives, including job skills training. A company spokesman said the incentives "helped solidify the decision" to expand local production.

Raleigh incubator expanding to Greensboro

December 4, 2014

Raleigh-based business incubator HQ Raleigh, which hosts more than 90 companies at its downtown Raleigh offices, is expanding to Greensboro in a partnership with Gate City developer Andy Zimmerman.

Greensboro's Unifi partners with UNC Athletics

December 4, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro-based Unifi is partnering with UNC Athletics in a plastic-bottle recycling challenge. The company's REPREVE division makes products from recycled fibers. To create awareness for the program, each person attending UNC's basketball game vs. Iowa on Wednesday was given a green UNC basketball t-shirt made from two recycled bottles. If the Tar Heels meet a campus recycling goal, Unifi will make a donation to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Greensboro's Prospect Brands buys menswear company

December 3, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Prospect Brands will acquire a majority interest in Midway, Ky.-based men's apparel-maker Crittendon & Co. The Greenboro-based company's brands include Duck Head and Gerbing, an outerwear manufacturer.

Southern Season to open Mebane distribution center

December 2, 2014

(The Times News, Burlington)

The city of Mebane approved a $90,000 incentive package for Chapel Hill-based Southern Season to build a $5.8 million to $5.9 million distribution center by summer 2015. The company operates stores in Chapel Hill, Charleston, S.C., and Richmond, Va. and plans to add more stores. The distribution center will employ 45 workers.

Eden hospital cuts 22 positions, reduces hours for 160 employees

December 2, 2014

(RockinghamNow.com)

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden announced it will cut 22 jobs and reduce hours for 160 staff members. The hospital said it has experienced a 30% decrease in inpatient services over the past three years. Morehead eliminated 22 jobs in May. 

BNC Bancorp completes acquisition of SC bank

December 2, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BNC Bancorp, parent company of Bank of North Carolina, has completed its $50.6 million acquisition of Charleston, S.C.-based Harbor Bank Group, giving the High Point-based bank a total of 51 branches in the Carolinas. BNC announced in November plans to acquire Valley Financial of Roanoke, Va. for $101.3 million. That deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Longtime Novant Health exec resigns

December 2, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Sallye Liner will step down as chief clinical officer of Winston-Salem-based Novant Health after four and a half years in the post. A 38-year company veteran, Liner previously served as president of Forsyth Medical Center and was chief operating officer for 11 years.

Triangle

Canadian chain to buy The Pantry for $860M

December 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Canada-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, which operates in the U.S. mostly as Circle K, will acquire The Pantry in a deal that, including The Pantry's debt, is valued at $1.7 billion. Cary-based Pantry operates 1,513 convenience stores – most under the Kangaroo Express banner – in 13 Southeastern states.

Durham's Phononic raises $44.5 million

December 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based Phononic raised $44.5 million in venture-capital funding. The company sells energy-efficient cooling and refrigeration products that are made in Durham. Phononic plans to use the proceeds to increase manufacturing and for sales and marketing. It's the largest round of venture-capital funding raised by a Triangle company this year. 

Pantry stock soars amid rumors of sale

December 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Shares of The Pantry rose 23% on Wednesday following a Wall Street Journal report that the company was close to being sold. The Cary-based company operates about 1,500 convenience stores in thirteen states, mostly under the Kangaroo Express brand. The Pantry reported fourth-quarter profits of $15.4 million, compared with $1.4 million for the same period a year ago.

RTP to unveil redevelopment site plan Jan. 15

December 18, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

The Research Triangle Park Foundation will unveil the first phase of its 100-acre redevelopment project it says could eventually create 100,000 jobs. RTP describes "The Frontier" as " the Triangle's newest meeting spot for those looking for a place to plug in, or a new office location."

Cary's The Pantry nearing deal to be sold

December 17, 2014

(The Wall Street Journal)

Cary-based The Pantry, which operates more than 1,500 convenience stores primarily under the Kangaroo Express banner, has hired an investment bank to solicit bids for the company. A buyer could be announced within days, according to people familiar with the matter.

Salix announces revised inventory-reduction schedule

December 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Salix Pharmaceuticals announced it will accelerate a planned inventory reduction of three of its drugs. The Raleigh-based pharmaceutical, which makes treatments for gastrointestinal illnesses, will reduce inventories of three drugs by the end of 2015 – a year earlier than it had previously announced. Company shares rose 7% following the announcement.

Developers reject proposal to reroute pipeline in Johnston Co.

December 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Developers of the 538-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline denied a request by Johnston County officials to reroute the proposed pipeline closer to an industrial park. The new route would have crossed 239 parcels instead of 163. Richmond-based Dominion Resources is developing the natural-gas pipeline in a joint venture with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Atlanta-based AGL Resources.

Cary partners with SAS on water-monitoring project

December 15, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Cary officials say the town will save an estimated $10 million a year through a new $17.9 million system that monitors water usage. Powered by locally-based SAS Institute, the system will provide residents with customized water-usage alerts and will help town officials identify abnormal spikes in water usage.

DA Davidson initiates coverage of Raleigh's Highwoods

December 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Analysts with investment firm D.A. Davidson have initiated coverage of Highwoods Properties, giving the Raleigh-based real-estate investment trust a "buy" rating and putting a 12- to 18-month target price of $50 on its stock.

Durham tech company creates code school to develop local talent

December 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based tech startup Smashing Boxes partnered with South Carolina-based The Iron Yard to start a software code school at American Underground's Durham campus. The website and app-development company's founders created the code school because of difficulty finding talented workers.

Triangle business group to raise funds to recruit international flights

December 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Triangle-based Regional Transportation Alliance plans to raise $500,000 over three years to help Raleigh-Durham International Airport recruit new nonstop flights to international destinations including Paris and Frankfurt. In October, RDU pledged $2.1 million in incentives to attract more international flights.

American Underground unveils economic-impact study

December 11, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Startups at American Underground's three Triangle locations created 323 new jobs over the past 12 months, according to a report the business incubator released on Wednesday. The study shows employees spent $674,700 at establishments in Durham and Raleigh. American Underground's 180 companies raised $20.7 million in funding over the past 12 months.

New developer for retail project at Raleigh's Crabtree Valley

December 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lennar Commercial is the new lead developer for Carolina Row, a mixed-use development planned for 10 acres across from Raleigh's Crabtree Valley Mall. Trademark Property announced plans for the project – which will include up to 175 apartments and 150,000 square feet of retail space – in May. Lennar plans a grand opening for Carolina Row in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Durham's Parata Systems to lay off 110 workers

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based Parata Systems will lay off 110 workers over the next 90 days, according to a notice filed with the N.C. Department of Commerce. Parata makes drug-dispensing systems for pharmacies. The company expects to have about 250 employees as of March 1.

AT&T's gigabit Internet service now available in some areas

December 9, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

AT&T has rolled out its GigaPower ultra-fast Internet service, which is 100 times faster than standard service, in four Triangle cities and Winston-Salem. The telecommunications provider plans to add the service in Durham, Charlotte and other North Carolina cities later.

Chapel Hill CEO killed in Maryland plane crash

December 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Michael Rosenberg, president and CEO of a Durham-based clinical research company, died Monday in a plane crash in Gaithersburg, Md. Rosenberg, who lived in Chapel Hill, founded Durham-based Health Decisions in 1989 and was a former manager at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two other people on board the plane and three people on the ground also died in the crash.

42-acre mixed-use project near Crabtree Valley proposed

December 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Developers are planning a mixed-use infill project on 42 acres near Crabtree Valley in Raleigh. Plans for Glenwood Place, which would be co-developed by Raleigh-based Grubb Ventures and Charlotte-based Lincoln Harris, include a half-million square feet of offices, plus retail and apartments. The project could cost as much as $500 million to build.

Georgia-based engineering company moving HQ to Garner

December 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Conyers, Ga.-based Overland Contracting will move its corporate headquarters to Garner, where the company plans to invest $8.4 million and create 89 new jobs over three years. A subsidiary of Black & Veatch, Overland provides engineering, procurement and construction services for the energy, telecommunications and water industries.

 

Raleigh startup WedPics raises $4.25M

December 8, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Raleigh-based WedPics raised $4.25 million in a round of new funding and plans to increase its staff by 25%, according to CEO Justin Miller. Launched in 2012, the startup provides a mobile app that allows wedding guests to share photos ("Going to the chapels," September 2013).

Southern Pines' K2 Solutions could lay off 70 workers

December 5, 2014

(The Pilot, Southern Pines)

K2 Solutions, which trains dogs for military operations, could lay off as many as 70 of its 170 employees next month as military contracts that began in 2009 are expiring. Most of the layoffs will be at the company's Richmond County training center. The Southern Pines-based company's founder says the government is investing more in developing technological replacements for canines in the military.

Eastern

Wilmington considers business district tax

December 19, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington Downtown Inc. is mulling the creation of a downtown business district that would be taxed higher than other parts of the city to pay for improvements to the area.

New Hanover Regional reports $53M surplus

December 18, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover Regional Hospital reported an operations surplus of $53.5 million for fiscal year 2014, more than double the projected amount. 

President of Hoke Healthcare resigns

December 18, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Velvette Jones resigned earlier this month as president of Hoke Healthcare, part of Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health System. Jones was hired in fall 2013 to help launch the health system's 41-bed hospital in Hoke County, which is expected to open in February. 

First South Bank adds nine branches

December 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

First South Bank completed a previously announced acquisition of nine Bank of America branches in eastern and central North Carolina. Financial terms weren't disclosed. The Washington, N.C.-based community bank now operates 35 branches, mostly in eastern N.C.

Historic Fayetteville hotel sells for $200,000

December 16, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Fayetteville's vacant Hotel Prince Charles attracted only one bid – for $200,000 – in an online auction that closed Monday. Developer David Levinson bought the hotel in 2012 and had planned to convert it into office space and 80 condominiums before damage by vandals made the project too costly.

Charleston bank acquires First Community branches in southeastern NC

December 16, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Charleston, S.C.-based CresCom Bank has completed its acquisition of 13 First Community Bank branches in Columbus, Bladen and Brunswick counties and in the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina. Virginia-based First Community Bank acquired Whiteville-based Waccamaw Bank's 16 branches in 2012 in an FDIC-aided transaction and closed three of its original branches.

Wilmington apartment sales set local record

December 15, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Ten Wilmington-area apartment communities comprising 2,679 units have sold for a total of more than $240 million in the past two months, setting what may be an all-time record in transaction volume for the Port City. Nine of the transactions were part of investment-company portfolio sales.

Brunswick County businessman named chairman of NC Ports

December 12, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Tom Adams, president and CEO of Ocean Isle Beach-based Adams Building and Consulting, is the new chairman of the N.C. State Ports Authority board of directors. Adams was appointed to the board in January by former House Speaker Thom Tillis. He succeeds Michael Lee, who was elected to the N.C. Senate in November.

$21M entertainment center proposed for Fort Bragg

December 12, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service finance committee approved plans for an entertainment complex that includes a 42,000-square-foot movie theater and 40,000 square feet of dining space at Fort Bragg. The $21 million to $23 million center is scheduled to open in early 2017.

Kentucky company in talks to acquire Columbus County railroad

December 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A Kentucky company is close to making a deal to purchase Carolina Southern Railroad in Columbus County, which has pledged $1.8 million in economic-development incentives to the company. Commissioners in Horry County, S.C. also pledged $1.8 million for R.J. Corman Railroad Group to restore the idled rail lines.

American Airlines adds second flight from Wilmington to NYC

December 11, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

American Airlines plans to add a second daily nonstop flight from Wilmington to New York City in February.

Sanderson Farms plant back on the table in Cumberland

December 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Cumberland County commissioners will hold a public hearing in January on whether to offer incentives for Sanderson Farms to open a $113 million chicken plant that would create about 1,000 jobs. The board informally voted against offering incentives prior to November's election, but two new commissioners have since joined the board.

Duke Energy gets federal OK in $1.2B power plant deal

December 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Federal regulators approved a $1.2 billion deal that will allow Duke Energy Progress to buy back four power plants that supply electricity to 32 towns in central and eastern N.C. The towns took on $3.6 billion in debt to buy minority stakes in the power plants in 1982, and their customers have paid an average of $240 to $600 more a year for electricity than Duke Progress customers (Statewide, September).

Three eastern NC hospitals in talks to form joint venture

December 9, 2014

(The Daily News, Jacksonville)

Onslow Memorial Hospital has entered into exclusive negotiations with Greenville-based Vidant Health and New Bern-based CarolinaEast Health System to discuss forming a partnership that will allow patients access to more providers and services.

Wilmington's Envision Mortgage to merge with Raleigh's North State Bank

December 9, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Envision Mortgage will merge with Raleigh-based North State Bank Mortgage. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close Dec. 31, were not disclosed. North State Bank has seven offices in New Hanover and Wake counties.

Wilmington plans waterfront improvements

December 9, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The city of Wilmington held a public workshop to help prioritize projects proposed as part of its Waterfront Improvement Plan. Potential projects include an urban park, reconstruction of a section of the city's river walk and public art.

New Hanover county manager supports sales-tax increase

December 8, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet believes a temporary quarter-cent sales-tax increase would boost economic-development efforts in the Wilmington area by creating a sustainable fund for recruiting new business.

NC State's sale of Hofmann Forest is canceled

December 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

N.C. State's controversial plan to sell its 79,000-acre research forest has fallen through because the buyers were unable to secure financing for the $131 million deal. Chancellor Randy Woodson said the university will likely try to find another buyer for Hofmann Forest, which is in Onslow and Jones counties.

Craven County approves incentives for Moen warehouse

December 5, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Moen will break ground on a new 203,000-square-foot component warehouse at Craven County Industrial Park in the first quarter of 2015. County commissioners unanimously approved $650,000 in incentives for the project, which is expected to be operational by fall 2015. The Ohio-based faucet-maker employs 700 at a local manufacturing plant.

No layoffs in Fayetteville call-center consolidation

December 5, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A spokeswoman for Sykes Enterprises says the consolidation of two Fayetteville call centers will not result in layoffs. In a letter to the state Department of Commerce, the company had said the consolidation could lead to 226 layoffs, but all employees at the location that is scheduled to close by Dec. 11 were offered jobs at the company's new office.