Regional News

Wilmington Companies Are Finalists In Biotech Venture Competition


By: Johanna Cano, WilmingtonBiz

Four Wilmington companies are the finalists of the inaugural NC BIONEER Venture Challenge aimed at enhancing life sciences and biotechnology business ventures in the region, according to an announcement Thursday.

Accugenomics, Electronic Lab Logs, IndiOmics and Isosceles Pharmaceuticals were selected to participate in a two-month process of “intense mentoring,” stated a news release.

The competition, launched by N.C. Biotechnology Center Southeastern office and the University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is a biotech-focused entrepreneurial initiative for Southeastern North Carolina that launched earlier this year.

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Hemp Heyday: Wilmington Firm Expanding


By: Cece Nunn, WilmingtonBiz

A hemp products company headquartered in the Port City continues to expand, with research capabilities one of its latest additions.

Green Compass Inc., based in Wilmington with production and fulfillment facilities in Columbus County, has rented lab space at UNCW's Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina (MARBIONC) center.

The aim is to work with University of North Carolina Wilmington professors on finding out more about hemp’s benefits. Hemp is a variety of cannabis plant that’s used to make cannabidiol (CBD) oil and numerous other products.

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Winston-Salem Property Developer Unveils Plans for $8 Million Spec Building at Pender Commerce Park


Taylor Development Group Will Partner with Cape Fear Commercial in 126,360-sq.-ft. Industrial Space

February 10, 2020 (Wilmington, N.C.)

Pender Commerce Partners 1, LLC (Ramm Capital Partners, LLC and Taylor Development Group, LLC) will invest $8+ million in a 126,360-sq-ft. speculative building at the fast-growing Pender Commerce Park. The Winston-Salem-based developer closed on the 15-acre property today. The move comes around two months after Pender County joined officials from India's Polyhose in announcing plans for a 51-worker logistics and distribution operation at the park.

"We're ready to roll," says Chris Ramm, partner in the development and chief operations officer at Taylor Development Group. The development firm arrived in the Greater Wilmington real estate market three years ago with acquisitions of Class A office buildings at Landfall Park and Third and Grace in downtown Wilmington. After noticing a scarcity of available industrial space with modern specifications, Ramm began working with Cape Fear Commercial on opportunities to build high-quality spec space. Pender Commerce Park fit the bill. "We spent a year researching the market and looked at sites all over the region," says Ramm, who has worked in commercial real estate for 22 years. "We kept coming back to Pender Commerce Park."

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Developers Plan Modern Industrial Building In Pender


By: Christina Haley O'Neal, WilmingtonBiz

In Pender Commerce Park, developers are planning a building designed to be the first modern Class A industrial space for lease in the Wilmington region in over 10 years.

Pender Commerce Park Partners 1 LLC, a new entity formed for the development, released plans this week for the construction. Closing on the property is slated for late January, said Chris Ramm, managing partner of the group, which includes Taylor Development Group.

Via the limited liability company Mobrix, Ramm aims to buy the property from the county.

Pender County Commissioners in August approved the $634,400 price for the 12 developable acres within the county-owned industrial park off U.S. 421. That was followed by a 120-day due diligence phase.

The new entity, Pender Commerce Park Partners, will develop and own the property, and lease the building. Pending closing and permit approvals, developers aim to break ground on the property in late February and be finished with construction late in the third quarter of 2020, Ramm said.

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Aircraft Recycling Company Will Invest Nearly $100 Million at the N.C. Global TransPark Creating 475 Jobs


Aircraft Solutions USA Inc., a leader in managing aircraft at the end of their service life, will establish a new subsidiary at North Carolina’s Global TransPark to recycle aircraft parts and materials. The company will create 475 jobs and invest nearly $100 million to establish the new aircraft recycling center in Lenoir County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.

“Our state’s aerospace industry is taking off with the Global Transpark as a hub in rural eastern North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “From first in flight to first in skilled workers, global companies like Aircraft Solutions will find North Carolina to be a great place to grow and thrive.”

Aircraft Solutions serves commercial and military clients with aircraft that have reached their end of life stage and are ready for decommissioning. Despite an aircraft’s age, older airframes often contain many valuable parts and materials that can be recycled. Useful parts may include engines, undercarriage equipment, avionics, and in-flight entertainment systems. In phase one of the project, Aircraft Solutions’ new recycling center will systematically remove, catalog, and inspect parts, certifying them as either usable, repairable, or unfit for service. The company plans to establish a paint shop in phase two of the project.

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Smithfield Foods Generates Renewable Natural Gas from Wastewater to Power North Carolina Communities


New partnership with Duke Energy and OptimaBio to Benefit Thousands of Homes and Businesses

SMITHFIELD, Va., Dec. 17, 2019 — Smithfield Foods, Inc., in partnership with Duke Energy and OptimaBio, LLC, is now producing renewable natural gas (RNG) from the wastewater treatment system at its Tar Heel, N.C. pork processing facility, which will help power more than 2,000 local homes and businesses. The three companies are utilizing the world’s largest pork processing facility to provide renewable energy to consumers while reducing their own, and the state of North Carolina’s, carbon footprint.

The $14 million project is the latest from Smithfield Renewables, Smithfield’s platform to unify and accelerate its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025. Through partnership with Duke Energy, roughly 140,000 dekatherms of RNG per year will be transported to natural gas plants and used to generate electricity for consumers.

"This project brings to life all three of our company’s guiding principles – Responsibility, Operational Excellence, and Innovation,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “For the first time, we are creating renewable energy from the biogas generated in our wastewater treatment system and using it to power local communities. With the help of our partners, we are producing additional value for our company and our neighbors—a concept that is ingrained in our culture.”

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Design Firm Michael Aram, Inc. to Create 118 Jobs with New Logistics Operation in Wayne County


Famed decorative arts company to invest nearly $5.7 million in Goldsboro


Dec 10, 2019

Michael Aram, Inc., an internationally renowned luxury design company offering a wide range of craft-based jewelry, tabletop and home furnishings, will create 118 jobs as it relocates a logistics center to Wayne County, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The company will invest nearly $5.7 million in the facility, to be located in Goldsboro.

“North Carolina has a natural appeal to retailers and manufacturers, becoming hubs for a growing number of the nation’s top brands,” said Governor Cooper. “Companies like Michael Aram see the opportunities in our state and Goldsboro is ready to go to work with this company.”

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India's Polyhose Will Invest Nearly $8 Million At Pender Commerce Park, Create 51 Jobs


Global Provider of Industrial Hoses and Fittings Will Establish its First North American Logistics Outpost

November 26, 2019 (Elizabethtown, N.C. and Wilmington, N.C.). Polyhose Inc., the U.S. unit of Polyhose India Private Limited, plans to establish its first North American industrial facility at Pender Commerce Park. Its initial Phase One plan is for a 40,000-sq.-ft. build-to-suit assembly and logistics space that will employ 51 workers. Officials of the company and its parent, which is based in Chennai, India, joined Governor Roy Cooper today to announce the decision.

“Pender County is ready to grow, and international companies like Polyhose know North Carolina’s strong workforce is the right way to put their strategy to work,” said Governor Cooper.

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Consulting Firms Will Partner in Southeast Strategic Economic Analysis


Analysis Will Assess Regional Economic Opportunities

November 14, 2019 (Elizabethtown, N.C.) Two marquee names in economic development consulting have joined forces with North Carolina’s Southeast to analyze job-creation opportunities in the Southeast Region as part of a strategic assessment being supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (US EDA). Raleigh-based Economic Leadership LLC and Creative Economic Development Consulting LLC (Creative EDC), headquartered in Elkin, N.C., will partner in a study of the region’s economy that will include economic trends, workforce dynamics, policy impacts, and education connectivity. At the heart of the strategy will be sharpening the focus on existing and emerging business and industry sectors that align best with Southeastern North Carolina’s economic assets. 

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ICYMI: USDA Invests $23.7 Million in Rural Broadband for North Carolina Families


News Release

CLINTON, N.C., Nov. 6, 2019 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced USDA has invested $23.7 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for nearly 8,750 rural households in North Carolina. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.

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