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Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Duke Energy To Build New Uptown Office Tower

Duke Energy's headquarters in Charlotte.
Zuri Berry

Updated 4:02 p.m.
Duke Energy plans to build a 39-story office tower on a parking lot it purchased in 2017 across the street from its uptown Charlotte headquarters.

The company announced plans to relocate about 3,600 employees from several other sites around uptown into the new building, which  Duke estimates will open in 2022. Duke has about 6,000 employees in the Charlotte area.

The relocations will cut Duke's office space in uptown Charlotte by 25 percent, the company said. A spokesman said the company is trading older office space for more modern facilities

"We've been sinking a lot of money into these old facilities and frankly there could be a better use for them," spokesman Neil Nissan said.

He said the changes are not directly related to recent layoffs and buyouts, though they are part of a strategy to trim costs.  "This real estate sales strategy, where we're able to reduce our footprint, was part of that," Nissan said.

And the two properties Duke owns likely will bring a nice payoff, with real estate uptown in short supply.  

Duke will keep its 550 South Tryon St. headquarters, which houses 1,500 employees. It plans to sell both its former headquarters at Church and Stonewall streets, which opened in 1977, and a 1960s building on South College Street near Charlotte Convention Center.

Duke also plans to get out of its lease at 400 South Tryon St.  

The 2-acre site on South Tryon Street is currently a parking lot, between St. Peter's Catholic Church and Gantt Center. Duke bought it in 2017 for $27.5 million.  

Childress Klein will develop the new building, which will have 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and seven levels of underground parking.  The company eventually plans to sell the building and lease it back from the new owner. 

David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.