economic development

An architect's drawing shows the planned Centene Corp. campus in University Research Park.
Centene Corp.

Managed health care giant Centene Corp. says it will build a $1 billion East Coast headquarters and technology hub in northeast Charlotte. The company expects to hire about 3,200 people over the next 12 years, and that could nearly double in the future.

BEACON PARTNERS ON FACEBOOK

Construction has finished on Corning Optical Communications' new headquarters in northwest Charlotte.

Lowe's will take 15 of the 23 stories in the new Design Center Tower, which will break ground in August on Worthington Avenue in Charlotte's South End.
LOWE'S CORP.

Lowe's has picked a site in Charlotte's South End for a new $153 million global technology center that eventually is expected to have up to 2,000 employees. 

Contractors for Piedmont Lithium drill for core samples in a farm field in northern Gaston County.
David Boraks / WFAE

Piedmont North Carolina's gold-mining history is well known. Not so well known is that mines west of Charlotte once produced most of the world's supply of another important element - lithium. Those mines in Gaston County shut down nearly three decades ago. But a company called Piedmont Lithium wants to open a new surface mine next year to supply lithium for batteries to power electric vehicles.

The old Philip Morris cigarette plant, covering 500 acres of the 2,000 acre site. The plant was torn down in 2019.
Jones Lang Lasalle Inc.

The owners of the former Philip Morris plant in Concord have decided to demolish the old plant in hopes of attracting developers to the 2,000-acre site. 

A company that makes home soft drink machines is taking over the long-vacant Michael Waltrip Racing shop off Exit 28 in Cornelius. Lake Norman business recruiters say Sprizzi Drink Company is creating 250 jobs.

LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda announced that the company will move its headquarters within Charlotte, after considering sites around the region.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Online loan marketplace LendingTree is keeping its headquarters in Charlotte, and planning to add 436 jobs over the next five years.

From left, Gov. Roy Cooper and Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk listen as Mayor Vi Lyles speaks during a ceremony in uptown Friday to announce Honeywell's headquarters is moving to Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 3:40 p.m.
One of the largest industrial technology companies in the U.S. is moving its global headquarters to Charlotte. Honeywell International announced Friday it will open in temporary offices uptown by mid-2019 while it searches for permanent space in the region.  

The company has been promised $46 million in tax breaks by the city and county, and could get up to $12 million in state job development grants if it follows through on its pledge to bring 750 jobs in Charlotte by the end of 2024. 

Rendering of Corning Inc.'s planned $60 million optical cable plant at Trivium Corporate Center in southeast Hickory.
Catawba County EDC

Corning Inc. has signed up to be the first tenant in a new business park being built in southeast Hickory. The company and local officials announced plans Tuesday for a $60 million plant to make cable for its Optical Communications division, creating up to 110 jobs.

City of Charlotte

Charlotte didn't land Amazon’s planned second headquarters project. But, the city is reportedly closing in on a deal with the online retailer for a sprawling new distribution center near the airport.  

Charlotte City Council Economic Development Committee

The Charlotte City Council likely won't approve an agreement to redevelop the vacant Eastland Mall site until at least next February. That's in a timetable approved Thursday by the council's economic development subcommittee.

Union County commissioners have voted to suspend the county's membership in the Charlotte Regional Partnership, which helps recruit jobs to the Charlotte area.

The head of the Charlotte Regional Partnership says he won't release details of the city's pitch to land Amazon's massive second headquarters, even though Charlotte is now out of the running. Ronnie Bryant told WFAE Wednesday that's not the way recruiters do business.

In October, Charlotte Area Transit System added slogans to buses saying "Hey Amazon! #CLTisPrime"
David Boraks / WFAE

Amazon has given local business recruiters a bit of feedback on why Charlotte didn't make the list of 20 finalists for the company's planned $5 billion second headquarters. One key reason: a shortage of tech talent. 

Lakemont Business Park
Crescent Communities

Stanley Black & Decker says it will build a $31 million power tool manufacturing plant near Fort Mill, S.C., south of Charlotte.  The plant will make Dewalt cordless tools, and is expected to employee about 500 people.  

A main building on the site once was a Ford Model T factory and Army missile plant. More recently, it was a Rite-Aid distribution center.
David Boraks / WFAE

The Charlotte City Council on Monday approved a rezoning for the 72-acre Camp North End development off Statesville Avenue, north of uptown.  

Corning will expand its optical fiber plant in Midland, in Cabarrus County.
Corning Inc.

Corning Inc. says strong demand for optical fiber and cable is bringing another expansion in North Carolina. The company said Monday it will spend $176 million in Catawba and Cabarrus counties and create 410 jobs over the next two years.   

Corning Inc. says growing demand for optical fiber in communications networks is behind plans for a $30 million expansion of its optical cable plant in Hickory. The company also announced a similar sized expansion of another plant in Winston-Salem.

Corning Inc.

Updated 11:20pm
Corning Optical Communications has picked a site off I-485 in northwest Charlotte for its new $38 million headquarters, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Corning Optical Communications plans to move its headquarters from Hickory to a new $38.7 million office building Charlotte in 2018. A spokeswoman said the company is looking at sites off I-485 northwest of Charlotte, and hopes to announce the location by April 1.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Greenways are nothing new for Charlotte. These pedestrian and bicycle paths are scattered throughout the county, but most sections are only a few miles long. That’s about to change. A project is in the works to link some of these paved paths and create one continuous greenway from Pineville northeast to the Cabarrus County line. The effort isn’t just about recreation, but also economic development. 


 

 

The North Carolina Senate’s economic development proposal lays out some changes for non-profits when it comes to contributions and collecting sales tax refunds. Many non-profits say they’re not good ones.   

The Senate plan sets some limits. It would include charitable contributions as part of a $20,000 cap on all itemized deductions. 

Sun. Headlines: Volvo coming to S.C.?

May 10, 2015

Swedish auto maker Volvo apparently has picked a site in South Carolina for its first U.S. plant.  Georgia was the other finalist, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that officials there learned Friday the state won’t be home to the $500 million plant.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

Governor Pat McCrory has made replenishing the state’s economic incentives fund one of his top, immediate priorities. This week Republican leaders in the Senate introduced their own plan, which differs significantly from the governor’s. It sets up a debate over incentives, but also falls into a larger, intra-party fight that’s as much regional as ideological.


Sun. Headlines: CMPD Officer Shoots Teen

Mar 8, 2015

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer shot a teen Saturday night after a party on North Tryon Street turned violent. Police were called to the 1400 block of North Tryon Street around 8:30pm, where they found a group of teens. A short time later, a 911 call reported gunshots a couple of blocks away, in 1200 block of N. Tryon.  

Jim Bowen / Flickr

A bill containing tax breaks to lure businesses to North Carolina passed its first vote in the state House of Representatives, although it divided both parties. The bill expands several economic incentives, but sponsors emphasized one goal in particular: to lure a carmaker to the state.

Charlotte City Council Approves Frito-Lay Incentives

Feb 24, 2015

The Charlotte City Council approved a $3 million package of tax breaks for snack maker Frito-Lay to expand in the city.  

The maker of Fritos, Lays, and other potato chips and snacks has about 560 employees at a warehouse and distribution center in southwest Charlotte. Under the terms of the deal, Frito-Lay will receive $1.2 million in tax breaks from the city and another $2 million from Mecklenburg County. In return, Frito-Lay will create at least 30 jobs.

Councilwoman Vi Lyles says that’s a modest amount, but argues the deal makes sense.

Report Finds NC Incentive Program 'Fails'

Feb 18, 2015
NC Justice Center

Governor Pat McCrory wants lawmakers to give his administration more money to lure businesses to the state. The state’s main fund, the Job Development Investment Grant program, is nearly out of money. But, a new report from the liberal North Carolina Justice Center argues the JDIG program is ineffective. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined All Things Considered host Mark Rumsey.


GoodSports

This week, while problems with two of Charlotte’s major economic development deals held the spotlight, the City Council also considered entering a third. The council’s economic development committee met Thursday to discuss creating an amateur sports complex in east Charlotte. But after this week’s turmoil, there were plenty of skeptics.


©Sean Busher and NASCAR Hall of Fame

Charlotte officials have struck a deal to forgive roughly $20 million in debt the city owes for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Billed as an economic boon, the facility has never broken even since it opened in 2010, and has failed to pay off its original loans.


Pages