Saturday, June 10, 2023
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Apple files plans for 324,000 square feet of RTP office space


Apple is pursuing plans for construction on its Research Triangle Park campus that could house more than 3,000 workers. An application shows plans for a 324,000-square-foot office with buildings up to 73 feet tall, roughly 6 to 8 stories. Apple filed the site work plans on May 30 in order to start moving dirt.

Greensboro’s Environmental Air Systems adding 200 jobs


Environmental Air Systems of Greensboro, a mechanical contractor and HVAC custom manufacturer and builder founded in 1953, is adding about 200 jobs as part of an expansion at the Reedy Fork Logistics Center along U.S. 29 in northeast Greensboro. The new facility is 500,000 square feet will double the company’s manufacturing floor space.

Charlotte tech firm CEO shot to death at Huntersville apartment


Michael Feldman, 61, CEO and co-founder of Charlotte-based software company T1V Inc., was shot to death at the Holly Crest Apartments in Huntersville. Police say 30-year-old Randy Gonazles-Mugaburu, was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder. T1V has named Adam Loritsch as acting CEO following Feldman’s death.

Wilmington gets nod for $70M purchase of Thermo Fisher building


After receiving state approval, Wilmington City Council also voted unanimously to move forward on buying the Thermo Fisher building on the north end of downtown for $70 million. The acquisition won’t raise taxes, as the city is using limited obligation bonds to cover the purchase. Officials hope to close the deal in mid-July.

Chemical companies agree to $1.19B PFAS settlement


Chemical manufacturers Chemours, DuPont and Corteva agreed to contribute $1.19 billion to a fund to settle lawsuits brought by water utilities alleging that the companies contaminated drinking water supplies with chemicals called PFAS. The announcement came seven years after the Wilmington Star-News first published the announcement about the presence of GenX compounds in Cape Fear River.

Investigators say construction site wasn’t up to state fire code


The Charlotte Fire Department said there isn’t any new information about the specific source that ignited the May 18 fire in which two workers, Ruben Holmes and Demonte Sherrill, were killed, but they discovered “multiple accidental heat sources were in the trailer.” The department said the building did not meet North Carolina fire code.

Cherokee tribe’s marijuana wager may portend economic boost


A new crop planted by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians is North Carolina’s first industrial-scale, medical marijuana project. If successful, its economic impact on western North Carolina could complement the gambling industry that has become an economic bulwark since 1997. After an investment topping $50 million, the project stalled.

Guilford sheriff seeking to acquire new plane


Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers wants a newer, four-seater plane, that costs about $300,000. He says his deputies use the current plane — which seats two, needs a new engine and is expensive to repair — on a weekly basis to stop violent criminals, confiscate guns and drugs and find missing people as a life-saving tool.

Key N.C. business leaders favor Kane for state GOP chair


Some of North Carolina’s most influential business leaders are endorsing Raleigh businessman John Kane Jr.’s effort to unseat Michael Whatley, the incumbent chair of the state Republican Party.

Kane is seeking the job at this weekend’s annual state convention in Greensboro, where presidential candidates Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence and Donald Trump are the featured speakers.

Whatley has led the party since 2019, during which the party has built supermajorities in the N.C. General Assembly and helped Ted Budd win a hard-fought election to the U.S. Senate in 2022.

Kane says his efforts are gaining support from business leaders, who generally told him they have had little contact with Whatley. “Most of them didn’t know who Michael was,” Kane says.

A request for comment by Whatley was not immediately returned.

Among Kane’s endorsees are Lee-Moore Capital CEO Kirk Bradley; Glen Raven CEO Allen Gant Jr.; former Curi CEO Dale Jenkins; former Waste Industries CEO Ven Poole; developer Bubba Rawl and lawyer Larry Robbins.

Kane says he also has “100% support” from his father, John Kane, one of Raleigh’s most prolific developers.

Kane has never been to a state GOP convention but he is a delegate this year. His interest in the post stems largely from his concern over election integrity, he says. He doesn’t think the N.C. GOP has moved aggressively enough to ensure fair representation by party members at the state’s polls. About 17% of voting precincts didn’t have a Republican judge in the 2022 election.

The N.C. GOP also needs to increase its fundraising from within the state, Kane says. Support from the national groups, including the Republican National Committee, has exceeded in-state funding, he says.

An issue dividing N.C. Republicans has been criticism of U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who has taken centrist positions on some issues that conflict with more conservative stances in the state GOP platform. Fifty-three county parties have voted to censure the Republican senator, and Kane says he shares that frustration over Tillis’ voting in Congress.

“One of the biggest problems we have is that the majority of politicians abandon the platform of the party for which they were elected,” he says. “We need to take stands on things that we believe in.”

Tillis is widely credited with helping usher in historic Republican gains while serving as a Mecklenburg County lawmaker.


Guilford-based senior living groups plan merger

Glenaire in Cary is owned by Brightspire now, but will be part of a merger with the Well-Spring Group.

Two Guilford County not-for-profits that provide senior living services for more than 2,000 residents in North Carolina announced Wednesday they will merge into an equal partnership by the end of the year.

Brightspire (formerly known as Presbyterian Homes) and the Well-Spring Group have a combined $120 million in revenue and more than 2,100 employees. The combined organization will have five “life plan” or “continuing care” retirement communities in North Carolina.

Steve Fleming, president and CEO of The Well-Spring Group, and Tim Webster, president and CEO of Brightspire, will serve as co-CEOs/presidents of the yet-unnamed parent entity. Fleming’s duties will emphasize strategy, while Webster’s duties will emphasize operations.

Glenaire in Cary is owned by Brightspire now, but will be part of a merger with the Well-Spring Group.

“We have complementary skill sets,” says Webster. The two leaders have known one another for 27 years and started talking about merging the organizations they lead more than a year ago.

The new parent company is projected to be the largest not-for-profit senior living organization in North Carolina and among the top 40 across the nation. Both men pledged that each Brightspire and Well-Spring Group community will retain its name, culture, personality and established traditions. Both men say a merger will benefit employees and the residents.

“Together with Well-Spring, we will have greater ability to expand our services, bring new products and services to the market and attract and retain the industry’s finest team members,” says Webster.

Residents in the communities should notice some differences. “We hope they see it through enhanced services and service delivery,” Fleming said.

Brightspire has a 71-year history, and has three senior living communities:

The Well-Spring Group opened its first retirement community on June 7, 1993, 30 years ago. Its communities are:

Amenities on some properties include golf courses, swimming pools and theaters, along with health-related services such as memory care, wellness, skilled nursing and assisted living.

Brightspire also manages Friends Homes campuses in Greensboro, which has 700 residents, and has two affordable housing communities in Raleigh. Well-Spring Solutions’ home- and community-based programs offer adult day care and group respite services to older adults with dementia, as well as home care, caregiver education and support. Well-Spring also is a majority partner in PACE of the Triad, a program for all-inclusive care serving the elderly in Guilford, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties. 

“The merger of our two financially sound and  service-oriented organizations positions us well for the future, and the challenges it may hold,” says Fleming. “Our combined  talents and resources will offer those we serve, and serve with, greater assurances and opportunities while creating a new and extremely robust chapter for us, together.” 

No cash will be exchanged in the merger, and both organizations will equally contribute to funding the launch of the parent company. No layoffs are planned, although some back-office functions will be consolidated, such as accounting and technology. Each group’s charitable foundations will remain unchanged.

The merger is subject to final board approval and regulatory reviews, including by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.