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Supersonic jet maker negotiating to build Greensboro manufacturing site

An upstart, Denver-based airplane maker called Boom Supersonic is in negotiations with state officials to secure the site at Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport for a manufacturing facility to produce its new Overture jet. The 205-foot passenger plane can travel at more than 1,300 mph — faster than the speed of sound and twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners.

Epic set to demolish Cary Towne Center

Cary-based Epic Games has filed a request with the city for a permit to demolish the entire structure, which is around 1 million square feet, with the exception of the Belk department store. A rezoning request to amend Cary’s Official Zoning Map includes a preliminary proposal for 2.7 million square feet designated for office use, as well as space for commercial use and 200 hotel rooms.

Tax group says reforms could move NC into nation’s top five

If recently approved reforms took effect immediately, North Carolina would jump from No. 10 to No. 5 in the Tax Foundation’s state business tax climate rankings, according to the foundation’s latest assessment. The personal income tax rate is scheduled to decline from the current 5.25% to 4.99% in 2022, while in 2025 the state’s 2.5% corporate income tax rate will be trimmed to 2.25%.

Cary-based MedThink acquired by Fingerpaint

Fingerpaint’s acquisition of MedThink — which empowers healthcare providers through medical communications built on a foundation of science, strategy, and innovation — adds to the company’s suite of capabilities through two distinct divisions, MedThink SciCom and MedThink Communications. Scott Goudy, president of MedThink, will continue to lead day-to-day operations.

Parker to lead Winston Starts incubator

Veteran Winston-Salem executive Stan Parker will succeed Robert Boles as president of the Winston Starts business incubator on Jan. 1. Parker will be the group’s fourth leader in less than two years. Boles became permanent president in July 2020. Winston-Salem auto dealer Don Flow chairs the Winston Starts board. Parker has worked in executive jobs at Hanesbrands, Krispy Kreme, and GMAC insurance, while also leading startups.

Atrium Health names first female board chair

Angie Vincent-Hamacher was announced as Atrium Health’s new chairwoman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The historic move marks Vincent-Hamacher as the first woman of color to lead the board, replacing Edward J. Brown III, who led the board since 2013. She is an attorney with Robinson Bradshaw and has served as a member of the board since 2014.

Morrisville building materials supplier acquired by national brand

Professional Builders Supply, one of the state’s largest suppliers of building materials, has been acquired by Illinois company US LBM. Professional Builders Supply, based in Morrisville, will continue to operate under its own name. The company has 12 locations across North and South Carolina with 685 employees. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

Downtown Charlotte eyes bridge for walkers, bikers

Charlotte plans an $11.5 million pedestrian bridge over the Interstate 277 urban loop, marking an effort to connect the South End and downtown districts. The bridge will be 16 feet wide and feature two 40-foot structural arches that light up at night. Construction will start in 2023 and finish in 2025, two years later than previously planned because of cost, design and traffic concerns. State, local and private sources are paying the bill.

Debnam buys Highwoods HQ site for $35M

Raleigh real estate firm Highwoods Properties has sold its headquarters and the building next to it to investor Dean Debnam in a $35 million deal. Neither party agreed to comment on the deal, but a deed for the sale was dated for Dec. 2. Highwoods Properties built Smoketree Tower, the office building it operates out of, in 1984 and created 151,114 square feet of office space across 11 stories. 

Elkay plans Lumberton distribution hub

Stonemont Financial Group has closed on the land for a new warehouse and distribution facility in Lumberton for Elkay, a manufacturer of sinks, faucets and drinking fountains. Construction will be completed next year on the 387,302-square-foot building, which will anchor a new industrial park located at the intersection of U.S. 74 and Interstate 95.

Toyota confirms $1.3B battery plant in Randolph County, aided by $435M in incentives

Toyota Motor North America plans to invest $1.29 billion and add 1,750 jobs at a battery making plant at the Greensboro Randolph Megasite in north Randolph County, the Japanese automaker confirmed after weeks of speculation. Production is expected to start in 2025. State and local leaders are offering Toyota economic development incentives valued at more than $435 million. 

Adam & Eve founder dies at 83

Phil Harvey, the founder of the adult entertainment store Adam & Eve, died last Thursday in his Maryland home. The 83-year-old started Adam & Eve in Hillsborough as part of his graduate thesis UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Global Public Health. He was also the founder of DKT International, a nonprofit focused on contraception availability and HIV/AIDS education. 

Canadian firm lands RTP office campus for $138M

Details are emerging about Toronto-based Oxford Properties Group’s $138 million purchase of an office campus in Research Triangle Park in November. The campus was 86% leased at the time of purchase, and includes 429,758 square feet of office space across five buildings. There’s also 18 acres of vacant land that could be developed down the road.  

Former CEO of Durham biotech launches new startup

Matt Kane, the former CEO of Durham firm Precision BioSciences, is now leading Tune Therapeutics. Tune Therapeutics’ C-suite also includes Charles Gersbach, the John W. Strohbehn distinguished professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University, as co-founder and chief scientific officer. The new biotech was launched with $40 million in new funding and a leadership team peppered with veterans of Seattle cell therapy biotechs.

State businesses dealing with smash-and-grab spike

As the U.S. has seen an uptick in organized retail theft, North Carolina authorities are contending with a wave of smash-and-grab robberies including thieves who stole tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of handbags from a store in Cary. “These are organized crime rings,” said North Carolina Retail Merchants Association President Andy Ellen.

Duke adds monthly charge for storm repairs

Duke Energy customers will see slightly higher bills starting this month as the utility pays off debts from costly hurricane and other storm damage from 2018 and 2019. But the bill increase will be smaller than it could have been, because Duke is for the first time using a new financing tool approved by the state legislature in 2019. Duke announced Thursday that its North Carolina customers will save $300 million from what would have been a $1.6 billion total cost to pay for damage to the power grid.

Airline exec buys control of Petty Motorsports

Allegiant Air CEO Maury Gallagher is the new majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, a NASCAR racing team. Iconic driver Richard Petty has had a minority stake since 2010 with Andrew Murstein and Medallion Financial holding majority interest. Gallagher Motorsports has fielded five trucks in the NASCAR circuit and is moving to the Cup Series in 2022 with driver Ty Dillon.

Stonemont to develop Elkay warehouse, distribution hub in Lumberton

Stonemont Financial Group has closed on the land for a new build-to-suit warehouse and distribution facility for Elkay in Lumberton. A manufacturer of sinks, faucets, bottle filling stations and drinking fountains, Elkay is a 101-year-old, family-owned company based out of the Chicago metro area, with 28 manufacturing and operating facilities located across the country and internationally.

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