Statewide: Charlotte region, November 2015

 In 2015-11

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Ballantyne’s day

The largest building to date in Ballantyne Corporate Park is breaking ground without a tenant lined up to fill its space, which is business as usual for developer Bissell Companies in what’s arguably Charlotte’s tightest office market. The 10-story Brigham building, spanning more than 287,000 square feet, is a bet on the future prospects of the business park started in 1996. It’s the type of wager Bissell has consistently made at the 535-acre park on Charlotte’s southern edge, and almost always come out ahead. Bissell began construction on twin buildings in the park two years before MetLife announced in 2013 it would fill them with 1,500 workers.

More than 300 companies occupy more than 4 million square feet in Ballantyne, including the headquarters of Premier, Snyder’s-Lance and SPX. As the latest project gets underway, Ballantyne remains a draw for major corporations looking for a new home. The new building will also be attractive to businesses in Charlotte looking for more space, says Ned Curran, CEO of the company owned by veteran Charlotte developer H.C. “Smoky” Bissell’s family. “It just feels like demand is fairly strong,” says Curran, who doesn’t worry about prospects of a national economic slowdown.

Demand is certainly robust in Ballantyne, where 95% of office space is occupied, the highest percentage in its history and up from about 86% in 2013. Available property includes only two blocks of space of greater than 50,000 square feet, a benchmark of an area’s ability to draw in a major corporate relocation, says Curran, who is chairman of the N.C. Department of Transportation. The company won’t comment on prospective tenants.

The new building, which will rent for $32 to $34 per square foot, should be up and running by November 2016. Bissell doesn’t disclose its investment in the new building, but its 7-year-old Harris Building in Ballantyne, which is about the same size, has a tax value of $35.3 million, according to Mecklenburg County property records.


Briefs

CHARLOTTECoca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated will buy plants in Indiana, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia as part of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola’s sale of nine plants to three independent bottlers for a combined $380 million. Coke Consolidated is the soda company’s largest independent bottler.

CHARLOTTE — SPX completed the spinoff of its flow-products business, which makes pumps, valves and filtration systems. Gene Lowe was named president and CEO of SPX FLOW. He had led the thermal equipment and services units. Both companies are based here. Annual revenue is an estimated $2.5 billion for SPX FLOW and $2 billion for SPX.

CHARLOTTEPark Sterling, holding company for Park Sterling Bank, will acquire Glen Allen, Va.-based First Capital Bancorp in a deal valued at about $82.5 million. Based here, Park Sterling has about $2.4 billion in assets and 52 branches. First Capital had about $617 million in assets as of June 30 and operates eight branches in the Richmond, Va. area.

CHARLOTTE — Richard “Stick” Williams, 62, will retire at year-end as president of the Duke Energy Foundation and vice president of corporate community affairs of Duke Energy. Shawn Heath, vice president of sustainability, will replace him. Also, Duke agreed to pay $7 million to resolve groundwater violations at 14 North Carolina coal-ash ponds. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality had sought a $25.1 million fine.

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