Bill Hamlet has fielded calls from neighborhood groups across the country asking how they can replicate the success of Wilmington’s Landfall Foundation. “It’s very unique to have as large and as successful a charitable foundation built around the residents of a community,” he says. The foundation dates to 1995, about a decade after the start of the 2,200-acre Landfall gated development. Over the years, the foundation has distributed more than $3 million to local causes, without any paid staff. Hamlet, the foundation’s president, estimates the foundation will share $360,000 this year with about 80 organizations, plus award another $40,000 in scholarships and capital gifts.
Located along Wilmington’s northeastern border and abutting the Intracoastal Waterway, Landfall includes two golf courses and more than 1,500 homes, many owned by retirees from northern states. It’s been a real-estate success, with lots now starting at more than $130,000 and about two dozen homes priced at more than $1 million each, according to the development’s website. Wilmington rice broker and railroad investor Pembroke Jones and his descendants owned the land for decades until 1984, when a group led by Chapel Hill developer J.P. Goforth bought the property, then sold it to local businessman Frank H. Kenan five years later.
Hamlet, who hails from Durham, has lived at Landfall for a decade. Bringing together the transplants has advanced the foundation’s mission, he says. “People in past lives were giving either through their companies or directly to charities in their neighborhoods. They come down here and don’t know Wilmington.”
The foundation’s largest fundraiser is its annual gala — the most recent brought in about $250,000 net of expenses. Other projects include an annual art show, a holiday marketplace and half of the proceeds from the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon, which partially runs through Landfall. The foundation is in its second year operating the Legends of Tennis tournament, which last year attracted Grand Slam winner Lindsay Davenport. Other revenue comes from resident donations. A 22-member board awards grants to about one-third of applicants. Among the recipients are usual suspects: Habitat for Humanity, New Hanover County Schools, the local orchestra, museums and a homeless shelter. But over the last decade, more than 250 organizations have received grants.
The foundation plans to launch a capital campaign this fall to establish an endowment and ensure its long-term development. A few large gifts, possibly with matching requirements, will help kick off the effort, Hamlet says. “If we manage it correctly, we should never have a decline in the future in the monies we give.”
Dreams of Wilmington, a children’s theater group, is among 250-plus groups supported by the Landfall Foundation.
BEULAVILLE — National Spinning will add 50 jobs and invest $1.5 million over three years at its local textile plant. The Washington, N.C.-based company makes yarns for apparel, home furnishings and craft projects and employs more than 600 at five plants across the state. The new jobs will pay an average annual wage of $24,000, lower than Duplin County’s $31,397. Subsidiary Carolina Nonwovens also plans to add 35 jobs and invest $12.2 million in its Catawba County plant, where it makes fabrics for cushions, bedding and appliances.
FAYETTEVILLE, RED SPRINGS — Dayco will close its local distribution centers by early 2016, idling 135 workers. The Troy, Mich.-based company makes belts and pulleys for the automotive, trucking and construction industries. Dayco plans to consolidate operations at a distribution center in Memphis, Tenn.
WILMINGTON — CBL & Associate Properties paid $192 million for the 610,000-square-foot Mayfaire Town Center, a shopping center anchored by Belk and Regal Cinemas, and the adjacent 210,000-square-foot Mayfaire Community Center. The purchase gives the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based REIT a dozen retail centers in North Carolina. The sellers were Greenville-based BrodyCo and Wilmington-based Zimmer Development.