Business Roundup: Hitachi Metals wins Corporate Challenge Cup

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 9, 2015

Hitachi Metals wins Corporate Challenge Cup 


CHINA GROVE — Hitachi Metals North Carolina Ltd. of China Grove has won the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s  Corporate Challenge Cup.

The award was established last year by the Rowan Chamber and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center to recognize companies who encourage employee wellness.

Dari Caldwell, president of Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, presented the traveling trophy to Pat Barton from Hitachi Metals at the Chamber’s Dragon Boat Festival on Aug. 1.

Hitachi Metals established a successful walking program for their employee wellness campaign.

The Corporate Challenge Cup will be presented annually at the Dragon Boat Festival. Chamber members can enter your company’s activities in 5K/walking programs, cycling events and other exercise programs.

Companies interested in the Challenge Cup can go to the Chamber website and enter results for next year’s


Walmart adjusts plans for market in Concord

CONCORD — Walmart revised plans for a new Neighborhood Market in response to neighbors’ concerns, according the Independent Tribune.

The next Walmart Neighborhood Market in Concord would be built at the corner of Branchview Drive and Corban Avenue. Plans have been submitted to the City of Concord. The company already has a Neighborhood Market on Concord Parkway, and another is planned for U.S. 601 at Zion Church Road East.

The store will be about 42,000 square feet.


Developer looking at historic Statesville hotel

STATESVILLE — Local leaders hope to know more about the future of the Vance Hotel in the next three months, according to the Record & Landmark.

Jim Prosser, executive director of Centralina Council of Government, talked to City Council last week about a preliminary agreement between the city and ThirdWave Housing, a Winston-Salem development group. Third Wave wants to put apartments in the 93-year-old hotel.

Prosser said Third Wave owner Richard Angino wanted 90 days to study the project’s feasibility.

State tax credits  for rehabilitating historic structures ended last year and don’t appear to be coming back this year, but Prosser said that would not be a deal-breaker.

 Stanly college to get in restaurant business?

ALBEMARLE — Stanly Community College wants the city of Albemarle to buy the former Big Al’s restaurant from Stanly Heritage Properties and lease it to the Stanly Community College Foundation for a culinary arts program, according to a report in the Carolina Journal.

“The purchase and lease of the restaurant would erase Stanly Heritage Properties’ debt on the property, which has had trouble keeping tenants. Stanly Heritage Properties is a subsidiary of Uwharrie Bank,” the Carolina Journal reported.

The deal raises some ethical questions. Five members of the community college’s board of trustees are also directors of Uwharrie Bank, its parent corporation or both.

The plan to place a profit-making community college culinary arts program in the vacant building faces scrutiny, as critics say the proposal may violate state law.


Developer revises downtown Raleigh tower proposal

RALEIGH (AP) — A Raleigh developer has revised its proposal for a tower project in the city’s downtown warehouse district, banning bars and limiting the number of stories for two buildings.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Kane Realty submitted its new plans for a $150 million mixed-use project Thursday after having faced complaints from some residents and Councilwoman Kay Crowder at a July hearing.

Aiming to address late-night noise concerns, the plans prohibit bars and nightclubs as tenants. The plans also cap the heights at 17 stories for the tower and nine stories for the smaller residential building.

Kane Realty CEO John Kane says the project could still feature restaurants that have bars and stay open late.

City council is scheduled to review the proposal Sept. 1.


3rd payment made to investor victims in ZeekRewards

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The receiver for a defunct Lexington company that authorities say was an $850 million Ponzi scheme says most victims have gotten another check.

Kenneth Bell told the Winston-Salem Journal ( he’s paid about $89 million in the third installment of the ZeekRewards reimbursement efforts. The nearly 113,000 checks mailed July 31 bring the total reimbursement to about $246 million since September.

Bell says he has about $46 million to repay but cannot because about 35,000 victims have not filled out the proper paperwork.

He says the average recipient is getting about 70 percent of verified losses.

ZeekRewards and the online penny auction site were closed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012.

Prosecutors have said Paul Burks and conspirators promised massive profits to lure more than 2 million investors, including nearly 50,000 in North Carolina.

Burks pleaded not guilty last year to federal charges of wire and mail fraud, conspiracy and tax fraud. His trial is set for next May.

The next checks are expected to be paid Oct. 31.

More than 9,000 people who lost money have not been paid yet because they will be getting less than $100. Bell said those checks will be mailed at the end of the process.


USDA providing $48M in grants, loans for NC solar projects

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Obama administration is increasing the number of solar farms sprouting in farm fields across North Carolina.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said Friday it is providing nearly $50 million in loans and grants to 13 solar power investments in North Carolina.

One of the North Carolina projects would receive a $4 million loan guarantee to finance a Forsyth County solar array expected to generate enough energy for 1,000 households per year.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says North Carolina has more solar capacity than all other Southeast states combined and ranks fourth in the country. A state law requires Duke Energy to get 6 percent of electricity it sells this year from renewable energy.