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March 2015 Published monthly Business Intelligence for the Golden Crescent: Lake Norman • Cabarrus • University City

CATS pause

Express ridership is down because gas prices are down. Park & Ride will make a stop in Cornelius. Page 3

Sports business

The SwimMAC facility in Mooresville makes progress one lane at a time Page 8

Thinking of buying or selling?

By Dave Yochum One of the biggest challenges right now in home construction and remodeling is a shortage of labor, says Pat Riley, chief operating officer of The Allen Tate Co. “It’s so hard to find talent for remodeling needs,” he says. Apparently the boom in residential construction is soaking up workers fast. New home prices are running 6 percent to 15 percent more than the same resale home, incentivizing builders to ramp up production even more. “There hasn’t been such a

outside in, and the kitchen.” Accordingly, builders are changing their new model lineups virtually overnight. “It’s faster than any time in 44 years,” Allen Tate executive says. Riley was recently elected to a two-year term as chairman of the board of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a network of more than 500 market-leading independent real estate firms. The former chairman of the Charlotte Chamber currently serves in leadership roles

northeast of Charlotte is recognized around the country. • The airport and the new intermodal complex plus ample land near the airport make Charlotte an ideal hub for shipping. • We are still a heavy manufacturing-centric area, with a skilled labor force. • The outlook for banking and finance is somewhat dimmed because of the weak deman for home mortgages. “Our biggest challenge this year is not so much domestic consumption, but the chal-

By John Rehkop Community banks want to lend more, and they have the capital to do so. But the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and other industr y lobbying groups say a steady inflow of increased banking reguGwaltney lation that emerged from the financial crisis has bogged down many community banks in an avalanche of paper work, and stymied lending and economic growth. “There has been layer upon layer of regulation and thousands of pages that banks have had to absorb and act on,” said North Carolina Bankers Association President and CEO, Peter Gwaltney. “It’s choking economic growth. (Banks) need to be unleashed to do what they do best.” Unlike the Wall Street megabanks, community banks are not staffed or op-

See ECONOMIST Page 15

See REGULATION Page 14

See PAT RILEY Page 14

Economist looks for eco-devo gains By Dave Yochum Look for North Carolina’s lower tax rate to provide a bigger boost to economic development in 2016, as the new 5 percent corporate rate takes hold this year. Michael Brown, a Wells BROWN Fargo economist based in Charlotte, says “we might start seeing a little more of a boost in a couple of years.” That said, there’s still plenty of competition for new and expanding industry from South

HOT PROPERTIES

Pages 24-25

Entrepreneurial columnist Sherre DeMao looks at both sides of the equation Page 12

BT People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 News-e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

pent-up demand for new construction in years,” Riley explains. At the same time, picky buyers are getting exactly what they want: HardRILEY wood floors, no carpet, wide-open floor plans. “Everybody wants outdoor fire-pits and fireplaces, outdoor kitchens,” Riley says. “If there is a dining room, they want maybe a pillar, no walls. They want to spend money on the master bath, bringing the

106 Milford Circle: Mooresville, $1.4 million

Carolina. The Charlotte region is likely to continue to do better in the corporate headquarters department, while South Carolina has an edge in manufacturing, in part due to the availability of skilled labor, Brown says. “Our strength is in the service sector, research and development, financial services, corporate headquarters and the operations in and around those,” said Brown. He forecast a good year for economic development: • The cost of living in Charlotte as well as north and

RECORDS Transactions Cabarrus 16 Mecklenburg 17 Mooresville 17 Foreclosures Cabarrus 18

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Mecklenburg 18 Mooresville 19 Corporations Cabarrus 19 Mecklenburg 20 Mooresville 23

PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID WINSTON-SALEM, NC PERMIT NO. 319

Susan Tillis, a political force in her own right, will speak at the Newsmakers Breakfast March 12 Page 2

High-end realty flawed by glut over $2M Regulations stymie bank lending

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NEWS INSIDE

Business Today - March 2015  
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