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Mid-Atlantic Construction News

May 01, 2007

Baltimore Vacancy Rates Rise
Baltimore, Md. – The Baltimore Business Journal reports that office vacancy rates in Baltimore’s downtown core rose slightly from 10.85 percent to 11.03 percent. Overall vacancy rates in the city rose from 12.8 percent to 13.36 percent. Analysts stated that the figures reflect a typical slowdown during the winter months.

Turbomeca Awarded Grant
Monroe, N.C. – The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the N.C. Economic Investment Committee awarded a $2.5-million grant to Turbomeca Manufacturing, which makes aerospace, defense and communications gear. In addition to the grant, the company will also get $500,000 from the governor’s office. The company will build an aircraft parts manufacturing facility that is expected to create 180 jobs with average salaries of about $42,000.

Charlotte Ranked No. 3 City of the Future
Charlotte, N.C. – The Financial Times group’s fDi magazine ranked Charlotte No. 3 overall in its annual Cities of the Future selections, according to The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte was rated No. 1 in the U.S. in both economic potential and quality of life, No. 3 is best development and investment promotion, and No. 5 in human resources.

In addition, a recently released report by the Charlotte Chamber states that employment in Mecklenburg County grew by 3.1 percent, or more than 17,000, over the last year, and economic forecasts for the next six months to nine months indicate solid growth in the second half of 2007. Businesses have invested $881.1 million in projects during the first quarter of this year, with $3 billion-plus total investment possible for the entire year. During the first quarter, 286 firms announced plans to build 6 million square feet of space and create 3,071 jobs, mostly in the future as projects are completed.

USC Stadium Construction Delayed
Columbia, S.C. – The future neighbors of USC’s new baseball stadium are holding up its excavation permit and construction until an agreement can be reached regarding a forest along the Congaree riverfront. Demolition is nearly completed on the site. According to WIS-TV, at issue is an area of trees on the site. Current plans call for the trees to be cut to make way for two storm water ponds. Nearby neighborhood residents want the trees preserved and the storm water ponds moved to a power line right of way already on the property.

At this point, no more trees will be cut until the appeal is heard, but USC plans to move forward with the current plans unless DHEC makes the change official. DHEC has 60 days to review the permit.

Export Development Program Accepts New Members
Richmond, Va. – The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) has accepted five new companies into the Accessing International Markets (AIM) export development program. The program, launched by VEDP in December 2005, helps Virginia companies pursue international leads in a new market overseas and realize the benefits of exporting. Companies do not need to have export experience to participate in the AIM program, but must agree to visit their target export market prior to graduation.

Each AIM participant has access to $5,000 in capital funds and access to seven private-sector export specialists who provide essential expertise for expansion into international markets. Applications for the June 2007 class are currently being reviewed and are due no later than May 1, 2007. To learn more about the benefits of the AIM program, please contact the AIM Program Manager at (804) 545 -5768 or visit the programs tab at ExportVirginia.org.

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