Metro-area foreclosures were way down for April.
According to RealtyTrac, which publishes foreclosure numbers for states and metro areas, there were 133 foreclosure filings in April. That’s down from 269 in April 2012. Yes, a 50 percent drop.
Driving past the Starbucks, I see walls enclosing half of the plant and some structural steel showing on the other half.
Starbucks is the first plant to go up inside the Augusta Corporate Park in south Augusta. Workers should be making coffee packets there in 2014.
The company is spending $172 million on the facility and will hire 140 people. The plant will be Starbucks first facility in the world to roast, package and ship soluble coffee products.
When International Paper shut down one of its three paperboard machines at the end of February, it eliminated 75 positions from its payroll.
Officials for the company say they were able to accommodate the job reduction without forced layoffs.
There were retirements and transfers to other parts of the plant. IP also offered “enhanced” voluntary severance packages.
After the downsizing, IP still has 740 workers making paperboard in south Augusta.
An Augusta company won honorable mention in a federal app challenge.
Exponent Design Works LLC won the Fuel Efficiency Innovation award of the Department of Energy’s Apps for Vehicles Challenge.
Their smartphone application, Fuel Economy Coach, teaches drivers good habits that will improve their vehicle fuel economy and save money.
The local economic index is up.
The Augusta Economic Leading Index is run by Georgia Regents University Hull College of Business. It combines local, regional and national economic data to indicate future growth or decline.
The latest index, released Monday, deals with January. The index increased 1.7 percent from December. It also happens to be up 5.4 percent from January 2012.
The business college writes that it thinks this is a solid start to the year.
Help Wanted: There are going to be 2,500 job openings in Aiken County. And there might be no one to fill them.
On Friday morning, the Economic Development Partnership released the results of a workforce study at a summit designed to correct the coming problems.
There was a silver lining in the Great Recession. It delayed retirements. Well, those retirements are coming.
There are 6,400 workers age 55 and older who will retire between now and 2017. There are only 3,900 people between the ages of 15 and 19 to replace them.
Home2 Suites by Hilton, located in Augusta Exchange near the Savannah River Banking Co. building, is finished and open.
The four-story, 123-suite hotel is the second one of that brand in Georgia. Its focus is on business travelers and extended-stay guests, which is why it has a laundry and fitness area in addition to the standard hotel amenities.
Hilton says there are 70 Home2 Suites being developed across the country.
TWEETS FROM @SCUTTLEBIZ FOR THE WEEK:
A few people have noticed a lot of trees being cleared off land on Peach Orchard Road.
A 252-unit apartment complex is being built there on 25 acres.
There are site plans filed with the city for Augusta Place Apartments at 3731 Peach Orchard Road, which is south of Tobacco Road.
That address once belonged to Classic Printing.
The complex owner, East Lansing, Mich.-based Augusta Place Apartments LLC, was formed in September, according to its filing with the Secretary of State.
The big tally of the economic power of the Augusta metro area was almost $20 billion in 2011.
Gross domestic product in the Augusta area grew to $19.9 billion in 2011, up from $19.1 billion in 2010, placing Augusta 108th among metro areas in the country.
Yes, 2011 is the latest number that federal statisticians have got and they just released it.
Augusta was producing $18.2 billion in goods and services in 2008, says the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.