Three days after Father’s Day, I became a father for the fourth time. This time my wife and I had a daughter. She’s cute as a button and will be ruling her three brothers before we know it. So my two-week paternity leave is over, and I’m back in the business editor’s chair.
HONORABLE MENTION: Augusta’s Starbucks plant was an honorable mention in Site Selection magazine when it ranked the top economic development deals in North America.
Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial Corp. is redesigning a portion of downtown Knoxville.
The Augusta-based firm unveiled plans on Tuesday for 23 acres of waterfront property where a hospital once stood. The site will have 300 luxury Class A apartment units overlooking the Tennessee River, 225 student housing suites, a 150 room waterfront hotel and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space.
If you shop at Reid’s or Harveys, the new owner of those grocery chains claims they are going to stay independent and not much will change.
Behind the scenes, the owner will switch from Food Lion to Bi-Lo. Reid’s is located in Aiken County. There’s a Harveys in Burke County.
On Memorial Day, Bi-Lo Holdings announced that it would buy those chains (along with Sweetbay, which you’ll find in Florida) for $265 million in cash – no extreme couponing involved – from Delhaize Group, which is the parent company for Food Lion.
Alli seems to be back in the good graces of the accounting department at GlaxoSmithKline.
The weight-loss drug, which is made in Aiken, was a drag on Glaxo’s books last year because of supply chain problems.
There was a three-month manufacturing freeze because Swiss drug company Roche could not provide the active ingredient – orlisat – because of quality problems in a different South Carolina facility. As supplies of Alli dwindled, Glaxo said it didn’t sell a single pill to pharmacies or retailers for three months.
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.