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Archive for December, 2011

Wilmington City Council welcomes two new members

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Your votes last month brought in two new members to the Wilmington City Council tonight.

Previous city councilwoman, Margaret Haynes, regained a seat on the council. Haynes, a Durham native, had some emotional moments during her address to the public and fellow council members.

Newcomer Neil Anderson, a native of High Point, was joined by his wife and children as he was sworn in tonight.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says he’s looking forward to the new changes.

“I know Margaret because she served for about a year when I was here and she did a great job and I think obviously she’s going to hit the ground running because she has some experience behind her belt,” Saffo said. “Neil Anderson, I’ve just gotten to know as of late. I think he’s got a lot of energy. He’s going to be a great councilperson for our community and will do a good job also.”

Saffo also took another oath tonight to begin a new two-year term.

Family joined councilwoman Laura Padgett as she was sworn in to regain her seat on the council.

It was also a night to say goodbye. Outgoing members Ronald Sparks and Kristi Campos shared some words and hugs with fellow council members.

More: continued here

Police department topic of special Leland council session

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Mayor Walter Futch called the 7:30 p.m. closed session meeting at the behest of retiring Town Manager Bill Farris.

More: continued here

Investors stepping in to revive neighorhoods left for dead after market bust

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The collapse of the housing market led some developers to file for bankruptcy. Neighborhoods they were building were left unfinished. That is, until new investors can come along and breathe new life into the project.

Tidalwalk is a neighborhood on the Intracoastal Waterway in the southern end of New Hanover County. When the housing market crashed, its developer went bankrupt. So Tidalwak sat mostly empty. But now, there’s a flurry of activity here again.

“It’s absolutely essential for our recovery,” said Kyle Corkum, Managing Partner of L-Star, one of two firms, along with Mountain Capital, that joined forces to buy Tidalwalk. “We’ve gotta get these communities back on their feet. If you’re a homeowner that lives in there, in the case of Tidalwalk, there are two people that have houses there. Well it’s not a viable community if there’s only two out of 197.”

Tidalwalk’s investors say buying distressed property isn’t always that easy. You need to do a lot of research, and in most cases you need to pay for that property in cash.

“The only way they can be resurrected is you have to come in and make a big bet with cash and make huge financial invest and then implement a plan, aggressive plan to get these communities back on track,” Corkum said. “It’s not for the faint of heart.”

Realtors say when this happens, it’s a good sign for the housing market.

“They were able to come in, finish the amenities, begin building houses and offer houses at a less expensive price, so they’re more affordable,” realtor Ashley Garner said.

And in this case, builders are confident. They’re constructing several spec homes. Plus, the’ve already written three contracts.

“You’re now putting more people back to work. There are more people in construction jobs, more people selling appliances, carpet, roofing, right? So more jobs are being created,” Corkum said.

More jobs, more homes, more good news for the economy.

Local builder Craig Stevens, with Stevens Fine Homes, has also gone into several distressed neighborhoods and built homes. In fact, he says November was his best month in home sales since 2005.

More: continued here

Fort Fisher hosts holiday open house

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — Christmas came early to an area historic site. The Friends of Fort Fisher hosted a holiday open house today to help visitors get into the holiday spirit.

The free event at the south’s last open port during the Civil War kicked off the holiday season at the fort.

Storyteller Joyce Grear told stories of the African-American experience as Harriett Tubman and shared the Christmas cultural traditions of the Cape Fear region.

“The very fact that we’re having an open house inviting the general public in at a time of the year where it’s generally slow at the historic site, we want them to understand that this is their site in the community,” Fort Fisher Development Director Paul Laird said.

In January 1865, Fort Fisher was the site of the largest American land and sea military assault until World War II.

More: continued here

Homes, boats destroyed in Holden Beach fire

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

The official cause of the fire is being listed as undetermined

More: continued here



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