Charlotte Area Real Estate Leaders to Give Insight into Housing and Commercial Markets

Bill Russell

On Thursday, March 29th from 11:45 am until 1:30 pm, Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce members and guests will get a first hand peek into the future as Allen Tate Company President & COO Pat Riley will speak about the Charlotte regional residential real estate market: both the trends and expectations for 2012.  Riley is joined by Kate Gaither the Owner and Broker for Newport Properties who will focus on commercial real estate in the Lake Norman market.The speakers will give local business owners and employees a look ahead into the residential and commercial real estate market in the Charlotte – Lake Norman region.  The luncheon will take place at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville (15801 NorthStone Drive).  The cost is $16 for Chamber members and $20 for non members.  Members can sign up via the Chamber website or call the Chamber to reserve a seat at 704-892-1922.  Seating is limited and the Chamber encourages guests to RSVP before Wednesday, to ensure a seat. The Luncheon is sponsored by Allen Tate Mortgage and Business Today / Cornelius Today.

Bill Russell, president of the Chamber states, “Housing plays a critical role in the overall economy as we witnessed with the downturn in 2007.  The deep recession we have all experienced was brought about in large part by the collapse of the housing market.  Real estate, both residential and commercial play a vital role in the economic health of the Lake Norman region.  In addition to the direct economic impact of residential and commercial construction, there are a significant number of ripple effects to businesses that are suppliers to the construction companies such as architectural firms, building supply, and trucking which then in turn frequent restaurants, retail stores, health care facilities and the list goes on.”

Kate Gaither

The good news is there are signs of improvement.  According to a report released March 22nd by the National Association of Home Builders and First American Title Insurance Company, Charlotte is one of 99 cities whose housing markets are improving.  “With nearly 100 metros showing consistent improvement in local economic and housing conditions, more consumers are feeling confident enough to take advantage of the buyer’s market this spring,”  Kurt Pfotenhauer, Vice Chairman of the First American Title Insurance Company said in the statement.

“Local Lake Norman realtors are seeing those signs of improvement,” added Russell.  “Many of our realtor chamber members and construction related businesses are starting to see things head back in a very positive direction which should bode very well for business at the lake.”

Pat Riley

Pat Riley joined the Allen Tate Company in 1992 and has led its growth in the Charlotte region.  With Riley as its President and COO, Allen Tate Company maintains its rankings as the No. # 1 real estate company in the Carolinas and among the top independent real estate companies in the nation.

Kate Gaither created Newport Properties in June of 1997 supervising one personal assistant and providing a broad range of real estate and consulting services for the market area which includes primarily Lake Norman, Catawba Valley and surrounding communities. The company now includes a current staff of 22 sales persons who work as independent contractors and a Property Management Division with over 80 rental properties and a Commercial Division with 12 sales associates. Newport has been named in the Charlotte Business Journal as one of the top 20 companies in the area.

Lake Norman Chamber President e-Brief Newsletter

Lake Norman Chamber Members and stakeholders:

 Thursday Luncheon to focus on Real Estate / Economic Forecast

Pat Riley

This Thursday, March 29th from 11:45 am until 1:30 pm, Lake Norman Chamber members and guests will get a first hand peak into the future as Allen Tate Company President & CEO Pat Riley will speak about the Charlotte regional residential real estate market: both the trends and expectations for 2012.  Riley is joined by Kate Gaither the Owner and Broker for Newport Properties who will focus on commercial real estate in the Lake Norman market.

Our speakers will give local business owners and employees a look ahead in to the residential and commercial real estate market in the Charlotte- Lake Normanr egion.  The luncheon will take place at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville (15801 NorthStone Drive).  The cost is $16 for members and $20 for non members.  Members can sign up via the website or call the Chamber to reserve your spot today at 704-892-1922.  Seating is limited as we expect to sell out and we encourage you to RSVP before Wednesday, to ensure your seat. The Luncheon is sponsored by Allen Tate Mortgage and Business Today / Cornelius Today.

N.C. Speaker Tillis addresses Lake Norman CEO’s on state priorities

N.C. Speaker Thom Tillis met with larger corporate members of the Lake Norman Chamber and stakeholders of the Lake Norman Regional EDC this past week at a breakfast meeting held at The Park Huntersville. Speaker Tillis spoke briefly on the success of last year’s legislative session when it comes to making North Carolina more competitive for business.  Many of those accomplishments are highlighted in the NC Chamber’s NC Jobs Win on their website.

Bill Russell, NC Speaker Thom Tillis, and Jerry Broadway

Speaker Tillis spoke about improvements with education reform that should focus on student outcomes first and jobs in the classrooms second.  Speaker Tillis stated any real plan for reform had to include rewarding high performance educators. Perhaps the most time was spent on a looming North Carolina challenge – repaying the $2.8 billion to the federal government for unemployment insurance.  North Carolina has the 5th highest debt of any state in the country.  Several CEO’s pointed out that the amount of dollars paid out on unemployment insurance equaled the salary which could be used to hire productive employees.  The Speaker talked about efforts at restructuring the Employment Security Commission and other steps which must be made to retire the debt and address a broken system.

He went on to prioritize other issues impacting business such as reforming the tax code and finding means to address road and highway improvements outside of the traditional gas tax which cannot address the budget gap between funding and transportation improvement projects.

Nominate a Business Today for Diversity Award

There is still time to nominate someone for the second annual “Champions of Diversity” awards. The Diversity Council at the Lake Norman Chamber has extended nominations for the awards which recognize those who forge a path in diversity, both personally and professionally. Last year’s honorees were Nannie Potts, the first African American mayor of Cornelius as well as the first woman mayor of Cornelius, and The McIntosh Law Firm and Duke Energy for their demonstrated support of a diverse workplace and community. Nominations can be accepted through noon Tuesday, March 27.

The public is invited to submit nominations for individuals or businesses that support efforts to attain and inspire diversity through innovation, education and collaboration. To submit nominations for businesses, download and complete the Champion of Diversity Nomination Form and submit to Jack Stevens at the Chamber.  You may also submit an individual for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Forms are also found online at Business Today at any Aquesta Bank or Insurance location.  Any questions, please call Dave Yochum, Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council Chair at 704-895-1335.

Are you plugged into Social Media?  Marketing for FREE on the Internet

Lake Norman Chamber members are invited to participate in a free workshop this Monday, March 26th 3:00 to 4:00 pm.  Many of our Chamber Members have Face Book pages, but many more do not fully utilize Fan Pages or know how to generate traffic to business sites.  Join Kevin McBryde of McBryde Website Design as he gives tips on how to use Face Book to promote your business.

Also, don’t miss an opportunity to join the Lake Norman Chamber’s Group on Face Book, our Fan Page, our LinkIn Group Site and follow us on Twitter as we keep you up to date on Chamber events, programs and community news.

Lake Norman Chamber President’s e-Brief Newsletter March 19, 2012

Lake Norman Chamber Members and Stakeholders

 Focus On the Red Line

 The Red Line continues to be a source of discussion with many in the business community who both support and oppose commuter rail to North Mecklenburg and South Iredell.  The Lake Norman Chamber has long advocated that commuter rail is one component of an overall comprehensive transportation plan consisting of road, highway, bus, rail, bike paths, and pedestrian walking trails that are needed for our growing and diverse community.  While the Chamber has not yet reached conclusions on any finance and business plans, we feel it’s important to hear from stakeholders which are most impacted – those within the Special Assessment District.    

Next Friday, March 23rd, the Chamber’s Focus Friday from 8-9:30 am will feature Bill Thunberg, executive director of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission along with Matt Gallagher of Gandy Communities and Bob McIntosh of the McIntosh Law Firm, PC.  These individuals, while supporting a rail concept, have expressed reservations about the plan unveiled in January.   Gallagher and McIntosh are both property owners in the SAD and will give perspectives of a developer and small business.  The Chamber encourages the membership to attend this informative session which is open to all Chamber members and invited guests.  Focus Friday is sponsored by DavidsonNews.net CorneliusNews.Net.

Real Estate Forecast Luncheon:

One of the very positive signs of encouragement in this year’s Expo was participation by home builders, home improvement, and real estate businesses.  On March 29th join us for a Real Estate Forecast Luncheon at NorthStone Country Club as Pat Riley, President & CEO of Allen Tate Realtors discusses residential real estate news and trends.  Kate Gaither, Owner and Broker at Newport Properties will be on hand to share her insight on commercial activity in the South Iredell and North Mecklenburg markets.  The event is sponsored by Allen Tate Mortgage and Business Today / Cornelius Today.    To register visit the PowerLuncheon registration on the website or call the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  The cost is $16 for members and $20 for non-members.

Mecklenburg County Real Estate Revaluation

Property owners, both residential and business, have expressed frustration with the Mecklenburg County Tax Revaluation process particularly when it comes to both the appraisal and the appeals.  The Chamber has held two Focus Fridays on the subject in 2011 and last month.  Several business owners have reached out to the Chamber to get involved and the Chamber Board will review the matter this month.

In the meantime, business owners and residential property owners who feel they have been unfairly appraised can join a local effort of Lake Norman property owners by visiting the Facebook page that was developed to assist with this matter entitled Flawed Revaluation.

Other Legislative Issues

The 2011 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly was a great success for business and industry in NC and only a glimpse of what 2012 promises to offer.

The new Republican leadership promised to focus on regulatory reform, tort reform, reducing taxes, reforming workers’ compensation, and addressing critical issues at the Employment Security Commission, all in an effort of creating jobs in NC.

Below, please find a quick summary of priority business and industry legislation that was ratified during the 2011 Session.

SB532–ESC/Jobs Reform

This legislation merged the Employment Security Commission under the leadership of the Department of Commerce. The new law clarifies benefit eligibility language and further defines criteria for ineligibility.

SB99-Reform UI Tax Structure/Expedite Analysis

The state debt to the federal government of over $2.6 Billion will continue to have a negative effect on business and industry in NC. This legislation required that the Department of Commerce oversee a comprehensive study of the state’s debt and current tax UI structure and devise a plan to pay the debt. The study is currently underway and will be reported on in a future edition of Legislative Watch.

HB36-Employers and Local Government Must Use E-Verify

This bill requires all public and private employers with a staff of 25 or more to use E-Verify when hiring new employees.

HB709–Protect and Put NC Back to Work

The changes to the states workers comp laws were the strongest reforms in a decade. A cap of 500 weeks on all new workers’ compensation claims, the standards for suitable employment has been revised to encourage employees to return to work. Employers will now have access deemed necessary to employee’s medical information and physicians. The North Carolina Industrial Commission gubernatorial appointments must undergo legislative confirmation as well as new requirements to comply with rule making procedures under the Administrative Procedures Act.

Former Cornelius Mayor Nannie Potts received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from County Commissioner Karen Bentley.

Diversity Breakfast

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will hold its second annual “Champions of Diversity Breakfast” on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at the Birkdale Golf Club in Huntersville.  Awards will be presented for Lifetime Achievement and to businesses that have demonstrated their support and commitment to a diverse workplace.  Last year, Ms Nannie Potts, the first African American female Mayor of the Town of Cornelius was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award with McIntosh Law Firm and Duke Energy collecting the business awards.

The public is invited to submit nominations for individuals or businesses that support efforts to attain and inspire diversity through innovation, education and collaboration. To submit nominations for businesses, download and complete the Champion of Diversity Nomination Form and submit to Jack Stevens at the Chamber.  You may also submit an individual for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Forms are also found online at Business Today at any Aquesta Bank or Insurance location.  Any questions, please call Dave Yochum, Lake Norman Chamber Diversity Council Chair at 704-895-1335.

Lake Norman Chamber e-Brief for March 9, 2012

Lake Norman Chamber Members and Stakeholders:

 Lake Norman Chamber Business Expo

Peoples Bank - Best of Show Booth

Last Monday’s Business Expo was all we could have hoped for and more!  A special “Thank You” to all our exhibitors and guests who made it an outstanding business to business event.  If you have some great photos you took or have a wonderful success story you would like to share, consider emailing me.  We will try to share some great networking encounters and positive feedback in the April newsletter and on our new website when it is unveiled soon.

Real Estate Forecast Luncheon

One of the very positive signs of encouragement in this year’s Expo was participation by home builders, home improvement, and real estate businesses.  On March 29th join us for a Real Estate Forecast Luncheon at NorthStone Country Club as Pat Riley, President & CEO of Allen Tate Realtors discusses residential real estate news and trends.  Kate Gaither, Owner and Broker at Newport Properties will be on hand to share her insight on commercial activity in the South Iredell and North Mecklenburg markets.  The event is sponsored by Allen Tate Mortgage and Business Today / Cornelius Today.

To register visit the PowerLuncheon registration on the website or call the Chamber at 704-892-1922.  The cost is $16 for members and $20 for non-members.

Diversity Breakfast

The Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce will hold its second annual “Champions of Diversity Breakfast” on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at the Birkdale Golf Club in Huntersville.  Save this date and registration information will follow in the next week.2011 Diversity Award Winner - The McIntosh Law Firm, PC

Awards will be presented for Lifetime Achievement and to businesses that have demonstrated their support and commitment to a diverse workplace.  Last year, Ms Nannie Potts, the first African-American female Mayor of the Town of Cornelius was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award with McIntosh Law Firm and Duke Energy collecting the business awards.

The public is invited to submit nominations for individuals or businesses that support efforts to attain and inspire diversity through innovation, education and collaboration. To submit nominations for businesses, download and complete the Champion of Diversity Nomination Form and submit to Jack Stevens by March 16, 2012.  You may also submit an individual for the Lifetime Achievement Award.  Forms are also found online at Business Today at any Aquesta Bank or Insurance location.  Any questions, please call Dave Yochum, LN Chamber Diversity Council Chair at 704-895-1335.

Operation Medicine Drop & Shredding Event

On Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the Cornelius Police Department will host a combined Operation Medicine Drop and Document Shredding Event in the parking lot of Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue. 

Operation Medicine Drop is a FREE event that offers the public a safe and secure way to dispose of their medications. Residents can dispose of expired, unused prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications and keep them out of the wrong hands.  Unintentional poisoning from prescription medications is on the rise in North Carolina.  Since 1999, nearly 4,500 people have died from prescription poisoning.  Also, disposing of medicine in the trash or by flushing them down the toilet is harmful for the environment.  We’ll take them safely off your hands, no questions asked!  Operation Medicine Drop cannot accept biohazard materials. 

The Document Shredding Event, sponsored by Cintas Document Management, is also FREE to the community.  The public is encouraged to bring documents such as obsolete tax documents, financial statements, cancelled checks, insurance documents, business records or any records that they want safely destroyed to this event. There is no need to remove clips, staples, or binders from these documents.  Document shredding is an opportunity for the public to learn about the dangers of identity theft and take action in preventing identity theft from occurring in the community.

For more information about the March 17  Operation Medicine Drop and Document Shredding Event contact Sgt. Brinzey or Betsy Shores at the Cornelius Police Department at (704) 892-1363 or visit www.cornelius.org/police

Huntersville Behavioral Health Hospital

This past Monday’s decision by the Huntersville Town Board to reject a proposed 66-bed behavioral health hospital is very disappointing.  The Charlotte Observer wrote an editorial this past Wednesday reflecting the need and how our town missed a great opportunity to meet the health care needs of local residents, not currently addressed, when it comes to behavioral health.  I shared with many my own past personal experiences dealing with my grandparent’s health issues on my blog.

Some of you may know in addition to my role at the Chamber, I am blessed to serve as an advisor to a group of special needs young people as the Lake Norman Kiwanis Aktion Club Advisor.  I chose to work with this dynamic group years ago in large part, not because I have a family member with a mental disability, but rather how uncomfortable I was early in my life being near special needs people.  I now feel it is a rare gift from our creator that I was given the opportunity to work with these special kids and wonderful young people in our Kiwanis Aktion Club.

Indeed, none ask to be treated special, they merely ask to be treated the same.  I believe, as many do in our community, folks who deal with depression, anxiety, chemical dependency, and other behavioral issues should have the same opportunity for quality health care as someone who might visit the urgent care center because they have the flu or a broken limb.

We now know that one in four families have someone in their family that needs this type or treatment but we often forget or turn our heads to the fact sometimes these patients are themselves children or perhaps our grandparents or perhaps that man or woman returning home from serving our country.

Kiwanis Aktion Club 2011 Coat Drive

Last Monday, our elected leadership in the Town of Huntersville made a difficult decision.  I respect every one of them who weighed the needs of the few and the many.  While I do respect the decision makers and the process, I hope and pray that Carolina HealthCare System pursues the goal of bringing a hospital to Lake Norman. 

I have hope that fear and intimidation when it comes to understanding mental health does not trump common sense and compassion.  When the generation who inherit what we are building today reflect back, I hope they recall we were business and community leaders who put others before self. Who used the talents and gifts our creator bestowed on us to create a community that is a livening testament to creativity and the goodness of mankind… and we would settle for nothing less than our absolute best.

Lake Norman Chamber President’s e-Brief for March 2, 2012

Start your week with the Best in Business

 

Attend the Business Expo Monday March 5th 10 am until 5 pm at the Belk Arena

 

If you are not signed up to be an exhibitor in the Charlotte region’s largest business trade show – The Lake Norman Business Expo, don’t miss an opportunity to network with 1,500 business decision makers as well as gain exposure with 500-750 local customers, clients or residents attending the business to business event.  We now have approximately 140 businesses and 25 non-profit organizations participating as exhibitors spotlight their products and services.

 

In addition, we have three Lake Norman restaurants serving lunches for only $8 (inclusive). They are Fox and Hound – Birkdale, the Honey Baked Ham Company & Café, and Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails.  The menus can be found on the Expo website.  We have also lined up some great entertainment including a dance exhibition and Business Fashion Show.

 

The Expo will be held this Monday, March 5th 10 am until 5 pm at the Davidson College Belk Arena.  There is no charge to attend and the public is invited to participate.  There will also be a post event wrap up at The Flatiron Grill in Davidson 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

 

Huntersville Behavioral Health Hospital

 

The Huntersville Town Board is set to vote on a behavioral health hospital at the corner of NC 115 and Verhoeff Drive.  The 66-bed facility would be operated by Carolinas Healthcare Systems.  The Chamber supports this facility and I have written about the need for this facility on my blog in addition to a letter of support that the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce sent to the Town Board this past week.

 

The project was recommended earlier this week by the Huntersville Town Planning Board.  Anyone who wishes to encourage town Board Members to vote in favor can contact them by phone and email.  Their information is on the town’s website.  The project would bring 150 jobs to the area on the average of $65,000 each in addition to supplying the critical health need for our community.

 

The Board will vote on the measure at their 6:30 pm meeting Monday night.

 

Huntersville Quad Left Intersection

 

The Huntersville Quadrant Left becomes Operational (at the corner of NC Hyw 21 and NC Hwy 73  (exit 25) at 10 p.m. on March 7th.   Construction will continue through March and the entire project should wrap up sometime in April.  Putting the quadrant left intersection into operation next week will allow crews to safely complete other portions of the project. 

 

Under the quadrant roadway intersection, motorists seeking to head north on US  21 from NC  73 eastbound will go through the current intersection of NC  73/US  21 and make a right turn onto an upgraded and improved Holly Point Drive and then turn right on to US 21 to head north. Motorists seeking to travel US  21 southbound from NC  73 westbound will be required to turn left at Holly Point Drive then left onto US 21 instead of making the left at the US 21/NC 73 intersection. According to NC DOT, this revised traffic movement will make the intersection safer and more efficient

 

For more information on this project, please visit the Quadrant Left link on the Town of Huntersville website.

 

Operation Medicine Drop & Shredding Event

 

On Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, the Cornelius Police Department will host a combined Operation Medicine Drop and Document Shredding Event in the parking lot of Cornelius Town Hall,21445 Catawba Avenue. 

Operation Medicine Drop is a FREE event that offers the public a safe and secure way to dispose of their medications. Residents can dispose of expired, unused prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications and keep them out of the wrong hands.  Unintentional poisoning from prescription medications is on the rise in North Carolina.  Since 1999, nearly 4,500 people have died from prescription poisoning.  Also, disposing of medicine in the trash or by flushing them down the toilet is harmful for the environment.  We’ll take them safely off your hands, no questions asked!  Operation Medicine Drop cannot accept biohazard materials. 

 

The Document Shredding Event, sponsored by Cintas Document Management, is also FREE to the community.  The public is encouraged to bring documents such as obsolete tax documents, financial statements, cancelled checks, insurance documents, business records or any records that they want safely destroyed to this event. There is no need to remove clips, staples, or binders from these documents.  Document shredding is an opportunity for the public to learn about the dangers of identity theft and take action in preventing identity theft from occurring in the community.

 

For more information about the March 17 Operation Medicine Drop and Document Shredding Event contact Sgt. Brinzey or Betsy Shores at the Cornelius Police Department at (704) 892-1363 or visit www.cornelius.org/police.