Applaud: March 2020

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Word Count: 411

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Congratulations This Month (March) to:

To David L. Looper & Company for continuing its fine, and aggressive work on 1 North Center, the 95-unit apartment building in downtown Hickory (across from City Hall) with a scheduled completion time frame of the first quarter of 2021.

As for a reminder and an update on status:

  • The project is literally and visibly rising up from the ground, with Foundation walls 75% complete, towers for stairs and elevators 30% complete. The structural steel is being fabricated for this project.

  • The project offers 95 units total: 65 of which are 1 Bedroom (584 SF to 858 SF); 27 2 Bedroom units (967 SF to 1,144 SF); and 3 three-bedroom units (1,197 SF).

  • There will be space on the lower retail level for a 4,000 +/- SF Restaurant and three 900 to 1200 SF retail shops. No tenant decisions have yet to be announced.

  • The entire block footprint allows for the “possibility of another building on the block; however, no decision has been made as to if, or when, that may occur.

  • Leasing will be handled by Latt Purser & Associates, with Tracy Garlinghouse being the primary leasing contact. No leasing agreements are yet available. (We will announce the availability of leasing agreements when we learn of them. GFB Connect, Inc.)

This project is being widely heralded as a “game changer” for downtown Hickory as there seems to be a number of people who would prefer to live “uptown/downtown” in Hickory with closeness to shopping, restaurants, and City Walk features.

  • The Vault:  A new “gathering place” being established (in progress) in the old BB&T building in Bethlehem, Alexander County, right across the river on Hwy 127. More later.

  • Jeff Allen for his investment and remodeling of an 1880’s building on North Ashe Avenue in Newton to create Novel Taproom  (beer and wine only, though food trucks MAY be present), named as a nod of the head to Jeff’s background working for and around libraries – and, we assume, to the closeness of the Newton Library. Nice move, Jeff! Thanks.

  • Catawba Farms  (Co-Owner Twyla Deese, Master Brewer Franklin Reinhardt, and co-owners Dennis Baucom and Michael Waltuch). Why? Catawba Farms, already a fine farm, bed and breakfast and winery is NOW a brewery. “This is a major milestone for us”, Deese admitted. GREAT move to capitalize on Newton’s aggressive renewal with the expectation of much more after completion of Hwy 16. Nice expansion, Catawba Farms! Timely, wise and thoughtful!!

  • The expected opening of Hickory Bread Cafe in the former Atlanta Bread Company on the corner of Catawba Valley Boulevard and Robinson Road. It is rumored that several former Atlanta Bread employees will be opening the Hickory Bread Café in the coming weeks. Come on, HBC, Hickory is eagerly waiting for this locally-owned entrepreneurial endeavor!

  • Hickory’s Bill McBrayer,  a Human Resources executive with Lexington Home Brands. Bill partnered with four other manufacturers to found the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy, HOWEVER, the applause goes to Bill for being named Vice-Chair of the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges. Bill said in the announcement of his appointment, “I believe workforce education programs are crucial to the future of North Carolina.” Adding, “Students and families are recognizing the value of our community colleges; workforce education is ‘booming’ here.” Congratulations, Bill! Well-deserved and a wise move by the Board.

  • Eric Fulcher and his Design Foundry  (opened in March 2019)for the innovativeness, creativity and boldness of their enlightened vision of what a furniture “community” can be. Written up briefly in the Hickory Daily Record (February 24 issues), Eric describes some of the employee / workplace amenities that make for a more inviting, comfortable and productive work environment. Look for an in-depth “backstory” in a future issue of GFB Monthly highlighting this innovative and exciting redefinition of a traditional “factory/company”. But for now, thank you Eric and your bold ideas that encourage people “who make things” to feel a personal connection to their place of employment!