News and Events

Brunswick Realtors: Home Sales Reached 7-year High In 2015

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By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 26, 2016

The number of homes sold in Brunswick County in 2015 rose more than 23 percent compared to the previous year, according to statistics released this week by the Brunswick County Association of Realtors.  

The figures represent a seven-year high for the BCAR'S MLS. In addition to 517 more units sold in 2015, total dollars from sales jumped 31 percent, and the average sales price increased more than 7 percent over 2014.

“The numbers are impressive and moving in a very positive direction,” said Cynthia Cumbie, CEO of BCAR, in an email Monday evening.

Read the full story here.

New incubator looks to spur manufacturing in Brunswick

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The 4,900-square-foot facility will be able to host 3 businesses

Published: Monday, January 25, 2016 at 12:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2016 at 3:55 p.m.

LELAND -- Small manufacturing businesses in Brunswick County will soon have a little bit of help.

Tuesday, Brunswick County Community College will host a ribbon cutting at the Brunswick Business and Industry Incubator. Located at the college's Leland Center, the incubator will be the first of its kind in the county.

"Having an incubator here in Brunswick County is very, very important," said Michael DiTullo, the county's economic development director, who previously worked as managing director of the Orange County Business Accelerator in New York state.

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Sales In Some Brunswick Neighborhoods Broke Records In 2015

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By Cece Nunn, posted Jan 25, 2016

As new residents continued to flock to parts of southeastern North Carolina from colder states, some Brunswick County communities broke home-sale records in 2015.

On the southern end of the county, St. James Plantation celebrated one of its best years “since the start of the 21st century,” with nearly $60 million in sales and more than $80 million in new home construction, said Dan Kingsbury, vice president of sales and marketing.

“We continue to benefit from the continuing migration of retirees from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to the North Carolina Coast,” Kingsbury said in a news release. “We expect that trend will continue to drive sales for the foreseeable future as more of the [baby-boomer] generation reaches retirement age and starts thinking about leaving the snow and cold weather behind.”

To read the full article, click here.

Brunswick County’s new jobs recruiter outlines his vision

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Posted: Nov 25, 2015 5:24 PM EST Updated: Nov 29, 2015 5:24 PM EST

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County Economic Development has a new leader. Michael DiTullo took over the role at the beginning of November after 25 years of business recruitment experience in New York’s Hudson River Valley.

DiTullo said the Brunswick County businesses he’s visited so far seem to be on an upswing.

“Many of them are adding to their workforce,” DiTullo said. “They’re investing in capacity. They’re buying new equipment. There’s a sense of confidence that the slowdown if you will has slowed down and that the county is on the move.”

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New economic development director eager to bring jobs to Brunswick

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Published: Friday, October 30, 2015 at 4:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 30, 2015 at 4:35 p.m.

ST JAMES -- After 19 months of back-and-forth between his longtime home in the Hudson River Valley and his new home in St. James, Michael DiTullo is ready to live full-time under the same roof as his wife again.

He's also ready to start his job as Brunswick County's economic development director. DiTullo has already met with some business leaders and attended a community forum focused on small businesses even though he doesn't officially start the job until Monday.

For DiTullo, economic development is equal parts new corporate investment, retaining the jobs you already have and creating an entrepreneurial spirit.

Read the full story here.

RTM lite USA to be First Tenant in Brunswick Community College Incubator

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RTM lite USA announced today that it has chosen the Brunswick Community College Business Incubator for their plastics injection molding operation.  An example of the products they will manufacture at  this location is the fin found on surfboards.  RTM lite USA is an Australian company that will become incorporated in the state of North Carolina, moving their manufacturing process from China to the United States.   The project will create approximately six to fourteen new jobs during the first two years of operations, with an additional five to eight sales people located across the US and neighboring countries.     

“We look forward to beginning operations at our manufacturing facility in the Brunswick Community College Business Incubator,” said Scott Crump, President of RTM lite USA.  “Brunswick County’s central East Coast location and business-friendly environment were major factors in choosing the location to bring our manufacturing processes to the United States.  The Brunswick Community College Leland Center’s close proximity and access to the Port of Wilmington will facilitate quick distribution of our product to customers located across the globe.  The Business Incubator’s location within the Brunswick Community College Leland Center provides quality education, one-on-one business start-up counseling, resources, referrals, career and workforce training opportunities and the competitive edge businesses need to succeed.  RTM lite USA explored several real estate options in Brunswick County, as well as surrounding communities, and we chose the facility that could meet our aggressive timeline to start operations and accommodate future growth.  Production is scheduled to begin in October 2013.”  

“The location of RTM lite USA in the Brunswick Community College Business Incubator is great news for Brunswick County and an excellent fit with the announcement today of the expansion of this incubator,” said Jim Bradshaw, Director of Brunswick County Economic Development Commission.  “The Business Incubator is representative of the great partnership between the county and Brunswick Community College.  The existing and future incubator space at Brunswick Community College was designed to attract small businesses and entrepreneurs by providing affordable space with professional staff assistance to begin their operations. Though the entrepreneur may only start with three to five jobs when in the incubator, by the time they leave the incubator and can afford to set up their own operations, a much larger investment with additional employees will have a much better impact on the region’s economy.”

The Brunswick Community College Business Incubator in Brunswick Community College's Leland Center, located in the Leland Industrial Park, maintains a commitment to economic development by providing educational programs to the community that enhance marketplace knowledge, skills and abilities.  The Leland Center responds rapidly and effectively to meet the needs of business and industry through its adaptability.  The business and industry services provided by the Center include: work-based assessments, pre-employment training, trades programs, entrepreneurial counseling and seminars, computer labs, distance learning capabilities, and customized training.  The same talented and responsive staff that operate the BCC Leland Center oversee and maintain the Incubator.   The Incubator has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the EDA and Golden Leaf for expansion, eliminating any mortgage on the facility.

Brunswick Community College Announces New Incubator and EDC Announces First Incubator Tenant

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Brunswick Community College issued a double-barreled economic development announcement at a news conference Monday.

The news conference, held at BCC's Leland campus and headlined by U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.-7), detailed the launch of BCC’s small business incubator, to be built at the college’s Leland workforce development center. McIntyre made official the $400,000 grant that will fund the new facility: $200,000 will come from the N.C. Golden Leaf Foundation; the other $200,000 through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The Golden Leaf Foundation awards grants to nonprofits and governmental entities across North Carolina, focusing on three priorities: agriculture, job creation and retention, and workforce preparedness, according to the foundation’s website.

On the heels of that announcement, officials disclosed that the incubator already has its first tenant. Jim Bradshaw, executive director of Brunswick County Economic Development, said that Rtmlite USA, a new company that will manufacture and distribute surfboard fins, will move into the new facility in the very near future.

Currently, the Leland campus of BCC can accommodate one start-up business, but because a tenant business is housed within the workforce training building, it is limited in terms of its size, activity and hours of operation.

The new small business incubator will consist of 2,800 square feet of renovated space at a corner of the existing campus building – an area with its own entrance – and an adjoining 2,100 square feet of new space in a prefab structure.

BCC president Susanne Adams said that the college’s partners in the incubator initiative are its Small Business Center, SCORE, University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), the UNCW- affiliated Small Business and Technology Development Center, and the region’s four chambers of commerce.

According to Adams, the new incubator – which should be completed by next summer – will house three or four startup ventures.

“The goal will be for each business to create up to 20 jobs each and graduate from the incubator in three years,” she said.

Scott Crump, founder of Rtmlite USA, said that he already has a core of four people helping him launch his company, which is an offshoot of a surfboard company in southern California. The new business will move into the renovated space at BCC-Leland in two to three weeks, Crump said, and will begin hiring additional people at that time.

“We hope to have 15 employees by the end of the year and outgrow the incubator in two years,” he added.

Rtmlite USA will work with the community college’s workforce development team to train its new employees for what Crump termed a “medium-tech” enterprise that uses a resin transfer molding (RTM) process to make surfboard fins, which Crump said need to be replaced fairly often, llike replacing a car's tires.

Currently, almost all surfboard fins are made in China, causing problems with product quality and supply, Crump said.

Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park Receives CSX Select Site Designation

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CSX announced today that the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park in Brunswick County, North Carolina, has been designated a CSX Select Site. Select Sites are locations for manufacturing projects along the CSX network that can progress rapidly because standard land use issues have been addressed, and the site is ready for development following a comprehensive due diligence process.

“We are excited to add this property to the Select Site program,” said Clark Robertson, assistant vice president, regional development, CSX. “The Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park site is competitive and delivers on our program objectives to provide industrial companies with easier development decisions, and faster speed to market.”

“Through the Select Site program, we can increase speed to market and lower up-front development risk for companies seeking industrial property for manufacturing operations,” said Robertson. “This program also helps communities identify and prepare sites that can compete for new investments and job creation.”

CSX introduced the Select Site program in 2012 to better serve customers in their own backyards by adding rail transport access routes for some of the premier manufacturing properties in the eastern U.S. CSX partnered with The Austin Company, a nationally recognized site selection firm, to screen candidate sites and assist communities with the application and certification process.

“The Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park offers a large, rail-served industrial property located less than 20 miles from the Port of Wilmington,” said Jonathan Gemmen, senior location consultant, The Austin Company.  “This is an ideal site for those manufacturers with an international supply-chain or who serve overseas markets.”

To receive CSX Select Site designation, the location must meet a rigorous list of criteria, including infrastructure and utility availability, environmental reviews, appropriate zoning and entitlement, air quality permitting, rail serviceability, proximity to highways or interstates, and other attributes. Once certified, the sites are featured on a new user-friendly web portal that includes press releases, promotional materials and direct marketing to site selection professionals.

In addition to the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park, CSX has designated 11 other sites located across CSX’s 23-state service territory.

To learn more about CSX Select Sites online, visit

For details about CSX operations in North Carolina, visit
About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company.  It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products.  For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development.  Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides.  It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike.  More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at Like us on Facebook (  and follow us on Twitter (

About the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park
The Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park is a 1,100+ acre industrial development approximately 10 miles west of the Town of Leland in Brunswick County, NC.  The park is strategically located adjacent to both U.S. 74-76 and the CSX mainline.  Representing only a portion of the larger industrial development, this 416-acre CSX Select Site is one of the few large, rail-served industrial sites fully-served by utilities.  In 2016, the opening of the next phase of Interstate 140 will provide this property a direct route to Interstate 40 and the Wilmington International Airport.

Lee Controls to Locate Manufacturing and Headquarters Operation Near Southport

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Governor Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that Lee Controls, LLC will locate its manufacturing and headquarters operations in Brunswick County.  The company plans to create 77 new jobs and invest $2.46 million over the next three years near Southport.

“This project demonstrates how reforming the tax code can become an important tool for economic development,” said Governor McCrory. “We welcome Lee Controls to our state and look forward to seeing more products made right here in North Carolina.”

Lee Controls, LLC is a world-class manufacturer of round rail products. The company produces precision linear motion components, including linear precision balls, ceramic, and Teflon® bearings, pillow blocks, and accessories such as carriage locks, carriage plates, and ball screws.

“North Carolina has the highly-skilled workforce that companies need to be competitive in a global economy,” said Sharon Decker, North Carolina Secretary of Commerce. “Lee Control’s decision to locate in Brunswick County will provide much-needed employment opportunities for this region in North Carolina.”

Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $39,649 plus benefits. The Brunswick County average annual wage is $33,174.

“North Carolina’s overall lower cost of doing business was a major reason why Lee Control chose to relocate to Brunswick County,” said Glen Michalske, President of Lee Controls. “We applaud the State’s recent tax reform, which allows us to reinvest in our employees and the future growth of our business. We are delighted to join the North Carolina community.”

The project was made possible, in part, by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $40,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds.  These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.

“Our recent efforts to reform the tax code are already making North Carolina more attractive to employers,” said Sen. Bill Rabon. “We welcome Lee Controls and wish them continued success here in Brunswick County.”

“We’re excited that Lee Controls is coming to Brunswick County,” said Rep. Frank Iler. “Our state’s top-notch workforce and lower cost of doing business allows companies to grow their business and compete in global marketplace.”

Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, Brunswick County Economic Development Commission, Brunswick County and the City of Southport.

-International Logistics Park of North Carolina receives designation as North Carolina Certified Site-

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 Bolivia, NC – December 17, 2012 – The Brunswick County Economic Development Commission received formal notice on Friday that the International Logistics Park of North Carolina has been designated as a North Carolina Certified Site.   The purpose of North Carolina’s Certified Sites Program is to provide a statewide inventory of industrial sites that have undergone a rigorous pre-qualification process to ensure they meet a consistent set of standards.  A Certified Site reduces the risks associated with development by providing detailed information about a site, including price and availability, utilities, access, environmental concerns and potential development costs. 

 “Receiving this designation from the North Carolina Department of Commerce allows us to aggressively market this very unique site to clients and consultants both nationally and internationally,” said Jim Bradshaw, Director of Brunswick County Economic Development Commission.  “We are operating in an extremely competitive environment so everything we can do to make our industrial properties more attractive for future expansions or relocations helps to keep us in the game.  By gathering the data required for certified site designation, we were ensuring much of the due diligence has been done on the site which will ultimately reduce the risk for our future corporate clients.  That peace of mind can often be the thing that differentiates your site from competing sites in other communities.”

 A special thanks goes out to Amy Walker, Program Administrator of the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission, for months and persistence and hard work to satisfy the requirements of the North Carolina Certified Sites Program.

 You can download the press release here

About the International Logistics Park of North Carolina

The International Logistics Park of North Carolina consists of 1,100 acres of industrial zoned land adjacent to four-lane US 74/76. The park has sewer, water, and fiber. Natural gas is a short distance away. The park has a Tier 1 designation and falls within the Port Enhancement Zone which provides significant tax incentives. The Wilmington Port is 18 miles away. The Wilmington Airport is 19 miles away. A new interchange with I-140, just five miles away, will be completed in 2013.  The full marketing package for the International Logistics Park of North Carolina.   


About Brunswick County Economic Development Commission:

The Brunswick County Economic Development Commission is a public-private partnership that encourages, promotes and facilitates the development of new business and industry and the growth of existing businesses in Brunswick County.  Brunswick County is located within the Wilmington Metropolitan MSA between Wilmington, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  One of the fastest growing counties in the United States, Brunswick County offers a dynamic environment for business and industry with an exceptional quality of life.  Additional information can be found at                         -more-


About the North Carolina Certified Sites Program

To obtain the Certified Sites designation, communities must undergo a stringent review process that demonstrates that they’ve addressed 31 prerequisites, including:

  • Business/industrial use designation
  • Phase I environment audits
  • Geo-technical studies
  • Topographical analysis and maps
  • Aerial photography
  • Availability of public utilities
  • Industrial power quality
  • Engineered site development plans
  • Detailed analysis of development cost
  • Complete information on pricing


Since 2001, the North Carolina Certified Sites Program has provided a statewide inventory of industrial sites that have undergone a rigorous prequalification process.  In 2009, the program criteria were updated to better meet the expectations of consultants and companies operating on a tight timeframe and looking to reduce risks in the site selection process.  Property seekers can download each certified site’s supporting documents online as part of the buildings and sites component of AccessNC.