Women of Western Wake – Who Are They?

Cary, NC-  This Friday, October 14, our friends at Cary Magazine will honor 5 women for their outstanding service to our community at a luncheon at the Umstead Hotel. I asked Tara Croft of S & A Cherokee (who own Cary Magazine) to tell me about these annual honors. Read more

Jon Kane: A Strategic View of Development

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – The Heart of Cary meeting on Thursday morning was literally standing room only for a presentation by Jon Kane, the developer of North Hills.

A Who’s Who and Some Fine Baked Goods

Close to 50 downtown business owners, residents and public officials packed the Cary Chamber for the 8 o’clock meeting. It was a who’s who of downtown leadership including Ed Gawf, Ralph and Daphne Ashworth, Scott Ashworth, Sheila and Carroll Ogle, Don and Lisa Frantz, Howard Johnson and Sandy Jordan of the Chamber, Captain Don Hamilton of the Police, property owners Bill Taylor and Curtis Westbrook and many other civic and business leaders.

Tasty baked goods including Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread were supplied by Great Harvest and sponsored by CaryCitizen.

Down to Business

After some HoCA business, Doc Thorne turned the floor over to Jon Kane.

In a nutshell, Mr. Kane started with a small property that held a single drug store and turned it into one of the signature developments in the Triangle – North Hills.

In less than a dozen years, Kane Realty Corporation has expanded the project to over 100 acres of mixed use retail, residential, entertainment and office.

Fill In The Blank

Mr. Kane talked about North Hills, but the audience didn’t have much trouble picturing the parallels to downtown Cary.

The developer began with a simple statement relating to his own project. He asked the audience to complete this sentence:

“If you’re going to Raleigh, you have to go to _________”

What fills in the blank? Kane Realty set out to make North Hills the answer to that question.

Ingredients of a Successful Development

As he clicked through his slides, Jon Kane ticked off a list of ingredients that make a successful redevelopment on a community scale:

  • Areas to just “hang out”
  • Office above retail (makes life efficient)
  • Emphasis on unique, quality design and architecture
  • Lots of things to do , and easy to do them
  • Importance of events – days, nights and weekends
  • Be strategic about how parking fits into the development
At North Hills, you can go to the supermarket, lease an office, hit the gym, get a latte, see a movie, hear a band. You can shop ’til you drop, catch a meal, stay at a hotel, get a spa treatment and, maybe soon, ride your own personal pod transportation from one end of the development to the other.

Optimism for Downtown Cary Redevelopment

Mr. Kane identified a key strength in Cary’s revitalized effort downtown as broadly based community buy-in, from individual business owners to elected officials and landowners.

Fill In The Blank

Jon Kane closed by challenging members of the Heart of Cary Association to fill in their own blank:

“If you’re visiting Cary, you must go to ______________.”

Heart of Cary meetings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit Heart of Cary Association.

Events: Big Thursday

Story and photo by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – Just a bref reminder of two big events on Thursday Downtown. Read more

Transportation: Cary Depot Opens Early, Under Budget

Story by Lindsey Chester. Photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC- The new Cary Depot has been operating since Labor Day, but the ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday, October 3 amidst much hoopla. Read more

Business: CaryCitizen Names 3 Vice Presidents

L–>R Matt Young, Lindsey Chester and Leslie Huffman

Cary, NC – Editors Matt Young and Leslie Huffman  as well as Associate Publisher Lindsey Chester were named Vice Presidents of CaryCitizen in a signing ceremony on Monday. Read more

CNN/Money: Morrisville’s Muddy Dog Coffee a Winner

Story by Hal Goodtree. Photos courtesy of Muddy Dog. 

Morrisville, NC – Thanks to longtime reader Jackie Holcombe for pointing out that Muddy Dog Coffee in Morrisville was just named one of the top 17 small roasters in the U.S by CNN/Money. Read more

Going in “EcoStyle”: Clean, Green, Cruisin’ Machines

Story and photos by Leslie Huffman

Cary, NC – Need a ride to the airport? How about a night out on the town without the worry of driving? You can get this kind of service many places. A taxi, a limo, or a van service.

But take it a bit further. What if your driver came professionally dressed and picked you or your group up in a brand new hybrid electric vehicle? And this company cost you the same or up to 25% less that the standard car services?

That makes a huge difference to me. It also makes a major difference to hotels and corporate clients who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint while still providing quality professional services.

Making Better Choices

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States consumes 378 million gallons of gasoline every single day. The environmental costs to all this fossil fuel consumption is staggering.

Also, the vehicles we drive release over 1.7 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, contributing to pollution and global climate change. Each gallon of gasoline burned creates 20 pounds of CO2. That’s about 6 to 9 tons of CO2 each year for a typical vehicle.

A good solution; make better choices. We should bike, walk, take public transportation and use our consumer power to use vehicles that are either hybrid, all electric or use biofuels.

Welcome EcoStyle – A Green Transportation Company

I recently met with Scott Tyler, Vice President of EcoStyle, at the Umstead Hotel in Cary. Scott came here after playing pro baseball and meeting his wife. He spent some years in the hospitality industry, but wanted to start his own business. He came up with a unique service that was missing in the Triangle.

In April this year, Scott and his business partner started the Triangle’s first eco-friendly corporate transport company, EcoStyle. Already they have contracts to handle all the transportation needs of corporate clients like SAS, Dex One and The Umstead Hotel.

“It makes me feel great knowing that people are accepting EcoStyle and truly appreciate the services that we are providing for them,” says Tyler. “When we launched EcoStyle, our goal was not only to start a company that revolutionized the industry, but added value to the surrounding communities.”

In addition to providing low-emission and energy-efficient transportation, Scott says that high standards, excellent service and a clean professional look is mandatory for all their drivers. They will pick you up from any location and take you where you need to go.

“I want people to know that when they call EcoStyle, they will receive a level of service that is unmatched. Our team at EcoStyle will always go above and beyond to fill our clients needs.”

They will also provide transportation to and from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), or Piedmont-Triad International Airport (GSO).

What Makes Them The Green Transportation Company?

Presently EcoStyle has 4 hybrid vehicles in their fleet with 2 more on order. Looking to the future, they plan to add several all electric vehicles.

  • Toyota Prius Hybrid – up to 2 passengers and gets 53 mpg city & 48 mpg hwy
  • Ford Fusion L Hybrid – up to 3 passengers and gets 41 mpg city &  38 mpg hwy
  • Chevy Tahoe Hybrid – up to 6 passengers and gets 20 mpg city & 23 mpg hwy

If you need something bigger like a bus for 10 or more, Scott will provide one from one of his partner companies. But, to negate the CO2 emissions generated, EcoStyle will then purchase carbon offsets through NC Green Power.

Other “green” initiatives include:

  • Paperless email billing & receipts
  • Driver’s uniforms made from recycled materials and organic cotton
  • Donate a percentage of profits to NC GreenPower, which funds renewable energy projects across North Carolina

While the corporate office is in Raleigh, most of the cars are staged at The Umstead Hotel. And, because of their exclusive use of EcoStyle’s services, the Umstead even installed several electric car charging stations for their use.

Next time my dinner club group is heading for a night out on the town, or I need airport transportation I think I will give Scott a call. When it comes to saving money, and reducing my environmental impact, it just seems like such a simple choice.

Money Matters: Investing in Turbulent Times

Story by Lindsey Chester and “Coach” Pete D’Arruda. Photo by Tamás Mészáros.

Cary, NC- Even if you never pay attention to the stock market, you know we are living in what many call turbulent market conditions. The Dow Jones lost all of its gains for 2010 through volatile trading in August. So what should you do if you are investing for your retirement? Read more

Fashion: Adore Opens 2nd Location

Cary, NC – Nancy Alinovi is expanding her Adore concept concept to a second location this month. Adore Resale Boutique has been doing business in the Preston Corners area of Cary since October 2009.  And now she is also in North Raleigh at 8111 Creedmore Road. Read more