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Despite the latest federal interest rate hike, old and new businesses continue to grow in Charlotte

A solar energy company is expanding in Charlotte while Duke Energy's plans for new development are also in the works.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy is selling two of its Uptown Charlotte properties to developers who have initial plans on turning 526 Church Street and 401 South College Street into residential and retail spaces.

"We are consolidating our space in order to free up money for capital investment and clean energy technology investment," Donna Council, Duke Energy senior vice president of administrative services, said. "We estimate we will save about $85-$90 million in doing this project and selling our existing facilities and moving into one building."

The latest growth report from Charlotte Regional Business Alliance says just over $100 million was announced in capital investment and many of the area's main industries begin the last quarter of 2022 at a high point.

"Charlotte has been, even through COVID, a huge attraction for people to move here," Council said.

She added that it makes sense with employees' hybrid work flow, the new Duke Plaza will be able to accommodate all of its workers.

“We will be moving our pilot group in the last week of January, so we’ll move in in tranches and will fully be in line by the end of the last quarter of the year," Council said. "We’ll have some great retail space that we’re looking at tenants for now to bring excitement to.”

Solar energy company Freedom Solar, out of Texas, is new to the Charlotte region after setting up a facility in October.

"Freedom wanted to be in Charlotte," Freedom Solar's Regional Sales Manager, Chip Phillips, said. "Freedom came to Charlotte."

Phillips said there's plenty of room for them in the Queen City. He said they should have their inventory and officially open its doors in January.

"North Carolina is the fourth most fastest growing region for solar in the country and there's demand for it," Council said.

With eight employees currently, Phillips said they plan to have 30 a year from now. They also plan to grow into -- and eventually outgrow -- their 12,000 square foot space.

"The state's growing -- people are moving in, the market conditions are right," Phillips said. "Some other solar companies have done well here and we're looking to do even better than what they did."

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

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