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Developers read the signs: Available land, I-485 lure activity to Mint Hill (access required)

Look at the signs on roads with names like Lawyers, Idlewild, Matthews-Mint Hill, Lebanon, Margaret Wallace, wending their way through bucolic, small-town America 15 minutes from the big city, and the signs are pretty clear: Mint Hill is available, baby. A-vail-a-ble.

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Lennar begins work on its first Charlotte apartment complex (access required)

Earth is moving this week on a 2.5-acre patch of the Metropolitan district slated to become home to a 261-unit, Class A apartment complex tentatively named in public documents as South Kings Midtown. The project is owned and being built by Lennar Multifamily Inc., according to public records, as part of a $1 billion nationwide dive into the apartment feeding frenzy by the single-family homebuilding giant Lennar Corp.

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Crisis in craftsmen: Construction activity is up again, but the industry faces another, more troubling dilemma (access required)

Crisis in craftsmen: Construction activity is up again, but the industry faces another, more troubling dilemma <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Construction industry insiders now rushing to determine how best to cope with a labor shortage and its primary cause: Young people largely aren’t interested in joining the trades. Contractors are struggling to find skilled labor, a trend that could hinder future construction work.

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Despite delay, clock is ticking for health care employment mandate (access required)

Despite delay, clock is ticking for health care employment mandate <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Businesses got a temporary reprieve in July when the Obama administration announced a yearlong delay in the enforcement of the federal requirement that employers provide health care coverage to workers or pay a fine. But even though the Affordable Care Act’s “shared responsibility” employer mandate — also known as the “pay or play” provision — won’t go into effect until January 2015, compliance will require businesses managers to make a host of complex decisions that will take a considerable amount of time. And the clock is already ticking.

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Foreclosure activity down from last year, but Mecklenburg and York counties see month-over-month spike (access required)

Foreclosure activity down from last year, but Mecklenburg and York counties see month-over-month spike <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/10/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Although foreclosure activity in the Charlotte area has declined over the past year, it jumped up between July and August this year in Mecklenburg and York counties, according to a report issued by RealtyTrac.

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South End by southwest (access required)

Call it what you want, but South End, which was largely carved out of an industrial, railroad-crossed section of westernmost Dilworth in the 1990s, when people thought developer Tony Pressley might be a little nutty, is now rapidly spreading far beyond the traditional boundaries of its historic district.

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