Business briefs

May. 31, 2013 @ 01:24 PM

McKinney lays off about 30 workers

DURHAM – The Durham-based advertising agency McKinney has laid off about 30 workers following an acquisition of the agency’s client Qwest Communications by telecommunications company CenturyLink Inc.

The acquisition was completed in 2011, but Janet Northen, executive vice president and director of agency communications for McKinney, said work continued for the client into last year. Now much of that work has ended, she said.

“A lot of it has come to an end, and we have not replaced it with other business, so we (were) in need of aligning resources to match current client needs,” Northen said.

The agency, which is based in Durham and is part of the South Korea-based global advertising network Cheil Worldwide, cut about 30 workers, she said, earlier this month. The company now has about 180 workers in Durham and another 30 in New York.

 “We only hire very talented, wonderful people, and we’re very careful about whom we hire, so when we have to make eliminations, it can be very tough,” she said.

McKinney has a “very vibrant” new business pipeline and its reputation is strong, Northen said. The company was named the third-most effective agency office in North America alongside Ogilvy & Mather New York and BBDO New York at the Effie Awards Gala in New York earlier this month. Its client Mizuno was named the most effective brand.

Erwin Square Plaza sells for $37.5 million

CHEVY CHASE, Md. –Federal Capital Partners, the Maryland-based real estate investment company that’s now the majority owner of the downtown West Village development, has acquired another Durham property.

The firm announced Thursday its $37.5 million acquisition of the Erwin Square Plaza on West Main Street near Ninth Street. The 238,792-square-foot, 10-story building is more than 96 percent occupied, according to a news release from the firm.

The company plans to invest in property renovations.

“We look forward to renovating the property back to its institutional-grade potential and repositioning the important retail portion of the property,” FCP Managing Partner Esko Korhonen said in the release.

The plaza is near an area near that is seeing significant development. Recent construction projects include work on a new Harris Teeter grocery store, a new apartment complex called Circle Ninth Street and a Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

Federal Capital is the majority owner of West Village, the mixed-use development of loft apartments, businesses and restaurants in renovated former tobacco commercial buildings downtown.

The Maryland-based company is building 156 units of apartments as well as parking on a lot at 601 W. Morgan St. now used mostly for parking for West Village residents.