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Hillsb orough Business s
The Daily Tar Heel Thursday, October 22, 19879?
Center cultivates new cotiipaniesi
By FELISA NEURINGER
Business Editor ,
The Hillsborough Business Center
forms a common bond for a plumb
ing supply company, a cabinet maker,
a mail order business, a woodworking
shop, a moving company and an
These are only a few of the 17
businesses housed in the center,
located in the old Cone Mills textile
, plant on Dimmocks Mill Road, said
Dolley Hester, the center's property
When the Hillsborough Business
Center opened in 1985, it was orig
inally to operate as a business
incubator. Incubators are designed to
provide a common workplace for
aspiring entrepreneurs who want to
develop and market new products.
uIt would serve as a place for small
businesses to start and grow," said
Mac Gold, who became the center's
sole owner in April of this year.
Gold was part of a group of
investors who bought the vacant mill
with the intention of turning it into
a successful incubator. '
"But this proved to be a quick way
to lose a lot of money," he said. "Not
many brand new businesses were
starting up anywhere except Silicon
All of the other investors pulled out
of the venture when it wasnt prof
itable, but Gold said he decided to
stay in. "I felt there were some
businesses still existing here that
could be served by the Hillsborough
Business Center," he said.
Now the majority of the 350,000-square-foot
building is occupied by
medium-size industries, Gold said.
But one portion of the complex
remains as an incubator. The 17
companies in the center currently
employ more than 150 people.
"At this time, a big portion (of the
center) is existing industries using the
center for light manufacturing and
distribution," he said. "Some areas
are strictly warehouses." ;
Hester said an owner indicates how
much operating space he will need,
and Gold then designs the offices to
meet the tenant's needs.
. The . center had a 15 1 percent
occupancy rate during the 'second
quarter of this year, Gold said. "We
have grown to 60 percent occupancy
rate in the last six months since the
basic philosophy (of the center) has
been changed," he added. .
Businesses are run independently.
"It's impossible to eaten to every
business individual needs," he said.
In an incubator, businesses share
common elements, such as secretar
ies, in addition to sharing the
building. ' 5 . 1
But . at the Hillsborough Business
Center, tenants share only cheating
systems, hallways, bathrooms and
parking lots, Gold said.
Small to medium-size businesses
find the cost-effectiveness of locating
in the center to be very attractive.
J.J.4 Supply Co., a wholesaler of
pipe, valves and fittings based in
Toledo, Ohio, moved a branch of its
business into the complex two
months ago, said Mark Kosmider,
company vice president. :
"It had the best combination of
factors the convenience of (being
near) interstates, an available pipe
yard and plenty of inside storage
space," he said.
Scott Spaine, an agent for North
western Mutual Life Insurance Co., '
opened his office in the center a little
more than a year ago. "When you
own a business, it's nice to keep costs
as low as possible," he said. ; i
: Being surrounded by other com
panies definitely has helped Spaine's
business. "It's ideal because I make
a lot of contacts on a personal and
business level," he said. V
Because of the diversity of the
businesses, they can feed, off each
other, Spaine added. He said the
"companies try to da. business within
the complex before they go to outside
sources. - ; ' -
Restoration Woodworks, Inc., a
business which specializes in the
preservation and restoration of
historic homes, has been operating in
the center for almost a year and a
.half. - . ..- fs..K : ,
Co-owner Stephen Stiebel said he
and his partner chose to locate in the
center for several reasons. He said the
location is good for the type of work
he does because it provides easy
access to Durham, Chapel Hill and
"This was the best bargain we
found for our shop'at a price we could
afford," he said. " ,
Gold said his center in Hills
borough is not a unique concept.
Business centers have been operating
in New England since the 1940s, when .,
the North's textile industry died. "The- j
Northeast then had a tremendous
growth in old mills in the '50s and
'60s, and sophisticated industries took .
over," he said. A. S , 'y
This idea soon spread to the South
when the textile industry here begaa 1
to suffer, he added. There were many
textile.mills standing empty in North '
and South Carolina which were taken t;
over by small industries to serve as'
distribution centers and office space., i
But Gold does hot see operations.'
like the Hillsborough Business CenterH
to be a trend of the future. rr
He said the textile industry is fairly
healthy, and most of the old buildings,
already are occupied. "Most of Ue ;
textile people going to go under hav
already gone under," he said.
Future development of office spac&"
and buildings will be along the 3
interstates and near the airports, Gold
Lab Theatre's latest
the tale of a
By ALSTON RUSSELL
The Lab Theatre will make an
ambitious attempt with its produc
tion of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon
Barber of Fleet Street." The play will
be performed Sunday through
The play is based upon the legend
of Sweeney Todd, an English barber
who killed his customers and sent
them to his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett,
as ingredients for meat pies. Sweeney
Todd represents the British idea of
"Sweeney Todd" is set in London
of the 1850s. Although the author,
C.G. Bond, wrote the play in 1973,
he employed the traditional melodra
matic writing style. Bobby Wallace,
director of the Lab Theatre produc
tion, said the melodrama makes the
play special because the audience is
able to see with a "heightened sense
of reality." "Everything that happens
in the play is pretty much life or
death," he said.
According to Wallace, this produc
tion of "Sweeney Todd" is unique
because it incorporates the concept
of revenge into the play's action.
"In this version, he (Todd) is taking
revenge upon a society that has done
him wrong," Wallace said. Wallace
said he chose this production of
"Sweeney" because it could be seen
as a "semblance of modern society."
Wallace said his production shows
the people in charge as being the most
corrupt. The production also shows
how their vice affects the lesser
people. "It's about the powerlessness
of one person against society any
society where there's a hierarchy," he
said. . , J
Sophomore Kelly Johnston plays
Sweeney in the production He said
his character is different because he
is basically obsessed with the one
thought of revenge. "It's the kind of
drive that's superhuman," : he said.
"Things may slow him down, but
nothing can stop him." J ;
Johnston said he works to give
depth to Sweeney's character by
showing moments , in which he is
human, so that the drama is not based
solely on revenge. " : -'' v
"Sweeney's the type of character
that if you crossed him and it's not,
justifiable, then hell never forgive it,
and in the long: run hell get you
back," Johnston said. :
Sophomore Fabiana' Politi plays;
Sweeney's neighbor, Mrs. Lovett.
According to Politi, her character
gives a lighter side to the play. "She's
the comic relief in the play," she said.
"She adds a bit of humor to the air."
Politi said she uses her own energy
to incorporate her personality into
the character of Mrs. Lovett: "I have
a lot of energy, and the way I do
it, Mrs. Lovett has lots ol energy,
too," Politi said. -,
. Freshman Todd DeVries plays the
role of Anthony Hope, an optimistic,
naive character who adds romance to
the production. DeVries said" his
character was unique because of his
1 blissful disposition. V . :
"He's really romantic, and he
; googles his eyes," DeVries said. "He
comes in with that attitude in life
that's really youthful." DeVries said
his own personality is , similar to
Hope's . character because . he is a
y The production consists of a large
cast, all undergraduates, many of;
whom have perfopned for the Lab
Theatre, before "Swteney." Wallace
said the music for this production is?:
based on the famous musical version)
by SteVen Sondheim. The cast has!
been preparing for this production for
about five weeks, according to!
Wallace. - .
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon
Barber of Fleet: Street" will be
performed by the Lab Theatre Sun
day and Monday at 4 and 8 p.m. and
Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the basement
of Graham Memorial Hall.
BACK THEN S&
1 t M
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For Standing Out in the Crowd.
Especially on Halloween!
405 W. Franklin St. o 929-6221
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