Live Oak Bank has confirmed a $25 million expansion which will create 200 new jobs in North Carolina.

The work is all set to start later this year due to a $2 million boost from state and local incentives.

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The startup, founded in 2012, will spend $25 million to construct a fourth building on its Tiburon Drive campus, which will house at least 204 new jobs.

Since its founding, Live Oak has grown tremendously, going from 95 to 925 employees.

CEO and chair Chip Mahan said: “We have a habit when we build a building, we fill it up.”

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Small business owners all over the country can use Live Oak Bank, a digital bank that operates in the cloud.

Live Oak’s emphasis on the fintech sector, according to Wilmington Business Development Director Scott Satterfield, has propelled Wilmington into the “winner’s circle of this fast-changing industry.”

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He said: “Fintech is an awakening giant in the greater Wilmington area.

“Fueled by tech-savvy talent, a ready inventory of the high-quality corporate real estate, business savvy local leaders and quality of life second to none.”

The business started out with one building that could accommodate 100 employees a decade ago.

A second building that could accommodate 300 people was added in 2015, and a third in 2019 that could accommodate 400.

Its latest announcement will add space for 320 more.

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The extra hiring will bring the total to over 1,000 employees and inject $20 million in payroll into the economy.

The average salary for the new positions, which include analysts, underwriters, lending staff, technology managers, information security professionals, and other staff, is $101,000, which is nearly twice the average salary in New Hanover County.

Mahan added: “We take numbers very seriously here at Live Oak Bank, so I want to be sure we do what we’re committed to do and substantially exceed.”

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The N.C. Job Development Investment Grant awarded Live Oak Bank $1.5 million over the next 12 years.

Locally, New Hanover County is chipping in $300,000 and the City of Wilmington approved $200,000 over five years in performance-based incentives, specifically targeted at bringing jobs to the area.

County commissioner vice chair Deb Hays said: “New jobs are really positioning New Hanover County as the place for businesses to invest and grow and thrive

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“Live Oak Bank, we are certain, is one of those businesses, embodying the Wilmington entrepreneurial spirit.”

Based on an economic analysis done by his office, Cooper said Live Oak Bank’s investment will bring $1.1 billion in positive economic impact to the state over the next 12 years.

“This signals to other companies, you can find highly qualified, talented, educated people right here.”

Mahan told media his company contributes $2 million annually to the local community. His staff sits on 28 non-profit boards and invests 55 hours each year in service.

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Live Oak has hired LS3P architects to design the building, as well as Monteith Construction and Swinerton to oversee construction, with plans to break ground on the expansion later this year.

A 6,500-square-foot “New American” restaurant is also under construction close to the Live Oak Bank campus and is expected to open the following year. The restaurant, dubbed a neighborhood bar, would be constructed at 1610 Tiburon Drive, a 3.29-acre plot of land between Shipyard and Independence Boulevards.

Source: PortcityDaily

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