News

LandAmerica files for bankruptcy & sells underwriting units

Title insurer LandAmerica has filed for bankruptcy. Three of its underwriting units will be sold, the company said. The stock is trading at $.20 a share, down 80% from the close yesterday. Fidelity National Financial said it would buy LandAmerica’s underwriting units Lawyers Title Insurance Corp and United Capital Title Insurance Co for $139.4 million…. Read more »

Bank branches out to Georgia

The Bank of Essex has assumed $600 million in deposits previously held by The Community Bank in Loganville, Ga. A Richmond-based bank has gobbled up deposits of a failed Georgia bank. Tappahannock-based Bank of Essex has assumed $600 million in deposits previously held by The Community Bank in Loganville, Ga.

Highwoods pitches plan to Shockoe Bottom

Planners of a proposed downtown ballpark development made a pitch to and fielded questions from residents and business owners Monday night at the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association’s monthly meeting. “The area you are looking at for redevelopment is mostly parking lots. There really hasn’t been any significant development here since [tropical storm] Gaston,” said Highwoods… Read more »

The $135 stimulus check you already got

Richmond commuters got an unexpected holiday bonus: $135 in average fuel savings since July. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, vehicles in the Richmond metro area are driven an average of 29 miles on any given weekday, or 145 miles in a workweek. If local gas prices had remained at their July peak of… Read more »

The Times-Dispatch’s Trifecta of Confusion

The whole user generation thing isn’t a great business plan for a newspaper company when users can slam your new product on the day of its launch. Yesterday Media General split the Times-Dispatch.com from InRich.com, and dozens of comment on the Times-Dispatch’s ridicules the layout and usability. Before Thursday, if you typed in www.timesdispatch.com, you… Read more »

Fasten your safety belt for more bumps, economist says

Economist Chris Varvares looked into a crystal ball yesterday and saw a stormy few quarters in our future. Varvares, who is president of Macroeconomic Advisors, told business leaders at a lunch event held by the Richmond Association of Business Economics that we are in a recession that will continue for at least the next two… Read more »

The recession special

Local advertisers, it seems, don’t want to remind us of the lousy economy. But national advertisers are rolling out more and more ads that address the country’s current economic situation, sometimes opting for a humorous tack. A Denny’s ad asks “Who’s gonna bail you out?” to advertise a $4 breakfast special. Crate & Barrel magazine… Read more »

Humus maker to open plant in Chesterfield in 2010, hire 260

You know that delicious Sabra garlic humus they sell at Kroger and Ukrop’s? It’ll be made in Chesterfield starting in 2010, according to a press release issued by the state of Virginia. (Does that mean Richmond will get the freshest humus?) The Sabra Dipping Company will eventually employ 260 workers at the Chesterfield facility, according… Read more »

Richmond PC maker humming along

While computer makers like Dell and Hewlett Packard are slashing prices as they brace for a drop in demand, Richmond-based Velocity Micro, which produces high-end custom PCs, says things are holding steady. The Chesterfield company’s PCs are favored by gamers. “Obviously we are seeing a little bit of a downturn in sales, but we aren’t… Read more »

Kaine says energy and environmental changes coming

The horizon is green in Virginia. In opening remarks at a conference on technology and sustainability, Gov. Tim Kaine said the last year of his administration would focus on energy and environmental issues. “Whether it’s green state government or whether it’s big-picture legislative initiatives with respect to land use, public transportation, open space preservation, water… Read more »