The Broad Street Lofts, a new upscale apartment complex located at 300 S. Broad St., two blocks due south of Callaghan’s Irish Social Club, recently held its grand opening.

Originally known as the Russell School Building built in 1910, the historic property was acquired along with the Old Shell Lofts development in 2015 by Albany, Georgia-based developer Pace Burt Development for $800,000 from the Mobile County School District.

The local transactions, geared at redeveloping blighted property, came about in large part due to the Alabama Historic Tax Credit program, which was recently reinstated through 2022 by Alabama legislators.

“The reinstatement of the Alabama Historic Tax Credit program makes Alabama relevant again and is the reason why Pace Burt is even now looking at more properties in the Mobile area for renovation,” according to Taylor Atchison, who works locally with Burt on the projects.

An additional $3 million and 14 months of work were invested into the Broad Street Lofts to renovate the property to make it move-in ready.

Encompassing 30,000 square feet, the three-story main building has 24 one-bedroom, one-bath units. The former Russell School Cafeteria Annex, perpendicular to the main building, encompasses 4,500 square feet and offers a pair of two-bedroom, two-bath units and a pair of two-bedroom, one-bath units.

All units are move-in ready. Floor plans range from 720 to 735 square feet and rent for $925 to $990 per month, water included. To date the property is about one-third occupied by a professional millennial demographic, with roughly half of new tenants hailing from out of town.

According to Atchison, who designed the look for all properties, interior aesthetics reflect a “chic industrial” look influenced by apartment designs in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Broad Street, Old Shell and Marine Street loft properties share access to the balcony at the Marine Street Lofts and to a pool, which will be built in the second phase of the Old Shell Lofts site in early 2018 along with four additional units.

Tenants also have access to Mission Fitness and the Container Yard co-working space on the bottom floor of the Marine Street Lofts on a membership-only basis.

“We are trying to create a community amongst all our properties,” Atchison said.

More information on the Broad Street Lofts can be found on the development’s Facebook page.

Commercial real estate moves
• SSAB Americas, a division of Stockholm, Sweden-based global steelmaker SSAB, recently announced plans to relocate the division’s head office from Lisle, Illinois, to Mobile. Current office space in the company’s metro Chicago headquarters encompasses around 30,000 square feet.

Locally the company plans to seek considerably smaller space due to much of the executive team transitioning into SSAB’s Axis site. More details will be announced over the coming months, with the transition expected to be completed in early 2019. Downtown Mobile office space is under consideration but other areas will also be evaluated.

• According to Chris Harle of White-Spunner Realty, Magnolia Mortgage recently leased 1,260 square feet of office space at Jubilee Point Shopping Center on U.S. Highway 98 in Daphne. Angie McArthur with Stirling Properties represented the tenant. Harle worked for the landlord.

• A local investor recently purchased a 7,000-square-foot vacant industrial building on three acres at 8520 Bellingrath Road in Theodore for $200,000, with plans for a new business venture. Pete Riehm of NAI Mobile handled the transaction.

• CrossFit is leasing 5,000 square feet of space slated for development as a fitness center located at 6161 Rangeline Road in Mobile. Plans are in place to open in early spring 2018. Angie McArthur with Stirling Properties represented the tenant. Jay Roberds with NAI Mobile worked for the landlord.

• Salvage World is leasing the 43,628-square-foot former Greer’s space in St. Francis Plaza, located at 2501 Government Blvd. in Mobile. Angie McArthur with Stirling Properties handled the transaction.

Salvage World offers wholesale pricing on retail goods. This marks its first location in Alabama, with plans to open in early 2018.

• Some 1,610 square feet of space was recently rented by Paintn’ Parrot, according to Chris Harle with White-Spunner Realty. Plans are in place for the retailer to relocate from its current location in Fairhope.

• Pratt Thomas with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. recently signed a lease with Caffeine Corps LLC to occupy 1,400 square feet of retail space in Olde Shell Square, at 5552 Old Shell Road across from the post office and near the University of South Alabama’s main campus. The company will offer energy and coffee drinks and will open in 2018. 

Melton Center hosts Causeway Pitch competition
The second annual Causeway Pitch Competition, hosted by the USA Melton Center for Entrepreneurship (MCEI) and Innovation, will be held Friday, Oct. 27, at Battleship Memorial Park onboard a fleet of Duck Boats provided by Scott Tindle, co-owner of Gulf Coast Ducks.

This year students are competing for more than $5,000 in prizes. Twenty-nine USA students submitted posters for evaluation. Judges were selected from local community leaders as well as from the MCEI board.

Entrants this year included the College of Engineering, the School of Computing, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business.

Ten finalists will be selected this Friday after they pitch their entrepreneurial ideas while floating on Duck Boats in Mobile Bay launched at Battleship Memorial Park, 2-4 p.m. The competition includes a mix of individual and student teams, according to Donald Mosley Jr., executive director of the MCEI.

“For our area it’s an opportunity to provide seed money for viable concepts from our students. This event has grown significantly from last year and we are excited to have participants from several colleges from across the university. Entrepreneurship is a discipline that can be applied across a wide swath of curriculums,” Mosley said.

More information about the event can be found on the USA website.