UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), recently announced the opening of a new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing and nacelle (the outer casing of an aircraft engine) assembly facility at its Foley campus.

The company expects to add up to 260 new jobs at the site, reportedly increasing its lower Alabama workforce to more than 1,000 employees. The campus is part of UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business unit, which maintains a global footprint of nacelle design, original equipment manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul sites.

“Our expansion in Foley would not be possible without the strong support we’ve received from the state, the county and the city, and we’re proud to continue to work together to create jobs in Alabama,” said Marc Duvall, president of the Aerostructures unit. “Foley has always been a standout location. We look forward to better serving our customers through the addition of these new advanced manufacturing features.”

Expected to be fully operational by year’s end, the new building will feature a range of manufacturing technology, including automated material movement to index large nacelle component platforms down the assembly line, an overhead rail system with vacuum lifts and an automated painting system.

The new building is also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and features a sanitation system that incorporates rainwater collection.

As the third manufacturing building on the Foley campus, it will serve as a complement to the site’s existing 230,000-square-foot original equipment plant and 210,000-square-foot MRO facility. The Foley site assembles nacelles for integration with the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engine for a number of aircraft platforms, including the Airbus A320neo, Bombardier C Series, Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Embraer E-Jet E2.

UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries, supporting a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities. For more information about the company, visit its website or follow on Twitter.

Commercial real estate moves
• Local investors purchased a 16,800-square-foot class A office building located at 51 and 59 at the northwest corner of St. Francis and St. Joseph streets for $1.75 million. The Taylor Martino law firm will lease the rear upstairs portion of the property, according to Allan Cameron of NAI Mobile and Justin Toomey of Stirling Properties, who represented the sellers. Approximately 8,500 square feet on the ground floor also remain available for lease, according to Richard Inge and Steven McMahon, who worked for the buyers. 

• Pratt Thomas with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. Inc. recently reported Orthopedic Quick Care owner Thomas R. Dempsey is relocating his office to 100 University Blvd. S. in Mobile, adjacent to Old Shell Road. Allen Garstecki with JLL represented the tenant and Thomas worked for the landlord.

• Area speculators picked up a 6,000-square-foot warehouse building located on 1.96 acres of property at 3309 Old Shell Road for $650,000. The site is currently occupied by D-1 Sports, per Jay Roberds of NAI Mobile, who represented the buyers in the transaction. Kris Cooper of JLL in Atlanta worked for the sellers. 

• ERJO Properties LLC has bought an eight-unit multifamily property located on Windmere Place in Fairhope for $799,999. Kennedy Striplin, leasing executive with Stirling Properties, represented the seller.

• Divine Designs hair salon is leasing 1,200 square feet of space in Vigouroux Shopping Center at 9948 Airport Blvd. in Mobile, with plans to open this fall. Angie McArthur, broker associate with Stirling Properties, handled the transaction.

• According to Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty, the old Radio Shack property at 4419 Rangeline Road in Tillman’s Corner has been leased by a Moe’s Southwest Grill franchise. The property is undergoing renovation, with plans to open its doors toward the end of this year.

• The Dauphin Island Property Owners Association is seeking proposals from parties interested in leasing the Isle Dauphine Clubhouse building, located at 100 Orleans Drive, Suite B, on Dauphin Island. The property is available for lease as a restaurant beginning May 1, 2018.

The Isle Dauphine Clubhouse building is located at the Isle Dauphine Golf Club, which is situated on the Gulf of Mexico. The property to be leased consists of three floors, all with a Southern view of the beach. There is a commercial kitchen on the second floor.

Proposals should be submitted to the Dauphin Island Property Owners Association via email to [email protected] Submission deadline is Nov. 1.

Crabtree tapped to lead Exchange 202
Kyle Crabtree, formerly with Slingshot LLC, has become the chief momentum officer of the Exchange 202, taking over day-to-day operational duties from Todd Greer, former chief catalyst. Additionally, Mobile-based Slingshot plans to relocate its national headquarters into the space, which will add 27 new members.

Crabtree holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Troy University. He spent the last four years responsible for recruiting at Slingshot. Eventually he was promoted to director of employee engagement, developing training curriculum for the company and overseeing staffing responsibilities across the southeastern region.

“Todd first asked me to consider the role of leading in his footsteps in June. I am now officially at the Exchange full time,” Crabtree said. “The next few months we will have a strong focus on creating added value to our members.”

According to investor John Peebles with NAI Mobile, he and partner Allan Cameron started contemplating the value of coworking spaces about three years ago.

“We saw that it was exploding into major markets and were fortunate to find Todd Greer, a bright young academic who had just moved to town and had a serious interest in the concept,” Peebles said.

“This was an attractive use of real estate to us,” he continued. “Just having all of these creative people sharing one space, rubbing up against each other, if you will, generating sparks that could light up a tide of new small businesses. That is an exciting thing to watch.”