An architect’s rendering shows Imperial Dade’s expansion, soon to be constructed at the I-10/Gulf Coast Logistics Center in Loxley.
Photo | Courtesy of Imperial Dade/Baldwin County EDA
A three-year, $129 million project brings a boost to the Mobile economy and could result in future U.S. Navy projects.
Last week, APTIM Federal Services LLC delivered a Surface Ship Support Barge (SSSB) to the Port of Mobile for a dismantlement and disposal project, set to take place at Alabama Shipyard, a 425-acre facility on Pinto Island.
“The SSSB brings with it an exciting opportunity for the city of Mobile’s economy by paving the way for tremendous job growth now and through future work in the dismantlement of Navy ships with highly-skilled personnel,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.
Prior to its arrival, the barge resided in the Navy’s possession at the Newport News Shipyard in Virginia. APTIM took possession in the James River, where the barge was transferred for dry docking and preparations for the dry tow. From there, the SSSB began her 13-day journey from Virginia to Mobile.
The SSSB is a “radiologically controlled” dockside refueling facility built from a converted Navy tanker. The project means local hiring and training; use of local materials, supplies, trucks and hotels; maximization of the shipyard, port and rail services; and recycling of non-impacted steel.
The project represents a major step forward in NAVSEA’s campaign to reduce — in the most cost-efficient and safest way — inactive nuclear reactors in both vessels and shore facilities, said Alan Weakley, president of APTIM’s business unit overseeing the disposal.
“APTIM is proud of our contribution to safely and efficiently dispose of this once strategic asset. We are also proud of our partnership with Alabama Shipyard and their impressive safety record,” Weakley said. “APTIM has been a part of the fabric of Mobile for many years with our Port Modernization team headquartered in Mobile, and our support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District. We are excited to strengthen our ties to Mobile and safely dispose of the SSSB.”
Austal christens future USS Canberra Independence
Austal USA held a christening on Saturday for the future USS Canberra Independence-variant littoral combat ship. Canberra is the 15th LCS designed and constructed by Austal USA and the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the Australian capital.
A representative of the Australian government attended the ceremony.
Canberra is the 15th of 19 small surface combatants Austal USA is building for the U.S. Navy. Five are under various stages of construction and a sixth is waiting to start construction. Austal USA is also constructing two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships for the U.S. Navy with one more on contract awaiting start of construction.
The company recently broke ground on its new steel manufacturing line to expand its shipbuilding capability to service the rising demand for steel ships in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.
Business moves, transactions
- Imperial Dade, a distributor of food-service packaging and janitorial supplies, is constructing a 220,000-square-foot logistics hub off Interstate 10 in Loxley. The expansion is expected to create 55 new jobs.
The facility is phase one of a Class-A industrial park known as the I-10 Gulf Coast Logistics Center.
“Baldwin County continues to see high demand for new industrial and warehousing space,” Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, said.
The new logistics center provides existing space and new options for those looking to invest in the Gulf Coast region, he said. Developed and owned by I-10/Gulf Coast Logistics Center LLC, the hub’s location provides easy access to the entire Gulf Coast market, including the Port of Mobile.
Officials are currently marketing phase two of the development, with a total of 250,000 square feet in two additional buildings capable of accommodating tenants as small as 20,000 square feet.
The center is located just south of the $100 million, 564,000-square-foot ALDI regional headquarters and distribution center.
- The Infirmary Health Diagnostic and Medical Clinic starts seeing patients June 15 at the new, $26 million Medical Office Building on U.S. Highway 90 in Malbis. Infirmary Health held a ribbon-cutting Tuesday at the location near the intersection of U.S. 90 and County Road 181.
The 79,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building features a neoclassical Greek architectural style in honor of the Greek heritage of the Malbis community.
“We are excited to continue growing along with Baldwin County,” Infirmary Health President and CEO Mark Nix said. “This new facility will offer residents of Daphne, Spanish Fort, Malbis and neighboring communities convenient access to a variety of physician practices and specialized medical clinics.”
Later this year, Infirmary Therapy Services, Oncology Infusion and Infirmary Surgical Specialists will open in the new space.
- Need seed money for your startup? An information session is set June 15 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the second round of Portal Fund investments, now open to applications. The session will be held at the Innovation Portal, 358 St. Louis St. Learn more or register at innovation-portal.com/portal-fund.
Portal Fund awards investments to early-stage local companies that are developing high-growth business models. For its inaugural round in 2020, Portal Fund made two investments totaling $75,000 to Mobile-based ventures Barkd and Deuce Drone.
- The Original Beach Deli — or Beli — held a ribbon-cutting May 27, officially opening the new sandwich shop in the West Beach district of Gulf Shores. Beli brings an open-air concept to the area with a goal to provide fast and friendly service for dine-in and walk-up customers as well as delivery service to the area. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
- P.S. Taco Company of West Mobile plans to open its third location later this month at 7899 Cottage Hill Road. The restaurant, with locations in Foley and Saraland, features classic Latin cuisine using the finest ingredients, with an eclectic selection of taco combinations. They are currently accepting applications for the new Cottage Hill location.
- Talk about good grades! North Baldwin Infirmary in Bay Minette received an “A” in the Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction earned for protecting patients and providing safer health care. This is the sixth consecutive “A” the facility has earned.
An independent national watchdog organization, The Leapfrog Group, gives ratings to all general hospitals in the country every six months. The grade is based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients.
- Staff changes and additions are underway at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, which named Nancy Hewston as vice president of communications and advocacy, and Maggie Oliver as senior director of government affairs, Chamber President and CEO Bill Sisson announced.
Hewston and Oliver bring experience and a track record of success to their roles, making them valuable assets to Mobile’s business community, Sisson said.
- The real estate market continues to flourish in Baldwin County, as the April 2021 Housing Report shows an average sales price of $316,495, a 13.9 percent increase in the average sales price over April 2020. That’s up from an average price of $291,548 in January of this year.
Properties spent an average of 36 days on the market, a 52 percent decrease compared to the same month last year.
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