Following the recent announcement from Sen. Richard Shelby’s office regarding the Senate Appropriations Committee’s full passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense Appropriations bill – above and beyond President Obama’s FY15 Budget Request – procuring $280 million collectively in additional funding for the LCS and JHSV programs, Mobile-based Austal USA sent Lagniappe a prepared statement in reaction to the news:

“Austal is very grateful that the Senate Appropriations Committee – Defense has supported both the LCS and JHSV programs in this FY15 committee mark. This reflects the positive performance of the operational crews and the importance of both LCS and JHSV ship classes to the Navy. We recognize the hard work and leadership of Senator Shelby as the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee in maintaining funding for programs that are critical to our National Security and the Alabama workforce. Although we understand this is yet another step in the budgeting process, we remain confident in the quality and capabilities of both classes of ships, and in the support the Navy and our Legislators have in both programs as the FY 15 Budget is finalized.”

Commercial Real Estate Moves

Mike Reid of White-Spunner Realty recently closed on approximately 13 acres of land located at 1618 Leroy Stevens Road in Mobile. The property was purchased by JLE Investments, LLC at $14,000 per acre. JLE Investments also purchased adjoining land and plans to build a new subdivision. 

Uncle Maddio’s, a rapidly growing pizza franchise that recently opened its first area store in Daphne, is currently in negotiations to join anchor retailers Costco, PetCo, and Dick’s Sporting Goods at the new McGowin Park development adjacent to Hank Aaron stadium.

Designed as full service sit-down eateries, all locations will average around 3,000-square-feet according to franchise co-owner Lisa Taylor.

Joint efforts are being handled by local realtors Buff Teague with JLL and Burton Property Group (Jubilee and Westwood developments) in conjunction with a corporate real estate partner to secure quality spaces. Each store will average 35 employees with a total of 210 jobs anticipated locally across six locations by the end of 2016. 

Hargrove Engineers recognized as top design firm

Mobile-based Hargrove Engineers + Constructors recently announced its placement on the following Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2014 lists: 61st on the Southeast Top Design Firms list, 66th on Texas & Louisiana’s Top Design Firms list and 115th on the National Top 500 Design Firms list. The magazine’s annual national and regional rankings are based on design revenue.

Founded in 1995, Hargrove is recognized as one of the fastest-growing engineering companies in the country. Currently, the firm has over 900 employees and 10 offices across the United States. Hargrove has seen continuous growth over the years, resulting in steady climbs both on the national ENR list and in the regional market.

This is their first time applying for a regional ranking, but Hargrove continues to make advances on ENR’s National Top 500 Design Firms list every year.

Hargrove first submitted for the national ENR list in 2012, placing 175th. In 2013 they came in at 135th.

BHG Generations wins “Innovative Brokerage” award

Local Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Generations real estate firm recently won the Inman News Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Brokerage or Franchise,” in recognition of the Mobile-based broker’s rapid company growth and inventive marketing strategies. Winners were announced during the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco on July 16.

Each year, Inman News, the authoritative source of market trends and conditions for the real estate industry, honors real estate companies, technologies, services and individuals who move the industry forward through new technologies and ideas that can increase productivity, efficiency and transparency.

“In an ever-evolving industry, we are thrilled that Inman News has nationally recognized our efforts to exceed the expectations of our consumers through our business approach and technology applications,” Joshua Tanner, president and CEO of BHG Generations said. “This is a testament to our commitment to our market through the implementation of tools that allow us to be creative, quick to act on ideas, and effective in our execution.”

A prime example includes the brokerage’s development of MobileMLX.com, a website and mobile application, which feature active home listings throughout the Mobile real estate market in an effort to gain exposure and to compete against national online search engines.

“The strategy was to interact with potential homebuyers when they are just beginning the home search phase, but in a way that was hyper-local to the Mobile market,” Leighton Dees, chairman and CEO of BHG Generations said. “By applying our collective local know-how and expertise to a website and mobile platform, we created more touch points between our agents and consumers and have experienced increased conversion as a result.”

Broussard’s hosting Piano Camp at Children’s & Women’s Hospital

A piano camp is planned for July 28-31 at the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital to offer children, at no charge, the opportunity to create their own music. 

The four-day event is being offered through a partnership with Broussard’s Piano Gallery and Academy of Music and the Mapp Child and Family Life Program at USA’s Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring the joy of music to hospitalized children,” Christy Broussard Myers, owner of Broussard’s Piano Gallery said. “We hope this piano camp will launch an impactful program of therapeutic music eventually encompassing all types of musical instruments.”  

Before the camp begins, Broussard’s will deliver four pianos to the hospital’s ClassAct, a special classroom where the lessons will be given during the camp. Piano lessons will be provided by instructors from Broussard’s.

“Research has identified the therapeutic benefits of music,” Kimberly Thompson-Yates, program coordinator for USA’s Children’s & Women’s Hospital said. “We are grateful for this opportunity from Broussard’s. The traditional benefits of music, such as reducing anxiety, boosting mood and offering a distraction are vital in a hospital setting.” 

At the end of the week, a recital will be held to showcase songs the students have learned.