Breakout Mobile, an escape-room game and entertainment venue, has leased a 4,708-square-foot building at 3090 Dauphin Square Connector. This is the Azalea City’s introduction to the escape gaming, immersive experience trend. The company currently operates Breakout Birmingham. Stirling Properties broker Jeff Barnes handled the transaction.

Lush Home/Garden/Event, an interior design company owned by Tim Burt, has purchased a 5,800-square-foot building located at 1910 Government St. in Mobile. Stirling Properties associate broker Justin Toomey represented the buyer and David Dexter with NAI Mobile worked for the seller, Zimlich Florist. The anticipated occupancy date is March 15 with a grand opening on held June 1. Burt is also the owner and president of Parkside Home and Garden, which renovated and took occupancy of 51 S. Conception St. in 2007.

Merchants & Marine Bank of Pascagoula, Mississippi, recently purchased the former KFC restaurant located at 27765 U.S. Hwy. 98 in Daphne. Stirling Properties sales and leasing executive Andrew Dickman represented the seller and Thom McGlon of Coldwell Banker Commercial Gulf South worked for the buyer. Merchants & Marine will demolish the existing structure and plans to begin construction on its third branch location in Baldwin County in 2017. Merchants & Marine’s first Baldwin County branch opened in Gulf Shores in late 2011, and its second, in Fairhope, is scheduled for a July 2016 opening.

Greek.2u, a new fast-casual concept Greek restaurant, has leased 2,590 square feet of space at The Wharf, 4651 Main St., Suite K-1, in Orange Beach, with an anticipated opening in May. Stirling Properties broker Jeff Barnes handled the transaction.

Stirling Properties recently announced Jack Conger as a new sales and leasing executive for its commercial brokerage division in Mobile. He graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s in human environmental sciences. Prior to working for Stirling, Conger was the general manager of his family’s restaurant business in San Antonio, Texas. He currently resides in Mobile with his wife and daughter.

Investors purchased 1.4 acres on Highwy 181 in Historic Malbis for $885,000, according to Jay O’Brien of J.L. O’Brien & Associates. O’Brien represented the seller; John Vallas of Vallas Realty worked for the buyer.

Local speculators paid $580,000 for the Ashland Village retail center at 2401 Old Shell Road in Midtown Mobile, according to Jay Roberds of NAI Mobile. The center consists of approximately 5,100 square feet and is fully leased.

According to Amber Dedeaux of Vallas Realty, a 1,600-square-foot church property located at 158 Stanton Road in Mobile was leased by True Word Deliverance Ministries.

Josh Burmeister of BUR Commercial reported Dublin, California-based Ross Dress for Less recently opened two new stores in Mobile. One is at McGowin Park, off Satchel Paige Drive near the Interstate 65 interchange. The other is at Westwood Plaza, on the corner of Airport Boulevard and Schillinger Road in West Mobile.            

Van Antwerp renovation wins national award
Doster Construction Co. recently announced the Van Antwerp Building renovation in Mobile has been selected as the Eagle winner in Associated Builders and Contractors’ Excellence in Construction Awards competition, in the General Contractor, Historical Restoration/Renovation over $10 million category. Representatives from Doster received the award March 2 during ABC’s 26th annual awards celebration in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

At its completion in 1908, the Van Antwerp Building was Mobile’s first skyscraper. It was also one of the first reinforced concrete structures in the state. The original construction, which spanned two years, included a multicolored cornice that was later removed in the 1950s.

Throughout its history, the Van Antwerp Building housed various tenants, beginning with medical and dental offices and the original Van Antwerp pharmacy. Eventually the building was used as traditional office space. When the current owner purchased the property, only the first floor was in operation, as a restaurant.

The renovation included demolition of existing surrounding structures, interior demolition, restoration of exterior surfaces and reconstruction of the appearance of the original cornice that topped the building. Demolition was a challenge, to the extent monitoring devices were installed to monitor any movement in the adjacent building.

The original construction of the building was not in compliance with current code requirements, so an additional 12-story, concrete-reinforced structure was joined to the old building for new stairwells and elevator shafts. To accommodate the new 2,500 square feet of space, the foundation required installation of 265 drilled piers adjacent to the existing building, as well as inside the existing basement.

“Associated Builders and Contractors are honored to recognize Doster Construction Co. with a well-deserved Excellence in Construction Eagle Award for their commitment to high-quality construction, innovation and safety in their work on the Van Antwerp Building renovation,” said 2016 ABC National Chair David Chapin, president of Willmar Electric Service in Lincoln, Nebraska.

According to a news release, the Excellence in Construction Awards program is the industry’s leading competition, developed to honor innovative and high-quality merit shop construction projects, with Eagle awards presented to the top project in each category. The award honors all construction team members, including the contractor, owner, architect and engineer.

A panel of industry experts served as the competition’s judges. This year’s panel included representatives from the Design-Build Institute of America, Engineering News-Record, the Construction Users Roundtable, the National Association of Women in Construction and representatives from higher education, among others.