Jeff Zeiders, co-owner of CigarClub.com, reported the recent acquisition of a 3,000-square-foot property on .29 acres at 800 Monroe St. — the second of three units forming the 1940s-era Crystal Ice House historic site in downtown Mobile’s expanding business and entertainment district.
Acquired for $135,000, the building was originally the truck transport depot and warehouse for the Crystal Ice House Co. An additional $500,000 will be spent on renovations, repurposing and landscaping, with a move into the new space expected in early 2019.
The new CigarClub.com space will be divided into two sections, with 30 percent — roughly 1,000 square feet — dedicated to office space and a walk-in humidor (about 300 square feet) for merchandise.
“This section originally was a freezer for the Ice House, so was a perfect fit for us to repurpose it into an on-site walk-in humidor space,” Zeiders said.
The remaining 2,000 square feet will be a shared open workspace for employees, and for potential tenants engaged in software design or marketing.
“We took the open-sourced workspace environment that we liked at the Exchange 202 and incorporated the concept into the plan design,” Zeiders said.
Exterior plans include a 10 foot by 10 foot pergola as well as upgraded landscaping.
Rafters, beams, doors and brickwork will be preserved inside the historic property. Custom-built sliding wooden doors will be incorporated into the new architecture design.
The company plans to hire four to six more employees by the second quarter of 2019, including a major executive-level hire.
Steve Stone, local owner of dakinstreet, is the architect on the project. Gaines Zarzour with the Zarzour Cos. managed the transaction for CigarClub.com
The third building associated with the site is currently available for lease or purchase. Lewis Golden with Hamilton & Co., LLC, is the broker for the property.
Commercial real estate moves
• Haint Blue Brewing Co. is currently renovating a roughly 3,500-square-foot property at 806 Monroe St. in Mobile — formerly the home of the historic Crystal Ice warehouse. Tentative plans are for the brewery to open in late fall 2018, according to owner Keith Sherrill.
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mobile is relocating its offices to the third floor of 3 S. Royal St., above Serda’s Coffee downtown. The company will occupy 3,154 square feet, marking the building as 100 percent leased, according to Pete Riehm and Allan Cameron with NAI Mobile, who handled the transaction.
• Jimmy John’s is leasing some 1,500 square feet of space in Rangeline Crossing shopping center, a new retail development to be located on Rangeline Road in Mobile. The sandwich shop will join Rock N Roll Sushi and T-Mobile in the tenant lineup and is expected to open early 2019.
Nathan Handmacher with Stirling Properties represented the tenant in the transaction. John Vallas with Vallas Realty worked for the landlord.
• Salon West Hairdressers is opening a second 2,000-square-foot shop in Mobile, at 1751 Old Shell Road. The property is already occupied by Bellator Real Estate and Mighty Advertising. Following interior renovations, the salon is slated to open next month. Owners are Whitney Vittor and Julia Pritchett Liller.
• Gaming Station & Lounge, an e-gaming rental facility, is currently renovating a 2,300-square-foot property at 3716 Moffett Road in Mobile, with plans to open in late 2018. The owner is DeAttra Hicks.
• Interior renovations are underway to a 3,000-square-foot building next door to The Haberdasher, at 111 Dauphin St. The lower floor will be Sophiella, a new gallery. The upper floor will be an open office space. Grand opening is planned for the October Loda ArtWalk. Owners are Clark and Kim Kelly.
• Vintage2018, a new 4,100-square-foot wine bar and rental venue in Fairhope across from Fairhope Brewing Co. is scheduled to open in late spring 2019. The bar will also feature an urban farm and European-style garden for events. The owner is Robert Evans.
• The Jacksonville-based Maple Street Biscuit Co. plans to open a Mobile location in January 2018 at 5054 Old Shell Road, the former site of Rester Brothers Auto Repair Shop. A 1,500-square-foot addition with new parking will be constructed prior to opening.
• Blue Fish advertising agency will be purchasing and moving into a new 3,700-square-foot building at 920 Dauphin St. in early 2019, more than doubling its current office footprint at 412 Dauphin St., according to owner Marcus Neto.
Plans are also in place to acquire another 3,700-square-foot space, at 918 Dauphin St., sometime 2019, effectively quadrupling the size of the business. Jeff Jordan is the local architect on the project.
• An 1850s building with a 1950s school addition, located at 451 Conti St., will be repurposed into four apartment unit spaces, ready for lease by January 2019. The owner is Stephen Carter.
Blue Fish selected Small Business of the Year
At a recent breakfast ceremony, Blue Fish was named 2018 Small Business of the Year by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Runners-up included locally owned small businesses Harper Technologies and Lagniappe.
Founded in 2008, Blue Fish is an advertising agency specializing in branding and digital advertising. The company recently added content strategy, social media management, email marketing and video production services. It also produces educational content via webcasts and podcasts.
“It’s pretty stunning,” owner Marcus Neto said. “No one was notified who the winner was going to be. When they did the drumroll and actually announced the name, I almost fell out of my chair. You’d like to think that what you’re doing gets noticed. But at the same time, the competition was pretty stiff this year with Lagniappe and also with Harper Technologies,” he said.
Clarence Ball Jr., president and CEO of Ball HealthCare Services, was named 2018 Outstanding Entrepreneur by the Mobile Area Chamber. Founded 35 years ago, his company currently employs some1,300 workers across the state in the senior living care industry.