Philadelphia-based goPuff, a digital delivery service operating in over 500 U.S. cities through 200 fulfillment centers, announced its arrival into the area this past December to serve Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Founded in 2013 by two Drexel University students, the company was originally an on-demand hookah delivery service, but later expanded to delivering food and goods ordered through its iOS and Android mobile apps.
GoPuff began offering delivery services in Philadelphia before moving into other cities, including Seattle, Boston, Phoenix and Atlanta.
In 2016, goPuff raised $8.25 million in a round of funding. In 2019, the company raised $750 million in capital from SoftBank, with a commitment for up to $250 million more.
To date, the 8-year-old startup was reportedly valued at an eye-popping $3.9 billion.
Since first arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2019, goPuff has migrated into more densely populated regions in the state after setting up micro-fulfillment centers. Current markets include Birmingham, Montgomery and now Mobile.
GoPuff primarily delivers goods typically found in convenience stores such as snacks, drinks, household items, toiletries, pet products and baby products like diapers. Beer, wine and spirits are also reportedly available for delivery in some markets.
Continuously diversifying, the company launched a beer delivery service called goBeer in December 2015. May 2016 saw the announcement of an alcohol delivery service called goBooze.
More information about the company can be found at goPuff.com.
CITY OF MOBILE ANNOUNCES PHASE II TRAFFIC PROJECT
The city of Mobile has announced it is beginning the next phase of a multi-year construction project that will widen Zeigler Boulevard, with the stated goal of alleviating traffic congestion and creating a safer environment for motorists and pedestrians.
Construction of the project’s first phase in West Mobile, from Schillinger Road to Cody Road, began last year and is still underway.
Effective Monday, Jan. 4, the next phase will commence near the Springhill area, from Athey Road to Forest Hill Drive. Initial work will start on a section of road adjacent to Langan Municipal Park that runs between Gaillard Street and Forest Hill Drive.
Zeigler Boulevard will be widened to four lanes from Athey Road to Forest Hill Drive. It will also include new sidewalks and bicycle lanes on both sides of the roadway. In addition to these amenities, the project will include a raised median in front of Langan Park designed around several oak trees that will be preserved during the upgrading process.
Zeigler Boulevard is currently four-laned from Cody Road to Athey Road. With the completion of construction from Schillinger Road to Cody Road, and this next phase from Athey Road to Forest Hill Drive, Zeigler will have four lanes from Schillinger to Forest Hill Drive.
“As Mobile’s footprint has expanded westward, the traffic flow through Zeigler Boulevard has continued to increase,” city of Mobile spokesperson Jason Johnson said in a press release. “Expansions to the roadway have been discussed and planned for two decades, and once completed, this project will have a lasting impact on commuters and residents.”
BUSINESS MOVES, TRANSACTIONS
This past Monday, Mike Reid with White-Spunner Realty announced the first local commercial real estate deal closed for 2021.
The 5,125-square-foot Kelly’s Cleaners building, sitting on some 40,075 square feet of land at 2819 Government Blvd. near the intersection with Pleasant Valley Road, was picked up for $205,000 by Universal Properties LLC.
Universal Properties is the parent company of 71-year-old USC Class Inc., an auto, residential and commercial glass repair shop locally owned by George and Jim Blankenship and headquartered at 2814 Government Blvd., directly across from their latest acquisition.
Currently, USC Glass leases another site in the area for fabrication work, but the former dry-cleaning floorplan is expected to be repurposed before move-in to support shop operations.
Upgrades and move-in timelines for the space were unknown as of press time, and no additional new hires are expected as a result of the purchase.
AM/NS CALVERT AND AIRBUS RECOGNIZED IN 2020
During last month’s virtual State of the Economy event, the Mobile Area Chamber awarded its Manufacturer of the Year award to AM/NS Calvert and its Innovator of the Year award to Airbus.
Manufacturer of the Year: AM/NS Calvert
The latest investment in AM/NS Calvert not only secured the site’s 1,500-plus jobs, but it is also creating nearly 200 new ones. In August, the company announced it would spend $647 million to produce steel slabs — currently made in Brazil — at the Calvert mill.
“Being recognized as Manufacturer of the Year is meaningful to our team at AM/NS Calvert, especially as this has been a challenging year for our organization as we navigated the impacts of COVID-19,” Jorge Luiz Riberio De Oliveira, company president and CEO, said. “We are looking forward to the upcoming year as we work toward having an on-site steelmaking facility, which will provide short lead-time flexibility and give AM/NS Calvert a decisive competitive advantage.”
Construction is also scheduled to begin this month on the company’s 1.975 million-square-foot manufacturing, office and warehouse addition with a completion date of December 2022.
Innovator of the Year: Airbus
During the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mobile Area Chamber initiated weekly calls with area manufacturers and the University of South Alabama.
As shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) became critical for local health care workers, Airbus shifted operations to help.
Using its 3D printers, the Airbus production and engineering teams produced more than 500 reusable and washable face masks as well as hundreds of tension-relief straps for medical personnel.
Additionally, the company donated 40,000 masks from its inventory to Mobile and Baldwin County emergency workers.
“This has been a challenging year for everyone due to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19,” Daryl Taylor, head of commercial manufacturing for Airbus, said. “It is an honor for the Airbus engineering and manufacturing teams in Mobile to be recognized for our role in supporting the community and our front-line health workers.”
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