According to the most recent report prepared and published by the Downtown Mobile Alliance (DMA), 2013 saw a lot of shifting office space within the downtown sub-market. There was a positive, if marginal, net new absorption of existing office supply occupancy. This resulted in a net vacancy rate decline of half a percentage point over the year prior. Additionally, the rental rate moved upward slightly.
BBVA Compass Bank recently announced the relocation of its regional headquarters from the I-65 Beltline into LoDa’s RSA Van Antwerp building. This 60,000-square-foot historic building, currently being renovated by Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), is approximately 100 percent pre-leased. BBVA Compass Bank is expected to inhabit the lower four floors while Phelps Dunbar will occupy the top three levels.
The former Central Optical building at 54-56 St. Emanuel Street is also under renovation according to the report. This historic building will contribute 20,000-square-feet of additional occupancy supply to the market. However, it is already pre-leased to NAI Mobile and Red Square.
A small, multi-tenant building was purchased and removed from the inventory by Iberia Bank, which explains why the number of buildings available for occupancy declined. Hargrove Engineers continues to absorb office space in neighboring multi-tenant buildings that are in close proximity to its headquarters.
Consolidation of multiple offices into more efficient single office locations has also been seen.
Finally, downtown has witnessed the movement of professional and creative firms into more densely configured office spaces requiring less square feet per employee, which mirrors a national trend.
To view DMA’s full report, go to this link:
Inaugural “Fairhope Local” Workshop
Fairhope independent business owners will kick off the inaugural 2014 “Fairhope Local” campaign with a workshop beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 23rd.
The seminar will be held at The Venue located at 105 South Section St. in downtown Fairhope.
Fairhope’s longstanding independently owned bookstore, Page and Palette, is the main sponsor, along with American Express OPEN. The program will be facilitated by Lily Brislen, founding director of “Think Local Umpqua” in Douglas County, Ore., one of the most successful smaller-town Independent Business Alliances (IBA) in the country. She also serves on the board of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).
Brislen will discuss and illustrate the economic and civic importance of sustaining a strong base of local, independently owned businesses. She will also offer practical, strategic tools used in her own work and from other successful IBAs around the country.
“In the strongest local economies, most dollars are spent at locally owned businesses, where they recirculate several times in the community. This multiplier effect is a critical, but often overlooked factor in creating community wealth,” said Karin Wilson, owner of Page and Palette bookstore. “Sustaining local ownership isn’t just important for maintaining our community character, it is key to building the long-term economic vitality of downtown Fairhope.”
Attendees are invited to engage in a planning session following Brislen’s presentation to help develop a strategy for carrying out the new “Fairhope Local” campaign — the first AMIBA in the state of Alabama.
The event is free and refreshments will be provided. An RSVP is appreciated for planning purposes. For more information, contact Karin Wilson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 251.928.5295.
WMH earns FCG accreditation
Wilkins Miller Hieronymus LLC. (WMH), was recently admitted as a member of The Financial Consulting Group (FCG).
FCG is the largest association of independently owned accounting, business valuation, and financial service firms in North America. They admit experienced, credentialed members who are financial experts and leaders in providing litigation and valuation services.
WMH has six credentialed professionals in business valuation and three professionals who are certified in financial forensics by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
“As WMH continues deepening its experience in providing forensic accounting and business valuation services to lawyers and others, joining the FCG Network were a natural next step as we continue focusing on this growing niche,” said Allen Carroll, WMH’s Managing Partner.
Commercial real estate moves
An 8,000-square-foot multitenant office and warehouse located at 26061 Capital Dr. in Daphne sold for $399,000. Sandy Wise & Tania Lazzari of Coldwell Banker, Reehl Properties, worked for the Seller. Pete Riehm of NAI Mobile represented the Buyer.
John Delchamps with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. represented the seller for the divestiture of an 8,000-square-foot office warehouse at 1502 Azalea Road for $335,000. Pratt Thomas worked for the investors buying the property. Plans are to renovate the building to accommodate growth needs of a new tenant — Hagemeyer North America — that will occupy the building.
Chempro Services, a commercial and industrial vegetation management company headquartered in Ocean Springs, Miss., purchased a 5,600-square-foot office warehouse on five acres at 9101 Milton Jones Road in Daphne for $345,000. Pratt Thomas with the Merrill P. Thomas Co. worked for both the buyer and seller.
Vallas Realty, Inc. recently sold 16 bank-owned lots in The Commons of Magnolia Springs for $215,000. The lots were purchased by an out-of-state investor that previously bought six other bank owned lots in the same subdivision in 2012, also handled by Vallas Realty.
Mobile Chamber receives export award in Washington D.C.
Last week the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, presented the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce with the President’s “E” Star Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. The Mobile Area Chamber previously received the “E” Award in 2005.
“Receiving this award would not be possible without the Chamber’s relationship with the Alabama Department of Commerce and our Export Alabama Alliance partnership. Knowing that our efforts are bettering our community is incredibly rewarding,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson.
In Alabama, the latest trade statistics show Alabama exports totaled $19.3 billion, with products and services shipped to nearly 200 countries. In the last five years, Alabama exports have increased 57 percent.
Hand Arendall LLC recently announced that member Michael C. Niemeyer was recently elected president of the Baldwin County Bar Association.
James A. Yance, USA’s first undergraduate alumnus to serve as chair pro tempore of South Alabama’s Board of Trustees, has been honored with a life-sized portrait on campus as well as honored with the title of chair pro tempore emeritus.
Yance has worked for over 30 years with local law firm Cunningham, Bounds, Yance, Crowder & Brown.
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