Brad Custred, CEO of Slingshot and co-owner of Exchange 202 located in downtown Mobile, has announced that some 5,000 square feet of lower-level space inside the former Red Square property will be converted into a local film production company, Blue Muse Entertainment Group. This announcement is part of a cluster of ongoing “Project 202” developments within the walls of the 10,000-square-foot, lower-level floor plan.

The new movie production company has partnered with local film producer Nathaniel Nuon of Nuon Films to develop, produce and push out up to three local area-based films per year, according to Custred. The site will also be used as dedicated shared workspace for visiting movie production companies filming in both Mobile and Baldwin counties.

More information about Blue Muse as well as other related projects will be covered in future issues of Lagniappe.     

• Mobile-based Arc Controls recently announced the acquisition of Saraland-based Parkway Machine & Metal Works Inc.

“We are excited about the acquisition. The addition of Parkway Machine and its CNC [computer numeric controls] capabilities was an imperative step to sustain the already established standard our customers have come to expect,” Charlie McLean, Arc Controls director, said.

Keith Noble, general manager of Parkway Machine, will continue in his same position in operations for what is now a division of ARC Controls.

“As an established operation with a first-class facility, Parkway Machine is a better fit than we could have ever imagined. This is a mutually beneficial acquisition, which will enhance our ability to provide excellent service and reliability in the industry,” Lucian Lott, president of Arc Controls, said.

Arc Controls manufactures and repairs ASME pressure vessels, heat exchangers, scrubbers, process equipment, specialized machinery for hyperbaric and diving chambers, and API tanks. Parkway Machine has manual and CNC lathes as well as water jet capability servicing the chemical, oil and gas, shipyard, steel mill and aircraft industries,

• Southern Visions, LLP, makers of Sweet Brew tea and lemonade, recently broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Bay Minette. The 125,000-square-foot facility will house the company’s tea and sugar production operations. It is expected to create 66 new jobs and more than $24 million in capital investment to Baldwin County and Bay Minette over the next three years.

Southern Visions, headquartered in Loxley, manufactures fresh-brewed beverage products in the food service industry. Founded in 2003, the family-owned and -operated business reportedly services some of the largest food service distributors in the country. With a client base throughout the country, the company’s network of distribution partners has reportedly seen an average year-over-year increase exceeding 300 percent.

“I am very proud of our employees and our company, as well as what we have been able to achieve to be here today,” Paul Stewart, owner of Southern Visions, LLP, said. “I want to thank the people and leaders of Bay Minette and Baldwin County for the overwhelming welcome we have received.”

“The city of Bay Minette is very excited to have Southern Visions, LLP, coming to our community,” Bob Wills, mayor of Bay Minette, said. “They have experienced tremendous growth over the past few years. Their future is very bright, and we are glad that they see their new, expanding manufacturing facility here in Bay Minette as an integral part of their future success.”

• Richard Sterzoy of Majestic Tires recently sold .75 acres at 7911 Airport Blvd. in West Mobile, to a local investor for $335,000. According to a statement released after press time, the tire and maintenance shop established in 1998 is still in full swing and servicing residents of West Mobile. Raven Miller of JWRE Mobile represented the seller and J.L. O’Brien Associates represented the buyer.

• CFT NV Investments, LLC, recently purchased a site in front of the former Ryan’s Steakhouse in Tillman’s Corner for $899,000, with plans to build a new Panda Express restaurant. This will be the Rosemead, California-based chain’s third location in the Mobile area, with plans for additional local restaurants in the future. Kenny Nichols of Vallas Realty Inc. handled the transaction

• John Vallas with Vallas Realty Inc. reported that Athens, Georgia-based Zaxby’s has purchased a space within the new Publix site at 21 Shell St. in Saraland and will soon begin construction. The seller was represented by The Retail Companies; Vallas Realty Inc. worked for Zaxby’s.

Wilkins Miller named one of “Best Accounting Firms For Women”

Wilkins Miller, an accounting and advisory firm with offices in Mobile and Fairhope, has been named to Accounting Today’s “Best Accounting Firms for Women” list for the second year in a row. Per a news release, Wilkins Miller is the only Alabama firm to make the list and one of only 15 firms in the country to be recognized.

“Our firm is honored to make this list for the second time,” partner Stacy Cummings said. “This recognition is a testament to our entire team’s commitment to helping people achieve, both professionally and personally.”

Coming in eighth, Wilkins Miller’s team is 67 percent female, with 36 percent of those in leadership positions.

Firms are selected from the 2018 Accounting Today and Best Companies Group “Best Firms to Work For.” They must have a minimum of 25 women working in the organization, or women must represent 25 of employees, whichever is greater. The female response rate to the “Best Firms to Work For” anonymous employee survey must be greater than or equal to 50 percent. Firms are ranked in order of female percentage of positive response, from largest to smallest.

“Our leadership team recognizes that women have traditionally faced unique challenges in the workplace,” partner Erin Jones said. “We have done our best to embrace those challenges and create a culture and flexible work environment that benefits our entire team.”

Edited to clarify the transaction of Richard Sterzoy.