Plans are in place for the 170-year-old Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear to undergo major remodeling in the next 16 months.

“From redesigning meeting space and guest rooms to enhancing the resort’s legendary service and culinary options, this historic legend will take Southern hospitality to a higher level,” Tony Davis, CEO of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Resort Collection, said. All work is expected to be completed by spring 2018.  

“The Grand Hotel has played a major role in the region historically, socially and financially. After much research and planning, the next chapter in the Grand’s history is being written. Over the coming months, buildings will be transformed one at a time to minimize guest disruption during the process,” Davis said. “In April 2018, the Grand Hotel will reach an even higher pinnacle of hospitality excellence when the resort joins the Autograph Collection of hotels.”

Per a news release, the Autograph Collection properties are a high-end, international group of hotels located in preferred sites worldwide.

The general remodeling schedule will be rolled out as follows: Phase 1 — South Bay, North Bay, Marina House construction, planned for completion by spring 2017; Phase 2 — Conference Center, to be completed in phases by the end of 2017.

Rooms in the 20,000-square-foot Spa Building will be renovated but the building’s overall design will remain unchanged.

The Grand Hotel currently has 405 guest rooms. The remodel will utilize three guest room designs (not including suites). Design One will cover 225 rooms in South Bay, North Bay and Marina House. Design Two will encompass 126 rooms in the Spa Building. Design Three will impact 54 rooms in the Grand Hotel’s historic main building.

Collectively, the property has 37,000 square feet of meeting space, all of which will be renovated during 2017. 

The property opened a new golf practice facility last year and has 22,000 square feet of USGA greens surfaces, a two-acre short game area and a 1,500-square-foot range house. Renovations to the Lakewood Club’s Azalea and Dogwood courses are planned in the future.

The Grand Hotel and the other seven properties in the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Resort Collection are owned by Retirement Systems of Alabama. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is celebrating its 25th year in 2017.

The architect handling the redesign is Montgomery-based Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood Inc. Jesco Inc. is the general contractor on the project and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Yates Cos. based in Philadelphia, Mississippi. 

Established in 1847, The Grand Hotel resort has received national honors from USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Tennis Magazine, Successful Meetings, Meetings Today and other national publications. The Grand Hotel sits on a 550-acre property, is a member of Historic Hotels of America and was named its top historic hotel in 2013.

FedEx expanding at Brookley
The Mobile Airport Authority recently announced in a news release that FedEx is concluding a series of investments in its Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley site. The new facility will combine once-separate functions under one roof, enabling the Aeroplex to optimize valuable ramp space. Growth also includes a new area for package sorting and expanded employee parking.

The facility is also seeing growth in FedEx cargo aircraft traffic servicing the area. An ATR-manufactured turboprop “coastal feeder” aircraft is now scheduled to arrive regularly, providing increased service to the central Gulf Coast.

The expansion represents a multi-million-dollar investment in Mobile, according to the news release, and also represents a commitment from FedEx to remain in the area for the foreseeable future.

“We applaud FedEx for its commitment to its employees as well as its commitment to our aviation and automotive sectors,” MAA executive director Roger Wehner said. “The coastal feeder represents increased air cargo capacity for the Gulf Coast and this partnership is the first byproduct of our enhanced air cargo growth strategy.”

Commercial real estate moves
A hotel developer purchased a 2.2-acre parcel behind South Landing on Old Shell Road where it plans to build a Holiday Inn Express with approximately 100 rooms. This will be the first hotel near the University of South Alabama campus used primarily for patrons visiting the campus for business and sporting events. Purchase price for the property was $775,000. Pete Riehm with NAI-Mobile represented the buyer and Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty worked for the seller.

Lyle Machinery recently purchased a 13,800-square-foot building located on 5.5 acres at 5340 Halls Mill Road in Mobile. Justin Toomey, associate broker with Stirling Properties, handled the transaction. Title Guaranty and Abstract handled the title work. Lyle Machinery will be relocating from its current space at 1951 W. I-65 Service Road N. to the new site in early 2017.

Steinway & Sons recently announced the opening of a new locally owned, factory-authorized dealership and gallery in Spanish Fort. Steinway Piano Gallery Spanish Fort will serve southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with sales and service of the entire line of Steinway pianos.

The new location is locally owned and operated by Christy Broussard Myers and her husband, Chris Myers.

To celebrate its first location in Alabama, Steinway Piano Gallery will hold a grand opening celebration Friday, Jan. 13, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring a full day of musical events. 

The Swift-Coles House in Bon Secour and the Jenkins Family Farm House in Loxley are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. McNair Historic Preservation represented the property owners and completed all necessary research, drawings and applications, as required by the National Park Service.

According to Stephen McNair, owner of McNair Historic Preservation, the Swift-Coles house was built in 1882, expanded in 1902 and 1910, and has now transitioned into a public house museum. The Jenkins Family Farm House has been owned and operated continuously by the Jenkins family since 1915.