According to Harry Johnson of Baldwin Rental Properties, some 1,500 square feet of restaurant space will open in the same building as Manci’s Antique Club at 1715 Main St. in Daphne to accommodate Buster’s, a new bar. The concept is the brainchild of Manci’s owners and will include a wine bar and small menu featuring wood-fired pizza, among other offerings.

A group of local investors sold the office/warehouse building at 1944 S. Broad St. to Ram Tool for $400,000. The building has approximately 25,000 square feet of space. Allan Cameron of NAI Mobile represented the buyers. Tommy Praytor of Praytor Realty worked for the sellers. 

Per Ballard Sweat with RE/MAX Paradise in Orange Beach, a 100-square-foot site fronting the gulf and located at 1933 W. Beach Blvd. in Gulf Shores was acquired by a local area investor for nearly $1 million. The property is zoned for single-family residential use. Ballard Sweat worked for the seller; Stephen Harrison of REMAX Gulf Shores represented the buyer.

Nature Conservancy purchased 10 acres of gulf beach frontage property off Bienville Boulevard on Dauphin Island for $2.6 million. Roughly 1,000 square feet of the acquisition sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico, according to Allan Cameron of NAI Mobile, who brokered the transaction. 

Some 1,500 square feet of space was recently leased by Snohomish, Washington-based dinner assembly franchise Dream Diners inside the Shore Oaks Center at 1511 U.S. Highway 98 in Daphne. Colby Herrington with Herrington Realty managed the transaction.

‘Safety Director of the Year’
Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Alabama, along with industry partners Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Alabama and SubAla, recently announced statewide safety award winners at a ceremony in Montgomery.

“Safe Day is ABC’s, AGC’s and SubAla’s summit day for celebrating and recognizing the importance of safety in our industry,” ABC Alabama president Jay Reed said. “Participation has grown in recent years, reflecting our members’ acknowledgement that facilitating safety procedures and practices is the most important thing we do as responsible construction companies.”

The event is touted as a recognition and networking event that helps construction companies, engineering firms and related businesses share accomplishments. Industry best practices are highlighted and adherence to occupational health and safety standards is emphasized as a common theme to be followed by all industry professionals.

In a highlight, safety manager Ross Moyer with White-Spunner Construction (WSC) was selected as the 2017 Safety Director of the Year. An Oklahoma native, Moyer is a 2012 graduate of Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in safety management.

In 2014, his first year at WSC, he was selected as the Mobile-Area Safety Leader of the Year. At 27, Moyer is reportedly one of the youngest professionals selected for the prestigious, multi-association-sponsored accolade.

Other local companies earning safety awards at the ceremony included: Volkert Engineering, Gold Award and Innovation in Safety Awards; Thompson Engineering, Gold Award; and White-Spunner Construction, 2017 STEP Diamond Award.

“For ABC, AGC, SubAla and its members, Safe Day represents the true heart and character of who we are. Our industry can be challenging and is also very competitive. There are many issues we are faced with every day on our jobsites that require our focus and attention. Safety is the one common denominator that is unanimous among us all as a top priority,” Reed said.
For a complete list of 2017 winners, visit ABC Alabama’s website.

Law firm wins decision in landmark court case
 After nearly four years of litigation, the Supreme Court of Alabama issued a recent decision unanimously affirming a lower court ruling that upheld a defense award for 11 corporate and individual defendants represented by Phelps Dunbar Alabama litigation lawyers Bo Williams, Will Gamble and Bradley Sanders.

The lawsuit began in 2013, when Mobile-based Clear Image Construction Inc. filed suit against 11 individuals for alleged usurpation of corporate opportunity, minority shareholder oppression, breach of corporate duty and interference with contract in connection with an out-of-state oil industry support business. The law firm moved the dispute to the Circuit Court of Mobile County for arbitration.  

“Given the number of parties, claims and defenses involved in this case, we believed that the most advantageous forum was arbitration, in front of a three-person panel of experienced lawyers with extensive backgrounds in complex, commercial litigation,” Phelps Dunbar attorney Bo Williams said.

During the proceeding, Clear Image Construction made landmark legal claims exceeding $100 million, including punitive damages. This amount was later reduced to a range of $9 million to $18 million following the arbitration hearing.

Following a post-hearing briefing, a panel of three arbitrators from Atlanta entered a unanimous defense award for Phelps Dunbar’s clients along with an attorneys’ fee award for one of the firm’s clients against the plaintiff. The law firm also successfully defended the plaintiff’s subsequent appeal to the trial court and then to the Alabama Supreme Court. 

 Phelps Dunbar is a regional law firm of more than 260 attorneys with offices in Mobile; New Orleans and Baton Rouge; Jackson, Tupelo and Gulfport; Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth; Tampa; Raleigh, North Carolina; and London, U.K.

2017 Dragon Boat Festival update
Local nonprofit Fuse Project reports 53 teams have registered so far to participate in the annual Dragon Boat Festival scheduled for Saturday, June 10, at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Just a dozen spots remain.
“Without a doubt, last year’s move to the Battleship allowed us to increase participation in our festival,” Adrienne Golden, Fuse Project’s executive director, said. “We only have 12 spots remaining, so if you are planning to participate in our festival, please go online and register to reserve your team.”  

Read more about the Dragon Boat Festival in this week’s sports column by J. Mark Bryant.