Massage Envy is breaking ground on their third location in West Mobile in December. The property will be 2,800-square-feet with 10 therapy rooms. Doors are expected to open February 2015 for a grand opening just prior to Valentine’s Day.

“We are offering Christmas gift card specials at all of our locations which can be redeemed at any Massage Envy spa and they never expire. We are excited about this expansion of our brand and continuing to share our vision with the Mobile area,” Alexis Fonte, director of operations said.

Also in the works are plans to roll out a fourth location in Orange Beach by 2017 if sales growth continues. “The demographics in the area are in line with our standards for a successful operation, but we have to see how our other clinics fare with member growth to determine if it will be supported,” Fonte said.

Running parallel to expanding their current brand, the owners of Massage Envy also intend to open their first sugaring hair removal franchise called LA Bikini in the new Costco Shopping Center in March of 2015.

The sugaring process is a method of hair removal that has been in use since 1900 BC. Sugaring is often compared to standard waxing. However, it can be applied at room temperature, minimizing the risk of burns. For this reason, the process is oftentimes preferred over waxing when it comes to removing hair from larger areas of skin.

Commercial Real Estate Moves

A 4,050-square-foot store front and warehouse located at 1312 W. I-65 Service Road (between Airport Boulevard and Cottage Hill Road) was purchased by local investors for $251,000. Terry McKinney with Delaney Land and Realty worked for the buyer and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty represented the seller. Plans are for the property to be used in a retail capacity in the future.

Eastern Shore Tax Professionals leased a 1,320-square-foot office suite located within the Publix Grocery anchoring the Magnolia Place Shopping Center in Daphne. Michael Wilson and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty handled the transaction.

Robert Cook with Vallas Realty Inc. recently sold an 8,200-square-foot office warehouse space at 1909 Brookdale Drive for $175,000 to a local investor. Naman’s Catering currently occupies the building. John Delchamps with Merrill P. Thomas Company represented the buyer.

Mobile Chamber recognizes 2014 award winners

Last Friday, Nov. 21, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce recognized three companies and an individual at a joint meeting of the organization’s governing board of directors, board of advisors and its economic development investors.

2014 Chamber Award Winners Honored were:

Manufacturer of the Year — Mitternight Inc.

Established in 1927 and employing 75 workers, the Satsuma-based company fabricates highly complex vessels for the chemical, petroleum and other sectors. They are also an industry leader in design, engineering and welding with a client base that includes many Fortune 500 companies.

Sales have increased with Mitternight’s investment in technology and operational processes, as well as a new international designation, ISO 14001, focused on environmental management.
The company has invested more than $250,000 in infrastructure and has worked with AIDT and Mobile Works to recruit and train employees.

Corporate Community Service Award Winner — State Farm Makeda Nichols Agency

State Farm Makeda Nichols Agency staff is committed to using its resources to make a big impact in the charity arena.
The staff of eight’s volunteer efforts this past year included: Organizing the Purse with Purpose fundraiser; joining in walks to support breast cancer and diabetes; contributing to Halloween activities at Bellingrath Gardens’ Balloon Glow and assisting in repairs to local storm-damaged churches in Mobile.

The award recognizes companies for their dedication to the community and is presented jointly by The Junior League of Mobile and the Mobile Area Chamber.

Innovator of the Year — Coastal Innovation Hub at the University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama recently opened the Coastal Innovation Hub to help entrepreneurs with initial growth and continued expansion.

The 10,000-square-foot facility is the only high-tech incubator between New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida, and houses up to 25 start-up companies. In addition to faculty-driven companies, non-university technologies account for half of the activity in its first year of existence.

Tenants have the benefit of on-site consulting, professional networks, office space, laboratories, conference rooms, along with access to university libraries and student interns, on their journey to commercialization.

Ambassador of the Year – Kathy Williams

This award is given annually to a top Mobile Area Chamber volunteer participating in the Ambassadors program.

After only a year of volunteer service to the Chamber, Williams received the Ambassador of the Month award twice, assisted with ribbon cuttings and Chamber networking activities, and visited members. She was also an active participant in Chamber Chase, the annual total resource development fund.

She is a professional recruiter with the locally-owned staffing firm J. W. Legacy, and works to fill professional and industrial positions.

Elia promoted to VP of Operations for Roberts Brothers Inc.

Roberts Brothers, Inc. recently announced the appointment of Erica Elia as vice president of operations effective Jan. 1. She will oversee brokerage operations for approximately 200 company agents and staff in three offices.

Sue Cato Winter, current general manager, will be retiring at the end of 2014 after 37 years of service to the company.

“My career at Roberts Brothers, Inc. has truly been a joyful and immensely satisfying time. I have had the opportunity to work for a company whose professionalism and integrity is known throughout the southeast,” Winter said. “I am excited to see Erica Elia accept the responsibilities of vice president of operations. She is uniquely suited to the challenges of her new position and Roberts Brothers, its agents, staff and the community will benefit from her contributions.”

Elia began her real estate career with Roberts Brothers in 2004 as a sales associate. In 2006 she was named managing broker of the Roberts Brothers West office on Grelot Road. Since then, she has developed the office into the top producer in Mobile with over 650 units sold thus far in 2014.

“Erica has proved to be a tremendous asset to our company” Daniel Dennis, president of Roberts Brothers said. “I look forward to this new restructure enhancing our sales associates and their ability to provide superior customer service to buyers and sellers.”