According to Amber Hightower Dedeaux of Vallas Realty, the Midtown Publix Shopping Center site currently under construction near the corner of Old Shell Road and North Florida Street has morphed into a bustling new business cynosure rapidly approaching full occupancy prior to its projected first quarter 2018 debut.

New tenants include: Rock N Roll Sushi, which has leased 2,250 square feet of eatery space in the B building fronting Old Shell Road. Local franchise owner Chip Burr has four other locations in Baton Rouge, Pensacola and Foley but this will be his inaugural site in Mobile. It will be the brand’s first and only eatery east of I-65 in Mobile. The sushi restaurant usually employs 10 to 15 workers per new locale.

Birmingham-based Taco Mama has leased 2,250 square feet of space that includes a revised service area converted into patio space. Hunter and Bob Omainsky also are owners of the Mobile-based Wintzell’s Oyster House.

This will be the first Taco Mama in lower Alabama. Other locations are in Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Auburn. Taco Mama typically employs around 20 workers when opening a new location.

Lee Nails Salon, a franchised nail salon with over 75 locations in the Southeast, has signed a 10-year lease for 2,100 square feet of space in the A building within the Publix Shopping Center site and about 15 to 20 new hires will work in the space. Tommy Pham is the local owner.

Greg Harvell owner of local clothier G Harvell’s has signed a new lease for a larger space within the Publix center. Some 2,353 square feet of floor space will be occupied in the C building facing Florida Street. The lease agreement will extend into 2023.

Vallas Realty is currently in talks with two ladies’ clothing boutiques to fill the remaining 2,100 square feet of space adjacent to G Harvell in Building C.

“We are also working with a national hair franchise to lease approximately 1,400 square feet in the A1 building and two large regional restaurant chains are considering leasing the A3 building on site. A cellular tenant has also expressed interest in the development,” Dedeaux said.


Publix recently announced in a news release that they will be holding a job fair Sunday, Dec. 3 through Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to hire for the new midtown location slated to open in early 2018.

Interviews will be held inside the main conference room at the Hampton Inn & Suites located at 1028 W. I-65 Service Road S. in Mobile. Some of the positions interviewed for, according to the Publix website, will include: Bakery, Deli, Grocery, Meat/Seafood, Pharmacy, Produce and Customer Service.

More information on job openings can be found on the Publix website.

To date, the project is 77 percent leased with construction work buzzing around the development. Planners expect to have the C building complete this month, the A buildings finished next month and the parking lot sealed and striped by Dec. 31.

“We still have a few spaces remaining. The rents will be between $25 and $30 per square foot. The Midtown area is historically known for its eclectic dining scene and the tenants who locate in this area consistently win Lagniappe’s Nappie award for best in their respective categories,” Dedeaux noted.

“Publix won Best Grocery Chain for 2016 and 2017; Ashland Midtown Pub won for Best Bloody Mary and Best Po Boy in 2016 and 2017; Butch Cassidy’s won in 2016 and 2017 for Best Locally Owned Restaurant; Sterling Hot Yoga won in 2016 and 2017 for Best Yoga Instructor; Waite’s won in 2016 and 2017 for Best Dry Cleaners; Cammie’s Old Dutch — which is the oldest ice cream shop in Alabama — wins consistently in the Best Ice Cream/Yogurt/Gelato category,” she said.

More commercial real estate moves
Lickin’ Good Donuts has leased some 1,300 square feet of restaurant space located at Uptown Plaza, situated at East 20th Avenue in Gulf Shores. according to Stacey Ryals of Hosteeva Realty and David Milstead of Bellator Real Estate and Development who managed the transaction for the landlord.

Some three acres of property was recently acquired for $300,000 by Eddie Spence and David Cahoon, co-owners of the Gulf Shores-based Shrimp Basket seafood restaurant chain. Stacey Ryals with Hosteeva Realty handled the transaction. The site is located directly west of OWA located at 10113 Foley Beach Express.

A Gulf Shores property, the former NFL Building and Garden Center located at 3705 Gulf Shores Parkway — which includes a 30,000 square foot warehouse property as well as a 17,000 square foot main building — was recently picked up by Mobile based Mobile Lumber for $3.5 million. David and Angie Swiger of Swiger & Company Realtors managed the transaction.

New COO for Providence and Sacred Heart
Susan Cornejo has been selected as the new chief operating officer for Providence Hospital in Mobile and Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola. Both health systems are part of Ascension, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system.

Cornejo has served as the chief financial officer for both Sacred Heart and Providence for the past four years. Before that, she served as chief financial officer for Providence Hospital for three years and has broad experience in health care administration.

Prior to joining Ascension, Cornejo was vice president and corporate controller at St. Vincent’s Health System in Birmingham. She also previously served for eight years with HealthSouth in South Carolina. She also worked in a variety of roles for Parkview Health System in Fort Wayne, Indiana for 14 years.

Cornejo is a certified public accountant who earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University-Purdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Per a news release, Ascension health care facilities have operated along the central Gulf Coast for more than 160 years and employ over 6,600.

Ozanam Pharmacy welcomes new board member
Sherry Coker, a private banker with ServisFirst Bank, has joined the Board of Directors of Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy in Mobile. Coker has been with ServisFirst since April of 2013 and previously served as a manager with Banktrust.

She is a director of the Alabama Banking School and a corporate volunteer for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She will serve as Treasurer of Ozanam’s Board of Directors.

Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy is a fully licensed pharmacy providing prescription medications to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Prescriptions are filled at no charge for individuals who qualify based on household income.

For their fiscal 2016-2017 year, Ozanam dispensed over 28,000 prescriptions with an estimated retail value of over $2 million, distributed among 1,671 patients in Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties.