Daphne-based real estate brokerage firm Shamrock Properties LLC announced last week that the private local owners of 3-5 North Royal Street, a 4,000-square-foot, toney two-story commercial property located in downtown Mobile, was picked up by Pascagoula, Miss.-headquartered Merchants & Marine Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merchants & Marine Bancorp Inc. (OTC QX: MNMB), for about $1.25 million.
“We are very excited for the sale of 3-5 N. Royal Street,” David Kahalley, owner of Shamrock Properties, said. “This purchase gives M&M Bank a footprint downtown in a prime location to expand their services and branches.”
Additionally, according to a Business Wire news release pushed out last month, M&M Bank is also acquiring a West Mobile branch of Little Rock, Ark.-based Bank OZK (NASDAQ: OZK), located at 6161 Airport Boulevard. As a part of the transaction, M&M will assume all of the deposits, loans and other assets of the former OZK office.
This will be M&M’s first venture into Mobile County, with current offices found across the bay in Daphne, Fairhope and Gulf Shores.
Timeline expectations for the downtown site are to open by early next year, before the start of the Mardi Gras season, in whatever form that may take during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The West Mobile branch transaction is currently subject to review by federal and state bank regulators and, pending approval, the deal is expected to close late this year. M&M will provide advance information and notice to OZK clients concerning their accounts prior to the transaction closing, which is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“We will staff our new downtown location with up to five employees. That branch will need retail bankers, a business banker and a retail bank manager. Some employees may be shared with our new Airport Boulevard location,” Chief Administrative Officer Kristi Maxwell said. “Importantly, our executive leadership team will spend significant time in Mobile working from our new Royal Street office, including our CEO, Clayton Legear. He will maintain a second office there.”
She went on to say the bank intends to build out the retail branch footprint downstairs while maintaining the upstairs space for management and staff. The property also already houses the historic Royal Barbers barbershop on the ground floor of the property, and it will reportedly continue business operations unaffected by the change in ownership.
M&M Bank has also purchased the 9-11 N. Royal St. parking area to perform resurfacing and entry control enhancement work, which will serve as a dedicated client and employee parking lot for the facility. Fairhope-headquartered architect firm Walcott Adams Verneulle and Daphne-based contractor Witherington Construction Corporation have been hired locally to handle work on the projects.
“The former owners of the building did an exceptional job refurbishing the upstairs portion of the building. It’s beautiful and oozes ‘old Mobile history.’ We will focus our efforts on building out an equally impressive branch downstairs that offers a very curated, private banking experience for clients,” Maxwell said.
“We are delighted to be able to join the Mobile community in such a meaningful way. Balancing the history and growth of downtown with the progress and commerce of West Mobile places M&M Bank in a great position to serve Mobilians. Our bank has deep roots along the Gulf Coast, and many of these roots have run through Mobile for decades,” President and CEO Clayton Legear said.
BUSINESS MOVES, TRANSACTIONS
In an update, the mixed-use project in Midtown Mobile next door to the Dew Drop Inn, called The Lofts at Midtown, has broken ground for build-out.
The development group RGH Midtown, led by local companies Crescent Development and Hamilton & Company, acquired the property in March of this year. The 1.2-acre site was picked up for roughly $440,000.
Lewis H. Golden of Hamilton & Company recently represented RGH Midtown in the transaction. Construction of the project is being handled by Chattanooga, Tenn.-based DBS Corporation.
Additionally, the owners of Nova Espresso have signed a lease to occupy some 1,650 square feet on the western endcap of the first floor to open Nova Market, a coffee and boutique retail concept.
According to owners Tim and Claire Gautreaux, Nova Market will offer a full range of products including coffee, toilet paper, beer, wine, pantry staples, gifts and ice cream — all handpicked by the owners. This will be the couple’s third concept following Nova Espresso and planned craft cocktail bar, Thy Neighbor.
“This is an exciting project and we are elated to add Nova to the tenant mix. We think they will be a great addition to the neighborhood for Midtown residents, including those living on-property,” Golden said.
As first reported locally in Lagniappe, the 25,000-square-foot building will include 8,250 square feet of ground-floor commercial space available for lease, with a 1,650-square-foot minimum.
The upper two floors will include 24 Class A lofts available for lease with a mix of one- and two-bedroom floorplans. The lofts will feature controlled access, elevator service and a planned rooftop terrace. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.
Matheson, a multinational gas and equipment company, has leased a 7,500-square-foot warehouse building located at 5715 Iron Works Road in Theodore. This is the Irving, Texas-based firm’s first foray into Mobile County as well as Alabama. Pete Riehm and J.T. Jenkins with NAI Mobile handled both sides of the lease transaction.
Staffing plans at the site and further expansion plans into the area were unknown as of press time. Matheson is the largest subsidiary of Tokyo-headquartered Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) group, one of the four largest suppliers of industrial, specialty and electronics gases in the world.
Clint Flowers with Mobile-based National Land Realty recently announced the acquisition of a little over 700 acres of raw real estate in the Robertsdale area by nonlocal speculators for $1.7 million.
The site is accessible coming off of Exit 53 from Interstate 10 in Baldwin County and fronts nearly 3,000 feet on the Styx River waterway. Development plans for the property currently include constructing RV camping and recreation sites along Styx River.
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