Locally owned Coastal Sunrise Market Group, LLC, is leasing the 11,192-square-foot former Rite Aid building at 101 S. Greeno Road in Fairhope, across from Thomas Hospital. The store will become a specialty food market, providing both fresh and local produce from around the area as well as a daily selection of prepared, ready-to-go meals.

A drive-thru coffee shop concept — reportedly one of the first to be introduced in Fairhope — will also be opened as part of the new company’s overall business plan. Justin Toomey with Stirling Properties represented the landlord in the transaction.

• A local investor has purchased the 10,000-square-foot industrial and warehouse facility at 3422 Georgia Pacific Ave. in Mobile for $250,000. Nathan Handmacher, leasing executive with Stirling Properties, represented the seller in the transaction. Steven McMahon with Inge and Associates worked for the buyer.

• The Weavil Co. recently sold a reportedly late 1800s historic property at 1155 Government St., directly across from the Alabama Veterans Administration, for $320,000. The 4,758-square-foot former antebellum home has served as a law office for more than 30 years. The buyers plan to renovate the property back into a residential home, according to Cameron Weavil, who represented the sellers. Celeste Buchman with Roberts Brothers worked for the buyers.

• Baltimore-based Prometric, a provider of technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions, is leasing 1,750 square feet of retail space at 1234 Hillcrest Road in Mobile. Co-tenants in the center include Republic Finance and Knots Salon. The company plans to open in February. Angie McArthur, leasing executive with Stirling Properties, handled the transaction.

• An out-of-town investor recently purchased a 7,800-square-foot office and warehouse property situated on 2.7 acres in Creola for $235,000. The space is currently fully occupied and under lease by an industrial business tenant. Pete Riehm with NAI Mobile represented the buyer; Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty worked for the seller. 

• Bowen Sporting Goods has leased 2,000 square feet of office space in Music Plaza, located at 3656 Government Blvd. in Mobile. Angie McArthur with Stirling Properties worked for the landlord in the transaction. John Vallas with Vallas Realty represented the tenant.

• ISS Marine Services Inc. is relocating its offices from the RSA Battle House Tower to 1210 Hillcrest Road, where they have leased roughly 8,107 square feet of space. Plans are in place for the company to assume occupancy in spring 2019. Jill Meeks with Stirling Properties represented the landlord in the transaction. David Fullington with CBRE worked for the tenant.

• Out-of-state investors recently purchased the Bel Air Office Complex located at 3100 Cottage Hill Road in Mobile for $4.2 million. The property consists of seven buildings totaling 127,170 square feet. Jay D. Roberds and David Dexter of NAI Mobile brokered the sale. NAI Mobile represents the new owners in the management and leasing of the property.

New orders for Airbus   

The U.S. Airbus facility in Mobile was the recipient of two significant orders, kicking off 2019 on a productive note, according to recent news releases.

JetBlue Airways has firmed up an order for 60 new A220-300 aircraft, the larger model of the new A220 series. JetBlue’s existing Airbus fleet includes 193 A320 and A321ceo aircraft in operation, with an additional 85 A321neo aircraft on order.

“As we approach our 20th anniversary, the impressive range and economics of the highly efficient A220, combined with the outstanding performance of our existing fleet of Airbus A321 and restyled A320 aircraft, will help ensure we deliver the best onboard experience to customers and meet our long-term financial targets,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said.

Additionally, a new low-cost U.S. airline, named Moxy, has signed a firm order with Airbus to purchase 60 A220-300 aircraft.  

Moxy is a new venture led by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways. In addition to JetBlue, Neeleman has also founded Azul Brazilian Airlines and is the controlling investor in the revitalization of TAP Air Portugal.

Plans for Moxy were unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow last July. “The A220-300 is the right airplane for a new airline that will be focused on passenger service and satisfaction,” Neeleman said.

The A220 is specifically designed for the 100-150 passenger seat market. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5,020 km), the aircraft offers the performance of comparatively larger single-aisle aircraft. 

“With a low cost of operation and spacious cabin, the A220 will allow us to provide passengers with lower fares and a high-quality, comfortable flying experience,” Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer, said. “Moxy has its sights set on the future, so I can’t think of a better aircraft to put into their fleet than the A220.”

Both orders were completed the final week of December 2018. Airbus will produce the A220-300 planes at a new, dedicated Airbus design plant in Mobile. Construction plans for the site have it adjacent to the existing local Airbus A320 assembly facility, and build-out will begin this month.

United Bank sponsors startup pitch competition

United Bank, which serves the Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida markets, has launched the Homegrown Startup Pitchfest, a business plan and “elevator pitch” competition offering prizes totaling $40,000.

The grand prize winner will receive $25,000, with $10,000 going to first place and $5,000 going to second place. Prizes will sponsored by Discover Financial Services.

“Small business is the driver of our nation’s economy, so we are excited to help create this opportunity for entrepreneurs to access capital and elevate their story,” United Bank President and CEO Robert R. Jones III said.

The competition is open to both new and/or experienced entrepreneurs. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Alabama or Florida. Ten finalists will be chosen to pitch locally based business ideas to a panel of judges.

“Community financial institutions like United Bank are vital to the health of the local economies in which they operate,” Dave Schneider, senior vice president of Discover Debit Strategies said. “The Homegrown Startup competition is a great opportunity for the bank to make an important contribution by supporting local business.”

The final event will take place March 28 at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. Finalists will present their two-minute pitch before a live audience and panel of judges. Winners will be announced at the event.

Deadline for submissions is January 11. For complete rules, see the contest site at UnitedBank.com/HomegrownStartup.