NAI Mobile recently announced it brokered the sale of 6.6 acres at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 98 and County Road 44 on the south side of Fairhope, with a sales price of $1,439,180.

The sellers were a local investment group. The buyers, Pensacola, Florida-based Catalyst CRE, have established Magnolia Medical Park as one of two commercial real estate projects currently underway for development in the red-hot Baldwin County real estate market. According to Catalyst CRE’s website, the Fairhope property will be the site for construction of a 36,000-square-foot medical office building that will service the entirety of the Eastern Shore, from Fairhope north to Spanish Fort. It is expected to open in late 2017.

Additionally, Catalyst CRE soon will have completed construction on a two-story, 28,000-square-foot, on-campus new medical office building in Foley. This building will house orthopedic, physical therapy, cardiology, general surgery, neurology and pediatrics services. For more information about the projects, visit www.catalystcre.com.

Commercial real estate moves
Per John Delchamps of Merrill P. Thomas Co., some 62,000 square feet of office warehouse space located at 3201 Meador Drive in Mobile was purchased by Trent Hall Properties for $650,000. Joey Betbeze of Betbeze Realty worked for the buyers and Delchamps represented the seller.

Dog Days Barkery recently leased a 1,300-square-foot retail space in Olde Shell Square, at 5552 Old Shell Road across from the U.S. Post Office, and held its grand opening. Dog Days specializes in all-natural dog and cat foods, homemade treats, cakes and ice cream, holistic supplements, healthy chews and eco-friendly pet supplies. Pratt Thomas of Merrill P. Thomas Co. represented the landlord and Tom Bradley of The Cummings Company worked for the tenant.

Jay O’Brien of J.L. O’Brien & Associates Inc. recently reported the purchase of a 1,338-square-foot building located at 2154 Airport Blvd. for $110,000 by Identity Salon, currently at 1218 Montlimar Drive in Mobile. Plans are in place for the business to relocate to the Loop-area site by early 2017 after renovations to the property. Courtney & Morris Real Estate in Daphne worked for the seller and J.L. O’Brien & Associates represented the buyer.

Gulf Shores-based Yabba’s Wacky Snack Shack is opening a second location in Foley according to Kim Ward of Kim Ward Realty. The building was purchased for $375,000. The new owners plan to renovate the 70-year-old, 7,000-square-foot property prior to opening. The sellers of the 1940s-era site, located on U.S. Highway 98, were represented by Robert Younce of Sand Dollar Real Estate.

Buywise Rent-to-Own furniture store recently signed a five-year lease for 6,630 square feet of retail and warehouse space at the former Linen Locker at 2 Ferry Ave. in Saraland. Tommy Gleason and Josh W. Hall of NAI Mobile worked for the landlord in the transaction. Alan Garstecki of JLL represented the tenant.

Per Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty, a Zaxby’s franchisee has purchased a lot at the corner of Spring Hill Avenue and Mobile Infirmary Drive in Mobile and will be starting construction of the new restaurant in the next few weeks. BT Roberts of Roberts Brothers represented the seller. John Vallas of Vallas Realty and Herrington worked for Zaxby’s.

Some 3,300 square feet of retail space was leased by Verizon Wireless off U.S. Highway 98 at the Daphne Southern Gate Center, according to Colby Herrington of Herrington Realty.

Stirling Properties’ commercial survey
Stirling Properties recently released findings of its commercial real estate office market survey, providing a snapshot of market movements effective through the third calendar quarter of 2016.

The information was gathered on professional office buildings in Mobile with 20,000 or more square feet of space. The goal of the study was to assist commercial real estate agents in tracking average rental rates, occupancy rates and average absorption rates for West Mobile and the downtown Central Business District.

According to the survey, the West Mobile area has seen a number of noteworthy transactions. The net effect, however, was a negligible decrease in average occupancy in this part of the city, from 79.5 percent to 79.4 percent, as well as a decrease in the average rental rate, from $15.50 per square foot to $15.35 per square foot, reflecting a decrease in the absorption rate of 0.09 percent from Q1 2016.

Prominent closings in West Mobile were highlighted by the shuttering of the ITT Technical Institute and Englobal at 3100 Cottage Hill Road, representing approximately 41,250 square feet of reduced total occupancy, from 83 percent to roughly 51 percent.

Notable expansions included Montlimar Place, Stantec and Physicians Mutual, all with new leases. West Corp. renewed its lease of approximately 60,000 square feet of office space. Additionally, Butler Pappas Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP relocated its offices to Riverview Plaza and Michael Baker International relocated to the Van Antwerp Building, both in the CBD.

According to the report, there was a slight decrease in the occupancy rate in the CBD from approximately 65.9 percent to 63.6 percent, with an average rental rate of $17.25 per square foot (no change from Q1 2016). In spite of the decreased absorption rate of 2.21 percent from early 2016, new activity is taking place in downtown Mobile.

The development at 210 Government St. was recently acquired by local investors who signed a lease with Hargrove Controls + Automation, a division of Hargrove Engineers + Constructors. In addition, Oakworth Capital Bank leased approximately 4,650 square feet of space at One St. Louis Centre, while Southern Light moved a portion of its offices from One St. Louis Centre to The RSA Trustmark Building.

According to the Stirling Properties survey, Mobile’s growth is evident with several building projects planned and underway. In the CBD, a new federal courthouse is under construction and Meridian at the Port, a 264-unit apartment complex at 300 Water St., is awaiting construction.

Finally, Wal-Mart’s recent announcement of plans for a new 2.9 million-square-foot distribution center going up in West Mobile, as well as Airbus launching its first “Made in Alabama” airplane last April are additional indicators of further local office market stabilization moving into 2017.
For more information on the survey, visit Stirling Properties’ website.