On April 14 Perdido Dunes Tower Condominiums, located at 27070 Perdido Beach Blvd., will hold a groundbreaking ceremony. The 11-story single-tower complex was completely leveled in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan, according to Laura Ward manager for the Perdido Dunes Tower Association.

The property will feature 100 front feet of beach space and sits 60 feet closer to the Gulf than neighboring condos. Prices will range from $675,000 to $750,000 for the 1,900-square-foot four-bedroom, three-bath units. Two units are available per floor and the site sits about three miles west of the Florida border in Orange Beach.

According to Pratt Thomas of Merrill P. Thomas Co., Bayou La Batre-based Von’s Restaurant & Grill will open a new locale in LoDa early fall at 69 St. Michael St. The site leased is roughly 1,200-square-feet.

Jimmy Lowe’s Produce located at 5830 U.S. Highway 90 in Theodore was recently bought by a local speculator for $545,000. Mamun Siddiq of REMAX Partners worked for both buyer and seller in handling the deal.

According to Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty a 6,400-square-foot warehouse and office space located at 713 Lakeside Dr. has been leased by Howard Services, a locally owned HVAC company in Mobile.

Austal USA holds surprise ceremony
On Tuesday, April 7, final assembly line employee Dexter Jones and his family gathered at Austal USA’s office complex — in a surprise ceremony — to witness his 13-year-old son, Dexter Jones, Jr., who is suffering from cerebral palsy and blindness, receive a paid trip for him and his family to Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, courtesy of Magic Moments Children’s Charity.

Magic Moments is the only wish-granting organization dedicated exclusively to children in Alabama suffering with chronic life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1984, Magic Moments has granted over 4,300 fully paid trips to children in each of Alabama’s 67 counties. The charity establishes lasting relationships with children and families with programs such as an annual Family Camp and regional events throughout the year.

Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA President, presented the gift to the family in the auditorium in the Office Complex. Since Jones Jr. is blind, Magic Moments provided Disney theme music to go along with the presentation as well as two Disney princesses for effect.

Young entrepreneur in Gulf Shores receives start-up funding grant
Thirteen-year-old Braswell McMeans, owner of Pleasure Island Paradise, producer of all-natural handmade scrubs out of Gulf Shores, recently received a $1,250 grant from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) program based in Foley.

Throughout the school year Braswell traveled to Foley weekly for the YEA! Program sponsored by the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. There he learned about entrepreneurship from volunteer instructor Rick Miller of Pro356 Consulting as well as from expert several guest speakers invited to share their knowledge.

Braswell worked with mentors Tom and Linda Spangrud of Spangrud and Associates to develop a business plan and presentation. McMeans also worked with his parents — Braswell and Tara McMeans of Design Print Promote — on product branding, marketing, and trade shows.

“When I was a kid, we never had anyone tell us that you could work for yourself when you grew up,” Tara McMeans said. “This program not only teaches students how to do this, but that they can start their own business at any age.”

Since opening his business, Braswell has participated in several local events including the GCAA Art Market, Merry Market, and Festival of Flavor and has received supportive feedback from the community, customers and other local businesses.

“I am just so thankful to everyone that has helped me get to this point,” McMeans said. “But it’s not over now that the investor’s panel granted me $1,250 in funding. I’m just getting started.”

His goal is to be a vendor at the Shrimp Festival this year and in a handful of retail locations by the summer.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a year-long class that facilitates in the transformation of middle and high school students into real world entrepreneurs. Students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research and pitch their plans to a panel of investors with the goal of hopefully launching and running their own legal, fully formed companies.

Training includes accomplished guest speakers from the local business community and field trips to local companies. According to the press release, YEA! is continuing to expand across the country with the mission of teaching students how to make a job, not just take a job.

“Many More Miles” campaign sets record in donations
Locals from both Baldwin and Mobile counties recently donated a prodigious pile of gently used footwear to Baldwin Bone & Joint’s 12th annual Many More Miles campaign for a record-breaking year.

According to the press release, 2,729 pairs of shoes were contributed to the 2015 charity campaign. This more than doubles donations from the 2014 campaign, which yielded 1,355 shoes.

Baldwin Bone & Joint, P.C., Baldwin County YMCA, Port City Pacers, McCoy Outdoor Co., Dr. Glenn Glass and the University of South Alabama Student Recreation Center partnered to collect shoes for the homeless outreach programs of Wings of Life and Discovery Ministries. The campaign got started in January and concluded at the Azalea Trail Run held on March 28. 

Students in Mobile and Baldwin Counties were also given the opportunity to collect shoes and earn money for their schools’ PE programs. Dixon Elementary won first place, collecting 1,450 pairs of shoes and received a $300 prize. Fairhope Intermediate took second place and a $200 prize, and Spanish Fort Elementary received third place and a $100 prize.

For those who missed the deadline for donations this year but still have footwear to offer, McCoy Outdoor Co. of Mobile collects used running shoes year-round. They can be dropped off at their store on 3498 Springhill Ave. in Springhill Plaza.

Established in 1989, Baldwin Bone & Joint provides orthopedic care to patients of all ages, with all conditions. Office locations include Daphne, Bay Minette, Orange Beach and Mobile.