Together with officials from the city of Mobile, Rural Sourcing Inc. will hold an official ribbon-cutting and grand opening of its Mobile Software Development Center Thursday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 455 St. Louis St.

The new center is one of the final steps for RSI to attain its goal of bringing more than 100 high-tech, high-paying new jobs to the area, which was heralded over a year ago. The ceremony includes a presentation by Monty Hamilton, RSI’s CEO, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and then a preview of the office. Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson will be in attendance.

The new RSI location is part of the renovation and revitalization of the Buick Building and a catalyst for further development of Mobile’s high-tech corridor. The historic property, also known as the Turner-Todd Motor Company building, is a 40,000-square-foot structure that recently completed a floor-to-ceiling restoration.

Atlanta, Georgia-based RSI is a domestic sourcing alternative to offshoring for technology development, with clients ranging from Fortune 500 to midsize companies across the country. RSI leverages IT skilled resources domestically, with facilities located near universities in smaller cities. Mobile’s lower cost of living and proven delivery methods enable RSI to provide significant cost savings for its clients.

B.R. Williams opens logistics center
Oxford, Alabama-based B.R. Williams, a trucking, logistics and warehousing firm, recently announced the opening of its new distribution center in Mobile at 5360 Commerce Blvd. East near Rangeline Road. The facility will provide jobs for 25 new employees, according to a news release.

The 147,000-square-foot facility will offer a suite of distribution/logistics services including cross-docking, LCL consolidation and distribution, complete inventory management, full-truckload and LTL services.

“The environment of sustained economic growth that has been maintained and cultivated over the past several years in the Mobile market has not escaped the attention of B.R. Willams. This, coupled with the world-class port and container operations, has led to our strategic decision to place assets and service offerings in the area,” CEO Greg Brown said.

“It is our belief that the Mobile market will continue to attract all types of firms, including those that will require our services. While that stands on its own, the expansion of the Panama Canal fortifies our decision,” he said.

B.R. Williams, which currently serves all 48 contiguous states, has six locations in Alabama and one in Tallahassee, Florida. Its distribution network supports 50 customers and another 2,500 in its trucking and logistics division.             

Commercial real estate moves
According to Nathan Cox of Bellator Real Estate & Development, Truland Homes paid $650,000 for 10 lots in Daphne at The Retreat at Tiwassee, located off Baldwin County Highway 13. Plans are in place to build new residential homes in the existing subdivision starting in the $300K range, according to Cox.
Local investors recently purchased a 7,500-square-foot office and warehouse building on Industrial Parkway in Theodore for $120,000. Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty worked for the buyer and Marl Cummings of Cummings & Associates represented the seller. According to Wilson, the new owners are going to rehab the building and an industrial distribution company will occupy the space as a leasing tenant.

Island Realty and Management recently leased a 600-square-foot office space located on 25637 Canal Road at Wolf Bay Plaza in Orange Beach. Michael Wilson with White-Spunner Realty managed the transaction.

Gulf Coast Wing House will be the name of the new sports-bar themed eatery opening at the Loop-area property formerly housing the Ollie’s Mediterranean Grill location that recently shuttered. According to insiders familiar with the deal, a soft opening is tentatively planned for sometime this month.     

Merits of Midtown Publix
According to the Midtown Mobile Movement website, a survey was released in October to determine whether or not the residents and merchants on Old Shell Road are in favor of the proposed Publix grocery store development planned at the former Augusta Evans School property near the intersection of Old Shell Road and Florida Street (one of three sites proposed).

According to the results, residents and merchants supported the building of a high-end grocer but were very specific about what they would like and how the building should be designed in relation to the street.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, more than 60 Midtown residents and stakeholders gathered for a neighborhood charrette to participate and provide input about the plans. During the session, urban planners and designers asked questions and led discussions. Participants also collectively brainstormed and drew ideas on maps of Old Shell Road from Interstate 65 to Broad Street.

The next day, more than 70 Midtown residents and stakeholders attended a public work-in-progress program provided by urban planners and designers. The presentation outlined the principles resulting from community input during the Old Shell Road Midtown charrette and provided potential design solutions that reflect those principles.

During the presentation, the audience was polled on whether the plan was on track and what types of architecture are preferred for commercial developments. The work-in-progress and additional input collected over the next few weeks served as the foundation for Old Shell Road Midtown plan. 

To date, local realtor John Vallas is working with Publix to discuss options with city officials following input from the charrette. To view the draft plans for the Old Shell Road Publix proposal site, go to the link found on the Midtown Mobile Movement website.

Austal USA hosting 2nd annual USMC Toys for Tots drive
This Friday, Dec. 4, Austal USA in Mobile will be hosting the U.S. Marine Corps as it collects money and toys for the Toys for Tots toy drive. The Marines will be posted outside the main gate on Addsco Road collecting donations as the employees enter starting at 4 a.m. and finishing at 8 a.m.  

In 2014, Austal USA collected more than 1,200 toys and $1,700 in cash donations. Questions about the charity event may be directed to Michelle Bowden at Austal’s corporate office in Mobile.