According  to Angie McArthur and Jeff Barnes with Stirling Properties, The Fort — a new container park-style shopping area inside the Spanish Fort Town Center — is fully leased and scheduled to open this month. It is owned by Dallas-based Cypress Equities. McArthur and Barnes have been working on the project since 2015.

Tenants include: Beakers Coffee/Sno Biz; Blues Burger; Deuce Coop; Dickey’s Barbeque Pit; Dragonfly Taco Bar; Happy Pizza; Soul Bowlz; and Tap Station. There will also be a retailer onsite stocked with official “The Fort” merchandise.

The development will consist of approximately eight shipping containers that have been repurposed into functioning restaurants and shops, and will share a common open-air environment where patrons can sit and dine.

Last month the Spanish Fort City Council approved the new development as an entertainment district, allowing patrons over age 21 to openly carry alcoholic beverages outdoors. This designation reportedly allows visitors to move through the shared space of restaurants and shops with alcoholic beverages.

Over the last year, Stirling Properties has helped to secure more than 44,000 square feet of new leases for the retail center, adding Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park, Beauty World (currently under construction next to Kohl’s), Direct Furniture, Oishi Japanese Bar & Grill and Tots2Teens Fun Salon to the diverse tenant lineup.

In conjunction with the new container park, Spanish Fort Town Center is also launching The Village, a boutique retail concept consisting of small and specialty shops such as food options, fitness providers, clothing, gifts, candles, accessories and salon services.

Spanish Fort Town Center, anchored by Bass Pro Shops, Kohl’s and JCPenney, is a 230-acre premier master-planned development at the intersection of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 98 in Baldwin County.

The center includes 450,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, an apartment community, hotels, banks and entertainment options. Leasing for space is currently underway. These units are located across from Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park and The Fort. McArthur and Barnes are currently in negotiations with various retailers that will add another 30,000 square feet of shopping and dining options to the center.

• According to owner and founder David Nelson, Braided River Brewing Co. will be the latest brewpub to sprout in Mobile’s Central Business District. The locally owned business is leasing some 5,500 square feet on the ground floor of the 53,000-square-foot Wheeler Lofts apartment complex at 450 St. Louis St.

Up to five employees will be hired when the brewpub is fully staffed. “We will be using about 1,500 square feet for a bar area and a taproom. The rest will be combination of production and storage space. We will offer canned and draft beer as well as serve a whole range of specialty beers,” Nelson said.

He went on to say his family moved to the area a year ago after his wife accepted a position at the University of South Alabama. “I was a craft brewer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When we came here, we saw some of the same excitement and energy in downtown that was happening 10 years ago in North Carolina,” he said.

“I came up with the name reading a lot about the Mobile Delta and came across this term of ‘braided river,’ describing where the rivers slow down and spread out when crossing paths. That’s kind of what I was looking for, the idea of the ability to slow down and really enjoy something, and cross paths with somebody that I would have never talked to otherwise in this spot.”  Braided River is anticipated to open next fall.

• The Weavil Co. recently listed two significant industrial properties in the area, one on the Port of Mobile and one on the Port of Chickasaw. The Mobile site, listed by Richard Weavil, is directly across from the Port of Mobile on the east side of the Mobile River and consists of 1,200 front feet of deepwater access and 26 acres at a price of $13.5 million.

On the Port of Chickasaw, Cameron Weavil has listed the Tecnico Corp. Facility, consisting of 2,000 feet of pier space, 120,000 square feet of warehouse space and 23 acres at a price of $7.9 million.

• The Anytime Fitness franchise, with more than 4,000 locations serving 3 million members worldwide, recently announced plans to expand into Alabama, including in Mobile. Other targeted markets include Auburn, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Per a news release, a Saraland gym is slated to open next year.

• Precision Engineering recently renovated and now occupies the historic Dodge Brothers Automobile Co., a 25,000 square-foot former automobile dealership on St. Louis Street in downtown Mobile’s historic Automobile Alley. The company has relocated all 75 employees to their new downtown headquarters.


Grant pays for Fairhope pocket park

The Baldwin County Association of Realtors recently held a ceremony in partnership with the city of Fairhope to celebrate the completion of a small park created with a $4,500 Placemaking Grant recently awarded to the association by the National Association of Realtors.

Placemaking Grants are used to help Realtor associations partner with communities to plan, organize, implement and maintain local projects. Baldwin Realtors and the city of Fairhope used the funds to repurpose a space at the west end of the library into a pocket park. Renovations included a butterfly mural, seating, concrete and stone paving work, walking paths and landscaping to give the area definition and character.

“Realtor Placemaking Grants aim to turn spaces into places,” Jennifer Foutch, Baldwin Realtors government affairs director said. “Baldwin Realtors are happy to have helped turn the space beside the library into a wonderful place that will benefit the community and enhance the area.”