Viking Partners LLC., a Cincinnati-based private equity real estate firm, recently acquired Springhill Village, a Mobile shopping center located in the tony 36608 area.

Springhill Village is an 115,443-square-foot retail shopping center situated on almost 10 acres of property, adjacent to Springhill College and down the road from the main campus of the University of South Alabama. The shopping center is anchored by Rouses Supermarket, but is also home to a Pizza Hut, Ace Springhill Hardware and The UPS Store.

According to the press release, Viking’s goal is to capitalize on the affluent market surrounding the property by increasing below-market rents, upgrading the tenant mix and lowering overall property expenses. Viking will also investigate potential redevelopment or expansion opportunities within the shopping center.

“Springhill is a sought-after location and represents an excellent opportunity for growth in the local market, as well as for Viking investors,” Bret Caller, managing partner said. Viking Partners currently does not own any other properties in the Mobile area.  

Commercial Real Estate Moves

Jay Roberds with NAI Mobile recently reported involvement in several local leasing transactions: 5,825-square-feet of restaurant space to Red or White & Gourmet Center at the former True Midtown location in The Bakery; 1,200-square-feet of office space to Access Magazine located at 1060 Dauphin Street; 3,300-square-feet of office space to Hummingbird Ideas at 1100 Dauphin St., Suite A and 4,800-square-feet of office space at 1100 Dauphin St. to our very own Lagniappe.

Roberds represented the landlord and Jeremy Milling of Milling Commercial worked for some of the tenants.

Pete Riehm with NAI Mobile recently sold a 4,500-square-foot office/warehouse space at 732 Lakeside Drive in Mobile to an out-of-state investor for $375,000. Ralph Neil of Watson Realty represented the seller. 

Marl M. Cummings IV with Cummings & Associates leased a 1,200-square-foot space at 813 Hillcrest Road in Hillcrest Plaza to Mini War Game. They are a board game, collectables, and hobby retail business. Hillcrest Plaza is occupied by Shoe Station, Pump it Up, GNC, Roly Poly, Bedzzz Express and is currently undergoing a major renovation that should be completed by the end of the summer. A major tenant announcement will be coming soon for the southern 32,400-square-feet section of the center, according to Cummings.

Continental Motors Group Ltd. announced its maintenance and repair subsidiary, Mattituck Services, will acquire Southern Avionics and Communications Inc., which has been at the Mobile Aeroplex since 1981. The move will add avionics and aircraft interior maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities to Mattituck Services’ capabilities.

Local real estate firm is 2014 national award finalist

According to a recent Inman News press release, Mobile-based Better Homes and Gardens Generations has been nominated as a national finalist for “Most Innovative Real Estate Brokerage or Franchise.”

For perspective on the level of competition, some of the other contenders in the running for the award are: Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, Century 21 Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty, Movoto, Pacific Union International and Weichert Realtors.

“Broker-owners Leighton Dees and Josh Tanner have tripled the size of their company in two years using technology and tools provided by franchisor Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, and also developing some of their own,” the news release said.

“We are a single local brokerage agency going toe-to-toe against national brands and we’re finalists. Our goal at BHG Generations has always been to take our services and offerings to the next level,” Chairman and CEO Leighton Dees said.

Winners will be announced at Inman’s Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco July 17. For more information on finalists, visit
www.inman.com/2014/06/23/introducing-2014-innovator-awards-finalists/2/

TSA pre-check center now available in Mobile

Brownell Travel’s Mobile office recently announced a new TSA pre-check center, qualifying domestic travelers for an expedited security line where travelers don’t have to remove hats, coats, shoes or belts.

Previously, applicants had to go to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta for face-to-face interviews. 

The local Universal Enrollment Services Center (UES) is located at 1505 Telegraph Road, Chickasaw, and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the program call 1-855-347-8371 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., EST. 

Mobile MPO surveying the airwaves for July 4th weekend

In a recent news release, the Mobile Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) announced they are planning to survey cell phone usage on the I-10 bay bridge July 2 – the peak travel day for the July 4th weekend.

The company they are using is Airsage. According to its website, this tech firm captures wireless network signaling data and provides accurate intelligence on locations, population analytics and time-of-day movement patterns.

The signal data is collected in real-time and, in very Big Brother-like fashion, turns every mobile device (cell phones, tablets, PDAs, etc.) into a mobile data sensor while also supposedly protecting user privacy.

The last time MPO took a snapshot of travelers chatting away obliviously on cell phones across the bay bridge was Nov. 13, 2013. It found folks from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and even a healthy dose from the Pacific coast were the bulk of non-locals passing through the area.

“This fascinating information is not only an innovative way to estimate data needed for our travel demand forecast model, but it is real data. Data that one day may be able to provide a glimpse into who would really be paying a toll, ‘if’ a toll was ever placed on let’s say … a new bridge over the Mobile River,” the SARPC.org news release said.

Nine local cities awarded ALDOT TAP Grants

Recently, Mobile and Baldwin counties in the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission region (SARPC) were awarded more than 20 percent of the total Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grants applied for in Alabama.

Statewide, about half of the applications submitted to ALDOT were approved. For a frame of reference, nine cities out of the 42 awarded were local. Here is a list of the recipients:  

City of Robertsdale, $389,126 in federal funds; city of Atmore, $400,000; city of Chickasaw, $232,731; city of Satsuma, $364,426; city of Semmes, $196,576; town of Dauphin Island, $219,990; city of Citronelle, $178,812; city of Bay Minette, $218,100; city of Fairhope, $400,000.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility, community improvement activities, and environmental mitigation; recreational trail program projects; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former interstate system routes or other divided highways.