Recently, there’s been enough local commercial real estate moves around town to fatten a Halloween goodie bag. To wit:

An undisclosed software design company recently purchased a 15,000-square-foot office building located at 6420 Wall St. in West Mobile for $1.1 million. Tommy Gleason with NAI Mobile represented the buyer. Vallas Realty Inc. represented the seller.

Foosackly’s bought the former Arby’s in Foley for $715,000. This is their first foray into Baldwin County. The building is roughly 3,000-square-feet, sits on .90 acres of property and is located at 2420 South McKenzie Street. Matt Cummings of Cummings & Associates Inc. represented the buyer (Foosackly’s). Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty worked for the seller (Beavers Inc. /Arby’s).

Cummings & Associates also recently sold two lots on University Boulevard due south of USA campus and located in the University Crossing development.

Dairy Queen purchased lot 1 in the development for $635,000. It is 1.07 acres. Express Oil Change purchased lot 2 for $432,000. That section is 33,000-square-feet. Burton Clark, realtor with Cummings & Associates handled both transactions.

BLP Mobile Paint Manufacturing Company, Inc. recently leased a 3,600-square-foot space in the Midtown Mart Shopping Center on Dauphin Street and plans to relocate from their current beltline location soon. Matt Cummings handled the lease. A major renovation of Midtown Mart Shopping Center is projected to start in late November, according to Cummings. 

The former iconic Krispy Kreme on Government Street is currently earmarked for sale at $449,000. Cummings & Associates is handling tours of the property. Social media chatter indicates that interest in the landmark location has increased significantly over the past several weeks due to Mobile’s resurgent economy.

Local investors paid $2.1 million for Dauphin Center located at 2866 Dauphin St. The property is 44,606-square-feet of office and warehouse space. Nathan Handmacher of John Toomey and Company, Inc. worked for the seller. Steven McMahon of Inge Real Estate represented the buyer.

Local speculators shelled out $3,865,000 for the 66,700-square-foot Bowdoin Place Shopping Center located at 801 Highway 43 South in Saraland. Nathan Handmacher represented the purchasers. The shopping center is anchored by Food For Less, Hibbitt Sports, Cato Fashions and Wendy’s. The location is currently 90 percent occupied, per Handmacher.

Bay Four Design, LLC. has leased a 4,300-square-foot space at The Plaza de Malaga located at 6157 Airport Blvd. Nathan Handmacher worked for the landlord.

An investor bought a 9,500-square-foot building at 800 Hillcrest Road in West Mobile for $360,000. The building is fully leased and will be used entirely as office space. Paul Carter of The Paul Carter Agency represented the buyer. Matt Diamond of Diamond Properties worked for the seller.

Realtor predicting rebound

According to Pratt Thomas, CCIM, with the Merrill P. Thomas Company Inc., the market has been steadily improving since the beginning of 2013. Inventory is beginning to dwindle and commercial values have stabilized, if not increased. Many local companies have improved their cash-on-hand resources and are now looking to grow. 

“This week we will complete construction on a build-to-suit project for Baker Corporation and are working on other build-to-suit projects for national companies. We feel optimistic about activity continuing to trend positively for the local area,” Thomas said.

Best Wintzell’s story for 75th anniversary

Wintzell’s Oyster House is a historic landmark on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile. The original location in LoDa, complete with walls covered in hundreds of J. Oliver Wintzell’s pithy witticisms, remains wholly intact.

In honor of its 75th anniversary, Wintzell’s Oyster House is requesting funny, special and/or sentimental stories from former or current patrons who may have experienced their first oyster, wedding engagements, anniversaries and other significant life moments.

Effective since Oct. 1, guests are able to submit stories on the Wintzell’s website or Facebook page.

Wintzell’s Oyster House initially opened up as a small, Depression-era six-stool oyster bar in 1938.

“I’m proud of the Oyster House in many ways. It has sentiment for a lot of folks. It was here where many kids ate their first oysters. And here, too, husbands coaxed their finicky wives into eating their first (and maybe last) oyster,” founder J. Oliver Wintzell said.

“As Oliver used to collect witty sayings from guests, this is our opportunity to gather the stories of their experiences,” Bob Donlon, President of Wintzell’s Oyster House, said.

After sifting through and reviewing the responses, Wintzell’s will produce a commemorative book titled “75 Years of Sentiment.” Guests whose stories are chosen for the book will be invited to attend an anniversary celebration sometime in January of 2014.

According to Stacy Wellborn, VP of Franchising, the email and social media response from customers for stories so far has been staggering.
Wellborn offered an example of a recent email showing the pervasive nostalgia permeating the area for Mobile’s oldest oyster shucking institution:

“While eating at Wintzell’s on Airport Boulevard back in 2011, I was reading the many signs on the wall and out of curiosity asked our waiter about one in particular – ‘Free Oysters to Any Man 80 Years Old Accompanied by His Father.’ I wanted to know if the challenge was real and if anyone had ever done it before. My grandfather was 98 at the time and his son was 80. When the manager called back to confirm honoring this, he let me know that the owners were not only interested in doing it, but were excited. 

“The event started off as a party of 10 and quickly grew to a party of 35 that included all of my grandfather’s 10 children. The rest consisted of grandkids, great-grandkids, spouses and in-laws. After eating their fair share of oysters on the half shell, both sat back to enjoy the camaraderie going on around them.  
“My grandfather passed away in July of 2012 at the age of 99 and my Uncle passed away in September 2013 at the age of 82. We miss them both, but with such wonderful memories, who could be sad?”