If there’s a chance to check out new re-developments in downtown Mobile before a grand opening, you better believe someone from our office will be there.
Bring on another stellar lineup from the Downtown Mobile Alliance (DMA) for its highly-anticipated Hard Hat Tour (HHT), and you have yourself quality construction mixed with newsworthy announcements unheard of even by top, finger-on-the-downtown-pulse journalists, such as Ron Sivak of Lagniappe.
First up, the “Red Cross Building”, located at 853 Dauphin Street, will be the future home of Bay Gourmet event venue and restaurant (finally laying solid roots down in brick and mortar) and the Container Yard co-working space (relocating from Oakleigh District) on the ground floor with six apartments upstairs. As a landmark facility at the hard corner of downtown’s most-trafficked and most-walked thoroughfares (Broad and Dauphin Streets, respectively), this 33,000 square foot re-development has been entrusted into the very capable hands of Tony Atchison and his son Taylor Atchison of Dagney Development, both owners and developers of the project. You’ve seen their work previously in re-developments such as Marine St. Lofts, Old Shell Lofts, The Bakery and more; so you can expect nothing short of impressive, modern trends with traditional Mobile charm. Only 2,000 square feet of retail space remains available, so reach out to Taylor Atchison, project manager, for additional information regarding this project.
Just when you think downtown couldn’t get any better, you pick your jaw up off the floor after hearing yet another brewery is in the works and locating itself at the “Wheeler Building” at 420 Saint Louis Street! With a superlative, award-winning resumé in brewing, brewmaster David Nelson is bringing his North Carolina craft to downtown Mobile in the form of Braided River Brewing Co., appropriately named for our Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. For those keeping count, downtown has gone from zero breweries in 2016 to announcing its fifth in less than three years (to-date: Serda Brewing, Haint Blue Brewing, Iron Hand Brewery [below] and Old Majestic Brewing Co.). And while you need imagination to see it through the studs, exposed pipes and concrete floors at the moment, we have no doubt Bestor Ward of Ward Properties will exceed our high expectations for this property, which will also house a yoga studio, several professional offices and bring an additional 38 apartments online.
Last on our journey has arguably the biggest journey on the tour, at least as far as the tenant and building’s story goes. Built in 1927 in De Tonti Square as a chapel, turned homeless shelter in 1962, and now transformed into Iron Hand Brewing, married couple Ben Ross and Rebecca Williams have navigated the (c)hoppy waters of Alabama commercial brewing to be next in line for a brew-pub hard opening, slated for the day after Christmas! From having first announced the concept in January of 2016, to securing the building (leasing handled by NAI Mobile’s David Dexter), re-zoning the property, meeting historic architectural requirements (ask them about the seven-inch hallway), obtaining brewing equipment from San Jose, and cutting through the multitudes of red tape from the Alabama ABC Board, Ross and Williams have used an iron fist to forge ahead. You can learn more about their intoxicating voyage and the history behind old “Iron Hand” himself on their Facebook page. To boot, local architect Robert Maurin has outdone himself once again completing this challenging-yet-gorgeous transformation.
Thank you, Carol Hunter & Fred Rendfrey of the DMA for yet another enjoyable and enlightening Hard Hat Tour. One HHT adventure in your belt and you’ll see why the DMA has upgraded from a trolley to a massive charter bus. Just one thing, when will I get an actual hard hat?
To view more details about the properties we visited, please check out Carol’s itinerary of the tour here.