Developer Plans Office Building in Mobile, Ala.

Developers hope office building spurs business park

White-Spunner plans mixed-use complex off I-65, Government Blvd. near stadium that would also include hotels, restaurants


Real Estate Editor

Local developers are banking on a new, 40,000-square-foot office building off Interstate 65 and Government Boulevard to spur interest in a future business park.

Construction is under way on White-Spunner Construction's office building on 6.5 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection, according to Mike Fitzgerald, president of the company.

I-65 Office LLC, the shareholders in the construction firm, bought the property for $1.13 million from McGowin Properties Ltd., according to Joe Little of Roberts Brothers CPM.

They also have the adjoining 18.5 acres under option, and White-Spunner & Associates plans to develop a mixed-use office park there, according to Matt White, vice president of development and operations for White-Spunner & Associates.

"There's nothing like this concept in this area," White said. "We hope to create some glamour there. It has great access to the interstate, you've got Hank Aaron Stadium across the road, and it's adjacent to Heron Lakes Golf Course."

The business park would include a lake, fountain and walking paths and have as many as 27 lots for sale. Plans call for hotels and restaurants to be built on 2.5 acres fronting the I-65 W. Service Road, according to White. The lots average 15,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, but can vary depending on the user's needs, he said. The prices have not been determined, he said.

The business park will not conflict with developers' plans to put retail on the remaining 90 acres in McGowin Park at Hank Aaron Stadium, according to B.T. Roberts of Roberts Brothers CPM.

"Even if we continue to do office space, which we may, I think their project will only enhance the area and bring more people to the area," Roberts said.

"There's a demand for good, quality office parks with restrictive covenants that would offer good exposure to the interstate," said John Vallas of Saad & Vallas Realty Group. "It's a great location."

White-Spunner Construction's two-story office should take eight months to complete, Fitzgerald said. It will be built using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, guidelines, he said. Some of the LEED features include open floor plans, tinted windows, skylights and water-efficient irrigation for landscaping.

The construction firm works in 35 states and had revenues of $197 million in 2006, according to company officials. They employ 134 people, with 60 of them working out of the local office. Its most recent Mobile project was the renovation of the 238-room Battle House Hotel on Royal Street downtown.