Huntsville walks away from $8.2M deal to sell corner of John Hunt Park; coveted retail site back on the market

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville’s efforts to sell a corner of John Hunt Park for retail development have hit a major snag.

City Administrator John Hamilton said Huntsville recently parted ways with GBT Realty, its preferred developer for a 25-acre tract near the busy Airport Road-South Memorial Parkway intersection.

Nashville-based GBT had agreed to pay the city $8.2 million for the coveted site in July 2013 and announced plans for a 240,000-square-foot, mixed-use shopping center.

But after company officials sought changes to the contract terms and twice declined to sign the deal, Hamilton said, Mayor Tommy Battle decided to “end negotiations” with GBT and start talks with the developer that finished a close second in the original selection process. The city is now in early negotiations with Birmingham-based Merchants Retail Partners.

Sembler/Greenstone Properties of Atlanta was the other finalist following a months-long competitive bid process.

On Wednesday, Hamilton said Merchants Retail Partners seems “very, very interested” in buying the John Hunt Park land for a future shopping center.  While the terms of any agreement have yet to be determined, the purchase price would likely be less than the $8.2 million originally offered by GBT.

Said Hamilton: “We remain very optimistic about the opportunity to bring new development to Memorial Parkway, and to do it in a way that directly contributes to investment in our park system that is so critical to our community’s quality-of-life.”

Huntsville plans to use the land sale proceeds to improve John Hunt Park — site of the city’s first airport — and buy 140 acres along Triana Boulevard for a future outdoor sports complex.

Also, 25 percent of sales taxes generated by the future shopping center will be earmarked for John Hunt Park upgrades and maintenance.

Other than John Hunt Park, the Rocket City is awash in positive retail news. Battle is expected to announce today that hunting, fishing and outdoor gear retailer Cabela’s will start construction this fall on an outdoor superstore near Bridge Street Town Centre. Cabela’s would anchor a new retail development on Governors West called Parkside Town Centre.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/06/john_hunt_park_retail_area_in.html

Huntsville attorney Richard Raleigh named president of the Alabama State Bar

Raleigh 1 crop.jpgRichard Raleigh (submitted photo) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville attorney Richard Raleigh was sworn in Saturday as the new president of the Alabama State Bar.

Raleigh is a managing shareholder with the firm Wilmer Lee.

“It is a distinct honor to serve as the next president of the Alabama State Bar, and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work that has already been enacted by leadership before me,” Raleigh said in a news release.

Raleigh is the 138th president of the 17,600 member organization.

During Saturday’s ceremony, Lee Copeland of Copeland, Franco, Screws Gill in Montgomery was installed as the bar’s president-elect.  Copeland will serve one year in that role before assuming the presidency in July 2015.

A native of Griffin, Ga., Raleigh’s practice focuses on litigation, including “employment litigation, government contract litigation, trade secret litigation and general corporate litigation.”

He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Alabama and he graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1995.

Raleigh is a Distinguished Military Graduate and U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship Graduate at The University of Alabama, and entered the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he served in Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.

In 2000, Raleigh returned to Alabama to join Wilmer Lee P.A., which represents business, government and individuals throughout Alabama and the Southeast.

Raleigh began his service with the bar in 2004 as a member of the Board of Bar Commissioners for the 23rd judicial circuit and has held a number of leadership positions within the organization.  In addition to his nine years as a bar commissioner, he has also served on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, Disciplinary Panels, Executive Council and various committees and task forces within the bar.

Raleigh and his wife, Shannon, live in Huntsville with their twin six-year-olds, Sarah Medders and Tripp.

Raleigh is a graduate of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, serves on the Council of the Alabama Law Institute, is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and received the President’s Award for Meritorious Service to the Alabama State Bar for his work with the Volunteer Lawyers Program. 

He has worked with several organizations in his local community including the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, Downtown Rotary Club, National Children’s Advocacy Center, Downtown Forty-Seven, Boys Girls Club of America and the Old Town Historic District Association.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/07/huntsville_attorney_richard_ra.html

Chief of Naval Operations: Sequestration will not affect Austal’s existing LCS and JHSV contracts


austal2-22.JPG

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle (L) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert, discuss sequestration and how it will affect Austal’s Mobile shipyard, Feb. 22, 2013 in Mobile, Ala. (al.com/ Ellen Mitchell)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — Sequestration cuts will not affect Austal USA’s 10-ship, $1.6 billion joint high-speed vessel contract with the U.S. Navy, nor will it affect its contract to build five 127-meter littoral combat ships, according to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert.

During a tour of the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile today, Greenert said sequestration cuts will not affect projects that are already under contract, including Austal’s JHSV and LCS Navy deals.

“Sequestration will impact every single program; it requires a cut in every budget line,” Greenert said. “However, all those ships here that are under contract will not be affected, but we’ll have to move some money within the program line.”

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said Austal is optimistic that it’s providing a low cost
solution to the Navy, and does not expect any job cuts from
sequestration in regards to Austal’s existing Navy contracts.

“All
of our focus right now is delivering a great quality product to our
customer and that’s what we can control,” he said. “We’re confident,
based on the feedback that we’re getting from our customer, that we’re
stable on the contracts we have going forward.”

Standing alongside Perciavalle, Greenert addressed sequestration concerns, recent LCS criticisms and the future of the Navy’s partnership with Austal.

In a Bloomberg article released this week, critics inside the Navy referred to the LCS as the “Little Crappy Ship.” The article also discussed the debate over how vulnerable the LCS may be to attack, and cited numerous problems with the newly built vessels, including a six-inch crack in the hull of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s USS Freedom that had to be repaired, and “aggressive” corrosion in the propulsion area of Austal’s USS Independence.

Greenert said despite the LCS coming under fire recently for its design and cost, he’s looking forward to the Navy’s use of the ship.

“The Freedom and the Independence have proven their worth for the design of the ship,” he said. “Some folks felt that the ship should be used for missions or for capabilities which it frankly will not do. Some folks will put it in a situation and say ‘it’s not made for this, it won’t do well in this.’ I would acknowledge that.”

Greenert went on to say that the Navy has intentions to operate the ship in conjunction with other, larger ships, so he’s very optimistic that the ship will do well.

Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Maryland and Austal Ltd., based in Henderson, Australia, build two separate versions of the LCS. The dual sets of ships were meant to get them built faster, at a rate of four a year rather than two a year.

Lockheed makes a steel-bodied version in partnership with Marinette Marine Corp., at Marinette’s yard in Marinette, Wis., while Austal makes an aluminum version in partnership with Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp. under a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract. The estimated price to build each LCS is $440 million.

The LCS is intended to perform missions such as destroying mines, hunting submarines, interdicting drugs and providing humanitarian relief.

“As a customer, I’m here to check out the wares that we buy,” Greenert said of his shipyard tour. “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve got a lot of capacity for future building.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/chief_of_naval_operations_sequ.html

Alabama State Port Authority: Shipping report for Feb 24


port.jpg

The MSC LAURA docks at APM Terminals Mobile, June 4, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (Photo courtesy of the Alabama State Port Authority)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — The Alabama State Port Authority provides its weekly port activity report, including ship departures and arrivals for the next week.

Departure and arrival dates, vessel name, berth, destination and cargo are provided below. Look for the report here on al.com each Sunday.

Arrivals:

Feb. 23: OSTENDE MAX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 23: INTERLINK ACUITY; ASD PIER SOUTH D 1; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 24: STAR EAGLE; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; PANAMA CITY; GENERAL CARGO

Feb 24: AM CONTRECOEUR; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; SWINOUJSCIE, PL; BULK CARGO

Feb 24: MSC JORDAN; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: MSC BARCELONA; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: LIJUN C; ASD SOUTH B 2; KINGSTON, JM; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: BBC ROMANIA; ASD PIER 5; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: LETO; ASD MCDUFFIE; IMMINGHAM, GB; BULK CARGO

Feb. 25: SPIEGELGRACHT; ASD RIVER END C; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: BANDA SEA; ASD RAIL FERRY RAMP; COATZACOALCOS, MX; RAIL

Feb. 26: OCEAN BEAUTY; ASD NORTH A 2; NEW ORLEANS; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: STELLA BECRUX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; CONSTANTZA, RO; BULK CARGO

Feb. 26: THOR; ASD PINTO ISLAND; UNKNOWN, US; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: SEA-LAND EAGLE; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Feb. 26: MALTE B; ASD PIER 5; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: STAR EPSILON; ASD NORTH A 2; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: MARITIME SUZANNE; ASD LIQUID BULK TERMINAL ; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 27: LATMAR; ASD NORTH A 2; BROWNSVILLE-CAMERON COUNTY; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: ALBION BAY; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: CMA CGM NEW JERSEY; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/alabama_state_port_authority_s.html

Mobile business news has moved to a new location on AL.com


We've Moved (Blogs)



Read the latest Mobile business news at al.com/business/mobile, or read all our business news at al.com/business.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/mobile_business_news.html

GOP candidate Drew McKay beats Glenn Watson in Madison County tax collector primary

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — The last few days have been exhausting for Madison County tax collector candidate Drew McKay, but the sleepless nights and long hours were worth it.

McKay, 32, won the Republican primary Tuesday evening against challenger Glenn Watson, a former Huntsville City Councilman for 12 years. Complete but unofficial returns show McKay took 65 percent (13,472) of the vote, while Watson nabbed 35 percent (7,134).

McKay, who ran unsuccessfully for the Madison County Commission in 2012 and tax assessor in 2008, will face longtime Democratic incumbent Lynda Hall in the Nov. 4 general election.

“First and foremost, I want to thank my Lord and savior,” McKay said shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday. “Without him, none of this would’ve been possible.”

After a long day of last-minute campaigning, McKay and his supporters celebrated his win with a late-night meal from Steak-Out.

Watson watched the returns come in from his sub sandwich restaurant on Jordan Lane. He told AL.com he was “believe it or not – not the least bit disappointed” in the outcome of the race.

“I lost the race, but I gave it all I could, so what happens, happens,” he said. “The good Lord makes the decision.”

McKay is a property manager for McKay Properties and a day trader. He also started and owned a maintenance grounds business in Madison County.

McKay told AL.com he is an advocate for satellite office efficiency and courteous, timely service in the tax collector’s office.

Watson is the founder of Stanlieo’s Sub Villa, a 43-year-old sub shop with locations on Jordan Lane and Governors Drive. The 73-year-old small business owner works as a substitute teacher.

Watson also served as a police officer for eight years. The father of three with four grandchildren wanted to streamline the property tax payment system and be more available to taxpayers.

He was also passionate about combining the offices of tax collector and assessor. During a special election last fall, Madison County residents voted in favor of keeping the offices separate.

In an interview with both of the candidates last month, McKay opposed the idea of combining the offices.

“I feel that if the citizens of Madison County want that office to be combined, then they’ll voice their opinion further down the road,” he said. “But, that subject and that issue has already been hit and I feel it’s a moot point right now for the citizens of our county.”

Click here for short biographies of Watson and McKay.

Watson said the low voter turnout was a letdown.

“If we don’t stand up and vote, we’re going to end up with people that maybe shouldn’t be here,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s the case in Huntsville, but it could happen. If people don’t care, they have no right to complain.”

Send Lucy Berry an email at lberry@al.com.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/06/madison_county_tax_collector.html

Huntsville walks away from $8.2M deal to sell corner of John Hunt Park; coveted retail site back on the market

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville’s efforts to sell a corner of John Hunt Park for retail development have hit a major snag.

City Administrator John Hamilton said Huntsville recently parted ways with GBT Realty, its preferred developer for a 25-acre tract near the busy Airport Road-South Memorial Parkway intersection.

Nashville-based GBT had agreed to pay the city $8.2 million for the coveted site in July 2013 and announced plans for a 240,000-square-foot, mixed-use shopping center.

But after company officials sought changes to the contract terms and twice declined to sign the deal, Hamilton said, Mayor Tommy Battle decided to “end negotiations” with GBT and start talks with the developer that finished a close second in the original selection process. The city is now in early negotiations with Birmingham-based Merchants Retail Partners.

Sembler/Greenstone Properties of Atlanta was the other finalist following a months-long competitive bid process.

On Wednesday, Hamilton said Merchants Retail Partners seems “very, very interested” in buying the John Hunt Park land for a future shopping center.  While the terms of any agreement have yet to be determined, the purchase price would likely be less than the $8.2 million originally offered by GBT.

Said Hamilton: “We remain very optimistic about the opportunity to bring new development to Memorial Parkway, and to do it in a way that directly contributes to investment in our park system that is so critical to our community’s quality-of-life.”

Huntsville plans to use the land sale proceeds to improve John Hunt Park — site of the city’s first airport — and buy 140 acres along Triana Boulevard for a future outdoor sports complex.

Also, 25 percent of sales taxes generated by the future shopping center will be earmarked for John Hunt Park upgrades and maintenance.

Other than John Hunt Park, the Rocket City is awash in positive retail news. Battle is expected to announce today that hunting, fishing and outdoor gear retailer Cabela’s will start construction this fall on an outdoor superstore near Bridge Street Town Centre. Cabela’s would anchor a new retail development on Governors West called Parkside Town Centre.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/06/john_hunt_park_retail_area_in.html

Huntsville attorney Richard Raleigh named president of the Alabama State Bar

Raleigh 1 crop.jpgRichard Raleigh (submitted photo) 

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville attorney Richard Raleigh was sworn in Saturday as the new president of the Alabama State Bar.

Raleigh is a managing shareholder with the firm Wilmer Lee.

“It is a distinct honor to serve as the next president of the Alabama State Bar, and I’m looking forward to continuing the good work that has already been enacted by leadership before me,” Raleigh said in a news release.

Raleigh is the 138th president of the 17,600 member organization.

During Saturday’s ceremony, Lee Copeland of Copeland, Franco, Screws Gill in Montgomery was installed as the bar’s president-elect.  Copeland will serve one year in that role before assuming the presidency in July 2015.

A native of Griffin, Ga., Raleigh’s practice focuses on litigation, including “employment litigation, government contract litigation, trade secret litigation and general corporate litigation.”

He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Alabama and he graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1995.

Raleigh is a Distinguished Military Graduate and U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship Graduate at The University of Alabama, and entered the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he served in Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.

In 2000, Raleigh returned to Alabama to join Wilmer Lee P.A., which represents business, government and individuals throughout Alabama and the Southeast.

Raleigh began his service with the bar in 2004 as a member of the Board of Bar Commissioners for the 23rd judicial circuit and has held a number of leadership positions within the organization.  In addition to his nine years as a bar commissioner, he has also served on the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, Disciplinary Panels, Executive Council and various committees and task forces within the bar.

Raleigh and his wife, Shannon, live in Huntsville with their twin six-year-olds, Sarah Medders and Tripp.

Raleigh is a graduate of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, serves on the Council of the Alabama Law Institute, is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and received the President’s Award for Meritorious Service to the Alabama State Bar for his work with the Volunteer Lawyers Program. 

He has worked with several organizations in his local community including the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, Downtown Rotary Club, National Children’s Advocacy Center, Downtown Forty-Seven, Boys Girls Club of America and the Old Town Historic District Association.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/07/huntsville_attorney_richard_ra.html

Chief of Naval Operations: Sequestration will not affect Austal’s existing LCS and JHSV contracts


austal2-22.JPG

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle (L) and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert, discuss sequestration and how it will affect Austal’s Mobile shipyard, Feb. 22, 2013 in Mobile, Ala. (al.com/ Ellen Mitchell)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — Sequestration cuts will not affect Austal USA’s 10-ship, $1.6 billion joint high-speed vessel contract with the U.S. Navy, nor will it affect its contract to build five 127-meter littoral combat ships, according to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan Greenert.

During a tour of the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile today, Greenert said sequestration cuts will not affect projects that are already under contract, including Austal’s JHSV and LCS Navy deals.

“Sequestration will impact every single program; it requires a cut in every budget line,” Greenert said. “However, all those ships here that are under contract will not be affected, but we’ll have to move some money within the program line.”

Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said Austal is optimistic that it’s providing a low cost
solution to the Navy, and does not expect any job cuts from
sequestration in regards to Austal’s existing Navy contracts.

“All
of our focus right now is delivering a great quality product to our
customer and that’s what we can control,” he said. “We’re confident,
based on the feedback that we’re getting from our customer, that we’re
stable on the contracts we have going forward.”

Standing alongside Perciavalle, Greenert addressed sequestration concerns, recent LCS criticisms and the future of the Navy’s partnership with Austal.

In a Bloomberg article released this week, critics inside the Navy referred to the LCS as the “Little Crappy Ship.” The article also discussed the debate over how vulnerable the LCS may be to attack, and cited numerous problems with the newly built vessels, including a six-inch crack in the hull of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s USS Freedom that had to be repaired, and “aggressive” corrosion in the propulsion area of Austal’s USS Independence.

Greenert said despite the LCS coming under fire recently for its design and cost, he’s looking forward to the Navy’s use of the ship.

“The Freedom and the Independence have proven their worth for the design of the ship,” he said. “Some folks felt that the ship should be used for missions or for capabilities which it frankly will not do. Some folks will put it in a situation and say ‘it’s not made for this, it won’t do well in this.’ I would acknowledge that.”

Greenert went on to say that the Navy has intentions to operate the ship in conjunction with other, larger ships, so he’s very optimistic that the ship will do well.

Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Maryland and Austal Ltd., based in Henderson, Australia, build two separate versions of the LCS. The dual sets of ships were meant to get them built faster, at a rate of four a year rather than two a year.

Lockheed makes a steel-bodied version in partnership with Marinette Marine Corp., at Marinette’s yard in Marinette, Wis., while Austal makes an aluminum version in partnership with Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp. under a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract. The estimated price to build each LCS is $440 million.

The LCS is intended to perform missions such as destroying mines, hunting submarines, interdicting drugs and providing humanitarian relief.

“As a customer, I’m here to check out the wares that we buy,” Greenert said of his shipyard tour. “I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen. Perhaps more importantly, they’ve got a lot of capacity for future building.”

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/chief_of_naval_operations_sequ.html

Alabama State Port Authority: Shipping report for Feb 24


port.jpg

The MSC LAURA docks at APM Terminals Mobile, June 4, 2012 in Mobile, Ala. (Photo courtesy of the Alabama State Port Authority)


 

MOBILE, Alabama — The Alabama State Port Authority provides its weekly port activity report, including ship departures and arrivals for the next week.

Departure and arrival dates, vessel name, berth, destination and cargo are provided below. Look for the report here on al.com each Sunday.

Arrivals:

Feb. 23: OSTENDE MAX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 23: INTERLINK ACUITY; ASD PIER SOUTH D 1; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 24: STAR EAGLE; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; PANAMA CITY; GENERAL CARGO

Feb 24: AM CONTRECOEUR; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; SWINOUJSCIE, PL; BULK CARGO

Feb 24: MSC JORDAN; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: MSC BARCELONA; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; ANTWERP, BE; CONTAINER

Feb. 24: LIJUN C; ASD SOUTH B 2; KINGSTON, JM; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: BBC ROMANIA; ASD PIER 5; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 25: LETO; ASD MCDUFFIE; IMMINGHAM, GB; BULK CARGO

Feb. 25: SPIEGELGRACHT; ASD RIVER END C; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: BANDA SEA; ASD RAIL FERRY RAMP; COATZACOALCOS, MX; RAIL

Feb. 26: OCEAN BEAUTY; ASD NORTH A 2; NEW ORLEANS; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: STELLA BECRUX; ASD MCDUFFIE 2; CONSTANTZA, RO; BULK CARGO

Feb. 26: THOR; ASD PINTO ISLAND; UNKNOWN, US; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 26: SEA-LAND EAGLE; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Feb. 26: MALTE B; ASD PIER 5; ORANJESTAD, AW; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: STAR EPSILON; ASD NORTH A 2; GENERAL CARGO

Feb. 27: MARITIME SUZANNE; ASD LIQUID BULK TERMINAL ; NEW ORLEANS; BULK CARGO

Feb. 27: LATMAR; ASD NORTH A 2; BROWNSVILLE-CAMERON COUNTY; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: ALBION BAY; ASD PIER 2 – CONTAINER BERTH; HOUSTON; GENERAL CARGO

March 1: CMA CGM NEW JERSEY; APM TERMINALS MOBILE; MIAMI; CONTAINER

Article source: http://blog.al.com/press-register-business/2013/02/alabama_state_port_authority_s.html