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

Richard 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

YP Summit award nominations: recognize the incredible young professionals in Huntsville


UPDATE: The deadline for nominations has been EXTENDED to May 26!

Know some young people on the rise in Huntsville? AL.com is seeking nominations for Alabama’s Young Professional Awards, to be presented at the July 10 Alabama YP Summit in Birmingham.

There are 10 different categories for nominations from the public. Nominees have to be full-time Alabama residents, finalists must be able to attend the YP Summit and you can’t nominate yourself.

Nominations will be accepted through May 26.

NOMINATE OUTSTANDING YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN YOUR MARKET USING THIS LINK.

Finalists will be announced June 1, and the public can vote to narrow the field of finalists through June 8. The award winners will be announced at the YP Summit Friday, July 10, at 4 p.m.

The categories are:

  • YP Project of the Year, which recognizes a person or group that led a specific project that has made an impact on their community.  
  • YP Comeback of the Year, which recognizes a YP individual or group who made the most of a business, project or not-for-profit failure by bouncing back and continuing to make a positive impact on their community.
  • YP Agent of Change, which recognizes a person or group whose efforts created a turning point on an issue, paving the way for much more substantial change.
  • YP Entrepreneur, which recognizes a person or group leading a small-to-mid sized business.
  • YP Leader, which recognizes a person who works or volunteers for a not-for-profit, faith organization or public sector organization, including governmental entities.
  • YP Hero, which recognizes a person or group, 55 years or older, who goes above and beyond in their investment of time, talent and treasure in young professionals.
  • YP Rebel, which recognizes a person or group who not only walks to the beat of their own drum, but tends to set new trends whether it is their style or their substance.  
  • YP Influencer, which recognizes a person who uses social/new media to have a positive impact on their community.
  • YP Social Justice Champion, which recognizes a person who works hard to ensure fairness, equity and inclusion in their community.
  • YP Unsung Hero, which recognizes a person or group who does things for the right reason, but have not ever been publicly celebrated for their effort to make their company, organization or community better. 

Article source: http://blog.al.com/breaking/2015/05/yp_summit_award_nominations_re.html

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


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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


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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

Books-A-Million sees dollars in ducks, will sell "Duck Dynasty" merchandise


The Duck Commander display that will be installed in Books-A-Million stores. (Special)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Things are just ducky at Birmingham-based Books-A-Million Inc.

The bookstore chain today announced that its stores will sell more than 40 items from Duck Commander, the line of goods associated with the popular reality TV show “Duck Dynasty.”

Camo store displays will be stocked with DVDs, books, t-shirts, hats, key chains and other novelties. The displays also will include duck calls, the product that made the extended Robertson family wealthy and ultimately got them on television.

The show, which is AE’s highest-rated program, follows the antics of the unconventional Louisiana family and its business. The show’s popularity led to the extended Duck Commander product line. On the Duck Commander website duck calls range in price from $24.95 to $179.95.

Jeff Skipper, Books-A-Million vice president of marketing, said the push to sell Duck Commander merchandise is in response to explosive demand.

“We saw a tremendous amount of interest in all things “Duck” during the holiday selling season,” he said in a prepared statement. “Our team made the decision to create a custom, in-store display so that we could give our customers a one-stop-shop for all their favorite Duck Commander gear.”

The displays will be installed in all Books-A-Million stores before the television show begins its third season on Wednesday, the company said.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/books-a-million_sees_dollars_i.html

Friday recap: The week’s Alabama business news in review

Alabama business news you may have missed this week:

J.D. Power and Associates releases its 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study.

Best Buy to extend its price matching guarantee to major online competitors.

Communications experts dissect Carnival Cruise Lines’ response to the Triumph debacle.

Vulcan Materials begins blasting on Gurley Mountain.

A Montgomery auto dealer is named vice chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The Department of Defense considers an alternative to sequestration that would reduce civilian employees’ pay and hours by 20 percent.

HealthSouth saw a 6.7 percent increase in full-year revenue in 2012, generating $2.16 billion in business over the 12-month period.

Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex eagerly awaits the addition of new tenant Airbus.

Work begins on the new Birmingham School of Law.

Investors with Audley Capital Advisors accuse Walter Energy’s leaders of having mismanaged the company.

International Shipholding is preparing a $25 million stock offering.

Lesley McClure, regional executive at the Atlanta Fed’s Birmingham Branch, sees strength in the state’s auto industry.

Alabama’s brewing industry has doubled in size each of the last three years, a new report shows.

AirWalk, a new extreme trampoline arena in metro Birmingham, draws thousands.

Office Depot is set to acquire OfficeMax, a move that may accelerate the closing or selling of stores. The retailers have a combined 32 stores in Alabama.

Alabama’s second annual sales tax holiday for severe weather gear kicks off Friday.

Walmart plans to hire 175 people for two of its Neighborhood Markets opening in Decatur and Florence.

How many engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Huntsville is celebrating National Engineers Week.

The Mobile Boat Show kicks off Friday as optimism is again running high in the marine manufacturing industry.

Alabama’s economy supports slightly fewer jobs than it did at the start of 2000. But non-manufacturing jobs have increased.

BAE Systems Ship Repair in Mobile will avoid layoffs.

First Watch, a Bradenton, Fla.-based restaurant chain, is headed for Birmingham.

Winn-Dixie is moving into a space in Inverness Corners vacated by Bruno’s market.

There was a leadership shuffle at Mobile’s White-Spunner Construction Inc.

Express Oil Change Service Center, a Birmingham-based company with operations in 12 states, acquires Tire Engineers.

Ignite Fitness, a Crossfit affiliate, is expanding in Vestavia Hills.

Cahaba Brewing and Hop City unite to make beer backing home brewing law.

Mercedes plant gets a new boss, but it’s a familiar face.

Knology buyer Wow! investing and rebranding in North Alabama.

Divided Birmingham Water Works Board approves $145 million bond deal.

Airbus plant, along with expanding training and infrastructure programs, cited as progress for Accelerate Alabama.

Regions CEO Hall to assume chairmanship in May.




     

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/friday_recap_the_weeks_alabama_1.html

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




 To get the latest Birmingham-area business news, please visit al.com/business/birmingham. For more business news, visit al.com/business.

If you’re an RSS subscriber, you can find the new feed here.

Article source: http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2013/02/birmingham_business_news_has_m.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