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Building Relationships
Real Deals

Saltaire sells; Gulf Shores' Mojo's;
Nursery rhymes;
Blue Collar Country news on the horizon;
Marley eatery talk; Creola action

By Kathy Jumper
Mobile Bay Times
The bank-owned Saltaire property on Mobile Bay in Mobile has sold to Blake Southern Homes for more than $1.2 million, according to court records and Blake Whitney Thompson, a partner in the home building firm based in Fairhope. 

Thompson is managing director of Black Orchid Equity of St. Petersburg, Fla., which acquires asset-based businesses and real estate. 

The purchase includes 287 acres off Ala. 193 as well as 100 developed home lots and 12 waterfront lots. 

John Vallas of Vallas Realty represented the sellers, and Surety Land Title handled the transaction.

Blake Southern Homes' builder partners are Bill Spriggs and Mark Schlauder, who also own Colony Homes. They plan to start construction on some spec homes with the goal to build 100 houses in the mixed-use community this year.

The investors see the project as a bay front alternative to driving across the bay-way to subdivisions on the Eastern Shore.

Blake Southern will use the master plan originally developed for what was to be a 500-acre town with 1,250 homes, a fitness center, park, sores, two stocked lakes and restaurants.

About nine custom homes were built in Saltaire before progress was stopped in 2008 after local lender pulled the plug on financing. Local developer Logan Gewin kept more than 100 acres on the southern side of the property. About $19 million had already been invested in infrastructure including the lakes, a bridge and roads.

Mojo’s owners paid $335,000 for the former Smart & Sassy store and to lots behind it, and will open soon in front of the Gulf Coast ZooDavid Swiger of Swiger & Co. Realtors handled the transaction.

Luna B’s Nursery on Ala. 59 in Gulf Shores has a new owner from north Alabama,and will reopen in March, according to Swiger.

Watch for an announcement soon on a hotel brand for the Blue Collar Country project on Baldwin County 20 and the Foley Beach Express in Foley, city of Foley officials said. Retailers, restaurants and other commercial developers are already vying for a chance to locate at the multi-million dollar entertainment project.

A Bob Marley restaurant may happen too, but not in Orange Beach. The developers are working on a site in Gulf Shores, most likely near Bill's by the Beach, a huge restaurant under construction on West Beach Boulevard across from the city’s public beach. Bill’s is aiming to open by summer. The Marley themed restaurant would feature food and live music. Marley was a legendary reggae musician, singer and songwriter from Jamaica. 

Investors paid $268,000 for the former Creola Exxon station on U.S. 43 in Creola, according to Tim Herrington of Herrington Realty.

(Editor's noteKathy Jumper's Real Deals is a regular feature in Mobile Bay Times. Her real estate column previously appeared for many years in the Press-Register. Please encourage others to subscribe so that it will continue to inform Mobile/Baldwin readers. Leads and tips welcomed. Her email address is kjumper50@gmail.com
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