Blacksher White-Spunner participates in Honor Flight, Washington D.C. – 2009
Long before Blacksher White-Spunner helped develop some of the most popular subdivisions on the Gulf Coast, he was a teenager from Mobile, Alabama, willing to sacrifice his life for his country. Like millions of Americans, White-Spunner listened to news reports in stunned disbelief after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. “I signed up to be in the Marine Corps at a time when America was greatly united,” he said. “People were willing to die for their country. I felt that way, too.”
Now Chairman of the Board for the real estate business that bares his name, White-Spunner, 90, said he was fortunate. Fresh out of basic training, he was headed to Japan when U.S. President Harry Truman ordered an atomic bomb dropped on the island nation.
“It saved my life,” he said during a recent interview at his Dauphin Street office. “I spent a lot of time in occupied Japan, but I came back. A lot of others weren’t so lucky.”
He returned home and took advantage of the GI bill, earning a degree from Auburn University. After 18 months at a furniture company, White-Spunner went to work selling cars during the week and property on the weekends.
A Heart for Preservation Helped Transform Church into a Thriving Medical Practice
When Dr. Kristi M. Esses embarked on a search for the perfect historic property to open a medical practice with her husband, Glenn, a vascular surgeon, she did her homework. She needed a commercial space that spoke to her.. She also needed an experienced commercial real estate agent with tenacity and vision.
She found both in White-Spunner Realty’s Sharon Wright.
After about six months of touring properties, Esses decided on a church designed by Mobile architect George B. Rogers, and built in 1921, on Dauphin Street in Midtown. “We were looking for a new clinic site to renovate for a vascular surgery practice,” Esses said. “The option of building was not feasible and we were restricted with locations.”
It was the couple’s first commercial real estate investment for a medical clinic, and they needed guidance to navigate the myriad issues involved in rezoning, among other challenges. “The conversion of an historic church to a medical clinic was a huge undertaking,” Esses said. “From offer to closing was about a six-month process.”
Wright stayed with the couple through the entire process of re-zoning and subdividing the property before closing on the site. “Sharon utilized her education, experience and trusted professional contacts to lead us through the negotiations, renovation costs, city approvals and designs,” Esses said. “She protected our interests along the way. She was a part of every step of the investment in this commercial property from beginning to end.”
The Esses family maintained many aspects of the original church, including the stained glass windows and a pipe organ. They even had someone play the musical instrument during a reception to celebrate the clinic’s opening. “We absolutely love our vascular surgery clinic,” Esses said. “The patients like it. The doctors like it. The location is perfect. “
Want to know more about this cool space? Check out the news story highlighting the new practice with dozens of additional photos.
Click Here for Cool Spaces AL.COM Article
ABOUT SHARON WRIGHT
Sharon Wright has worked in real estate since 1992 and specializes in commercial sales, leasing and development for White-Spunner Realty. Wright is a recognized leader in the real estate industry, having served as president for the Baldwin County Association of Realtors and awarded Realtor of the Year. She has served on the Executive Committee and as a State Director for the Alabama Association of Realtors.
She can be reached at 251.510.1822 or via email at Sharon@White-SpunnerRealty.com.
Commercial Sales & Leasing
Marietta Murray Urquhart, a licensed realtor with more than a decade of experience, specializes in commercial sales and leasing. She joined White-Spunner Realty in 2015.
So, You Want to Open a Restaurant? Understand First, Why Location Can Be More Important than the Food Served
I suggest the following four key points to consider before selecting a restaurant location:
1. Know Your Target Customers & Where They Are Located
Who does your food appeal to? Are they mainly young, old, business people, families? Find out where there is a density of the group you are trying to reach. Also, know the difference between household population and daytime population. An area can have a great population and high-income levels; however that doesn’t mean the residents are home during the day. This can have a significant impact on your sales if most of your business takes place during the lunch hour.
2. Traffic & Visibility Counts
Convenience is very important. You want to be on a busy road where people are driving by your restaurant on a regular basis. No one likes going out of their way or searching back roads to find your location. Being visible from that busy road also is vital. Think of it this way, visibility is free advertising for your business and the easiest way to gain new customers.
3. The Surrounding Competition
Check out other restaurants in the area. Are they direct competition? Do they offer a similar product? Could they complement your business? How are those restaurants doing and how long have they been there? Are you offering something new or different? All these factors can provide great insight into how your restaurant might perform.
4. Know How Much Space You Need & What You Can Afford
That new building is nice, but can you afford it? Size and price can vary across a market. Do you need a large space to accommodate indoor seating or something smaller because you expect to do a lot of takeout? A dependable way to figure out what you might be able to afford is to estimate your expected gross sales and keep it below ten percent of that number. Bottom line: Rent should be eight percent or less of your average sales volume.
ABOUT CHRIS HARLE
Chris Harle of White-Spunner Realty is both an experienced real estate agent and restaurateur. He has opened and operated two popular and high-performing restaurants in Mobile, AL. You can count on Chris’s experience to help you determine the best location for your new eatery! He may be reached at 251.234.7232 or email@example.com.
White-Spunner Realty Represents Landowner in Sale of 17-Acres in Daphne, AL
Daphne, AL (August 17, 2017)– Infirmary Health, the largest non-governmental health care system in Alabama based in Mobile, recently purchased 17.8 acres of land with over 800 feet on Hwy 90 in the Malbis community of Daphne, AL near the intersection of Highways 181 and 90. The undeveloped property was re-zoned to a neighborhood business district B2(a) to accommodate future development plans and it was officially annexed into the City of Daphne. It remains a historical district.
Commercial Sales, Leasing & Development
Sharon Wright, CCIM, has worked in real estate since 1992 and specializes in commercial sales, leasing and development for White-Spunner Realty. Wright is a recognized leader in the real estate industry, having served as president for the Baldwin County Association of Realtors and awarded Realtor of the Year for the association. She has served on the Executive Committee and as a State Director for the Alabama Association of Realtors.
Qualifying Broker | Sales and Leasing
Mike Reid is the Qualifying Broker at White-Spunner Realty. He has extensive experience as an agent and a broker, specializing in commercial and residential sales, leasing and property management since 1996.
Commercial Sales & Leasing
A licensed pilot who has opened two popular and high-performing restaurants in Mobile, Ala., Christopher Harle is a real estate professional that brings diverse experience to his position as a commercial leasing and sales agent with White-Spunner Realty.
Residential and Commercial Sales/Development
Tracy Womack has been a member of the White-Spunner team since 2008. As a relocation expert with 16 years of experience, she specializes in residential resale and new construction, as well as commercial development and sales in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
Gowan Lenaghan joined White-Spunner Realty as associate broker in 2016, serving its commercial and residential sales divisions.