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Detailed Market Analysis of Mobile, AL Q1 2020

Top 5 Key Assets

  • Third Largest City in Alabama with an unemployment rate of 4%. (Compared with 3.6% for the U.S.)

  • Second largest metro area in Alabama with a population of over 500,000 when including Baldwin County, of which over 40,000 individuals commute from for work.

  • 7.5 miles from downtown is The University of South Alabama which employs more than five thousand people, and has over 15,000 students. With only 2,200 residing on campus, this creates a large, permanent class of renters in the area.

  • Only 45 minutes from the #1 best beach in Florida, Pensacola Beach.

  • Mobile is ranked 7th in the U.S. for least stressful city, and 25th as the best city in the U.S. for Millennials to live.

Employment Information

  • The top providing employers of Mobile are The University of South Alabama, Infirmary Health Systems, and Austal, who combined, provide over 14,000 jobs.

  • The Mobile Aeroplex brings in another big economic industry which is Aviation. The Mobile Aeroplex covers 1,650 acres, and is home to more than seventy companies bringing in almost 4,000 jobs.

  • Mobile has the twelfth largest port in the U.S. which provides ample different job opportunities such as the Coast Guard, which has a base housed right on the bay, and provides over 1,000 jobs. The Coast Guard doesn’t normally keep their troops stationed in one area longer than 3-4 years which creates some demand for rentals in the area. Nearly 10% of U.S. Oil Refining Capacity transfers through the Port of Mobile, which ranks the port as 10th in the U.S. for imports and total foreign trade, with an over $10 billion impact on the local economy.

  • In 2018 Walmart opened up a brand new distribution center consisting of 2.6 million square feet, and provides more than 750 new jobs.

Economic Information

The City of Mobile has seen extensive revitalization and tremendous economic growth:

Business/Corporate Sector

  • Construction of a new Airbus jet assembly line at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley has been rapidly moving forward during the first quarter of this year. In November of 2018, the company announced A220 aircraft assembly is planned to start in 2019, using a combination of the existing and expanded Airbus facilities at Brookley. Enabling the first A220 delivery from Mobile to take place in 2020. Airbus has already invested over one billion dollars in the local economy of Mobile, AL.

  • In 2020 the Navy plans to award a contract for 20 frigates called the FFG(X) class. Five designs are under consideration, including two that would be built on the Gulf Coast in Mobile. Austal's candidate is closely based on the aluminum trimaran Littoral Combat Ship it builds on the Mobile waterfront. Advancement of the Navy's FFG(X) frigate program design selection process has huge implications for Austal and huge company expansion providing more jobs.

  • In 2018, a $127 million Walmart distribution center was built West of Mobile. It draws heavily on the Port of Mobile, with executives there estimating that it will be bringing about 50,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) of containers traffic now that it’s operational. All by itself, that represents about 18% growth from 2016's record-setting volume of container traffic.

Retail Sector

  • The opening of the, Meridian at the Port, apartment complex will bring hundreds of new residential units downtown. Opened in the summer of 2019, the $51 million, five-story, 267-unit development will be a large and distinctive presence on the east side of Water Street.

  • In the past five years, Mobile has experienced a 33% increase in manufacturing jobs compared with about 8% nationally.

  • McGowin Park developed a huge retail space in 2015 which consists of: 199,500-square-foot retail shopping center containing a future expansion area, five restaurant "pads" and 4.5 acres of outparcel development, and the west development consists of a 148,000-square-foot anchor store with an associated gas station, an 89,600-square-foot shopping center and 7.41 acres of outparcel area. Stores that have since moved-in to the space include Costco, HomeGoods, Petco, Hobby Lobby, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field and Stream, Best Buy, and Ashley Furniture Home Store.

Transit Oriented/Mix-Use Developments

  • Mobile Bay Bridge Project has been said to begin in 2020. Still uncertain of its construction, it will be costing $2.1 billion and consisting of a six-lane cable stay bridge over the Mobile Bay connecting Mobile and Eastern Shore. The completed expansion is expected to reduce travel time from Mobile to the Eastern Shore, increasing reliability and accessibility to jobs, educational facilities, medical services and recreational activities. The project is anticipated to facilitate access to/from major industries and freight destinations in Mobile and provide hazardous material vehicles a direct route away from the downtown business district.

  • The overall market has increased by 6.2% this past year with the median apartment rent at $820, a 3% increase since the previous year. The ROI (Return on Investment) in Mobile has been proven to be better than anywhere else in the state with an average ROI at 4% higher than the rest of the state.

  • The RSA Battle House Tower in downtown Mobile was constructed in 2007 costing $220 million, with 35 floors, and services office, hotel, and restaurant space.

Education Information

Mobile is home to the University of South Alabama, Spring Hill College, The University of Mobile, Fortis, and Remington College. Which combined has over 20,000 students. The influx of students helps the student housing and rental market, and also builds on the employment talent pool.

Miscellaneous Information

  • Only 55% of residents own their home with no signs of any major increase in home purchases in the near future, leaving the rental market in significant demand.

  • 74% of residents were born in Alabama, 37% of which are all at a higher level of education, with an associates degree or higher. Meaning the quality and retention level of renters is high and thereby increases demand for new rentals with the increasing population growth of 1% per year.

  • Mobile is home of Mardi Gras which brings in a whopping quarter-of-a-billion dollars in revenue and sends hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city each year.

  • Mobile has the only cancer research center along the upper gulf coast providing a wide array of medical jobs to the area.

  • Mobile’s low cost of living and doing business provides a desired aspect to renters that can’t be achieved elsewhere, which provides a steady influx of renters thereby decreasing vacancy rates. Alabama ranks 8th in the country for low cost of living.

  • No one particular industry takes over more than 18% of the job pool leaving plenty of diversification for a safer market to invest in.


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