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Hargrove Controls + Automation Announces Renovation of WALA Building in Downtown Mobile

Feb 16, 2017

Hargrove Controls + Automation has begun renovations on the former WALA building at 208 Government Street in downtown Mobile. The City of Mobile and Mayor Sandy Stimpson held an unveiling of the architectural rendering on Thursday, February 16, in conjunction with Hargrove, Cummings Architecture and the Downtown Mobile Alliance.

“As one of the first buildings seen upon exiting the Bankhead Tunnel, this project will improve the overall aesthetic of Government Street and will breathe new life into the entire corridor,” said Mayor Sandy Stimpson, City of Mobile. “This effort is a crucial catalyst for investment in downtown Mobile that will spur economic activity and improve our quality of life. I am thankful for the leadership of Hargrove Controls + Automation as they continue to work alongside us to make downtown Mobile a hub for innovation and technology jobs.”

The WALA building renovation will significantly expand Hargrove’s campus in the area. After receiving a new façade in 1970, when it was the home of WALA, the 23,500-square-foot building has been largely vacant for the last 15 years. The new office will utilize 19,000 square feet of space, leaving the remaining 4,500 square feet for potential lease. Hargrove Controls + Automation will also be adding a gallery, or balcony, facing Government Street, reminiscent of old Mobile and similar to the structure of adjacent streets. This will become one of the largest balconies on the parade route and will provide an additional covered walkway for those traveling parallel to the courthouse.

After celebrating their fourth anniversary on January 1, 2017, Hargrove Controls + Automation looks forward to continued growth in downtown Mobile. The Controls + Automation team is responsible for developing computer systems that operate industrial facilities such as paper mills, chemical plants, power plants, refineries, and manufacturers.

“This newly restored building will accommodate our rapid growth and initially house 65 teammates,” said Matt Burton, PE, corporate director of automation technology for Hargrove. “By relocating the panel shop and automation business units to a common location, we will improve our capabilities, quality, and overall customer experience. As our business grows, this new location will allow Hargrove to continue hiring top industry experts in the heart of downtown Mobile.”

Hargrove has garnered a reputation for renovating and revitalizing the area by restoring buildings to their former glory while serving new purposes. To date, Hargrove has renovated more than 125,000 square feet of previously abandoned space including the Kress, Neisner, Washington Street, and now the WALA building. The team is proud to be at the forefront of the city's restorative efforts by continuing to make downtown Mobile a hub for innovation and technology jobs. The controls and automation business will drive client visits from all over the country and the world, impacting not only commerce, but tourism in downtown Mobile.

Hargrove Controls + Automation is one of few multi-service automation groups in the United States for safety systems, industrial IT, and plant automation. Since its inception in 2013, they have grown to include control systems engineers and specialists in all of Hargrove’s 11 offices. The team consists of panel technicians, instrumentation designers, programmers, certified process safety engineers, and process control engineers specializing in DCS, PLC, and SIS system integration.

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