The Pinnacle at Craft Farms is the primary retail component of a 105-acre mixed-use development in Gulf Shores, Ala. It includes a 170,000-square-foot lifestyle center, a movie theater, and a Target located along the main artery into the masterplanned community. Originally developed by Colonial Properties Trust, it has since been purchased by Langley Properties and renamed “Pelican Place.”

CMH Architects Inc.’s design mission for the $19.7 million development was twofold. First, the scheme had to functionally integrate several types of retail construction with existing and new residential and office uses nearby. Second, the design needed to be as colorful and energetic as the surrounding beach community while meeting the requirements of the city, the residents, the tenants and the developer.

A few of those requirements generated several challenges for the project. All sides of the buildings were held to stringent architectural design criteria. CMH exercised great care in screening service areas, providing upgraded architectural finishes on side and rear walls, and increasing landscaping to yield an attractive project from all vantage points. Local lighting criteria had to be addressed to minimize light pollution while still meeting tTenant requirements. Finally, the project was located in a high wind zone just a few miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

The project goals were met both aesthetically and functionally and the final solutions have been well received by the city, tenants and residents. The site plan includes a “Main Street” concept with a large pedestrian plaza and three vehicular aisles intersecting at a central roundabout. The architecture incorporated vibrantly colored tiled wall panels, stucco, EIFS and masonry walls; spire-topped, metal-roofed tower elements; and decorative pelican-themed accents sitting atop the cornices.

The project was integrated into the existing community from its outset and is growing with it as additional phases come online. The project team worked with the city to develop design standards and coordinated the adaptation of the Target prototype to these requirements. The team met with local authorities and residents throughout the process to address concerns and ensure a successful end product. The diverse tenant mix meets both local and regional needs. It presents a visual image that is distinctive and eye-catching to passing traffic while being in tune with the local vernacular.

Project Name: Pelican Place at Craft Farms
Location: Gulf Shores, Ala.
Square Footage: 170,000 square feet
Architects: CMH Architects Inc.
Owner: Colonial Properties Trust
General Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie
Fire Protection: Southland Fire Protection
Masonry: Block USA
Monument Signage: Knight Sign Industries
Electrical: Bagby & Russell
Structural Steel: South Central Steel
Roof Joists: Nucor Vulcraft Group
Pella Windows: JF Day & Co.
Concrete: Reynolds Ready Mix
EIFS/Stucco: Southern Wall Systems
Roofing: B&B Roofing
Storefront: Glass Inc.
Decorative Medallions: Pineapple Grove
Decorative Louvers and Details: Fypon
Site Amenities: DuMor Inc.