White-Spunner, Poarch Band of Creek Indians to Deliver First Phase of $500 Million Resort in Alabama

by Katie Sloan

Foley, Ala. — White-Spunner Construction (WSC) and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians are underway on OWA, a $500 million entertainment and retail district in Foley, a town in south Alabama near the Gulf of Mexico.

WSC is constructing 154,000 square feet of retail and dining space for the $240 million first phase of OWA, which is set to open this summer. Phase I of OWA will also feature a themed amusement park and a 150-room Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel. Future phases call for a water park, additional hotels and a resort-level RV park.

“This will be an exciting new family-friendly destination for locals and visitors alike in Baldwin County,” says John White-Spunner, president of WSC. “We’re proud to be a part of such an innovative entertainment concept that will bring thousands of new jobs and draw more tourism to the Gulf Coast.”

When completed, the OWA development is expected to generate nearly 3,500 direct and indirect jobs and draw about 1 million visitors a year. Plans call for the development to include three themed districts that offer shopping, dining and other entertainment.

Located off the Foley Beach Express and County Road 20, OWA is nine miles from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and near the Foley Sports Complex, which will include 16 multipurpose sports field and a 90,000-square-foot events center upon completion.

During its 35-year history, Mobile, Alabama-based White-Spunner Construction has completed several large-scale retail centers that include restaurants and retail shops similar to OWA. WSC served as the general contractor for Plantation Point, a 50-acre site with 415,000 square-feet of retail space in Raleigh, North Carolina; Tanger Outlet Center, formerly Riviera Centre, a 525,000-square-foot development also in Foley; and a 465,000-square-foot Tanger Outlet Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation who once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. The only federally recognized Indian Tribe in the state of Alabama, the Poarch is a sovereign nation with its own system of government and bylaws.

The Poarch Creek Tribal Government and its enterprises employ more than 3,500 residents in the state of Alabama. Those include three Wind Creek Hospitality resorts (Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore, Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka and Wind Creek Montgomery), as well as Muskogee Technology, the Muskogee Inn located in Atmore, a TownePlace Suites at Redstone Gateway in Huntsville that was developed in partnership with Marriott, and a racetrack in Mobile.

— John Nelson

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