Member News | Nov. 8

The ART of Real Estate establishes new boutique firm in the Midlands
Announcing The ART of Real Estate, a boutique real estate firm with a new vision for how real estate should be sold, a new location at 2903 Millwood Avenue and new owners Brad Allen, Andrea Reynolds and Mary Lane Sloan

ART 09.13-200

Left to Right: Paige Edwards, Jay Luebke, Mary Lane Sloan, Brad Allen, Andrea Reynolds, J.T. Livingston and Keelia McCormack

One of Columbia’s leading residential real estate teams has opened its own boutique real estate firm, The ART of Real Estate, after having been a part of the Prudential franchise for more than seven years. Upon learning Prudential Real Estate is merging with another large national real estate franchise, the Team decided to go in a different direction independently.

The Team has moved to a new 6,600 square foot, state-of-the-art office on Millwood Avenue and named Brad Allen as Broker-In-Charge. Matt Carroll, Associate Agent, Jason Fields, Closing Coordinator, Keelia McCormack, Client Care Specialist, Jay Luebke, Listing Coordinator, and Paige Edwards and Justin Drafts, Exclusive Buyer Agents have all recently joined the team.

 “We are a growing group of young, energetic real estate professionals who are committed to offering our community top-of-the-line service for all of their real estate needs,” said Brad Allen, the Team’s Broker-in-Charge and Managing Partner. “Our commitment to offer our clients the best customer service in the Midlands, supported by our principal-led culture, are what help us consistently perform at a high level.”

 Mary Lane Sloan, one of the Team’s three owners adds, “Our decision to leave our Prudential home and start this new company was bittersweet. It was like the day you leave home for college; your heart is pounding with nervous excitement about the possibilities ahead and, at the same time full of gratitude and appreciation for the ones who have helped get you to this point. We are humbly looking forward to this new chapter in our real estate careers. We have the ability to provide the full spectrum of services to our clients and further our continued growth.”

With experience helping buyers and sellers all across the Midlands, the team felt their new Millwood offices would provide a central location to serve as home base. “The new space is fresh and it feels like we are finally home,” added JT Livingston, Team member since 2007. The Team has consistently been ranked in the top 5% of performing agents in the Columbia market, top 3% of Prudential agents worldwide, achieved platinum level in the Circle of Excellence, sold more than 1,000 properties and was named the Number 1 Team in Columbia for Sales Volume by Real Trends magazine this year.

The Team utilizes the most up to date technologies and have travelled all over the country earning designations to keep up with the latest trends and market knowledge. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team and all we have accomplished. There’s so much positive energy, it just makes selling real estate a joy because we are able to serve clients beyond just showing houses and writing contracts. We are actually investing in relationships and bettering the community,” stated Andrea Reynolds, founding Team member.

The Team has a passion for serving the communities they work in and hosts many community events including family movie nights in the park, pumpkin pickings and food drives. “Our vision for real estate goes past just selling houses, what we really do is build communities,” says Mary Lane Sloan. “If we can offer events that foster community togetherness and service, people will take pride in where they live, making it a more attractive place for others to want to live.”

The ART of Real Estate started as The Andrea Reynolds Team in 2007, but as its success continued to grow, a three way partnership emerged between founding members Andrea Reynolds, Brad Allen and Mary Lane Sloan. Since then the team has earned some of the highest designations and honors awarded to real estate professionals. The ART of Real Estate is a collaborative, full service real estate team providing value-added, client-centric listing and buying representation, leasing advisory, contractor referral, financing and mortgage placement assistance to the Midlands area. For more information, call Brad Allen at 803.765.1111 or visit


Abascus Panning Group, Inc. Announces Team Member’s Accomplishment

Abacus Planning Group, Inc. proudly announces that Jon J. Robertson has graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with a Masters of Laws in Taxation.  Individuals who receive an LL.M are trained in the tax intricacies of estates, charitable planning, asset management, trust administration and more. Jon’s new degree places him among the leaders in wealth management portfolios.

Mr. Robertson attended Texas Tech University and received a Bachelors of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning. Jon joined Abacus in 2007 shortly after receiving his Juris Doctor from University of South Carolina.  In 2010, Jon completed all requirements for the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation.  As a member of the Financial Planning Team, his current focus areas at Abacus include assisting clients and coordinating with clients’ attorneys and tax advisors.

Abacus, a comprehensive, fee-only financial planning and investment counsel firm manages over $780 million for 180 clients.   We are located at 2500 Devine Street in Columbia, South Carolina. Abacus can be reached at (803) 933- 0054 or via our website


Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. Named
“Best Law Firm” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers

gallivan white and boyd

Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. is pleased to announce that the firm has been ranked as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.  The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. GWB has been ranked a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 “Best Law Firm” in 12 practice areas:

  • Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Insurance Law
  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants
  • Mediation
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

The 2014 rankings are based on the highest number of participating firms and highest number of client ballots on record.  To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have a lawyer listed in The Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the US.  Over 12,000 attorneys provided over 330,000 law firm assessments, and almost 7,000 clients provided close to 20,000 evaluations.  In addition, to provide personal insight, a new Law Firm Leaders Survey was implemented in the decision-making process.

Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. has offices in Greenville, Columbia and Anderson, SC and Charlotte, N.C.  Practice areas include business and complex litigation, strategic risk assessment and counseling, and corporate representation. For more information about the firm, see


Mashburn Construction Welcomes New Employees

Mashburn-ConstructionMashburn Construction is pleased to welcome six new employees to the company’s headquarters in Columbia and three employees to the Charleston office.

In Columbia, the company added Rick Alexander, Project Manager; Fran Benton, receptionist; Stephanie Morgan, Project Engineer; Ross Oakley, Project Engineer; Bradley Randolph, Project Engineer; and Scott Royster, Project Engineer.

Project Engineer Weston Vipond, Superintendent Ben Higbie and Project Manager Ron Jaruzel join the Charleston team.

“These additions to the Mashburn family are important in providing superior client service and developing future opportunities,” says Paul Mashburn, President and COO.

Mashburn Construction is a full-service construction company providing construction management, design/build and general contracting. For over three decades, the company has exemplified building with integrity by providing superior service and quality to clients across many markets. Headquartered in Columbia, Mashburn also has offices in Charleston and Greenville, SC. For more information, please visit


McAngus Goudelock & Courie Included in 2014 “Best Law Firms” List

McAngus-Goudelock-CourieThe law firm of McAngus Goudelock & Courie has been included in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2014. The firm received seven Metropolitan Tier 1 rankings in several metropolitan areas; the firm has also received nine Metropolitan Tier 2 rankings in several metropolitan areas.

McAngus Goudelock & Courie received Tier 1 rankings in:

Charleston, SC:

  • Litigation – ERISA
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment

Columbia, SC

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation – Banking & Finance
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

 Greenville, SC

  • Insurance Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

The firm received Tier 2 rankings in:

Charleston, SC

  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

 Charlotte, NC

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Columbia, SC

  • Appellate Practice

Greenville, SC

  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants

Raleigh, NC

  • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms as a part of the formal submission process.

About MG&C
Founded in 1995, McAngus Goudelock & Courie is a law firm with offices in Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC, and Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh, NC. The firm’s practice areas include workers’ compensation defense, employment law, banking and consumer law, administrative law, construction litigation, commercial litigation, products litigation, business law, real estate law, and health care and regulatory issues. For more information about MG&C, visit or call 803.779.2300.



Over the 3rd quarter of 2013, we have seen the local economy outpace the U.S and other comparative metropolitan cities in key areas such as regional job growth and exports.  According to the Charleston Chamber’s Center for Business Research, Charleston is growing at three times the national average with population expected to exceed 1 million people within the next 15 years (currently 700,000).  With the Port of Charleston seeing some of the highest cargo volumes since 2008 and companies such as Daimler, Boeing and Weber Automotive announcing expansions and construction of new facilities, the industrial/manufacturing sector has certainly played a key role in this upward trend and continues to be a steady economic driver.  The region is not without challenges, however, as growth begins to outpace transportation and infrastructure networks.  With Charleston undergoing a transformation into a more knowledge-based economy, there are also concerns regarding the availability of skilled human capital needed to fill higher wage industry sectors such as Aerospace, IT and Automotive.

Third quarter 2013 ended with the overall vacancy rate increasing slightly to 7.6% primarily due to American LaFrance vacating their 450,000 SF facility in Jedburg.  The increase in vacancy is a bit misleading because this large block of space was quickly filled by Husqvarna, executing a lease in September. The following are market highlights from the past quarter:

• SCSPA handled 144,649 TEU’s in August recording its highest monthly number of TEU’s handled since October 2008.  August container volumes increased 5.6% year-over-year and helped drive a 4.5% increase in container volumes since FY2014 began.

• South Carolina Inland Port in Greer, SC is open for business.

• Cargo at the Inland Port is scheduled to begin moving early November. The SCSPA projects 40,000 containers within the first year of operation with 100,000 within five years, or sooner.

• Daimler Vans to expand in North Charleston investing $4.6mm and creating 60 jobs.

• Husqvarna signs lease for 450,000 SF of space in former American LaFrance facility in Jedburg.

• South Carolina Research Authority purchased 9 acres in MeadWestvaco’s Nexton development.  Construction on the new 100,000 SF office building is anticipated to begin in Q4 2013.

• SCSPA & SSA Marine executes 3 year lease for 175,080 SF to service International Paper.

The Boeing Effect

o As a follow up to its April announcement that it would double its footprint in Charleston over the next 8 years bringing an additional 200 jobs and $1B in investment, Boeing has selected a site in Palmetto Commerce Park for the construction of its 220,000 SF (expandable to 600,000 SF) 737 MAX engineering and assembly facility.

• With Charleston’s rapid demographic growth, the new housing and multi-family sectors are performing extremely well. This type of growth has a direct impact on the industrial market as we are seeing many housing industry-related companies leasing space.

Market Forecast:

• Although the market is constrained relative to availability of Class A light manufacturing/distribution/warehouse/flex space, there is currently Class A space on the market that has yet to be absorbed (ex. Johnson Development Jedburg facility, Crosspoint I in Palmetto Commerce Park).  This availability of space is concerning to local/regional developers considering speculative plays.

• Despite these concerns, I believe we will see another speculative (or partially pre-leased) facility break ground in early 2014.  MeadWestvaco is currently soliciting construction bids for a 350,760 SF cross dock facility at their North Pointe Business Campus.  Bids will have been received by date of this release.

• Based on recent transactions in the market, we are seeing much greater deal velocity in the Class B & B+ buildings.  This is primarily due to advantageous rates, term flexibility and immediate availability of space.

• Rents saw a slight uptick in 3Q with average rates at $4.55/sf (including warehouse/distribution/flex).

• We believe rental rates will continue modest growth as supply is depleted in 1Q and 2Q of 2014.

• We may see two large blocks of space come back on the market in early 2014 with Caterpillar vacating their 250,000 SF facility in Summerville and Husqvarna potentially considering options at their 170,000 SF North Rhett building.

• Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $5.1 billion in capital investment and more than 8,500 jobs in the automotive-related sector.  With the recent Weber and Daimler announcements, we anticipate the automotive sector to continue its growth in Charleston.

• Based on the continued growth of Boeing, we are beginning to see a “trickle” of Boeing suppliers seeking space in the area.  The type of space being sought at this point is more product and engineering support oriented vs. traditional manufacturing. We believe this activity will continue to increase as Boeing grows its local footprint.  Expectations of a sudden influx of Boeing related suppliers should be tempered as we do not anticipate this being the case in 2014.

• Charleston could potentially benefit from the ongoing battle over gun control as numerous gun manufacturers explore relocation to more “gun friendly” states.  Along those lines, we could see an announcement in Dorchester County in early 4Q 2013.

• Numerous proposed roadway infrastructure improvements (Northside Dr. extension, Ashley Phosphate flyover, Stall Rd. widening, Midland Park roundabout) will have an impact on land prices.  We have already seen land prices in the “Boeing Corridor” increase to a point where it is becoming difficult for developers to construct facilities with lease rates acceptable to the general marketplace.

• With debt ceiling battle looming, it remains to be seen what long term effect this will have on the local economy.  In the short term, we may not see much of an effect because CRE is traditionally a longer term play.

• There are a couple of larger flex tenants in the market who may trigger either Building 3 of Remount Business Park or North Pointe Business Campus to kick off their proposed flex buildings.  Likely a 2014 start.

• Overall, we anticipate continued modest industrial growth in the 4th quarter of 2013 with a decrease in overall vacancy and slight uptick in rate.



The Columbia, SC office market realized positive net absorption in the third quarter of 2013, lowering the overall vacancy rate among all building classes to 15.1%.  The gravitation toward higher quality properties remained in tact as the vacancy rate in Class A product was stable at 9.9%, while the percentage of available Class B space dropped from 15.9% to 15.1%.  Class C occupancy remained weak at 58.1% vacant, the highest in more than five years.  The increased activity in Class B properties can be attributed to tenants continuing to look toward suburbs for space due to lower vacancy and higher rental rates in Columbia’s Central Business District (CBD).

Central Business District

Columbia’s CBD continued as the MSA’s strongest office market for the fourth consecutive quarter, with an average vacancy rate of 10.2%; 6.6% for Class A and 10.7% for Class B.  As a result, average rental rates within the CBD are on the rise, increasing in Class A product from $19.27/SF (full service) in the second quarter to $19.35/SF (full service) in the third quarter.  The Class B average rose slightly to $16.14/SF (full service).

Further tightening within the CBD is anticipated.  A 45,000 SF law firm, currently located in the Bank of America Plaza at 1901 Main Street, is in the process of deciding whether to renew or relocate to another tower on Main Street.  A relocation could cause a significant reduction in available space, as AgFirst, the new owner of 1901 Main Street, may decide not to back fill vacant space as aggressively as more traditional institutional owners.  This would put additional pressure on the CBD market, causing rates to increase and concessions to decrease at a quicker pace than the current trend, inevitably creating heightened activity in the suburban submarkets.  Conversely, a renewal would likely mean more stabilized Class A CBD rental rates and a slower growth trend for suburban office alternatives.

Suburban Submarkets

Columbia’s suburban submarkets are comprised of St. Andrews, Northeast, Forest Acres, Dutch Fork/Irmo, Lexington, North Columbia and Southeast Columbia.

St. Andrews Submarket

Vacancy in St. Andrews, Columbia’s largest suburban submarket, continued to drop from 25% in the second quarter to 23.1% in the third quarter; and several large lease transactions are rumored to be on the horizon.

Northeast Submarket

Columbia’s second largest suburban submarket saw positive absorption in the third quarter with overall vacancy dropping to 16.0% from 16.3% in the previous quarter.  Class A vacancy rose significantly from 5.9% to 14.2% as a result of State Farm relocating to the St. Andrews submarket and vacating approximately 30,000 SF.  Average rental rates in Class A properties held firm at $16.16/SF (full service).  Class B vacancy essentially remained unchanged.

Forest Acres Submarket

Whereas activity in the two largest suburban submarkets was positive, the Forest Acres office market saw increased vacancy to 29.2%, mostly due to the relocation of state agencies.  In general, the available office product in this market is more dated than other markets, so landlords will need to consider redevelopment or be creative in an attempt to attract new tenants.  There is a silver lining, however, as lower vacancy and increased rates in the CBD could lead to additional activity in the area.  This is evidenced by the repair and renovation of Landmark II on Forest Drive, which was impacted by fire in the fall of 2012.  After a year of extensive work, the building has recently returned to the market with Class A suburban finishes, and has garnered considerable leasing activity as a result.


We expect the trend of lowered vacancy and increased rental rates to continue through the end of 2013.  The CBD submarket will lead the way, causing a positive ripple effect throughout the suburbs, particularly in the Forest Acres, Northeast and St. Andrews submarkets.  Additionally, the tighter market should result in heightened new construction and build-to-suit opportunities throughout the Columbia MSA, though these will present their own set of challenges due to increased construction costs.  Overall, the Columbia office market is stronger than it has been since the third quarter of 2009, and we expect that trend to continue into 2014.

About NAI Avant
NAI Avant’s commercial real estate business is one of the largest in the Southeast.  With over 65 professionals, the firm provides comprehensive brokerage, leasing, development, property and project management services.  For nearly three consecutive decades, the group has had more of its brokerage professionals recognized as top producers or recipients of the top awards than any other firm in South Carolina. As a member of the NAI Global Network, NAI Avant is affiliated with over 350 offices and 5,000 professionals in 55 countries across the globe. NAI Global is the largest independent commercial real estate service provider worldwide and a wholly owned subsidiary of C-III Capital Partners. NAI Avant’s Property and Project Management Group currently manages a multi-million square foot portfolio of properties across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. Through its Avant Healthcare Division, the firm provides comprehensive services to hospitals, clinics, and physician groups. NAI Avant, founded in 1966, is headquartered in Columbia, SC with an office in Charleston, SC. Find out more about NAI Avant and its services at Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NAIAvant and like us on Facebook.


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