For customers buying, selling, leasing, renting, developing or managing real estate, Palmetto Commercial Properties LLC provides one service – everything.
The independent, full service commercial real estate firm makes real estate deals of any kind happen. Sometimes that means helping develop a property, get it built and find tenants. Sometimes that means representing a buyer or tenant and finding the office, industrial, retail or warehouse space for them. Sometimes it means helping an investor acquire a property for income or equity.
Even after the deal is done, Palmetto Commercial Properties offers full-service property management, with a trio of managers and 26 properties under management, totaling three-quarters of a million square feet.
For example, Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company found itself outgrowing its Wentworth Street location several years ago. Palmetto Commercial Properties helped them purchase a building in West Ashley, lease out the extra space, sell their former location and manage the property.
Because Palmetto Commercial Properties is a full-service firm, they can respond quickly to market conditions. During the real estate crash and economic downturn that started in 2008, the firm was able to switch gears and focus on helping tenants whose business had dried up extricate themselves from long-term leases. Today, more of the business is focused on finding property owners willing to sell to growing companies.
The venerable 20-year-old firm has undergone a major transition in the last year. Longtime employees Eddie Buxton, Richard Morse and Joe Keenan bought the firm from its five founders. The new principals are local boys with a combined 40 years of experience doing business in Charleston. Their local connections give them a leg up on national brokerage firms that lack personal relationships here.
“It’s important to know local (property) owners because there are not a lot of people looking to sell right now,” said Buxton. “I know the market, so roughly 75% of the transactions I arrange are off-MLS (Multiple Listing Service).”
The partners figure they have helped their clients make millions of dollars over the years in real estate transactions. Those financial rewards are not just connected to brokerage and management. The firm has held key positions on the development teams of such successful projects as the Spectator Hotel in downtown Charleston, The Chancery of the Catholic Diocese in West Ashley, the Cigar Factory on upper East Bay Street and Faber Plaza in North Charleston. On other occasions, Palmetto Commercial Properties’ efforts have been required to save clients from disaster. One Mount Pleasant retailer found himself without customers during the Great Recession. Palmetto Commercial Properties uncovered a buyer for the store, which allowed him to avert major losses and, likely, foreclosure.
After purchasing the firm from its founders – Batson Hewitt, Jay Keenan, Bill Edlund, David Latimer and Carlyle Blakeney – Buxton, Keenan and Morse believe the firm maintains the same high standards of integrity and many strong Lowcountry relationships. All three have earned Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation and a variety of industry distinctions. At the same time, they say, the firm has moved forward in other ways. Said Morse, “we have some new technology and made some young, technologically savvy, hires.”