By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Here’s how the story went.

An achieving Lowcountry real estate agency grew its business via offices in Goose Creek, Summerville-West Ashley and Mount Pleasant.

But for all that effort, the firm seemed to be missing something critical: a downtown Charleston address.

That’s been the tale of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors. It expanded in the metro Charleston market through a merger less than 10 years ago. While vaulting to the number three market share in Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties, the venture couldn’t shake the realization that it didn’t have an office in the historic district, the heart of the region.

Now Coldwell Banker United can cross that off the list. The agency acquired first floor space at 35 Broad St., which dates to 1792 and is located just east of Church Street.

“We’re all so excited to have a downtown presence and a Coldwell Banker United sign on our Broad Street office,” says Ann Whalen, Realtor with Coldwell Banker who will oversee the Charleston locale.

While the spot won’t have a permanent staff at least at first, it will see agents rotating through. “There will always be two agents here,” Whalen says.

The brokerage disclosed its move in late July. Local brokers-in-charge gathered at the office July 26 along with Glenn R. Niere, president of the Columbia-based Carolinas region of Coldwell Banker United.

“For us, it is very significant, to get downtown, part of the historic district,” he says. “The market had changed in Charleston,” Niere says. The Holy City has garnered a “tremendous amount of publicity,” leading to tremendous growth opportunities.

The agency has sought the downtown address, “oh, forever and ever,” Whalen joked. “I think when we all met Glenn for the first time, (the buzz) was to go downtown,” she says.

“I think they are doing a great job. We are all very excited about it,” Niere says.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors – a College Station, Texas-based regional group of the worldwide Coldwell Banker franchise – has taken steps to restore the street level 35 Broad St. space.

The local office cleaned up ceiling etchings that date to the late 18th century, painted walls in a bright red Charleston color and secured a chandelier from a building in Lexington, says Paul Dunkle, relocation director and general manager of Coldwell Banker United in its Mount Pleasant office. The address carries its share of history. Local merchants raised the structure during the time of George Washington’s first term as president. It’s a great old building,” Niere says. “Not too many (real estate) companies showcase national historic properties.”

Coldwell Banker United has posted growth in the Charleston market, bulking its agent totals by 25 percent in the past year and a half, Niere says.

By rotating people through the downtown office, Coldwell Banker can build a steady clientele on Broad Street, Whalen says. “We’re going to be open seven days a week, and we are full service,” she says.

For more information, contact the 35 Broad St. office at 843-375-2780 or visit the agency online at www.cbcarolinas.com.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com