•Local energy-efficiency group puts on second SuperHero costume party•

Hosting a shindig worthy of a Clark Kent outfit change, the Sustainability Institute intends to tout green efforts at its annual “SuperHero Soiree.”

The nonprofit says it crafted the get-together “to celebrate continued programs that work together to save energy costs, improve the environment and create jobs.”

The SuperHero Soiree provides guests with a night “to think creatively about their own super power potential, and dress for the occasion, or at least bring their dancing shoes.”

According to the institute, Hibernian Hall in Charleston will be turned into “Gotham City” thanks to glowing LED lights, super hero outfits, food and drinks from 11 local businesses, a photo booth and a disc jockey spinning tunes.

The event takes place 7-10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10 at Hibernian Hall, located on Meeting Street.

“We hope that through an event like the SuperHero Soiree, we can help more people engage in our mission and most importantly become better stewards of the environment,” says Bryan Cordell, executive director of The Sustainability Institute.

“The community can be trailblazers for change,” he says, “which inspires us to continue aiming to improve energy efficiency where we live and work.”

The event is open to the public; attendees must be at least 21 years old. Soiree-goers can purchase tickets for $55 at The Sustainability Institute’s website www.sustainabilityinstitutesc.org/superhero or Facebook page www.facebook.com/SustainabilityInstituteSC.

Food and beverages are included in the ticket price. Proceeds go to Sustainability Institute programs.

Providing food will be Cypress, Fuel Cantina, Republic Reign, Rutledge Cab Company and Salthouse Catering, while drinks come from Cathead Vodka, Liquid Culture, IceBox Bar, Republic Reign, Oku and Westbrook Brewery.

The institute’s philosophy aims at teaching, developing expertise and serving as a resource to build the public’s capacity to lead the energy efficiency movement. “Inspiring more awareness of our work in the community will continue to shed a light on the importance of being more energy efficient in our homes and buildings,” the group notes.

The Sustainability Institute’s three focused areas for energy conservation and ecofriendly construction consist of direct services, workforce development and education and outreach.

“Our collective impact initiatives around energy efficiency and sustainability engage residents, businesses and wider communities; while creating solutions to the overuse of energy in the built environment sector,” according to the institute.

Its programs and partnerships have spawned spinoff endeavors such as CharlestonWISE, The Energy Conservation Corps, Energy Efficiency Jobs Network and EcoDistricts as well as a slew of education and outreach efforts.

“I am thrilled once again to connect The Sustainability Institute’s important mission by coordinating this event and raising awareness for the community,” says Deborah Kaufman, founder of conoConsulting.

The nonprofit Sustainability Institute states its mission as “empowering South Carolina communities to transform our homes and workplaces to conserve energy and reduce our overall environmental impact.”

For more, visit www.sustainabilityinstitutesc.org call 843-529-3416 or e-mail Kaufman, development consultant, at deborah@sustainabilityinstitutesc.org.

•Dantzler joins Carolina One•

A Charleston native who attended college locally has begun working in real estate at an agency office on Crowfield Boulevard.

Sarah Dantzler placed her real estate license with Carolina One Real Estate in the Goose Creek location.

She graduated from the College of Charleston and now resides in Goose Creek with her husband Tradd Dantzler and their son, Nicholas.

Her interests outside of real estate include painting, sewing and decorating.

“Sarah’s motivation and huge desire to serve her clients will be the foundation of her business,” says Louise Voelker, broker-in-charge of Carolina One’s Metro North office. “Carolina One is happy to have her on the team,” she says.

Carolina One Real Estate tallied 30 percent of residential sales transactions in the Charleston area as of June 30. It counts 11 agent offices; a mortgage division; and departments specializing in commercial real estate, insurance, new homes, property management, relocation, resort rentals and title services.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.carolinaone.com.

•Share of financially ‘upside down’ Lowcountry home loans plunges•

Fewer house holders as of June owe more on their properties than they’re worth, but more than one in 10 mortgages still stand underwater, a real estate analytical venture says.

In the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro area, 11.2 percent, or 16,291, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity as of the second quarter 2013. The figure compared with 17.3 percent, or 25,203 properties, in the first quarter of 2013.

CoreLogic provided the figures in its latest distressed properties report. Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, according to CoreLogic. Loans can wind up underwater or upside down due to a decline in a home’s value, an increase in mortgage debt or both.

Another 6,802 residences, or 4.7 percent of all mortgages, were in “near negative equity.” That’s when the home value is 5 percent or less higher than the loan amount. By comparison, 9,064 houses or 6.2 percent were in near negative equity in the first quarter.

The Charleston area’s share of upside down mortgages or properties close to negative equity stayed below the national rate, according to CoreLogic. At the same time, the figures for the country showed dramatic declines in troubled mortgages.

The company found that 2.5 million residential properties returned to a state of positive equity during the second quarter, bringing the total number to 41.5 million. At the same time, 7.1 million homes, or 14.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, remained in negative equity at the end of the second quarter 2013. But the total dropped from 9.6 million homes, or 19.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, at the end of March.

The aggregate value of negative equity, which adds up all upside down home prices nationwide, was $428 billion at the end of the second quarter compared with $576 billion at the end of the first quarter 2013. The more than $148 billion decrease between quarters mostly stemmed from an improvement in home prices, CoreLogic says.

“Equity rebuilding continued in the second quarter of this year as the share of underwater mortgaged homes fell to 14.5 percent,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

“In just the first half of 2013 almost three and a half million homeowners have returned to positive equity,” he says. “But the pace of improvement will likely slow as price appreciation moderates in the second half.”

According to CoreLogic president and chief executive Anand Nallathambi, “Price appreciation obviously had a positive impact on home equity over the first half of 2013, especially the second quarter.

“Despite the substantial decrease in negative equity,” he says, “there’s more ground left to gain with the 7.1 million U.S. residences that remain underwater.”

By state, Nevada posted the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 36.4 percent, followed by Florida at 31.5 percent. Figures for South Carolina were not immediately available. Among the top 25 metro areas, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Fla., placed highest at 36.5 percent of mortgages with negative equity.

Higher priced homes tended to retain equity. For example, 91 percent of homes valued at greater than $200,000 show net worth compared with their loan amounts. Just 80 percent of homes valued at less than $200,000 report positive equity.

•Builder with South Carolina connections wins Urban Land Institute honor•

A housing expert who stresses the basic need for people to have a decent place to live received a top prize as a “visionary” in urban development.

The national Urban Land Institute last week recognized J. Ron Terwilliger, chairman emeritus of Trammell Crow Residential. He received the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development for 2013, considered the institute’s highest honor.

The builder, who founded the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing, spent formative years at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island and more recently was involved in early plans for a condo and townhome development since switched to apartments at 400 Meeting St. in Charleston.

According to the institute, the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize recognizes a person or group that “has demonstrated a longtime commitment to the creation of communities that prosper by providing a high quality of life for all citizens, and which reflect the highest standards of design and development.

“The $100,000 prize honors the legacy of Kansas City, Mo., developer J.C. Nichols, a founding ULI member considered to be one of America’s most creative entrepreneurs in land use during the first half of the 1900s.”

The institute says it honored Terwilliger for his civic and philanthropic efforts to raise awareness about the importance of decent housing and increasing the supply of homes that are affordable and close to transit and employment centers.

As ULI chairman 1999-2001, “He regularly spoke and wrote about the need for affordable and mixed-income housing,” the institute says.

In 2007, Terwilliger committed $5 million – the largest individual gift contributed to the institute at the time – to establish the ULI J. Ronald Terwilliger Center for Housing.

“In my professional life, I’ve seen housing strengthen health, education, families, communities and economies,” Terwilliger says. “In my philanthropic life, I’ve tried to demonstrate my belief that hope begins with access to a decent, affordable home. I want to help ensure a leveraged, sustained impact beyond my lifetime and inspire others to make the commitment to support affordable housing,” he says.

According to the institute, Terwilliger grew up in modest surroundings in Arlington, Va.; worked as a young professional for Charles Fraser at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island in the 1970s and spent 23 years as the chief executive of Trammell Crow Residential, which at one time was the nation’s largest developer of multifamily housing.

“I know how important it is to give people a chance. And that chance starts with a decent house the family can afford in a suitable neighborhood,” Terwilliger says. “If the first half of your business life is for success, the second half should be for significance. I’m in my second half, and I’m hoping to make a difference,” he says.

“What separates Ron from a great many people is that not only does he contribute financial resources to what he’s involved in, and what he feels is important, but the fact that he is willing to give his time, his knowledge, and his experience,” says John Bucksbaum, chief executive of Bucksbaum Properties and Nichols Prize jury chairman. “Very few people do this. It’s a testament to the type of person Ron is,” he says.

For more information on the prize program, visit www.nicholsprize.org.

The 30,000-member Urban Land Institute describes its mission as providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

To learn more, go to www.uli.org.


A brief in the Sept. 14 Real Estate section contained an error. Charlotte Davis Fairey is not the current owner of Historic Charleston Bed and Breakfast. Jo Bacon owns the business. The Post and Courier regrets the error.