The Lowcountry's townhouse and condo sales continues to grow faster than the single-family market.

The segment has been consistently growing faster in the last year, and the first quarter of 2014 continues that theme.

There were 468 condo and townhomes sold in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties between January and March. That's up nearly 12 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. That's better than the nearly 3 percent growth for single-family home sales.

Median prices have also been growing at a rapid pace in the condo/ townhouse market.

Industry experts have said the condo/ townhouse market is being fueled by first-time buyers and empty-nesters. There's also been some easing on lending qualifications.

Expansion

The Bishop Gadsden retirement community recently started constructing dozens of new apartments to open in spring 2015 at the James Island campus, officials said.

The community for people 65 and older is planning to add 45 new apartments in a development called The Quay at Bishop Gadsden. The new units are planned to be housed in four-story buildings constructed on 12 acres of property acquired at the west side of the community's existing footprint.

The apartments will be as large as 2,100 square feet and contain details such as a fireplace, luxury kitchen, high ceilings and large balconies, officials have said.

The buildings, constructed around a lake, will house vehicle parking on the first floor.

The $32 million expansion project is expected to be completed by summer 2015, officials said.

The project is being helped by a bond of about $40 million from the South Carolina Jobs-Economic Development Authority, according to Kimberly Farfone Borts, a spokeswoman for the community.

Bishop Gadsden is home to roughly 450 residents and employs 300 people on its 70-acre campus, according to its website.

New office

Carolina One Real Estate officially opened an office at 2713 Hwy. 17 North, Mount Pleasant. The office, located across from Brickyard Plantation, adds to the company's list of 10 other branches in the region.

Reach Tyrone Richardson at 937-5550.