By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Coincidental, yes. But Carolina One Real Estate Services can trace the site of its main office to the state of the housing market.
Until 2007, the company was situated in its own building near the Ashley River in North Charleston.
That year, as the housing market started its downturn, the agency relocated to rented space in an existing office across Interstate 526.
Then this summer, just as the market began to rebound, Carolina One moved into a new 13,000-square-foot center of its own design on the identical site of its former building.
It’s not the same edifice, mind you. The new dwelling at 4024 Salt Pointe Parkway is slightly larger than its previous space while more efficiently laid out, eco-friendlier and easier to maneuver around.
The building was crafted to meet Carolina One’s needs now and going forward, as the company recognized that the market has changed quite a bit in five years.
As an example, “You didn’t even have a property management division then,” says Michael Scarafile, president. The division, launched in 2008, has grown in four short years to be one of the largest in the Charleston area.
Carolina One’s new two-story structure houses close to 100 employees, for the most part staff and management who work for the company as opposed to the 750 independent contractor residential agents and handful of commercial brokers in 11 field offices.
Departments include accounting, insurance, relocation, mortgage, resort rentals and real estate title insurance as well as property management, information technology and marketing. “That’s another thing we do; offer full real estate services,” says Patty Scarafile, chief executive.
Executive offices are also in the Salt Pointe Parkway mid-rise. The main building does count one group as comprised of agents and brokers: Carolina One New Homes has its office on the second floor.
The new dwelling incorporates a larger training center than in its previous digs. One day last week, the center absorbed 29 agents for a seminar.
According to Carolina One executives, developing a building is a natural move since the company’s business is real estate. All of the major players in crafting the office are local, Michael Scarafile notes. Hill Construction was the general contractor, Glick-Boehm & Associates the architect and Marketplace Interiors the interior designer. Harbor National Bank provided the financing.
Carolina One retrenched a little during the housing slowdown but has bounced back to pre-recession levels.
“Because of the economy, we had to cut back like everybody else,” says Patty Scarafile, who was instrumental in the planning and execution of the building’s look and functionality. The structure has “a transitional feel — not too contemporary or too traditional,” she says. The building was designed to showcase views over I-526 and of marshes. “We wanted a lot of natural light,” she adds.
The office sports a convivial atmosphere. Employees and guests can take advantage of a dining area; Conference rooms spread about the building are available to any group of company staff, not just top managers or executives.
The new headquarters is conveniently situated near the Leeds Avenue exit off I-526. That’s an advantage when traveling to and from offices spread about downtown, West Ashley, East Cooper and as far as Summerville.
“We employ as many (people) as at the top of the market,” Michael Scarafile says. “They are just doing different things.”
To reach the new Carolina One building, get on I-526 heading west. Take the Leeds Avenue exit in North Charleston and turn left. Go a short distance and make a right on Bridgeview Drive. Travel less than a mile and turn right on Salt Pointe Parkway. Ahead on the left is 4024 Salt Pointe Parkway.
For more information, visit www.carolinaone.com.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org