Real Estate News — Thornhill named broker-in-charge of local venture; growing area firm brings on agents

The new Hanlan Group team in Charleston includes a half-dozen associates (Provided).

Frank Thornhill knows the Lowcountry well, having grown up downtown, served as a ship’s captain and sold homes in metro Charleston for nearly two decades.

Those qualities make Thornhill a popular choice to oversee a new real estate agency.

Hanlan Group Real Estate Services recently named the Charlestonian its broker-in-charge.

Based in downtown Charleston, Hanlan Group calls itself a full service real estate firm specializing in residential and in commercial brokerages. Thornhill, the company says, “offers the very best in experience coupled with local knowledge.”

The Charleston native brings expertise in premier property sales throughout the Lowcountry, according to the company.

His experience includes office, retail, industrial and residential properties. He “strives to understand his client’s needs and match them with the correct real estate investment,” the venture notes.

Thornhill also delivers top-notch service and “comprehensive analysis” of the Charleston real estate market, says Hanlan Group, located at 241 East Bay St.

Thornhill’s family has been part of the Charleston landscape for more than four generations. He began his real estate career in 1998 working alongside his father. Together they handled residential and commercial sales, leasing, large land sales and plantations.

Thornhill received a bachelor’s of science degree in business with a marketing focus, graduating from Clemson in 1995.

After gaining his diploma, Thornhill obtained his master mariner’s captain license and piloted boats traveling the east coast and the Bahamas.

Today, Thornhill lives in the Charleston area with his wife and three sons.

Hanlan Group believes “knowledge creates opportunity,” and Thornhill fits the role as chief executive, it says.

For more, call Thornhill at 843-779-1277 or 843-224-7997.

A real estate company with expanding local offices has added five agents in the past months.

The new associates with Coldwell Banker United, Realtors are Melissa Damiano, Kerri Lyons, Aaron Bradford, Nickie Thomas and Melanie Blanc.

Damiano joined the agency’s Charleston office.

She grew up in a “small historic town in western New York.” She’s lived across the country and overseas, and “now chooses Charleston as her home.”

Her background focuses on legal practices such as paralegal, “perfecting multiple complicated processes,” Coldwell Banker United notes.

“Her ability to adapt to many different environments benefits her buyers and sellers that are in complicated situations,” the company says.

Married into a European Italian family, Damiano “appreciates culture and tradition. She enjoys baking, crafts, and home projects.” She’s also active in local charities.

Reach the Realtor at 843-460-3914 or Her website is

Lyons, a Lowcountry native, joined the agency’s Goose Creek office.

“I can truly say I love doing this for a living,” says Lyons, who took a few years off and is now returning to her real estate career.

She worked in the construction industry for more than 11 years when she and her husband in 2003 purchased land to build their home. “Using their knowledge and experience, they spent every day for the next year hammering away until the job was finished,” according to Coldwell Banker United.

The homebuilding effort peaked her interest in real estate.

In her off hours, she enjoys volunteering and fostering for area animal rescues and shelters.

Reach Lyons at 843-412-3904, or her website at

Bradford is happy to be teaming up with the Coldwell Banker United office in Charleston, the agency says.

He relocated from northeast Tennessee to Richmond, Va., and then Charleston — lured by “its beautiful beaches, amazing weather and southern flair.”

Having sales experience, Bradford wanted to continue in customer service, according to Coldwell Banker United. “I love interacting with people, and people love interacting with me,” he says.

The real estate agent position combines his love of customer service and of the Charleston area, the company notes.

Contact Bradford at 804-297-5284, or at

He’s teaming with Thomas, “another young promising real estate agent in the Charleston area,” Coldwell Banker United says.

Also working from the Charleston office, Thomas is a Realtor who visited Charleston several times before making the move. She “fell in love with its charm, architecture and history,” the agency notes.

Thomas earned an associate’s degree in psychology in Virginia. She relocated to the Lowcountry because of its people and the “awe-inspiring real estate Charleston has to offer.” She provides experience in sales, a strong work ethic and an appreciation for the area.

Contact Thomas at 804-297-5285, or

Blanc, who joined the agency’s Mount Pleasant office, encourages prospects to give her a call to meet up “for a cup of coffee to discuss your real estate needs.”

She’s lived in Mount Pleasant with her family for six years and “feels fortunate to call it home,” Coldwell Banker United points out.

Originally from the Midwest, she lived 10 years in Boston and in New Hampshire and eight years in Kentucky while raising three children with her husband.

Blanc, who enjoys working with people, spent a decade in outside sales.

She loves to spend time with family and friends and cheer on her children during basketball games, tennis practices or swim meets.

Reach Blanc at 843-408-8555 or

An expert in New York real estate recently joined Century 21 Properties Plus as an associate east of the Cooper.

The brokerage welcomed Ellen Allen to its Mount Pleasant office. Allen has nearly a decade of experience in the real estate field.

“We are so pleased to announce that Ellen will be joining our team,” says Tim Rash, broker-in-charge of Century One Properties Plus. ‘We believe her experience will greatly enhance the services we provide to our customers in the Charleston area.”

Allen attended Queens College in New York, earning a degree in business administration and marketing. She next worked in real estate for Laffey Fine Homes in New York for more than six years, “becoming an expert in her field,” Century 21 Properties Plus says.

Allen moved to Charleston four years ago. She’s kept current on trends and topics in the Charleston market through continuing education classes and training. “To me there is nothing more gratifying than to help someone fulfill their dream of a new home,” she says.

Allen and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of four children and have a dog named Cooper.

Real estate agents boasting backgrounds in education, aviation and law recently signed on with Carolina One Real Estate.

The associates are Mary Marshall Grace, Marjonah Ibadah Ibraheem, Abby Whiten Miller and Mallory Erin Molony. They have placed their real estate licenses with Carolina One offices in metro Charleston.

Grace will be working from the Coleman Boulevard office in Mount Pleasant. She’s a Florence native and Clemson University graduate who majored in sociology and psychology. Before deciding on a real estate career, Grace retained a post at the Charleston County School District.

Ibraheem, a Charleston resident for the last two years, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Strayer University. She was a second- and third-grade elementary school teacher in her native Washington, D.C.

The mother of two children, Ibraheem enjoys photography and reading, according to Carolina One.

Born in Marietta, Ga., Miller moved to Charleston seven years ago. She’s been employed by Boeing Corp. for six years as a supply chain management analyst.

Miller holds an associate’s degree from Georgia Military College and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the College of Charleston.

Ibraheem and Miller chose Carolina One’s Metro North office on Crowfield Boulevard in Goose Creek.

Meanwhile, Molony will base her business in the agency’s West Islands Folly Road office.

Molony, born in Charleston, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of South Carolina. She was a former three-year All-State basketball player at Bishop England High School in Charleston.

Prior to choosing real estate, Molony worked for the Motley Rice Law Firm.

Carolina One Real Estate Services, a 50-year-old local company, counts 11offices around the Charleston area. Visit

Top rental professionals, managers and crew as well as leading complexes earned honors late last month at a local trade group’s yearly Diamond Awards.

The Charleston Apartment Association hosted the awards event March 27 at the Francis Marion hotel in downtown Charleston.

The association bases its awards on “four Cs”: Commitment to Service, Community Quality, Champion Team Effort and Creative Application of Knowledge and Skills.

“With the four Cs in mind, members were given the opportunity to nominate property management professionals who excelled in these areas in 2014,” the association says. More than 100 nominations were submitted his year, a record.

“The Diamond Awards are a hallmark for recognizing excellence in the local multifamily industry. The sheer number of nominees is a testament to the talent in the local industry, and we sincerely congratulate each of our winners,” says Wendy Tucker, president of the Charleston Apartment Association.

Winners for 2014 are:

- Community of the year, 0-10 years old: The Boulevard

- Community of the year, 11-20 years old: Atlantic Palms

- Community of the year, 21-30 years old: Waverly Place

- Community of the year, 31-plus years old: Crickentree Apartments

- Leasing professional of the year: Thea Anderson, The Flats at Mixson

- Maintenance technician of the year: Jason Livingston, Edgewater Plantation

- Assistant manager of the year: Jacqueline Sturdivent, Fairwind/Oakfield Apartments

- Maintenance supervisor of the year: Ryan McCord, Greystar Daniel Island Village

- Manager of the year: Dana Faith-Page, The Boulevard

- Vendor of the year: Christy Dukes, FSI and ACRS

- Regional manager of the year: Chris Carter, Carter Haston

- Groundskeeper of the year: Robert Meyer, Greystar Daniel Island Village

- CAA advocate of the year, Cathy Hontz, Apartment Guide

- Board of directors member of the year: Donna Bolewitz, Grayco Properties

- Board of directors associate member of the year: Eric Kramer, Private iPrint Promotions

- Board of directors direct member of the year: Chris Carter, Carter Haston

The 2014-15 Leadership Experience through Active Development participants are Michelle Brownlee, Brownlee Law Firm; and Megan Gallagher, Colonial Village at Commerce Park.

Board directors for 2014 include Tucker, president, of CFLane; Lisa Pelloni, vice president, of AdaLease Property Management; Shawn Livingston Ehret, treasurer, with Edgewater Plantation; Christy Dukes, secretary, of ACRS and Furniture Services; Marysa Raymond, immediate past president, Greystar; Donna Bolewitz, Grayco Properties; Mary Anne Demster, Appliance Warehouse; Tracy Eidson, Republic Services; Ellen Hoffman, Nirenblatt, Nirenblatt & Hoffman; Mandy Mays, Apartment Guide; Mike Silky, Bell Partners; Susan Smits, Colonial Village at Westchase; and Melissa Wagner, Silvana Oaks.

The Charleston Apartment Association says its mission is “to recognize the vastly increasing role of the apartment industry in providing quality housing.”

The Charleston office of a prominent commercial real estate firm brought on professionals at two posts.

Lee & Associates, which call itself one of the largest broker-owned commercial brokerage firms in the nation, hired Victoria Baxter as bookkeeper and Whitney Williams as property manager locally.

Baxter will assist both the property management and brokerage accounting divisions, according to the real estate company. Raising two children, Baxter also is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Separately, Williams will serve as one of five property managers for commercial properties that Lee manages in the tri-county area.

She brings seven years of experience in commercial property management, focusing on retail shopping centers and mid-rise office buildings.

Williams graduated from the College of Charleston.

Lee & Associates celebrates more than 36 years in commercial real estate, citing itself as the largest broker-owned firm in the country.

The firm has 52 locations in South Carolina, California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

For more, go to

A former professional in the automotive business switched fields recently to help promote a national builder’s area market.

The Charleston-Myrtle Beach division of Ryland Homes named Courtney Lydecker as marketing coordinator.

She formerly spent more than four years as business development manager at Kia Country of Charleston.

She will support the marketing department, supervise promotional materials, take part in social media outreach and oversee public relations initiatives, says Gayle Jinks, vice president of sales and marketing for Ryland.

Lydecker holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree with a focus on marketing and management from Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach.

The head of an Internet marketing company, extensive traveler and history buff came onboard with a major local agency in a Dorchester County office.

Jeremiah Oswald, who moved to Summerville a dozen years ago, became Realtor in 2008. He joined the Summerville Trolley Road office of Carolina One Real Estate.

Prior to obtaining his real estate license, Oswald attended Bible college and served in several churches and Christian ministries. He’s maintained an online marketing business for eight years, selling products on Amazon and eBay.

Oswald, who enjoys excursions around the world, has visited every continent except Antarctica. “A lover of American history, Oswald traces his Lowcountry roots as far back as the mid-18th century,” according to Carolina One.

He serves as president of the Woodlands at Wescott Homeowners Association and volunteers at One Hope and Convoy of Hope charities.

Carolina One Real Estate Services features departments specializing in insurance, new homes, relocation, commercial real estate, property management, vacation rentals and title services.


A public coming-out party with refreshments and entertainment drew sizable crowds to Nexton on April 11.

The Summerville community “opened grandly, posting very strong sales and interest levels,” says Colleen Troy of Touchpoint Communications marketing firm.

As of last weekend, seven homes went under contract, and “a number of others are in the pipeline,” she says.

The first home sold was to a Texas couple that attended a January “Meet the Builder” event. “They were so taken by the plans for the community; they purchased a home from Pulte,” Troy says.

Appropriately enough for this connected community, the couple will work digitally to sort through options for home finishes, then Skype with sales manager Paul Schaff to make final selections, she says.

“They will be right at home in Nexton,” Troy says. At the grand opening, the best-attended seminar event was a session with the Event Nerd and his focus on “Life Tech” innovation and technology and how it affects our lives.

Nexton opened its first section, Brighton Park Village. The community sits near Interstate 26 and U.S. Highway 17A.

More than 600 people attended the April 11 grand opening event, while 100 brokers took part in a private luncheon two days earlier.

Homes at Nexton are priced starting in the $260,000s. Residents will start moving in this summer; Nexton Elementary will open in August, according to developer MWV — an affiliate of MeadWestvaco Corp.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or