Real Estate News — Carolina One agent shows mettle in powerlifting competition; builder rolls out new home design in gated North Charleston village

John Grisillo (Provided).

Despite first-time glitches, real estate agent John Grisillo overcame weighty obstacles to win a gold medal in a clutch powerlifting performance.

He took the masters division, 40-49 age group, in the United States of America Powerlifting (USAPL) State Championship meet held in December in Fort Mill. In doing so, he broke the South Carolina record with a deadlift of 535 pounds.

Grisillo is broker-in-charge of Carolina One Real Estate’s West Islands office on Folly Road.

Friends at the West Ashley East Shore Athletic Club urged the avid sports, health and fitness enthusiast to debut in the powerlifting competition. Grisillo would compete in three events: squat, bench press and deadlift.

“My first time was a learning experience,” Grisillo says. “And I think I can improve my numbers just based on my better understanding the rules,” he adds.

Being a contest novice, technical errors in the squat and bench press disqualified two of Grisillo’s three attempts in those events, according to Carolina One. But in the deadlift, he was “flawless on his way to winning the gold medal and setting a new state record.”

Grisillo is scheduled to compete in the Battle of the Border Meet between North Carolina and South Carolina on March 21 in Denver, N.C.

Ryland Homes recently rolled out its Belhaven II model home at The Elms of Charleston. The gated active adult community is situated on Hanford Mills Lane, off U.S. Highway 78.

Belhaven II boasts three bedrooms and two baths, island kitchen, vaulted ceilings and a two-car garage.

“The Elms is a community for graceful, maintenance-free living. It’s a quiet neighborhood that’s very close to excellent health care facilities as well as shopping and entertainment,” says Gayle Jinks, vice president of sales and marketing for Ryland Homes in the Charleston region.

Ryland Homes plans to build 32 new houses at The Elms of Charleston in four distinctive single-story floor plans. The designs are 1,409-1,768 square feet and priced from the $180,000s to the low $200,000s.

According to Ryland, The Elms of Charleston features a host of amenities. There’s a community clubhouse with top-end fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, walking trails and organized neighborhood activities.

Jinks says the properties offer perks that stand out in an active adult community. They include maintenance-free services such as lawn care and common area maintenance, regular power washing of the home’s exterior and painting of exterior wooden surfaces every five years.

The model home is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and noon-6 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

For more information, contact Dan Sobus, community sales counselor for The Elms at 843-863-5227 or

Headquartered in Southern California, Ryland is one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S. It operates in 28 markets across the country.

Experienced agent Helen Butler can speak with authority about maintaining historic homes in the Charleston area.

She and her husband received the Carolopolis Award from the Preservation Society of Charleston for their work in renovating a home in downtown Charleston’s Harleston Village.

Butler recently joined William Means Real Estate as an associate. The agency cited her for her appreciation of architecture and preservation in the downtown neighborhoods.

“We are excited to add Helen to our team. Her lifelong connection to Charleston and her knowledge of the area is a true asset to our clients,” says Helen Geer, broker-in-charge at William Means.

Butler is active in the Lowcountry community.

She’s on the board of the Charleston Top Producers’ Club, is an Accredited Buyer Representative and has earned the designation as a Realtor of Distinction for numerous years.

Butler and her family live on James Island, and they’re members of the Country Club of Charleston and First Scots Presbyterian Church. Her son attends the College of Charleston and her daughter is a student at the University of South Carolina.

Founded in 1933, William Means Real Estate is one of the oldest real estate companies in Charleston. Helen Lyles Geer has been owner and broker-in-charge since 1999. For more information, visit

The Charleston area is in the midst of expansions in office and lodging sectors, recovery in retail and touting mostly full industrial properties, a new study shows.

Integra Realty Resources conducted the research, released in its 2015 Viewpoint publication. The company bills itself as the largest independent commercial real estate market research, valuation, and consulting firm in North America.

According to Integra Realty, its Viewpoint guide provides figures from 2014 and forecasts on local and national market conditions in 2015 for all key industry sectors in the U.S., including capital markets, office, multifamily, retail, industrial, lodging and self-storage.

Among findings of the Charleston report:

- The lodging sector is in the first stage of expansion in the Lowcountry, “indicating moderate-high employment growth and medium-high rental rate growth.”

- Industrial real estate in the Charleston area showcases Class A (top notch) and flex vacancy rates that are low compared with the national average. The report projects 2,209,738 square feet of construction this year.

- The retail sector in metro Charleston is in the second stage of recovery, boasting a decline in vacancy rates but little new construction. Both community and neighborhood retail markets are estimated to be in balance.

- In the office sector, greater Charleston is in the third stage of expansion. That includes shrinking vacancy rates (7.06 percent versus a national average of 12.58 percent in the Central Business District) and moderate-to-high levels of new construction.

National agency affiliate Keller Williams Realty recently brought on a half-dozen associates with backgrounds as varied as corporations and college softball.

They are Faye Andrews, Helene Botch, Joe Fecas, Susan Kline, Carrie Koerber and Jeanette Turner.

Turner, a real estate sales professional, joined the Keller Williams Realty’s West Ashley Market Center.

Originally from Atlanta, she’s lived in Charleston for 30 years.

Turner is passionate about interior design, working with clients and spending time with her Brussells Griffon dog named Max, according to Keller Williams.

Fecas, involved in “the corporate world” for more than 20 years, says he’s excited about his career change to real estate. He says as a true “Charlestonian,” he couldn’t feel more at home than at Keller Williams West Ashley.

“I have learned over the years that the most important aspect of any business is customer services,” Fecas says. “Add to this honesty, open communication and a high level of professionalism and you have an unbeatable combination to help achieve your goal of owning a home.”

A lifelong Charleston area resident, Kline resides in Summerville and is mother to three “wonderful” boys. She earned her real estate license and an associate degree in public service and has worked in the medical field and office management. “I look forward to working in real estate, serving the needs of my clients and providing the best services to help them find a place they can call home,” Kline says.

Botch notes she’s experienced ups and downs and that “home should bring comfort, shelter us from our struggles and nourish us to meet the daily challenges ahead.”

She says she’s committed to finding the perfect match between client and home.

Botch says she will provide “professional and reliable real estate services searching for the home that will nurture you and your family, with consideration of your economic and personal desires.”

Serving the Lowcountry for more than 20 years, Andrews is a Charleston native who has spent much of her working years in the resort markets of Kiawah and Seabrook islands.

Andrews is expert on the waterfront, rivers and creeks of the Charleston area, according to Keller Williams. She has spent vacation hours, days and summers on Lowcountry waters with her family and friends. The trips include boating, sailing and extended trips on the Intracoastal Waterway through several states.

She is a member of the Sea Island Yacht Club, where her husband Paul is past commodore.

Koerber graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in 2006.

While at the school, she played on the varsity softball team. She went on to attend Michigan State University - College of Law, graduating magna cum laude. She has worked for the Abood Law Firm since 2007.

Koerber says she’s excited about joining Keller Williams as a real estate broker and looks forward to utilizing her legal background and “energetic personality” to help the Charleston community with their real estate needs.

A mechanical bull; oyster shucking; and giveaways of a 50-inch TV and YETI cooler are expected spiffs of today’s event to mark the launch of Coosaw Preserve.

Lennar is holding a grand opening for the new residential village noon to 2 p.m. at 9718 Shortleaf Pine Drive, just off Patriot Boulevard in Dorchester County.

According to Lennar, the community will eventually comprise as many as 550 upscale homes selling from the low $200,000s to mid $300,000s.

Coosaw Preserve will feature home plans from Lennar’s Arbor, Coastal and Sandpiper collections, the builder says. House sizes range from 1,772 to 3,568 square feet.

Florida-based Lennar says its Arbor Collection boasts the Taylor model, “a flexible and multigenerational Lennar NextGen ‘home within a home.’”

The builder champions structural and natural attractions at Coosaw Preserve, noting that they are sure to make the subdivision “extremely popular with Lowcountry homebuyers.”

Among the amenities:

- A planned resort-style pool and pavilion.

- Playgrounds.

- “Stunning” waterfront home sites along ponds throughout the community.

- Proximity to downtown Summerville, Wannamaker Park in Charleston County and The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation.

- Short walking distance to area schools.

- A serene, secluded setting.

Meanwhile, Coosaw Preserve homebuyers will benefit from Lennar’s “signature” Everything’s Included program, which it says offers desirable luxury features in each home’s base price.

“Where other builders charge tens of thousands of extra dollars for ‘upgrades’ such as stainless steel appliance packages and granite countertops, Lennar includes them at no additional cost,” the company says.

Lennar singles out the Dorchester County community as its “most ambitious Charleston-area neighborhood to date.”

Also as part of the grand opening, the builder will support nearby Dorchester School District Two schools with a fun-filled “School Spirit Oyster Shucking Competition.” Representatives from Joseph Pye Elementary, Oakbrook Middle and Fort Dorchester High schools will compete to see who can shuck the most oysters, Lennar says. The winning team will earn a $1,000 donation to their school from the builder and second and third place schools will pick up $500 and $300, respectively. North Charleston City Councilman Ron Brinson will serve as the event’s judge.

Lennar also will oversee a mechanical bull for guests to ride, a face painting station, jump castle village and food from Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ.

Along with the big-screen TV and high-end cooler, available prizes include a Big Green Egg Grill, $200 Visa gift card and a $200 Urban Nirvana gift card.

For more information visit or call New Home Consultant Paul Coloneri at 843-297-3602.

The Lennar Coastal Carolinas Division frames homes in 14 Lowcountry and Grand Strand communities and is one of the largest builders in the Charleston and Myrtle Beach areas.

Lennar offers “affordable, move-up, and luxury homes and townhomes in communities that cater to almost any lifestyle.”

For more, visit the builder’s website at or call 843-514-8295.