As the whirlwind holiday season winds down and we prepare to say “Goodbye” to 2017 we think it’s fitting to take some time to reflect on the year that’s coming to an end. We are approaching the 5-year anniversary of when we opened our doors in March 2013 in the historic Major Peter Bocquet House here at 95 Broad Street, so we will celebrate the successes our team has achieved and wonder at the continued changes and growth that lie ahead. Here’s a look back at the year …
In March, we rained down the confetti and popped the champagne as the Luxury Simplified Marketing team had another stellar year at the 2017 American Marketing Association - Charleston Chapter “Spark Awards.” This talented team took home the top award for “Best Corporate Blog” and Finalist awards in “Best Illustration” and “Best Rebranding.”
In June, we broke ground on our latest development project on Folly Beach SC, a joint venture between CT based investors, LS Development, LS Construction, and Luxury Simplified Retreats. When this innovative duplex development is completed in early spring 2018, it will add 4 luxury vacation homes to the Luxury Simplified Retreats portfolio, each with access to a private pool. Across the street, at 106 E Erie, light demolition has begun prior to the start of renovating the main house already on the site. Permit requests have been submitted for the additional construction of two homes to be added to the rear of this lot. Final completion of this project is also slated to be late Spring 2018. Once both projects are completed, this will be an addition of seven (7) total new homes to our LS Retreats division, giving us 26 bedrooms all one block from Center Street, the hub of downtown Folly Beach, and within two blocks of the beach.
By late August, we had finalized the details of our Foundry Alley development located in Charleston’s East Side neighborhood. This is a 23-unit PUD (Planned Urban Development) between Nassau and Hanover Streets that has been 3 years in the various stages of planning, longer than we initially hoped for in what is a difficult and compact urban location. Phase 1 (of 3) being the historic homes on the street frontage are now in permitting and the development will go vertical starting January 2018. We will complete the final phases by the end of 2019.
September marked the height of hurricane season with back-to-back hurricane threats which had us all packing an emergency travel kit, gassing up the car, and keeping an eye on the sky. From a storm season that included Hurricane Irma, which made a westward turn at the last minute and sent us a Tropical Storm, to Hurricane Marie that missed coastal South Carolina, but sent up strong surf and rip tides as a reminder of just how powerful she could be, a busy hurricane season meant our Luxury Simplified Retreats management team spent the fall on high alert.
In late October, LS Construction partnered with a new General Contractor, to oversee new projects being developed downtown and on Folly Beach. We look forward to seeing how projects mature under his experience and guidance. Additionally, we have been appointed local agent for Eco-Panels bringing green building techniques to our skill set, and Nationwide Homes with modular building to reduce the ongoing issue of escalating local build costs.
2017 has been a year of change at Luxury Simplified Real Estate as that group has moved its structure to a smaller, boutique operation that prides itself on the service it provides its clients, unlike those more traditional brokerages that focus on a “unit sales” driven strategy. Sebrina Leigh-Jones moved into the position of Broker-in-Charge and, in late November, Luxury Simplified Real Estate celebrated its top year in sales, closing over $31MM in real estate sales while maintaining an average 5-star review on various real estate platforms. Congrats to the success that has been achieved by the group of colleagues currently working in this collaborative team.
So, what’s ahead in 2018?
We gained our first build contract in Bluffton, SC at the Palmetto Bluff development. Our Director of Investments, Rob Wilson, with teams in development, construction, and short-term rental management is now reaching out to Charleston’s barrier islands and the Bluffton area to seek additional opportunities, as we look to expand all of our business entities along the coast.
NOTE: All in all, a good year, we sincerely thank you for your continued support and interest and look forward to what 2018 brings. Happy New Year!