Lee & Associates Charleston first opened its doors in 1999 with a purpose to serve the commercial real estate needs of the greater Charleston community with passion and excellence. Our firm exists to combine the right person with the right property and we do this by adhering to our trademark tagline, “People First, Properties Second.” What does that mean? It means that our team puts the interests of our clients and customers ahead of our own. This also applies to the vendors who serve us in carrying out our mission as well as our internal employees – we put people first.
While our identity has remained unchanged, our journey did not begin as Lee & Associates. In April of 1999, Bob Nuttall and Milton Thomas joined forces, leaving their prospective firms behind to establish Anchor Commercial, a local, boutique-style, commercial real estate firm. The pair identified the need in the Charleston market for a more specialized firm to serve clients. With no time to spare, Anchor Commercial was fully operational within weeks of its conception.
Because the firm was unique to the market, Bob and Milton sought to develop an original brand that characterized the services they planned to offer. The Anchor Commercial logo was designed to provide significance and a personalized identity. They intentionally interwove the firm name with the anchor to establish strong brand awareness and name recognition both in the Charleston market and throughout the industry. In a time when electronic advertising was at its primitive stage, print advertising was the industry norm. Yellow pages, mail ads and post cards were Anchor Commercial’s strategy for marketing both their newly formed team and their listings.
Anchor Commercial continued to brand itself and establish a presence in the market by leveraging their industry connections to close deals and build success. The Anchor Commercial team grew at a rapid pace and together offered decades of combined experience in the Charleston real estate market. Their expertise specialized in office, retail, and industrial markets as well as property management. Anchor Commercial identified itself as a “brokerage, development, and property management firm with a commitment to customer service.” The team strived to get to know each client’s business and specific needs and to “meet those needs with discipline, integrity, and a genuine commitment to success.” Naturally, “People First, Properties Second” was coined.
In 2005, Anchor Commercial joined CORFAC International, a network of independently owned commercial real estate firms. CORFAC offered national resources and a collaborative environment, sharing the values that Anchor Commercial was built upon. After 13 years of successful business, the firm then chose to take on a new identity and joined the Lee & Associates platform in 2012. Lee & Associates is the largest firm of its kind in North America, with a reach that extends across the United States, Canada, and Europe. However, Lee & Associates Charleston continues to be locally owned and operated with a native identity and entrepreneurial spirit.
In the past seven years, the Lee & Associates Charleston office has grown from 15 to 45 individuals, growth that is synonymous with that of Charleston. What began as five agents and one support person in 1999, has expanded into a dynamic team of designated experts in office, retail, industrial, land and investment real estate. The firm also offers a full-service Property Management division that currently manages over 70 properties totaling over 3.5 million square feet. The division is the only Commercial Accredited Management Organization headquartered in Charleston, SC and is one of the largest third-party managers in the area.
The firm has enjoyed repeated success over the years. Most recently in 2018, Managing Principals Bob Nuttall, SIOR, CPM, and Reid Davis, CCIM, SIOR, represented the buyer in the sale of the Aviation Business Park in North Charleston for $69 million. The transaction marks one of the largest office transactions in the State of South Carolina in recent years, and the largest office transaction in Charleston’s history.
Anchor Commercial | CORFAC International, now Lee & Associates Charleston, has certainly experienced change and continuous improvement, but one notion has remained constant, “People First, Properties Second.” Throughout our journey, our company has developed a reputation for loyalty, integrity, honesty, and an unwavering commitment to service. Our team looks forward to serving you.