Agency will get new real estate

One of the fastest-growing real estate firms in the Midlands is planning a new headquarters on Colonial Life Boulevard in Columbia.

Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors will build a two-story, 14,000-square-foot building on three acres across from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance over the next decade.

Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors now operates out of a building on Candi Lane near Riverbanks Zoo that’s more than 30 years old — the original flagship office — and a separate office building across the parking lot.

Jimmy Derrick, co-owner of Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors, said it will be nice to bring the headquarters and real estate office under one roof.

The move will keep employees from walking back and forth between buildings and take them away from the noise of the trains that run directly behind the property and the siren that warns people to get out of the river when the tide is high.

The real estate branch will be on the first floor. The corporate headquarters will be on the second floor.

Derrick said the headquarters building has been a long time coming.

“Our staff is very excited about it,” he said.

The company started upgrading its offices eight years ago in Ballentine and Lexington. A new Northeast Richland office opened three years ago, and an Irmo office opened last year. A new office in Camden is set to open next month with the potential to more than triple the number of agents there from 15 to 50.

Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors in recent weeks bought two real estate firms in Aiken and Greer.

The company bought Eulalie Salley & Co. in Aiken two weeks ago. That agency, founded in 1916, claims to be the oldest real estate firm in the state and still passes out toothbrushes to clients because the woman who started the company operated under the slogan, “We do everything but brush your teeth.” Derrick said that company’s operations will not change.

The previous owner, Deborah Brooks, will stay in commercial real estate sales. She said in a statement that the ownership had taken the company as far as it could.

Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors also bought Realty Pros of the Piedmont in Greer and is building a new 11,000-square-foot office building to consolidate it with Century 21 Poinsett, which the company bought last year.

“We see lots of potential for growth in the Upstate market,” Derrick said.

Growth at Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors began taking off 10 years ago when it became affiliated with Century 21. It had fewer than 200 agents then and more than 500 now.

Barry Shealy, vice president of marketing, said the affiliation and the company’s strong leadership account for the growth.