From Fixer Upper to Listing

Today, we're sharing the blog with our colleague, Taylor Tillman. Last week, Taylor held an Open House for her listing at 40 Poinsett Street and we knew we had to share its story (beginning in 2015!) with our followers. Remember when Emily had her listing at 2 Shand and did Neighborhood Spotlight on the North Central neighborhood? Well, since then Huriyali has done an expansion and Renzo will be opening soon. Emily got some good time in at the new coffee shop, The Harbinger, before the Open House. The LowLine will be such a beautiful revitalization to the area.

Taylor:
If you’re an avid HGTV watcher, like myself, you’ve probably seen one of the many shows geared toward house flipping and renovation.  While the entire process is condensed into either a 30 or 60 minute show, I didn’t realize everything else that occurs behind the scenes but thanks to my parents, I have learned quite a bit about house renovation in the past year.

My parents started their adventure into the house renovation business in the Summer of 2015 after starting a business with my brother, Trey, and family friend and contractor, Rick Rockwell. Rick specializes in restoring historic Charleston homes to their original character and since my dad, who grew up in downtown Charleston, wanted his focus to be on historic downtown Charleston, the pairing could not have been better.

The lucky winner ended up being a house on Poinsett street, located in the North Central neighborhood.  North Central is close to Upper King Street and Rutledge Ave.  It is also a hop, skip, and a jump away from Morrison Drive which is home to both Edmund’s Oast and Tattooed Moose (two of my favorites).   It is also a neighborhood with a great deal of real estate investment potential so I can absolutely see why my dad chose this area.

And now I present to you, 40 Poinsett Street:

Poinsett.jpg

 

She’s a beaut, right?

To say this house was a fixer upper was the understatement of the year.  I am sure you are asking yourself, “Why wouldn’t you just tear it down and start fresh?”.  Downtown Charleston has a governing body known as the Board of Architectural Review whose purpose is “preservation and protection of the old historic or architecturally worthy structures and quaint neighborhoods which impart a distinct aspect to the city and which serve as visible reminders of the historical and cultural heritage of the city, the state, and the nation.” This means that in addition to the permits one has to get when building or renovating a property, you also have to get the approval from the BAR.  Thankfully, my dad knew all this this before buying the property so he was prepared for the extra hoops to jump through.

October 2015 comes around and my parents close on the house.  My dad’s first order of business was clearing out the yard.  He’s a DIY kind of guy so he was able to get a lot done himself along with some help from my brother and boyfriend.  The house had been abandoned for approximately 40 years so he definitely had his hands full with the yard for a couple months.  February 2016 began the start of obtaining permits and getting the green light from the BAR to proceed with the design plan.  (This can be an arduous process because it is generally unheard of to obtain the go ahead on the first try with the BAR) After months of speed bumps and probably a few “Why did we decide to do this again?” conversations, we are now in August 2016 and my parents are finally able to talk about an interior design plan.  My mom has quite the knack for interior design so this is right up her alley. I also love interior design so it was fun for my mom and I to discuss different options.

Follow Taylor's story in Part 2 and Part 3 on her blog, LowcountryGuide.com.

What's your favorite part of the North Central neighborhood? Experience with Fixer Uppers?

Fresh Local Loves

We hope you've noticed that a few things have changed on this site since we first started out; our listings and buyer clients (thanks, guys!!!), motherhood, hairstyles (bangs much?), and even more to come, as you'll see later this week on our Facebook page, but the one constant has been our LOVE for local around the Lowcountry.

Today, we'd like to get your feedback on freshening up our Local Loves section. We're updating our own (see below), but would also like to incorporate yours from your different go-to spots around town. This short questionnaire will take less than 5 minutes. Leave your name, if you'd like us to credit you as a source.

Share your Local Loves!

Angela's Local Loves:

Coffee- Muddy Waters Coffee Bar
They always get my order right even when I'm mumbling and half asleep.

Brunch- Baguette Magic
Try the French toast, you can thank me later.

Garden/ Home- Hyam's Garden Center
Serving Charleston since 1981, this local business keeps our yard in bloom. They recently helped me design a cute flower box under my kitchen window.

Library/ Bookstore- Free Little Library
I love stopping by my neighborhood's Free Little Library. (Click the link to find out if there is one in your neighborhood!) 

Mobile Office- In and Out Car Wash
It might sound odd, but I've gotten quite a bit of work completed while having my car detailed.

Boutique/ Clothing- Style Dwell
Style Dwell has perfect outfits for a night on the town or for a fun work look. Bonus: they have great small gift ideas!

Lunch- Cory's Grilled Cheese
This place is a hidden gem. In addition to an amazing grilled cheese, the burger is pretty delicious.

Grocery/ Farm fresh- Sunday Brunch Farmer's Market
Situated behind the Pour House, this market is where we like to shop for local fresh produce, eggs, meat, and pasta.

Park- James Island County Park
With miles of trails, a fantastic dog park, and an awesome playground for the kiddos, this one is hard to beat.

Emily's Local Loves:

Coffee- Collective Coffee
Beyond impressive selection of brews with a knowledgable staff.

Brunch- Edmund's Oast
Babka wasn't even a thing I knew about until I selected it from EO's menu. Every dish is creative and of premium quality.

Garden/ Home- Abide a While
We have big plans to take Grant here soon for his first (but not last experience) to get our flower boxes started.

Library/ Bookstore- Village/ Poe
The public library is my soft spot, so I'd list all 16 of them if I could, but I love the quaintness of the Village and Poes library. Cannot wait to take Grant to see the Easter Bunny at The Village Library next year. 

Mobile Office- Vintage Coffee Cafe
If I could go here every day, I would. Lots of outdoor seating, with a play area for children. It's like sitting in your backyard with endless fancy toast options.

Boutique/ Clothing- Two Cumberland
It just so happens that I don't buy clothes for myself very often anymore, but when I do need a quick option for a wedding or fun event, this store never disappoints. Bonuses: Their staff is incredibly nice and they have two locations (one downtown, one in Mt.P).

Lunch- Rutledge Cab Co.
While it's been around for a while, I recently discovered their $5 burger deal on Mondays from my friend that calls Charleston #vacationland. Truly.

Grocery/ Farm Fresh- Boone Hall/ Wishbone Heritage Farms
Convenience is a big factor here and with Boone Hall being across the street from our house, we never have a problem stopping by to pick up the veg we need for a meal. Now, for our meat and eggs, my husband schedules a weekly pick-up with Wishbone. Their bacon is one of a kind.

Park- Palmetto Islands
This spot has been a go-to since I moved to the Lowcountry. Great for dog walks, dog park, and now baby walks! We recently went with a large group of friends and explored on a gorgeous winter day. The views are spectacular.

Did you know April is Eat Local month? There are lots of events and ways to get involved.

Your turn to tell us your favorite spots around the Lowcountry!

 

A Love Letter from Ashley Galloway Thomas

Ashley:

I moved here in the Summer of 2014 with my then boyfriend (now husband-woot!) David, a Charleston native.  We had zero job prospects and a small amount of money to ride out an unknown length of unemployment. Some people thought we were foolish to move to a new city on these circumstances but to us, it just felt right. We were living in Peoria, IL at the time and were ready for a change (and some warmer weather). Charleston seemed like a no-brainer for us. We had a lot friends there, it’s full of amazing food and we’re total porch dogs. What more could we want? Two of our good friends let us stay in their attic apartment for a few months until we could land some jobs and find a place of our own. Which we did. And the rest is history.

Charleston has been and continues to be a beautiful place to live. Here are my top four reasons why I love living here.  

There’s a Strong Local Movement Here

In addition to the many local/family owned restaurants in the area, there are over 80 local farms here in the Lowcountry, many of which participate in a CSA program. Subscribing to a CSA helps keep your kitchen stocked with fresh produce, something near and dear to my heart as a Registered Dietitian. The healthier your environment is, the healthier you will be. Plus, it encourages variety in your diet which is a hallmark of nutritious eating. Love a good farmers market? We’ve got five; downtown, Mt. Pleasant, James Island, Johns Island and Boone Hall. Shopping at the farmers market is a great way to support local farmers and purveyors. The Lowcountry’s use of family owned local farms removes the dependence on 'big agriculture' which causes enormous environmental implications and does not support a sustainable food system, something that our growing population depends on. 

The Lowcountry Landscapes & Views Never Get Old

From sunsets to enormous oak trees to marshes, the Lowcountry is not lacking in the unique landscape department. Some enjoy the sunrise from the connector or the Ravenel bridge on the way to work. Others may watch a vibrant sunset on one of Charleston’s beaches, or over a drink on the dock at Shem Creek. There are several rooftop locations as well that give amazing views of the city. As for our dog Kiki, she prefers the warm and grassy marshland; she says the pluff mud is good for her skin. While the Angel Oak is a stunning and iconic tree of the Lowcountry, massive oak trees are all over this city, beautifully lining the streets of neighborhoods and parks, creating a canopy of oaks. And let’s not forget the beauty on the outskirts of Charleston like Boneyard Beach on Capers Island. We love to Kayak out and camp on Capers; it makes a great weekend getaway. 

Shem Creek sunset

Shem Creek sunset

Angel Oak tree

Angel Oak tree

Kiki enjoying the marsh

Kiki enjoying the marsh

Edmund’s Oast

The Charleston food scene is insane and there is no shortage of fantastic restaurants. But this one is my favorite. From the food, to the atmosphere, to the beer selection, it stole my heart at first visit. The menu boasts seasonal and local ingredients, always keeping you on your toes with something new. I always try something new when I go and have never - I repeat, never - been disappointed. This is rare and probably why I like Edmund’s Oast so much. If you like watching the chefs prepare your meal you can sit inside at the Chef’s Counter which places you front and center of the open kitchen. Or if you feel like enjoying the beautiful lowcountry weather, sit outside at a community table and get some fresh air. And lastly, the beer. Edmund’s is one of the few brewery based restaurants in the Lowcountry and has 40 beers on tap at a time. My favorite Edmund’s beers are Circe and Farrago. And you gotta try the Peanut Butter & Jelly beer just once. They also feature guest taps from local brewers and the most recent was a phenomenal Belgian Golden Ale brewed with beets. Yep, beets. Beautiful color and earthy flavor.  

A look into the Edmund's Oast kitchen

A look into the Edmund's Oast kitchen

I Can Commute by Bike

Why live downtown and not bike everywhere? This is a major perk for David and I since we both work at the College of Charleston. It takes us 15 minutes to get to work and we don’t have to sit in traffic or stress out about finding parking. When it rains we wear ponchos/rain jackets and when it’s 120 degrees outside we bring a change of clothes. We bike to friends houses, restaurants, bars, the farmer’s market and the Music Farm. The only thing we need now is a bike trailer to tote our groceries from the Harris Teeter :) And with all the hard work Charleston Moves is doing, we look forward to seeing other parts of Charleston become more bike friendly.  

Biking through the seasons

Biking through the seasons

Bio:

Ashley Thomas is a Registered Dietitian at the College of Charleston, teaches the Nutrition and Dental Health graduate course at MUSC, and writes her own food and nutrition blog, The Fresh Beet. She and her husband David Thomas live downtown with their spoiled fur baby, Kiki.  In her free time, Ashley can be found brushing up on her pottery skills, doing yoga and spending time with friends in the lovely Lowcountry. 

Neighborhood Spotlight: North Central

Emily:

Downtown Charleston is divided up into over a dozen neighborhoods. North of the Crosstown hosts Hampton Park Terrace, Wagener Terrace, West Side, and North Central, to name a few. Last week, I listed a newly renovated home in the North Central neighborhood and thought it would be helpful to highlight what makes this area so desirable:

History
Developed mostly in the early 1900s, from farmland, many of the homes in this neighborhood are two story with front porches made for catching a breeze and enjoying an evening cocktail. Seen on the map below, it is bounded by Mt. Pleasant Street to the North, Interstate 26 to the East, and Rutledge Avenue to the West.

Eat & Drink
North Central Delicatessen
Charleston deli with bagels, Taylor pork roll, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads. This place gets packed around lunch time with area employees.

Huriyali
Nourish your mind, body and soul with the freshest organic ingredients combined with the best of what the world has to offer; juices, raw bars, sandwiches, Acai bowls, and more. Their back courtyard is a refreshing open space for meeting with friends or enjoying a few moments of solitude. 

The Park Cafe
Neighborhood cafe for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Saturday/Sunday brunch, and daily specials. Their interior is filled with clean design and a greenery wall that will make you want to go home and water your plants.

Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
Popular watering hole for locals that serves a large menu with great food. Voted City Paper's 'Best Pub Food' for 8 years in a row. Brunch is a must here on Sundays, but arrive early with your whole party to get a table.

Rodney Scott BBQ (coming soon)
Whole hog smoking barbecue by acclaimed pit-master, Rodney Scott. A lot of press will accompany this opening before the end of the year.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Rutledge Cab Company | Lewis Barbecue | Home Team BBQ | Edmund's Oast | Butcher & Bee | Tattooed Moose | Santi's | Leon's Oyster Shop | Taco Boy | The Royal American | Palmetto Brewing | Revelry Brewing | Cooper River Brewing

Get Involved
North Central Group
This Facebook group stays active with updates from local businesses and groups that culminate in the area. On a larger scale, the Upper Peninsula Initiative also keeps you up to date with happenings and community planning efforts.

Romney Urban Garden
Community garden that hosts garden bed rentals, volunteer workdays, back to school bashes, movies, composting tutorials, and so much more.

Dart Library
Originally Dart Hall, this library, now part of the Charleston County Public Library system, was started as an African American Reading Room in 1927. This active library branch hosts story times, career fairs, book discussions, movies, and other community events.

Enough Pie (Vat Shack)
A catalyst for inclusive and inspiring community engagement in the Upper Peninsula through dynamic partnerships, artistic collaborations and creative placemaking. The Vat Shack, located in Joseph Floyd Manor Park, explores the history, culture, science and art of indigo with 'Community Dye Days'.

The Vinyl Countdown
Independent record store, specializing in new and used, vinyl, and turn tables.

The Faculty Lounge
Blink and you'll miss it. This neighborhood late night spot is good for meeting up with friends, making new friends, and getting sweaty on their compact dance floor.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Hampton Park | Kickball League | Riverdogs Games (you can most likely see the Friday night fireworks from your front porch) 

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Up and Coming
Not much is known on the new-builds coming up on what used to occupy 373-379 Huger Street, other than they're working on the sites daily that will likely feature eight, 2 and 3 bedroom homes around 1,400 square feet, all with drive under garages. Stay tuned!

Do you live or work in the area? What's your favorite spot?