Commercial Space Advisory Team


Finding and securing an appropriate space to operate is one of the most important and daunting tasks for a local business. Unlike national chain stores or large corporations who have a team of consultants to handle this aspect of their business, local businesses often have to learn or guess what to do on the fly, while trying to accomplish other critical tasks necessary to start—or continue—operating a business.

Lowcountry Local First has launched a Commercial Space Advisory Team to assist local businesses with the task of answering these questions in a professional and confidential setting. Locals experts helping local businesses.


The Advisory Team is not intended to replace the services of professionals in the real estate industry. Rather, it’s meant to offer advice and guidance in an unbiased, objective and limited format. It’s a starting place, really. Example advising may include:

– Pointing local businesses in the right direction. (Do you need an architect? How much space do you need? Etc.)
– Offering ideas or different solutions to consider. (What if you lease a bigger space than you need and sub-lease to a friend and share a conference room?)
– Confirm marketplace assumptions. (What can I expect expense pass-throughs to be? How can I compare a full service lease with a net lease?)
– Explaining common lease terms. (What needs to be considered given my business plan? Should I engage an attorney?)
– Permitting and zoning. (I have a great opportunity to lease a property, but the zoning doesn’t fit my business. What next?)


Real Estate (Broker, Developer, Finance)
– Jeff Baxter, Cityvolve
– Michael Friedman, Luxury Simplified
– Jim Haley, Cityvolve
– Sebrina Leigh-Jones, Luxury Simplified
– Trey Lucy, Belk | Lucy
– Jonathan Oakman, Landmark Enterprises
– Steve Varn, Varn Real Estate
Design (Architect, Landscape Architect)
– Gary Collins, SeamonWhiteside
– Gaston Dietz, R2L:Architects
– Judy Dixon, Rush Dixon Architects
Sacha Rosen, R2L:Architects
– David Thompson, David Thompson Architect
– Gray Taylor, Buist Byars & Taylor
Regulatory (Zoning, Permitting)
– Amanda Herring, City of Charleston, Dept of Business & Neighborhood Services
– Ryan Johnson, City of North Charleston, Office of the Mayor
– Amy Livingston, Town of Mount Pleasant, Business & Tourism

All industries and business types are invited to participate. This is a service open to Lowcountry Local First members for a highly discounted fee of $45 per session. For non-members, the fee is $195 ($45 consultation fee + $150 1-year business membership – membership criteria applies).

To learn more please contact Lauren Gellatly, Community Development Director, by email at, phone (843)801-3390, or please complete this short questionnaire, and we will contact you: