In the short time since the renovated Coldwell Banker Caine headquarters office building at 111 Williams St. has been completed, it’s been the site of multiple community events, including a 300-person eclipse party.
“We cooked 150 hotdogs and 25 pounds of chicken,” says CEO and President Stephen Edgerton of the Aug. 21 party. “The hotdogs were gone in 40 minutes.”
Bringing people together was a main goal for the complete overhaul of both the interior and exterior, a total of 15,421 square feet.
“It gives us the space to engage both internally, our organization, and externally with our community partners,” Edgerton says.
With 5,539 square feet of meeting and gathering space on the lower level and an additional 1,045-square-foot outdoor patio, the redesign has made it possible for Coldwell Banker Caine to offer free event space to their nonprofit community partners, such as Greenville Health System Run4Life, United Way of Greenville County, and the Cancer Society of Greenville County.
“It’s increasingly expensive to get big enough spaces to use downtown for people, but we are offering it as a complimentary opportunity for us, because it shows off our space and allows us to interact with other groups and get to know them better,” says Kate Dabbs, director of marketing and operations.
The redesigned space also allowed the real estate company to foster a culture of collaboration among its own employees.
“Our culture is very important to our company,” Edgerton says. “We view our space as a place where the culture can live and sort of take hold.”
The renovations, designed by McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, began last September and bring the building built in 1972 into the 21st century, with a midcentury, modern look characterized by clean lines and updated with the elimination of solid walls in favor of glass enclosures throughout.
“It was important to revitalize this old building, which some people, I think, would look at it and say, ‘That’s a really ugly building,’ but we’re really proud of the elements we’ve added to it,” Edgerton says.
The upper level interior changes include creating many more small offices on the exterior, while adding central open work areas, putting windows in the original solid doors, and adding multiple flexible offices that can be used by anyone not assigned a permanent desk.
“We found when people were in the office, nobody knew that they were in the office, so the goal was essentially to open the space up and build a place where people could collaborate and come together,” Edgerton says.
Downstairs, a central kitchen and long community table make the first impression at the bottom of the stairs. Immediately outside the retractable glass walls is the patio. There, thanks to a built-in grill, impromptu cookouts are held regularly.
Inside, there’s a large meeting room where Coldwell Banker Caine’s weekly Wednesday sales meetings are held. It’s separated from the kitchen area by retractable walls and features moveable desks and projector screens.
“On Monday, it was streaming NASA and filled with people,” Dabbs says, referring to the eclipse party on Aug. 21.
On the other side of the bottom level is “The Board Room” where agent trainings are held. Next to it is one of the highlights of the renovation – “The Family Room.” It’s set up like a game room with retro toys, modular soft seating, family photos, a large screen TV, and a Ms. Pacman video arcade console.
Along with providing entertainment for the youngest family members, it’s also the site of less-formal training sessions.
Throughout the space, art by local and regional artists is on display, in a collection curated by Douglas Art Consulting. The impressive and varied selections showcase both the depth of talent in the area and Coldwell Banker Caine’s commitment to community investment.
“We want to be in the downtown area. We’re a community organization. We believe in the core of our community, and we want to be part of everything that’s going on downtown,” Edgerton says.