imaginative place trg communities greenville south carolina
CategoriesJeff Randolph TRG News

TRG Communities: Our Cornerstone Is Value

Q & A with Jeff Randolph, TRG Communities

Jeff Randolph started TRG Communities way back in 1997. Since that time, even as the business has grown significantly, his original vision has stayed intact:

“Our goal from day one was to establish a residential, mixed-use development company that created imaginative, dynamic spaces for families to live, work, and play. The reason we have been successful, I think, is that we have never wavered from that commitment.”

Indeed, TRG Communities has garnered numerous accolades and awards over the years, including being recognized by the National Association of Home and Professional Builder’s magazine, as well as being crowned “The Best” in American Living. Still based out of the perennially decorated city of Greenville in the Upstate of South Carolina, TRG Communities does work throughout the southeast—from Atlanta to Greensboro. Here’s what founder Jeff Randolph had to say recently about TRG Communities and the impact they continue to have in the region.

In addition to managing the selected homebuilders, they strategically set aside designated areas in each community for amenities, retail shops, and green space.

Q & A with Jeff Randolph

Q. So Jeff, if you had to boil it down to one thing, what is it that homeowners—and builders, for that matter—like best about TRG?

A. I suppose it would be that our communities elevate the value of each individual home. We are very intentional about each community—picking the right land, selecting the right builders, overseeing the architectural guidelines, and ensuring quality from pre-ground-breaking to the construction and sale of the final home in the community.

Q. So TRG is a very strategic company with a hands-on approach.

A. Oh yes, absolutely. We don’t leave anything to chance…at least we try not to (laughs). We carefully map out each community, in terms of the relationship of living space, green space, retail components, and potential amenity areas. We strive to achieve balance so that it will be a self-contained community that attracts a variety of buyers, from young families to older individuals and empty nesters.

Q. So I did some research and the word on the street, in the builder community, is that builders love to work on TRG projects. Why is that.

A: Well, I appreciate you saying that. That’s good to hear (laughs). I suppose it is because our homes tend to sell consistently, and often faster, than at other communities. They also sell at a higher price per-square-foot typically. We want to make sure that we are creating a community or a neighborhood that is going to be attractive today, and also maintain its appeal 10 years down the road. Our communities have staying power because they hold their value, even in an uncertain economy. They stand the test of time. Homeowners are drawn to that, as are builders.

Q: As everyone in real estate knows, the past year has been difficult, with interest rates ticking up to 7%, inventory in short supply, and home values coming back down to earth somewhat. How does TRG face a market like this?

A: We have the same approach in a down market as in a buyer’s market—we always seek to create value. We look for parcels of land that are desirable locations, that are only going to be more coveted as time goes on. On top of that, we design our communities to appeal to families by offering accessibility, plenty of outdoor space, gathering spaces, pools, clubhouses, retail shops…it just depends on the particular project. The goal is to build more than a neighborhood with a bunch of houses, but to create a holistic living experience that stands the test of time. Because the bottom line is, people make decisions about where they want to live based on long-term value…whether the market is favorable or not. Our emphasis on quality, value, and the overall living experience has helped us succeed over the past year, and during other challenging times.

Learn More About TRG Communities

The Randolph Group develops communities all over the Upstate of South Carolina, as well as other regions in South Carolina and in North Carolina. We specialize in creating imaginative places for people to live, work, and play, while enjoying an elevated lifestyle and sense of community.

View Our Completed Communities

CategoriesO'Neal Village TRG News

TRG Communities Deliver Value That Attracts Home Buyers

Q & A with O’Neal Village Homeowners

As an award-winning residential and mixed-use developer, The Randolph Group (TRG Communities) has earned a reputation in the Greater Greenville and Upstate region for creating communities that elevate the value of each home. TRG is a hands-on developer, quite selective with the builder network they employ, as well as overseeing and maintaining strict architectural guidelines throughout each community’s evolution. In addition to managing the homebuilding process, they strategically set aside designated areas in each community for amenities, retail shops, and green space. We recently sat down with a couple who are not only homeowners in O’Neal Village (a TRG Community), but business owners there as well.

Q & A with Guichard & Jessica Ulysse

Q. So tell us, what first attracted you to O’Neal Village?

A. (Jessica) The location. At the time we were working in Spartanburg, living in Greenville, and we wanted something convenient and accessible. O’Neal Village is in Greer, in-between the two and a quick, easy drive to both. The second thing was the fact they had plans for a daycare to be built, which was important to us. So that, along with the amenities and commercial aspect of the community, which included a coffee shop, an eyeglass studio, a church…all of those things factored into our decision. We liked the fact it was such a self-contained village.

Q. Speaking of the commercial component, I understand you guys opened a fine-dining restaurant at O’Neal Village.

A. (Guichard) Yes, that is true. It was a dream of ours to open a restaurant and it’s incredible how it all came together in the community in which we live. The restaurant is called House 509 Bistro & Wine Bar and it has been open since this past November.

Q: I understand it is quite popular already.

A: (Guichard) Yes, we are fortunate. It pretty much stays packed. I think we have a great concept—pairing exceptional cuisine with fine wines. We create a very intimate and sophisticated dining experience that people in the area gravitate to.

Q: That’s great. Tell us some things you like most about O’Neal Village.

A: (Jessica) It is a great community with lots of diversity. People are from all over—and all age groups: younger families and older, just-retired individuals and couples. So it’s a nice mix. And there are so many amenities and features that bring people together: a pool, a gym, a dog park, clubhouse to hold events, and lots of green space. All of this makes it a very open and communal experience for families.

A: (Guichard) Yes, the people are wonderful. And the fact that there was an actual thoughtful concept behind the community. It’s not just a bunch of cookie-cutter houses thrown together. There is distinctive architecture and a quite a variety of home options that all reflect quality. There are Charleston-designed houses like ours, as well as townhomes and single-family homes with multiple plan options. And then the commercial and social components mixed in. It’s all complementary—it fits together well in the overall concept.

Q: You mentioned a sense of real community here. Describe what you mean.

A: (Jessica) There’s always a lot going on and most people here are very active in the community events and seasonal get-togethers. The social programming is a group effort and we have a very active Social Media presence in which everyone is aware of what’s coming up each month.

A: (Guichard) Yes, the whole community plays a part and has bought into this concept. It’s great to see. Memorial Day, Labor Day, and holiday parties here are so much fun. It is a very easy community to meet people and make friends.

Q: What else would you say to people considering O’Neal Village?

A: (Jessica) This is a great value. And homes here are only going to increase in value. The desirable location, along with the overall design and concept, really make O’Neal Village unique. So on top of everything else, I feel this is a very good investment—and that includes our home and the restaurant.

Learn More About TRG Communities

The Randolph Group develops communities all over the Upstate of South Carolina, as well as other regions in South Carolina and in North Carolina. We specialize in creating imaginative places for people to live, work, and play, while enjoying an elevated lifestyle and sense of community.

View Our Completed Communities

CategoriesTRG News

TRG Communities Supporting Affordable Housing in Charleston

Homes of Hope, a Greenville based non-profit, is developing two parcels of land on Ashely River Road in the city of Charleston, South Carolina. It is approximately 10-15 minutes from downtown Charleston. A development arm of the City of Charleston is investing funds into the Pierpoint development. The Randolph Group based in Greenville, South Carolina is providing development management for Homes of Hope for the project that will include 75 affordable, two to three-bedroom townhomes. The homes will be significantly discounted. The homes will be modeled after townhomes built at TRG’s other communities including O’Neal Village in Greer, South Carolina. These new homes will sell for $150-200,000.

The structured deal means that the land is under a land lease for 100 years. Qualifying residents buy the property and get a discount. Residents can sell the property but it always has a built-in affordability component that will guarantee perpetual affordability.

The 100-year lease starts over and the property can never be taken out of an affordability component.

The vision and realization of such a development speak to the difficulty in developers trying to support affordable housing. In this case, one property was zoned commercial and the adjacent property zoned multi-family. According to zoning regulations, up to 130 apartments could have been constructed.

TRG President and founder, Jeff Randolph describes the difficulty: “I’m in a meeting with some of the city building officials The building code for the commercial parcel was interpreted to require metal studs rather than traditional wood stud construction, which significantly cuts costs and increases affordability. We initiated a rezoning to downgrade the development to residential so people could afford the housing and to avert the metal studs which would not only add $5,000 in per-unit costs but delay completion by five months.” Randolph continued, “TRG’s history goes back to working on affordable housing and housing as a foundational component of life and living. It’s proven that if you have stable, affordable housing and in a safe location then children and families thrive. Parents don’t have to spend 50-60% of their income on housing which gives them more disposable income to do other things like summer camp for their kids or more extracurricular

It’s good for the overall economy because when a person has a margin in their budget and housing in line with what it should be (35%) they can save and spend money to buy things, but when they are trapped in inadequate housing they can’t do anything. At TRG we believe we can play a role in that part of the housing sector. TRG desires to build quality housing in attractive neighborhoods regardless of price and location. All homeowners
want the same thing regardless of price: safety, recreation, a sense of community and an architectural pleasing residence. When does ugly enter the house discussion?”

Randolph explains, “Every home can be enjoyable, attractive, and valuable regardless of lot size and land. At TRG we are committed to providing affordable housing opportunities to all people in the hopes of increasing quality of life.”

Homes of Hope CEO Dan Olglesby comments on the development: “ThePierpoint development of 75 townhomes on Ashley River Avenue is a prime example of public-private and not-for-profit sectors working together to provide affordable housing. It is a $14M project and the City is adding $1.3M. An arm of the City of Charleston tasked with finding sites to put into a land trust and keep affordable housing in perpetuity approached us about two years ago about the project. The city investment enabled us to buy the costs down to build homes where the end-user pays less for their housing as opposed to the market rate. Homes of Hope agreed and we hired The Randolph Group to provide development management.

In so many areas of South Carolina, we are dealing with gentrification impacting real estate values. Markets like Charleston and Greenville are being overrun by people moving south for various reasons so the demand is high, prices are going up and this is a great opportunity for us to meet those in the workforce who can only afford so much.”

Oglesby notes the progress of the organization, “Homes of Hope has completed 643 completed affordable housing units through rent and ownership. We’ve got 228 houses in the pipeline, so we will be at 871 units when we complete the 75 homes in the Charleston project. Affordable housing is a starting place for us and meets a real need for people, it’s the beginning of our story not the end of it. It starts the process for economic mobility and one day they won’t need subsidized housing and will be able to afford market prices through better jobs, education, and asset growth.”

His organization is trying to break an age-old cycle, “Our main goal at Homes of Hope is generational change. We help people advance and grow so they are no longer tied to the traditional government cycle of subsidized housing over and over. We help people move forward so someone else can come behind them, grow and emerge to pay it forward for the next generation. Our goal is to end the cycle.”

Homes of Hope is about more than affordable housing according to Oglesby, “It is only one prong of our multi-disciplined approach to helping change generational poverty, addiction, and need. Our main focus is in the area of workforce development in Greenville to partner with businesses and educational institutions to help people in recovery gain valuable skills that change the cycle of poverty, abuse, and addiction. There is a place for volume in urban areas in regard to subsidized housing, but our interest is in serving fewer people and being successful by helping them change the narrative by increasing their education, job skills, and assets to break the perpetual cycle of poverty and addiction.”

As a further sign of community partnership, the St. Andrews Fire Department under the direction of Fire Marshal and Captain Kevin A. Berkel was invited by TRG to conduct several valuable training exercises in one of the existing structures before it was demolished as part of the project’s development which is expected to be completed in April of 2022. This development is an example of private-public sector cooperation by exhausting resources to provide housing and first responder training.

TRG Communities creates imaginative places for homeowners to enjoy a wide array of amenities and living spaces. We design communities instead of houses and neighborhoods! Our desire is for the total enjoyment and satisfaction of our residents. Our developments include O’Neal Village in Greer, SC, Foxbank Plantation in Charleston, Carilion in Travelers Rest, Verdmont, Redfearn, and Neely Farm in Simpsonville, SC and the latest development, Pinestone in Travelers Rest, SC.

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