United Country Realty to open downtown office this fall
By William F. West
Sunday, August 19, 2018
A vacant downtown Elizabeth City storefront will have a new tenant this coming autumn.
Jake Forbes, owner of United Country Forbes Realty and Auctions in Hertford, on Friday, said plans call for the future Elizabeth City United Country Realty to be located in the Kramer Building along East Main Street.
Forbes said a lease for the street level location was signed with the space's landlord in July. The space was previously occupied by the Honey & Hive clothing boutique.
Forbes said the plan is for Heather Sawyer, one of the firm’s real estate agents who lives in Elizabeth City, to manage the Elizabeth City United Country Realty.
Forbes said the location will open in October or November and that he and Sawyer will be partners. Forbes said Sawyer has been working at his office in Hertford for a couple of years.
He described Sawyer, 28, as “real dynamic,” adding one doesn't find many people of her age working as hard and being as creative and driven as she is.
In Elizabeth City, Forbes said, “Of course, we'll be looking to add a few agents to the office.”
Forbes said this all wasn't really something he had thought about for the future, but he said he became interested in the location in the Kramer Building because “I loved the window space.”
He said the space is to going to enable him and Sawyer to do a lot in terms of promoting properties for sale.
He also cited downtown Elizabeth City being the home of events such as the First Friday Art Walk, in which downtown merchants partner with local artists to transform downtown into a lively gallery.
He said his thinking was, “It would be neat to be a part of that part of Elizabeth City's community.”
United Country Real Estate dates back to 1925 and is based in Kansas City, Missouri. United Country Real Estate supports about 500 offices and 5,000 real estate professionals across four continents.
Forbes grew up in the auction business and has been in the real estate business since 2006. He bought the United Country franchise in Perquimans County in 2009.
The other United Country office in the immediate area is located along U.S. Highway 158 in the Belcross area of Camden County.
The office operates under the name United Country Forbes and Brown Real Estate, with the latter being a reference to real estate agent Lisa Brown. Forbes said he has a small stake in the Camden location.
In downtown Elizabeth City in recent days, there has been work going on to fix up the former Honey & Hive location.
“Actually, that's us,” Forbes said on Friday. “We're making improvements and painting it and putting new flooring in.”
Honey & Hive took occupancy of the Kramer Building location in the spring of 2014. In May, Honey & Hive owner Erin Harrell and then-partner Tracy Dean announced their intentions to vacate the storefront.
Harrell cited her living on the Outer Banks as a reason. She also said Dean left the partnership because she planned to work full time for her husband. Honey & Hive continues on Facebook as a private shopping page.