Century 21 Empire Realty is finally in its permanent home, after a short-term move, while their new location was to be completed. Boxes have been moved and unpacked, employees are hard at work in a new location, and the improved sign has been installed. The move took the business from their Gallia Street Location to the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, in one of the limited buildings on Market Street.
The move was a major deal for the DeAtley family, who has owned the business since 2015. Prior to owning Century 21, Craig had been employed by the business since 2009. He took his classes to become a broker in 2013 and has been building rapport with the community since.
The DeAtleys have a long history of loving the downtown. It is where Heather and Craig first lived when they married. It was where Craig and his mother, Laurel, opened their first business. Their kids have grown up at the downtown Famer’s Market and participating in various downtown events.
“We enjoyed living downtown and walking around Boneyfiddle,” Heather said. “A few years later, Craig and Laurel opened a garden shop on Front Street, which later moved to 511 2nd Street. When we closed this retail location in 2010, it was bitter sweet. We had enjoyed being in Boneyfiddle and interacting with all the folks coming to the shop. However, it was time for a new chapter in our lives.”
Heather said that they’ve always thought about returning downtown and are glad to be back with the move of Century 21.
Heather said that Century 21’s successful impact continues to grow and the move felt right to continue their image as a leading business in the community.
“Century 21 continues to be the top-selling real estate brokerage in our area. In 2017, 20% of the sales in the area went through our office. This is based on the dollar value of the homes/land/commercial real estate sold,” Heather explained.
Heather was also optimistic about the market in general, claiming business is good for brokerages all over the county.
“Overall sales for the area have been staying steady over the past 3 year period. For Portsmouth specifically, the total dollar amount of residential sales for 2017 were 32% higher than in 2015. In addition, the average residential sale price for Portsmouth increased 24% from 2015 to 2017. While other school districts in the area have been relatively flat on average sales price for the past two years, it’s encouraging to see that Portsmouth is one area that is seeing home sales prices increase.”
The new location sits in one-half of what was Market Street Hardware. The business didn’t need the entire space, so they split it with the previous owners and have created two wonderful spaces where both co-exist.
“We were at 902 Gallia Street for a year after we purchased the brokerage from Bob and Debbie. We then moved across the street to 913 Gallia Street, when John Gambill began a remodel on the 902 building,” Heather said. “Since we knew we wanted to purchase a building, Craig became more serious about looking around for the best fit. He had a vision for the Market Street Hardware building. Since we didn’t need the whole building, it was a good fit for the hardware store to still operate and us to be back in Boneyfiddle. “
The interior of the building is completely modernized, with wood, stone and metal tones that blend well for a beautiful environment. A fresh lobby welcomes guests, and a glass conference room allows privacy, which also separates the back of the building from the lobby, where offices are.
“We worked with Kelly Babcock and Amy Heim who did two different design concepts for the space,” Heather said. “We chose one and we were off, getting engineering, plans approved, and construction started.”
The DeAtleys also serve the downtown financially and with their knowledge, volunteering and serving in various board seats. They say they feel blessed to be back downtown and look forward to a bright future.
“Personally, we have always enjoyed the historic district,” DeAtley explained. “From a business perspective, regardless of where you live in the county, downtown is the business district. It’s exciting to see different people investing in the downtown in general and Boneyfiddle specifically.”