Four Experienced South Carolina Commercial Real Estate Professionals Announce New Upstate-Based Partnership

From left to right, Andrew Babb, Lianna Blanton, Geoff Groat, John Bauknight, Ralph Settle, Robert Grier, Alexander Dennis

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Four veterans in South Carolina commercial real estate are teaming up to form a new brokerage focused on the fast-growing Upstate region.

Geoff Groat, Jr. of Charleston is partnering with Andrew Babb, John Bauknight and Ralph Settle, three Spartanburg-based real estate professionals, in Roadstead Real Estate Advisors’ new Upstate-based office. After spending 13 years with a partner office of the world’s largest international commercial real estate company, CBRE, Groat co-founded Roadstead in Charleston 15 years ago and has since grown it into one of the most sophisticated real estate brokerages in the state.

Babb, a Spartanburg native, has been a key figure in Spartanburg commercial real estate for nearly two decades, both as a real estate professional and a developer. He has partnered with Bauknight on several projects in downtown Spartanburg. These projects include Palmetto Lofts, 226 and 252 W. Main Street, 142 Social and Magnolia Lofts, among others.

In addition to over 30 years of commercial real estate experience, Bauknight is a seasoned entrepreneur. He is President and Co-founder of Longleaf Holdings USA, a Spartanburg-based investment firm, and Longleaf Holdings, LLC, a commercial real estate and development firm. Among Bauknight’s current ventures are Rockers Brewing Co. and Streaking Birdies Golf, located in downtown Spartanburg.

Settle has worked in commercial real estate for more than a decade, first in the hospitality sector with Auro Hotels in Greenville and then with OTO Development in Spartanburg. Most recently, Settle is a partner of, and project manager on, the recently completed Robert Smalls Townhomes, a 190-unit affordable housing development on Spartanburg’s Northside. In addition to his work in the affordable housing sector, Settle has acquired & redeveloped buildings in downtown Greenville, downtown Spartanburg and surrounding areas. Settle obtained his Master of Real Estate Development from Clemson University and is a licensed Broker.

“The Upstate of South Carolina has become one of the most dynamic markets in the country, and the opportunity to partner with Andrew, John and Ralph is very exciting,” Groat said. “Their combined experience and understanding of the Upstate market is unmatched. With more and more people discovering that market, the opportunities are multiplying by the day. We look forward to matching savvy investors and developers with those opportunities.”

While Roadstead’s Upstate office will operate region wide, there will be a special emphasis on fast-growing Spartanburg County, named the 12th fastest growing metro area in the country in the latest study by U.S. News & World Report. According to the latest data, about 15 people are moving into Spartanburg daily. Their office is at 314 South Pine Street, Building 100, Spartanburg, SC 29302.

Also joining the Roadstead team is Lianna Saad Blanton, who has 12 years of commercial real estate and property management experience. Robert Grier, a 2018 Clemson University graduate, and Alexander Dennis, a 2023 Wofford College graduate, will join as junior associates.

“A lot of factors are coming together right now to make Spartanburg one of the most attractive places to live, work and play in the entire Southeast,” Babb said. “Our combination of assets, a robust local economy, and low cost of living is hard to beat. Our new team is well-positioned to help the growing numbers drawn to this area.”

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