Randall Goldman is a former CEO of Patrick Properties and a long-time expert in the field of hospitality. Before venturing out to his current industry, he spent a few years in the Coast Guard. Afterward, he pursued an education in the field of cooking and became a notable culinary instructor.
Although this career choice went along with Mr. Goldman’s passions, he soon found himself exploring the field of investing. First, he started by finding underdeveloped areas that needed to be improved. Given his limitless love and passion for the city of Charleston, Randall Goldman created the company above to renovate and invest in historic properties.
What made you join the movement for the preservation of historic properties?
I wanted to do something that will help Charleston. This is a city that enabled me to thrive and achieve a lot of my goals. At one point, I decided that it was time to give back. Although I regularly donate and work with local communities to facilitate betterment, I wanted to do more.
Given my prior knowledge of investing and renovating, I thought that I should look into historic properties. After all, their value to the city from a cultural standpoint is almost impossible to determine. So, I wanted to do everything within my power to ensure that Charleston will be preserved. When people hear the name: “Randall Goldman,” I want them to think about the importance of preserving historic properties. By retaining these properties, I’m making sure that future generations will be able to enjoy it just as much as I do.
What is the biggest danger facing historic properties in your area?
The city of Charleston in South Carolina has some of the strictest regulations in the country when it comes to saving historic buildings. The real concern actually comes from out-of-town developers. Many of them are not emotionally invested in the property they’re taking on and are simply looking for a quick return on investment. To be done right, a developer has to take their time and understand that these structures tell a story. It’s important that anyone looking to restore or refurbish an old property understands the significance of the property in question and is willing to put in the time, effort, and resources towards making it the best it can be.
What is the importance of preserving older structures and how does that affect the given city?
They are the centerpieces of the city’s culture. Consider, for example, how valuable it is to have an ancient structure in Charleston. Not only does it provide tourists with a place to visit, it significantly raises the historical value of the area. People can utilize it to promote diverse offerings that are available here. In turn, everything from tourism to the overall economy could potentially benefit.
How do you know when to renovate versus rebuild a certain property?
I will look at a long list of factors that contribute to my final decision. First, I analyze the property in question. If it is an extremely old property that is becoming unsafe, I will softly advocate for rebuilding. Usually, however, I do everything in my power to avoid tearing down any structures. Even the ones that may not be safe to live in are important for the culture.
In those cases, I tend to exhaust all of my renovation options first. Meaning, if there is a way to fix something, I will do absolutely everything to fix it. It is not until there are no more alternatives left that I will accept destruction as the means for preserving safety.
Is there a way to value historic properties accurately?
Absolutely, there is a way to value them. However, one can never apply the same standards of “comps” to a fully restored and renovated building. Thankfully, the industry has been shifting over the past few years to Experiential Travel – travel to experience new things – and that’s the nugget we were the best at, as each of our estates has stories going back hundreds of years. For the venture capitalists looking to invest and see a quick return, this may not be the best route. We, on the other hand, had a long view, a generational perspective not in paying back the debt, but understanding there may be a need for flexible terms. Valuation is hard as many of the detailed plasterwork, hand-carved finishings, hand forged copper and iron door hinges all add considerable value. There is a good size of the market that wants these details and will pay for the craftsmanship!
What is the worst course of action when dealing with a historic property?
Complete destruction absents proper research. Once you tear down an old property, it is impossible to bring it back. Simply put, it is gone and cannot be renovated or rebuilt ever again. So, everyone working in this area must conduct an in-depth analysis before deciding if they will preserve some historical site.