NAI Columbia sees boom in residential land sales market

September 30, 2021

NAI Columbia, the Midlands’ local full-service commercial real estate firm, is experiencing exponential growth in residential land sales, despite the pandemic, indicating that the greater Midlands region is growing. This upward trend can be attributed to people shifting to remote work and relocating to the region from larger cities. While housing prices have sky-rocketed, residential buy and build parcels have remained steady and reasonable across the region.

“Land sales have been booming for the past six years, and the pandemic certainly has spurred an even stronger demand for residential land as people continue to move to our region,” says Tombo Milliken, senior broker and principal at NAI Columbia. “The low housing inventory has also made buying land and building extremely desirable.”

Tom and Tombo Milliken, a father-son-duo with more than 60 years of combined experience in the industry, are NAI Columbia’s award-winning land sales team responsible for the firm’s residential land sales, including buy and build tracts and single/multi-family developments. This team also specializes in the sale of land used for large industrial projects, retail developments, mixed-use projects, timberland and recreational properties, and large utility scale solar farms.

“Land sales is a slow and steady side of real estate,” says Tom Milliken, senior broker and principal at NAI Columbia. “While most people might not think about land sales when they think of the industry, it is a critical piece to bringing big deals to life, especially ones that have a large economic impact in our community.”

Before economic development groups can bring high-impact companies and jobs to the region, they must first have the land, which is where NAI Columbia’s land sales team comes in. The Millikens have assembled the land sales for some of the region’s largest economic development projects, including:

  • Pineview Industrial Park — This nine-year project, located at the end of Shop Road, consisted of assembling 700+ acres for Richland County. This location now houses the Mark Anthony Brewing Co.
  • Blythewood Industrial Park — This nearly two-decade project, first started in 2000, is located just southwest of Blythewood along I-77 in Northeast Richland County. The 1,348 +/- acre property includes enough space to build 5.3 million square feet of office space, Class A space and manufacturing buildings. About 100 acres will be set aside for commercial use.
  • Nephron and Amazon Land – Now the home to Nephron and Amazon, this 500-acre project was assembled for Lexington County in 2004.
  • Goodwill Plantation/Cook’s Mountain/Haile Gold Mine Mitigation — This 3,557-acre, four-year project is located 17 miles east of Columbia on Highway 378 near the Eastover community and at one time, housed the largest inland functioning rice plantation. The Millikens worked very closely with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and other governmental agencies, as well as many non-governmental agencies to bring this project to fruition. This land is used for mitigation and offers recreational opportunities now open to the public.

“Much of what we do is in the path of progress and is primed for future development,” says Tombo. “No two assemblages have ever been the same. We do our homework and put together a compressive ‘Milliken Map Set’ with everything a land owner and buyer needs to know about that particular piece of land.”

Land sales or leases for large utility scale solar farms are also on the rise with an upward trajectory over the next 15 years. The team currently has multiple long-term option/lease arrangements in place.

The Millikens are some of the Southeast’s leading commercial and residential land brokers. In the last two years, they have sold land in 20 different counties — from the Lowcountry to the Upstate.

As a true broker-owned firm with an innovative company structure and leadership, NAI Columbia provides a progressive culture fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit. Its collaborative approach relies on a strong foundation of the firm’s collective success and experience. NAI Columbia is invested in the community and is on a mission to improve the local commercial real estate landscape. Visit to learn more.


About NAI Columbia

NAI Columbia is a full-service commercial real estate firm located in Columbia, South Carolina, providing customized brokerage, property management, project management, development, research and consulting services throughout the Columbia, S.C., region and beyond. NAIC is broker-owned with over 200 years of combined local experience among its partners. Founded in 2019, the firm is a partnership between NAI Earle Furman in Greenville, S.C., along with eight local principals that served as senior brokers with NAI Avant, which derived from national real estate developer Edens and Avant, before its sunsetting and reformation as NAI Columbia under new leadership and a new company structure. NAIC is a member of the NAI Global commercial real estate network providing real estate solutions through 375+ offices worldwide. For more information visit