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Business Spotlight – Same Face, Different Name: Bolstered by Experience and CCIM Designation, James Milner Opens Appalachian Commercial Real Estate

While broker James Milner started Appalachian Commercial Real Estate last November, he has about 10 years of experience in the local commercial real estate field. Photos by Ken Ketchie


By Jesse Wood

Feb. 4, 2015. Armed with seven years of experience in real estate consultation and entrepreneurship, Appalachian State University graduate James Milner founded Appalachian Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) in late 2014.

Milner has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience in the commercial real estate industry since starting Milner Research Services in 2005. He worked seven years with Sweeting Appraisal Service as a real estate consultant and analyst through Milner Research Services.

He has since leveraged this background to achieve the coveted Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. The CCIM designation is the highest commercial recognition offered through the CCIM Institute, an affiliate organization of the National Association of Realtors. It is the gold standard in commercial real estate.

For five years, Milner delved into coursework, compiled a portfolio of qualifying experience and prepared for a comprehensive exam. As a result, he stands alone as the only CCIM designee in Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties as of April 2013. At the end of 2014, the CCIM Institute reported that there were 9,194 designees and 3,716 candidate members in the world.

“He worked very hard and diligently over that five-year period,” said Mike Sweeting, owner of the Blowing Rock-based Sweeting Appraisal Service.

Milner sitting in his office off of Appalachian Street in downtown Boone.
Milner sitting in his office off of Appalachian Street in downtown Boone.

Sweeting noted that this designation, with his expertise and background, allows Milner to offer professional services to commercial property owners “that not many folks can do.”

“He has put himself in a position to be a top commercial real estate professional in the High Country,” Sweeting said.

Born in Virginia, Milner grew up in England, where he spent much of his childhood before returning to Winston-Salem. On his 19th birthday, he moved to Boone. “I haven’t left since,” Milner said. “I married a local (Catharine Harkins) and that kind of solidified me here for life.”

Milner graduated from ASU in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking. He worked as a paralegal for Blowing Rock-based attorney Richard Mattar out of college and started Milner Research Services, LLC in 2005 to offer professional title abstract and paralegal services for properties based in the High Country.

Since moving to Boone, Milner has had a positive impact in the community. He is the longest-standing alternate member on the Boone Board of Adjustment. He ran as an unaffiliated candidate for the Boone Town Council in 2013. For eight years, he served on the Western Youth Network Board of Directors. In 2008, he helped form the Young Professionals of Boone, an organization whose mission is “to cultivate the next generation leadership in the High Country by retaining and recruiting young professionals through business and social networking,” according to the Young Professionals of Boone website.

He was a founding member before serving faithfully as the Grand Chapter Advisor for the Epsilon Rho Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity at Appalachian State University. He remains on the national board of directors for CLVEN, LLC, a subsidiary of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, Inc. that assists undergraduate chapters with housing related issues.

Also, Milner is a member of CCIM Institute, High County Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, NC-CCIM Chapter, North Carolina State Bar Board of Paralegal Certification, Young Professionals of Boone and Yosef Club. He attends Boone United Methodist Church.

He obtained his real estate license in 2007 and along the way he’s worked with MAP Realty, the late Leonard Cosmo at Re/Max Village Properties, Blue Ridge Investment Properties and Charlotte-based Tradd Commercial Real Estate. In late 2014, he opened his own office and rebranded as Appalachian Commercial Real Estate.

Notable transactions Milner has spearheaded include a build-to-suit building on Blowing Rock Road, where Five Guys is located; representing the seller for a commercial property next to the ABC Store in Boone; a 16-unit apartment complex at the corner of Park and Queen streets; and representing the landlord on a number of leases in the Hardin Creek Business Park on Daniel Boone Drive.

In addition to being a licensed real estate broker in the state, Milner is also a NC Certified Paralegal and a NC Trainee Real Estate Appraiser.

“No two issues are the same when it comes to commercial real estate, therefore I feel it’s important to have a broad range of expertise to bring to the table,” Milner said. “These three licenses combined with my CCIM allow me to help clients in any way they need.”

Milner noted that Appalachian Commercial Real Estate features “a same face with a new name.”

While noting that just a few companies in the High Country specialize in commercial real estate, Milner said that Appalachian Commercial Real Estate gives property owners and users of commercial real estate a fresh option.

“Our ability to utilize technology and leverage relationships on both a local and national level will bring the results our clients expect and want,” Milner said.

Appalachian Commercial Real Estate provides brokerage, leasing and consulting services in northwest North Carolina. A few examples of their services include but are not limited to a retail establishment or restaurant looking for a new space, an investor looking to sell or purchase a multi-family complex or a landlord looking to lease available space. Regardless of the issue, Milner said Appalachian Commercial Real Estate has the expertise to offer a wide range of services.

“Our goal is to be an advocate for those we represent and provide professional services in a timely and efficient manner,” he said.

“If you need help, pick up the phone and call me, email me and say this is what we are getting ourselves into instead of doing a deal by yourself without any assistance and realize in a year or two, ‘I didn’t do a very good deal,’” Milner said.

Why choose Appalachian Commercial Real Estate for your next commercial real estate transaction? Because Milner believes you should invest in professional talent as there are no shortcuts and seasoned professionals save you money in the long run.

For more information contact James Milner, CCIM, Appalachian Commercial Real Estate, at 828-719-0408 or james@appalachiancre.com or click to his website: www.appalachiancre.com.

Appalachian Commercial Real Estate is located in the heart of downtown Boone at 140 Appalachian St., Suite E in Boone.

For those on social media, Appalachian Commercial Real Estate can be found at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AppalachianCRE

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AppalachianCRE

Google+: google.com/+Appalachiancre