S.C. Real Estate Hall of Fame
George Dodson Taylor
The late George D. Taylor is an inagural inductee to the South Carolina Real Estate Hall of Fame at Coastal Carolina University.
George Dodson Taylor’s career in real estate is marked by an extensive personal history of successful real estate development that reaches from the coast of South Carolina to the Pacific Rim. His real estate work and expertise covered a very wide range, from large scale land and resort community development to club and residential building products. He combined personal vision with creative real estate financing to achieve accomplishments beyond targeted goals. The results have included a portfolio of profitable signature communities and properties around the world.
Born October 10, 1943 in Chester, PA, his family moved to North Augusta, SC in 1952 where George graduated from North Augusta High in1961. He attended Clemson University, became a member of Kappa Delta Chi fraternity, and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1965. He married his lifelong partner, Claudia O’Hearn of Augusta, GA in 1966.
After seven years as a Mechanical Engineer with DuPont in Chattanooga, TN, Taylor switched gears and stepped into a career that would become his life’s legacy. He began work with Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island, SC in 1973, and learned the art of the development of master planned, amenity communities from the late Charles Fraser. He was assigned as the project manager of the development of Harbor Town (1973-1975). Later Taylor was selected as part of the management team to go from Sea Pines to Kiawah Island and work for the Kuwait Investment Company in the position of Vice President of Resort Development under Frank Brumley (1975-1977).
Throughout his 40 years in real estate, Taylor was involved in the development of many communities along the South Carolina coast: Port Royal Tennis Village and Palmetto Bay Villas in Hilton Head, SC; Mid-rise condominiums in Harbor Island, SC; Melrose, Daufuskie Island, SC; Fripp Island, SC; Kiawah Island, SC; Ocean Creek and Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, SC; Debordieu Colony of Georgetown, SC; Litchfield By The Sea, Inlet Point South, The Peninsula, The Reserve, The Reserve Golf Club, Reserve Harbor Marina in Pawleys Island, SC; and Prince Creek in Murrells Inlet, SC.
“Each of the developments targeted different markets and George effectively identified the markets and products that would appeal to them. His real estate legacy is that he developed products that allowed purchasers to access the attractive lifestyle on or adjacent to the coast for a wide range of prices,” according to Bill Preacher, past President of Sea Pines Company and past President of Palmetto Bluff, about his fellow real estate consultant and friend.
He conducted strategic consultations with Hart Howerton of San Francisco and New York for a diverse group with of clients including Mac Farms International of Hawaii and Australia; Rank Corporation of London, England; LaQuinta Grove of Palm Springs, CA; The Country Club of South Carolina in Florence, S.C.; Windsor Polo Club, in Indian River, Florida; Harbour Town, Hilton Head, S.C. and many others.
Known for his incredible vision and spirit of collaboration, Taylor was instrumental in forming some of the most real estate development–savvy partnerships: Leonard Call & Taylor of Myrtle Beach, SC; The Barony Company, Taylor Mahon & Associates and Taylor Campbell Group of Pawleys Island, SC. He was also very keen in attracting talent to work with him, many of whom would credit him for their success.
“George was very generous in sharing his personal wisdom. On a professional level, he helped me to learn how to tailor our work to the needs of the developer and owner/operator, -- from the earliest conceptual thinking about how to address demand in new emerging markets, to disciplined modeling for business planning, to carrying out time and cost effective construction, and to creative marketing to the consumer,” said David Howerton of Hart Howerton. “Moreover, on a personal level, George was a model gentleman, mentor and great friend. I often reflected on many of his observations made during our frequent late afternoon cross-country conversations over the years, mostly about our families and friends during the various stages of our lives. I miss them.”
Taylor served as a featured presenter and was an active member with the Urban Land Institute Recreational Development Council. He also was active with the Clemson University Foundation Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors of the Waccamaw Community Foundation of Myrtle Beach.
Upon retirement, Taylor and wife, Claudia, moved to Blowing Rock, NC, but maintained a residence in Pawleys Island to continue their connection with business colleagues, family and friends. He loved playing golf, his weekly men’s Bible study group, and spending time with his grandchildren.
- Born in Chester, PA on October 10, 1943
- Graduates from North Augusta High School in SC May 1961
- Graduated with BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering-Clemson University December 1965.
- Married Claudia O’Hearn Taylor, June 1966
- Employed by Dupont in Chattanooga, Tennessee 1966 - 1972
- Employed by Sea Pines Company, President Charles Fraser under tutelage of Jim Light 1973 – 1975, and Frank Brumley 1975-1977
- Project manager of the development of Harbor Town (1973-1975)
- In 1975, Taylor oversees on behalf of the Sea Pines Company the development of Kiawah Island, SC - Kiawah Island Inn and Resort on Kiawah Island, SC
- Employed by Don Leonard and Jim Call of Call and Associates, Inc. in Myrtle Beach, SC in 1978. He was involved in varying degrees with the re-development of Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia as well as Wintergreen Resort near Charlottesville, Virginia.
- Taylor becomes a partner with Don Leonard and Jim Call. The firm was renamed Leonard, Call, Taylor and Associates, Inc. (LCT) and it focused on resort and amenity community development, sales and marketing 1981 – 1985
- 1981 – 1982 Developed, marketed and sold Ocean Creek Plantation, a 57-acre ocean front community on tract of land that was Ponderosa Campground.
- 1982- 1985- The development, marketing and sales of Kingston Plantation, a 145-acre oceanfront tract included the Radisson Resort two-tower hotel along with condominiums, villas, and other resort residential properties.
- Other LCT projects Taylor was involved in included Carolina Dunes, The Atrium, The Ocean Forest Resort, and Yachtsman Resorts.
- During the period of 1981 to 1985 Taylor also consulted with Bill Peacher, a well-known Hilton Head Island Developer, to initiate a variety of real estate developments in Hilton Head Island, SC; Harbor Island, SC; and Vero Beach, FL. The products developed were unique to their location and appeal to the marketplace.
- Early-Mid 1980’s- Taylor teamed up with the architectural firm of Hart Howerton to provide real estate consulting for several developments and real estate development challenges:
- Rancho La Quinta near Palm Springs, California
- Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona
- Developed tracts in Debordieu Colony, Georgetown, SC owned by Eden’s and Avant
- Developed strategies for converting rural agricultural properties into land assets in Hawaii, California and Australia
- Developed strategies to address the complexities of entitlements, finance, and multi-year development - innovative and successful ideas for community amenities and residential products well-suited to specific places and demographics.
- Taylor teams up old with Sea Pine Corporation colleagues to Doug Richardson and Mike Mahon to assist The Litchfield Company (TLC) of Pawleys Island, SC to come out of bankruptcy. TLC successfully came out of bankruptcy in 1992.
- Taylor and his team’s focus switched to the development of TLC land assets. From 1994 – 2004, TLC developed, marketed and sold over $1 billion in real estate:
- Completion of Litchfield By The Sea – several oceanfront single-family and multi-family neighborhoods within the community
- Completion of Willbrook Golf Plantation
- Completion of the River Club
- From 1998-2005 Taylor and the Litchfield Company developed, marketed and sold the Reserve Community at Litchfield including the Reserve Harbor Club Marina and The Reserve Golf Club designed by Greg Norman.
- From 2002-2008- Taylor and The Litchfield Company teamed up with the owners of a large tract of land in Murrells Inlet now known as Prince Creek to develop and market the residential golf community along the TPC Championship golf course.
- In the Mid-90s while still consulting with The Litchfield Company, Taylor partnered with Wallace Street and created The Barony Company, a new Real Estate company which oversaw the property management of 45 beach homes between Litchfield and Pawleys Island, management of Taylor’s newly developed commercial property, Pawleys Island Business Park, and the development and marketing Ricefields Plantation, a residential community along Kings River Road, abutting the Waccamaw River.