Realtor Allison Van der Veer is credited with creating the moniker SoGlo, to describe the area in downtown Brunswick south of Gloucester Street.
Van der Veer, brokerage manager and sales associate for Roland Daniel Properties, had moved from Manhattan into a house on Union Street, in Brunswick, in 2005. She thought it was too confusing to have a bunch of little subdivisions, all with different names. She decided to describe a region of the city with common characteristics and the name stuck.
“It caught on pretty quickly,” she said. “It’s all south of Gloucester all the way to the bridge.”
Encompassing all the different neighborhoods under one name helped to eliminate the “pecking order” describing the different areas that shared a common history, architecture and close proximity to downtown Brunswick, she said.
“There was a feeling properties were more valuable in Old Town,” she said.
SoGlo has been a hot area for real estate during the past year. And with the high demand, come higher prices, but houses are not as expensive as in other areas in the Golden Isles.
“It used to be cheap and charming,” she said. “Your dollar still goes farther than on the island.”
Most of the homes in the SoGlo area are from 50 to 130 years old and range from small cottages to Victorian mansions in varying conditions.
“Some have been beautifully restored, and some need a lot of love,” Van der Veer said.
Like the rest of the Golden Isles, SoGlo is a seller’s market with a limited inventory. When properly priced homes are advertised, she said they sell quickly, sometimes within days. Part of the demand for SoGlo real estate is coming from St. Simons Island for a variety of reasons.
“It’s a fun place to be,” she said. “Everyone knows everyone. It’s a peaceful place to live.”
Selling points include proximity to the areas close to major shopping centers, a short drive to St. Simons and Jekyll islands, and reasonably priced homes.
“There are no single-family homes on St. Simons Island for less than $500,000,” she said.
Elementary school students who live in SoGlo attend St. Simons or Oglethorpe Point elementary schools, which Van der Veer said is another selling point.
The SoGlo area has also attracted buyers in the growing short-term rental market, she said.
The limited inventory will remain an issue in SoGlo because there is little room to build. Van der Veer said there is currently only one vacant lot for sale in area. There is even a market for some of the dilapidated homes downtown.
“There’s not a lot out there,” she said. “It’s incredibly challenging. You have to keep your ear to the ground and start digging.”