Allen accepts new position, announces ‘Hive’ expansion

Albemarle realtor Lee Allen, former owner of the RE/MAX Executive Albemarle office, recently accepted a position as managing broker/realtor with Corcoran HM Properties in Charleston, South Carolina.

Lee Allen

Even so, the long-time real-estate broker and triathlete says he and wife Mary Burt will maintain a regular presence in Albemarle.

“We had been building a place in Charleston when this position came open,” Allen explained. “We’ve been looking at downsizing (our residence) since our children have moved away. We will be in Charleston some, but we aren’t leaving Albemarle.”

According to information provided by Corcoran, Allen “brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to every transaction. He is known for his unwavering commitment to identifying solutions, analyzing data, and implementing effective strategies.”

In addition to his real estate ventures, Allen is co-owner (along with Mary Burt) of The Hive, a co-working space, which has recently expanded to two locations in downtown Albemarle.

The concept of such a space has grown from the work-from-home boom that came with the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020.

“Now, because of technology, more folks can work from anywhere,” said Lee, “but, in many cases, working from home is not practical either, and that’s where we come in.”

According to information from The Hive website, “The inspiration behind The Hive came from our children, Meredith and Jackson, who we found in college to be spending more time studying in coffee shops than in the library.”

“Coffee shops are okay to a point, but sometimes folks need a better, more dedicated, workspace,” said Lee.

The Allens soon identified where that space should be, and what it should entail.

“Our dream was to have the former Chamber of Commerce (116 E. North St.) building truly be a place where commerce begins; to be a fostering environment for collaboration and entrepreneurship,” they said.

Gabrielle Hatley

Gabrielle Hatley, who serves as manager of The Hive, added that they recently opened a second campus at 320 E. Main St. (the former RE/MAX Executive facility).

“We started with the single campus, but our membership grew,” she said.

Hatley explained that various levels of membership are available, depending upon the needs of the individual.

“Both campuses offer dedicated desks, porch/patio space, white boards and printing and copying,” said Hatley.

The East Main Street campus also has a podcast studio and co-work lockers, with a conference room and private courtyard available at the East North Street location.”

“Members can access both campuses any time,” added Allen. “We understand the “all work no sleep” mentality that comes with entrepreneurs who work different hours. With this in mind, we installed high tech security systems that allow folks to use the spaces 24/7, worry free.”

Memberships range from a basic (“Worker Bee”) plan, which provides use of workspace at either campus, access to the conference room and podcast studio via reservation system, to plans which provide dedicated desks and private offices.

“We offer student and corporate memberships as well,” added Hatley, who also noted that reservations of the conference room and the podcast studio are available at an hourly rate, and that facility tours can be arranged for those who wish to see the facility.

Information on membership levels, amenities and rates, as well as photos of the two campuses are available at

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.