Image of Hartwell Plaza in Garner, NC

Meet The Hartwell Realty Team

Founder and President

Forrest H. Ball

Forrest established Hartwell Realty, Inc. (HRI) in 1985, at the time, the only commercial real estate firm in Garner, North Carolina. He has since grown HRI to be a commercial real estate specialist in Wake, Durham, Johnston, Harnett, Chatham and Lee counties in North Carolina and beyond. HRI is a commercial real estate broker, manager and owner/builder of many properties throughout the area.

After retiring as a tobacco farmer, Forrest moved into commercial real estate. He established HRI as a broker and developer of office buildings and industrial business parks. Forrest is a lifelong resident of Garner and built Hartwell Plaza. One of Garner’s earliest office buildings, Hartwell Plaza was the first with an elevator.

Forrest is a founding member of the North State Bank and serves on their Executive Board of Directors. He is currently involved in the capital campaign raising $7M to build a YMCA in Garner. Forrest was presented the 2015 Summit Lifetime Achievement Award by the Garner Chamber of Commerce. “I enjoy hard work,” says Forrest, “and hard work pays off.”

E-mail Forrest at


The Compton Team at Hartwell Realty

Brenda H. Compton

The Compton Team at Hartwell Realty consists of Brenda Compton, Jason Stegall and Matt Raiford. Members of the Compton Team have diverse backgrounds in core brokerage and development disciplines. By employing this multi-disciplinary approach to commercial real estate, we save our clients valuable time in the early stages of a project. We identify any challenges our clients might encounter and determine the most efficient route to a successful close.

Brenda continues to hone and expand her areas of expertise in real estate, working closely with property owners and their development concerns. Brenda specializes in the preparation of property for sale, land assemblage, site acquisition, rezoning and entitlement work.

Let the Compton Team’s extensive experience and relationships help you reach your goals for sales, leasing, acquisition or development.

E-mail Brenda at


Matt Raiford

A North Carolina Triangle resident for over thirty years, Matt has a background in civil engineering, site planning and land use development. He combines land brokerage with specializations in due diligence, site analysis, rezoning, entitlements and conceptual planning with an emphasis on sustainable design.

Matt’s extensive knowledge of the area comes from three decades of living in the Triangle and working in the engineering and development fields in various capacities.

E-mail Matt at