Image of Hartwell Plaza in Garner, NC

Meet The Hartwell Realty Team

Meet The Hartwell Realty Team

With generations of family and collective relationships in Southern Wake County, the Hartwell Realty team has been honored to have been a part of growing many of the communities within our area for 32 years.

Forrest H. Ball

Founder and President

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


HRI Brenda ComptonBrenda H. Compton


With 19+ years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage, Brenda has expanded her practice to include the greater NC Triangle region, as well as other areas of North Carolina. As managing partner of an international commercial real estate firm for several years, the experience of working with a variety of individuals, businesses and corporate concerns from all over the US and abroad, Brenda was provided a depth of experience and professional skill sets that she has honed and cultivated into a unique commercial real estate practice. By taking a multi-disciplinary approach to commercial real estate while leveraging professional relationships established over the years, Brenda has saved her clients time and money while bringing brokerage services that exceeded expectations. Every real estate transaction is different, and by integrating this complementary skill set team approach, the client can more confidently navigate the complex commercial real estate landscape. This approach also helps our clients mitigate inherent risks, challenges and unexpected costs that can be encountered with commercial real estate transactions, regardless of how large or small those transactions may be. The skilled professionals typically involved in commercial transactions include, but are not limited to, Architects, Engineers, Land Planners, Attorneys, CPAs and Commercial Contractors. Clients benefit from this additional expertise which allows them to determine the most efficient and cost effective way to approach their commercial real estate objectives and provide for a more successful result.

With extensive experience in commercial real estate brokerage project facilitation and development services, Brenda works closely with individuals, businesses and corporate concerns in all facets of commercial real estate brokerage services, which include:

  • Review & Preparation of Properties for Sale or Lease
  • Lease Abstract Review & Negotiations
  • Exclusive Buyer & Tenant Representation
  • Site Selection & Acquisition
  • Property Dispositions
  • Land Assemblages
  • Rezoning & Entitlement Work
  • Project Facilitation & Implementation including Build to Suits & Commercial Fit Ups

Brenda is honored to be actively involved with and support a variety of non-denominational faith-based Non-Profit missions that provide transitional and affordable housing support, life skills education and food sources to women, women with children, men, and youths transitioning out of Foster Care. These Triangle area programs include: The Hope Center at Pullen, Passage Home, Women’s Center of Wake County, Urban Ministries of Wake County, and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC. Brenda also actively supports several animal rescue organizations in and around the Triangle region, including Ruin Creek Animal Protection Society, SPCA of Wake County, and Lending Paws A Hand.

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