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RISMEDIA, February 12, 2009-Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. company, and Hampton Roads-based TowneBank have announced the merger of local real estate leaders Prudential Decker Realty, Prudential McCardle Realty and GSH Real Estate. The merger creates one of the largest real estate companies in Hampton Roads, with about $1 billion in combined closed sales volume in 2008.The company will operate as Prudential Towne Realty, an affiliate of TowneBank, with 12 offices, four satellite offices, 500 sales professionals and a complete range of real estate services. It will serve all niches of the local market in southeastern Virginia including the Peninsula as well as the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

“We are delighted to announce this merger,” said TowneBank Chairman G. Robert Aston, Jr. “We’re not only adding the universally known Prudential brand to our real estate company but also many of the finest and most-respected professionals in the real estate industry. Prudential Towne Realty proceeds to the head of the class as a major force in Virginia real estate.”

Barbara Wolcott, formerly president and CEO of Prudential Decker Realty, assumes leadership of Prudential Towne Realty as its Chairman and CEO. Kimber Smith and Carol “Randy” Smith, formerly of Prudential McCardle Realty, become president and senior vice president of the company’s Peninsula operations. Sandee Ferebee, formerly president of GSH Real Estate, will serve Prudential Towne Realty as chairman emeritus.

“The combined companies have provided a century of loyal service to Virginia real estate consumers,” said Wolcott. “We stand on that rich heritage, yet look to the future with ambitious, long-term growth aspirations. In short, our merger is a wonderful fit for our sales professionals, employees and customers alike. As always, our focus is on superior service with sound judgment and stellar performance.”

Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, said the merger creates a powerhouse affiliate in Virginia. “Prudential Real Estate has been strong in Southeastern Virginia and now we’re huge. The union of these three fine companies will result in a wealth of expertise and service for consumers.”

In addition to residential and commercial sales, Prudential Towne Realty offers property management and relocation, among other services.

“Our clients need us more than ever in this challenging real estate market, and we’re there for them with more tools, resources and expertise than ever before,” said Wolcott.

Prudential Towne Realty base of operations will be at 582 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, VA 23452; (757) 490-6500.

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