The Real Estate Developers

In Charlotte, real estate developers have always held rock-star status. Their stars may have dimmed during the recession, but these five have had the most influence in the way the city looks—and lives and shops and works—today


Smoky Bissell

H. C. “Smoky” Bissell founded the Bissell Companies in 1964 as a small real estate firm. Since then his group has developed more than 5 million square feet across the Carolinas. He is the principal office developer of Ballantyne and SouthPark. Today, Bissell specializes in development, office leasing, property management, real estate investments, and hotels … while dabbling in golf, spa, and media businesses.

Major Projects:
• 3.4 million square feet of office and retail in the SouthPark area
• 3 million square feet in the Ballantyne area, including Ballantyne Corporate Park and four hotels



John Crosland, Jr.

His father founded the company in 1937, and Crosland Jr. took the helm in 1965. It made a name for itself building thousands of single-family homes. Over the years the company worked on commercial and residential developments across the Southeast, but just this summer got out of the development business. At eighty-five, Crosland Jr. is still involved in developing affordable housing.

Major Projects:
• Birkdale Village
• Blakeney
• Whitehall



Henry Faison

Faison founded his Charlotte firm more than fifty years ago and has retail, commercial, and residential properties that total more than $1 billion in holdings. He’s best known for his 1999 redevelopment of SouthPark mall.

Major Projects:
• Eastland mall
• Redevelopment
of SouthPark (including a 1.2 million-square-foot expansion)
• 121 West Trade (Interstate Tower)







Johnny Harris

Formerly the president of the Bissell Companies, Johnny Harris has been president of Lincoln Harris since 1999. He was recently honored as Charlotte Chamber SouthPark Chapter’s 2011 Man of the Year for, among other things, the 20 million square feet of property he’s responsible for across the Southeast.

Major Projects:
• Piedmont Town Center (with Crescent Resources)
• Ballantyne master developer
• Phillips Place
• 525 North Tryon







Peter A. Pappas

Pappas founded his company in 1999 after time with Bissell Companies and Lincoln Harris. Over the years he’s played a part in developing Morrocroft, Ballantyne, and Phillips Place.

Major Projects:
• Metropolitan
• Phillips Place
• Birkdale village
• Charlotte Cotton Mills




Allen Tate

You can’t drive through Charlotte without seeing his name. That’s because his is one of the most successful real estate firms in the state.

Major Projects:
• Significant development of the SouthPark area as a mixed residential and retail center
• Major impact on planning and development of the Charlotte region by serving on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission and in Charlotte Chamber
• Allen Tate Residential has developed numerous subdivisions, including Foxcroft East and Montibello

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