May 2017 Luncheon – Leading a New Era of Development at Lincoln Harris: A Conversation With Johno Harris
Johno Harris, President of Lincoln Harris, joined CREW Charlotte on Tuesday, May 9th to discuss a wide range of topics including growing up around two of the city’s most iconic developers – his dad, Johnny Harris and his uncle, Smoky Bissell. He described the two with his dad being a visionary and front man to many prominent Charlotte developments and Smoky Bissell being the talent in structuring real estate deals and making the vision work financially. Johno moved back to Charlotte after working for Fortress Investment Group for eight years in both New York and London and is now making his own mark on the City of Charlotte.
Johno described the company’s several mixed-use projects in and around the city as being very strategically located – Capitol Towers recently completed in SouthPark, Rea Farms south of I-485 and Providence Road, the River District near the airport, Southbridge just across the South Carolina border in Fort Mill, 24 acres in the University area, and the uptown project recently announced at the former Charlotte Observer building site. All are walkable, mixed-use developments that can often be very complicated with lengthy timeframes.
Johno mentioned that the company had been in talks with Bank of America, who is taking at least 500,000 square feet in the 33-story tower across from the stadium, from nearly the beginning. Hospitality, residential, and retail will come into play on the site but no specific details were confirmed.
Crescent Communities is partnering with Lincoln Harris on the River District project, a significant mixed-use community, with 8 million square feet of office, thousands of residences, and hundreds of acres preserved throughout. Crescent is also planning a development across from the Observer site uptown. When asked about managing that dynamic, Johno says that he hopes they build the project because, first and foremost, it is good for the City of Charlotte.
Johno was optimistic of the next two to three years as long as there is no geopolitical macro event that occurs. Since the repeal of HB2, companies are slowly coming back to Charlotte.