Company History

Early Years, Eastover, Myers Park,
The GREAT Depression

Griffith Real Estates Services and the E.C. Griffith Company have a story that spans more than a century and three generations. The saga starts as E.C. Griffith Sr. came to Charlotte in 1906 moving south from the Northern Neck of Virginia after studying law at Georgetown University. His career began with American Trust Company, a small local bank at the time, that years later evolved into NCNB and ultimately Bank of America.

In 1912, E.C. Sr. (Griff) as his friends and business partners called him) left banking and started the E.C. Griffith Company. He developed both commercial and residential properties and soon began working on some of Charlotte’s most iconic neighborhoods, including Eastover and Myers Park. Mentored by George Stephens Sr., Griff assumed development and sales for Myers Park in 1920 when Stephens moved to Asheville. In addition to marketing and developing Myers Park and Eastover, Griff also created Wesley Heights and Bryant Park (then known as Dowd Heights) and a section of the Elizabeth neighborhood known as Rosemont.  

The Great Depression brought incredibly difficult times upon the company and E.C. Sr, “almost bringing him to his knees” as he would say. Only creative financing and aggressive business tactics enabled him to survive The Depression, including selling the family’s landmark home in Eastover. The ordeal would leave lasting impact on the company, its founder, and his sons who succeeded him who were taught always to pay down debt and borrow money only when absolutely necessary.

Despite the difficult times, Griff and the company found ways to sell lots and homes in addition to making a home in Eastover for the Mint Museum and repurposing of the former US Mint on a 36-acre tract including a park. The museum and the park stand today and have become popular destinations and events for both Charlotte residents and visitors to the area.

War Years, Changing Times, and Farmland

As the Depression waned and the country made its way through World War II, The company continued its work in Eastover and Myers Park, developing, marketing and selling lots as well as building homes. Assisted by his sons E.C. Jr., and James, Sr., Griff built medical office buildings  on property owned by the company in Myers Park in addition to acquiring The Edgehill apartment building. 

Before retiring, Griff traded for two farms, one located south of what would become SouthPark, and one spanning nearly 400-acres in North Charlotte where he created the three lakes that came to be known as Griffith Lakes. 

E.C. Jr. and Jim Sr. avoided borrowing and paid down debt as they had been instructed by their father. In spite of the conservative approach, the company was able to expand its portfolio of office buildings and commercial properties.  

In the early 90s, E.C. Jr. and Jim Sr. retired and leadership transitioned to James Griffith, Jr. (Jim) and Preston (Fred). Jim and Fred had joined the company a few years prior after working with CB Commercial and Charter Properties respectively. 

Once aboard, Jim and Fred worked with the firm’s board of directors to adopt a mission statement and vision for the firm in addition to benchmarks and criteria for evaluating investment performance and new opportunities. 

The company won awards from both the Wake Forest Family Business Center and Duke Family Business Forum. 


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