CHARLOTTE, NC -- Steve Helfrich is the business development manager of CW Construction & Development, a full service development firm and general contractor based outside Charlotte, North Carolina.
Steve comes to development and construction from a unique place: science. A trained biologist, he worked as an adjunct professor and in technical sales, for 10 years, getting his feet wet in a variety of professional roles. It’s less of a surprise that he ended up at CW when you learn that his two brothers, David and Dan, are president and project manager of the company and the founders of CW. Steve has been with CW for three years, and has taken to the development role and construction industry with ease.
CW began several impressive ventures, including CampusWorks, which started in 1997, and CustomWorks, which got underway in 2007. CampusWorks—the student housing development branch of the business—has come to define the company’s niche, with assets serving ten off-campus university markets. CustomWorks then often plays a part in the final project, being the arm of the business that is involved in importing custom cabinets and high quality countertops, plumbing, and lighting fixtures to use on “in-house” projects and sell to third party general contractors. Many of these unique fixtures end up in the student housing that CW has acquired, developed or constructed.
CW’s business territory covers a large swath of the southeastern United States, being licensed in the states of Alabama, Florida, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas. The company overall has done over $200 million in new development in the past eight years, mostly in the area of student housing apartments, condos, and townhouses. Mixed-use construction represents a far smaller portion of their business.
“We look forward to a good run for the next five to seven years,” Steve notes. “With the housing market like it is, apartments will be a good sector and one of the quickest to rebound.” In addition Steve adds, “Over the next five to 10 years, more than 70 million echo-boomers will reach the apartment age as renters.” This will allow CW to capture this demographic in their conventional urban products and service renters transitioning from student housing to conventional urban settings.