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Charlotte developer Henry Faison dies

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CHARLOTTE, NC (Will Boyce/Charlotte Business Journal) -

Sad news to report: Prolific developer Henry Faison, chairman and founder of Faison Enterprises Inc., has died.

Faison, 78, died suddenly Friday at the privately held firm's offices, says Philip Norwood, president and chief executive. Emergency personnel were called to the office at approximately 11 a.m., Norwood says, but could not revive Faison. The cause of death is not immediately clear, he says.

"He was the creator of fantastic projects," Norwood says. "His legacy is not just in the buildings but in the people and the lives he touched and the good works he did."

Faison founded what is now Faison Enterprises in the 1960s and started his career as a retail developer, ultimately building dozens of shopping centers in the Carolinas, including Eastland Mall in the mid-1970s. The firm later moved into office and industrial development, developing more than 14 million square feet of office space and 7 million square feet of industrial properties.

Faison sold Faison & Associates to Trammell Crow Co. for $39.1 million in 1998, but four years later Faison Enterprises bought back the retail development and services units.

Today Faison Enterprises is a full-service real estate investment, development and management company with a portfolio of more than 7.5 million square feet of retail, commercial and residential properties throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

In Charlotte, Faison also developed the One Independence Center building uptown and the 121 West Trade building, where the firm is headquartered.

Norwood says the company is still reeling from the loss but had prepared itself for succession issues at Henry Faison's urging.

"It's a name that is affixed to what I hope will be remembered as a remarkably strong and active and high-integrity organization that he created," Norwood says.

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