David Belk joined Beauxwright as a development manager in 2021, and leads development and construction management activities. He brings valuable experience in project management, underwriting and business development. David shares some insight about his background, starting out in the field and growing up in Charlotte.
In 2021, you started at Beauxwright as a development manager. What drew you to the company initially, and what ultimately made you decide to join the team?
I was introduced to Beauxwright through the UNC MBA Real Estate Club. I wanted to work in an entrepreneurial environment and was excited by Beauxwright’s innovative development projects. After meeting with the team, it was a natural fit. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the organization, and felt that the development manager role would allow me to influence the company’s growth.
You recently received your MBA with a real estate development concentration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What led to your interest in real estate? Did you always plan to get your MBA?
I decided to go into real estate while I was a junior in college, after speaking with my godbrother who had just gotten into the industry. My first job out of college was working in commercial real estate finance as an analyst for Lincoln Financial Group. This was an incredible opportunity for me to build foundational real estate knowledge from a great group of people. Ultimately, I realized that I wanted to work on the principal side of real estate transactions and decided to get an MBA to make the leap into real estate development. It was completely unplanned but a great experience in my professional development.
Like Beauxwright principals Eric Speckman and Andy Lucas, you’re also a licensed real estate broker in North Carolina. Does this play a role in your day-to-day work? Does it influence your decision-making and overall approach to real estate?
I have yet to use it in a work setting, but that thing was a pain to get, so I’m not giving it up yet. I’m glad to have it though, and learned about a different side of the business through the classes.
Beauxwright was built on the foundation of creating and cultivating long-term relationships. Why is this so important in what you do?
Real estate is built upon relationships. Our development partners take on a lot of responsibility toward the ultimate success of a deal, so maintaining relationships with trustworthy people is vital. Beauxwright’s reputation as a respectable group has helped us build relationships with capital partners and secure exclusive development opportunities.
What about your job do you find the most rewarding?
I love spending time on a construction site and witnessing the land transformation. It is incredibly rewarding to start with a blank canvas and create someone’s home.
Along with Beauxwright partners Chris Warren and Eric Speckman, you’re also a Charlotte native. What has been most surprising to you about how the city has changed - or not changed - over the years?
Charlotte is almost like another city from when I grew up. Witnessing the growth is part of the reason that I chose to go into real estate. The complete transformation of South End surprised me -- but my biggest shock was when my old gas station by the corner of Providence Road and Fairview Road was developed into a massive apartment complex.
Do you feel that being “native” provides you with an advantage in your approach to the local real estate market?
Growing up in Charlotte certainly gives me better context for the history of an area, which can help determine growth. Additionally, many of my friends and contacts from growing up work in the Charlotte real estate industry, which can be an advantage.
Ok, we have to ask since the Belk family name is so revered in Charlotte. Tell us how your family history in philanthropy and public service has influenced you.
My grandfather, Irwin Belk, dedicated much of his life to public service after leaving the department store, and I am incredibly proud of what he accomplished. I strive to live up to his example both in work and in public service.
You’re an active member of North Carolina’s Coastal Conservation Association. Why is this organization important to you?
I have fished in North Carolina throughout my entire life, and there is not much that I enjoy more outside of work. Fishing is an excellent pastime enjoyed by millions in our state, but fish are not an unlimited resource. It is important for fishermen to be responsible stewards of the outdoors, and that is why I became a life member of CCA NC. This is a community of conservationists and recreational anglers working to promote sound management of public trust marine and estuarine resources, to protect those resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
If you had to choose only five words to describe Beauxwright, what would they be?
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
First of all, six months of practicing guitar won’t make you good enough to play in the fraternity band. Take time to learn as much as you can and remain adaptable. The first plan isn’t always the best.
- Favorite restaurant: Kipos (Chapel Hill)
- Beach or mountains: Beach
- Favorite day of the week: Friday
- Call or text: Call
- Favorite hobby: Any type of fishing