The Harper Story
If you look out at the skyline of Greenville, South Carolina—recognized as one of the most successful urban renaissance stories in the world—you’ll see much of our handiwork. We’re proud to have played a role in the development of this city that continues to win accolade after accolade. Now, in addition to the Upstate of South Carolina we’re bringing that same talent, innovation and expertise to other cities throughout the southeast. That doesn’t happen without dedicated, hard-working, experienced, effective and honorable people. Note the word, “honorable.” For us at Harper, our reputation, the way we conduct our business, the way we treat you and each other is paramount. And that same level of respect, care and honor that goes into our relationships goes into every single project we’re awarded, as well.
- Headquartered in Greenville, SC, with offices in Spartanburg and Mullins SC, and Asheville and Charlotte, NC
- Serving South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia
- Average project size: $2 - $12 million with capabilities over $60 million
- Our Markets: Office, Education, Environmental Systems, Industrial, Retail, Healthcare, Municipal, Community and Historic Renovation
- Expertise in Alternative Delivery, such as Construction Manager at-Risk and Design-Build, Preconstruction, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Maintenance/Emergency Response, Filter Rehabilitation, Sludge Remediation, Sustainable Construction and Tilt-Up Construction
- Over 200 employees
- Community-oriented with over $1 million donated to area charities
1950Harper was founded by John Harper, Sr. in Williamston, South Carolina. Located in the rear of a hardware store, Harper’s initial construction focus centered on the public bid market of schools and churches. At this time, all estimating was done by hand. Superintendents were homegrown, promoted from craft positions.
John Harper, Jr.
John Harper, Jr. became President. Current Chairman Doug Harper, General Superintendent Roger Ellison, and Vice President of Operations Rick Richardson joined the Harper team. Harper projects expanded to include the healthcare and retail markets. Thanks to the growing reputation of Harper builders and repeat clients, partnered projects became the norm. These gentlemen would help oversee Harper’s growth over the next 45 years.
In 1975 Harper breaks into retail market, constructing our first Bi-Lo grocery store. Over the coming years, Harper would construct more than 200 retail developments throughout the Southeast.
Harper breaks into retail market, constructing our first Bi-Lo grocery store. Over the coming years, Harper would construct more than 200 retail developments throughout the Southeast.
Antrim Drive Office
The Harper team decided to relocate the company headquarters to Greenville, SC on Antrim Drive. During this time, retail construction made up 85% of Harper’s volume of work.
After 15 years of serving Harper as a senior project manager, Doug Harper became Harper’s 3rd President.
The Ogletree Building
Harper was awarded its first Class-A office project, the Ogletree Building in downtown Greenville, SC. This symbiotic project was the beginning of a specialty sector for Harper which has grown to be one of Harper’s largest annual revenue sectors.
Harper was awarded its largest project at the time: The AnMed Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center.
Bryan Royal begins the Environmental Systems Division. Today, Environmental Systems has grown to a revenue of more than $45 MM, specializing in wastewater, water treatment, emergency maintenance, and indefinite delivery projects among others. Environmental Systems has been Harper’s fastest growing division.
After serving as a Senior Project Manager and Project Executive from 1991 to 2011, David Wise became the 4th President of Harper General Contractors, kicking off a phase of significant growth for the company.
Harper opened its first remote office in Downtown Spartanburg, SC. Harper was also recognized in this growth year by South Carolina Business Awards as one of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies.
Harper’s Environmental Systems Division (ESD) expanded to a new office in Greenville, SC on Coffee Street.
For the second time in Harper’s history, the South Carolina Business Awards named Harper one of “South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies.
Harper achieves national recognition by Engineering News Record as one of the Top 400 construction firms in the United States and is again honored as one of the fast growing companies in South Carolina. The growth spurs the opening of three more remote offices in Asheville, NC, Charlotte, NC and Mullins, SC.
Currently, Harper is the 2nd largest South Carolina headquartered general contractor.
Additionally in 2018, Harper updates their logo, branding and website to reflect the evolution over their 68-year history.