Johnson & Jennings General Contracting, a privately-owned commercial construction firm serving Southern California, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. A reputation for providing quality work while remaining within budget has allowed the firm to maintain a strong presence in the commercial marketplace over past years, while laying solid groundwork for the future.
Led by a five-person executive management team, each with an average of 32 years in the construction industry, Johnson & Jennings has been on a steady course of carefully mapped and managed growth, which has allowed the firm to better weather the market ups and downs. Veteran leaders include Donna Vargo, principal, executive vice president; Carl Haines, principal, managing director - construction services; Naomi Lohnes, principal, chief financial officer; and co-founders Jackie Jennings, principal, president; and Tom Johnson, principal, chief executive officer.
Together, their experience has allowed the firm to provide a wide range of building expertise including office, medical, laboratory, R&D, defense, manufacturing, and retail facilities. The company performs construction projects both large and small, from multi-million-dollar ground-up buildings to small tenant improvements, demountable partition assembly and reconfiguration, and exterior site work. The company has maintained its woman-owned status, and is working on several projects with diversified business enterprise (DBE) goals.
Currently employing 37 people at its San Diego headquarters in Governor Park, Johnson & Jennings performs work across Southern California, from Otay Mesa to Los Angeles. Haines said Johnson & Jennings is looking at doing more work in Orange and Riverside counties, per requests from its current clients.
“As our clients grow and begin adding locations in new markets, we want to be there to serve their construction needs,” said Haines. “We view our geographical expansion as adding value to our services and supporting our relationships with clients, subcontractors and other key industry partners.”
Johnson & Jennings is recognized for its ability to perform technically intense and complex projects that require specific expertise, such as energy upgrades and retrofits, SCIF facilities, clean rooms and advanced digital communications infrastructure. These days, the company is often tapped for projects that require LEED knowledge, with six of its staff members being LEED APs and all having considerable depth of knowledge in the sustainable design arena.
One such project is the ground-up construction of Harbor Point, a two-story, 24,000-square-foot office and retail building located in Point Loma near the San Diego Bay. Completed late last year, the building encompasses nine office suites above three ground-floor retail suites, and an underground parking garage. The high-performance building achieved LEED Gold Certification for Core & Shell from the U.S. Green Building Council, and was constructed to complement LEED for Commercial Interiors, which will allow tenants to leverage the green attributes of the base building during tenant build-out.
“We’re listening, learning, and drawing on the combined expertise of our team members to stay one step ahead,” said Vargo. “Our team likes to be challenged, and we take a lot of pride in bringing solid solutions to the table. This is where our diversity of knowledge and project focus works in our favor.”
Other recent projects include the new $3.9 million LEED certified corporate headquarters of enXco in Rancho Bernardo, comprising 51,200 square feet of Class A office space on two floors and utilizing demountable walls throughout; a state-of-the-art outpatient medical clinic in Oceanside for US Healthworks, which evolved within a compressed 10-week period from a former real estate office; and the $1.6 million, 18,000-square-foot GSA Passport Office in Columbia Center in downtown San Diego.
Last year, Johnson & Jennings performed 59,300 square feet of tenant improvements for the industrial/manufacturing headquarters of ATK Space Systems in Mira Mesa. The fast-track renovation project included structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing system upgrades to the existing one-story, tilt-up concrete building. Additionally, a 7,850-square-foot section of roof was raised to accommodate a bridge crane and an 11,500-square-foot metal exterior canopy was added to shelter the tenant's industrial equipment.
"Our goal for every project, whether large or small, is to be cost effective while also maintaining a high degree of construction integrity,” said Lohnes, who has been a part of Johnson & Jennings’ executive management team since 1986. “Recognizing that the industry has experienced significant market erosion as a result of the economy, we have purposely increased our subcontractor pool to stay as competitive as possible, and added value through the experience of our seasoned project team members. Our people are what give us the edge.”
Lohnes added that the company’s staff of nine project managers has an average of 25 years experience in the construction industry, and each superintendent has approximately 28 years in the construction field.
With current annual revenues of $33 million, Johnson & Jennings faces a bright future, as it ventures into new territory and explores new horizons. “We’ve spent the last several years training and equipping ourselves for the next phases of our maturity, putting the right people into place and fine-tuning our systems and operations,” said Jennings. “We’re well prepared to move in new directions for our clients and provide new growth opportunities for our employees. We’re proud and excited to be celebrating our 30-year anniversary.”
About Johnson & Jennings
Johnson & Jennings General Contracting (johnsonandjennings.com) is a leading San Diego-based general contracting firm specializing in commercial construction. Founded in 1981 by Tom Johnson and Jackie Jennings, the firm employs a staff of 37 in headquarters located at 6165 Greenwich Drive, San Diego, CA.