J.A. Jones Construction

J.A. Jones Construction was a heavy construction company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Operating internationally since the 1950s, it merged with Germany's Philipp Holzmann AG in 1979. In 2003 the company ceased operations due to the failure of its parent company.

J.A. Jones Construction
HeadquartersCharlotte, North Carolina
Key people
James Addison Jones, founder


The company was founded by James Addison Jones in the 1890s.[1] One of Jones' early landmark projects was the twelve story Independence Building, Charlotte's first "skyscraper" and the soon to be first office of J.A. Jones Construction.[2]

In 1930 the company won a major contract to build a new military airbase in the Canal Zone in Panama.[3]

During World War II the company built 212 cargo ships and tankers[4] and was a substantial builder of Liberty ships in support of the war effort.[5] It also built Camp Shelby in Mississippi as well as K-25 and K-27, production plants for manufacturing Uranium-235 at the Clinton Engineer Works at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.[1]

In August 1965, The U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks selected J.A. Jones Construction to be a part of the construction consortium, RMK-BRJ, formed to perform $2 billion in infrastructure construction in Vietnam in support of the Vietnam War build-up. This contract was closed out in 1972 and the consortium disbanded.[6]

In 1979 the company was acquired by Philipp Holzmann A.G.[7] and under that company's ownership Jones went on to build the 88-story Petronas Towers, for a while the tallest buildings in the world.[8] However Holzman got into financial difficulties in the late 1990s and this led to the bankruptcy of Jones in 2003[9][10] and subsequent sale of Jones' subsidiaries as going concerns.[11]

SubsidiaryBuyerPurchase price
J.A. Jones/Tompkins BuildersTurner Construction$10 million
J.A. Jones Environmental Services DivisionDick Corporationunknown
Lockwood GreeneCH2M Hill$95.5 million
J.A. Jones InternationalFluor Corp.$4 million
Rea Construction Co. (now Rea Contractors)Lane Construction Corp.$34 million


  1. Company history
  2. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission: "The Independence Building"
  3. Comptroller General of the United States
  4. Liberty Ships
  5. Digital Library of Georgia, "Ships for Victory: J.A. Jones Construction Company and Liberty Ships in Brunswick, Georgia", 2005
  6. Tregaskis, Richard (1975). Southeast Asia: Building the Bases; the History of Construction in Southeast Asia. Washington, DC: Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 139–140.
  7. Building for tomorrow: global enterprise and the U.S. construction industry, National Research Council (U.S.), 1988 p. 82
  8. Petronas Towers
  9. Gordon Wright, For sale: J.A. Jones Construction Co., Building Design & Construction news, June 01, 2003
  10. "VT Griffin Services Acquires Contracts from Bankrupt J.A. Jones", Business Wire, December 23, 2003
  11. BeaQuirk, "Former J.A. Jones units find life after bankruptcy" The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area, August 20, 2004
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