Founding Stories - Market & Johnson - EST. 1948
Building Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley, project by project
V1 Staff |
Market & Johnson, which has built some of the most notable structures in the Chippewa Valley in the 21st century, got its start with a pair of homebuilders in the late 1940s. During the post-World War II home construction boom, Juel Market and Milt Johnson worked together building homes in the Eau Claire area for Walker Brother Construction. A few years later, in 1948, they formed their own company, building 50 homes over the next few years. The company’s office was Market’s basement, and the equipment was stored in his garage.
But Market & Johnson weren’t homebuilders for long. In 1953, the young firm undertook its first commercial project, building a new Altoona High School. The project was a success, and soon led the firm to pivot entirely away from homebuilding to commercial construction by 1956. More than 60 years later, that’s still Market & Johnson’s focus.
Milt Johnson sold his share of the company to Juel Market in 1964, and soon more Markets joined the family business – namely Juel’s sons: Marv, Ron, Howie, and Dan. More than half a century later, Dan remains chairman of the company’s board.
From its humble beginnings, Market & Johnson grew steadily over the decades, building schools, university buildings, hospitals, offices, municipal buildings, senior living projects, and much more. From its headquarters in Eau Claire, Market & Johnson has overseen projects across the western Wisconsin and beyond. The company expanded beyond the Chippewa Valley by adding an office in La Crosse in 1995 and one in Oakdale, Minnesota, in 2013, which has now been relocated to Stillwater, Minnesota.
Today, Market & Johnson is one of the Midwest’s leading construction management and general contracting companies, and the largest of its kind in western Wisconsin. Over 74 years, they’ve grown to 350 employees and $250 million in annual sales. In the past few years alone, the M&J name and logo have been displayed proudly during the construction or renovation of the Pablo Center at the Confluence, Eau Claire City Hall, Haymarket Landing, Eau Claire Fire Station No. 10, the new Altoona Elementary School, and the Jamf office and Royal Credit Union headquarters near Phoenix Park. Currently, in downtown Eau Claire alone Market & Johnson is overseeing the remodeling of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library and the construction of the Andante mixed-use building, the new Eau Claire Transit facility, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, and a new RCU branch.
These are just a handful of the civic, commercial, educational, industrial, manufacturing, and housing projects that Market & Johnson has provided preconstruction and construction services for in Wisconsin and eight other states.
Over the years, ownership has expanded beyond the Market family to include several key employees, including current President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Renley. However, the principles established by Juel Market remain the same, including completing the job in a timely fashion, maintaining the highest quality that can be achieved, and doing the project right the first time. Above all, the company has stayed true to its slogan, “Adding Value To Everything We Do.”