As the clock ticked down to 2022, the leaders of JK2 Construction had a little more to celebrate. The family company officially entered its 35th year.
JK2 was started in 1987 by Paul Holmes, who wanted to control his career path and build a multi-generational business. Now, he’s realized that vision.
“To say I’m proud of where JK2 is now is an understatement,” Holmes said. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the vision I had for this company when it was just me come to life—beyond my vision, actually. This company has grown and become a force in the construction industry, and we’ve done it by living out our values. It’s something that can be carried on by the next generation.”
JK2 Construction is a leading general contractor in Central Florida, specializing in design-build, commercial, retail, entertainment, restaurant, industrial and amenity projects. The company has worked on some of the area’s most iconic construction projects over its three decades, including Universal Studios’ iconic entrance arch.
But while the company is celebrating 35 years, the journey wasn’t always easy, Holmes said. Founded as JK2 Holmes Constructors Inc., Holmes was the only employee, with his wife, Joan, stepping in to do the books. During the Great Recession, too, Holmes and other principals took minimum wage and even cleaned the bathrooms to make ends meet.
JK2’s innovative spirit is part of what spurred the company forward. In 2008, JK2 took a risk in bringing theming and custom fabrication in-house, starting what would eventually become JK2 Scenic. JK2 Scenic spun off into its own, separate company in 2017.
JK2 Construction also continued its growth by building on relationships with industry partners and expanding its core services. The company has built solid relationships with partners such as Tramell Webb Partners; Pulte Homes; and Clifton, Ezell and Clifton. JK2 Construction has also built a niche in work with the theme parks, as well as in amenity centers for national home builders.
The company has also been rewarded for its commitment to excellence. JK2 has received a bevy of Eagle Awards, the top industry recognition from the Associated Builders and Contractors of Central Florida. It has also been named to the University of Florida’s Gator 100 list multiple times and has received several recognitions from the Orlando Business Journal, including being a top privately held company and one of the Best Places to Work.
Since founding the company, Paul Holmes helped build success with longtime business partner Rick Amundson and his brother, Michael Holmes. As the company enters the 35th year, the torch is being passed to a new generation. Paul’s daughter, Julie, leads JK2 Scenic, and Michael’s sons, Tucker and Garrett, help lead JK2 Construction along with Director of Pre-Construction Dan Shaffer and Senior Project Manager Brian Colville.
Paul Holmes said though JK2 has come a long way since its founding, plenty of success is still on the horizon.
“With the new generation ready to take the reins, I’m confident JK2 has a bright future ahead,” he said. “I know JK2 will continue to deliver on the values our partners have come to expect for the next 35 years and beyond.”