by Jacob Steimer
A local, minority-owned construction company is set to triple its revenue this year.
Castle Black Construction, founded in 2005 but rebranded in 2012 to take on commercial projects, is on track to record about $4.5 million in revenue this year, thanks to a $1.2 million buildout for the new Freedom Preparatory Academy elementary charter school and the opportunity to team up with Flintco LLC and Belz Construction Services LLC on projects for St. Jude Children‘s Research Hospital.
Founders Jonathan and Jarrett Logan, twins, expect that adding their current projects to their resume will propel them to larger and larger projects, allowing them to become the largest minority-owned contractor in the city and the only one able to make competitive bids on multimillion-dollar projects.
How did you all get into general contracting?
Jonathan Logan: We were founded in 2005 as Jonathan Jarrett Inc. We were mainly a home builder. We came to transition [to commercial contracting] right around the downturn in the economy. I actually left in 2009 to go to the Army. … Jarrett was still running the business. Then, in 2012 or 2013, we rebranded and restructured to focus on commercial construction. Since then, we’ve made more [money] and grown in a vast way. We’re having a revenue increase over last year of 300 percent. Last year, we had five full-time employees; now we have 14.
I have to ask, how did you all get your name? Game of Thrones?
Jarrett Logan: Yeah. During the transition period, we took a lot of time to figure out what name would make us stand out. We wanted something to make us sound bold, willing and capable. … That name, Castle Black, it rings. And we’re both big Game of Thrones fans.
What’s it like working with your twin?
Jarrett Logan: A lot of twins we know say, “I could never work with my brother or sister.” Jon and I have never been that way. We’ve always maintained a good working relationship and friendship. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and how to use those for the business.
What are the challenges of being a minority-owned business?
Jarrett Logan: Being a minority contractor, let’s just be honest, we’re at a disadvantage. … Financially, we have to be bankable to bankroll projects. … And it’s harder for minority companies to prove ourselves with clients and financial institutions.
Have you been able to benefit from the recent pushes to contract with MWBEs?
Jarrett Logan: I attribute [the Mid-South Minority Business Continuum] strongly with our success because they aligned us with Belz and Flintco, connecting us with the proper individuals. … In order to do business, you just have to have relationships. [The MMBC and other minority-focused organizations] have been instrumental in bringing us to the table. … But at the end of the day, Castle Black is not looking for a handout. We don’t want to be known as a minority company. … We just want to be like anyone else.
What are your goals for the company going forward?
Jonathan Logan: We expect to use [the charter school] project as a catalyst to get other clients and let us bid on projects of its size and nature.
Jarrett Logan: We have aspirations to be the largest minority contractor … because there aren’t any capable of competing on multi-million dollar projects.
The Logans graduated from Westwood High School and hold bachelor’s degrees in industrial technology from Jackson State University. Jonathan, a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, also holds a master’s degree in construction management from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.