By Dylan Deprey
Brothers, James, Clifton and Jalin Phelps would never have dreamed of working together as children, though they all ended up working in the construction field.
James was a veteran in construction with on-site and office experience. Clifton owned a unique background in real estate, non-profit and property management skills, and Jalin was an experienced carpenter and foreman.
“We all had different skill sets, so it only made sense for us to come together,” said James Phelps, President of JCP Construction.
With 100 years of collective experience, JCP Construction opened its doors in 2008. In little under a decade the Phelp’s brothers have been associated with names such as the Buck’s, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Northwestern Mutual, General Mitchell International Airport, Medical College of Wisconsin and The Moderne.
Now, JCP Construction can add another big name to their list as they have been chosen as the general contractor to lead the construction and renovations for the new Bader Philanthropies’ global headquarters in the Harambee neighborhood on Martin Luther King Dr.
The two-story building located on the east side of N. MLK Drive and north of W. Concordia Ave, will be renovated as well as build an addition for elevators and kitchen space.
“My brothers and I grew up on 2nd and Locust Streets in the Harambee neighborhood and remember driving by this beautiful building every week and imagining what this neoclassical building would look like if given the proper resources, so we are honored to have been hired as the general contractor for this project,” Phelps said.
Bader Philanthropies announced its global headquarters’ relocation in Aug. 2016, and planned to use the construction as a workforce development project. They have committed to working with as many minority owned businesses as possible, as well as hiring skilled and unskilled workers to build the new headquarters.
“There are so many good contractors within the city of Milwaukee, we didn’t need to look anywhere else,” said Frank Cumberbatch, Project Manager at Bader Philanthropies. “They have displayed high quality work, and really met all of the criteria we were looking for.”
Cumberbatch noted that JCP has been on the fast track as a minority owned construction company with an impressive portfolio of high caliber work it has done in the past littered with rounds of applause from past clients and associates.
“I have worked with James Phelps for several years,” said Cory Nettles, founder and managing director of Generation Growth Capital, Inc. “He is an outstanding contractor committed to doing things the right way. Milwaukee needs 100 more companies like JCP Construction. I applaud Bader Philanthropies for strategically investing in the future of companies like JCP.”
Cumberbatch said selecting the new location was a year-long process, but there were many pros to the new location.
“We really liked the neighborhood and its close to where several of our employees live, including ourselves,” Cumberbatch said. “It’s a neighborhood we’re very familiar.”
The Bader family is funding the now increased $9.5 million budgeted project to ensure JCP has the capacity and scale to produce yet another successful project.
Phelps noted the construction was one of the biggest projects JCP has had as a general contractor.
“This really allows us to show the stature of our abilities,” Phelps said.
Prepare to see heavy machinery and blaze orange in Harambee as construction starts mid-April, and is set to finish in the summer of June 2018.
Phelps said it was a reward to work on project of this size in a neighborhood with so many memories with his brothers and business partners.
“I’m pleased to see that we are actually doing what we set out to do, we got there a little quicker than expected, but we’re ultimately heading in the right direction,” Phelps said.