L & J Development, Inc. was incorporated in 1996 and began operations in August of 1997. Owners Jeff and Lara Lawrence made the decision to begin building spec homes in addition to the full-time jobs they were currently working; Jeff as an operations manager of a commercial roofing company and Lara as a CPA for a firm in Columbia.
Soon Jeff and one other employee left the roofing company and began to build full-time. With the addition of Lucy Lawrence in the office, L & J Development, Inc. started its first project with 3 employees, a $200 1980’s van, and a 1967 dump truck. The first project was an addition and remodel for the Middle Grove School. Work on the school began in the winter.
Soon the opportunity came for L & J Development, Inc. to branch out into the restaurant business. While working as a framing sub in Columbia, Jeff received the call to help a KFC franchisee with their expansion efforts in Iowa. Over the next three years, L & J Development, Inc. built and remodeled several KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in Iowa while continuing to build homes in the Moberly area. It was during these years that a number of field employees were added, many of which remain today.
After completing numerous restaurants and several office buildings in external markets, the decision was made to concentrate both the residential and commercial efforts closer to home in the Randolph County area. After the fire in downtown Moberly in 2001, L & J Development, Inc. worked with several local business owners to help get there facilities back to working order. From this point forward, L & J Development, Inc. became known as the full-service contractor in Randolph County.
Today L&J Development continues to build Commercial Projects in the Moberly and surrounding areas, while the need for Residential Development has curtailed with the last downturn in the economy we are still building some Custom Homes.After all, this was the original vision of company co-owner Jeff Lawrence. Jeff says, “The Company was started because we saw a need for a General Contractor in the Moberly area that would provide a full range of services to its customers in both the residential and commercial arenas”. Lawrence goes onto say, “the goal was to build a company that would be more than just a job for its employees and provide services that exceed the expectations of its clients”.
From its humble beginnings with three employees and two vehicles to today with 25 employees and a fleet of vehicles and equipment, L & J Development, Inc. continues to serve the Randolph County area. Having built over 60 homes in the area, L & J Development, Inc. offers family living opportunities in two subdivisions as well; Fox Run Subdivision in Moberly and Briarwood Subdivision in Cairo.
With numerous satisfied residential customers and established relationships with a number of businesses in the area such as Central Christian College of the Bible, Mid Am Building Supply and Moberly Regional Medical Center the future looks bright. L & J Development, Inc. desires to continue to build quality projects on budget and provide a quality experience for its customers, continue to be a good employer, and continue to be a successful contributor to our community.