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Founded by John R. Donaldson, JDC started as a sole proprietorship in 1992 and was formally incorporated in 1998. For more than two decades, JDC has been trusted by individuals, families and institutions throughout Southern and Northern California to complete a variety of residential property renovations, from single-family homes to apartment communities from 100 to 600 units. The company has also completed several multifamily projects in Seattle, WA.

JDC prides itself on its tradesman roots and the insight which years of hands-on construction experience provides to property owners and architects in developing realistic plans for revitalization projects, as well as finding appropriate solutions to renovation challenges.

The value JDC places on relationships drives every action and decision of the firm, resulting not only in implicit trust and repeat business, but in lasting friendships with clients.

The construction and development company is based in Chatsworth, CA in the San Fernando Valley.


John R. Donaldson
John R. Donaldson

John Richard Donaldson, President

John R. Donaldson is the epitome of the self-made man. Beginning in 1987 through economic times both good and bad, John built his general contracting firm on the foundations of trust and professionalism. Today, JDC is noted as one of Southern California’s premier construction companies specializing in the restoration and rehabilitation of multifamily properties.

Born in Santa Monica, John always knew he wanted to create a career in the construction industry. He began by talking himself into a job as a laborer packing lumber for $5 per hour on a commercial job site in the San Fernando Valley. This led in short order to him becoming a carpenter driving around neighborhoods looking for work on framing crews. John soon joined a construction and development company, where he served as a lead foreman on framing crews working on high-end custom homes in the Hollywood Hills, many of them owned by showbiz celebrities such as Richard Dreyfuss, Dan Akroyd and Martin Mull, to name a few. While with this company, John obtained his contractor’s license and began to undertake small construction projects of his own on weekends. His goal was always to run his own shop.

In January 1994, John and a partner struck out on their own just two weeks before the Northridge earthquake. Before they knew it, they had more work than they could handle. As it turned out, much of the work involved the reconstruction of multifamily properties adversely impacted by the quake. Working on these earthquake-damaged buildings was a great learning experience in understanding how to conduct major repairs and maintain the buildings’ architectural integrity. In 1998, the partners decided to go in their own directions.

John took some time off from building and started consulting for a masonry contractor, helping to increase its business significantly. Through this work, John was introduced to an insurance adjuster who sought his help in estimating the cost of rebuilding a custom home in a canyon which had been destroyed by a fire. Although he’d never done this type of insurance estimating work before, John was a quick learner and soon was sought out by other insurance adjusters who began to use his services.

John soon realized that the estimating he was doing could lead to the actual reconstruction of these expensive homes. This became the focus of JDC’s work until 2003. It was at that point, through a contact he’d made, that John was asked to bid on the restoration of an apartment building which had been partially destroyed by fire. Using his expertise acquired while underwriting and restoring high-end single family homes, John was able to complete the multifamily project on time and on budget. This inevitably led to other multifamily assignments, which soon overtook JDC’s single-family work.

Now recognized for its expertise in multifamily restoration and rehabilitation, John’s company was selected to undertake several major projects, including a two-year contract to rehabilitate a 615-unit, 16-building, 19-acre property in Alameda, California. JDC’s success in completing this $35 million assignment led to several others in areas of the state far from Southern California, including Napa, Pinole, Piedmont, Davis, San Jose and even Seattle, Washington.

John says that he finds great satisfaction in being able to help transform old dated buildings and bringing them new life. He adds value to these projects not only through his construction expertise, but through his ability to work closely with architects and others in conceptualizing the creative aspects of the redevelopment.

John has recently begun to turn part of his attention to pursuing ground-up projects, as well. Currently, JDC has two such projects underway.