John Darr Mechanical, a privately held family business was founded by John Darr in October 1997 along with his son Mark. With 31 years of combined experienced in the mechanical contracting industry, they leased a small office/shop in Dexter, Michigan. The first few years were spent establishing a customer base and doing small scale projects with a small crew.
The early 2000’s saw a major boom for construction industry in the greater Ann Arbor area with the expansion of the University of Michigan Central and North Campuses. With this the company moved into the larger institutional, automotive, and public works markets. The company doubled in size and was now doing multi-million dollar contracts with major owners, construction managers, and general contractors. The company also expanded outside the greater Ann Arbor area and was now serving southeast Michigan.
In 2004 with the company’s expansion, the leased space in Dexter was not large enough to support the operations. Land was purchased and a 22,000 sqft office/warehouse was completed in Ann Arbor. In July of 2004 the company moved into its new building.
The great recession hit southeast Michigan hard beginning in late 2008. The automotive construction industry dried up in the great Detroit area. Competition in the Ann Arbor area greatly increased from mechanical contractors from all over the state moving in to grab a part of the lucrative University of Michigan construction market. The company made it through these lean years while other contractors did not survive.
2011 saw a shift in ownership. Mark Darr purchased majority of the company from John Darr. Mark became President of the company and John retained the role of Secretary/Treasurer. 2015 established the 3rd Generation with the addition of Mark’s son, Matthew joining the company as Corporate Safety Director/Estimator. In 2017 Levi Smith joined the team as Vice President and a minority shareholder. 2018 marked the retirement of John Darr, but he stills has a minor role with the company.
The last few years the company has tripled in size and capabilities with sales up to $25 million and greater bonding capacity, with an office staff of 10 and between 30–60 plumbers & pipefitters. The company continues to reach into the industrial, automotive, pharmaceutical, institutional, heavy commercial, healthcare, and K-12 markets. In January 2018 the company established a branch office in North Carolina, serving the greater Raleigh-Durham-area.