Joe (Joseph Edward) O'Neal is a local builder and owner of O'Neal Construction Inc., which was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in the Argus Building on Ann Arbor's Old West Side – a building owned by O'Neal.
His firm has built or renovated hundreds of local projects. Construction work included Sloan Plaza, the Power Center for the Performing Arts, Ashley Mews, NSF Headquarters, Traver Village Shopping Center, Zaragon Place, Zaragon West, and City Apartments. Renovations included the Michigan Theater building, the Kerrytown Market & Shops (which O'Neal owns), the Hands-On Museum, the First National Building, and Burton Tower.
O'Neal Construction also handled reconstruction and repair of the city's four dams on the Huron River in the early in 1970s. (In 2009, O'Neal donated papers to the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, related to the construction of the Power Center and repairs to the Huron River dams.)
O'Neal is active in conservation work, and was founding board president of the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. He's also on the advisory board for the Community Music School of Ann Arbor (formerly the Ann Arbor School for the Performing Arts). He served on the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board from October 1988 to July 1991.
O'Neal earned bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering at Ohio State University, and holds a law degree from the University of Michigan.
He's been married to Karen Koykka O'Neal since 1963. They have three children – Heidi, Heather and Andrew.
In the news
Joe the Builder – Ann Arbor Observer, December 2012