At first, it was a humble setup, with only his wife, Gail, and third son, Jacob, as employees. Together they implemented John’s dream, and the business began to flourish. People fell in love with John’s easy personality and eye for detail and quality. He slowly added employees, often joking that he was going to get all his boys to work there so that they could build something truly unique. Only the jokes weren’t fiction; in the back of John’s mind was a dream to work alongside his family to build a legacy.
His other sons were spread throughout the country, creating their own lives: Joseph, an architect in Seattle; James, an industrial designer, and Jonathan, a chemical engineer in Michigan. It seemed unlikely that this disparate group of sons with such eclectic backgrounds and training would ever work for a local construction company. But that didn’t stop John from dreaming.
JP Compass hit its first real growth challenges in 2010, and it opened an opportunity for Joseph, the architect, to move from Seattle and help bring more organization to the company. Joseph instituted processes and structures he had learned from his work in designing and building hospitals for Mahlum Architects. Two sons were now working with John, adding value in their unique ways, building homes, and the dream of a business built on family, integrity, and quality.
John Park woke up early on August 11, 2006, with an overwhelming feeling permeating his entire being. He knew it was time to venture out on his own. For years, he had recognized that there was something missing in the general contracting industry when it came to catering to the clients’ experience. Armed with decades of construction experience, a fondness for the homes in the Cleveland area, and a love for people, he started JP Compass in an effort to fuse quality and transparency into the world of general contracting.
In 2016 the market was taking off. John was finding it challenging to get renovation work designed on time by other companies so that JP Compass could build it. Architects were busy and taking on other larger projects. During this time, Joseph and John saw an opportunity to streamline the process and remove the confusion and miscommunication often experienced in the residential building industry. They decided to bring the design/build model to the luxury residential market and Joseph finally had the opportunity to show off the creativity and eye for detail that makes him such a great architect.
JP Compass was transformed from a general contractor to a luxury design/build firm almost overnight, opening the door for a third son to find his way to the company. James, the industrial designer, joined and helped Joseph get the design portion off the ground. They started small: a bathroom here and a kitchen there; JP Compass built up its design portfolio. By the 2nd year of the design/build venture, over 80% of what JP Compass built was designed in-house. Three of John’s sons now worked at JP Compass, and they exponentially expanded the business's potential.
For John, the most exciting part was seeing his dream of a family legacy at JP Compass being realized. Now, there was only one son left to join the team. In 2017, the design/build concept was hitting its stride, causing the business to become harder to manage. This made it possible for Jonathan, the last holdout, to join the team.
With over 15 years in the chemical and startup industries, Jonathan brought a unique blend of operation and data analysis background to the company. He helped create the structure and tools needed to thoroughly blend the design/build firm, thereby making something the market loved.
The efforts of all the family members combined helped create something truly unique: A fully integrated, highly creative, efficiently operated, client-centered residential design/build firm. All conceived and built in-house by a family that brought all of its talents to bear on this venture.
In 2021, the business continued to thrive as a design/build firm. In an effort to pass on the legacy, John turned over leadership and ownership to his two sons, Jonathan and Joseph. As the company continued to evolve under the leadership of Jonathan and Joseph, it transformed from a general contracting company to a well-established and highly creative design firm that is so particular about the details and quality that it must build its own work. It has become more than just a design/build firm. It is both a high-end residential design firm and a first-class construction company. To reflect this new paradigm, JP Compass has become Compass Studio.
In 2022, Compass Studio decided to bring its unparalleled design sense and high-end build quality to the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Ohio – South Carolina connection is strong, with many of our trusted clients owning homes in the South Carolina area. With a passion for traditional principles, contemporary living and style, Compass Studio is a perfect fit for the sophisticated and historical nature of the South Carolina Lowcountry home.
Compass Studio is immensely proud of the values that John instilled in the company. All of which are still alive and well today. John built a legacy that his sons have the privilege of carrying onward. One of quality, family, and delivering the best experience and product possible to the clients we love.
Because with every project, our family gets just a little bigger.