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A Century Of Building

  • 1908


    York and Cobb Construction Company is established in 1903 in Greenville, NC by Charles Vance York and the Cobb brothers. In 1908, the company wins the contract to build the first five buildings for East Carolina Teachers College (ECU) in Greenville.

  • 1910

    Charles Vance York buys out the Cobb brothers, moves to Raleigh, and changes the construction company’s name to York Construction Company.

    This same year, the company is awarded the contract to build the Raleigh Country Club, whose name was later changed to Carolina Country Club.

  • 1922

    York Construction completes construction of the first portion of the NC State Memorial Bell Tower.

  • 1933

    Raleigh Memorial Auditorium is finished by York Construction. It is the largest single construction project undertaken in Raleigh during the Depression.

  • 1941

    After Charles’ death in 1941, his son, James Wesley (Willie) York, is named President of York Construction. Willie’s penchant for enterprise serves York Construction well, and in the 1940’s the company branches into real estate development.

  • 1947

    Grading for Cameron Village is started by York Construction. It would become the first mixed-use development of its kind in the southeast.

  • 1977

    Smedes York, son of Willie York, is named President of York Construction. Smedes builds on the family tradition of active civic work, sitting on the Raleigh City Council from 1977 to 1979 and serving two terms as Mayor of Raleigh from 1979 to 1983.

  • 1983

    Phil York, the youngest son of Willie York, joins York Construction as Vice President of the company. He retires in 1993.

  • 1992

    York Construction is awarded a construction contract at Glaxo and for the next 25+ years, McDonald York provides construction services at GlaxoSmithKline’s RTP campus. This marks the start of McDonald York’s venture into the construction of Life Sciences facilities; to this day a core market for McDonald York.

  • 1993

    Jack McDonald, President, and part-owner of Coleman and Wood, a Washington-based general contractor, contacts FMI, a Raleigh-based merger and acquisition firm, to assist him with a search to find the best location to expand Coleman and Wood operations outside Washington D.C. At the same time, Willie, Smedes, and Phil York contact FMI to develop a future strategy for York Construction. In April 1993, Jack and the York’s meet, and the genesis for McDonald York has begun. In October 1993, McDonald York is established with Smedes York as Chairman and Jack McDonald as President.

  • 2015, Larry Stone Retires


    Larry Stone starts his career with McDonald York, transferring from York Construction where he started in 1978. He is one of McDonald York’s first employees. For over 20 years, Larry is the main contact with McDonald York’s largest client GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). He retires in 2015.

  • 1993

    In October 1993, McDonald York establishes its first office in York’s office building on Raleigh Boulevard. Jack is on the 2nd floor and Smedes is on the 1st floor. The company has a small field force and 4 office employees. The company has less than $2 million of projects underway.

  • 1993

    Marilyn Pendergraph, a Raleigh native, starts with McDonald York after transferring from York Construction where she began her career in 1978. She is named Vice President in 2004 and is an important contributor to McDonald York until she retires in May 2015.

  • 1995

    McDonald York relocates its headquarters from Raleigh Boulevard to 801 Oberlin Road, a building completed by York Construction in 1984.

  • 2003

    On February 19, 2003, Smedes and Jack purchase 100% of McDonald York’s stock. Sheila McDonald and Rosemary York join Smedes and Jack on McDonald York’s first Board of Directors.

  • 2004

    McDonald York constructs Meadowmont Village. It is one of the first mixed-use developments in Chapel Hill, consisting of retail, residential, and commercial spaces in eight separate buildings.

  • 2008

    Old Chatham Golf Club clubhouse is completed. The construction of this clubhouse is followed by renovations to the Governors Club and Croasdaile Country Club clubhouses.

  • 2008, Mike Kriston


    Mike Kriston joins McDonald York and is promoted to Vice President in 2009 and Senior Vice President in 2016. He becomes Chief Business Development Officer in 2018.

  • 2009

    McDonald York introduces its MYWay® philosophy which is founded on four principles: Trust-Based Teams, Valuable Communications, Early Collaboration, and Partnering Relationships.

  • 2010

    Lake Boone Trail Medical office complex in Raleigh, NC near UNC/Rex Hospital is completed.

  • 2010

    Tanner Holland joins McDonald York. Tanner quickly rises from Senior Project Manager to Vice President, Chief Operating Officer in 2012 and becomes President and CEO in 2018. Tanner joins the Board of Directors in 2021.

  • 2012

    Emily Massey joins the company as Controller. She is named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2015.

  • 2013

    Colleen McDonald Schmidt, Shannon McDonald Haynie, William York, and Parker York are elected to the Board of Directors. They join Smedes, Rosemary, and George York, and Jack, Sheila, and Michael McDonald.

  • 2016

    McDonald York is recertified by the NC Department of Labor as a Building Star contractor continuing a 10-year span of recognition for their outstanding safety programs by the State of North Carolina.

  • 2017

    The 245,000 SF, nine-floor, Allscripts first-generation office fit-up is completed by McDonald York. It is the first high-rise fit-up completed by McDonald York in a newly constructed high-rise building built by others.

  • 2018

    The Parmer RTP, seven–acre Amenity Park, and treehouse-style meeting room, for use by employees, on-campus in Research Triangle Park is started.

  • 2019

    McDonald York exceeds $100 million in annual revenue and is ranked as the 13th Largest General Contractor on the Triangle Business Journals’ List of Triangle’s Largest General Contractors.

  • 2020

    Recognized as the 3rd fastest growing company in the Triangle when the Triangle Business Journal’s Fast 50 Awards is announced on December 3, 2020.

  • 2020

    Completed eleven multiple facility renovation projects for State Employees’ Credit Union across North Carolina, from Asheville to Greenville.

  • 2021

    McDonald York is named one of the Best Places to Work by the Triangle Business Journal.

  • Medicago Building Exterior


    When Medicago needed to increase its COVID-19 plant production at its RTP research facility, they contracted with McDonald York to construct an addition adjacent to Medicago’s greenhouse.

  • 2022

    The Duke Lemur Center, home of one of the world’s leading lemur and prosimian research and convention/conservation facilities, renovation, and addition project is completed. It is one of the many Duke Lemur projects completed by McDonald York