Jeff Morgan, Chattanooga building contractor, dies at 61

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Staff file photo / Morgan Construction Co. Inc. president Jeff Morgan poses for a portrait outside the company’s 2018 offices in Chattanooga.

Jeff Morgan, a Chattanooga builder who has made Morgan Construction Co. Inc. for the past 38 years one of Chattanooga’s largest construction companies, died Sunday after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s illness, also known under the name of SLA. He was 61 years old.

Morgan, who graduated from Baylor School in 1978, served on the school’s board of trustees from 2001 to 2007 and served as chair of the Baylor Buildings and Grounds committee for three years, overseeing construction of the new Riverfront Hall, the natatorium and renovations at Worsham. Memorial Wrestling Arena, among other projects.

He graduated from the University of Tennessee and was inducted into the UTC Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2018.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga-based construction company to begin work on 100th Aldi store)

The son of the late Chattanooga lawyer John Morgan, Jeff Morgan is survived by his wife, Melissa Morgan; three children and their spouses, John and Kara Morgan, Mary Austin Morgan, Bri and Jeff Boehm, and one grandchild, Alice Boehm.

Morgan founded Morgan Construction in 1983 at the age of 23 and has grown the business with residential and commercial construction projects in 14 states. Morgan Construction completed over $ 1 billion in construction work and maintained a 97% retention rate.

(READ MORE: Reused: Old industrial buildings find new life in Chattanooga)

“It’s much nicer to work with a loyal customer than to always look for a new customer,” Morgan said in an interview in 2018.

From its beginnings building a few homes at a time, Morgan Construction has grown to include work on new restaurants, hotels, distribution warehouses and shopping centers. By 1990, the company worked in seven states and had established itself as a competitive leader in building retail businesses, particularly neighborhood malls anchored in grocery stores. Morgan has built over 200 grocery stores for Food Lion, Houchins, Aldi, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo and Publix.

In 2007, Morgan Construction built a $ 60 million, 800,000 square foot regional lifestyle center in Lake Havasu City, Arizona for Chattanooga developer Bucky Wolford.

Chattanooga Funeral Home, East Chapel, is making arrangements for Morgan. No schedule for the memorial services was announced on Monday.

– Compiled by Dave Flessner

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