Our History

JJO at Bldg 49 2014 Jack O’Neill happy to see progress under a gorgeous blue sky! It was 2014, earth moving was underway for Building 49.

John “Jack” O’Neill happy to see progress under a gorgeous blue sky! It was 2014, earth moving was underway for OMT.

Southgate Corporation, founded in 1953 by John J. O’Neill, has grown with the Newark, Ohio area for nearly 60 years. John “Jack” O’Neill first came to the community as a young entrepreneur with an interest in starting a business. Almost immediately upon entering the community, Jack recognized a need for quality, affordable housing specifically for veterans of World War II who were beginning to settle down and start families. Jack’s first development, a series of modest homes located adjacent to the Southgate Shopping Center, was only the beginning for Jack and Southgate Corporation.

Identifying and subsequently meeting a need within the Newark area community has always been Southgate’s philosophy since day one. Soon after the development of the new housing community, a growing need for modern shopping became more and more apparent. Resolving to address this need, Jack proceeded to develop the Southgate Shopping Center in Heath, Ohio – the first major shopping center of its kind to be built in this area.

As the community surrounding Southgate Shopping Center began to grow, Jack began to expand into building industrial buildings. The clustering of industry together in an industrial park setting, a new concept in the 1960’s, meant that companies were now looking for large industrial parks in which to manufacture their goods. Southgate Corporation was ready to meet that need. By the end of the 1960’s, the Newark Ohio Industrial Park was started and began bringing jobs to the central Ohio community. Today, approximately 4,000 people work in the Newark Ohio Industrial Park for 36 different companies.

The late 1970’s saw the start of the McMillen Business Center which includes offices, apartments, and industrial buildings. By the 1980’s, Southgate had begun major projects such as the Columbus Corporate Park – the first corporate park to be developed on the west side of Columbus, Ohio.

In the 1990’s Southgate began to build condominium communities; again identifying and meeting a need within the Newark area community. Always being careful to match the character of the development to the character of the community, Southgate condominium communities ranged from 20–50 homes and were known for their affordable luxury as well as their high quality. Southgate completed a total of eight communities throughout the Newark area including Lancaster, Granville and Mount Vernon, Ohio.

JJO Portrait Jack O’Neill, 1920-2014: He was a visionary who helped build Heath, and provided jobs for residents. He built 500 homes for returning World War II veterans in Heath.

John “Jack” O’Neill, 1920-2014: He was a visionary who helped build Heath, and provided jobs for residents. He built 500 homes for returning World War II veterans in Heath.

The early 2000’s was marked by the development of the Etna Corporate Park. This 430 acre park provides an excellent location for manufacturing and distribution with close proximity to Columbus, Ohio and I-270.

Recently, Southgate has returned to developing manufacturing buildings to meet the needs of Ohio’s expanding industry. In 2011, Southgate built a 50,000 sq. ft. Spec Building and leased it to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for its new Development Center located in the Newark Ohio Industrial Park. Southgate is currently starting its fourth Spec Manufacturing Building since 2011.

The world has changed a great deal since Southgate’s founding in 1953, but the core of Southgate still remains the same: identify and meet a need within our community. Southgate’s proven track record and deep roots within Central Ohio generates a great deal of inherent knowledge about the real estate development field. Sadly, Jack O’Neill passed away in November 2014, but his passion for developing real estate to meet the needs of the community lives on each day with Southgate’s team of professionals.

At Southgate, we are uniquely equipped to help companies of today succeed by providing quality developments to meet their needs and provide the personal attention to insure success.