Traditional Building Artisans Since 1986
History of Just-Star Construction, Inc.
Construction is the entrepreneurial offspring of owner
carved from an 85-year family history of working with stone.
Lee’s grandfather (Charles “Charlie” Stalker) hails from Bedford, Indiana; the limestone capital of the United States. He was a farmer until the age of 18 and at 19 became employed by the Indiana Limestone Co. running shapers for moldings and gutters. He studied carving under a cousin and by age 20 got a job with a large stone contractor with whom he traveled to work on jobs in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Washington D.C. Some of his carvings can be seen on the addition to the Capital Building, the National Cathedral and Archives buildings, and even a mansion for Al Capone in Palm Beach, Florida.
At the start of World War II,
Charlie and his wife, Alberta, packed up their only son and came to San Diego to
build B-24 bombers at Convair. Following the war, he resumed his craft as a
stonemason, not carving but building for Chris Cosgrove, a general
contractor responsible for many post-war housing communities in Point Loma,
Clairemont, Kensington, and even El Cajon.
Charlie was the foreman for Cosgrove’s masonry crew, building raised foundations, fireplaces, brick veneers, glass block, flagstone, etc.
In 1952, Charlie formed Stalker
Masonry Contractors, hired his son, Roger, and quickly grew to be one of the
largest masonry contractors in San Diego. Their notable works include Mission
Valley landmark hotels such as the Town and Country, Kings Inn, and the Hanalei
as well as the Brunswick bowling alley which currently houses the Masonic
Temple. The Bali Hai hotel and Roxi, Ken, and Guild movie theaters exemplify
their craftsmanship to this day. The Arizona flagstone veneers on many of the
older strip malls (1950-1960) were cut by Charlie’s crews.
Roger began as his father’s foreman and after Charlie’s retirement in 1974 became the CEO of Stalker Masonry, Inc. He was a natural with brick and stone and had a strong sense of design/build creativity.
Though the company’s bread and butter was stone veneer, retaining walls and fireplaces, Roger designed and built 7 different masonry homes during his career. Their ‘signature’ LaCresta and Flagstone
veneers and fireplaces are
still notable throughout custom homes in La Jolla, Alvarado Estates, Mt. Helix,
Del Mar ,Point Loma and the Grossmont Hospital.
Roger’s son, Lee, obtained a
work permit at age 10 and began sweeping the office yard located at 8183 Center
Street in La Mesa, and learned to repair mortarboards and scaffold. By 16, he
was working as a tender (mason’s helper) during summer break. After studying
civil engineering at Oregon Tech, Lee returned to San Diego and began his
apprenticeship to become a mason. He was made a Journeyman after working
alongside his grandfather and father for much of his young life and even in the
early years of his career, was instrumental in building over
150 tract or custom fireplaces and a multitude of veneer jobs.
In 1975, Lee became Vice
President of Stalker Masonry, Inc. and soon after estimated and supervised much
of the work. The company was not large as it once had been but Lee had a vision
bigger things to come, moved the company away from the Trade (Labor & Mason) Unions, and oversaw its expansion by taking on larger projects once again.
The company grew to 26
employees and secured contracts from developers and home builders such as
Shappel Industries, Brehm Communities, Donald Bren Company, Davidson Homes, and
Sunland (now Cornerstone Communities).
The revived company built walls, model-home hardscape, fireplaces, water features, and precast concrete structures for La Jolla Colony, City Terrace, Renaissance La Jolla, Eastlake, Penasquitos Ranch, Rancho Bernardo and Rancho San Diego. The scope of work was expanding along with the size of the projects. In 1986, Roger stepped aside and Lee formed Just-Star Construction, Inc. in honor of his children, Justin and Trinity Star.
Lee secured a general
contractor’s license in 1989 and continued to expand his company’s capabilities
to include architectural concrete, fountains, barbeques, overhead structures,
bridges and monuments. Since that time, Just-Star has raised the bar of quality
craftsmanship and customer satisfaction in the industry. The company is proud of
its reputation for being responsive to clients’ design intent and schedule.
Just-Star’s work spans San Diego County and beyond to Riverside and Orange
Counties and has grown to a $10,000,000/year company which employs 70 people.
QUALITY IS THE CLIENT’S CHOICE
FOR DEPENDABILITY AND SAFETY
2007 Just-Star Construction, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
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11465 Woodside Ave. #202, Santee, CA 92071. Office: (619) 328-9529 Fax: (619) 328-9503