Charleston-based Companion Associates is dedicated to providing affordable housing solutions for lower-income families. One of their notable projects is Lee’s Crossing, a 192-unit apartment complex in Spartanburg, South Carolina, designed specifically for families with a yearly household income below the designated poverty line for the County. 

Raby Construction served as the General Contractor for the project, and we had the opportunity to sit down with the President and Founder of Companion Associates Roger Jones to learn about the experience of working together and their unique partnership.

The idea for Lee’s Crossing came about in the mid-2000s when Companion Associates began exploring tax credit programs to diversify their portfolio. In 2010, they brought this vision to life with the help of Raby Construction, a trusted partner they had worked with previously on projects like Horton Farms in Easley and a rehabilitation project in Greer.

Roger Jones speaks highly of their collaboration with Raby Construction and Michael Raby. “Michael is always fair, and even when we hit rock during the project, he worked through it without any real issues or problems. He worked hard to keep the budget together and find savings. The quality was good, and if there were any issues afterward, they made sure everything was perfect.”

Jones emphasizes the importance of maintaining high standards and avoiding deferred maintenance on their properties, a philosophy that aligns well with Raby Construction’s approach.

But the story behind Lee’s Crossing goes beyond just the physical buildings. It’s a testament to Companion Associates’ commitment to uplifting communities and providing opportunities for underserved populations.

In 2005, Jones was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, an experience that inspired him to start an all-cancer dragon boat racing team. Their journey, which culminated in winning the national championship in 2010, is chronicled in Jones’ book released last week, The Final Victory.

Diana and Michael Raby even joined Jones in Greer, SC for a book-signing and launch event for The Final Victory in early May. 

Companion Associates’ mission extends beyond housing through two programs: Raise Up, run by Jones’ daughter, which mentors young men from North Charleston and Battery Creek High Schools to help them graduate and pursue higher education; and Music for Life, run by Jones’ son, which teaches music to underserved kids on Johns Island.

Jones was inspired particularly to create these nonprofit organizations after an experience meeting leasees for one of the Companion projects. He said, “As I was meeting all of the new residents, I was astonished to see how few family units there were. It was 90 percent single mothers or grandmothers without a father figure.” He thought the creation of programs that mentored high school boys in particular might help make a difference. The most recent cohort of Raise Up proudly boasts 18 of 20 with college scholarships–an incredible result. 

The partnership between Raby Construction and Companion Associates on Lee’s Crossing exemplifies how collaboration between like-minded organizations can create lasting positive change in communities.

As Raby Construction continues to take on diverse projects, we remain committed to working with partners who share our values of quality, integrity, and making a difference.