A history written in the development of our region

Abernethy Contracting has been at the center of the greater Charlotte region’s historic growth for 50 years. Our company’s history parallels the history of this great community we’re honored to have helped build through countless site development projects.

Abernethy equipment
Abernethy equipment

Our family name

Integrity over three generations

Formed in 1973 as Hal Abernethy Inc., our company has served Charlotte, NC and the surrounding region throughout three generations of family ownership. For 50 years, we’ve helped grow and develop our community through our involvement in many of the city’s landmark development projects. The Abernethy legacy is fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit with which our company was originally founded, while being guided by our mission to serve others.

Abernethy family

Abernethy timeline

Journey through the timeline of Abernethy Contracting

Click on the dots to dive into our history

How it all started

In February 1973, Hal Abernethy purchased a brand new 951C Caterpillar track loader and a used tri-axle dump truck and went into business for himself, grading residential lots throughout his home city of Charlotte, NC.

A fourth generation family-owner of Abernethy Lumber—at the time, one of the largest lumber suppliers in the Southeast—Hal left the family business to pursue success in earthwork and construction on his own terms. He went to work and began forming professional relationships that would continue for decades to come.

  • 1972: Earliest jobs grading single-family residential lots for Charlie Howe
  • Hal recruits sons to help on the job-sites during summer months
  • 1975: Son Tom Abernethy joins the company full-time
  • Steady residential work along the South Blvd area of Charlotte, NC

Growth opportunities

As residential planning spread economic growth and development throughout Charlotte, opportunities arose for Hal Abernethy Contracting, LLC to branch into additional markets.

In 1980, the company accepted its first commercial project for local developer Frank Connor. The success of the project started a professional relationship between the two parties that would lead to ongoing work in both the commercial and industrial markets over the next decade and beyond.

  • 1983: Demolition following Little Hardware facility fire
  • 1985: Site development for Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte
  • 1988: Site development of Carmel Country Club
  • Addition of 2-3 full-time employees to the payroll

Embracing new technologies

As work continued increasing throughout the decade, Tom Abernethy took on greater responsibility within the company including estimating for most contracts. Under Tom’s direction, the team became an early adopter of several industry technologies to improve operations and set the company apart from the competition.

The approach enabled Abernethy Contracting, LLC to deliver sitework and demolition on projects that would shape the city of Charlotte, as well as expand the company’s territory further throughout North Carolina.

  • Transition to electronic project estimating using PayDirt software
  • Payroll expansion to include a total of eight full-time employees
  • 1993: Project teams travel to Fort Bragg to cut and grade roads to rifle range
  • 1997: Demolition of decommissioned rail line on Stonewall St bridge

Growth years

By the start of the new millennium, the model for steady, sustainable growth that Hal Abernethy had used since day one of the company was paying off, producing a steady stream of business with trusted partners.

Hal Abernethy Contracting, LLC was one of the most well-known and highly respected site contractors in Charlotte when the time came for Hal to transition ownership to the next generation. At the same time, Tom’s own sons were of age to begin making their own decisions about joining the family business.

  • 2000: Company opens first office building at 3934 Raleigh St
  • 2005: Tom Abernethy becomes majority owner
  • 2005: Tom’s eldest son, Chad, joins company full-time
  • Growth to take on larger, more complex projects, while maintaining established partnerships

Change and opportunity

As the company approached its fourth decade of operation, business continued on reliably and profitably. Under Tom’s leadership, Abernethy Contracting gradually grew the scale of its operations and entered new markets within the Charlotte region.

Like his grandfather had done in his own time, Chad made the decision during this time to strike out from the family business on his own. In 2010, he took a position with Union Paving to learn the asphalt paving industry, creating an opportunity for one of the younger Abernethy brothers to fill his place.

  • 2012: High Density Development increases asphalt need
  • 2014: Kurt Abernethy joins full-time in a field operations role
  • 2016: Hal Abernethy passes away after 40 years with the company
  • 2019: Kyle Abernethy returns to take over the day to day

Where we’re headed

A new vision for Abernethy Contracting

In 2022, after many years of growing and developing their skills individually from each other, Chad, Kyle, and Kurt Abernethy reformed the family business through a historic merger with Barton Contracting. As we turn our eyes to the future, we’re inspired by the possibilities that lay ahead for our company and the men and women who run it. We’re committed to making the next 50 years the most fulfilling of any so far. We’re all in.