Joe the Builder
Since he stepped back from daily operations, O'Neal says, "Will [Gordon] worries about the construction, and Andrew worries about all the properties." As president of parent company O'Neal Inc., Andrew oversees OCI, Kerrytown, and several other buildings. All three of Joe and Karen's children have worked in the family business, but only Andrew remains active. Heidi and her husband, both MBAs, live in Paris with their three daughters, Britton, Austen, and Nella. Heather, who co-owns the Himalayan Bazaar on Main Street, is married and has a toddler, Kenneth. Andrew, who's divorced, has one boy, Joe.
O'Neal says that he and Andrew work well together--though Karen points out that there is no question who's boss. While Joe no longer sits in on every meeting, he says, "I keep my eyes on the dials and gauges."
Whatever comes next, retirement is not part of the O'Neal plan--Karen refers to Florida as "the 'F' word."
"I never want to be out of Ann Arbor," says Joe. "I'm happy here."
One of the ways he's filled his new free time is thinking about the city's future. O'Neal is "more than a builder," Bill Martin says. "He's one of those city fathers. He's always putting the city's interest first."