The entrepreneurial and creative spirit of Epling Estates’ founder caught hold at a young age. At nine years old, Jonathan M. Epling got his first job as a paperboy delivering Record-Courier
newspapers in the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park in Kent, Ohio. After weeks of walking the route lugging a delivery bag of heavy papers, his tired shoulders wanted a break. Putting his problem-solving skills to use, Jon quickly upfitted his banana-seat-clad Huffy bicycle with a front basket… voila, no more sore shoulders! After a few months on the job, opportunity knocked as the local rep for another newspaper, the Akron Beacon Journal
, asked if Jon would deliver in the same park. With the addition of rear saddle-bag style baskets, the black Huffy Thunder Road BMX was retrofitted to accommodate enough papers to handle both routes. Before the age of ten, this ambitious young man had two jobs with deliveries seven days a week! Jon enjoyed being outside and interacting with customers, and developed a great work ethic in the process.
About the time daily newspapers switched from afternoon to morning delivery, Jon retired from his three-year paperboy career. Soon he began to work for his father’s construction company, C. Epling Contractors, Inc. One of his first jobs involved mowing acres and acres with a silver Craftsman riding lawn tractor with red and black racing stripes. This 12-year-old boy saddling an 18-horsepower lawn cutting rocket was in his glory! Jon was a quick learner and progressed to operating dump trucks, bulldozers, and excavators all well before the State of Ohio issued his first driver license. The hands-on exposure to residential and commercial construction as well as land development projects lit Jon’s passion for real estate.
In June of 1994, as a 19-year-old man, Jon built his first home, located in Franklin Township, on speculation during the summer break between his sophomore and junior years of college. Jon sold this home and earned enough profit to purchase some vacant land in Brimfield Township. The following summer he built his first investment property, a duplex, on this land. What started with a two-unit building in Brimfield has blossomed into an investment portfolio of over 100 properties in Portage, Summit, Cuyahoga, and Mahoning Counties.
Below are some noteworthy projects Epling Estates has developed over the years.
1996-2001 Gerland Circle Subdivision
- Developed 29-acre tract into 13 buildable lots
- Designed & built 13 custom twinplexes
- Subdivision named after Jon’s paternal grandfather, Gerland Epling
1998-1999 Thorndike Commons Office Building
- Built 10,000 square foot office building
- Designed & built famous Brimfield clocktower marquee
2000-2002 Wolf’s Den Subdivision
- Developed 45-acre tract into 18 buildable lots
- Subdivision named after Jon’s lifelong friend, Robert Wolf, who succumbed to leukemia in 1999
2006-2007 Rootstown Business Commons
- Built 10,000 square foot multi-tenant office warehouse building
- Headquarters of Epling Estates
2007-2009 Meadowlark Condominiums
- Acquired 32-unit apartment complex in Ravenna Township
- Renovated and updated properties as a part of the condominium conversion
2008-2012 The Great Recession
- Survived, when many did not
2017-2018 Supported Living Homes
- Designed & built new homes specifically for developmentally disabled population
- Residents are in the least restrictive environment so they may be active in the local community
- Handicapped accessible to allow for all ages and stages of mobility