Hands on for more
than a century.

John G Emmet founded the business in 1908. It was the days of hand-crafting and labour-intensive work… and horsepower was still provided by horses. John was as hands on as you could get, being a carpenter, joiner and builder. Over the next 40 years, he would single-handedly turn Emmett into one of Adelaide’s most respected building companies.

Major projects from 1908 to 1950 include: St Augustine’s Church in Unley; Holden Manufacturing Plant in Woodville; extension to the Calvary Hospital in North Adelaide and the Commonwealth Bank, Currie Street in Adelaide.

1950 – 1970

In the 1950’s, John’s son, Ray, took over the running of Emmett. He’d spent the best part of 30 years learning from his father and become an astute businessman in his own right. Adelaide, like the rest of Australia, was gradually finding its feet after World War II – the next twenty years was to be an era of recovery and growth (and a workforce bolstered by British immigrants). With Ray at the helm, Emmett consolidated its activities in major contracting, and oversaw the construction of many significant buildings.

Major Projects from 1950 to 1970 include: North Terrace House in Hackney; the Law School at the University of Adelaide; Elizabeth City Centre, Elizabeth (the then brand new satellite city created for a rapidly expanding population); grandstands at Cheltenham and Morphettville Racecourses and new buildings at Scotch, Seymour and St Peter’s Colleges.

1970 – 1980

In the 1970’s, Ray handed the baton over to his son Andrew. It was the seventies – the decade of liberation – Adelaide had become a major manufacturing centre and new industrial parks were being established. Andrew put his stamp on the business by focusing on design and construct projects and property development.

Major Projects from 1970 to 1980 include: Oxford Corner Retail Development in Unley; David Jones Warehouse in Adelaide; Apartment Complex in Noosa, Queensland; Kemthorn State Office and Warehouse, Goodwood Road in Wayville and numerous Bulky Goods Retail Developments.

1980 – 1990

Around 1980, Andrew steered Emmett into the world of high-quality Industrial and Commercial property development. Regency Park had just opened up and many big-name businesses were relocating there.

Major Industrial Projects in Regency Park from 1980 to 1990 include: International Harvester; Bridgestone; Mazda; Honda; Rothmans; Bank SA; Nissan and Taubmans.

Major Retail Projects from 1980 to 1990 include: Westside Plaza Shopping Centre in Broken Hill and the Metro Shopping Centre on Unley Road, Hyde Park.

1990 – 2000

For Emmett, the 90s was a decade dominated by joint ventures. After the excesses of the eighties, the world and Emmett readjusted following the recession. Andrew was in control of adjusting to the new economic climate, and he did so with aplomb.

Major Projects from 1990 to 2000 include: Bridgestone Truck Centre in Wingfield; Target State Distribution Centre at Adelaide Airport; Radio Rentals Showroom and Spotlight Showroom in Melrose Park and Carrier Air Conditioning Showroom, Office and Warehouse in Edwardstown.

2000 – 2010

The new century bought further success for Emmett in both the development and construction sides of the business (even through the Global Financial Crisis).  In 2005, Andrew handed over the reins to his two sons, Nick and Tom, who had the privilege of being charge of Emmett in its centenary year.

Major Projects from 2000 to 2010 include: Campbell’s Cash & Carry Retail Outlet in Pooraka; Portavin Wine Bottling Facility in Ottoway; many Manufacturing Facilities (for Plexicor Australia, Nylex, Arvin Meritor and Noble Metal Processing) at Edinburgh Parks; Centrelink Offices in Port Adelaide and Elizabeth, Hewlett Packard House (office), Frome Street in Adelaide; Toyota Tsusho Logistics Facility, WBE State Office and Factory, and Ausco Modular Office, Workshop and Storage at Edinburgh Parks.

2010 - Present

Under the ownership and direction of Nick and Tom, Emmett has become one of South Australia’s most active Developers and Design & Construct Contractors. Technology has changed the way the business is run, but Tom and Nick remain just as hands on as John G Emmett.

Major Projects from 2010 to present, include: Merchant Apartments and Park Central Apartments in Bowden; Bounce at Marleston; Shell Coles Express at Park Holme, Woodville and Ellenbrook (WA); Centrelink Offices in Modbury, Salisbury and Prospect; Allied Pickfords State Office and Warehouse in Wingfield, SA Health Northern Community Mental Health Offices in Salisbury, Vero Apartments in Mawson Lakes, Bonney Welding Head Office Workshop and Warehouse at Direk, Blackwoods in Regency Park, Protector Alsafe in Wingfield, Lindsay Transport at Direk, Rocla Pipeline Office and Manufacturing Facility at Edinburgh Parks, Nick Scali State Office and Warehouse at Direk, Service Stations for 7-Eleven Byford (WA) and Mandurah (WA), 170 Frome Street (Grant Thornton House) in Adelaide, Clinpath Head Office and Laboratory in Mile End, Childcare Centres for Goodstart Early Learning in Somerton Park, Plympton and Cowandilla and the Emmett HQ in Adelaide.