Baltimore is and home to some of the earliest National Register Historic Districts. Nicknamed the “city of neighborhoods,” countless tourist destinations and beautiful examples from each of the past two centuries of architecture line the streets of its nine geographic regions.
This list of the best commercial contractors in Baltimore features firms that keep this city’s rich history alive and continue to shape it into what it is becoming. They bring decades of experience building for the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.
4015 Foster Ave. Suite 100, Baltimore, MD 21224
What was once the site of Don Pablo’s at The Avenue in White Marsh has been transformed into the dual concept restaurant Curious Oyster and Wayward Smokehouse. With one façade coated in white, the other in charcoal, the two outlets share public bathrooms and back-of-house kitchen and production areas. It’s all joined by a central corridor across the 8,000-square-foot building. Their interiors, however, are completely distinct, with Curious Oyster taking on an airy industrial design with tones of mint green to match its seafood fare, and brick walls and white wood giving Wayward Smokehouse a casual rustic charm 一 a fire pit warming its alfresco area. The project won a National Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Greater Baltimore.
Behind the project is Baltimore-based UrbanBuilt, which has been providing both residential and commercial new construction and renovations since 2008. The firm was founded by partners Jason Watts and David Linsalata, who each bring over 20 years of hands-on construction experience coupled with business know-how to the firm. UrbanBuilt has become a go-to contractor for many quick-service restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic and has worked on multiple locations for Domino’s, Starbucks, Bon Chon, Coldstone Creamery, and Wingstop.
Acropolis Construction Co., Inc.
2900 Hampden Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211
Acropolis Construction livened up Wetzel’s Pretzels’ location at Arundel Mills Mall with a bright coat of paint on its walls reminiscent of its signature golden-on-the-outside pretzels. The firm carefully planned out its building process as the store remained open, ensuring that its construction work would not disrupt operations. Both renovation and expansion were successfully and expeditiously completed, all while the outlet continued producing its fresh-from-the-oven goodies.
John Diakoulas founded Acropolis Construction in Baltimore in 1974, starting out with a focus on residential projects. As the business grew, it expanded into three divisions: commercial, residential, and industrial. The firm began to take on larger commercial and industrial projects in the nineties. Today, it is led by President Devin Diakoulas, who has been with the firm for nearly 20 years. Acropolis is certified lead-safe by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and a member of the ABC.
4550 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
Now serving 48 states, Herman/Stewart Construction was first established in Lanham in 1990. President Terry Varner first joined the firm as a superintendent, quickly moving into the office as a project manager before becoming Vice President in 1993 and assuming his current role in 2018. He leads a strong team of project managers and estimators 一 most of whom have been with the company for over ten years 一 backed by a wealth of experience accumulated during his 40-year career that includes restaurant, retail, hotel, and hospitality construction.
Herman/Stewart built West Elm Baltimore’s 11,000-square-foot space on the ground level of the Exelon tower at Harbor Point. An open steel framework and floor-to-ceiling glass windows create an airy, modern atmosphere as a grand staircase connects the spaces filled with the brand’s upscale, contemporary furniture and home accessories. Herman/Stewart also built West Elm’s store in Alexandria, Virginia.
2800 Quarry Lake Drive, Suite 340, Baltimore, MD 21209
For nearly 40 years, S&R Commercial has specialized in retail and restaurant build-outs in the Mid-Atlantic. Leading the team today is Director of Construction Bruno Hanelt who brings over a decade of experience in construction project management, from luxury residential renovations to commercial projects. Hanelt aims to bring the company closer to its clients, looking at each project from their eyes in order to help see their vision through.
S&R has built multiple Starbucks locations throughout Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Each iteration of the leading coffee chain’s stores incorporates its signature wood motif across its counters, display shelves, and dining areas, even as themes change from industrial exposed cement finishes to cozy lounge-style spaces. Window walls lining the brick, stone, and glass façades flood the interior areas with light, complemented by recessed lights and spotlights.
6325 Woodside Court, Suite 300, Columbia, MD 21046
Commercial contractor KasCon has built multiple locations for Sky Zone’s indoor trampoline parks and adventure centers. The complex projects include the construction of varied structural platforms, intricate padded flooring and wall surfaces, custom constructed rails, and specialty finishes. KasCon has impressed Sky Zone owner Craig Hansen with the way it comes up with solutions to obstacles in building the over 20,000-square-foot structures.
Taking a 360-degree view of every project—from its smallest details to its myriad complexities—KasCon has been building for the office, healthcare, education, and retail industries in the Baltimore-Washington area since 1999. President Jeff Kassman brings over 30 years of experience to the firm, from being part of drywall and carpentry crews to serving as Project Manager, General Manager, and Chief Operating Officer with other firms in the area. He remains hands-on with KasCon’s projects, which include interior, adaptive reuse, occupied renovations, and new building construction.
F.M. Harvey Construction
128 Cockeysville Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Soaring ceilings show off Anderson Buick GMC’s catalog of high-end vehicles at its Hunt Valley location. Sleek tones of black, gray, and gunmetal coat the varied roofline and angles throughout the complex project. F.M. Harvey Construction completed the project on schedule despite poor weather conditions and several mid-project modifications to the design. The result was used as a model for future dealerships.
Serving Maryland for six decades, F.M. Harvey Construction was established by Frank M. Harvey, Sr. in Hunt Valley. Today, his son, Frank M. Harvey, Jr., carries on his legacy as President of the company. Frank Jr. grew up around the trade, totaling more than 30 years in the industry to date, primarily in commercial construction. He has managed projects in the financial service, education, commercial office, industrial, and retail industries. Clients include household names like the Four Seasons, Walgreens, Royal Farms, and Harley Davidson.
2324 W. Joppa Road, Suite 600, Lutherville, Maryland, 21093
Part of the MacKenzie group of companies, which has six offices across Maryland, MacKenzie Contracting has been building since 1988. Baltimore City native President and COO Marty Copsey leads the team, with an Associate of Arts Degree in Construction Management from Catonsville Community College and a Civil Engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University. Copsey has seen the company grow from a team of seven to over 30 employees and has managed over 40 million dollars worth of projects in both the private and public sectors.
The firm handled the renovation of the Under Armour Brand House in Harbor East. 14-foot high custom-made entry doors open to a bright LED-lit interior with new glazing and metal panels. Concrete stairs connect the spaces across the 9,500-square-foot flagship store, which are lined by custom wood and concrete display fixtures. A large wood-carved logo wall appears behind the cashier. The project received numerous accolades, including international recognition from the Association for Retail Environments, now known as the Shop! Association.
10907 Guilford Road, Suite A, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
President Dave Mazzuca established Mazzuca Contracting in 2001 to serve the Mid-Atlantic region. The firm has since built a broad range of projects for the corporate, advanced technology, healthcare, higher education, retail, restaurant, industrial, and sports industries. The firm serves Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC. Some of its clients include Comcast, The Washington Post, Victoria’s Secret, and Verizon. The firm also serves the Southwest region out of a second office in San Antonio.
Mazzuca built out Forever 21’s space in Annapolis. The stainless steel-framed glass wall façade showcases the vast collection of basics and on-trend fashion pieces. Intricate coffered ceilings and wainscoted pillars bring a classic touch to the interior, further softened by the pale pink hue on the walls. The brand’s signature minimalist signs beckon passersby at its street-level entrance.
Southway Builders Inc
1318 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
Mission BBQ is a fast-casual restaurant concept serving authentic barbecue made from the freshest ingredients. Launched by two patriotic best friends, each store pays homage to US soldiers, firefighters, police officers, and first responders via photos on the walls, framed uniforms, and a barracks-inspired interior.
The prototype store in Annapolis was built by Southway, a firm that has been serving the Mid-Atlantic since 1991. Leading the 60-strong team is President Willy Moore, who brings over three decades of construction industry experience to the firm. Southway has built over 2,500 multifamily units and four million square feet of commercial projects, including a broad portfolio of historic renovations. The firm has been recognized by both the ABC and AIA Baltimore as Contractor of the Year multiple times. It has also been the recipient of ABC Baltimore’s Diamond Safety Award for four consecutive years. Southway is currently working on a new two-story facility in the historic Lexington Market. The firm built a dedicated catering facility at Mission BBQ’s Glen Burnie headquarters.
Merritt Construction Services
2066 Lord Baltimore Dr. Baltimore, MD 21244
The Agora’s 16,500-square-foot Mount Vernon office was originally built in the early 20th century. Age had worn down most of the building, requiring structural support reinforcement. Two new staircases were added to connect the floors across the four-story building. A roof monitor was also installed on the fourth floor to bring natural light into the office. The result is a bright office space that maintains the building’s original historic features, updated with vibrant tones to keep up with the times.
This interior renovation was provided by Merritt Construction Services, a commercial construction firm that has been serving Baltimore for over five decades. Leading the team is Chairman and CEO Scott Dorsey, who has been with the firm since 1972 and was recognized by the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. President Robb Merritt leads alongside him, carrying on his father and Founder Leroy Merritt’s legacy. Robb previously served as president of the NAIOP Baltimore chapter. The firm has built over 19 million square feet of projects in the warehouse and industrial, office, retail, food and beverage, sports, fitness and wellness, and healthcare industries across the Mid-Atlantic.