Last updated on May 21st, 2024 at 06:11 am

Aside from being the largest city and the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is also a hub for many global businesses, finance, and hospitality. It serves as a base for military defense for the state and is home to many commercial, industrial, and retail structures. Establishing a property in such a competitive location requires an enterprise to obtain a unique and brand-genuine property.

This list helps you narrow down your search and presents you with the best commercial contractors in Honolulu. To give you a thorough understanding of the strengths of these firms, this list mentions firms’ reputable projects, their comprehensive services, and the founders’ principles. 

Hensel Phelps

841 Bishop St, Suite 2001, Honolulu, HI 96813

50Fifty Office Tower is just one of the over 500 commercial projects completed by Hensel Phelps. A precast concrete structure, this building consists of six-story office space, an enclosed parking garage, and retail space on the ground. The firm took advantage of the natural light by wrapping it in an opaque exterior envelope at the tower base, which gradually transitions to transparent as it rises to the top. Hensel Phelps received the LEED, Free Enterprise, and Commercial of $25 to $100 million range recognitions from ABC Rocky Mountain 2019 Excellence In Construction Awards for this project.

This award-winning firm was founded in June 1937 by Abel Hensel Phelps. Its operations initially focused on home building and remodeling. Today, the serving Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Choutka ensures that the firm builds based on its long-standing founding principles. This perpetuation has allowed the firm to contribute to the growth of sustainable building practices in the industry and deliver more than 200 LEED-certified projects. The firm also improves communications and leverages technology in the workplace by utilizing advanced data capture and processing techniques. 

Constructors Hawaii Inc

1728 Kahai St, Honolulu, HI 96819

Incorporated in 1972, Constructors Hawaii is comprised of a talented team with decades of experience in successful projects, unified goals, and a shared commitment to meeting goals. Each provides insightful planning and cooperates to communicate with owners, designers, and subcontractors. Its comprehensive portfolio covers new construction, renovation, or repair of industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings. Seamlessly planning, coordinating, and executing complex projects, the firm consistently provides valuable properties to public and private sector clients. 

Constructors Hawaii builds projects with personalized attention and high-quality craftsmanship. Showcasing this ability is the 143 Hekili Street project, which won the Mayor’s Choice Award Commercial & Industrial in 2016. This project consists of the construction of a new multi-purpose commercial space in the heart of Kailua town. 43 Hekili Street exhibits a head-turning facade highlighting numerous finishes, textures, and tones on the exterior.  It features a Hardie siding, plaster with a raked finish, and precast columns with unveiled coral rock.

Swinerton Builders

841 Bishop St, Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96813

Through careful planning, precise execution, and employment of the latest construction tools, Swinerton completed the complex renovation of the 11,000 square-foot Tiffany & Co. One of its highlights is a three-level floating staircase with stainless steel handrails, glass guardrails, and stone stairs. To commence this, the design team developed a 3D model to conceptualize the construction of the staircase construction built within 1/16” tolerances. Tiffany & Co also features luxurious interior and exterior finishes evident in the picture below. Located at the Royal Hawaiian Center, this renovation is a testament to Swinerton’s commitment to quality and excellence. 

Since 1888, Swinerton’s achievements serve as the fruit of its dedication and foundation of shared values. Holding a collaborative culture, it works toward becoming one of the preferred builders and trusted partners, leading with integrity and passion. Today, the company has over 4,000 employees working to build communities from Manhattan, New York to the Islands of Hawaii. The majority of its built structures now occupy a spot on the National Register of Historic Places or another architectural preservation list. 

Albert C. Kobayashi, Inc

94-535 Ukee St, Waipahu, HI 96797

Founder Albert C. Kobayashi (ACK) established his eponymous firm in 1944, specializing in single-family residential construction. His firm expanded after almost two decades of operation, and has since worked on larger multi-unit residential communities, commercial projects, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and hotel projects. In 1986, ACK opened its main office in Waipio, transitioned to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan company, and welcomed Russell Young into the team. 

Young was named president in 1994 and retains his leadership position today. Throughout its years of operation, the firm has completed numerous landmark projects, including villages, hotels, and luxury condominiums. One of these projects was this 57,000-square-foot retail space, which was built to merge the Pier 1 Imports and Nordstrom Rack stores. Through similar projects, ACK has earned a reputation for quality work and placing a high value on the clients’ project budget, schedule, and requirements. Its international affiliations and forward-thinking mindset enabled them to stay current on the latest construction materials, methods, and equipment. ACK’s work serves as a representation of its vision for Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. 

Armstrong Builders, LLC

80 Sand Island Access Rd. Suite 209, Honolulu, HI 96819


The Armstrong team excels in every aspect of real estate, including development, design, sales, construction, and property management. It works to serve its best, whether building an estate, an affordable housing community, a development, or a commercial project. The team also aims to improve the quality of living by working with integrity and supporting its clients and business partners. Determined to impart excellence, Armstrong Builders has completed award-winning projects like the Hawaii National Bank Kapiolani located in Honolulu. Manifesting talent and dedication, the featured project of Armstrong Builders is a recipient of a Preservation Honor Award.

These awards have established Armstrong Builders as a leader in Hawaii’s residential and commercial construction markets. It has consistently brought a positive impact to residents and communities since its establishment in 1976 by Robert Armstrong. Armstrong has been a leader in the construction industry in Hawaii for over three decades, holding multiple positions in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Building Industry Association (BIA). He is also a five-time recipient of BIA’s Builder of the Year award and was awarded BIA Builder of the Decade for the 2000s. 

Layton Construction Company

707 Richards St, Suite PH-1A, Honolulu, HI 96813

Layton Construction Company built a new tower for Kapiolani Medical Center. Named the Diamond Head Tower, this building consists of five floors and a lower level for support services. It spans 210,000 square feet, enough to house 70 rooms of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and 40 of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). It also holds an adult surgical unit, rehabilitation dept, auditorium, conference, education rooms, and teaching space to train aspiring health care professionals in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and other specialties.

From healthcare to manufacturing, Layton Construction Company has worked in many sectors since its inception by Alan W. Layton. Holding extensive knowledge, Layton began as a worker in the Design and Construction Division of the Bureau of Reclamation doing contract administration work in his early years. In 1953, he used everything he had learned and his retirement savings to finally organize Layton Construction Company. He founded this firm on integrity measured by honesty, safety, unity, and quality.

Nan, Inc.

636 Laumaka St, Honolulu, HI 96819

Nan, Inc. began its journey in Honolulu in 1990, emerging from a dream and hope to help Hawaii build a bright future. Its humble beginnings started with Mr. Nan Chul Shin and only one laborer by his side obtaining their initial contracts for small-time construction projects and single-road sign installation. Decades later, Nan practiced its potential and expertise in finishing complex projects as one of the largest locally owned and operated contractors. It now specializes in preconstruction, general contracting, and design-build services operating with integrity and mindfulness of clients’ needs.

One of its successful projects is this $48 million contract renovation of Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa’s Kealohilani and Paoakalani Towers. Upgrading over 1,300 guestrooms, this deal includes removing outdated finishes, furniture, and installation of modern resort-level amenities and the resort pool deck. Overseeing the commendable completion of projects of the Nan Inc. is Fooney Freestone. He joined the company in 1996 carrying vast experience and thorough knowledge of the construction industry. Initially, Freestone served as project manager and quality control manager on various projects before being promoted to Vice President in 2001 and President in 2004. 

S & M Sakamoto, Inc

1928 Hau St, Honolulu, HI 96819

For over 80 years, S & M Sakamoto, Inc has earned a reputation for performing quality construction work for small-scale renovations to multimillion-dollar complexes. It has also earned numerous awards and recognitions that led them to be one of Hawaii’s leading construction firms. A representation of its award-winning projects is the Ambulatory Care Clinic located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Spanning 92,000 square feet, this facility provides intricate outpatient amenities and services for veterans and their families. This project received a Design Award of Excellence from AIA Honolulu and was recognized as Project of the Year by Hawaiian Electric Co. 2000. 

S & M Sakamoto, Inc. was founded by two brothers deciding to enter the home building industry. Over the years, the firm has extensively expanded beyond homebuilding and currently performs every type of construction serving the entire state. What started with two brothers now includes the third generation of the Sakamoto family, helping to build Hawaii through their relevant experiences, skills, and dedication to excellence. 

Ralph S. Inouye Co Ltd

500 Alakawa St Rm 220e, Honolulu, HI 96817

A recipient of the 2020 Build Hawaii Award of Excellence, the First Hawaiian Bank – Manoa Branch project consists of a renovation of a three-story building and a two-story wing addition. The addition is a modern combination of reinforced concrete and steel structure with a metal roof, metal soffit panels, and plaster siding. Attached to the refurbished CMU building, this new space approximately stretches 15,000 square feet. More of the project’s highlights include an elevator, on-grade parking areas, an entry curtain wall, and site and building retaining walls. Meanwhile, interior details include an open branch space with wood ceiling suspension, an ATM room, offices, conference rooms, restrooms, a break room, and a vault. 

Projects like this reflect the vision of Ralph S. Inouye Co Ltd to become a firm based on trust, honesty, and reliability. Founded in 1962, this vision of the firm roots back from Ralph S. Inouye’s several decades of a far-reaching engineering career. Today, Lance Inouye follows his father’s established principles as he leads the long-standing firm. Lance was recently named the Outstanding Union Builder of the Year by the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters recognizing his contributions to Hawaii’s construction industry and the community. 

Unlimited Construction Services, Inc.

733 Bishop St. Suite #1717,  Honolulu, HI 96813

Unlimited Construction has completed numerous construction projects throughout Hawaii, including hotels, multi-family subdivisions. It specializes in commercial buildings, resorts, and industrial projects while incorporating environmental disciplines whenever deemed possible. Currently, the majority of the firm’s project staff are LEED Accredited Professionals imparting their extensive experience of employment of sustainable practices. 

As part of its services, Unlimited Construction studies projects to determine the best way to result at lower costs. It also ensures that clients and subcontractors have immediate access to the executive management team at all phases. Undertaking projects with transparency, innovation, and integrity, Unlimited Construction has been recognized as one of the top ten builders by the 2019 Building Industry Hawaii publication.