Being Arizona’s second-largest community with more than half a million people, Tucson is bustling with business and job opportunities. The city’s business climate makes it an exciting place to live in, especially for young professionals. At the same time, Tucson is a wise place to invest in for entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly, many competitive commercial contractors are attracted to this city.
Each of the 15 best commercial contractors on this list is well-established and has unique qualities worth considering for your next project. Many have been thriving for decades; some have been around for over a century. Some of these contractors have completed projects for the University of Arizona, the city’s largest employer. Some of these firms earned their place on this list thanks to their use of technology or a particularly efficient process. Others have a particularly strong track record of reviews from high-profile clients and a number of awards.
2355 E Camelback Road, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Operating for nearly seven decades, Layton Construction has completed monumental projects for companies and hotel conglomerations. This established firm lives by four foundational principles: honesty, safety, unity, and quality. At the same time, the firm keeps on getting better by having a centralized virtual design and construction (VDC) department. The VDC department ensures a streamlined construction process, which involves sourcing, design-assist services, and reporting & measurement. The firm currently serves in nine locations, including Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii.
Aside from being consistently in ENR’s list of the Top 400 Contractors, Layton Construction also often garners awards for specific areas such as domestic building and modern healthcare. Among the company’s specializations are ground-up hospitals, expansions, and cancer centers. A perfect example is the massive expansion of the University Hospital Medical Center in San Antonio. The firm completed a 12-story trauma tower with 420 private inpatient rooms and 35 operating suites—all without hampering operations.
222 N. 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034
DPR Construction matches the innovativeness of its high-profile clients; the firm consistently ventures into technical and complex areas. As a top technical builder in the US, the firm has completed projects for advanced technology clients such as Facebook, Pixar, and Adobe Systems. At the same time, the firm also works in Life Science by creating facilities for laboratories and research facilities. One of the firm’s impressive projects is the Biogen 2019 RTP DS LSM Upgrade, a facility that works on therapies for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. To upgrade the plant’s purification suites, the company installed a new in-line dilution Low-Pressure Chromatography (LPC) skids and made improvements to Buffer Hold, among others.
DPR Construction is also known for its “new office” projects that promote holistic well-being for its employees. These office works include urban high-rise or suburban core and shells, build-to-suits, and interior fit-outs. The firm also applies its holistic philosophy to corporate campuses. For example, a recent project is the BioLegend Campus expansion in San Diego, pictured below. This project was featured in San Diego Business Journal and garnered the 2020 Commercial Real Estate Award of Excellence in the Industrial Category.
The Weitz Company
2111 E. Highland Avenue, Suite 400, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Prospering for 166 years, The Weitz Company is among the oldest commercial general contractors and it is the longest-standing firm on this list. The firm continues to impress year after year as it consistently sits on the highest ranks of Engineering News-Record magazine’s Top 400 Contractors. The firm also earns $1 billion annually with its ten offices across the nation, filled with a thousand employees. With projects in all 50 states and globally, the company provides work on monumental projects, including the Brussels International Airport in Belgium.
Aside from its commercial expertise, The Weitz Company is a pioneer in Senior Living project planning and construction. Through experience, benchmark data, and cost trend information, the firm has completed over 30,000 senior living units in urban, suburban, and remote areas. The company also adapts to different needs: it has served generations in its 60 years of a senior living building. Featured below is the firm’s work on the Hacienda at the River in Tucson. This facility is the first to offer on-site equine therapy to residents and family members, serving as therapy for Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression. This project was also a finalist in the 2018 AZRE Healthcare Leadership Awards.
4511 E. Kerby Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85040
For over 90 years, W.E. O’Neil has built many significant structures in Arizona, including Arizona Cancer Center, Scottsdale Air Center, and Fort McDowell Justice Center. These structures serve various sectors and shape the region’s market and living. The massive contribution of the firm to Arizona’s construction industry makes it a great choice for quality construction service. The majority of the firm’s work comes from repeat clients.
In the education sector alone, W.E. O’Neil has completed numerous middle schools, high schools, and even the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. The firm is behind several projects at the University of Arizona, including the Hillel Student Center and Life Sciences South Building. The firm worked on The University of Arizona Science and Technology Park—a three-story, 72,000-square-foot building consisting of a steel structure with a metal-clad exterior system.
8777 E. Hartford Drive, Ste. 140, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Balfour Beatty believes that innovation can address the changing needs of its commercial clients. Whenever trends and new solutions emerge, the firm adapts. This mindset enables the firm to employ 3D design and augmented reality technologies to give the client an immersive experience of the project plan. The firm also provides off-site manufacturing through prefabrication or modular construction before bringing materials to the actual site. Additionally, the company uses laser scanners as an alternative to traditional surveying or field measurement.
Balfour Beatty makes sure to quickly execute innovative solutions just like it did on The Fairmont Scottsdale. The firm added 52,300 square feet of meeting space to the property’s existing conference center, making it the largest conference hotel in the Fairmont Collection. One of the challenges was to find a way to use the client-purchased gas lamps that were not up to code. The firm managed to have the alternative approved, obtained, and installed in just a few weeks without any project delays. The new conference center features include “nano” tech bi-folding glass doors, digital signage, high-end stone finishes, and an artistic fountain—the result is an extremely pleasurable experience for guests.
8777 E. Via de Ventura, Ste. 280, Phoenix, AZ 85258
Serving 125 countries across and the world and with an over $38 billion total global project value, DCK Worldwide is an international market leader. The firm has amassed more than 25 million square feet of retail experience, built over 11,000 multi-family units, and constructed or renovated more than 38,500 hotel rooms. The company also ranks among the ENR Top 250 International Contractors based on revenues and the 10th Largest Builder in the Hotel Market Space. These impressive numbers attest to the firm’s century-long construction excellence, especially in large and complex pursuits.
In the commercial sector alone, DCK Worldwide completed $2.9 billion worth of projects and over 15 million square feet of commercial facilities. The facilities are diverse, including office buildings, parks, and large venues. One of the firm’s best commercial projects is PNC Park in Pittsburgh. This one million square feet ballpark includes both seats incredibly close to the playing field, and one-of-a-kind luxury seating hung from the bottom of the upper deck. The baseball park’s design also takes advantage of the incredible Pittsburgh Skyline and matches the surrounding bridges in the Golden Triangle.
5013 E. Washington Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85034
For Jokake Construction, a commercial building’s value is not just in its function but also in the property itself. Outside of offering full commercial construction services from napkin sketch to full construction documents, the firm also provides services to support the real estate cycle for clients, from due diligence to site analysis to market research. The firm specializes in commercial buildings, helping industrial and healthcare clients and properties across the Southwest reach their full potential.
Being in the business for nearly 40 years, Jokake has managed to make a name for itself especially for its office, healthcare, and biotech projects. Today, president Casey Cartier carries on the managerial side of the business with two consecutive recognitions as Global CEO for Commercial Real Estate in the Southwest. Whether it’s partnering on a new development, providing construction services for a client’s vision, or lending their corporate expertise to clients, Jokake is committed to an elevated experience, infusing creativity, eliminating roadblocks, and promoting efficiency. It is a firm innovating for the future of commercial real estate and beyond.
5725 North Scottsdale Road, Suite C-135 Scottsdale, AZ 85250
PWI Construction’s portfolio is full of visually appealing projects. With custom home building roots, the firm has built a reputation for hospitality, restaurant, high-end retail, and specialty commercial construction markets. The firm has provided work for high-profile clients like Armani, Lacoste, Marriott, and Tiffany & Co.
One of the luxurious and complex projects of PWI Construction is the renovation and rebranding of The Camby in Phoenix. With a budget of $15 million, the firm remodeled the property’s 277 guest rooms and worked on pool deck flooring and landscape, a boutique spa, and four dining concepts, and completed the work in five months. The firm is inspired by Arizona’s five Cs: cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper. This project garnered many awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award and Business Insider’s 20 Best Hotels for Business Travelers.
Barker Contracting, Inc.
2127 E. Speedway, Suite 101 Tucson, AZ 85719
Barker Contracting has Integrated Project Delivery services to offer clients who want a simplified and time-saving construction process. The firm handles both design and construction aspects in one contract instead of two in traditional project delivery. This method allows more options and control in terms of cost and schedule. The firm hires the best professionals who are adept in managing diverse sectors—including office, medical, and even solar projects.
Licensed in 30 states, Barker Contracting has already completed around 1,200 projects. This firm is behind many commercial structures in Tucson, including the construction of El Pollo Loco Restaurant, the tenant improvement of MOD Pizza, and the new Astrosol Solar Power Plant building. Among the firm’s ground-up projects in the city is the SAMTEC Center. This 32,000-square-feet manufacturing and technology center features ground-up masonry shell building, metal decking, and a TPO roof. Other features include switch and metering provision at the service entrance, lighting protection, and three roof-mounted HVAC units.
700 E. Broadway, Suite 200, Tucson, AZ 85719
The 47-year history of BFL Construction is full of challenging and complex projects. These projects include technical work, including medical offices, lab spaces, and heavy industrial works. The company is equipped to provide value engineering, innovative approaches, and technology use. The company is also all-in for green building practices, having sustainable building consultants on its team.
The El Rio Community Health Center in Tucson is one of the patrons of BFL Construction. The firm has completed several new construction, improvement, and expansion projects for the health center, including its El Rio Cherrybell Clinic. The Cherrybell Clinic’s design-build reflects the firm’s innovative skills—insulated metal panel design and two-sided light monitors on the roof bring in the natural light, as seen below.
Concord General Contracting
5828 North Oracle Road, Suite 150 Tucson, AZ 85704
As a builder in Arizona for more than four decades, Concord General Contracting has provided many exciting projects in different sectors of the region. Specializing in education, government, non-profit/religious, and commercial, the company is behind the enthralling 4,000-square-foot Flandrau Planetarium of the University of Arizona and the 82,00-square-feet Patrick K. Hardesty Midtown Multi-Service Center. The firm is also responsible for Phases I and II of the First Baptist Church of Tempe.
As for commercial projects, our favorite work of Concord General Contracting is this Fox Theatre in Tucson. Aside from the project’s complexity, this 27,631-square-foot renovation timeline was shortened from 18 months to 11 months. The firm was able to push through, impressing B.C McKinney of Fox Theater Foundation Theatrical Consultants.
1636 N. Swan Road #100, Tucson, AZ 85712
Pate Contractors specializes in turnkey ground-up construction, building remodels, and tenant improvements in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Duo Tim Pate and Natalie Arzaga, who have a combined over 25 years of construction experience, run the company. Learning all aspects of the trade from his father, who founded the firm, Tim Pate supervises the construction process in the field. Meanwhile, Natalie Arzaga employs her well-honed skills in the management of office operations and estimating, having been a general contractor even while still studying at the University of Arizona.
What made Pate Contractors stand out to our editorial team is the firm’s versatility in tenant improvements, especially in retail. The firm made several tenant improvements in the Tucson mall alone that vary greatly in style and purpose. These tenant improvements include Tucson Games & Gadgets, Volcom, Short Rest Tavern, Animal Kingdom, My Gadget Gear, and Earthbound Trading. There is also the high-end retail brand Pandora, pictured below.
LCI Commercial Construction Company
1517 N. Wilmot Road, #289 Tucson, AZ 85712
Initially founded in 1989, the LCI Commercial Construction Company paused in 1993 and then regained new glory in 2013. Principal Bryan Lloyd reintroduces LCI along with his 30-year experience in managing and estimating more than $500 million worth of commercial construction projects in Southern Arizona; that extensive experience includes public works, private development, and higher education projects.
LCI currently has three specialty services: Construction Manager at Risk (CMR), Design-Build, and Design/Bid/Build. While the CMR and Design-Build are trends in the commercial contracting industry, the company also works very well in the traditional Design/Bid/Build process. The firm gets an edge in this contracting method because it can keep its overhead low, consequently getting lower bids. And since the firm has a strong foundation in estimating, it has amassed an outstanding record of accurate pricing and no change orders unless requested by the project owner.
With its concrete services, the successful comeback of LCI Commercial Construction Company has resulted in many key projects. In Tucson alone, the firm has worked on the Tucson Rehabilitation Institute and the Omni Tucson National Resort, pictured below. The firm has also made considerable contributions to the University of Arizona, particularly in the Agriculture Research Complex and the College of Architecture & Landscape Architecture.