The largest city on the east side of the Bay Area, Oakland is home to a bustling downtown area with numerous businesses and offices. As a busy metropolis, commercial establishments with diverse designs comprise most of the city’s spaces.
With an array of architecture and styles in the city, you want your business to stand out in the area it’s in. Making that first impression is crucial in attracting your target audience. Whether it is a corporate office building, retail store, or outdoor market, the best commercial contractors offer personalized designs that fit your brand. The editors curated this list of the top 15 commercial contractors in the area, looking at each firm’s portfolio, experience, and process. This list showcases an array of commercial establishments, offering a diverse project list.
100 Pringle Ave, Suite 330, Walnut Creek CA 94596
Under the leadership of Rene Olivo, Skyline Construction has become a leading commercial general contractor since its establishment in 1996. Throughout the years, Olivo has assembled a team of well-experienced veterans in the business, which resulted in various commercial projects for Zoom and Jamba Juice. The company’s style revolves around modern designed office spaces that promote a fun, open work environment.
Pictured below is the Align Technology Headquarters, which features a contemporary office layout. The 125,000 square foot office received an interior renovation of two buildings, which hold the research & development facility. The primary goal of this project was to reuse as much of the existing construction as possible that can cater to the company’s operational needs. The result is an interior construction with a new boardroom and executive offices for the company’s Technology Development Lab.
275 Battery St, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94111-3378
The Hathaway and Dinwiddie alliance began 35 years ago through a professional association of company principals. The company has since catered to numerous clients in areas such as Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The team’s management style revolves around innovative thinking and a client-centered approach, resulting in a solid relationship with each client. Some of the firm’s most notable clients include Pixar, the Claremont Hotel, Del Monte Foods Headquarters, and the Ronald Reagan Library, Air Force One Pavilion.
The featured project below is one of the most recent projects completed by the firm. The Kilroy Oyster Point project is a phase one project of the bayfront office and life science development, offering numerous walkable grounds, an amenity building, and a four-level parking structure. The 543,000-square-foot office building encourages employees to balance work and leisure, providing a variety of open spaces that cater to various activities from doing work to taking a short walk around the complex. This modern office building is an ideal structure that promotes a healthy work environment with its vibrant atmosphere and massive spaces. Upon the project’s completion, it was given LEED Gold Certification.
Fisher Development, Inc.
601 California St, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94108
Fisher Development, Inc. is an award-winning commercial general contractor who has served locally and internationally—the firm has tackled projects in Canada and Europe. Founder Robert Fisher began his career in 1971 and has since grown the business significantly, tackling an array of projects and working for famous clientele. The company’s 45 years of experience have allowed the team to adapt to many trends and designs that lean towards a modern appeal from the building’s exterior to interior. Some of the famous clientele the firm has worked for includes Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, LEGO, Hugo Boss, Sephora, and West Elm.
Pictured below is the Crissy Field Center project, which includes sustainable, high-performance offices and laboratories. The high-tech center was dubbed the “smart” building due to its extensive use of technology to optimize environmental, economic, and human performance. Some of these technological features consist of low-VOC content materials, photovoltaics, and wind turbines, supporting the sustainability criteria of the project. Despite all the technological advances, the project includes the Beach Hut Cafe for leisure. The project is LEED Platinum certified and received the California Construction Magazine Best of 2010: Green Building Category award.
2600 N Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94597
A streamlined approach and constant communication are what BALI Construction applies to each project. Its client-oriented process ensures a detailed finish that is an accurate rendition of the client’s requests, resulting in long-term relationships with numerous clients. Throughout the firm’s eleven years in the business, the team has received various accolades for its projects. The San Francisco Business Times featured the firm numerous times and became part of the SF Architects Best Restaurant Contractors in San Francisco feature in 2018. Some of the company’s notable clients include The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Boba Guys, and Blue Bottle Coffee.
Pictured below is the Lyft Headquarters, which features a modern office layout with massive indoor and outdoor spaces. The overall theme of the building is the company’s notable pink color palette, which surrounds the walls and interior of the office. Outside, it includes a lounge and lunch area situated by the property’s entrance allowing for outdoor breaks. The project centralizes around a functional office space that promotes a healthy work environment.
Black Creek Builders
4096 Piedmont Ave. #240, Oakland, CA 94611
A full-service general contractor specializing in commercial projects, Black Creek Builders continues to establish itself as a top firm in the Bay Area, with third-generation builder Travis Wirt leading the way. The firm’s straightforward process of listening and coordinating with the client has bolstered the company to accomplish various projects, including clientele such as the Sweet Bar and the Little Giant Ice Cream.
The feature project below is the Mad Oak project. This pub includes a rustic design and structure with the use of wood, bricks, and yellow-colored walls, similar to a typical Mexican pub. Its ambiance is one of the more unique ones compared to the other projects the firm has completed, but its rustic, indoor-outdoor spaces provide a unique dining experience, catering for leisure and socialization.
W.A. Rose Construction, Inc.
482 25th St, Oakland, CA 94612
With more than 80 years of being in the business, W.A. Rose Construction has accumulated a track record of numerous commercial projects ranging from schools, retail, offices, and religious establishments. Since 1936, the company has implemented a basic approach, emphasizing quality and timely customer service, and has since received a certification from the Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE). Under the leadership of Dan Pitcock, the team has earned a reputation for its diverse projects and services.
Below is one of the firm’s commercial projects, the Sandis Civil Engineers office. The firm encountered the challenge of a strict timetable of three months to complete the project, with a focus on the structural setup of the office before the actual construction process could begin. The project included the addition of two staircases, re-engineered to fit smaller spaces. The result is a revamped office including numerous workstations, two offices, a kitchen, and two conference rooms.
405 14th St, Suite 900, Oakland, CA 94612
The feature project below is the 106,000 square foot office tenant for Intuitive Surgical, Inc., which includes remediation, retrofitting, and remodeling of the existing building. The Build Group team provided numerous improvements to the office, such as an updated office space, lobby, and conference rooms that helped to support the ISI engineering and manufacturing. Projects like this are a result of the firm’s consistent ability to adapt to different projects and the needs of their client. A focus on transparent communication with the client resulted in various completed projects and a track record of working with famous clientele such as Zara and Cotton On.
4917 Stoddard Rd, Modesto, CA 95356
A leading commercial contractor since 1971, Huff Construction provides the same dedication to quality through personal services. The team continues to innovate its process and incorporate modern methods to further improve its projects. Its portfolio consists of famous clientele such as Starbucks, Marriott, and Sheraton.
Aside from these clientele, the firm has completed other commercial projects, such as the Hughes’ Commercial project featuring a size of 10,000 square feet with storefront glass and numerous overhead doors for easy storage. Its structural shape is simple, with the plain gray metal consisting most of the building, and with projects like this, a functional space is important for people to work in to promote an efficient work environment.
6000 Shoreline Court., Suite 206, South San Francisco, CA 94080
Principals Larry Pace, John Locascio, Michael Stieger, and Michael Adler currently lead the firm, overseeing the production of its projects. Since the firm’s establishment in 1978, the firm expanded its services throughout San Francisco in 1995. The firm focuses on four main categories of each project, namely restoration-remodel, interior development, new construction, multi-family, and medical. A disciplined and efficient work ethic aids the firm in the production of quality projects. Pictured below is one of the more notable projects the firm has tackled, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. With a vintage exterior design, the firm revamped its interior with improved lighting and modern furnishing, giving a new look to the office.
1155 Third St. Suite 230, Oakland, CA 94607
Four decades of experience have allowed BBI Construction to foster numerous connections within the Bay Area community. Partnering with well-versed craftsmen has aided the firm in producing various renovations, urban infill, and adaptive reuse projects that comprise most of the firm’s portfolio. Consistent communication with each client ensures an accurate rendition of every project, resulting in high-quality projects. An example of this approach is the project below featuring the Buty Curliano Law Offices, which includes updated office space and seismic upgrades to the two-story masonry building. The 100-year-old building had a deep cleaning of the brick facade and the replacement of various amenities. The MEP systems received updates as well, and the addition of cabinetries and improved lighting provided a modern finish.
1068 44th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601
Since 1986, DC Construction has offered its clients an intricate process and detailed project management. This kind of approach has assisted the firm in producing timely projects that are within budget and are an accurate render of the client’s requests. Aside from ground-up building construction, the DC team offers building renovation and historical renovations, along with seismic upgrading. One of these renovation projects is the featured project below, the Avalon Project at Mission Bay. Updates such as new lighting and heating systems, installation and leveling of an exterior paver system, and waterproof features all provide a revamped exterior of the 50,000 square foot space. The result is a sustainable, energy-efficient building, offering a more functional space.
503 Stone Rd, Benicia, CA 94510
With a bevy of commercial projects, R3 Builders has accumulated a portfolio featuring an array of retail, restaurant, office, and grocery establishments. The R3 team’s approach relies on a detailed-oriented process, integrating modern craftsmanship and innovative designs. In the past two decades, the firm has worked for numerous famous clientele, including The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dropbox, and Midici. The picture below features another notable project of the firm, the Pacific Catch complex, which features various stores and markets. The team capitalized on the outdoor space and included numerous outdoor seats, allowing for a pleasant outdoor experience. The complex’s contemporary structural design accentuates a modern finish using wooden beams and black lines, enhancing both the outdoor market area and indoor retail stores.
750 Kevin Court, Oakland, CA 94621
One of the oldest firms in the business, Branagh, Inc., continues to offer various services to Oakland ranging from commercial, residential, religious, and educational establishments. The company’s commercial projects have implemented a “fast track” process that aims to provide the client with a quicker timetable while maintaining the standard of quality the firm integrates. A balance of these two features generates a higher income, satisfying both client and firm.
Pictured below is the Central Bank in Walnut Creek, California. With a size of 95,250 square feet, the two-story framed building includes a complete brick veneer skin, precast concrete trellises, and a vault area. The top floor consists of a 7,000 square foot executive suite that holds numerous offices, which includes structural designs like cherry veneer walls and marble bathrooms. The result is a vintage exterior design with a modern interior geared towards providing the client with a functional space.
780 West Grand Ave, Oakland, Ca 94612
The featured project below is the Little Harbor Partners, located in Emeryville, California. The 20,000 square foot property received seismic improvements along with design-build updates such as architectural maple panel systems and specialized custom framing improvements. This upgrade integrates the conference rooms, office space, kitchen areas, and bathrooms, offering the client an efficient and functional office. The installation of custom IS rooms and cooling units improves the office environment, promoting a healthy working atmosphere. The ZCON Builders team offers a comprehensive process, from its pre-construction phase to the post-construction stage. The firm uses a building information modeling (BIM) throughout its projects, resulting in efficient customer service that translates into the finished project.
Cahill Contractors LLC
1111 Broadway Suite 1340, Oakland, CA 94607
Cahill Contractors LLC is a highly-experienced local firm with numerous connections with partners who assist the team in providing high-quality, efficiently-completed projects. Its foundation revolves around contemporary design solutions and a technical process that has resulted in the construction of various commercial establishments. With over a century of service, Cahill Contractors has established itself as a well-known firm in Oakland and continues to offer its clients the same level of service as it did back in 1911. Adapting to modern methods, the firm has completed various office buildings, with the feature project below being one of the best it has accomplished. The KQED project is a whole renovation featuring a revamped structural design with a gray facade and tall glass windows showcasing a bright office atmosphere. At 165,000 square feet, this project encompasses a functional office building that promotes a healthy work environment.