As a key part of the “Midwest Silicon Prairie,” Lincoln is an economic center with thriving high-tech, finance, information technology, and telecommunications sectors. The state capital also serves as a cultural anchor, with numerous venues for the performing arts, a bustling bar and nightclub scene, and a park system of over 131 locations.

This list of the best commercial contractors in Lincoln presents the firms that have built some of the landmark structures that fuel the city’s thriving industries. Many of these firms have been building in the area for more than 50 years. 

Tru-Built Construction

2640 W M Court, Lincoln, NE 68522 

A fiery orange coats the interior of infrared fitness studio Hotworx’s location at Wilderness Hills. The brand’s signature hue complements the light wood walls of its patented sauna that lines the studio space. Members have a variety of workout equipment to choose from to complete a 30-minute Isometric workout or a 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session in different areas of the studio.

This location was built by Tru-Built Construction, a firm first formed by President Bo Jones and Vice President Steve Powell in the hours between their classes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in the early 2000s. Tru-Built has since completed countless remodels, custom homes, and other projects, both residential and commercial. Today, Jones and Powell lead an in-house team as they deliver high-quality work throughout Nebraska.

Ayars & Ayars, Inc.

2436 N 48th Street, Lincoln, NE 68504 

UNL Construction Management alumnus President Mike Ayars leads the team of over 100 professionals that make up Ayars & Ayars. The firm has been building relationships in the Midwest commercial construction industry since it launched in 1985. For its design-build projects, Ayars & Ayars works with its sister company, architecture collaborative Archi+Etc.

Ayars & Ayars built the first two Planet Fitness locations in Lincoln. Each franchise features the gym’s signature purple and yellow across its over 16,000-square-foot structure. The firm performed masonry work in the North branch: site development, foundations, building erection, interior finishes, paving, and landscaping. The South branch was built from an old grocery store. Its tenant finish involved the installation of new structural steel roof support, electrical service, metal stud framing, and flooring. Ayars & Ayars built the benches, showers, dressing rooms, toilets, storefront windows, and a vestibule. 

Kingery Construction Co.

201 N 46th Street, Lincoln, NE 68503 

For nearly a century, Kingery Construction has built commercial, education, government, hospital, and industrial projects across Nebraska with a high level of professionalism, integrity, and honesty. Today the firm is led by UNL alumni President Rod Berens and Vice President Rick Wintermute, who continue the Kingery family’s legacy of providing cost-effective solutions in a timely manner. The firm’s portfolio of over a thousand projects includes landmark structures such as the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

As the expansion of Haymarket was underway, Gate 25 Bar and Restaurant tapped Kingery Construction to build its 3,700-square-foot space in the then-upcoming Railyard building. The owners aimed to open by the first football game of the season. Kingery was able to meet this goal, completing construction in just a little over a month and allowing Gate 25 to open its doors to serve thousands of UNL alumni the night before the game. The restaurant was the first establishment to open in the area.

Ironhide Construction

3301 S 7th Street, Lincoln, NE 68502 

Ironhide Construction transformed the fifth-floor office space of Bryan College of Health Sciences into a nursing simulation center. The 5,500-square-foot space includes operating, intensive care, medical surgery, pre-operation, clinical, pediatric, and labor and delivery simulation rooms. The firm installed dust barriers and negative air machines to meet the requirements of infection and dust control.

President Troy Bridgford and Vice President Jeff Wolgamott founded Ironhide in 2008, starting in steel erection and metal buildings. Over the years, the firm has expanded into general contracting for all sorts of commercial properties: athletic complexes, manufacturing plants, retail space, office buildings, fitness facilities, and more. Bridgford has been in the industry for over two decades, helping out in his dad’s plumbing business in high school. He earned his Construction Management degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Wolgamott has been in the industry for 27 years, starting out in residential remodeling. He graduated with a Construction Management degree from South Dakota State University.

Brester Construction, Inc.

1200 Infinity Court, Lincoln, NE 68512 

SARO aims to give a taste of 195 countries across all seven continents through the craft of cider-making. Brester Construction built their 3,900-square-foot taproom in an existing building on N Street, bracing the exterior walls and creating a new roof structure. The firm worked closely with the owner and architect to integrate the tasting room and brewing area. The result is a bright space for producing and enjoying cider, a modern industrial theme creating continuity between the processing area and the airy dining space. Marble backsplash lines the bar area; touches of deep blue and yellow contrast the white brick walls of the rest of the interior. Outside, the store is clad in handsome red brick.

UNL Construction Management alumnus President Chris Brester represents the second generation of leadership in the firm his father and uncle started in 1982. The firm has since shifted from home building to multi-family and commercial projects, for a total of over 900 projects and counting completed. Those projects include  75 healthcare facilities, 15 education buildings, and 290 retail and financial spaces.

Hausmann Construction

8885 Executive Woods Drive, Lincoln, NE 68512 

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) CEO Joey Hausmann founded Hausmann Construction in 2003 to serve clients in the corporate, education, healthcare, and municipal sectors across Nebraska. He holds a Construction Management degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and he leads a team of over 300 working out of five offices in Lincoln, Omaha, and Norfolk as well as Denver and Kansas City.

The Lincoln’s Children Zoo welcomes nearly 200,000 visitors each year. Hausmann performed a multi-phase expansion and improvement project on the 10-acre property, adding a new barn area where visitors can feed giraffes, an up-close tiger encounter, anteater and monkey exhibits, and a cheetah run. Individual holding areas and outdoor habitats permit year-round interaction with the animals. New play areas include a 72-foot splash stream and an elephant-shaped structure where children can climb with the monkeys. The project also covered a new main entrance, a café, an event space, a 150-seat amphitheater, and a two-story Education and Conservation Center with seven classrooms.

Hampton Enterprises

3400 Plantation Drive, Suite 110, Lincoln, NE 68516 

Hampton Enterprises’ history dates back to 1948 when its founder, the late Joe Hampton, began building homes in Lincoln. The firm transitioned into commercial construction in 1969 and has since built landmark projects for the education, entertainment, financial, healthcare, hospitality, office, recreation, and retail industries. Today, Hampton’s handpicked leadership team carries on his legacy throughout southeast Nebraska. 35-year industry veteran Lincoln Zehr serves as president and CEO; University of Nebraska-Omaha Construction Engineering & Technology alumnus Scott Lockard, LEED AP, serves as president of the Construction Division.

Hampton Enterprises collaborated on the building of the 470,400-square-foot Pinnacle Bank Arena. The firm provided local construction management services that allowed the project to be completed under budget and ahead of the projected schedule, thanks to its close ties with the local subcontractor market. Pinnacle Bank Arena seats up to 15,500, including 36 Founders and Executive Suites, and has since given Lincoln a reputation as a “Music City,” bringing in marquee names like the Eagles, Bon Jovi, Elton John, and Guns N’ Roses.

Sampson Construction Co., Inc.

5825 South 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68512 

Sampson Construction has constructed, remodeled, and renovated 30 locations for sports and outdoor adventure equipment and apparel retailer Scheels in ten different states across the country over the past 22 years. Each branch comes with unique in-store attractions, from Scheels’ famous Ferris wheel to 16,000-gallon saltwater aquariums and arcade areas. Skylights, glass walls, and clerestory windows open up the double-height interior areas within the brands’ signature central gable structure. Each store is over 200,000 square feet, with a Ginna’s Café accompanying the retail space.

Sampson Construction was founded in 1952 when a contract was a handshake and a promise. Nearly 70 years later, President John Sampson continues to lead the now 300-strong team on the same principle of trust as it builds structures of various sizes, scope, budget, and complexity across the country. The firm is headquartered in Lincoln and has five other offices across the Midwest and Front Range. Sampson Construction has gained a strong reputation in the commercial construction industry for its uncompromising standard of quality, transparent communication and collaboration process, and commitment to safety.

Cheever Construction

3425 North 44th Street, Lincoln, NE 68504 

Panera Bread is loved for its baked goods and has been throughout its 40-year history. Cheever Construction built the fast-casual bakery-café’s O Street location with an understated charm, featuring subtle hues of brown and olive green. Panera products take center stage in the bright, high ceiling interior, with a long wooden table and booths along the window walls for enjoying them in-store. A long bench and several tables also provide an alfresco dining option.

Clifford Cheever first established Cheever Construction in 1954 as a masonry subcontractor. The firm has since evolved into a general contracting firm, starting out building apartment buildings in the late seventies and early eighties. Today, University of Nebraska at Lincoln alumnus President Justin Kurtzer leads the firm as it builds for the commercial, education, healthcare, industrial, and mixed-use and retail industries. Cheever has won multiple awards from the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) for its work.