California’s nominal GDP is high enough that it could be ranked the fifth largest economy in the world, if it was a sovereign nation. The state owes much of its economic success to the world-renowned Silicon Valley, which is home to some of the most innovative and successful technology companies in the world. However, California’s economy is diverse, and beyond technology, its top industries include agriculture, manufacturing, banking and finance, film production, and construction.
For businesses interested in setting up in or branching out to California, we have created a list of the best commercial contractors in the area. All of these firms have been recognized by numerous publications for their accomplishments and are led by reputable professionals. They have also created sustainable and modern workplaces and commercial spaces, many of which were designed to encourage productivity and improve the quality of life of their employees.
261 S Figueroa St. Suite #120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
MATT Construction has gained a reputation for building some of the most impressive structures in the western United States. Its portfolio features projects like the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the Music Center Plaza, and the Youtube Sound Stages. With over 30 years in the construction industry, the firm continues to operate on its foundational values of integrity and collaboration. Leading the firm is chairman and CEO Steve Matt, who is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He contributes to the firm’s development by using his extensive experience in estimating, procurement, scheduling, and construction. This has led the firm to receive numerous awards and recognitions, including from reputable publications such as Engineering News-Record (ENR) and the Los Angeles Business Journal.
One notable project completed by MATT Construction is the restoration and build-out of the Herald Examiner Building. The firm’s work included a shell and core fit-out, seismic retrofitting, and tenant improvement construction. Now, as an adaptive reuse structure, the Herald Examiner Building houses mixed-use offices, restaurants, a retail space, and a satellite campus of the Arizona State University School of Journalism. The historic restoration aspect of the project was labeled high priority, so the MATT Construction team worked to maintain many of the space’s original features. These features included the lobby millwork, chandeliers, and some cherub characters.
690 Gibraltar Dr. Milpitas, CA 95035
Devcon Construction has been working with Silicon Valley companies since it was founded in 1976. Originally a developer-contractor, the firm is now a general contractor with design-build capabilities. The firm has worked with experienced developers, owners, architects, and tenants on a wide variety of projects. Its innovative construction expertise comes from a history of successful projects and advanced business practices. Several institutions have awarded and featured Devcon Construction for its efforts, including ENR, the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and the AIA.
This 1212 Bordeaux project is an office that Devcon Construction worked on in 2017. This 100,000-square-foot building is a two-story steel structure with a mezzanine level above the second floor. Devcon Construction’s design focuses on maximizing natural light, views, and open space to its users. For example, the exposed steel structure supports a column-free space, while five sawtooth clerestories—held up by Vierendeel trusses—let extensive natural light filter through. In addition, large perimeter windows with exterior operable blinds provide responsive daylight and heat-gain control. Additional features in the office include a public plaza, an exposed private garden, bioswales, and native plantings. This project was certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building.
Millie and Severson General Contractors
3601 Serpentine Dr. Los Alamitos, CA 90720
Since Noble Millie and Charles Severson founded Millie and Severson General Contractors in 1947, the firm has been serving as a full-service general contractor for clients around Southern California. Severson’s son, Jonathan, succeeded him as president and currently leads the firm in providing construction and preconstruction services. Since its inception, the firm has completed more than 4,000 projects, many of which have led to recognition from various organizations. These organizations have included the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, OC Register, and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Millie and Severson General Contractors is experienced in meeting the needs of clients from different industries. Its portfolio includes projects completed for corporate, healthcare, industrial, cultural, and educational use. One of the firm’s corporate projects is the Laserfiche Corporate Headquarters Campus located in Long Beach. The client contracted Millie and Severson General Contractors to expand the campus in preparation for a projected employee growth of 300 to 600 in the next several years. The firm worked with a Mid-Century design created by Studio One Eleven, which was inspired by the work of Edward Killingsworth. This newly constructed four-story, build-to-suit corporate headquarters earned LEED and WELL Gold certifications.
6660 Owens Dr. Pleasanton, CA 94588
Since 1947, Quiring General has delivered value-adding services and fostered long-term relationships with its clients. As a firm that understands the importance of a smooth construction experience, the Quiring General team works to bring unmatched quality to its clients. The company offers comprehensive services that cover all aspects of construction, from early planning and preconstruction to the close-out and move-in phases. The use of a collaborative approach also makes it easier for Quiring General to become a dependable partner. CEO Josh Sherfield ensures that the firm maintains industry standards, using his 20 years of experience to encourage sustainable growth and expansion. Sherfield is particularly involved in the preconstruction, lean construction, design-build, design-assist, turnkey development, and construction management functions of the firm.
This Eagle Oaks Specialty Care Center is one of Quiring General’s notable projects completed for the healthcare industry. It is a two-story medical clinic with gardens, a playground, a patio area for staff, and site infrastructure. Quiring General also installed a 50-foot tall glass wall in the atrium and an interactive video area. The clinic was built to house rooms for cardiology, radiology, audiology, EEG testing, minor procedures, ultrasounds, and phlebotomy.
3164 Gold Camp Dr. Suite #250, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
DesCor Builders is a Rancho Cordova-based general contractor specializing in preconstruction, general contracting, and construction management. Its clients are from both the public and private sectors, with the majority located in Northern California. The team is made up of hands-on professionals who are experienced in providing creative solutions and expert guidance. Spearheading this team is founder Brad Desjardin, a third-generation contractor with more than 35 years in the construction industry. His leadership has resulted in various publications featuring DesCor Builders, including The Sacramento Business Journal, Comstock’s Magazine, The Business Journals, Vacaville Reporter, and Inside Self-Storage.
Among DesCor Builders’ acclaimed projects is Niello Jaguar Land Rover in Rocklin. This 27,540-square-foot expansion project was voted as the Best Real Estate Project for Rehab/Renovation in 2021 by The Sacramento Business Journal. The automotive dealership now features a new showroom, a service garage, a parts and delivery department, a customer lounge, an administrative office, a second floor, a 4,415-square-foot mezzanine, and various tenant improvements.
Hillhouse Commercial Construction Company Inc.
140 Charcot Ave. San Jose, CA 95131
Since its founding in 1988, Hillhouse Commercial Construction Company Inc. has built many of the Bay Area’s award-winning structures. Many of these buildings are a result of the firm’s partnership with veteran architects and the use of sustainable building methods. In planning and creating spaces, Hillhouse continues to refine its approach to bring clients a memorable and stress-free experience. Bolder plans, smarter solutions, and greater respect for the environment and for end users serve as the firm’s guiding principles. Publications like The San Francisco Times, The Registry, The Silicon Valley Business Journal, and Buildings Magazine have all commended the firm for its dedication to quality construction and client satisfaction.
When Ken Huesby founded Hillhouse, he wanted to build quality work environments that helped foster employee growth and creativity, and the experience he gained over the years helped him develop the firm’s client-centric and green building culture. Huesby’s direction has allowed Hillhouse to complete projects like the renovation of 380 N. Pastoria, a 42,000-square-foot zero net energy and zero carbon emission building located in Sunnyvale. The building uses a power-over-ethernet infrastructure for the lights, fans, skylights, and windows. The firm also installed turning automated Kelvin LED lighting, which promotes human wellness and is powered by semi-transparent solar panels that cover the 5,000-square-foot patio amenity space.
1200 R St. Suite #150, Sacramento, CA 95811
Tom Ford and James Fitzgerald co-founded MarketOne Builders, Inc. in order to create sustainable spaces that “make work a better place to be.” Both Ford and Fitzgerald were trained to value client satisfaction, and therefore trust, confidence, and integrity are the firm’s fundamental principles. Ford serves as MarketOne Builders’ director of operations, overseeing staffing, project delivery, safety, quality, and timelines. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, who is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), is the director of project development and focuses on strategy and business planning.
MarketOne Builders specializes in office, life science, healthcare, and mission-critical structures. One of the firm’s office projects is 731 K Street, a three-story downtown corner that the firm renovated into a modern and visible landmark. As a result of collaboration with DGA Architects, the firm’s design honors the original 1960s historical quality of the building while using materials like wood, glass, and steel to give it a mid-century feel. The 22,000-square-foot building has 3,600 square feet’s worth of space for a restaurant or retail use, as well as a rooftop patio for special events. The second and third floors are currently occupied by Cambria Solutions. Some of the floors’ features include soundproof phone booths, meeting rooms, cafe and kitchen areas, and open office workspaces.
BMY Construction Group
5485 E. Olive Ave. Fresno, CA 93727
BMY Construction Group is a general contractor with locations in Fresno, Turlock, and Missoula. Each project completed by the firm is given hands-on treatment to ensure that the work is done efficiently, within budget, and on time. BMY offers services that are tailored and budgeted to each client’s unique needs, in order to help them make informed decisions. Many of the firm’s projects have been featured in publications like Madera Tribune, GV Wire, Visalia Times-Delta, Fresno State News, and Builder Magazine.
BMY’s portfolio mostly includes projects completed for the commercial, healthcare, office, industrial, civil, lease-leaseback, and educational sectors. This Abby Pet Hospital is one of its healthcare and design-build projects, which was a collaboration with local architect Paul Miller. The firm was involved from concept to completion, providing turnkey services to the client. The finished result is an 8,200-square-foot veterinary hospital with exam rooms and special procedure rooms for dental, treatment, ultrasound, and imaging use.
154 E Dana St. Mountain View, CA 94041
Layton Construction is a national commercial construction firm that operates based on several core principles: quality, timeliness, skill, sound and updated practices, safety, collaboration, and partnerships. According to founder Alan W. Layton, adhering to these values will help maintain construction and management success. Currently, president and CEO David S. Layton, Alan’s youngest son, continues to follow his father’s advice. Layton Construction’s efforts in the industry have been acknowledged several times, including in 2021 by Engineering News-Record (ENR), who listed the firm among its Top 400 Contractors and Top 50 Domestic Building/Mfg. Revenue lists. Building Design + Construction (BD+C) also included the firm in its Giants 400 Ranking list.
Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point is part of Layton Construction’s luxury renovation portfolio. The project, which spanned 99,000 square feet, included transforming the lobby’s beach-themed reception entrance, building a new fitness center, and constructing the Miraval Spa. The resort also features two yoga studios, a dry bar, over 25 treatment rooms, a new guest marketplace, a new restaurant, and an expanded main dining space.
660 S Figueroa St. Suite #1888, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Shangri-La Construction (SLC) has established a strong reputation for its work in Southern California’s multi-family and hospitality sectors. Clients typically work with the firm for its preconstruction, design-build, remodeling, and new construction services. Regardless of project type, the firm is careful to use the most cost-effective approaches. SLC’s success as one of Southern California’s top contractors can be attributed to CEO Andy Meyers’ leadership and business strategy, which he adapts to respond to common client complaints in the industry.
This Wayfarer Hotel is part of SLC’s restoration project list. Originally the historic Ritz Milner Hotel, which was built in 1923 in downtown Broadway Corridor, SLC transformed the space to include 156 private and shared guest rooms and suites, flexible venues, and communal spaces. The firm’s work also included creating spaces for socializing, such as a rooftop bar and a basement parlor.