The capital of Wisconsin, Madison is the state’s fastest-growing city, with a thriving technology industry and an ongoing expansion into the health, biotechnology, and advertising sectors. It also has a diverse food scene and many recreational options for both sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. Residents and visitors alike enjoy a wide range of architectural styles along its streets, from the Beaux-Arts Wisconsin State Capitol to the postmodern Overture Center for the Arts and the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Monona Terrace.
This list of the best commercial contractors in Madison presents some of the firms who have contributed to the cityscape, whether through creating completely new buildings or restoring historic structures. If you are considering bringing your business to this city, these companies have the expertise to maximize your success.
Ideal Builders, Inc.
1406 Emil St., Madison, WI 53713
What was once a 1980s office building on King Street is now Lucille Madison — the freshest of tri-level venues for cocktails, craft beer, pizza, and shared platters. Ideal Builders gutted the building to expose the bare bones of the historic structure, utilizing the arched brick windows, riveted steel beams, brick masonry walls, and the underground bank vault it unearthed to give exceptional character to Lucille’s new space, and the team also created a prep kitchen and storage area in the basement, behind a lounge and bar with seating in the old bank vault. The main floor’s accordion-style exterior windows can be opened completely, and the second-floor mezzanine sits on a concrete deck overlooking the pewter-slab bar, optimizing the open feel of the footprint. In Business awarded the project “Best New Development or Renovation — Restaurant,” and Build Wisconsin recognized it with the “Commercial Projects Renovation” award.
Ideal Builders has built over 10 million square feet of commercial space since 2002, 90 percent coming from repeat customers. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP) Dave Martin serves as president and CEO, bringing over two decades of field and management experience to the firm and overseeing Ideal’s civic, healthcare, office, and retail projects throughout Wisconsin.
1100 John P Livesey Blvd., Verona, WI 53593
KSW Construction’s president, Dean Slaby, began working summers at his father’s company in Minnesota at age 13. His 30-year career now includes over $100 million in construction projects since moving to Madison. He launched KSW in 2005, to be a different kind of commercial construction company, founded on efficient service, reasonable pricing, and quality workmanship, and the family-owned and -operated business has since developed office, retail, recreational, and restaurant spaces throughout Wisconsin.
In just 23 weeks, the firm transformed an old campus inn on Langdon Street into what is now the Graduate Madison. KSW demolished and renovated the entire hotel, adding a seventh-floor meeting room, rooftop bar, and restaurant. The modern interior sports a scholar’s theme, with canoes lighting up the lobby and café, and each room, no matter the size, features a stunning view of the city. The project won a commercial design award from In Business in 2016 and is just one of the many notable standouts in the KSW portfolio.
1848 Construction, Inc.
3302 Latham Dr., Madison, WI 53713
Specialty grocery store Brennan is known for purveying authentic Wisconsin cheese, meats, wine, craft beer, and spirits, as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables from local farms. To best showcase this regional fare in an inviting retail space, 1848 Construction built the interior with high ceilings and clad most of the displays in soft-color wood to highlight the farm-to-market charm. The red-brick façade welcomes you in, to take your pick from the wide selection of delicacies.
Blending this type of modern-day ambiance with Midwestern value gives 1848 the edge, in successfully building for the times. President and CEO Brad Crowley draws on over 30 years of experience as he leads the team in building strong long-term relationships with clients. As a graduate of a civil-engineering program with an emphasis in construction management, Crowley drives overall operations from preconstruction to completion, continually expanding the company’s reach throughout Wisconsin’s commercial, health/wellness, and retail markets and beyond.
701 E. Washington Ave., #103, Madison, WI 53703
Commercial contractor National Construction has been partnering with local businesses throughout the Madison metro and southern Wisconsin since 1990. Jeff Grundahl leads the team as it remodels mixed-use retail and housing projects, revitalizes historic downtown districts, builds hotels, designs libraries, and more. The firm works out of two offices in downtown Madison and Blue Mounds.
National built tourism-marketing firm Pilch & Barnet’s second-floor office in a 1900s manufacturing center, the Trademark Building. To refresh the space, the firm installed new flooring, repainted interior steel features, and stained the wood ceiling. Existing perimeter walls were drywalled and painted, and interior partitions were added to create a vestibule and reception area, a conference room, production and storage space, new offices, a breakroom, and bathrooms. The firm also created a soundproof media room. The result is a bright, energy-driven space conducive to creating fresh ideas and expanding commercial success — the kind of dynamic growth the National team prides itself on generating.
811 E Washington Ave., Suite 600 (6th Floor), Madison, WI 53703
The Gebhardt Building is a 156,450-square-foot, eight-story mixed-use development in Madison’s East Washington Avenue corridor. Miron Construction handled the core and shell construction of the structure, which houses office and retail space as well as Frank Productions’ newest music venue, the Sylvee. With a capacity of 2,500, the theater creates an intimate concert experience for fans of the largest music acts in the country. Miron’s design also allows for smooth set-up and tear-down of sets, increasing convenience for the artists. The 27,500-square-foot space provides excellent views of the stage from the large general admission areas. The first and second floors also have bars for refreshments, while a third deck houses VIP suites.
Miron Construction has been building distinct commercial projects of this nature since 1918. Two members of Miron’s five original stakeholders were David G. Voss, Sr. and Roland Kippenhan, and today, Miron is led by an Owner’s Group comprised of four members of the Voss and Kippenhan families. Miron’s family-focused culture and relationships-first mentality extend beyond its 1,500+ employees to its clients and community organizations.