The stakes are high when undertaking commercial construction projects in San Diego, California. Not only does the project need to align with the city’s dynamic and diverse landscape, but it also needs to meet stringent standards while accommodating the needs of its vibrant community. Understanding the scope and scale of such endeavors is crucial, especially given that the average commercial project in San Diego can range from $150,000 to $1,000,000, with higher-end ventures soaring well beyond $1.95 million. These costs are influenced by various factors, including the project’s size, architectural intricacies, and materials’ quality. Furthermore, completion timelines can span up to 18 months, barring unforeseen challenges—a common occurrence in construction. The cost per square foot in San Diego averages around $4,560, highlighting the significant investment required for quality construction.

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Southern California, San Diego boasts a population of approximately 1.38 million individuals, each contributing to the city’s rich tapestry of culture and commerce. Despite its residential allure, San Diego is also a hub for commercial activity, with businesses ranging from small startups to multinational corporations. This thriving economic ecosystem underscores the importance of reliable and reputable construction companies in San Diego, as they play a pivotal role in shaping the city’s skyline and infrastructure. Moreover, with a median home value of $45,000, the demand for commercial spaces that reflect the city’s unique character and meet the evolving needs of its populace is ever-present. Access to dependable contractors is paramount in navigating the commercial construction realm in San Diego. According to permit data from the city’s building department, two prominent construction companies in San Diego specialize in commercial projects. These firms bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, offering tailored solutions that prioritize quality, efficiency, and client satisfaction. Whether it’s revitalizing existing structures or embarking on ambitious new developments, these contractors serve as pillars of innovation, driving progress and prosperity across San Diego’s bustling landscape.


Overview: The Best Commercial Contractors in Salt Lake City, Utah

Contractor

Average Customer Satisfaction

Service Rating Score

Total Number of Reviews

Complaint Percentage

Nicolls Construction

4.6

5

64

5.4%

Back’s Construction

4.5

5

3

0.7%

K.D. Stahl Construction Group

4.5

5

3

0.8%

Swinerton

4.5

5

24

0.2%

Pacific Building Group

4.4

4

14

0.4%

CLTVT

4.4

5

1

1.1%

Wheelihan Construction

4.4

5

1

1.1%

Dempsey Construction

4.4

5

11

0.4%

Shawmut Design and Construction

4.1

3

12

6.3%

Molinar Construction

4.1

3

4

23.0%

Bycor General Contractors

3.9

2

5

0.6%

See Ranking Methodology at the bottom of this article to learn more.


Nicolls Design Build

1022 C Ave., Coronado, CA 92118

Nicolls Construction

Year Established

2013

Services Provided

Residential, Commercial, Restaurant

Areas Served

Coronado, Imperial Beach, San Diego, Downtown San Diego, North Park, South Park, Hillcrest, Bankers Hill

Notable Project

Building mechanical electrical and plumbing permits for a tenant improvement to an exisiting commercial building. | 3702 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, CA, 92123 | $750000

What Customers Are Saying

Attention to Detail, Excellent Communication, Highly Professional

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.6 (64 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

5.4%

Nicolls Design Build consistently aims to deliver exceptional spaces that elevate people’s living and working conditions. Quality is in the firm’s DNA, and this is evident in its selection of construction materials, customer service, and building processes.

The company is a favorite among homeowners as one of the contracting elites in Coronado and the San Diego region. Strong craftsmanship and efficient management lend credence to this preferred status. Its ability to forge long-term bonds is also among its strengths.

President Kraig Nicolls and his team have completed over twenty years’ worth of construction projects, including residential spaces and commercial properties like restaurants, offices, gyms, and wedding chapels.

Nicolls Design Build construction companies in san diego

This California architect’s office combines a modern corporate style with an open industrial design. The unique setup offers various spaces catering to different work styles. The ergonomic workplace also provides plenty of natural light.


Back’s Construction

1602 Front St., San Diego, CA 92101

Back’s Construction

Year Established

2000

Services Provided

Office Tenant Improvement, Restaurant/Food Service, Retail, Site Renovation/Building Rehab, Construction, Design Build

Areas Served

San Diego Area

Notable Project

Building mechanical electrical and plumbing permit for a tenant improvement to an existing second story office space in a two story commercial building. 5959 Cornerstone Ct W, San Diego, CA, 92121 | $1824318

What Customers Are Saying

Project Went Smoothly

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.5 (3 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

0.7%

Back’s Construction is a San Diego commercial construction contractor many clients prefer. Its portfolio justifies this status—each project has a high visual appeal and easy functionality to meet modern standards.

Owner Dave Beck and his staff are well-versed in the design, building, and management process. Their team partners with industry specialists to work on construction projects for high-end retail clients and law firms. They usually provide pre-construction, design-build, construction, and close-out services to California commercial clients.

Back’s Construction construction companies in san diego

Here is a commercial suite for Barnes and Thornburg, an office tenant improvement completed by the firm and the Gensler architecture firm. The San Diego project, completed in 2020, has a project value of $2.5 million. The sleek aesthetic of the corporate space fits the modern design landscape with its clean lines, open layout, and minimalist atmosphere. Each room has a professional feel, evident even in the lounge and entertainment center. Crisp wood floors and striking fixtures liven up the spot, making employees feel relaxed despite the work setting.


K.D. Stahl Construction Group

13240 Evening Creek Drive, Suite 302, San Diego, CA 92128

K.D. Stahl Construction Group is a San Diego contractor with over 17 years of industry experience. Executive Vice President Greg Loy oversees the day-to-day operations and runs a collaborative process that prioritizes communication both within the team and with the client. This approach leads to a more streamlined project flow and completion on time and on schedule.

K.D. Stahl Construction Group

Year Established

2004

Services Provided

Biotech/Medical, Retail/Restaurants, Ground Up/Tilt Up, Class A Office/Tenant Improvement, Apartments, Gyms/Entertainment, Restoration Construction

Areas Served

San Diego and Surrounding Areas

Notable Project

Building permit for new 2 story office building | 5055 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, CA, 92123 | $2877425

What Customers Are Saying

Best Communication

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.5 (3 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

0.8%

K.D. Stahl Construction Group construction companies in san diego

Here is a commercial project for RainTree Partners in Dana Point. It is a tenant improvement of existing office space, where two suites required interior office alterations. The result is a more ergonomic and professional layout infused with contemporary design. The project was a collaboration with architect H. Hendy Associates. Luke Ninteman and Bob Broadhurst were the project managers and superintendents, respectively.


Swinerton Builders

16798 West Bernardo Drive, San Diego, CA 92127

Swinerton

Year Established

1888

Services Provided

Affordable Housing, Aviation, Civic, Community College, Corporate Accounts, Critical Facilities, Healthcare, Higher Education, Hospitality, Industrial, K-12 Education, Mass Timber, Native American, Office, Parking Structures, Renewable Energy, Residential, Science + Technology, Special Projects

Areas Served

National

Notable Project

New four story retail building with a single lever below grade parking for core and shell only. Basement gf 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th floors | 319 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210 | $18800000

What Customers Are Saying

Accomodating, Kwoledgeable Staff

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.5 (24 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

0.2%

Swinerton’s name is synonymous with excellence. This commercial construction and construction management firm has completed over 130 years’ worth of projects throughout the United States. The firm currently has 20 offices in nine states across the country and is ranked #17 on the ENR 2021 list of top contractors in the country. This San Diego commercial construction contractor received the 2022 ACI San Diego Innovation In Concrete Award.

Swinerton has been a 100% employee-owned company since the 1980s in which over 4000 employees share in the company’s profits and are thoroughly committed to its success. The firm has thrived and survived the test of time by emerging into a $5 billion national commercial construction company with great financial strength, national clients, project diversity, and a company culture that is proud of its 100% employee ownership.

Swinerton Builders san diego commercial construction contractor

Together with Gensler and Kilroy Realty, Swinerton recently completed 2100 Kettner. Located in the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, this core and shell spec office building consists of a six-story 260,000, 260,000-square-foot foot building with two levels of below-grade parking. The structure is cast-in-place concrete with post-tensioned decks, and the exterior skin consists of precast brick panels, aluminum panels, stucco, structural Douglas fir timbers, and aluminum soffits. Additional amenities include power-actuated hardware at all doors and glass entrances, HEPA filtration systems throughout, and touchless destination dispatch elevator controls. Swinerton self-performed structural concrete, metal stud & drywall, doors/frames and hardware, CLT mass timber, as well as clean-up services.


Pacific Building Group

9752 Aspen Creek Ct., Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92126

Pacific Building Group

Year Established

1984

Services Provided

Institutional, Retail, Veterinary, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Hospitality, Corporate, Technology / R&D, Medical Office

Areas Served

San Diego County

Notable Project

Carmel valley. Building mechanical electrical plumbing permits for a tenant improvement in an existing 5-story commercial building. | 3611 Valley Centre Dr Unit Flrs 2 5, San Diego, CA | $8915964

What Customers Are Saying

Great Work, Professional People

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (14 reviews)

Service Rating Score

4

Complaint Percentage

0.4%

Pacific Building Group holds status as one of the most reputable California companies in construction, contracting, and management. Its client-centric process factors owner input seamlessly, so each project perfectly matches the customer’s vision.

Founder Gregory Rogers currently serves as chairman of the board, and Jim Doherty is the president and CEO. They lead a team of dedicated professionals who share a common goal: to deliver quality projects and forge long-term bonds. The crew uses modern techniques and lasting materials in every project, consistently yielding exceptional results.

Pacific Building Group’s expertise includes pre-construction, conceptual budgeting, scheduling, design-building, and assisting competitive bidding and self-perform trades. Its dossier features buildings for corporate, institutional, retail, veterinary, life sciences, healthcare, hospitality, medical office, technology, and research and development sectors.

Pacific Building Group san diego commercial construction contractor

The Sony Corporate Headquarters showcases the firm’s building prowess. It was a collaboration with architect Carrier Johnson and is Gold Certified by LEED. The 11-story building includes an executive floor of offices, a board room, a telepresence room, seven floors of open office space, conference rooms, a multi-purpose room, and various amenities.


CLTVT

2002 Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054

CLTVT

Year Established

2016

Services Provided

Commercial Renovations, Food and Beverage, Creative Office Space, Retail

Areas Served

Southern California

Notable Project

Corner pizza tenant improvement existing shell space new partition walls | 1940 S Freeman St, Oceanside, CA, 92054 | $410000

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (1 review)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

1.1%

CLTVT is a boutique design-and-build firm cultivating cool along Southern California’s coast. Built on integrity and innovation, the Oceanside-based firm specializes in adaptive re-use projects in restaurants, brewing, and creative office spaces.

Principals Chris Slowey and Mark Simons lead the practice: Slowey is the CEO, and Simons is the operations manager. The scope of their work involves commercial renovations for office spaces and food and beverage establishments. Building structures and forging client relationships go hand-in-hand; balancing quality and efficiency is second nature to the team.

CLTVT san diego commercial construction contractor

The full-service company specializes in general contracting and construction management. Its portfolio spans the entire Southern California domain, including various commercial spaces. One notable project is The Plot, a plant-based restaurant that uses local and freshly-produced ingredients for its menu. The establishment started operations in 2020 and features a relaxed atmosphere with a spacious, modern layout. The interiors feature standard tables, counter seating, and design elements crafted from green and sustainable materials. Glass windows provide natural light during the daytime, another perk of dining in the organic eatery.


Wheelihan Construction

2598 Fortune Way, Ste L, Vista, CA 92081

Wheelihan Construction

Year Established

1990

Services Provided

Historic Renovations, Hospitality, New Construction, Tenant Improvement

Areas Served

Southern California

Notable Project

Building electrical mechanical and plumbing permits to convert a single story wellness center into a 2 story restaurant w/open deck and expanding ground level. | 4601 Park Bl, San Diego, CA, 92116 | $1500000

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (1 review)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

1.1%

Wheelihan Construction is a long-time builder and contractor serving clients in Southern California. The company is known for its proficient handiwork and efficient management. Each project comes with long-lasting quality and professional service that extends from start to completion. The crew also guarantees a safe and positive working environment for the client’s convenience.

With President Mike Wheelihan at the helm, the company has completed numerous projects over the last 30 years. These spaces and structures span the residential, commercial, historical, retail, and restaurant markets. Wheelihan’s catalog includes breweries, nightclubs, ground-ups, and tenant improvements—proof of versatile and flexible craftsmanship.

Wheelihan Construction commercial construction san diego

This project is a collaboration with Public Architecture and interior designer Jules Wilson. The Oliver McMillan Corporate Office required several additions and major structural upgrades, including new mezzanines on the third and first levels. The firm also crafted finishes similar to those in the original build-out from a decade ago.


Dempsey Construction

1835 Aston Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Dempsey Construction

Year Established

2010

Services Provided

Retail, Senior Living, Education, Historic Renovation, Hospitality, Healthcare, Special Projects, Automotive

Areas Served

San Diego and Beyond

Notable Project

New 74, 586 sf 2 story auto sales.(audi) | 1275 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626 | $16000000

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.4 (11 reviews)

Service Rating Score

5

Complaint Percentage

0.4%

Dempsey Construction is well-respected for its genuine approach to building. Its laser-focused methods yield quality results, which is evident in the finished project and during the working process. 

President and founder John Dempsey and his team provide pre-construction and construction services to clients in San Diego and Southern California. Their strong craftsmanship and service consistently favor critical acclaim. Some recent accolades include the 2020 Gold Nugget Grant Award for the Best Commercial Project and the 2019 Best Urban Master-Planned Community of the Year from the San Diego Building Industry Association Icon Awards. On top of these, this commercial construction firm in San Diego also received the San Diego Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Award.

Gensler tapped Dempsey Construction to construct their corporate headquarters in Downtown San Diego. The office is part of a 22-story tower, so the project required meticulous planning and construction to minimize disruption. The builder performed complete demolition, heavy shell modifications, and tenant improvements on the first and second levels.

Dempsey Construction commercial construction san diego
Dempsey Gensler

The finished property features private offices, conference rooms, an open workspace, a break lounge, and collaborative work areas. The commercial space also uses a passive ventilation system, a chilled beam cooling system, and a radiant heating system circulated by large ceiling fans. This exceptional project received Platinum Certification from LEED and Gold Certification from WELL Building Standard.


Shawmut Design and Construction

11390 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90064

Shawmut Design and Construction

Year Established

1982

Services Provided

Education, Corporate/Commercial, Cultural/Historic, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Hospitality, Luxury Homes, Retail, Sports Venues

Areas Served

National

What Customers Are Saying

Great Workers

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.1 (12 reviews)

Service Rating Score

3

Complaint Percentage

6.3%

Shawmut Design and Construction is an acclaimed building company with a constant billion-dollar revenue. It has an 83% rate of repeat clients, most of which are high-profile brands and companies.

Shawmut has offices located in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Las Vegas, and Miami. It is an employee-owned firm fueled by its people’s skills, passion, and commitment. CEO Les Hiscoe and executive vice president Greg Skalaski collaborate with seasoned builders, managers, and tradespeople to deliver the best output possible. All professionals on the firm’s roster—whether in the field or the office— strive to complete projects on time and within budget, regardless of scope and scale.

Shawmut Design and Construction commercial construction san diego

The company works on education, cultural, historic preservation, commercial, healthcare, and education projects. The Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego is a 14,000-square-foot property that took 12 weeks to complete. The firm worked with Myhre Group Architects and Architropolis on the fit-out, which involved the construction of two nightclubs.


Molinar Construction

5694 Mission Center, Rd. #181, San Diego, CA 92108

Molinar Construction

Year Established

1998

Services Provided

Hotel & Resort, Multi-Unit & Senior Living, Religious Facilities, Restaurant & Bar, Retail

Areas Served

California, Tennessee, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania

Notable Project

Building electrical mechanical plumbing permits for tis on 2nd floor/rooftop restaurant of exist 2 story building. | 3105 Ocean Front Wk, San Diego, CA, 92109 | $1500000

Average Customer Satisfaction

4.1 (4 reviews)

Service Rating Score

3

Complaint Percentage

23.0%

Molinar Construction offers clients a wide array of building services in San Diego and its surrounding areas. The company has over 17 years of experience in various services.

CEO Aaron Molinar and president Chris Molinar direct the company’s operations. They spearhead a roster of around 50 committed professionals who see projects through, no matter the scope and complexity. Quality, efficiency, and a safe environment are guaranteed with this firm on the job.

Molinar Construction top commercial construction companies san diego

The Draft is a beer bar and restaurant located at San Diego’s Belmont Park. The 12,000-square-foot ground-up structure has a project value of eight million dollars. Its design optimizes the relaxed beachfront site and also offers plenty of modern interior amenities. The bar joint also has a 31-foot-high LED wall that projects major sports games and educational brewing videos.


Bycor General Contractors

6490 Marindustry Place, San Diego, CA 92121

Bycor General Contractors

Year Established

1981

Services Provided

Shell & Built to Suit, Life Science, Healthcare, Tenant Improvements, Renovations, Advanced Technology, Retail, Legal, Animal Care Centers, Financial, Assisted Living, Religious, Food Service, Education, Government

Areas Served

San Diego and Beyond

Notable Project

Studio 39 - 4, 201 sf tenant improvement -work to include: demolition | 4039 Calle Platino, Oceanside, CA, 92056 | $550000

What Customers Are Saying

Quality Workmanship, Timeliness, Always Ready and Willing to Get a Project Done

Average Customer Satisfaction

3.9 (5 reviews)

Service Rating Score

2

Complaint Percentage

0.6%

Bycor General Contractors is known for its solid craftsmanship and comprehensive services, which strictly follow the agreed-upon schedule and budget bracket. Client collaboration is one of its strong suits, and as a result, this top commercial construction company in San Diego has garnered a network of repeat customers that spans decades.

Seasoned co-founders Scott Kaats, CEO, and Rich Byer, president, helm the company’s operations. Both have 40 years of experience providing building and management services to the San Diego community. They lead over a hundred members with the same passion and dedication to exemplary projects, reflected in their body of work.

Bycor General Contractors top commercial construction companies san diego

Look at the Teradata Corporation office, which specializes in database and analytics-related products and services. Bycor worked on multiple meeting rooms, office spaces, lounges, and other functional rooms. The executive briefing center also underwent several renovations.


Ranking Methodology

To evaluate the performance of contractors, our methodology employs a systematic approach that considers various factors contributing to customer experience and satisfaction. We focused on assessing the commercial contractors in the San Diego area. The methodology involves assigning weightings to specific categories based on their significance in determining customer service quality. Here’s the breakdown of the categories and their respective weightings:

  • Average Customer Satisfaction (35%): This metric represents the average rating given by customers across the same review platforms as the Average Customer Satisfaction Score. A higher average rating indicates greater overall satisfaction with the service provided.
  • Service Rating Score (25%): We analyze the ratio of high (4-5 stars) to low (1-2 stars) ratings for each business across multiple review platforms: Google, Houzz, and Yelp. A higher percentage of positive reviews contributes to a higher score, reflecting better customer satisfaction.
  • Complaint Percentage (25%): We analyze the ratio of complaints to total reviews for each business. A lower complaints ratio indicates better service quality and results in a higher score.
  • Business Hours and Availability (10%): The operating hours of each business are assessed to gauge accessibility. Companies with extended operating hours are awarded a higher score, as they offer greater convenience to customers.
  • License Status (5%): We verify the licensing status of each contractor with their local licensing board to ensure legal compliance. Companies with valid licenses receive a higher score, reflecting professionalism and adherence to regulations.
  • Total Score: We determined the overall rating for every contractor by calculating a weighted average, with the category weight determining the amount the subscore contributed to the total score 

Additional Note: Service Rating Score, Average Customer Satisfaction, and Complaint Percentage are calculated with a Bayesian estimate to account for if the contractor has a low number of total reviews. A Bayesian average is a statistical method used to calculate the average of a set of data points while taking into account prior information or beliefs about the distribution of the data. It combines the observed data with a prior distribution to generate a more accurate estimate of the true average.


Author

  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at General Contractors and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at General Contractors, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management