Before the 1920s, America’s first penthouses were nothing more than damp and gloomy spaces occupied by a tangled assemblage of pipelines and blankets of dark soot. Building owners used these poorly ventilated top floors as off-the-books quarters for their servants. The rooftops were a necessity for places with limited living areas, especially in early urban cities such as New York—until the real estate market discovered the potentially sophisticated appeal of the view.
When the government finally lifted the ordinance that prohibited penthouse rentals in 1925, it ushered in a new era in multi-residential construction. The new perspective banked on the luxury of exclusivity and priceless views of the cityscape; soon penthouse spaces were elevated from humble servant’s quarters to a haven for the wealthy.
The article below features the best penthouse contractors in the US. The list highlights general contractors that specialize in upscale multifamily building projects and luxury penthouse and condominium interior construction and renovation services. The companies were selected based on the number of projects that they completed for the market. The list also considered the awards, publication features, project accreditations, and the firms’ industry affiliations. The list also looked at the background of the firms’ principals, their years of service, and—most importantly—reviews and testimonials from past clients.
Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd.
1 Sutter St., Suite #200, San Francisco, CA 94109
As one of the leaders of construction innovation in California, Charles Pankow Builders, Ltd. delivers countless projects that champion collaborative delivery methods, technology-based processes, and sustainable practices. Since it was incorporated in 1963, the firm has served the residential, commercial, hospitality, healthcare, education, civic, and aviation industries.
The projects for these high-value niches are widely recognized by the industry’s biggest institutions. Multiple Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) awards have been granted to its projects, especially in the hospitality and residential markets.
As a leader in green construction, a majority of the firm’s projects were designed to adhere to the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED standards. A LEED-Gold certification was awarded to the firm’s Montage Hotel & Condo project. The building is a five-star luxury hotel that houses commercial spaces, public gardens, and luxury residential units. The firm headed the construction services for several of the project’s private condominiums located on the penthouse level. The work covered interior design modifications for multiple rooms, flooring, a media room expansion, closet renovations, and installations.
5959 Blue Lagoon Dr. Suite #200, Miami, FL 33126
With a rich construction history that dates back to 1955, the founding family of Coastal Construction has delivered four generations of leaders and builders that continue to dominate the industry today. Since the firm’s official establishment in 1988, the firm has completed over 15,000 residential units and more than five thousand hotel rooms for 60 hospitality projects. Its achievements are highlighted by many regional and national publications such as the Engineering News-Record (ENR), Vanguard, Miami Today, Florida Trend, and the South Florida Business Journal.
A number of complex and high-end commercial and residential projects can be found in the company’s portfolio. Its high-rise residential and penthouse spaces can be seen across the Florida skyline. The Aston Martin Residences, the Paramount Miami Worldcenter, and the Fendi Chateau are some of the most significant entries from its long list of luxury projects.
Thomas P. Murphy, the firm’s founder and CEO, earned his general contractor license at the age of 19—he was the youngest certified contractor in state history. Today, Murphy serves as an honorary member of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
72 Sumner St., Milford, MA 01757
As one of the largest contractors in the Northeast, Consigli celebrates over a century of milestones that solidified its reputation as a pioneer of growth, innovation, and sustainability in the construction industry. Today, the company has seven regional offices, supported by over 1,000 employees. Despite its focus on new technology and advanced construction approaches, the firm remains a true builder and houses more than 350 artisans and laborers skilled in the timeless methods of carpentry and masonry.
Projects for academic, corporate, government, healthcare, hospitality, healthcare, museums, and government projects, among others, are showcased in the firm’s wealthy portfolio. While these projects contributed to the company’s continuous success in the industry, its work for the multifamily market should also take the spotlight.
From campus student residence halls to high-rise residential towers, the company is an experienced builder with completed projects across Massachusetts, Maine, and New York. Some of its works in the luxury residential sector include contemporary penthouse homes built to cater to the needs of modern living.
Six PPG Place, Suite #700, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Over 125 countries and more than eleven thousand multifamily units make up dck Worldwide’s billion-dollar portfolio. As one of the largest companies in the industry, it offers a full package of development, financing, construction management, pre-construction, and construction services—all under the same roof. The firm’s work for the multi-residential markets are built to last for generations, and many of these structures have transformed their home city’s urban landscapes.
Some of the firm’s most notable developments include the Trillium North Apartments in Arizona and the Aqua Ocean Villas in California. As a general contractor for similarly upscale projects, the company has folded luxury into every residential space that it worked on, particularly for projects that feature elegant penthouse spaces.
Its W Hotel Residences project in Scottsdale, for instance, was a general construction and construction management contract that involved eight penthouse condominiums on top of the building’s 224 cabin rooms, fitness area, spa, bars, meeting rooms, and a high-end sushi restaurant.
Highline Construction Group
227 West 29th St. Suite #6-R, New York, NY 10001
Highline Construction partners with leading architects, designers, and developers to deliver modern urban spaces to New York’s luxury residential market. The products of these collaborations showcase fusions of style, from the sleek contemporary details to the sophistication of classical designs. Aside from its general contracting services, the firm is also capable of handling construction management projects for the same market.
The company has worked on multiple penthouse interior renovations and build-outs across New York City. Many of these projects were featured in prominent magazines Elle Decor Italia, New York Design, and Curbed. For three consecutive years the firm has been included on Luxe’s Gold List.
Mark Dobbin founded the company in 2011 as a boutique builder. This construction approach gives Dobbin and his team the opportunity to be a part of every step of the construction process from planning through completion. The approach also allows the company to focus on one project at a time—an approach that ensures in-depth, high-quality builds.
Lusardi Construction Company
1570 Linda Vista Dr., San Marcos, CA 92078
Established by Warner Lusardi in a small garage in 1972, Lusardi gradually transformed itself into one of the most productive construction firms in the country. Since its founding, it has completed the construction of thousands of buildings that cover millions of square feet. Today, the company serves a wide variety of markets, including the civic, community, academic, health care, technology, and industrial sectors.
The firm is also a preferred builder for the hospitality and clubhouse industry. Take the Bighorn Golf Club demolition and construction, for example. Four private luxury penthouses are some of the highlights of this project. Each penthouse unit covers an area of over 5,000 square feet. The structure where the units are nestled is surrounded by exceptional amenities and overlooks majestic views of vast valleys and mountains.
Aside from its decades of experience in the industry, what elevates the firm’s reputation as a quality builder is not just the number of projects it completed over the years. The firm also champions the region’s green building movement. Ranked as one of the country’s leading green builders, it has delivered LEED-certified structures designed to adhere to USGBC’s sustainability standards. As part of its advocacy, it implements programs such as stormwater pollution prevention, recycling and reuse initiatives, dust mitigation, as well as fuel and oil containment measures.
Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders
355 11th St. Suite #200, San Francisco, CA 94103
Known as the “Dans,” Dan Matarozzi and Dan Pelsinger founded Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders in 1986. Reviews and testimonials from its long list of high-value clientele speak of the company’s ability to deliver architecturally complex residences and commercial spaces throughout California. Aside from its specialty in functional design and aesthetically unforgettable structures, the company is an advocate of green building and design. Its commitment to sustainable building practices can be found in its LEED-accredited, LEED-designed projects.
Three decades of success in the industry turned this two-man startup into one of the most disciplined organizations in the country. Today, the firm is the preferred professional for custom building, historical renovation, retrofitting, remodels, and ground-up construction projects.
As a builder of upscale residences experienced in luxury penthouse construction, the firm has completed multiple interior build-out and remodeling projects for this multifamily niche. Its Market Street Penthouse project, for instance, was a complete interior build-out for a 2000-square foot space. The home was designed to frame the dramatic downtown views by creating a visual boundary between the inner and outer bands of the unit’s living room. Another complex highlight was a total structural alteration that gave way to a mezzanine and stair opening to the building’s second level.
3330 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Ranked by Engineering-News Record as one of the Top 400 Contractors in the US, Morley Builders is an employee-owned company that has been around for over seventy years. It has established three California offices: in Santa Monica, Irvine, and San Diego.
When it comes to the company’s experience in construction, renovation, design-build, seismic retrofit and repair—among others—the company is an established professional to which many industries refer to for high value and mid-range commissions. Projects for the commercial, hospitality, educational, industrial, and civic sectors can be found across its portfolio. Additionally, across California, the company has completed multifamily housing projects for affordable, market-rate, and mixed-use developers.
One example of the company’s work for the luxury and mixed-use market is the El Centro Apartments and Bungalows. For this contract, the firm collaborated with Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderberg. While the project emphasized 507 units of market-rate apartments, included in the construction are ten penthouse lofts that serve as living and working spaces for its tenants. The units are located in the four, five-story Type II podium buildings that cover an area of three acres.
77 West Port Plaza, Suite #250, St. Louis, MO 63146
Decades of awards and publication features help frame Paric Corporation’s storied rise to becoming one most influential builders in the country. Recent rankings from the Building Design & Construction, ENR, and the Midwest Real Estate News, among many others, place the company among the best of the best lists. The firm was founded by two entrepreneurs, Paul McKee Jr. and Richard Jordan in 1979. McKee and Jordan would later launch a unique construction method focused on efficiency—a move that further solidified the company’s status as an innovative player in the industry.
Today, the company offers general contracting, design/build, and construction management services to different market sectors: hospitality, entertainment, multi-residential, public, senior living, sports, and tenant improvement projects for data centers, commercial, office, warehouse, and manufacturing facilities.
While the firm’s projects in these major sectors are recognized nationwide, its smaller, more specific projects for the multifamily market should not be overlooked. For years, the firm has completed multiple historical renovations, interior remodels, and construction works for multiple penthouses and multi-residential structures across Missouri. The Meridian, Russell Apartments, One Cardinal Way, Railton Residence, The Bogen, and Park Place Winghaven are some of its most unforgettable structures.
Rogers-O’Brien Construction Company, Ltd.
3901 S Lamar Blvd. Unit #200, Austin, TX 78704
Over the past 50 years, Rogers-O’Brien Construction Company has built its brand as a leader in construction technology in the region. When Justin Mcafee assumed leadership in 2009, the company put its full attention on developing a technology-based approach that could amplify its capacity as a builder. Mcafee now heads the over 50-year old company that has been dominating Texas’s construction industry.
To date, the firm has four offices in the region, including Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. These offices cater to a wide pool of clients and developers from the commercial, academic, religious, industrial, healthcare, and corporate sectors. The company is also a preferred builder of luxury multi-residential buildings.
One of the firm’s high-value projects for the multifamily market is the Twelve Cowboys Way at The Star in Frisco. The 17-story residential tower was designed by O’Brien Architects and houses 158 units. Included in the build-outs are penthouse living spaces inspired by the upscale architecture of Miami.
Scordio Construction, Inc
560 4th Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11215
Scordio Construction’s three decades of collaborations with the leading architects in the field has resulted in a portfolio that showcases a wide variety of architectural styles. Modern, contemporary, eclectic, country, and traditional interiors highlight the company’s skill with both form and function. Some of these projects can be found on the pages of Elle Decor, Veranda Magazine, Period Homes, Luxe, and The Architects Newspaper.
One example of the firm’s work that features its enduring structures and timeless designs is a penthouse project for an Upper East Side residence. For this project, the firm collaborated with the designer, Ernie De La Torre along with the architect, Ed Siegel. The work involved the construction of a 5,000 square feet terrace that offers a 360-degree-view of the city. Included in the build-out are an elegant master bedroom suite and a refreshingly high-end living space.
Under the leadership of Anthony Scordio, the firm has successfully won the trust of the region’s luxury home building clientele. Past clients commend the company’s attention to detail, professionalism, and its tendency to go beyond the call of duty to accommodate the needs of its projects.
P.O. Box 37, Gladwyne, PA 19035
Shay Construction is a modern firm that focuses on a technology-based approach to high-end residential construction and interior renovations. The firm’s rich portfolio is the product of its general contracting and project management services. As a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the company explores new practices while enriching the old and tested methods of its founders.
Founded in 1998, Lowell Shay established the company as an answer to the growing need for contractors that put their clients first, professionals that focus on quality and cost-efficiency. Today, Dixon Shay heads the firm’s everyday operations. Coupled with the founder’s guiding legacy, Dixon has secured the firm’s place as a go-to builder and project management expert for the region’s most sophisticated homeowners.
Many of the firm’s interior renovation and buildout projects are consistently featured in leading magazines: Elle Decor, Philadelphia Style, Thread Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Period Homes. As a penthouse builder and remodeler, the company has completed multiple upscale projects for high-rise and mid-rise residences.
375 Hudson St., 6th Flr., New York, NY 10014
Turner’s extensive portfolio features highly diverse markets that range from aviation, commercial, academic, health care, industrial, religious, civic, and multi-residential. As one of the largest North American-based companies, the firm has the manpower and capacity to serve an international client base, and the firm completes an average of 1,500 projects a year. Its regional offices across the US deliver projects that champion sustainability, innovation, safety, and quality.
Aside from its in-house construction management services, it offers design/build, general contracting, and consulting. As a builder for the multifamily industry, the company has helped shape communities and transform urban landscapes with high-rise and luxury residential spaces scattered across the country’s major cities.
In Seattle, for example, the company took charge of a 13-story residential building project. Its partnership with VIA Architecture and Shoesmith Cox Architects produced the Walton Lofts, a project that acquired the Green Building Initiative’s three Green Globe certifications. The structure houses open one and two-bedroom spaces, as well as several luxury penthouse units located on its top floor.
207 King St. Suite #300, San Francisco, CA 94107
Webcor’s deep-rooted history as a builder—more than four decades— started with four visionaries that aspired to find the balance between innovation and efficiency. Bill Wilson, Ross Edwards, Dave Boyd, and Miller Ream took their first step in 1971 and founded a Bay Area construction company—a venture that would soon conquer California’s biggest markets.
The company is one of the firms that innovated and implemented advanced planning and construction technologies. Its web-based project management approach and its use of the building information modeling (BIM) enhances its capacity to take on complex, structurally critical projects, especially for many of its high-value clients.
Awarded California Construction’s Best Renovation and Restoration project a couple of years ago, the firm’s One South Park project remains one of its highlights in the residential market. Aside from seismic retrofitting and the corresponding structural adjustments, the project also involved the conversion of an over 52,000 square-feet warehouse into modern living spaces. On top of the 35 condo units, the company added a new floor to accommodate a penthouse.