Austin is likely the best place in Texas to start a business. It has a booming economy and has a significantly higher median income than the rest of the state. The healthy economy is one of the reasons why Austin is one of the best retail markets in Texas. Last year, The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) reported that Austin had the highest occupancy of retail businesses in the state and even the country. ICSC predicts that retail space in Austin will continue to grow. Full-service commercial real estate firm Weitzman claims that the growing retail space can be credited to the demand for new construction retail projects. Establishments that cater to Texas retail centers are on the rise, and thus the demand for the industry is growing.
If you are looking to start or expand your business in Austin, this article lists down some of the best contractors that offer retail construction services. These builders are all based in the city, and some accommodate projects outside of the state. Despite not specializing in retail construction, these firms have created the finest retail centers and boutiques in the area. Awards, experience, and portfolio were the variables taken into consideration when these firms were ranked.
11) Davila General Contractors
2100 Kramer Ln. Suite #900, Austin, TX 78758
Established only three years ago, Davila General Contractors is a family-owned business that specializes in retail, restaurant, and office construction. The firm might be new in the scene but its founder, Johnathan Davila, has plenty of experience as a construction project manager for high-end retail projects. His notable clients included Gap, Inc. and Williams Sonoma. Davila is also trusted by cities outside Texas; it has a good working relationship with some metroplexes in Oregon and Iowa.
R.M. Williams is an upscale Australian brand that hired Davila to construct its very first branch in Texas. The modern storefront has a minimalist design with windows that give a glimpse into the store. Its interior has a simple aesthetic that puts an emphasis on the store’s handcrafted leather goods.
10) Franklin Alan
1209 W 49th St., Austin, TX 78756
When John Atwater and Ken Burger graduated from the University of Texas, they wanted to provide construction management services solely for the Austin commercial scene. They established Franklin Alan in 2006 to provide hands-on retail and restaurant construction services for local projects. The firm maintains a solid working relationship with its architects and clients and most of its clientele comes from referrals.
Franklin Alan has a reputation for building architecturally-driven projects that have garnered the attention of trade publications like Eater Austin. Some of the firm’s best works are its unique retail projects.
The Gallery D is an upscale boutique with crisp white walls. One of its focal points is a gold chandelier placed in the center of the ceiling. The bohemian Victorian accents bring a luxurious character to this otherwise minimalist aesthetic. \
9) GSC Austin
11701 Bee Cave Rd. Suite #201, Austin, TX 78738
Since the ‘80s, Glen Screws has been a staple in the Texas construction industry. He is known in Central Texas for building some of the finest single-family homes and multi-family units. Screws expanded his firm to Austin as GSC Austin and started offering commercial services in 2000. After almost 20 years, GSC has found its niche with retail and restaurant projects.
The majority of the firm’s creations are retail centers that are more than 10,000 square feet. The firm employs a complex construction process for these wide-scale projects. Take, for example, the East Whitestone Plaza; the $10 million project required careful site development. The two-acre project posed a threat to Austin’s strict building codes because of its large project size. But the firm was able to complete the project on time and make it an environment-friendly
8) Wurzel Builders
630 Ralph Ablanedo Dr., Austin, TX 78748
Wurzel Builders is the product of Barry Wurzel’s 33 years of construction experience. His background helped the firm gain distinguished clients like Target, Walmart, Starbucks, and CVS Pharmacy. Wurzel’s formidable experience in the commercial construction industry has been featured by trade publications like Entrepreneur Magazine and the Austin Business Journal.
Prior to establishing his firm, Wurzel worked with the Target Corporation. He has developed a close working relationship with the company and Wurzel Builders recently constructed a Target branch in Texas. Several locations of the household retail brand were constructed by Wurzel, which helped put the firm on the map.
7) Raymond Construction
2100 Kramer Ln. Suite #950, Austin, TX 78758
This year marks the 67th year of Raymond Construction. It is one of Austin’s leading commercial contractors specializing in office, recreation, and retail projects. Current President Charles M. Raymond has been with the company since 1986. But his biggest achievement is increasing the company’s revenue from $1 million to $70 million annually. The firm has also won many awards including an Outstanding Construction Award from Austin Associated General Contractors.
The firm builds large-scale retail centers across the nation. One of these is the Lakeline Retail Center in Cedar Park. The 23,000-square-foot establishment boasts three retail buildings made with a hybrid of structural steel beams and columns with wood trusses.
6) Martines Palmero Construction
1016 La Posada Suite #138, Austin, TX 78752
Established in 2008, Martines Palmero Construction brings a collaborative approach to commercial building. This approach gives the client a more personalized plan that is also cost-effective as well. To ensure quality, CEO Michael Martines oversees fiscal responsibilities and risk management activities. Construction management is in Martines’ wheelhouse because his father introduced him to construction at such an early age. This inspired Martines to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and today Martines has over 28 years of experience in the field.
The firm’s main branch in Denver has received a number of distinctions from the Denver Business Journal. The Austin branch might not be quite as decorated as its Denver counterpart yet, but it does have a 2016 Commercial Real Estate Award from the Austin Business Journal. The Austin branch is also trusted by distinguished brands like TJ Maxx, Sprint, and Ulta Beauty.
5) Pinnacle Construction of Austin
1018 W 11th St. Suite #200, Austin, TX 78703
Pinnacle Construction of Austin found success in restaurant and retail construction because of its founder, Beth Selbe Lasita. Since 1981, she’s been a successful restaurant contractor and she would acquire projects that are between $500k to $2 million on her own. With her firm, Lasita has completed over 350 restaurant and retail projects. Not surprisingly, Lasita has been named one of Austin’s Top 25 Business Women by the Austin Business Journal.
The firm’s portfolio boasts of a healthy mix of traditional and contemporary projects. Its office projects are mostly traditional and simple. Its retail and restaurant projects are stunning buildouts with a bohemian flair.
The Grove Wine Bar and Kitchen Domain is a recent project that perfectly illustrates Pinnacle’s grasp of traditional and contemporary themes. The multi-level establishment is finished with a combination of steel and white oak wine displays. The metallic flooring gives an industrial accent to the contemporary space.
4) Harvey-Cleary Builders
9020 N Capital of Texas Hwy., Bldg. 2 Suite #300, Austin, TX 78759
Harvey-Cleary Builders is known in Austin for pioneering new processes on tilt-wall construction. When David E. Harvey and Gerald D. Hines established the firm in 1957, the majority of their projects were warehouses. This helped the firm improve its expertise in tilt-wall construction and, soon enough, architectural firms started partnering with the firm to build unconventional commercial projects. Now, a huge number of the firm’s projects are retail facilities and commercial office spaces.
The firm is proud of the fact that, despite its many years of experience, it is not departmentalized. Unlike other large companies, the firm has single-team accountability for every project. Communication is improved, as clients are given a more streamlined avenue of contact. Many commercial contractors prefer this method because it simplifies the building process.
In addition to its innovative construction methods, the firm builds award-winning retail projects, including those that top 1 million square feet. The Books-A-Million project showcases the firm’s creative and technical side. The 40,000-square-foot retail store has an exposed structure and metal ceiling.
1111 Smith Rd., Austin, TX 78721
SpawGlass is one of the most established commercial construction firms in Texas. Clients trust the firm because its CEO, Joel Stone, has made a mark in the Texas construction industry. He was the former president of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Central Texas Chapter and was also part of various business councils in the state. Since 1988, Stone has been serving the Texas construction industry through SpawGlass. Over the years, the firm has opened nine branches in the state.
The firm’s accolades attest to its commercial and aesthetic success. SpawGlass is one of the few commercial contractors that have won an American Institute of Architects Honor Award. In addition, the firm has won several awards from ABC and it was part of Engineering News Record’s 2018 Top Texas and Louisana Contractors.
The HEB Austin branch reflects the firm’s architecturally-driven designs. SpawGlass gave a unique flair to the local grocery store through modern industrial design. Instead of giving the structure a typical layout, the firm designed it like an upscale retail store. The result is truly unique.
2) The Beck Group
1108 Lavaca St. Suite #520, Austin, TX 78701
Established in 1912, The Beck Group is the oldest firm on this list. Throughout its years of service, the firm has expanded to other states but it still remains one of Texas’s most trusted commercial builders. It’s consistently part of The Best General Contractor lists of Dallas Business Journal and Fort Worth Business Press.
It made an impact in Austin by building the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited building in the city and the first LEED Healthcare Platinum Project in the world. These successful projects can be credited to Austin Managing Director Matt Williamson, a certified LEED Professional. Since opening the Austin branch, Williamson has been instrumental in developing the firm’s local design practice.
One of the firm’s most notable projects is The Domain. Developed with Simon Property, the 524,000-square-foot retail center is a luxury shopping center that houses luxury brands like Burberry, Neiman Marcus, Coach, and Louis Vuitton. Live oak and cedar elm trees were relocated to the lifestyle center to create a scenic, environmentally-friendly atmosphere.
1) White Construction Company
2705 Bee Cave Rd. Suite #250, Austin, TX 78746
Charles N. White founded his family business White Construction Company in 1971, and today it’s known for building stunning commercial projects while maintaining a safe work environment. Every construction supervisor has to complete a 30-hour training course from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The firm’s commitment to safety has earned it a Safety Training and Evaluation Process Gold Chapter Award.
Besides its commitment to safety, the firm has received several design awards from different organizations. Some of its most notable include an Excellence in Construction award from the Associated Builders and Contractors and a Silver Design Award from the Association for Retail Environments.
Southpark Meadows is an outdoor shopping center that’s more than 200,000 square feet. It has a beige brick exterior that perfectly reflects Austin’s quaint landscape. This project won the American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award as well as the Best of Real Estate in Austin Retail award.
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About Our Rankings
This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration
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