The retail industry in Charlotte is booming: it’s the third largest business sector in the area. It’s also one of the leading employment providers in the city. From the upscale Southpark Mall to the stylish Phillips Place, these unique shopping centers house luxury brands and local homegrown vendors.

There is a diverse market for retail in Charlotte, so if you’re looking to start your own boutique or invest in a franchise, this city is the perfect place. This article lists some of the best commercial contractors that specialize in retail construction. Most of these contractors even serve areas beyond the state. Awards, portfolio, and experience were all taken into consideration in the ranking of these firms.

8) Clearwater Development Partners

1355 Greenwood Clf. Suite #300, Charlotte, NC 28204

When Clearwater Development Partners was established in 2007, it only provided development services to private equity investors and lenders. Over time, the demand for the firm’s high-value services grew, which encouraged Clearwater to establish its own construction arm. Today, the firm has constructed retail, restaurant, and office projects valued at $75 million. Its restaurant and retail projects have also been featured in local publications like the Charlotte Business Journal and the Charlotte Agenda.

Most of the firm’s clients are local retailers looking for buildouts at a reasonable price. The McKenzie Claire store is a 1,500-square-foot boutique constructed on a limited budget. And despite that tight budget, Clearwater was able to construct a store with a luxurious waiting area. The building’s luxury vinyl flooring perfectly contrasts with the dark ceiling, which gives the clothing area a feeling of spaciousness.

7) Danforth Construction

2023 N Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205

Danforth Construction was established in 2009 to provide commercial construction services to North and South Carolina. The firm has two branches, one in Raleigh and one in Charlotte, and both are accessible from any city in the Carolinas. The firm primarily serves the two states and it maintains its small size to foster a more hands-on approach.

The firm’s specialties are retail, restaurant construction, and renovation. Its portfolio features a wide range of modern styles. For some of its restaurant franchise projects, the layouts are simple and conventional. But the firm’s creativity translates through its retail projects. The style of these projects typically showcases a rustic bohemian look or modern monochromatic hues.

6) Vannoy Construction

4024 Barringer Dr., Charlotte, NC 28217

Originally a roofing company, Vannoy Construction had its start in 1952 when it was a simple storefront operating by the side of three local beauty parlors. Founder Jim Vannoy found ways to make sure his firm’s reputation would be remembered by big-name clients. And it worked. When his sons took over, the firm obtained a handful of prominent clients in the commercial industry. Now, the firm is one of the largest commercial contractors in the state with five branches in North and South Carolina.

The firm’s expertise ranges from adaptive reuse to commercial services for clients in the hospitality, retail, corporate, and government sectors. The majority of its works are complex projects with large surface areas. One such project is Bass Pro Shops, an 85,000-square-foot retail center that has rustic interiors that mirror the charm of the forest.

5) Andujar Construction

3013 Griffith St., Charlotte, NC 28203

Founded by one of North Carolina’s most experienced builders, Andujar Construction provides commercial general construction services to the Southeast region of the United States. Kenneth Andujar established the firm in 1994 as a testament to his 30 years in the construction industry. Andujar’s work can be found across the nation and he is licensed in eight states. He has received the Charlotte 40 Under 40 Mullet Award for his accomplishments and community involvement.

The firm’s specialties are mostly high-end office and healthcare projects, but its portfolio also features complex retail projects. Most of its retail projects are large service area shopping centers and specialty stores.

4) Edifice General Contractors

4111 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28209

Privately-owned since 1978, Edifice General Contractors is one of North Carolina’s most prominent commercial contractors. The firm is popular among its peers and clientele because it’s involved in many local and national industry organizations. It’s also consistently included in Engineering-News Record’s (ENR) annual Top 400 contractors list.

Having a veteran in the construction industry as its founder helped strengthen the credibility of the firm. N. Eric Laster has won six honors and awards from different organizations across the nation. This put Edifice’s name on the map and earned the firm notable clients in the retail sector.

Kohl’s is one of the firm’s biggest clients, and Edifice has constructed 14 projects for the retail powerhouse. Three of these projects are LEED certified establishments.

3) Metrolina Builders

425 Hebron St., Charlotte, NC 28273

Metrolina Builders was founded by a father-and-son tandem who wanted to focus on industrial and commercial construction. Despite his father’s passing, John Williams has been leading the firm since 1972. Williams’s longevity in the trade made him a prominent figure in the Carolina building industry. He also served as the president for many trade organizations, including Carolinas’ Chapter of System Builders Association and the National Board of Directors.

Many of the firm’s projects have become city landmarks. Typically, the firm works on complex multifamily projects, but some of the largest retail centers in Charlotte were made by the firm. This includes the 25,000-square-foot Liconlton Retail Center.

2) Roby Commercial

2000 W Morehead St. Suite C, Charlotte, NC 28208

The Roby Family of Companies has been providing custom home, renovation, plumbing, and real estate services since 1950 and is the largest construction company in the Carolinas. Launched in 2009, Roby Commercial is the newest addition to the construction giant, focusing on hospitality and retail projects. As an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the firm has access to reliable contacts in the commercial industry. A lot of local brands looking to expand are loyal to the firm and Roby Commercial gives them room to grow, serving all of the Southeast.

McLaughlin has trusted the firm with four of its branches in North Carolina. All of these branches are colorful boutiques with bright, bold color schemes. This playfulness brings out the vibrant designs of the fashion brand. The Charlotte branch is adorned with idiosyncratic and whimsical patterns that give the store its signature quirkiness.

1) Choate Construction

2907 Providence Rd. Suite #400, Charlotte, NC 28211

Once a humble basement start-up, Choate Construction is now the Southeast region’s most distinguished commercial contractor. The Charlotte-based firm provides outstanding commercial services to some of the biggest brands in the nation. It has a wide spectrum of commercial services and its retail projects are sought after by more than 250 clients. In addition, it was named as the number one Retail Contractor by ENR Southeast.

The firm has constructed over $85 million worth of retail projects in the Southeast region alone. Some of its most notable clients include Crate and Barrel, Target, and Tanger Outlets. It constructs a variety of retail projects such as shopping centers and upscale boutiques. Choate’s admirable portfolio provides enviable variation between its simple family-friendly malls and its luxury boutiques that cater to a more sophisticated clientele; this is a firm that can hit equally well from either side of the plate.

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