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Retail stores and shopping centers shape the Space City’s landscape. According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston sits at the top five spot for retail investments. The area amassed of 2.7 million square feet of new retail space in 2018, despite fears that e-commerce is disrupting the retail scene. Even in transition, the city’s retail construction market is at its highest ever.
For retail space to work effectively, it must provide proper operating space for product presentation and storage, give the business a pleasing layout for customer movement and advertisement, and facilitate an efficient workflow for employees. These excellent Houston contractors make that kind of revenue-generating space possible. Here you will find the top ten local, national, and international names in the retail construction industry, and every one of them is an award-winning firm.
10) L’Arco Builders, Inc.
Website | 713-894-7997 | 2343 Sunset Blvd., Houston, TX 77005
Local Texan commercial contractor L’Arco Builders specializes in retail and restaurant build-outs and renovations. Established in 2005 by Alex Bekardi, it has completed both large and small projects throughout Houston, Austin, El Paso, and other Texas metro areas. It also has projects that reach as far as California, New Mexico, Illinois, and Washington.
The company is proud of their “on-the-ground” business style. It has decades of expertise in every aspect of construction, ranging from asphalt paving and concrete to underground sewer and utilities, to commercial and residential site development.
In Houston, the firm has done several shopping centers and retail build-outs for big names like Victoria’s Secret. Featured here is the Ceylon Plaza, a full plaza commercial shopping center in Cypress. The project started out as an underground utility project with underlayment, fire lanes, and storm lines.
9) Texana Builders
Website | 713-681-2747 | 9600 Long Point Rd. Suite #100, Houston, TX 77055
Texana Builders is a Houston-based general contracting company that does retail, restaurant, and medical projects in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. The firm serves international clients like Starbucks and many local boutiques, stores, and franchises.
The firm’s founder, Dustin Hubbard, has been a general contractor for more than 20 years. He has a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Texas A&M University. His extensive experience includes projects in several markets, including restaurants, recreation centers, and specialty projects. Hubbard works alongside business partner Chris DeCuir. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and has also been in the construction industry for more than two decades.
Texana built the Brooke Feather boutique in collaboration with the Abel Design Group. It transformed a narrow industrial-style space with an exposed ceiling into a high-end women’s clothing and accessories boutique. The white walls and grey-stained floor gives the store a more spacious feel and brings a west-coast vibe to the Houston store.
8) Level Construction
Website | 832-242-3456 | 3949 Ann Arbor Dr., Houston, TX 77063
With more than a thousand commercial projects amounting to more than $400 million in project value in Houston and Chicago, Level Construction has made the most out of its 15 years in the business. It has partnered with some of the largest global brands from the restaurant, retail, and hotel development sectors. Its success can be seen in its recent rankings on Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in the U.S., the Fast 100 of the Houston Business Journal, and the Fast 50 of Crain’s Chicago Business.
The firm is headed by CEO TJ Patel. He earned his degree in Architecture from the University of Houston. Patel has led the firm in its steady growth through more than two million square feet of construction projects. In the retail sector, the firm’s projects encompass interior build-outs, new construction in a multi-store setting, and ground-up stores. Its clients include 7-11 and Family Dollar, among others.
7) Triad Retail Construction, Inc.
Website | 281-485-4700 | 2206 O’Day Rd., Pearland, TX 77581
Jay Dorsey has made a thriving career in commercial construction since graduating from the University of Houston. He established himself as a multi-client project manager in Angleton before moving to Houston in 2003. Here, he continued to develop his multi-project expertise, throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico for Fortune 500 retail chains and developers.
In 2008, he established Triad Retail Construction with business partner Hernan Morales. Hernan’s expertise lies in project ‘roll-outs,’ complex project estimates, and design-build. The company now operates throughout 41 states and Puerto Rico. In 2018, the University of Houston Alumni Association ranked it among the Cougar 100, an impressive list of successful companies owned by University of Houston alumni.
The firm specializes in retail, restaurant, and commercial construction. It has completed big-box construction for brands like Bed, Bath & Beyond, H&M, Guess, and Public Storage. It has also built shopping centers in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. The Westmont Shopping Center, featured here, is a modern-contemporary structure with an industrial facade fused with organic elements.
6) David E. Harvey Builders
Website | 713-783-8710 | 3630 Westchase Dr., Houston, TX 77042
David E. Harvey Builders has one of the most extensive portfolios on this list. The LEED-certified company boasts projects that span various sectors, from corporate offices to university campuses, energy facilities to healthcare institutions. It has won a 2016 ABC Greater Houston Award for its work on the Five Oaks Tower/BHP Billiton Tower. Its offices in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and even Washington, DC enable the company to do projects all over the country.
The company started in 1957 in Houston, when two engineers partnered to start the Harvey Company. David Harvey, Sr. and Gerald D. Hines, armed with an architectural engineering degree and mechanical engineering degree respectively, sought to create a company with a client-centric approach and a focus on large commercial projects. Hines has since left the company to pursue his own development company but still continues to work with Harvey in some of the firm’s biggest projects. Harvey recently won a 2018 Lifetime Achievement – Landmark Award from the Houston Business Journal for his contributions in shaping the city.
The firm is notable for its work on the Houston Pavilions, a 350,000 square-foot eclectic collection of upscale shops and restaurants in Downtown Houston. Within the complex, the firm created this industrial-inspired Books-A-Million. It features an exposed structure, stainless steel railings, and blue LED lighting system on the underside. The firm also successfully did the most challenging part of the project which was coordinating the more than 20 out-of-state vendors and subcontractors that were specified by the client.
5) Warwick Construction
Website | 832-448-7000 | 365 FM 1959, Houston, TX 77034
Warwick Construction is a commercial and retail construction company that has built all over the country, from Texas to Hawaii. From high-end exclusive boutique construction to gas stations and convenience stores, it can handle high-volume high-speed projects with efficiency and quality. Additionally, the firm is a member of the RCA Retail Contractors of America and the ICSC – International Council of Shopping Centers.
Tony Annan serves as President and CEO of Warwick Construction. He has 22 years of retail construction management experience on projects such as open remodels, ground-up construction, and tenant finish-out projects. He founded the company in 1990 and spent the last 15 years implementing an organizational structure that would support his vision of growth and sustainability. The firm and its clients benefit from a sophisticated “team approach” that enables the firm to us to ramp up or slow down according to clients’ needs and still have the same project managers and superintendents working on the program.
The firm has worked on high-end boutique spaces for national luxury brands such as Omega, Zara, Harry Winston, and Saks. The firm is a top choice for such brands building in Houston because of its ability to do high-end finishes with agility and attention to detail.
4) Rogers-O’Brien Construction Company
Website | 713-783-2500 | 11200 Richmond Ave. Suite #110, Houston TX 77082
Rogers-O’Brien Construction Company is a multi-city Texas general contractor that specializes in commercial spaces, particularly retail. The 50-year-old company originated in Dallas and has expanded to San Antonio, Austin and to Houston in 2014. RO is a founding member of the Citadel National Construction Group, a consortium of the best-in-class builders across the country. It has also won the National Excellence in Construction Award and Excellence in Construction Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). They have also won the Pinnacle Award for Safety from the ABC.
Justin McAfee heads the company as its third-generation leader. He follows his dad, Preston McAfee, who started in Rogers-O’Brien as a high school student sharpening pencils. Preston worked his way up through various positions in the company and diligently continued the success of founding partners Pat O’Brien and Steve Rogers. Justin is an active member of the Lone Star Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
The firm’s retail portfolio displays a variety of shopping centers, retail buildouts, and stand-alone boutiques. This ground-up, two-story, 90,000-SF Neiman Marcus store in the new 270-acre Shops at Clearfork retail development features an exterior that consists of a one-of-a-kind precast design with multiple architectural elements on each elevation of the building. The interior consists of high-end vendor shops, including Zegna, David Yurman, Canali, Chanel, Gucci, and Prada.
3) Angler Construction
Website | 713-629-5860 | 5005 Woodway Suite #350, Houston, TX 77056
Angler Construction is a full-service general contractor that specializes in ground-up construction and corporate interior projects for industrial, manufacturing, distribution, professional office, technology, health care, and retail. Its retail projects span the whole of Texas and include car showrooms, multi-floor to single level boutiques, banks, and discount stores. It also boasts an array of rankings in the national and local setting such as Inc’s 5000 Top Entrepreneurs and Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100.
Thomas “Torrey” Hawkins found Angler in 2010. Torrey was included in the 2014 Houston Business Journal’s Forty Under 40. The young CEO has over 15 years of experience in commercial construction and development. He used this to grow the company and has progressed from a one-man operation to forty full-time employees, building revenues from $400,000 to almost $60 million in that span.
Along with completing the ground-up construction, the firm completed an interior build-out for Tesla’s first showroom and service center in the United States. Located in North Houston, the $2.5 million dollar project was designed by DH Architects of California and completed in 90 days. Tesla is the anchor tenant of DCT Airtex II, a 126,000 SF light industrial speculative facility, and Angler was the general contractor.
2) VCC USA
Website | 713-425-0555 | 4400 Post Oak Pkwy. #Suite 2760, Houston, TX 77027
Founded in 1987, VCC USA has created commercial projects spanning all sectors and did so in states spanning from California to Alabama. The firm is internationally recognized, with projects reaching as far as Sao Paulo, Brazil. This Houston-based general contractor has consistently ranked among Engineering News-Records’ (ENR) top contractors in the nation as well as placing second in Building + Design Construction’s 2018 Top 90 Retail Contractors in the nation.
The firm’s humble beginnings can be traced back to Little Rock, Arkansas where Sam Alley, now chairman and CEO of VCC, established the firm with his two partners Gus Vratsinas and Ed DeMoss. Alley has led the firm to become a formidable company locally and internationally, with a team that prioritizes safety and quality. All of its field personnel have a minimum of 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications and all are working towards obtaining a 30-hour certification.
Their retail projects include big-box retail, enclosed malls, and mixed-use centers. The firm is notable for its extensive work on the Houston Galleria, a multi-story, high fashion mall, built on a pre-cast structure. Named as one of the most visited attractions in Greater Houston, it houses Macy’s, a Neiman Marcus flagship store, Nordstrom, and a Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store.
1) Arch-Con Corporation
Website | 713-533-1900 | 1335 West Gray Suite #210, Houston, TX 77019
With an award-winning portfolio of projects that have significantly changed the landscape of Texas, Arch-Con Corporation has risen above its peers as the top retail contractor in the Space City. It is currently ranked in ENR’s Top 400 Contractor’s List and Houston Business Journal’s Top 25 Commercial Contractors List as well as being named to Inc.’s Fastest Growing Companies, Entrepreneur Magazine’s Hot 500, and Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100.
Arch-Con is captained by commercial construction veteran Michael Scheurich. His career spans more than two decades in the commercial sector. Prior to founding Arch-Con in 2000, Scheurich worked for some of the biggest names in commercial construction on projects including major office, manufacturing, and medical facilities. He served nine years on the Houston NAIOP Board of Directors, three years with the National NAIOP Board of Directors and currently serves on the National NAIOP Forum.
The firm has worked with national brands, local retailers, and developers on projects ranging from 10,000-square-foot neighborhood centers to 450,000-square-foot power centers, found primarily in Houston and Dallas. The firm was a project partner for The Market at Springwoods Village. The LEED Silver certified 167,200-square-foot shopping center is anchored by a Kroger and houses key retailers such as Mod Pizza, Zoës Kitchen, and Torchy’s Tacos. Other key features of the center are high-efficiency irrigation, automated LED lights, and a reflective roof membrane.
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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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