As one of the biggest retail centers in the US, an impressive number of local, homegrown brands as well as national and global commercial companies are headquartered in Memphis. Home to the busiest shipping ports and domestic airports in the country, the city is an attractive destination for established and emerging investors and developers. To be able to keep up with the growing demands for modern, efficient, and high-performing spaces, the city is also a central hub for some of the most accomplished general contractors in the state.
This article features the best commercial and retail contractors in Memphis. The firms qualified for the list based on the quality of their work and the number of projects that they completed in the city. Our editorial team also considered the awards that the firm earned from these projects and other relevant projects. We have also highlighted the publication features, rankings, and listings that the firms won in recent years. And we also looked at the background of the firms’ principals, their years of services, and the memberships and accreditations that they earned over the years.
Chris Woods Construction
8068 US Hwy. 70, Memphis, TN 38133
When it comes to design/build, general construction, and pre-construction services, Chris Wood Construction ranks among the most preferred professionals in the region. Its memberships with the industry’s respected organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) represent the firm’s caliber not just in designing and constructing significant urban structures but also in providing client-centered services—a focus that puts the needs of its customers first.
The firm’s work and contribution to the industry since 1985 have been well documented in construction and design magazines, as well as daily local journals. Memphis Magazine, Memphis Daily News, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Flyer, and Memphis Business Journal are just some of the publications that have highlighted the company’s work. These papers also commended principal Chris Woods’s leadership, especially when it comes to completing significant projects for the commercial and retail sectors.
One of the firm’s biggest clients is Brixmor Properties. To provide structurally updated and modern retail and commercial spaces for the complex’s tenants, the company completed over 100,000-square-feet of comprehensive interior and exterior improvements over a period of five years. The firm made sure that specific structural and functional details adhere to the corporate requirements of these companies and how tenants such as DSW, Citi Trends, Big Lots, and Value City Furniture, want their brands to be represented.
Grinder, Taber & Grinder
1919 Lynnfield Road, Memphis, TN, 38119
Grinder, Taber & Grinder’s extensive construction knowledge and its innovative practices that continue to re-imagine and redefine the construction experience have helped it easily win its ranks among Memphis’s leading general contractors. With experts in the education, commercial, healthcare, multi-residential, retail, and hospitality sectors on staff, the firm presents an extensive portfolio of its construction, construction management, design/build, and cost estimation projects.
The family-run enterprise was founded in 1968. From starting as a small firm led by Edward I. Grinder, Harold Taber, and Irven E. Grinder, the firm eventually grew to provide a comprehensive range of services, with the support of its 75 employees. Over the years, the firm has contributed to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the FedEx World Headquarters Building I, Lexus of Memphis, Crosstown Concourse, the Orpheum Center for Performing Arts, and First Tennessee Headquarters.
As a contractor for the commercial and retail sector, the firm has completed a wide variety of spaces from big-box retail centers, boutique shops, sports, fashion, and apparel stores, as well as major and high-value automotive dealership centers. Some examples of its major collaborations were completed for international brands, from the Japanese multinational company, Honda, to Swedish luxury automobile manufacturer, Volvo.
1936 Vanderhorn Drive, Memphis, TN 38134
Established in 1981, Metro Construction offers a comprehensive list of design, construction, pre-construction, and construction management services. The BBB-accredited firm serves a diverse range of sectors but it also is known for its work for the commercial and retail industry. Projects for shopping centers, auto dealerships, and supermarkets dominate Metro’s portfolio. In Memphis, it partners with leading architects and designers to complete new construction and renovation projects for the industry.
A great example of its work includes this recent project for a high-end retail brand. The firm partnered with architect Christopher Schmidt and interior designer Anne Parker to complete the renovations of a luxury woman fashion retail store, Joseph. As its flagship store, the client wanted to achieve a sleek transformation and a modern space that parallels the style and modern vibe of its products. The space caters to different types of modern women and serves as a place where they can congregate, shop, and socialize.
Taking all these variables into consideration, the firm and its project designers updated the space’s interiors. After choosing a new color palette and adding new ceiling tiles, the store’s lighting was also updated. The result is an atmosphere that exudes a fresher, brighter, more welcoming vibe. The neutral colors and its clean, sleek ceiling adds an airy, more modern feel. Another significant part of the remodel is its fully-equipped and thoughtfully-designed spa room.
Montgomery Martin Contractors
8245 Tournament Dr. Suite #300, Memphis, TN 38125
As a multi-awarded construction company, Montgomery Martin Contractors has been consistently recognized by West Tennessee Association Builders and Contractors and has been featured multiple times in Memphis Business Journal’s annual rankings. The firm remains one of the most preferred professionals in the industry and, for years, it has stayed true to the vision of its founder in following a “people-oriented, client-focused’ approach to every build. This philosophy has earned them lifelong relationships with renowned brands and organizations, especially from the commercial sector.
The firm has designed a wide continuum of commercial spaces inspired and empowered by innovative ideas that drive consumer behavior. Since the company’s inception in 1995, it has worked with homegrown and national retail companies through its services in interior fit-outs, construction, and development. The firm’s site-specific solutions focus on curating aesthetically stunning and functional spaces for potential and existing tenants while ensuring that every project is completed on-time and within set budget requirements.
One of its biggest projects is for Loeb Properties’s iconic retail development in Memphis. The firm partnered with Denton Architects to complete the 19,000-square-foot Belvedere Collection, a complex that is now home to several brands including GameStop, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Baskin Robbins, and Massage Envy. The project is included in the firm’s long list of commercial and retail clients that cover city centers, anchor stores, big-box retail complexes, shopping malls, lifestyle centers, banks, auto dealerships, and grocery stores. The firm has also worked with well-known brands, including Kroger, Petsmart, Fred’s, and the variety store chain, Family Dollar.
Walker General Contractors
3891 Forest Hill Irene, Memphis, TN 38125
Having served the industry for over four decades, Walker General Contractors is one of the oldest and most established contracting companies in the region. From its Memphis headquarters, the firm extends its services across Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Its focus on commercial construction is characterized by its attention to strict schedules, budget requirements, and client-centered construction and management practices.
Memphis Business Journal 40 Under 40 2019 honoree Daniel Walker leads the firm’s everyday operations. Walker has established lifelong partnerships with some of the biggest clients in the industry, some of which continue to collaborate with the company to complete new and more complex works. Many of these projects can be found in Memphis and nearby cities.
A great example of the firm’s work is this project for the commercial and retail sector, the Bella Vita project. Bella Vita is a lifestyle and home furnishing company that offers unique and high-end gifts and interiors. The firm constructed a retail space that exudes a warm and homey atmosphere. The choice of lighting and light fixtures, a modern-industrial ceiling with exposed beams, complemented by the use of wood for its display cases and dividers, complete the look of hospitality, elegance, and charm. In the past, the firm also worked for the same client to deliver The Back Room, the luxury home furnishing company’s warehouse operating center that serves as its base of operations and serves as a stage for annual sales events.