Most of Washington, D.C.’s residents are professionals working in the corporate or public sector. These professions require a certain look, which is why most of the boutiques in the area are upscale brands offering sharp attire for discerning clients. 

These stores are built and renovated by D.C.’s top commercial contractors that specialize in retail construction, of which the top 12 are listed here. The contractors featured here were selected and ranked based on their work portfolio and the awards they have received.

If you are thinking about building out a new commercial space, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

MOK Construction

12128 Monument Dr. Suite #438, Fairfax, VA 22033

Although MOK Construction has only been in business for six years, the firm has already established itself as a formidable retail and restaurant contractor in the D.C. area. The firm was established by experienced builder Bryan Mok, who worked in the construction real estate industry before starting the firm. 

In addition to construction services, the firm provides lease review, estimation, and project management services. Many first-time retailers choose MOK Construction for its simple and convenient building process. Multi-store franchises also trust the firm’s services, but MOK Construction is more popular with restaurants. In fact, the firm has completed ten stores for Duck Donuts in two years. 

Connor Construction

11092 Lee Hwy. Suite B #102, Fairfax, VA 22030

Privately-owned Connor Construction provides commercial construction in various sectors, including federal, retail, and office. Established in 2013, the firm is relatively small compared to its competitors, but Connor Construction offers the same quality projects at competitive prices. As such, clients can expect hands-on service and thorough assistance through every step of the process.

Although Connor Construction does not specialize in retail, the majority of the firm’s projects are renovations for big retail brands in Washington, D.C. Some of the household retail brands that have trusted the firm’s services include Gap, Banana Republic, Bravadas, and Restoration Hardware. 

Buch Construction

11292 Buch Way, Laurel, MD 20723

Jimmy Buch and his father, James Sr., have been in the Washington commercial construction industry since the 60s. Jimmy’s experience with his father inspired him to establish his own firm in 1984. During the firm’s early years, May Department Stores Company (now known as Macy’s) helped Buch take off, and the brand remains a loyal customer of the firm today.

Although the firm has expanded its services to different sectors in the commercial industry, Buch’s retail projects remain the firm’s best work. In fact, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of D.C. recently awarded Buch Construction with a Best Retail/Office Project distinction. Given Buch’s many years of experience with retail, the majority of the firm’s projects are large-scale shopping centers or department stores. Buch’s current clientele includes familiar brands such as Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty, Target, and Bloomingdales.

The Fairfax Company

10 Light St., 4th Fl., Baltimore, MD 21202

The Fairfax Company is the affiliated general contractor of Washington, D.C.’s leading development firm, Metropolitan Partnership. When Metropolitan worked on over 1,000,000 square feet of development for Tyson’s International Plaza and Fairfax Square, the firm saw huge potential in the retail industry. This inspired the developer to establish its own construction branch in 1990. Now, The Fairfax Company provides construction services for Metropolitan’s luxury retail clients. 

Most, if not all, of the firm’s clients, are luxury fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and Tiffany and Co. One of the firm’s most challenging projects was the Louis Vuitton store at Tyson’s Corner, as construction began during the holiday season, and the firm had to work around the clock. Despite this hurdle, Fairfax was able to complete the project in only three weeks.

Kinsley Construction

13655 Dulles Technology Dr. Suite #220, Herndon, VA 20171

Since 1963, Kinsley Construction has been providing wide-scale commercial construction services to the Mid-Atlantic. The firm has a remarkable reputation in various states because a large percent of its clients are repeat customers. In addition, Kinsley has often featured in Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) annual lists, such as the Top 400 Contractors in the Nation, Top 20 Contractors in the Mid-Atlantic region, and the Top Ten Pennsylvania and Maryland Contractors. 

The firm provides a wide scope of services that include industrial work, and its expertise in handling complex construction is reflected in its retail projects. The firm’s retail portfolio consists of large department stores and town centers. One of the firm’s most ambitious projects is the Circle East at Towson Circle. Kinsley expertly converted the space into an 84,000-square-foot shopping center.

ADI Construction

5407-A Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22151

ADI Construction is a commercial contractor that advocates for sustainable building. The firm’s management staff members are all Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, and most of them have three decades of industry experience. The firm is also an active member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and ADI was listed on the Washington Business Journal’s Top 20 Interior Construction Firms and Top 100 Private Companies. 

The firm’s sustainable services are offered to the corporate, hospitality, retail, multi-family, and government sectors. One of the firm’s most notable retail projects is the Ella Rue boutique located inside the MGM National Harbor Casino. The upscale boutique has a sleek storefront featuring an 11-foot-tall sliding entry door. The firm incorporated stone, bronze mirrors, and glass shelving into the space to evoke a sense of elegance.

KBE Building Corporation

410-910-1028 | 7150 Columbia Gateway Dr. Suite A, Columbia, MD 21046

For 60 years, KBE Building Corporation has been providing commercial construction services to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S. The company has more than 200 employees, and its annual revenue ranges from $350 to $400 million. The firm’s impressive revenue has also landed the firm in the ENR’s Top 400 contractors for the past four years. KBE builds every type of commercial project, but the bulk of its portfolio consists of senior living facilities, educational facilities, and retail centers.

One of the firm’s most notable retail projects is the DC USA, which is one of the largest shopping centers in D.C. The 890,000-square-foot center is one of the benchmarks of D.C.’s growing retail industry and carries some of the biggest brands in the nation, including Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, and Staples. In addition, DC USA was named by Washington City Paper as the Best Designed Retail Space in 2009.

Potomac Construction Services

9320 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814

Philadelphia native Tom Dailey is a key figure in the D.C. Metro construction industry, with more than 30 years of experience. In 2005, Dailey established Potomac Construction Services. The full-service commercial contracting firm specializes in restaurant, retail, and hospitality interiors. Potomac has constructed some of D.C.’s award-winning restaurants, which demonstrate the firm’s ability to create distinct, modern spaces.

The firm’s portfolio demonstrates Potomac’s capability of constructing fun modern establishments. One of the firm’s unique projects is the Milk Bar, owned by celebrity Chef Christina Tosi. Potomac transformed an old auto repair shop into a 3,000 square foot dessert and retail store. The old garage was converted into an educational space for bakery demonstration and the auto shop’s skeleton was used as the facade for the store’s outdoor seating that’s complete with retractable awning and a summer patio.

Clark Construction

7500 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814

Clark Construction is the oldest firm on this list, with more than 100 years of experience under its belt. The firm operates in almost every state in the nation and has garnered a handful of awards, including 28 AGC Alliance Builder America Awards and 19 Design-Build Institute of America Awards.  

The multi-awarded firm has been specializing in heavy construction since it was established, taking on complex projects that have large area sizes. For this reason, most of the firm’s retail projects are large shopping centers and mixed-use establishments. One of the firm’s most notable projects is The CityMarket at O, which is a historical landmark in D.C. that was transformed into an urban shopping center for the Shaw community. Its original brick exterior was reinforced with facade support, and an excavation system was also installed. This project earned Best Historic Restoration awards from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Metro Washington and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).

L.F. Jennings

7130 Glen Forest Dr. Suite #410, Richmond, VA 23226

In 1952, Larry Jennings established a humble masonry contracting company that soon earned a great reputation across the D.C. metroplex. As years passed, Jennings’s son expanded the firm into a full-service general contractor that specialized in public projects. Now, L.F. Jennings remains one of the leading family-owned firms providing office and retail projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

Many of the firm’s awards are from the ABC of Metro Washington, five of which were awarded just in the last year. Although L.F. Jennings has built its reputation with public projects, most of the firm’s award-winning projects are its retail developments. One of the firm’s best retail projects in D.C. is The Shops at Dakota Crossing, which is a 430,000-square-foot, LEED-certified shopping center. Located at a prime spot that is accessible to both residents of D.C. and Maryland, the center houses essential shops like Lowe’s, Marshalls, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Shawmut Design and Construction

560 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118

Shawmut Design and Construction is not based in the D.C. area, but it has created some of the most luxurious boutiques in the city. The firm is known as one of the best national commercial firms that specialize in retail and hospitality projects. Ever since Les Hiscoe took over as CEO, the firm’s focus has shifted to prioritizing luxury retail brands over restaurant chains. Hiscoe wanted the firm to be known for its stunning designs rather than its impressive revenue. Now, the firm has secured its spot in the retail construction industry and has won many awards, including design:retail’s Spectrum Awards.

The firm’s retail portfolio features many prominent luxury brands found in premier shopping destinations all over the country. Some of Shawmut’s best projects are the Bottega Veneta flagship store on Madison Avenue, a Coach boutique on Fifth Avenue, and a Tiffany & Co. boutique in Las Vegas. The firm has also worked with upscale brands to construct boutiques and build outs in D.C. Shawmut’s clientele includes Hugo Boss, United Colors of Benetton, Burberry, Puma, and Zadig & Voltaire. Like many of the firm’s projects, these build outs all embody the upscale look of their brands. 

Rand* Construction

1029 N Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314

When Rand* Construction was founded by Linda Rabitt in 1989, it was only a small interiors firm that served Virginia. Now, the firm has grown into a national commercial company that serves 26 states and has branches in Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, and Texas. Due to its eye for design, the firm quickly became renowned in D.C. Today,  Rand* Construction has built several distinguished establishments in the city, including the first ever office in the world to ever earn both a Platinum LEED certification and meet the Well Building Standard. Moreover, most of the firm’s D.C. projects have won numerous awards, including the NAIOP Excellence in Construction Awards, ABC Excellence in Construction Awards, and the Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Awards.

Rand* Construction projects often feature a fun pop of color or a sustainable innovation, but its retail portfolio showcases the builder’s more sophisticated side. The award-winning Gucci flagship store in D.C. features a minimalist design, with multi-colored, parquet tiled floors that give the store a unique look. A total of eight samples were proposed to the client before the firm came up with this design.

How can I find a contractor near me?

Read our latest articles on the best contractors in and near Washington, District of Columbia. If you don’t see your project type below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

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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.

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building out a new commercial space, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.


  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at General Contractors and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at General Contractors, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management