Tenant improvements require a certain level of skill and craftsmanship, given the very specific rooms that need to be designed, then crafted. Business owners face the challenge of finding the contractor that will best meet their project’s needs, and meet those needs on tight schedules that will provide as little interruption to normal business operations as possible. This list compiles 15 of the best tenant improvement contractors in Denver.
These firms were chosen based on merit, experience, and prior projects. Several of these firms have had the opportunity to work with numerous recognizable names in a variety of markets and industries. Given these firms’ excellent skills and craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that several of their most notable projects can also be found in a number of locations across the country.
15) Saunders Construction Company
Website | 303-699-9000 | 1705 17th St. Suite #350, Denver, CO 80202
With offices located not only in Denver, but also Englewood and Fort Collins, Saunders Construction provides services to a wide range of markets and has secured a solid reputation for itself for its general contracting and real estate work. Since its inception in 1972, the firm has been providing its clients with a comprehensive approach to each of its projects and handles vital processes from market analysis and project development to delivery and other self-performing services. It also utilizes the latest technology and incorporates several energy and sustainability practices into each project it takes on. The firm has gone on to work on projects throughout the Rock Mountain region worth over $7 billion since its establishment. Aside from its tenant improvement work, the firm also showcases expertise for municipal, educational, mixed-use, residential, and cultural work. Its projects typically from $1M all the way to $200M and has been distinguished with over 100 awards throughout its years in the industry.
The featured project showcases the firm’s work for DaVita’s world headquarters. Spanning over 250,000 square feet, this Class A office building and parking garage accommodates over 950 employees and features several unique amenities including rooftop exterior terraces, three interior seasonal gardens, a workout room, and several community spaces. It received a gold LEED certification and was specially designed with a pleasing and relaxing work environment in mind.
14) The VERTEX Companies, Inc.
Website | 888-298-5162 | 2420 W 26th Ave. Suite #100-D, Denver, CO 80211
The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) offers an extensive range of engineering, environmental, and construction solutions to a wide variety of markets. It is a multinational firm that extends its services from over 25 offices including Canada and Mexico. Established in 1995, the firm is employee-owned and has had its work featured in numerous publications. Most recently, Engineering News-Record ranked VERTEX as among its top 100 construction management- for-fee firms for 2019. The Zweig Group also awarded VERTEX a spot on both its 2019 Hot Firms List and Best Firms to Work For. Additionally, Inc. 5000 recognized VERTEX as one of the country’s fastest growing privately held companies in their annual Business Achievement Awards.
The featured project showcases some of the firm’s best work. VERTEX Tenant Improvement was awarded the contract for Independence Plaza, a Class A high rise office building located in downtown Denver. The massive renovation project of the ground floor lobby area required innovative methods to completely remove the floor to ceiling granite fountain encasing the elevator core while keeping the elevator operational and the lobby area accessible to tenants and guests. VERTEX worked closely with the building’s management and design team to keep the site safe, minimize noise and debris, and deliver the project on time and within budget. Independence Plaza unveiled its new lobby in the fall of 2018.
13) Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Website | 303-363-7101 | 797 Ventura St., Aurora, CO 80011
With over seven decades of experience, Adolfson & Peterson Construction is a family-owned firm that has consistently ranked among the nation’s leading construction managers and general contractors. It maintains one of the safest records in the industry and offers a full range of preconstruction and construction services. In addition to tenant improvements and office work, the firm also specializes in several other markets. Some of these include education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and multifamily sectors. Manned by a team comprised of over 600 skilled craftsmen and professionals, the firm has offices not only in Colorado, but also Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, and Wyoming. Given its skill and extensive background, it comes as no surprise that the firm has been recognized multiple times throughout its years in the industry. Most notably and most recently, it brought home two national Eagle Awards from Associated Builders and Contractors for excellence in construction. The firm was further distinguished with two honors at the 2019 Award for Construction Excellence (ACE) Safety and Environmental Awards.
The following project best showcases the firm’s work. Located in Greenwood Village, this Class A build-to-suit office complex is LEED Silver Certified and even won the firm a Silver Merit Award ACE from the AGC. It features over 11 stories and has an attached six-level parking structure made to accommodate nearly a thousand vehicles.
12) GE Johnson Construction Company
Website | 303-221-1249 | 5613 DTC Prkwy. Suite #450, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
From schools and healthcare facilities to offices and hospitality projects, GE Johnson works on both complex and small-scale projects and is known for project functionality and aesthetics. It has completed projects in over a dozen states, where it works as a very local team in each one and displays an impressive 90% repeat client rate. Recently named by the Engineering News-Record as the country’s 100th best contractor in its annual list of Top 400 firms, GE Johnson has over five decades of industry experience and is an expert in providing innovative solutions to unique challenges, such as working around urban landscapes or renovating buildings with specific areas in use. Its process also emphasizes the importance of having a fast-tracked schedule and has worked through extreme weather conditions. Its team has also worked with tight deadlines, with some of its projects set to open just days after the firm’s completion.
The featured project is a ten-story facility which houses Denver’s Civic and Justice Center. First constructed in 1984, the firm was tasked with completing its major renovation to enhance the building’s security, in addition to transforming it into a high-performance structure. Its modernization entailed upgrading its exteriors and the entire renovation of each of its occupied floors with floor-to-ceiling space and revamped interior systems.
11) The Weitz Company
Website | 303-860-6600 | 4725 S Monaco St. Suite #100, Denver, CO 80237
The Weitz Company is the country’s sixth oldest architecture, engineering, and contracting firm that extends its work throughout the entire country. With over nine offices spread nationwide, it is a leading figure in general contracting and design-building. The firm specializes in three industries: the commercial, industrial, and supply chain markets. It has been recognized with multiple awards for these services numerous times throughout its long run. Weitz is no stranger to the Engineering News-Record’s annual list of leading firms. As for its most recent awards, it most notably took home the 2019 ABC Eagle Award for Construction Excellence.
The following project is a 14-story high-rise office building that serves as headquarters for RE/MAX International. It is clad in glass and granite and features a state-of-the-art training facility, as well as a fully-functional broadcast facility, 40-foot lobby ceilings, and an exercise facility.
10) Balfour Beatty
Website | 720-379-4407 | 1305 Quari St., Aurora, CO 80011
Balfour Beatty offers general contracting and at-risk construction management services for both the public and private sector. It employs a design-build approach and has been recognized by several media outlets as one of the nation’s largest building contractors. It has also been ranked by the Engineering News-Record as the fourth biggest commercial builder and remodeler in terms of revenue. A subsidiary of the London-based Balfour Beatty plc, the firm is a proud recipient of a National Award of Merit from the Design-Build Institute of America for its work on the Dallas Horseshoe Project. The firm has also been bestowed with an Excellence in Construction Award from the Metro Washington and Virginia chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The firm primarily specializes in commercial offices, correctional facilities, higher education buildings, and multi-residential complexes. Some of the firm’s most notable projects include renovation work for Microsoft, Duke University’s Medical Center, and an airport hangar for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Council.
The featured project was constructed in adherence with several green building guidelines and features an office and retail building composed of two wings and a tower with over 14 stories. Housing over two thousand employees, this building now has 36 conference rooms, a fitness center, and a new cafeteria. The building was also designed to earn LEED Silver certification.
9) DPR Construction
Website | 720-479-0001 | 9000 E Nichols Ave. Suite #160, Centennial, CO 80112
Consistently named among the country’s best 50 general contractors in the past decade, DPR Construction specializes in complex and sustainable projects for an extensive range of markets. In addition to its commercial and corporate work, the firm also provides services to the healthcare, advanced technology, life sciences, and higher education sectors. It is affiliated with the US Green Building Council and currently holds the distinction of having the most number of LEED-accredited professionals on its team. Throughout its two decades in the industry, the firm has been recognized multiple times both by award-giving bodies and several publications for its excellent work. These accolades include several features on Engineering News-Record and awards from the NAIOP for its stellar interiors.
The chosen project is a Class-A 30 story, office building. It features over 11,00 square feet of ground-floor retail spaces and nearly 363, 178 square feet of rentable office space, as well as a vast parking structure. Most interestingly, the firm had to work on this project on a tight schedule, with only a single tower crane available.
8) Layton Construction Company
Website | 303-209-7853 | 1001 Bannock St. Suite #126, Denver, CO 80204
Layton Construction is a nationally ranked commercial builder best known for its healthcare, retail, hospitality, higher education, industrial, and office work. With over 66 years of experience, the firm continues to compete in the industry at a consistently high level. The firm was recognized by Engineering News-Record as the 44th largest contractor in the United States. In addition to being named the 22nd largest Construction Management-at-Risk builder in the country. Modern Healthcare also lists the firm as the fourth largest healthcare contractor nationwide. The firm primarily uses a design-build approach and works closely with clients, architects, and all subcontractors to ensure that each project stays on track and adheres to the budget. All clients are guaranteed a one-year warranty, which comes with an 11th-month walkthrough to better identify possible problems that may arise before the warranty expires.
Although not located in Denver, this featured project best embodies the firm’s craft and style. Here, its team was tasked with working on a Class A and high-tech office space. Using a modern, progressive design, the building has a color-changing LED feature which emphasizes several areas of its exteriors. Several other noteworthy details include its multiple lounges, its gymnasium, and its parking structure.
7) Haselden Construction
Website | 303-751-1478 | 6950 S Potomac St., Centennial, CO 80112
Established in 1973, Haselden has built a solid reputation for itself in the Front Range for its excellent client service. In addition to office and tenant improvement projects, Haselden works in numerous other markets including healthcare, higher education, K-12, senior living, and hospitality sectors. Its teams provide solution-oriented services—such as full in-house preconstruction and virtual design and construction—and are experienced in multiple delivery methods. Haselden has been recognized multiple times throughout its nearly five-decade history in the industry. Notably, it has consistently been named by the Engineering News-Record as among the country’s Top 400 contractors. The publication also consistently includes the firm in its regional list of the Top 40 construction firms. In 2014, the firm was bestowed the prestigious ENR Mountain States Contractor of the Year award. Additionally, Haselden projects have won numerous awards, including the AGC Colorado 2017 Project of the Year for UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital. This was the last year this distinction was handed out to a firm.
Located next to the historic Union Station in downtown Denver, the following project best captures the firm’s work. This project received numerous awards, namely, the Downtown Denver Award; ENR Mountain States Best Projects Merit Award; NAIOP Office Development of the Year; and the Denver Business Journal Real Estate Champion (Office) Award. It is comprised of five stories and is situated on urban infill, which required the firm to work in extensive coordination with the City and County of Denver.
6) JE Dunn Construction
Website | 303-753-8988 | 2000 S Colorado Blvd. Suite #12000, Denver, CO 80222
Established in 1924, JE Dunn Construction began as a small residential contractor in Kansas City, Missouri before growing and becoming one of the nation’s largest general contracting firms. Today, the firm has over 20 office locations nationwide and annual revenue of $2.7 billion. The firm specializes in commercial, healthcare, industrial, and aviation facilities. JE Dunn Construction also centers its business on senior living, historic preservations, and the renovation of mixed-use structures. It has been featured on both Forbes and the Engineering News-Record, with the latter hailing it as the Midwest’s Contractor of the Year. The firm has also worked on numerous noteworthy projects, such as the Museum of Russian Art, the Boy Scouts of America Base Camp, and several Kohl’s Department Stores.
The depicted project showcases a 240,000 square-foot headquarters for Perceptive Software. Constructed on a 13.4-acre site, this structure features two four-story office buildings and a parking garage. It has a glass atrium which connects the buildings and features several unique amenities, including a cafe, a dodgeball court, and a slide.
5) PCL Construction
Website | 303-365-6500 | 2000 S Colorado Blvd. Suite #2-500, Denver, CO 80222
PCL Construction is a group of independent construction companies with operations spread across the United States, Australia, and Canada. With over a century of experience, it specializes in a wide array of markets. In addition to office and tenant improvements, it also works on aviation, education, healthcare, and government projects as well as several specialized commercial structures. It infuses several sustainability practices into almost all of its work and has consistently been recognized in multiple nationally ranked lists throughout its years in the industry. It currently ranks eighth on the Engineering News-Record’s annual list of Top 400 firms and was most recently decorated with distinctions from several award-giving bodies. It also maintains affiliations with several important industry organizations like the American Council of Engineering Companies. The firm’s projects often cost from $20k into the billions, and its operations team, comprised of over 4,000 full-time professionals, are capable of handling nearly 700 projects at a time.
Constructed in 1962, the featured project is a 28,000 square-foot facility located in the upscale Cherry Creek retail district of Denver. The firm was tasked with upgrading and modernizing it to create a Class A office space on its second to fourth floors, all while maintaining the retail spaces on its ground floor. It features the installation of a new French exterior terracotta rain-screen cladding system, several new facilities, and multiple exterior enhancements.
4) M.A. Mortenson Company
Website | 303-295-2511 | 1621 18th St. Suite #400, Denver, CO 80202
MA Mortenson is best known for its sustainability and green building practices and its talented development team. Established in 1954 by M. A. Mortenson, Sr., the firm focuses on a wide range of markets including aviation, corporate offices, data centers, entertainment venues, and healthcare facilities. The firm has been recognized multiple times throughout its years in the industry. It has received numerous awards from the Design-Build Institute of America for its craftsmanship, in addition to having been featured in several publications like the Engineering News-Record, which has acknowledged the firm with several “Best Project” distinctions. In addition to its green building practices, the firm is also known for its use of technology. It uses a Virtual Design and Construction process for design, as well as Building Information Modeling (BIM); this technology produces better designs in a shorter span of time, and these designs lead to more efficient, elegant results. The firm also incorporates a methodical communication system into its programs for better contact with each client.
For the featured project, the firm’s team was tasked with working on a 22-story structure made of glass and steel. It is the first major high-rise office building to dominate Denver’s central business district’s skyline since the mid-1980s. It features a high-tech underfloor air distribution system for better employee comfort, along with a 17,000 square foot landscaped green roof over a garage, and a fitness center. Additionally, it has several hotel-inspired conference facilities along with advanced engineering systems to monitor the excellent indoor atmosphere.
3) Hensel Phelps
Website | 970-352-6565 | 420 Sixth Ave., Greeley, CO 80631
Hensel Phelps specializes in construction and development services in addition to large-scale restoration and renovation work. It incorporates green building practices into all of its projects and has worked on over 200 LEED-certified facilities throughout its eight decades in the industry. It has secured and established itself as a reliable and leading construction company and has delved into an extensive range of markets. A quick look at its portfolio will reveal work for the aviation, commercial, higher education, healthcare, and hospitality sectors. The firm has also provided work for the government. Most notably it worked on the Love Field Modernization Program, for which it was awarded an Outstanding Renovation accolade. It has also done work for the Pentagon, which again, garnered the firm an Overall Project of the Year distinction.
In terms of its office and tenant improvements, its portfolio again provides insight into an extensive gallery of uniquely designed spaces. The following project specifically displays its team’s work on a 12-story office tower. For this improvement, the firm worked on over six floors of corporate space, an enclosed parking garage, in addition to ground floor retail space. As for the project’s design, its team emphasized natural light both on the building’s interiors and exteriors through the use of a transparent glass design with nautical motifs.
Website | 303-423-9242 | 6890 W 52nd Ave., Arvada, CO 80002
First founded in Los Angeles, Swinerton Builders traces its origins all the way back to 1888 and the height of the California Gold Rush when it was still a brick masonry and general contracting firm. The firm has since taken on landmark projects and has employed over 3,500 skilled craftspeople. Swinerton Builders is 100% employee-owned and offers a full range of general contracting services, from project management to safety administration. In addition to commercial buildings, it also offers its services to a wide range of markets, including aviation, high-end multi-family homes, higher education, government, and healthcare facilities. The firm’s work has been recognized by several award-giving bodies and numerous publications, such as the Sacramento Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times, which named the firm’s principal as one of its most admired CEOs.
Some of the firm’s most notable projects include interior work for LinkedIn’s San Francisco Headquarters, as well as LAX Terminal 5’s Delta Airlines One Premium Lobby. The following project, however, was completed for the Gary Community Investment Company. Here the firm worked with sustainable design and made use of BIM. A consistent rustic art deco design has been threaded throughout the space, giving the improvement a modern, inviting appeal.
1) Turner Construction Company
Website | 303-753-9600 | 1401 Zuni St. Suite #301, Denver, CO 80204
Turner Construction annually completes over 1,500 projects worth $12 billion and is best known for undertaking large, complex projects. It works for a vast range of markets, including not only the commercial sector but also aviation, higher education, government, entertainment venues, and cultural facilities. With a staff comprised of over 10,000 people, the firm offers the support and accessibility you often find in a small local firm but also has the capacity, skill, and expertise of a multinational construction company. Turner has been decorated with numerous accolades throughout its years in service. Most notably and most recently, it was named by the Engineering News-Record as the number one green builder in the country. Building Design + Construction, on the other hand, named it the number one general contractor in the nation in terms of healthcare, higher education, office, and hotel construction.
The firm has worked on a number of important and iconic structures across the country. From several corporate headquarters to large-scale improvements, Turner has secured a reputation as one of the country’s leading tenant improvement contractors. In Denver alone, Turner’s Special Projects Division delivers more than $75 million each year in tenant improvement, building repositioning, and other renovation work.