Tenants need a trusted contractor to transform the current property into a space that better suits their needs and company branding. There are reputable firms with teams of skilled professionals who can work closely with clients to find a middle ground between design and practicality. 

On this list, you’ll find some of the best tenant improvement contractors working in Honolulu, the builders that can guide clients through the construction process. These well-known firms have proven credibility in the form of awards, impressive principals, and featured projects.


Hensel Phelps

841 Bishop Street, Suite #2001, Honolulu, HI 96813

Established in 1937, Hensel Phelps is an employee-owned company that focuses on dedication and commitment to every project. With over 85 years of industry experience, the firm has built a reputation for offering high-quality services and exceeding expectations through impressive performance. 

Hensel Phelps has worked on domestic and international projects, specializing in new constructions, renovations, and facility management. In 2012, Hensel Phelps opened a full-service firm in Honululu. The company’s expansion to Hawaii, Guam, Asia, and other Pacific Islands has led to the firm’s significant growth. 

The firm’s president and CEO, Michael J. Choutka, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in construction management engineering. Choutka joined Hensel Phelps in 1991 and worked his way up until he was appointed to his current position. He was formerly the chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Central Florida Chapter. 

In 2022, Hensel Phelps received the Award of Excellence in Renovation/Remodeling $20 million and above from the General Contractors Association (GCA) of Hawaii for its work on the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Guestrooms. The firm also won three other Awards of Excellence from GCA of Hawaii for building construction and construction management. 

A notable project by the firm is the Hensel Phelps’ Pacific District Office in Honolulu, completed in 2018. The GCA of Hawaii gave the firm the 2019 Award of Excellence: Building Construction $1 to $10 Million for their impressive work on the project. The 10,000-square-foot office includes 20 office spaces, a large conference room, 16 office desks in an open area, two meeting rooms, a kitchen with a dining area, and a wellness room.


Ralph S. Inouye

500 Alakawa Street, Honolulu, HI 96817

With over 60 years of experience, Ralph S. Inouye, is a Hawaiian-based firm that focuses on commercial buildings, renovations, and engineering projects for both government facilities and private entities. The firm is led by its CEO and president, Lance Inouye, who graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Shidler College of Business. He joined his father’s company in 1981 and has since worked his way up. He gained his current position in 2002. He was previously the president and director of the GCA of Hawaii. 

The firm has received the 2020 Award of Excellence from the Build Hawaii Awards of GCA of Hawaii for the firm’s work on the First Hawaiian Bank – Manoa Branch. In the same year and awards ceremony, the firm was given the Merit Award for the Hauula Fire Station Replacement and the Award of Excellence for the Shangri La Playhouse. 

The firm’s featured project is the First Hawaiian Bank in Manoa. The project involved renovating a three-story building and adding a new two-story wing as the leased office space. The new building includes a combined concrete and steel structure with metal roofing, metal soffit panels, and plaster siding.


Constructors Hawaii

1728 Kahai Street, Honolulu, HI 96819

Constructors Hawaii was founded in 1972 by Albert Yoshiyama and has since been offering an efficient process of building projects via high-quality craftsmanship. The firm’s team of talented professionals has been exceeding the expectations of both public and private clients. 

The firm is led by the president, Colin Yoshiyama. He finished a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Colin joined the firm in 1990 as an estimator and project engineer and worked his way up to the presidency in 2013. 

In 2021, the firm received the Honorable Mention Award for Renovation and Remodeling under $20 million from the GCA of Hawaii for its impressive work on The Queen’s Health Care Centers – Kahala. In 2020, m GCA of Hawaii granted Constructors Hawaii the Excellence Award for Building Construction in the $10 to $25 million category for its work on Waimanalo Health Center Hale Ola ‘Alua.

A notable project by Contractors Hawaii is the Central Pacific Bank in Kailua. The 3,600-square-foot project was completed in 2016. The firm successfully helped with the preservation of any found artifacts and bones by working with an archaeologist during the excavations. Since the location of the project was a gas station, the underground tanks were removed and the massive holes were filled in.


Armstrong Builders

80 Sand Island Access Road, Suite #209, Honolulu, HI 96819

Armstrong Builders has been building high-quality homes and commercial projects since 1976. The firm offers general contracting services for large-scale commercial projects and framing and carpentry services for multi-family residential projects. 

The president of Armstrong Builders is James Keller; he joined the firm in 1985 and held various positions before becoming president in 2005. The firm previously received the Grand Award for Affordable Multi-family Development from the Building Industry Design and Construction Awards in 2020.

The Hawaii National Bank Kapiolani is a well-recognized project by Armstrong Builders.  In 2012, the firm won the Preservation Honor Award from Historic Hawaii Foundation as recognition for its work on the project.


S & M Sakamoto

1928 Hau Street, Honolulu, HI 96819

S & M Sakamoto is one of the leading diversified construction firms working in Hawaii. The firm was started by two brothers in 1940. The firm was finally incorporated under its present name in 1965. 

The current president is Dale Sakamoto Yoneda, who finished a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Yoneda is a board member of the GCA of Hawaii. In 2022, she was included by the Pacific Business News in the list of Women Who Mean Business Honorees. 

The featured project is the Hosoi Garden Mortuary Family Services, completed in 2017. The new two-story crematory and office building offers 12,695 square feet of space with direct access to the existing chapel. 

Author

  • 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