Forbes ranks Seattle as one of the Best Places for Business and Careers in the nation. Because of its low unemployment rate (3.5%) Forbes also places the city in the 34th position for Job Growth. With these numbers, it’s not surprising that several high-value industries call this metropolis home. Aerospace, information and communication technology, life sciences, and global health are just some of the sectors that contribute to the city’s rising economy. 

The presence of major industries and prominent companies in Seattle makes it a flourishing venue for the commercial, corporate, and tenant improvement industries. To accommodate the operations and everyday business interactions of company giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Zillow, Rhapsody, and Big Fish Games, the construction of modern and high-end office environments has become a major industry demand.

Below are the top tenant improvement contractors that have helped Seattle’s industries create functionally and aesthetically impressive office spaces. Some have been commended for their technological advancements, others have been praised for their green construction. The list is based on the firms’ experience as builders and their successful collaborations with the best architects and designers. The awards, publication features, and affiliations that these companies have gathered through the years were also considered as we put together the final ranking. We also took a look at the background of each of the firm’s principals, their years in operations, and any especially notable works. 

If you are thinking about improving an office 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.

 

 

13) Braseth Construction

Website | 206-937-5661 | 3835 W Marginal Way SW, Seattle, WA 98106

Braseth Construction is a developer and a general contractor. Its mastery of the vital aspects of building and management is supported by its belief in the importance of efficiency and quality. The firm offers preconstruction services that help clients make informed decisions. That early stage can determine a project’s performance in terms of cost estimation, construction scheduling, and its demands in design and aesthetics. The approach allows the firm to complete a variety of complex construction and development projects for the region’s most demanding markets. These include commercial, technology, hospitality, and tenant improvement, among others. 

Aside from its extensive service scope, the firm’s years of membership in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) has secured its reputation as a trusted builder of commercial spaces for the region’s most reputable businesses since its founding in 1980.

Seattle’s Best Coffee is one of the firm’s most notable clients. In the fall of 2011, Braseth’s collaboration with Gunsul + Iverson Architecture helped it complete a total of 15,000 square feet of a tenant improvement project in the city. The contemporary interior design was characterized by a vibrant palette and custom finishes. Unique features also included curved glass wall systems and suspended maple ceiling clouds. The work involved the construction of open workspaces, focus rooms, private offices, a couple of conference rooms, and a kitchen.


12) Balfour Beatty

Website | 206-447-7654 | 415 1st Ave. N Suite #400, Seattle, WA 98109

In 2018, Balfour Beatty completed a total of 139 high-value projects that equaled eleven million square feet. That same year its American projects. earned the company contracts worth $4.5 billion. To date, the firm is one of the largest general contractors in Washington. The firm brings innovative expertise to construction management, design-build, general contracting, and pre-construction, among others. With this range of services, it has served a wide range of highly complex markets since its founding in 1933.   

While these numbers show the firm’s dominance in terms of quantity, its focus on quality should not be overlooked. For years, the firm has earned its place in the industry’s most prestigious rankings. Engineering News-Record (ENR) placed the firm fourth in the list for the best Commercial Offices contractors. It also ranked fifth for three categories: correctional facilities, education, and multi-unit residential. For its business practices and construction expertise, the company also won notable awards from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the Design-Build Institute of America in 2017.   

The Howard S. Wright tenant improvement project was completed in 2014 and involved the construction of the 20,000-square-foot open office space. The interior was designed to integrate the aesthetic and functional elements of an office workplace with construction sites. Some of its features include craftsman wood walls and ceilings, a chef’s kitchen, game and exercise quarters, as well as shower and locker rooms. The overall architecture was designed to represent the company’s culture and the business’s nature of work.


11) Andersen Construction

Website | 206-763-6712 | 5601 Sixth Ave. S Suite #550, Seattle, WA 98108

Highly collaborative management methods and construction innovations are two of the most essential characteristics of Andersen Construction. As a constantly evolving full-service negotiated general contractor, the firm has established its name as a provider of premier services that include pre-construction, design-build, and integrated project delivery services. Since its founding in 1950, many of its projects and practices have earned recognition from highly respected industry organizations. The USGBC and Building Design + Construction magazine, for instance, recently commended the firm’s construction methods and its commitment to sustainable construction.

Several markets benefit from the firm’s detailed scope of services. These include healthcare, multifamily, education, hospitality, advanced technology, and commercial office sectors, to name a few. In its portfolio, 95% of the firm’s construction projects are negotiated Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) projects. This integrated approach enables the firm to focus on the demands of the project and, at the same time, put its clients’ interests first. 

One of the company’s biggest tenant improvement project—one that featured the firm’s Negotiated GMP delivery method—was for Quote Wizard’s brick office building located at the Pioneer Square. The project was a collaboration with Marvin Stein Associates and covered over 20,300 square feet of space. The project included demolition and construction of structures on all four floors. Every aspect of the project’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing was design-build. The structure was designed to house a workout area, shower and locker rooms, office spaces, break rooms, and conference rooms.  


10) DPR Construction

Website | 206-413-7770 | 315 2nd Ave. S Suite #200, Seattle, WA 98104

When Doug Woods, Peter Nosler, and Ron Davidosky founded the company in California in 1990, the construction veterans knew their combined resources and determination would soon propel a construction company that will be known not just in the region but across the entire country. During its first year, it only had a total of eleven professionals. Over the years, it has expanded to several regional offices across the U.S. and has since completed hundreds of high-value projects. In less than ten years, the firm has reached over $1 billion of its total projects’ value.

Currently, the company serves core markets in advanced technology, entertainment, commercial, healthcare, higher education, and mission-critical, among others. Its experience in the commercial market sectors extends to building and construction of corporate office facilities. In 2014, one of its works for the said sector helped it win the Office Tenant Improvement of the Year award by the NAIOP. The AGC and other industry organizations also recognized the firm for its outstanding works in general contracting and building excellence. Many of its works are with large companies looking for practical, design-smart, and cost-efficient methods.  

For instance, in a collaboration with JPC Architects, the firm was able to complete an office and laboratory build-out for a private company. The project involved the construction of open offices, spacious conference rooms, lab rooms, an IT storage unit, a break area, a library, and a shower room. The firm attributes the success of the project to open lines of communication among neighboring tenants, the building crew, and the project designer. 


9) Foushée

Website | 425-746-1000 | 3260 118th Ave. SE Suite #1000, Bellevue, WA 98005

Foushée is a general contractor that has been in the business since 1977.  The firm’s principal, Eric Jones, has decades of experience in new construction and renovation. Over the years, he has served clients from the region’s most complex markets. These include works for healthcare, parking, hospitality, research and development, retail, education, industrial, and office constructions. Jones’s leadership helped the firm win contracts for structurally and technically demanding projects. 

As a member of the USGBC, numerous sustainable construction and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED-certified projects stand out among the company’s long list of projects. A multiple tenant improvement work that covered a total of 27, 918 square feet, for instance, tested not only the firm’s expertise in constructing functional office spaces, but also highlighted the firm’s ability to answer to the Living Building Challenge 2.0, an industry-supported drive of creating green and regenerative-built environments. 

The project is located at what has been dubbed as “The Greenest Commercial Building in the World,” the Bullitt Center. The project was highly commended, and there are numerous testimonials and reviews that describe the company’s professionalism, attention to detail, and ability to meet the strictest deadlines.


8) Venture General Contracting

Website | 206-582-4500 | 1518 1st Ave. Suite #400, Seattle, WA 98134

Venture General Contracting defines success not according to the number of projects that it completes every year but in the genuine relationships that it forges with its clients, project partners, and subcontractors. This philosophy has guided the firm’s rise as one of Seattle’s most preferred contractors for a wide spectrum of markets. Currently, the firm caters to the design-build, general contracting, preconstruction, construction management, and consulting needs of a number of residential, hospitality, healthcare, and commercial tenant improvement clients. Its extensive portfolio and consistent commitment to following industry-standard business practices helped it land a coveted membership with the NAIOP, and even won the organization’s 2014 Historic Renovation of the Year award for its outstanding work on a multifamily project.

Matt Parent founded the company in 2010. Currently, he co-manages the firm with Jack Beaudon. Together, these principals boast over 50 years of industry experience in the city’s construction and real estate markets. Under their leadership, the firm has become known for its consistency and reliability. These qualities allow the firm to deliver a number of highly commended projects for high-value commercial and corporate clients. A look at its portfolio, especially its tenant improvement projects, reveals the firm’s caliber to handle architecturally unique projects.

The 1101 Dexter Station is an example of the company’s ability to perform at an unparalleled level of efficiency. The project is a 320,000-square foot tenant improvement buildout which was completed in 2017. It was a collaboration with architectural company Gehry Partners and was completed using an extensive BIM coordination method. Some of the challenges involved in the project were complex structural modifications designed to accommodate additions such as rooftop garden terraces and interior openings. Aside from the interior fit-outs and stair system redesigns, the contract also included landscaping, structures, and interior finishes. 


7) Gateway Construction Services

Website | 206-621-9111 | 5506 Sixth Ave. S Suite #210, Seattle, WA 98108

As specialists in the Tenant Improvement construction market, Gateway Construction Services helps bring out the functional and aesthetic potential of many of its clients’ work environments. Since its founding almost two decades ago, it has offered pre-construction, construction, and property maintenance services to many of the region’s high-valued business ventures. 

The company’s services not only cover effective methods of construction but also involve deep analysis. This meticulous approach is applied to every tenant improvement space that the firm works on. Through the expertise of its principal, Greg Slader, factors like detailed logistics planning, quality construction craftsmanship, and sustainable building are given constant attention. For the design aspects of every project, the firm partners with renowned architects to complete banking, educational, commercial, and even historical office facilities.  

In 2018, a collaboration with Weaver Architecture produced a tenant improvement contract for Lyft’s new headquarters. The project involved 16,000 square feet of interior construction for a wide open-office space. A 21-foot whiteboard was installed across an interior brick wall. Some of the highlights of the design can be found on the first floor, including a vintage pattern of LED lights in the form of colored rope ceiling panels and a spiral staircase. The office now houses a custom reception area, a large dining and kitchen space, and interview rooms. 


6) Hammer & Hand

Website | 206-397-0558 | 2450 6th Ave. Suite #100, Seattle, WA 98134

Hammer & Hand is a general contractor that collaborates with outside architects and designers to meet their clients’ goals. The firm excels in both residential and commercial construction and specializes in high-performance building. Hammer & Hand boasts awards from Builder Magazine, Green Builder Magazine, and the U.S. Department of Energy, among others.  

While the firm is a recognized residential builder, it also works on commercial construction for retail, restaurant, and corporate office clients, and their work on those projects has been commended for their engineering and architectural qualities. The firm was founded with a vision of delivering memorable structures through meaningful collaborations with the industry’s leading architects. This philosophy has been guiding the firm since its establishment in 1995. 

A great example of its work is the Ballard Office tenant improvement project. It was designed by Justin Kliewer and was one of the firm’s most aesthetically impressive collaborations for the tenant improvement category. The project involved the transformation of an outdated 1940s office into a brand new corporate space. Natural materials like wood and raw fixtures like twines are the highlights of the project’s designs. The remodeling of the structure also involved rearranging the walls to complete seven office rooms and a conference area. A kitchen and dining space was also constructed out of reclaimed cedar.


5) Lease Crutcher Lewis

Website | 206-622-0500 | 2200 Western Ave. Suite #500, Seattle, WA 98121

Lease Crutcher Lewis is one of the oldest firms in the region. Having been founded way back in 1886, it is one of the over hundred-year-old organizations that have integrated technology and virtual design into its day-to-day operations. Its use of collaborative software programs that efficiently streamline the company’s processes and deliverables allows it to manage its large market and service scope. Additionally, its Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) program promotes transparency in every project, enabling team members, as well as clients, to be a part of every stage of construction and development. 

By combining the wisdom from time-tested methods in the building industry with the advantages of innovation through modern-day technology, the firm stands out among the best of the best. Currently, the company is a recognized member of the NAIOP and an active affiliate of the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Seattle and Portland divisions. Multiple publications such as the Seattle Business Journal, the Architects Newspaper, and the Daily Journal of Commerce featured the company for its business practices and its quality of work. 

For years, the company has worked with renowned retail, digital, and tech companies for many memorable tenant improvement projects. In Seattle, the firm collaborated with leading designers such as Gensler Architects and Interior Architects to complete high-value interior build-outs for Starbucks, Tableau Software, Amazon and Amazon Stackhouse, Lyft, and Aptimus. 


4) Unimark Construction Group

Website | 206-628-5110 | 1221 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

It was in the early 1950s when Unimark Construction Group first took its place as a dominant player in the industry. Even during its early years, it successfully solidified its reputation as a premier tenant improvement construction company in the Seattle Central Business District by winning multiple contracts from highly complex clientele. Today, it is a preferred builder for corporate office spaces for a wide spectrum of market sectors. Dropbox, Zillow, Groupon, and the London Stock Exchange are just some of the firm’s biggest clients. 

Under the leadership of John Parker, the company is supported by a team of professionals, each with their own expertise in green construction, business, and construction management. The firm’s staff hold accreditations and affiliations with important industry organizations such as the AGC and the USGBC. With a long list of accomplishments and satisfied clients from high-value markets, the firm has constantly secured its membership with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

The firm’s exceptional work for Interior Architect’s 20,000 square feet of full-floor build-out is one of the many testaments to its ability to satisfy even the most demanding clients. With the client, a design expert, also acting as the project’s architect, the stakes were higher. The work involved upscale finishes and polished concrete floors, especially in spaces that got the heaviest foot traffic. The firm also installed specialty feature walls at the reception area and the elevator lobby. Other elements included unique powder-coated presentation rails and lastly, a custom-design reception desk.   


3) Abbott Construction

Website | 206-467-8500 | 3408 1st Ave. S Seattle, WA 98134

Founded in 1983, Abbott Construction has sealed its position as a leading project management and general contracting firm that has the skills and manpower to handle various types of commercial construction projects. Its decades of experience has allowed it to develop comprehensive expertise in pre-construction services, project planning, and construction. 

Troy Stedman, the firm’s president and CEO, has worked with prominent construction firms in his years in the industry. His experience in management and his direct involvement with a long list of construction projects helped the firm answer the different demands of the market in terms of construction and design. Today, the company accommodates projects from different sectors, including retail, healthcare, mixed-use development, exterior remediation, and seismic improvements.

Tenant improvement is one of the firm’s areas of expertise, and its works for this market have been recognized numerous times. In 2019, for instance, the firm won two prominent AGC Excellence in Construction Awards for its work for the FAA Office Facility. The Starbucks IT Department at the Reedo Building in Seattle relied on the firm’s expertise in the commercial sector. The most challenging part about this 50,000-square-foot contract was preserving the 1904 building’s historical value while introducing modern elements into its design and functionality. The project also included the construction of workspaces, formal meeting rooms, semi-public areas for collaborative projects, and flexible workstations for temporary employees. 


2) Schuchart

Website | 206-682-3030 | 919 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98164

As a multi-awarded and multi-affiliated company, Schuchart has earned its place in the industry’s hall of fame. Since its founding in 1988, it has collected a long list of accolades. The firm was recently named the winner by the AGC Washington for its 2019 Construction Excellence Award, in the Private Building $2 million to $5 million category. In the previous year, it was a finalist for NAIOP Night of the Stars’ Office Interior of the Year. Several AIA awards have also recognized the firm’s ability to deliver architecturally stunning structures. A look at its extensive portfolio reveals clients and brands from a wide spectrum of market sectors. 

The company currently has three divisions that focus on the areas of ground-up construction, industrial, and tenant improvement. For these services, many of the company’s notable clients are tech-industry giants that have found an ideal home in Washington’s business districts. Facebook, AOL, and Microsoft Corporation are just some of the notable brands that have trusted the firm with its ability to complete tenant improvement build-outs regardless of size and levels of complexity. Its excellence in construction and project management made it a preferred choice for the most sophisticated projects in the industry.

The firm’s ground-up construction project of the Bullitt Center upholds the company’s status as one of the leading contractors in the region. The project was featured in the Los Angeles Times and won multiple awards such as the 2015 Energy in Design Award given by the AIA. The International Living Future Institute also recognized the firm with the 2015 Living Building Certification. Commonly dubbed as the “greenest building in the world,” the structure is home to several companies and ventures that represent many renowned brands. 


1) GLY

Website | 425-451-8877 | 200 112th Ave. NE Suite #300, Bellevue, WA 98004

Hundreds of awards from the industry’s biggest organizations dominate GLY’s list of achievements since its establishment in 1867. In 2018, for instance, it won the ENR Northwest’s Regional Best Projects’s Project of the Year and Award of Merit for its 450 Alaskan and Lincoln Square Expansion projects. Its Vulcan Block 43 project for the Allen Institute also earned the company 2016 AGC Build Washington awards in the categories of Excellence in Technology and Private Building $50M-$100M. The firm has also received repeated commendations from publications and has secured top places in the different rankings that measure the participating companies’ accomplishments in building and business practices. 

While the firm has continuously secured its reputation as the industry’s leading builder for a wide range of markets, its focus on quality and building memorable projects don’t take away its concern for the well-being of its employees. Ted Herb, the firm’s president, is a strong advocate for employee welfare. His leadership focuses more on making sure that everyone, from its carpenters to its clients, has everything they need to achieve success, prioritize safety, and ultimately provide quality performance.

By combining the firm’s experience and concern for its people, the firm has gained the trust of elite clients who share the same values. For instance, Microsoft Corporation, known for its diverse and inclusive workforce, awarded the firm with a large-scale commercial office space build-out at the Lincoln Square Tower. Through a collaboration with JPC Architects, the project earned the LEED certification for commercial interiors. The tenant improvement work served as the pilot project for the tech giant’s Workplace Advantage, a program that helps design a highly optimized work environment.


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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 improving an office 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.