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Tenant improvement helps companies in manifold ways. A renovation can increase employee productivity and bring the firm into line with the brand. No matter how big or small the update, the firms in this list have a team of contractors capable of comprehending why a client needs an update and then making that improvement project as successful and memorable as desired. These firms have principals that possess decades of experience as well as creative designers and builders with proven track records on their team. The companies on this list also have memberships within industry organizations such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the Associated General Contractors (AGC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Design-Build Institute America (DBIA).
These firms have been recognized with awards such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)’s Safety Excellence awards and Contractor of the Year. Some also have rankings within famous industry magazines such as Engineering News-Record (ENR), Building Design + Construction, Business Insider, and Inc. Magazine. If you’re an Austin office manager looking to improve your space, you’ll find the right contractor here.
D.H. Allen Construction
512-342-1677 | 8868 Research Blvd. Suite #307, Austin, TX 78758
Through more than 10 years of work for the Austin and Round Rock areas, D.H. Allen Construction has become known as a firm that specializes in interior finish outs. Applying strict standards that result in quality and high performance during projects, D.H. Allen Construction involves itself from the preliminary planning stages through completion.
One great example of the firm’s ability is its work on Meritage Homes Corporation. Boasting a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the lobby carries a light brown hue from the couch and tables to the rock arch entering into another room and the rock columns surrounding the reception desk. Aside from building projects such as these, D.H. Allen Construction also involves itself with various communities including the American Cancer Society, Austin Smiles, and the Children Advocacy Center.
512-721-0366 | 8868 Research Blvd. Suite #410, Austin, TX 78758
For a firm established as recently in 2011, Ingenium Construction has an experienced team when it comes to building luxury hospitality, high-end residential, and general commercial projects. Though the firm was only recently established, it has a stable foundation resting on the team’s collective experience in its focused sectors and the long-term relationships with its customers and industry colleagues. And Ingenium Construction keeps up to date on current innovations in methodologies when it comes to crafting beautiful projects for its clients. CEO Aaron Salsbury heads the firm with over 30 years of experience in major construction projects including multi-family, high-end residential condominiums, and commercial works, Salsbury has several projects throughout the country. Just some of these are Beverly Wilshire and Mondrian Hotels in Los Angeles, the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen, and the Soho House Projects in both Florida and California.
Ingenium Construction is a member of industry organizations such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the San Antonio Apartment Association, the Austin Apartment Association, OSHA 30, and is a certified commercial investment member. A great example of the firm’s work is The PPA Group’s conference room. A new office tenant build-out that totals into 6,100 square feet, Ingenium Construction worked with interior designer Chase Ryan to create a rustic, industrial theme for the conference room.
S. Watts Group
512-338-4000 | 608 Morrow Street, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78752
Ever since its inception in 2015, S. Watts Group has built more than 3 million square feet in the Austin area. Though 90% of its work concerns tenant interior buildouts and remodeling projects, the firm focuses on tenant improvement and ground-up projects for all industries—high-end corporate offices, healthcare, industrial, creative spaces, and sustainable LEED/green projects. Take, for example, the firm’s work on Integra—an industrial styled office with a rustic flair that highlights the reception area boasting sliding farmhouse doors that pair with earth-colored tiled floors. All this is lit by square hanging ceiling lights that mirror the company’s brand. In addition to this project, the firm has crafted and remodeled spaces for several other notable companies. These include Xplore Technology, American Advisors Group, New York Life, Homeaway, Cushman and Wakefield, and many more.
Currently, the firm is led by principal Shane Watts—a contractor known for working with clear leadership that results in quality work.
512-288-1200 | 8868 Research Blvd., #405, Austin, TX 78758
Established in 1982, Jamail Smith is a firm doing Construction Management at Risk, design-build, preconstruction, and job order contracting. By the 1980s, Jamail Smith was performing work for public sector clients in disaster recovery efforts and renovation projects. Over the past decades, the firm focused on Job Order Contracting (JOC) with a team developed for large commercial construction projects. The firm provides this service along with doing work for senior living and commercial and retail construction through ground-up construction, renovations and additions, design-build solutions, and tenant improvements. One great example of the firm’s work is Francesca’s Corporate Office. Aside from the many wooden tables and chairs, gallery lights hang from the ceiling and are accompanied by stunning chandeliers to further highlight the room’s spaciousness.
Alongside the firm’s capability to build such projects, the firm has also won awards for its attention to safety. In 2006, it won the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.’s Gold Medal for Safety Excellence. In 2013, it gained the STEP Platinum Achievement Award for Safety Excellence. Currently, the company is headed by president and founder Jim Jamail who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and has managed more than $100 million in construction for various projects.
512-445-2424 | 1250 S Capital of Texas Hwy., Bldg. 1. Suite #250, Austin, TX 78746
A firm consistently ranked by ENR as one of the nation’s largest building contractors, Balfour Beatty was established in 1933 as a general contracting, construction management at-risk, and design-build service for public and private sectors. Projects like these helped the firm get featured in Building and Design before gaining the fourth rank in ENR’’s list of Commercial Offices Contractors and the fifth rank in correctional facility, education, and multi-unit residential. In 2017, the firm also won the Associated General Contractors (AGC)’s AGC in The Community Award. In the same year, it was named Company of The Year by the Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles (WINTER). The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) also gave them the STEP award while the National Railroad and Maintenance Association gained it the Platinum Safe Contractor Award.
One of its most notable projects is the Parsley Energy Office finish-out at Colorado Tower. Though in many ways a conservative, traditional design, the project’s assemblies and finishes were complex. Take, for example, the space’s terrazzo tiles. Customized, these tiles were polished and modified to fit the space’s countertops. This project was finished without missing milestones or missing deadlines or even with reconfigurations to the CEO’s office, wall layouts, and information technology systems.
Along with the firm’s work, Balfour Beatty is also known to support several non-profit organizations like the American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity. Balfour Beatty is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Its Texas branch is currently led by branch president Pleas Mitchell, who has been in the industry for more than 30 years. During this time, he has built several award-winning—and profitable—landmark projects for the firm.
512-275-0881 | 2201 Donley Dr. Suite #200, Austin, TX 78758
Recently established in 2002, Burt Group is a leading general contracting firm that specializes in doing ground-up construction, healthcare, residential, hospitality, and tenant improvement projects. A notable example of the firm’s complex, cutting-edge, and transformative buildings and interiors is software development and design studio, Chaotic Moon Studios. Previously, the site was merely a connection of office spaces inside the former Swift, Day and McKean-Eilers Buildings. But Burt Group was tasked to completely transform it through tenant improvements. In what was previously a dark and closed off environment, these refreshed nineteenth-century era buildings now house over 100 Chaotic Moon employees in a bright, open-plan office space.
Balancing historic and modern, the firm used natural light, raw brick, and original wood to frame stunning views of the downtown. The result is one of the most unique corporate headquarters in the region. Among other amazing features in the office, Burt Group also built a beautiful cantilevered conference room overlooking the art department by connecting the three buildings’ differing floor elevations. This room serves as the entire office’s centerpiece. Aside from this stunning and unique project, the firm has completed more than 1,200 commercial construction projects that represent over 24 million square feet in Central Texas and beyond.
Thanks to projects like this, it’s unsurprising that the firm was featured in Austin Business Journal’s 2018 Fast 50 list and won the 2014 Commercial Real Estate Awards for its work on Burnet Gateway and office development. To build projects like the Chaotic Moon Studios tenant improvement, and to gain such recognition, the Burt Group has a highly qualified team and current firm president Tommy Burt to credit. Burt, in particular, has managed over 16 million square feet of commercial interiors and other construction projects valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
Jordan Foster Construction
512-546-7231 | 2211 South IH 35. Suite #403 Austin, TX 78741
Established in 1969, Jordan Foster Construction has completed more than $8 billion of commercial, residential, infrastructure, concrete, and federal work. Since then, it has been featured in San Antonio Express-News, Houston Business Journal, Austin Business Journal, and San Antonio Business Journal. Features for such magazines can be credited from the firm’s ability to build diverse projects such as The Orthopedic Associates project. Designed with Merriman Associates/architect—a project that entailed the construction of a two-story medical office building on a 5.93-acre site—the scope included utilities, paving, shell construction with finished core, and a first-floor tenant finish-out. The building’s interior has a 66-chair lobby and reception area, a lunch break/break room, and features granite/limestone floors with an ornamental staircase.
Thanks to such projects, the firm was able to win several awards like the 2017 ENR Texas and Lousiana Excellence in Safety and Merit Award for its work on Harmony Hill Luxury Apartments. In the same year, it gained the LEED Silver Award form the USGBC, the Gold Nugget award from the PCBC, and the STEP Silver award from the ABC Houston Chapter. Currently, the firm has Darren Woody as the CEO, who holds a Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Texas and a JD from Texas Tech University. Woody is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate and has written numerous publications on construction and real estate issues. He is also a frequent speaker at leading construction industry forums. Aside from serving as the firm’s CEO, Woody is also currently a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the USGBC, and the Urban Land Institute.
512-345-7699 | 9606 N Mopac Expy. Suite #300, Austin, TX 78759
DPR started with a total of just 11 employees. But less than ten years after its establishment in 1990, the firm hit the $1 billion mark. It continues to hold rank as one of the top 50 general contractors in the country. A national commercial contractor and construction managing firm, it is capable of building diverse projects from a multi-million-dollar technical facility to a conference room renovation. One example of the firm’s notable works is the University of Texas System Building. A 19-story, 330,000 square foot modern high-rise building in downtown Austin, it has a modern boardroom adapted for video conferencing, office space, and meeting space. It also has a central conference room, dining spaces, leasable tenant space, and limited retail space.
As the progressive firm that it is, DPR has a myriad of awards. In 2019, Boston Business Journal named it as one of the Best Places to work. In the same year, the Los Angeles Business Journal gave it the Silver and Gold awards for Best Medical Project. In the previous year, it also won the Construction Employers Association Excellence in Safety Award and was ranked as the sixth Commercial Office contractor in ENR’s Top 400 Contractor list. DPR was founded by Doug Woods, Peter Nosler, and Ron Davidowski. Currently, the Austin branch has Bryan Kent as its Business Unit Leader. With a range of experience as a field engineer, estimator, developer, manager and builder, Kent has more than 20 years of experience to offer the firm.
512-328-1411 | 1221 S. MoPac Expy. Suite #250, Austin, TX 78746
A highly experienced firm that offers general construction, design-build, and construction management services, Cadence McShane is recognized as the builder of choice in the state of Texas and its surrounding region. The firm specializes in the education, multifamily, senior living, industrial, and commercial sectors. A great example of its projects is its tenant improvement work on the Forum Energy Technologies 253,838 square foot office and distribution center. Along with this tenant improvement project, the firm has also provided construction management at risk and design-build services for Riata Vista Corporate Campus. A LEED Gold project, it won ENR’s 2015 Merit award for Office/Retail/Mixed Use, the Urban Land Institute (ULI)’s 2018 Impact awards for Most Influential Project, and DBIA’s 2018 National Award of Merit.
After building several diverse projects, Cadence McShane has been ranked fourth in the 2019 top multi-family builders list of the National Family Housing. In the same year, it was also included in Building Design + Construction’s list of Top k-12 construction firms. In 2015, the firm also ranked 53rd in ENR’s list of top design-build firms. Alongside such rankings, the firm also gained several awards. Most recently, it won the 2018 Design-Build Institute America (DBIA) National Merit Award and National Excellence Award. In the previous year, it won CMAA North Texas’ Project Achievement Award, and in 2016 and 2015, the AGC’s Safety Excellence Awards.
Currently, the firm has CEO Jim McShane’s guidance. A graduate from Marquette University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering, McShane is a registered engineer in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.
512-495-9702 | 9208 Waterford Centre Blvd. Suite #100, Austin, TX 78758
Founded in 2006 on the principles of true collaboration, flexibility, mindful innovation, and commitment, Structura is known to do preconstruction, design-build, self-performed work, and sustainable construction for a variety of sectors. One notable example of these projects is its work on Retail Me Not. A project that consisted of full-floor renovations, themed tenant build outs for the 4th to 7th floors, and a rooftop deck addition, this project has many unique features. These include a multi-story TV display between the 6th and 7th floors, elaborate graphic packages with custom neon and LED lighting, conference rooms with complete AV/lighting automation, and position sensing and tracking light features, a ceiling wave wall, an espresso bar, truck beds recessed in the walls to complete the “tailgate” theme, semicircle/slanted walls and glass, and custom bubble walls. Another one of these notable features is a custom guitar-shaped layout that gives even the ceiling more personality.
After building equally unique projects, the firm was included in Austin Business Journal’s 2016 list of Top 25 commercial contractors. In 2013, it was ranked in Engineering News-Record (ENR)’s list of top 10 manufacturing and tenant improvement firms in Texas and Louisiana. In 2011, it was included in Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 fastest-growing private companies. Structura currently has partners and co-founders Rusty Morgan and Kevin Jones at the helm. Morgan is a graduate of Texas A and M University’s Bachelor of Science in Construction Science and is a USGBC LEED accredited professional. With his leadership as company president, Morgan has spearheaded the management of roughly $2 billion worth of technically challenging, fast track, and design-build projects throughout all industry sectors. Jones is also a graduate from Texas A and M University. As vice-president, he has a strong reputation for high integrity and a commitment to excellence. These qualities help him with his responsibilities in resource planning, financial planning, client relations, and marketing and business development initiatives. During his career, he has also worked on more than $2 billion worth of new construction and renovation projects for various sectors.
512-719-5251 | 1111 Smith Rd., Austin, TX 78721
Established in 1953 by Louis Spaw and Frank Glass, SpawGlass is known to do general construction alongside construction management, virtual design and construction services, and building services like interiors, maintenance. It also provides repairs in the civil, senior living and campus housing sectors. A great example of the firm’s work is its work on Pioneer Bank in Austin. Serving as the firm’s new corporate headquarters, Pioneer Bank occupies the first and second levels with offices and a branch bank while the top level is a tenant lease space. A four-level 65,000 square foot cast-in-place parking garage connects the office building.
An employee-owned company, SpawGlass has created many other unique and successful projects that helped the firm gain several awards. Some of these awards include the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)’s 2018 First Place Eagle Award for National Excellence in Construction and AIA’s 2019 Honor award for architecture. The firm has also been repeatedly ranked. In 2019, it ranked #40 on Training Magazine’s Training Top 25 list. In the previous year, it was ranked #168 in ENR’s list of Top 400 Contractors, and #32 in the list of top Texas and Louisiana contractors. Alongside awards and rankings, the firm has also been featured in the San Antonio Business Journal where it was named as Building San Antonio’s Best General Contractor.
This firm is currently managed by chairman and CEO Joel Stone. Before he became a member in 1988, Stone graduated from Harvard University’s Advanced Management program and Texas State University’s B.S. technology program. Aside from being the firm’s CEO and chairman, Stone was also the past president of the ABC Central Texas chapter. He was also a part of the Austin Chamber of Education and Talent Development Council. The City of Austin Small and Minority Council, the Construction Advisory Board of Texas State University, and the Texas State Technical College Foundation.
512-520-5518 | 1605 Canterbury St., Austin, TX 78702
Established in 2000, NOVO Construction is a boutique general contractor that focuses on tenant improvements, data centers, manufacturing, cafeterias, and laboratories. Though only recently established, the firm has provided these services for companies like Uber, SurveyMonkey, Pinterest, Informatica, and Yelp. Another one of these attractive projects is a tenant improvement project on Austin’s Informatica. With 45,000 square feet of space to work in, it consists of an open space with an intimate privacy setting facilitated by custom slat walls, hanging felt treatments, and strategically placed millworks. Along with these, the project also had geometric felt ceilings, open ceilings accenting a mechanical design, and a bar joist structure. Scattered around the office are acoustical furniture retreats, a garden themed room, a small retreat carrying a library style, and a cinema styled lounge.
For these just reasons, the firm has been featured in publications like Business Insider, TechCrunch, San Francisco Bay and Silicon Valley Business Journal, where it was ranked third on the magazine’s May 2017 list of largest general contractors before ranking first in the June issue. Many of its projects have also won Merit or Honor awards from the International Interior Design Association of Northern California (IIDA NC). These awards and recognitions are the fruit of hard work and experience of 295 employees, 38 LEED accredited professionals, and the firm’s president Jim Fowler. Fowler has extensive experience in high-tech, biotech, development, and retail construction.
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