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The Best Tenant Improvement Contractors in Chicago, Illinois

13 Min Read

The third-largest city in the United States, Chicago is for individuals seeking a world-class metropolis with Midwest values. The vibrant city is full of culture, Michelin-starred restaurants, a world-class Central Business District, and neighborhoods that form the backbone of the city’s colorful history, cleaner than New York and with a richer history than Los Angeles. Chicago is also home to 31 Fortune 500 companies, including Boeing, Kraft Foods Group, and worldwide fast-food chain McDonald’s. Chicago offers plenty of job opportunities for anyone wishing to work for a massive firm on one of the biggest stages on the planet.

This article lists some of the best tenant improvement contractors in Chicago. These firms were first evaluated, then chosen for their impressive portfolios, awards, and, most of all, their ability to exceed client expectations.

McShane Construction

9500 W Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 200, Rosemont, IL 60018

McShane Construction is a general contractor providing preconstruction, design-build, design-assist, and construction management services in Illinois, Nashville, Wisconsin, and various parts of the south, the southwest, and the west. Since the firm’s inception in 1984, the firm has solidified its reputation as a premier national industrial and commercial builder. The firm has an impressive portfolio that features multifamily complexes, industrial facilities, healthcare facilities, fitness centers, and office buildings. The firm has proven its ability to deliver high quality and professionalism in every project. It develops long-term strategies for each project to create unique developments that consistently exceed client expectations. Supported by a team of high-skilled professionals, the firm takes a meticulous, hands-on approach to every project detail from conception to completion, ensuring a flawless, stress-free experience for its clients.

McShane Construction Company’s corporate offices are located at Gateway O’Hare, where the firm completed comprehensive tenant upgrade construction for their new office unit. The layout of the 26,300-square-foot room was created in response to the raw space’s unique qualities. Different work zones surround a central common area, and the new space includes a break room with a contemporary kitchen and café and bar-style seating. Various conference rooms, open team areas, and training rooms complete the welcoming workspace.

Leopardo Companies

210 N Carpenter Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607

The construction firm Leopardo Companies was founded in 1977 to serve Illinois, Florida, and California with exceptional projects. The firm is backed by a team of high-skilled professionals equipped with the resources to produce world-class projects using cutting-edge processes. The firm’s comprehensive services include design-build, MEP coordination, integrated project delivery, lean construction, virtual design and construction, high-performance building, and self-performed trades. Through turnkey construction services and collaborative project approaches, the firm is dedicated to providing superior quality, exceptional professionalism, and outstanding value to its stakeholders. Over the years, the firm has earned massive recognition for its impressive portfolio, including over 450 industry awards, 8 contractor of the year awards, 15 project of the year awards, and 10 safety awards.

The firm provided tenant upgrade and build-out services for Hahn Loeser & Parks, a high-end law office located on the 27th floor of 200 W. Madison. A copy service center, file rooms, case rooms, conference rooms with audiovisual equipment, and open and private offices are all part of the new area. The firm also installed a 12-foot long LED fabric-wrapped oval light fixture in the main conference room.

Pepper Construction

643 North Orleans Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Since its inception in 1927, Pepper Construction Group has provided general contracting and construction management services to the non-residential, private, and government sectors in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. With nearly a century of experience in the industry, the firm has earned an impressive portfolio of projects in various industries including civic, cultural, corporate, entertainment, healthcare, and higher education. The firm is backed by a team of project managers and field supervisors committed to meeting each customer’s individual demand while emphasizing developing long-term relationships to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience. The firm’s impressive quality and dedication to outstanding customer service have earned it a reputation as a reputable contractor in the midwest, thanks to a solid track record of satisfied clients.

Starbucks’ new Reserve Roastery Chicago, located on Michigan Avenue, had its core-and-shell work and interior build-out done by Pepper Construction. The project consists of a four-story, 43,000-square-foot coffee lover’s fantasy with personalized accents throughout and each floor offering a unique experience. It has everything from a reserve coffee bar, a bakery, a café, an experiential coffee bar, a cocktail bar, and a rooftop terrace. The first in the Midwest, the curving escalator is one of the most unusual features.

Skender Construction

1330 W Fulton Market, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60607

Skender Construction has been in the industry for an impressive 67 years. The firm has remained committed to its belief that construction should be efficiently managed to satisfy time and cost objectives. This mindset has shaped its operations and processes to focus on an integrated project approach, long-lasting relationships, and meticulous management, resulting in high-quality projects on schedule and within budget. The firm has a team of more than 200 industry specialists dedicated to delivering invaluable knowledge, superior quality, and outstanding professionalism. The firm has experience completing projects for various market sectors, including civic and cultural, commercial, education, government, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, religious, residential, retail, and gaming.

One of the firm’s notable projects is the Chicago office of the technology startup LinkedIn, which underwent a multi-phased interior refurbishment. The project features new workspaces, conference rooms, phone rooms, huddle rooms, a new cafe, pantry, an open office style, and additions spanning multiple floors. The project included a big connecting stair between the fifth and sixth levels.

Berglund Construction

8410 S. South Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617

Berglund Construction was founded in 1911. It offers an impressive 111 years of experience serving Chicago and its nearby areas with exceptional projects. This family-owned and operated general contracting and restoration company has solidified its national reputation with its impressive portfolio and a solid track record of satisfying clients. The firm believes that its success comes from its employees’ personal investment in each project and client, resulting in a hands-on, meticulous approach. The firm continuously finds new, inventive methods to offer value to its clients to ensure high-quality projects that consistently exceed expectations. Its dedication to excellence focuses on client needs, staff empowerment, job site safety, and process improvement.

Gold Eagle—a world-class manufacturer of premium fuel, engine cleansers, and additives—hired Berglund to build a 10,000 square-foot expansion to their existing headquarters to accommodate their growing personnel. The new tenant improvement project created a more modern and vibrant work environment that aims to help attract new employees. The extension created a modern, coherent façade by balancing the use of new industrial materials with the original yellow brick. The new main entrance is highlighted by a cantilevered canopy, and indigenous vegetation flanks the new building.

Novak Construction

3423 N. Drake Ave., Chicago, IL 60618

Novak Construction, founded in 1980, is a Chicago, Illinois-based nationwide general contractor and construction management firm. With 42 years in the business, the firm has remained committed to building exceptional projects that realize its clients’ visions. On every project it undertakes, the firm’s client-centered processes allow it to take an integrated, hands-on, and personalized approach, understanding its goals and vision. The firm is dedicated to guaranteeing client satisfaction with its streamlined processes, successful outcomes, and added value for the client’s construction investment. The firm is backed by a team of professionals that bring years of experience, predictability, accountability, and control, ensuring high-quality projects are delivered on schedule and within budget.

Novak Construction provided tenant improvement services as the general contractor for the Naperville and Westmont Standard Market locations. A cheese-aging “cave,” a full-service coffee bar, bakery, gelato, pasta, sushi, popcorn stations, and two separate sit-down eating rooms were among the custom features of the new Naperville location. The Westmont project consisted of shell construction and tenant improvement work, including a full restaurant, a wine and cheese shop, and other amenities. New MEPFPs and new refrigeration systems for food cases were included in the scope of work.

Executive Construction

425 South Financial Place, Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60605

Executive Construction is a general contractor founded in 1984, which serves Chicago and its neighboring areas with exceptional projects. With over 48 years of experience, the firm is committed to delivering unwavering integrity, straightforward process, operational excellence, and collaborative teams that ensure a smooth and stress-free construction experience. The firm has completed countless projects in the new construction, interiors, renovations, and tenant improvement projects in various markets ranging from $50,000 to $100 million. With its focus on constant communication and close collaboration, the firm has built a reputation as a reliable and trusted partner to nationally recognized architects and engineers, producing high-quality projects that consistently exceed client expectations.

The 16 W. Adams Meets is one of the firm’s most significant projects. The project is a 49,000-square-foot tenant buildout that includes various office, meeting, and event spaces. The new addition can cater to 280 people in technology-rich meeting rooms. It also includes a lounge, dining and reception areas, and a kitchen.

Keeley Construction

245 Sidney Court, Villa Park, IL 60181

Keeley Building has been serving the Chicagoland construction industry for 44 years. The firm, founded in 1978, has worked with a diverse range of customers and markets, including office, commercial, industrial, warehouse, food service, education, and LEED projects. The firm has established an excellent track record of successful projects. The Keeley team includes highly-skilled construction professionals who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality possible. Every member of the firm’s experienced team is committed to delivering excellence and performance that meets or exceeds specified standards on every part of the job.

One of the firm’s notable projects is the Wesco Office in Woodridge, Illinois. Offices on both floors, a two-floor reception room, warehousing space, and a two-stop hydraulic elevator were all necessary for the two-level complex. The deck was built using bar joists, composite metal, and concrete on the inside, and we erected a structural steel mezzanine covering 10,560 square feet. A precast concrete drive-in ramp was used to gain entrance to the warehouse, which was controlled by a new overhead door.

GMA Construction Group

3520 South Morgan, Suite 222-224, Chicago, IL 60609

GMA Construction, established in 2009, is a full-service construction company specializing in general contracting, construction management, design-build, and cost engineering. Since then, the firm has grown to include regional offices in Dallas and New York, and its headquarters are located in Chicago, Illinois. With over a decade of experience in the field, the firm has stayed dedicated to delivering great projects, continuously exceeding expectations. The firm takes a proactive, integrated, and collaborative approach to ensure that its clients have a seamless and stress-free experience from project conception to completion. As a result, the firm has amassed a lengthy list of delighted customers who can attest to its exceptional quality.

The firm offered design-build services to convert an existing Aldi’s Supermarket into a 17,990-square-foot state-of-the-art full-service office for a security agency in this featured project. The firm provided programming, space planning, design, and construction document services. The project’s features include a dispatch center, a situation room, private offices, conference rooms, training rooms, a huge break room, a fingerprinting area, and an executive suite.

Stratum Builders

1138 N Milwaukee Avenue, Ground Floor, Chicago, IL 60642

Stratum Builders was founded in 2011 by the father-and-son team, Stanley and Michael Walczak. They bring years of experience to the table, combining their talents and experience in commercial and residential construction to deliver exceptional projects. The firm is dedicated to delivering the guidance and support necessary to its clients—delivering exceptional projects and a streamlined experience that always surpasses expectations. The firm is backed by an expert team that has a reputation for quality, value, and client satisfaction. As a result, the firm has earned many referrals from its clients, with its client base continuing to grow year after year.

Stratum Builders Mars Foods

One of the firm’s notable projects includes the Mars Foods Headquarters in Goose Island, Chicago. The firm provided buildout and LEED Gold rehabilitation services for the existing flex space to include a commercial test kitchen, conference rooms, and glass partitions. This tenant improvement project spans 20,000 square feet.

Kelly Construction & Design

4518 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60641

Kelly Construction & Design is a full-service general contractor founded in 1988. The firm has been in the industry for over three decades. It has continuously showcased its impressive services through its portfolio of exceptional projects. The firm provides superior general contracting and design-build services to Chicago, Milwaukee, Northern Indiana, and Southern Ohio. Over the years, the firm has been dedicated to delivering outstanding customer satisfaction by ensuring projects are always delivered with the highest quality. The firm offers meticulous, hands-on, yet flexible services at a competitive price. This commitment to excellence, quality, and customer service has resulted in many satisfied clients who have experienced a smooth and seamless project delivery.

The firm has a three-decade track record of completing commercial and residential projects worth $50 million. This featured project is the Concentra Medical Centers. The firm provided tenant improvement services for 14 medical centers in the Chicago and metro Milwaukee Areas. With a project budget worth $8.4 million, each center averages about 10,000 square feet. 


  • Blaine Comeione

    Blaine has served as Editor at Chicago Architects for six years, drawing from over ten years of experience in construction and real estate. His comprehensive understanding spans commercial construction, architecture, and home builds, cultivated through diverse roles in the industry. With four years at BuildZoom and a background as a licensed real estate agent, Blaine possesses a unique perspective that enriches his editorial work. His dedication to delivering informative content is underscored by his extensive tenure in the field, ensuring that readers receive valuable insights into the dynamic world of construction and home design. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Over 6 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Editor at Chicago Architects, Previous experience at BuildZoom and Keller Williams Realty Education: Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Science - Minor in Business, 120+ Hours of New Jersey Real Estate Education, 120+ Hours of Arizona Real Estate Education