Chicago is a lively, urban city characterized by skyscrapers and bold architecture. The city is home to more than 2.7 million people living in various neighborhoods, each with a personality of its own. West Loop is Chicago’s culinary capital. Lincoln Park has lines of high-end boutiques, homes, and restaurants. River North and Gold Coast, on the other hand, have impressive skylines due to the sheer number of high-rise buildings.
It is Michigan Avenue, a north-south street stretching along the Chicago Grid, that features many of the city’s retailers. This area is home to many international brands and labels. Set against a backdrop of older Chicago buildings, these retail stores must be designed and constructed to demand attention. Read on to learn more about the best retail contractors in Chicago.
Dickinson Cameron Construction
109 W. 26th Unit 2A, New York
About Dickinson Cameron Construction
Dickinson Cameron is a leading, prolific retail and restaurant construction firm. The company has completed over a hundred projects throughout the U.S. in its 20 years of operation – ranging from complete ground-up construction, flagship stores, and build-outs, to structural renovations, and interior remodels. Their clientele includes Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Apple, Barneys, Burberry, and other retail giants. Frank Naliboff currently heads the firm as its President and CEO.
In Chicago, DCC has constructed stores for Montblanc, Lululemon Athletica, Sandro, Hermes, and Adidas. The company also completed the Chicago branch for jeweler Van Cleef and Arpels, and for high-end, home furnishing company Z Gallerie.
The firm offers pre-construction planning and project management, specifically detailed scope qualification, site survey, value engineering, coordination of permitting and approvals, and labor and contract review. DCC also offers green building options for clients. DCC’s work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Forbes, WWD, and Los Angeles Ranked.
3423 N. Drake Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618
About Novak Construction
Novak Construction Company is a Chicago-based general construction firm in more than 30 states. The firm offers construction services in commercial and mixed-use residential markets. Novak employs numerous LEED accredited professionals and has experience in all levels of green-building construction practices. John Novak is the firm’s founder and president. The firm ranked 192nd in Crain’s Largest Privately Held Companies in Chicago, and 363rd in ENR’s Top Contractors List. Almost 85 percent of their projects came from repeat clients. The firm credits it to their excellence and accountability.
“At Novak, we take the time to understand our clients, enabling us to begin each project with a clear picture of their expectations and vision. Regardless of project type, we ensure our client’s satisfaction with the process, outcome, and value for their construction investment.”
Novak’s projects included large-scale retail stores. The firm constructed 55 Whole Foods Market branches in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, and Minnesota. Novak also worked on 150 Costco Wholesale branches in different areas – each having 135,000 to 150,000 square feet of retail space. The firm was the general contractor for Naperville and Westmont branches for Standard Market, and all four branches of Heinen’s Fine Foods in Illinois. Novak worked on 100 locations of Target, a leading supermarket store chain. The Chicago branch was awarded a LEED Silver, while the Target Express store in Downtown Chicago received the Gold Award of Excellence from the Association For Retail Environment (ARE).
WM. A. Randolph, Incorporated
820 Lakeside Drive, Suite 3, Gurnee, IL 60031
About WM. A. Randolph, Incorporated
Founded in 1958, WM. A. Randolph Inc. focused initially on building Illinois infrastructure such as sewage treatment plants, bridges, and pumping stations, but shifted to commercial construction in the 1990s, now building hotels, hospitals, parking decks, offices, restaurants, and retail centers. Randolph ranked 25th in Crain’s List Chicago’s Largest Contractors in 2010.
“We are committed to providing you with the kind of engineering and construction expertise needed to get your project successfully off the ground and one-on-one service to manage it every step of the way. Our philosophy is simple: we’re not satisfied until you are,” they state on the company website.
Under their retail service, Randolph offers tenant build-outs, big box stores, grocery stores, urban infill projects, inline retail centers, mall redevelopment, facade renovations, structured parking, and mixed-use facilities. The firm has worked on a Walmart store, Kohl’s, CVS/Pharmacy, the Vitamin Shoppe, CarMax, Mariano’s Fresh Market, and a corner branch for the Banana Republic.
Randolph appeared in Construction Magazine in a piece titled Evolving with Time, which celebrated the construction of American landmarks.
3903 West Martin Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89118
About PWI Construction
PWI Construction was founded in 1985, and over the course of 30 years has completed a myriad of luxury retail, hospitality, restaurant, and specialty construction projects throughout the country. PWI has worked with Bvlgari, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, Marriott International, Ritz Carlton, and several others in various industries. The firm has completed 1,800 projects – 250 of which in the last five years. Jeff Price is the current president of PWI Construction.
“We will provide the highest quality craftsmanship using the latest construction techniques with the best materials and service, to exceed our partner’s expectations,” they say on their website.
PWI has constructed Chicago stores for high-end brands such as Cartier, Cole Haan, Giorgio Armani, Prada, and Tiffany & Company. The firm also worked with other brands such as Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Escada, Etro, Fendi, Ferrari, Gucci, Hermes, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Piaget, Michael Kors, Rolex, Ted Baker London, Versace, and Tory Burch.
The company offers feasibility studies, materials evaluations, site analysis, value engineering, conceptual budgeting, CPM Scheduling, pre-construction services, general contracting services, and project management. The firm’s work has appeared in Foothills Magazine, in the Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Hot List, and their restaurants for TAO and LAVO made it to Vegas Eater’s ‘Biggest Sales.’
917 W. Washington | Suite 275, Chicago, IL 60607
About MOD Construction
MOD Construction is one of the most renowned and go-to construction firms in Chicago – having completed hundreds of residential and commercial projects. MOD has worked with top clients such as Audemars Piguet, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, Ulysee Nardin, Waldorf Astoria, and ECJ Luxe. The firm received a Special Recognition from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Chicago for one of their residential projects in Chicago.
“We are proud to say that 100% of our work comes from client referrals and repeat business from our satisfied clients. We are always interested in the prospect of working with our clients to accomplish their dreams and goals,” the firm states on its website.
The company has completed Chicago projects for high-end retailers Del Toro, a handmade Italian shoe store, Swiss watchmakers Ulysse Nardin and Audemars Piguet. The Ulysse Nardin store has an all-glass, black and white store. Their work for Piguet contrasts contemporary finishes with natural elements such as stones and leaves. The firm has also worked on numerous apartment renovations, restaurant build-outs, and a million-dollar garage.
MOD offers an array of construction services for residential and commercial projects. The firm’s project managers can complete the projects on time and on budget. MOD’s works have appeared in Modern Luxury – Gold Coast, Houses Now, Chicago Tribune, and DNA Info Chicago.
Englewood Construction Management
80 Main Street, Lemont IL 60439
About Englewood Construction Management
Englewood Construction Management (ECI) is a Lemont-based general contractor specializing in commercial construction. The firm was founded in 2001 and has since expanded their construction projects in retail, restaurant, office, senior housing and hospitality construction industries throughout the U.S. Bill Di Santo is the current president of ECI.
ECI is experienced in building projects as large as substantial shopping malls, and as small as a single store branch of a label. Their mall projects in Illinois include the Fox Valley Shopping Center, Hawthorne Center, Shopping Center on Golf, Bolingbrook Commons, Oak Brook Peppermill, Wheaton Plaza, Two Rivers, and Maple Park. The firm also worked on The Shoppes at Farmington Valley in Canton, Connecticut, and the Brazos Mall in Texas. ECI has also built individual stores for American Girl, Ann Taylor, Spanx, Scandia Down, Dick’s Sporting Goods, J.Jill, Barnes & Noble, MNG by Mango, and international retailer Zara, as well as big-box retailers such as Hobby Lobby and Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
ECI offers general construction and management from inception to completion. The firm has a database of more than 20,000 qualified subcontractors and suppliers across the country to provide service. Englewood has been featured in the Daily Herald Business Ledger, Heartland Real Estate Business, Northern Illinois Real Estate Journal, Construction Dive and other business and industry publications. Retail & Restaurant Facility Business and Restaurant Development + Design have profiled their restaurant projects.
WE O’Neil Construction
1245 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607
About WE O’Neil Construction
W.E. O’Neil Construction, a general construction firm, has worked on several high-profile retailing projects in Chicago. The firm was founded in 1925, and has won numerous awards and high rankings. Brian Ramsay currently serves as the firm’s CEO and President, and William O’Neil as the chairman. The company places a high value on relationships with clients, and prides itself on 80% of its work coming from repeat customers.
The firm has worked with international clothing retailer H&M and GH + A Design Studios in building an 11,000 square-foot, three-story building with basement on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. They also completed a build-out for the Canada Goose flagship store, and in a team-up with Callison Architecture, they built the Chicago Nordstrom – all 237,000 square feet of a department store with renovations. Other projects include a three-floor renovation and build-out of 60,000 square feet building for Japanese retailer Uniqlo, the retail center at 108 N. State Street, Barneys New York, Bloomingdale’s Medinah Temple, and Metra Market.
W.E. O’Neil Construction has won several distinctions, including the Design Award from A + Awards, the Gold Award from Landscape Contractors Association, the Large Contractor of the Year award by the Cornerstone Foundation, ENR Best Renovation Project, and Best Office Project from the Los Angeles Business Journal. Building Design + Construction ranked the firm as 17th in its Top 75 Retail Construction Firms.
LG Construction + Development
2234 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
About LG Construction + Development
Founded by Brian Goldberg and Marc Lifshin in 2005, LG Construction + Development since expanded to offer construction, management, and warranty. The firm is best known for completing luxury residential and commercial projects. They pride themselves on their ability to combine high design and quality craftsmanship with attention to client needs.
In River North, the firm worked on a 30,000 square-foot build-out of Chicago-based online high-end clothing-service and stylists-haven, Trunk Club, and transformed a loading dock into a high-end retail store for Oliver Peoples. They constructed the Wicker Park branches of Paris-based luxury goods brand Diptyque, and New York-based clothing store, Steven Alan. LG also built a pop-up store for Goop, a lifestyle company owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, in Gold Coast’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, and just a few blocks away, reconfigured a 5,000 square-foot showroom for Italian tile icon Transceramica to showcase 8,000 square-feet of installed Italian and U.S. custom-made tile.
LG’s work has appeared in Curbed Chicago, Construction Today, Building Up Chicago, Multi-Housing News, Architect Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago, Loop North News, and Chicago Architecture.
1200 W. Lake Street, Suite 200, Chicago, 60607
About Centaur Construction
Founded by 1998, Centaur Construction is a Chicago-based construction company that works in a variety of different markets, such as new construction, historic renovation, and hospitality constructions. The firm, currently headed by Spiro Tsaparas, partners with world-class architects, designers, and developers.
The firm worked on the flagship store of Barney’s, on a succession of retail buildings that would be the stores for Bebe, Intermix, and Lululemon Athletica at 1627 N. Damen, and a one-story commercial retail development – to be the location for international retailers Club Monaco and LeSportsac at 1727 N. Damen. They recently completed work on the upcoming, five-star Nobu Hotel & Restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop.
Centaur offers general contracting, construction services, real estate development, owner’s representation, and other services. Their work has been featured in appeared in Antiques & Fine Art and the Chicago Tribune.
Summit Design Build
1032 W. Fulton Market, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607
About Summit Design Build
Summit Design + Build is an award-winning, highly-cited general contracting firm based in Chicago. Founded by Adam Miller in 2005, the firm has completed more than 150 projects in different markets. The company won the Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Project Award given by the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards in 2012 and was included by the ENR Midwest in its Midwest Top Contractor lists in 2015 and 2016. The firm offers residential, industrial, and commercial construction services, with a speciality in residential projects, offices, hotels, retail stores, and warehouses.
Summit has worked on the renovation, masonry repair, and installation of storefront windows for 13,530 square feet at 1504 N. Fremont. At 1601 N. Milwaukee, and on a three-story showroom, retail space, and full test kitchen for Boelter Contract/Design Chicago, a firm specializing in commercial kitchen design. High-end retail spaces constructed by Summit include a 2,500 square-foot build-out for Carolina Herrera, and Nanette Lepore’s Chicago store.
Summit’s work has been featured in Midwest Real Estate News and Crain’s Chicago Custom Media. The firm’s other accolades include a Building Innovation Award from the USGBC-Illinois in 2015, the 2015 Silver Medal Design Award from the Association of Licensed Architects, and the Silver Key Award and Golden Key Award from the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago in 2007 and 2008 respectively.