As the second-largest metropolitan area in the United States, Los Angeles’s demand for large-scale construction is high in order to accommodate offices and establishments. This list compiles the best large building general contractors, which have constructed some of the biggest and most notable establishments found in the city. These contractors are evaluated based on their industry rankings, the quality of their projects in the city, the number of projects they have built in the area, their accreditations, and the awards and recognition they have received throughout the years.
1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 2600, Los Angeles, CA 90067
AECOM is a Los Angeles-based global general contractor and design-build firm established in 1990, after five of the subsidiaries of the Ashland Oil & Refining Company came together as one company. This Fortune 500 firm employs 80,000 professionals in more than 150 countries all over the world. AECOM earned revenues of over $17 billion in 2016 and over $18 billion in 2018, as well as a laundry list of awards, including the Institution of Structural Engineers Supreme Award, the Environmental Business Journal Industry Leadership Award, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) LA Design Award.
The 1.5 million-square-foot LAC + USC Medical Center at 2051 Marengo Street is one of AECOM’s major contributions to Los Angeles. Taking the lion’s share of the project is the 680,000-square-foot, 600-bed in-patient tower, which is joined by the 430,000-square-foot seismic base-isolated diagnostic and treatment building, the 330,000-square-foot outpatient building, and the 50,000-square-foot below-grade central plant.
555 First St., San Fernando, CA 91340
Brothers Doug, Greg, and Jeff Bernards formed Bernards in 1974, a Los Angeles-headquartered, employee-owned builder and construction management firm. The company is currently staffed by over 300 employees, including 50 LEED Accredited Professionals across the company’s five California offices. Bernards has won many of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the AIA LA Design Awards, the Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Awards, the (Engineering-News Record) ENR Best Projects Awards, and the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) National Design-Build Award of Merit.
One of the firm’s notable projects is the Wilshire La Brea. The 800,000-square-foot project features a six-story building with 480 residential units above a 44,000-square-foot retail space, and two and one-half levels of subterranean parking for 997 cars. Amenities in this project include two pools, fitness facilities, lounges, clubrooms, and sundecks. The project received the ENR California Best Residential/Hospitality Project and the PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award in the Best on the Boards Mixed-Use Project category.
Charles Pankow Builders
1 Sutter St. Suite #200, San Francisco, CA 94109
Charles Pankow established his eponymous firm with its high-quality design-build services in 1963. Today, Pankow is a reputable designer-builder with more than 1,000 completed projects. Based in California with a wholly-owned subsidiary in Hawaii, the firm is one of the founding organizations behind the Design-Build DBIA. For many years, the firm has dedicated itself to delivering exceptional projects from inception and design to construction and completion. Pankow has received numerous recognitions, including the DBIA National Awards, the ENR Best Project Awards, and the American Society of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence.
The Emerson is a 20-story, 270-unit high-rise residential tower with four levels of parking that Pankow built for Related California. The ground floor houses a restaurant, a cafe, a main lobby, a technology center, an office space, and a fitness center. The primary residence hall follows from the 2nd to the 18th story. The top or 20th story is the Penthouse level, which contains a large rooftop terrace, a party room, a kitchen, dwelling units, and accessory building service rooms.
18201 Von Karman Ave. Suite #800, Irvine, CA 92612
Founded in 1906, Clark Construction has grown from a small local excavator into one of the most trusted contractors in the entire United States today. With over 4,200 employees spread across its regional offices, the company has the experience and capability to tackle every project of every size imaginable, and successfully deliver them with impeccable results. The firm has won many awards, including the Associated General Contractors Build America Awards, ABC National Excellence in Construction Eagle Awards, ENR Best of the Best Awards, DBIA Awards, and Sustainability Awards.
Among Clark’s most impressive projects is the 1.5-million-square-foot LAC+USC Replacement Medical Facility. The project features a 600-bed facility with an outpatient clinic building, an eight-story inpatient tower, a five-story diagnostic and treatment building, and a central energy plant. The project is specifically designed and built to withstand natural disasters as well as other emergency situations. This project received numerous awards including two national Best of the Best Awards.
C.W. Driver Companies
468 N Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107
Pasadena-based C.W. Driver Companies is a general contractor and designer-builder serving California since 1919. The firm specializes in general contracting, construction management, and design-build services for clients in the academic, entertainment and sports, retail, civic and cultural, commercial, office, hospitality and gaming, healthcare, residential, and senior living industries. C.W. Driver’s extensive resume of achievements and recognitions includes the LA Architectural Award of Excellence, the AIACC Award of Honor, the AIA Los Angeles Design Merit Award, and the ENR California Best Projects Award.
Among C.W. Driver’s projects is the 460,000-square-foot senior living facility in Playa Vista. The project is a continuing care retirement community featuring 175 independent living residences, as well as 24 assisted living and memory care apartments. The structure also includes one level of basement parking with 218 spaces, a courtyard and patio at the ground level with a café, bar, and outdoor dining area, theater, full-service salon and day spa, library and business center, art and activity studio, fitness center, a rooftop with a swimming pool, garden, and a café with outdoor dining.
811 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #1500, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Founded in 1911, Hathaway Dinwiddie is a San Francisco-based construction company with offices in Santa Clara and Los Angeles. The firm currently has more than 300 regular employees, a third of which are LEED Accredited Professionals. The company is experienced in a wide variety of project types, including commercial office, higher education, biopharmaceutical, healthcare, technology, entertainment, finance, and special-use facilities. President and CEO Greg Cosko currently heads the company. Among the numerous awards received by the firm are the ENR California Contractor of the Year Award and the DBIA National Award of Merit.
Hathaway Dinwiddie is currently building Epic, an office tower at 5901 Sunset Boulevard. The 15-story tower is divided into four major components: a nine-story, 340,000-square-foot office space, 15,000-square-foot ground-floor retail, a 5-story 300,000-square-foot above-grade parking, and 2-level 100,000-square-foot below-grade parking. The tower also includes a rooftop central plant, outdoor terraces, extensive lush landscaping, and associated site work. Epic seeks to achieve LEED Gold Certification upon its completion.
18850 Von Karman Ave. Suite #100, Irvine, CA 92612
Hensel Phelps is a Colorado-headquartered, employee-owned general contractor and developer with offices in California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Formed in 1937, the company has a diverse portfolio of projects within the country and abroad. These projects include aviation and transportation, commercial office, educational, government, healthcare, mission-critical, hospitality and leisure, industrial, justice and public safety, lab and research, multi-residence, museum, and library. In recent years, Hensel Phelps has been the recipient of the Associated General Contractors Build America Award and the DBIA Award.
In Los Angeles, Hensel Phelps constructed the $217-million, 194,000-square-foot Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Medical Center. The project consisted of the renovation of the existing Inpatient Tower (IPT) Building to house 120 patient beds and other hospital services. It also consisted of the 23,000-square-foot Ancillary Building which contains the main entry point and lobby to the hospital, as well as a cafeteria, and the Hospital Administration. This project received the Los Angeles Architectural Awards and the Award of Excellence in the Healthcare sector by the Los Angeles Business Council, among many others.
261 S Figueroa St. Suite #120, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Founded by Paul, Al, and Steve Matt in 1991, Matt Construction offers general contracting services throughout Los Angeles. The firm builds in multiple sectors, including mixed-use, hospitality, education, cultural, multifamily, sports, and healthcare. Putting a premium in quality construction, the firm incorporates key principles from ISO 9000, lean construction, Six Sigma, and the QA/QC process formalized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in its building process. Thanks to its quality building services, the firm has received multiple industry awards such as the ENR Regional Best Project Award of Merit in 2018 and the 2017 AIA Los Angeles Presidential Honoree, among many others.
Matt constructed the 8th & Hope mixed-use project in downtown LA. The 588,531-square-foot building features a 22-story tower with 290 one- and two-bedroom apartments and six floors of parking. It also houses a 5,000-square-foot retail space and a helipad.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
20401 SW Birch St., Newport Beach, CA 92660
Established over 150 years ago, McCarthy Building Companies is the oldest privately-held national construction company in the U.S. What started as a small lumber business in Ann Arbor has now become one of the largest and most diversified commercial construction companies in the country, with 16 offices across the nation. A family-owned company for 138 years, McCarthy became 100 percent employee-owned in 2002.
The company takes pride in its industry-leading design and construction techniques combined with value-add technology. McCarthy’s commitment to helping clients maximize outcomes has earned the company a multitude of industry awards and recognition from Engineering News-Record (ENR), Building Design + Construction, The American Institute of Architects, and other prominent publications. The company was also ranked as the 21st Largest Domestic General Contractor by ENR in 2019 and honored with the Best Place to Work and Healthiest Employer recognitions for its sustainable building practices.
One of McCarthy’s noteworthy projects is the Sunset Bronson Studios ICON Office Tower. Located on a 4.4-acre site, ICON is the new home to Netflix’s LA headquarters. With Gensler Architects as the architect of record, McCarthy built the 14-story, Class A office tower that features innovative design and state-of-the-art building systems This project received the 2017 ENR California Best Project for Office/Retail/Mixed-Use award and achieved LEED Gold certification.
2507 Empire Ave., Burbank, CA 91504
McCormick Construction is a Burbank-based family-owned and operated general contractor and servicing California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. From its humble beginnings in 1914, this fourth-generation firm has grown into a premier builder specializing in general construction and construction management of mid- to high-rise commercial and institutional buildings, industrial projects, retail stores, medical facilities, and multifamily establishments. McCormick has been a recipient of many awards, including the Design-Build Institute of America National Award of Merit, the ENR Best Project Awards, and the ENR California Award of Merit.
Among the firm’s projects is the Element LA. The project consisted of the complete structural upgrade to five existing buildings over 12 acres, with a total of 300,000 square feet. The project featured the strengthening, repair, and restoration of bow truss roof systems, as well as the construction of a new breezeway to connect the existing buildings. The project received LEED Gold Certification.
3330 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Santa Monica-based Morley Builders is an employee-owned, full-service general contractor that serves southern California. The company specializes in general construction for major civic structures, educational and research facilities, parking structures, commercial, retail, medical and healthcare buildings, and multifamily residential complexes. The firm is also experienced in design-build, seismic strengthening, preservation, modernization, and sustainable projects. A spot in ENR’s Top 400 Contractors and a Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Award are just some of the accolades achieved by Morley.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles called upon Morley to build the 480,000-square-foot Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels at 555 West Temple Street. The church replaces the former Cathedral of St. Vibiana as the seat of the Archdiocese. The current cathedral has the capacity to seat 3,000 people and accommodate 5,000 more in its grand public plaza. Notable features include the largest installation of alabaster windows in the world, faceted architectural concrete walls with hundreds of non-repeating angles, integration of commissioned artworks, seismic base isolation, and architectural concrete designed for a service life of 500 years. Called by the Wall Street Journal as “the most impressive large interior space ever built in Los Angeles,” the cathedral won ENR’s Top Seismic Project Award.
18980 Ventura Blvd. Suite #200, Tarzana, CA 91356
Sinanian Development has long been one of California’s most reputable residential and commercial contractors. Founded by the Sinanian brothers in 1983, the company has honed its expertise in various facets of construction and has worked on numerous multifamily, commercial, educational, municipal, and healthcare facilities as well as tenant improvement and restoration projects. This construction excellence has earned the company multiple awards and recognition including being ranked #52 in ENR’s 2018 list of Top 100 Contractors in California and among the United States’ Top 400 Contractors.
Among the company’s recent projects is the Topaz Apartments in Main Street. The project features 159 units as well as seven retail spaces along Los Angeles Street and two large retail spaces along Main Street. Amenities of the project include a fitness center, pool and spa, a courtyard, and other community rooms.
865 S Figueroa St. Suite #3000, Los Angeles, CA 90017
In 1888, a young Swedish migrant in Los Angeles started a brick masonry and contracting business that grew into Swinerton, a San Francisco-headquartered general contractor. Today, the firm has 3,500 employees and 15 offices across the country, including the origin city of Los Angeles. The firm has received numerous awards by numerous organizations, including the Associated General Contractors of California Safety Excellence Award, ENR California #1 General Contractor, CEA Award for Excellence in Safety, ENR California Best Project Awards, and the AIA Award of Honor for Excellence in Design and Execution.
Swinerton designed and built Crescent Heights’s high-rise apartment complex Ten Thousand at 10000 Santa Monica Boulevard. Built as the most high-tech residential complex in the United States, this 40-story tower features a plethora of electronics-based amenities, such as a proprietary concierge app and a staff of robotic butlers named Charley, as well as one-of-a-kind amenities such as on-site Botox doctors and a rentable Rolls-Royce Phantom. The complex houses 283 units plus a penthouse level on the top floor.
Turner Construction Company
555 S Flower St. Suite #4220, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Turner Construction Company is a New York-headquartered international general contractor established in 1905. Today, the firm boasts a staff of 5,200 employees in over 57 offices around the world and an annual global portfolio of 1,500 projects and an aggregate value of $10 billion. Turner’s Los Angeles office was its first in California, established in 1964. The firm’s projects in Los Angeles have earned many accolades, including the ENR Top 100 Green Buildings Contractors, Building Design + Construction Top Contractor, the National Building Museum Honor Award, and the AGC in the Community Award.
Turner built the Wilshire Grand Center at 900 Wilshire Boulevard. At 73 stories high, the tower is the tallest building in the United States west of the Mississippi River. This mixed-use building houses 900 luxury hotel rooms, 20 floors of rentable, Class-A offices, and more than 45,000 square feet of restaurant and upscale retail space. It also features a 70th-floor sky lobby with a signature observation deck and pool, a variety of innovative public plazas and gathering spaces, and below-ground parking for 1,250 cars. A testament to the building’s size is the concrete pour done for its foundation. The building achieved the largest continuous concrete pour, running more than 20 hours as certified by the Guinness World Record. This record was held from 2014 to 2015.
550 S Hope St. Suite #2100, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Bill Wilson, Ross Edwards, Dave Boyd, and Miller Ream founded Webcor in 1971 in San Mateo, with the goal of delivering projects with unmatched innovation, efficiency, and personal involvement. In 2007, Webcor became the latest acquisition by Obayashi, a major Japanese general construction firm. Webcor has headquarters in San Francisco, and offices in Los Angeles, Alameda, San Jose, and Honolulu. Webcor has received a multitude of awards, including the Gold Nugget Grand Award, the ENR California Contractor of the Year Award, and the ENR Top 400. Webcor also received an ISO 9001 Certification in 2013, the only California-based general contractor to have done so.
Webcor Construction constructed the Hotel Indigo Los Angeles Downtown, a 332,623-square-foot hotel with 350 rooms and a connected parking totaling 51,729 square feet. Located within the 6.3-acre, $1-billion Metropolis development, the project includes high-end amenities including a lounge and bar space, a meeting and convention space, a pool deck, and a fitness space. The LEED Silver Certified project is inspired by the 1920s Prohibition era.