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The Best Tenant Improvement Contractors in Boston, Massachusetts

11 Min Read
22 Boston Wharf Road Lobby

Boston is considered a center for scientific research with its proximity to some of the world’s leading universities, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As a global pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship, it is also known as the cultural and financial center not only in the New England Region but around the globe as well. It is among the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world. With the presence of academia, access to venture capital, and the presence of tech giants, the city overflows with business potential and work opportunities.

Some of Boston, Massachusetts’ best contractors for tenant improvements are highlighted in this article. These firms underwent an assessment before being selected for their outstanding portfolios, achievements, long-standing relationships with clients from various industries, and, most all, their capacity to surpass client expectations.


Shawmut Construction

560 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA 02118

National Construction management firm Shawmut Construction has four decades of experience building complex and logistically challenging projects. Aside from Massachusetts, it mainly serves Illinois, California, Nevada, Florida, and Rhode Island. The firm uses a distinct business model where it forms project teams focused on specialized expertise. These teams are composed of expert professionals, project executives, project managers, superintendents, and estimators, and it is led by Les Hiscoe as CEO. This method helps the firm provide the best services for specific projects, especially for its high-profile clients. Forbes, Los Angeles Business Journal, and Fortune all have commended its efforts.

The firm’s portfolio generally consists of academic, commercial, corporate, cultural, historic preservations, health care, life sciences, hotel, gaming, restaurants, retail, spa, health clubs, and sport venue projects. Among its retail projects is the Louis Vuitton fit-out at Copley Place. The team partnered with PEG/PARK Architects to expand the 3,700-square-foot space. It was able to keep the luxury store operational while doing construction for 22 weeks.


Columbia

100 Riverpark Dr. North Reading, MA 01864

Columbia has served the Northeastern region with its building needs since 1925. Its services include construction, project logistics, sustainability, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) strategies. The firm generally serves the education, corporate, life science, health care, energy markets, and hospitality sectors. Chairman and CEO Bruce Gordon oversee its projects and day-to-day dealings. He leads a collaborative team driven by success and is client-focused. It was recently named as one of the Top 200 Contractors for 2022 by Building Design + Construction. The team’s works were also featured in Hotel Business Magazine, Lab Manager Magazine, and Constructech Magazine.

The firm renovated the lobby for Heitman LLC, located at 260 Franklin Street. The Columbia team concentrated on utilizing the space’s potential and expanding the structure’s glass facade. With the addition of high-end finishes—marble floors, carpet insets, wood accents, painted glass, inside gardening, and artwork—the lobby is now vibrant and inviting. It also created collaborative spaces that feature a conference center, break-out area, kitchenette, and two gender-neutral restrooms. The team completed the project while the lobby remained open and tenants had access to the elevators.


JDL

9 Broad St. Suite #400, Boston, MA 02109

JDL is a leading expert in improving interior offices in Boston. The firm specializes in high-end projects developed with creative designs. It is led by Jonathan Lake, president and principal project manager, who offers 24 years of expertise. His contributions to JDL are immeasurable and are still part of the firm’s process. Lake developed a proprietary budgeting analysis and on-site estimating techniques, which helped produce a quick turn-around and estimation accuracy. It allowed the firm to expand exponentially and is now one of the largest general contractors, largest private companies, and largest family-owned businesses in Massachusetts, according to Boston Business Journal.

The firm’s portfolio contains projects from the corporate, financial, legal and professional, repositioning and amenities, retail, hospitality, specialty, science, and manufacturing sectors. Criteo on 60 State Street, Boston, is one of the firm’s notable works in the corporate industry. Criteo Properties was rapidly growing and needed a more spacious office. The JDL team refurbished the entire 14th floor, constructed a new 15th floor for expansion, and installed a stainless steel slide between floors. Criteo’s 49,130-square-foot suite was designed with a modernized look with industrial influences.


Consigli

266 Summer St. Boston, MA 02210

The oldest company on this list, Consigli, has established itself as a driving force in the commercial construction industry. Initially called Peter Consigli and Sons, it was established by Peter Consigli, a skilled mason, 105 years ago. What started as a local business quickly developed into one of the largest general contractors in the Northeast, serving Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maine, and the District of Columbia. Anthony Consigli currently leads the firm as CEO and oversees over 1,600 employees, 650 skilled workers, and 10 regional offices. Engineering News-Record (ENR) listed the firm as one of the Top 100 Green Building Contractors and named it New England’s Contractor of the Year (CotY) in 2019. Boston, Hartford, and Washington Business Journal also recognized the firm’s expertise.

Among the firm’s impressive works is the expansion of Bentall Kennedy’s Seaport District office at 22 Boston Wharf Road. The Consigli team constructed a vertical addition on top of an operational building. About 30,893 square feet of office space was added, along with new retail spaces on the ground floor. The brick masonry building received two steel reinforcing columns to support the two-story, steel-framed extension, making it both cost- and performance-effective. New elevators were also installed, as well as complete gut renovation and fit-out on multiple floors.


Cranshaw

2310 Washington St. Newton Lower Falls, MA 02462

Since 1983, Cranshaw has developed spaces for multifamily, assisted living, industrial facilities, lifestyle centers, and first-class office industries across suburban and downtown Boston. It has completed about 35 million square feet of space, amounting to over $4 billion. President Jack O’neil’s unmatched leadership helped the firm prosper. The firm also collaborates with its affiliate National Development, an interdisciplinary real estate firm. It helps Cranshaw provide an owner’s perspective early in its construction phase, especially in project management. This contributed to the firm’s recent achievement of the Mayor Thomas M. Menino Legacy Award.

The firm recently worked on the 95,000-square-foot space at 960 Massachusetts Avenue. Two third-floor expansions and the existing ballasted roof were removed to build a new 30,000-square-foot addition on top of the old building. The expansion was created to provide additional office space in the future. The team also updated the HVAC and electrical systems, renovation of the building’s facade, fit-out 52,000-square-foot admin offices, and other site improvements. Standard Electric Supply and The Recording Company remained operational during construction. The total project cost was estimated to be around $8.7 million.


Commodore Builders

404 Wyman St. Suite #400, Waltham, MA 02451

Commodore Builders is recognized as an industry leader in providing clients with urgency, accountability, and creativity. The firm has produced numerous construction works—ranging from tenant interiors to ground-up facilities—across New England since 2002. Joe Albanese, its founder and CEO, leads a team committed to cultivating relationships not only with clients but with the building community as well. The team believes that what is best for the clients and partners is what’s best for the firm. This helped them create an outstanding portfolio containing commercial, institutional, health care, and life sciences projects.

Commodore Builders did an extensive renovation for Lincoln Property Company’s office space. A feature wall, new lighting, new wall treatments, and a new glass door to the building’s basement amenity space were all the improvements done to the new lobby. Other construction included refurbishing 7,000 square feet of office space on the first floor, demolition of the second floor, bathroom and roof deck updates on the sixth floor, and a white box finishing on the tenth floor. The team also upgraded the interior elevator’s cabling for extended safety measures. The 150,000-square-foot project was completed within six months.


Lake Contracting Inc.

5 Middlesex Ave. Somerville, MA 02145

Lake Contracting was built on five philosophies called “The Lake Difference.” This Includes earning trust, working as a team, clear communications, flexibility, and building relationships. These ideologies have earned the client’s trust, which contributed to the firm’s success. Some of the prominent clients the firm has served since 1983 are the Perkins School for the Blind, Amtrak, Verizon, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Projects for the education, construction, finance, government, healthcare, law, non-profit, professional services, real estate management, technology, telecommunication, and transportation industries also fill the firm’s remarkable portfolio. Dana Lake supervised these projects as president and CEO and ensured that although the firm mainly handles multimillion dollar deals, its precision in small tasks remains.

The firm worked on a new space at 500 Boylston Street along with Visnick & Caufield and WB Engineering. The 6,500-square-foot space has external glass front windows spreading across the office, giving tenants expansive views. It also has a new spacious conference room equipped with a two-step ceiling and AV connectivity, a smaller conference room with bulletin boards, a charming reception area with ceramic tiles and a specially made concierge desk, and an upgraded pantry with new millwork counters and cabinets.


Siena Construction

38 Sidney St. Cambridge, MA 02139

Since 1991, Siena Construction has provided New England with exemplary construction services. It is a full-service construction and general contractor specializing in ground-up, interior renovations, pre-construction planning, and simple maintenance requirements. The firm has created vibrant, dynamic spaces influenced by the client’s character and culture. This created numerous architectural icons and historical structures across the area and was considered an industry standard. In addition to the team’s expertise, eye for detail, and unmatched customer service, it is passionate about giving back to the community. Each holiday, President Terrence Hayes and the team pick an organization and present them with a sizable donation on behalf of its clients. It has also participated in several charity events, including the Pan-Mass Challenge, City Sprouts, and the Ray of Hope foundation.

The firm’s main clients come from the life sciences, higher education, commercial, retail, non-profit, and healthcare industry. One of its notable works in the commercial sector is the spec suite renovation for Rockhill Management. The Siena team upgraded the 1,800-square-foot space by refurbishing the private and open offices, huddle rooms, kitchenette, and common areas with modern finishes. Some old finishes were also removed, while other finishes had to be protected. Visnick & Caulfield and C3 Engineers’ designs supported the firm in revamping the suite.


Tremont Construction Management

115 Broad St. 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02110

Tremont Construction Management specializes in corporate interior construction, as well as life sciences and hospitality facilities. It has served Greater Boston for almost a decade, providing it with pre-construction, estimating, feasibility studies, general contracting, construction management, and design-build services. The firm’s edge lies in its extensive knowledge of the city. Most of the team grew up in the city and have a firm grasp of the area and its policies. It also has built long-standing relationships with local partners who support and trust them. This significantly helped the firm to consistently deliver successful projects on time and within budget, which are priorities in business.

Matthew Wells leads the firm as a founding partner. He has 15 years of experience in the industry, specializing in pre-construction and estimating, project management, service and development, and strategic relationships. Wells is known as one of the developing leaders of the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP), as well as part of the Outreach Council of Heading Home and Urban Land Institute Young Leaders. In addition, he currently serves as a board member of the Laboure Center in South Boston and an alumnus council member of the Mayor’s SparkBoston Council, formerly known as ONEin3.

Author

  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at Boston Architects and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at HomeBuilderDigest, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management