AZ Big 100: 50 Real Estate Companies to Watch in 2024

While we don’t have a crystal ball to look ahead when it comes to Arizona’s commercial real estate outlook for 2024, several factors historically influence the state’s market — and those companies on the list...

While we don’t have a crystal ball to look ahead when it comes to Arizona’s commercial real estate outlook for 2024, several factors historically influence the state’s market — and those companies on the list of the AZ Big 100 for 2024 will be shaping those factors.

Arizona’s growing population, a key driver for commercial real estate, is often attracted by its business-friendly environment and quality of life. Cities like Phoenix, with a thriving tech industry, are likely to see increased demand for office spaces.

The retail sector may adapt to changing consumer behavior, influenced by e-commerce trends. Industrial real estate could experience continued growth due to its strategic location for logistics and distribution. The state’s appeal as a tourist destination may also sustain demand for hospitality-related properties.

However, challenges like economic uncertainties, interest rates, and the impact of global events can’t be overlooked. Government policies, especially those related to zoning and infrastructure development, play a crucial role in shaping the commercial real estate landscape.

One thing is certain, though: For precise insights into the commercial real estate outlook in Arizona in 2024, the 50 people and 50 companies picked as part of the AZ Big 100 for 2024 are the experts to ask. The editorial board for AZRE magazine met with Arizona industry leaders to identify the 100 people and companies who will shape Arizona’s business community in 2024.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction

In addition to more recent healthcare projects such as The Oasis Behavioral Healthcare Expansion and breaking ground on The Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, Adolfson & Peterson provides preconstruction and construction services to a host of additional industries.

Agate Construction

Founded in 1973, Agate Construction has deep roots in the construction industry, completing thousands of projects in three countries. As a full-service general contractor and accomplished construction manager, Agate collaborates with clients and design teams on projects of all sizes in diverse commercial market sectors.

Alston Construction Company

Alston Construction has more than three decades of experience constructing upwards of 6,000 buildings across the U.S. Drawing on that experience, the company has developed a highly efficient approach with a powerful combination of people, processes, and technology. Alston firmly believes that people come first, focusing on best-in-class training, specific building type expertise, and delivering exceptional customer service.

Alston’s expertise includes industrial warehouse, advanced manufacturing, cold storage, mixed-use and medical office, multi-family, retail, airplane hangar, and tenant improvement work.

“Our process starts with a single point of contact, from preconstruction through grand opening,” says Mike Bontrager, vice president and general manager of Alston Construction. “Using our experience and expertise, we deliver the highest value-added service and creative solutions to build the best product with the least expense. Leading-edge technology supports our teams to ensure efficiency, real-time data, and enhanced communication.”

Alston’s goal for 2024 and beyond is to continue delivering on their promise of excellent client service starting with creative, cost-effective preconstruction. The company will continue to prioritize attention to detail and thorough pre-planning to achieve fast and efficient build time.

Arrington Watkins Architects

With a legacy spanning over 30 years, Arrington Watkins Architects specializes in civil, justice, and detention work. The firm is consistently recognized for demonstrating an unwavering dedication to the principles of social responsibility and sustainability, integrating these values seamlessly into their projects.

Big D Companies

With a focus in commercial, multifamily, and warehouse/manufacturing, Big D Construction’s Southwest branch is known for outstanding customer feedback and lasting relationships, with 90% of its clients representing repeat customers.

THRIVING: Butler Design Group’s leadership team includes, from left, Rick Butler, principal; Korey Wilkes principal; and Ken Miller, principal.

Butler Design Group

Since 1996, Butler Design Group (BDG) has been leading the way in innovative and exceptional design. With countless projects across various industries, BDG has become a trusted name in the world of architecture.

BDG’s foundation is built on a cooperative and mutual approach, where designers and clients work together toward a common goal of creating a quality end product. The company takes a personalized approach to each project, creating current, yet timeless designs that become a source of pride for clients and organizations.

With a staff of talented individuals sharing a passion for architecture, BDG continues to create success stories for clients and the community. Each new project is both a challenge and an opportunity to innovate and exceed expectations. BDG has built a portfolio of successful projects and clients, resulting in a significant level of experience in the industry.

“BDG’s goal in 2024 is to ‘thrive’, not just ‘survive,’” says Korey Wilkes, principal for Butler Design Group. “We are optimistic that our current prospects related to site planning and entitlements will carry us through 2024 better than we all weathered 2023. The market indicators we monitor tell us that companies and developers will be using 2024 to tee up projects for breaking ground in 2025 when they anticipate interest rates will return to acceptable levels.”

BDG is expanding its tenant improvement services and adapting to the new world devoid of ground-up speculative offices for the time being. With new operational regions and expanded services, the company will continue to build relationships, command high levels of service, and lead the way in value-based architecture for their clients and communities.

“We are grateful for our high-quality staff and ‘A-team’ of consultants; Laskin and Associates, PKA Structural Engineers, Kraemer Engineering, and McGrew Engineering that help us to deliver on these goals,” Wilkes says.

LEADING THE WAY: CG Schmidt’s team includes Nicole Cuéllar, project executive; Rick Schmidt, CEO and chairman of the board; Nicole Snyder, director of business development; Eric Schmidt, president; Mike Abuls, chief operating officer and executive vice president.

CG Schmidt

CG Schmidt is a family-owned construction management firm with a mission to create exceptional facilities that improve the lives of others. A leader in quality construction management, general construction, and design-build services, CG Schmidt is committed to making the construction experience better, simpler, and fully transparent to their clients and partners.

The company offers comprehensive construction and serves the higher education, healthcare, senior living, multi-family, corporate, industrial, community, and religious markets.

In 2024, CG Schmidt looks forward to creating community connections and growing its client services in the Arizona market. With more than 100 years of construction experience, the firm has a history of building high-quality and state-of-the-art facilities in states across the nation.

Following the opening of the southwestern regional office and the establishment of localized business development and project team personnel, CG Schmidt is specifically focused on extending diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, connecting with local businesses, and continuing to build relationships and new opportunities with Arizona subcontractors in the coming months.

“CG Schmidt maintains a continued commitment to supporting our clients through geographic expansion and investing in the communities where we build,” says Eric Schmidt, president for CG Schmidt. “We assess client requirements and business goals to create a distinctive set of client services that go beyond the typical offerings of construction managers. This includes activities such as fundraising support, community engagement, identifying grant and financing resources, and other related services.”

CG Schmidt engages a diverse group of disciplines to support each project, enabling its teams to provide precise cost estimates and budgets, quality construction planning, and superior project management.

“From design assistance and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) analysis, to energy auditing and systems training,” Schmidt says, “we go beyond what is expected from a construction manager — we are your trusted building partner.”

Clayco

Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely and sustainably delivers the highest quality solutions to clients across North America. The company prides itself on dramatically setting new standards for collaborative design, construction quality and craftsmanship, efficient project management, cost containment, and jobsite safety.

With more than $5.2 billion in revenue for 2022, and more than 3,000 employees across the country, Clayco is one of the nation’s largest privately-owned real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build, and construction firms.

“Our people specialize in the ‘art and science of building,’ providing fast-track, efficient solutions in North America for commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential building projects,” says Ryan Abbott, executive vice president, Southwest Region. “Year after year, we are ranked by Engineering News Record as a top design-builder and contractor.”

The Valley of the Sun has been a region of rapid transformation over recent years, for which Clayco’s Phoenix team has been instrumental, with its contributions of key projects, investments, implemented ideas, and programs.

“After opening our Phoenix office in 2021, we generated over $789 million in revenue in 2022 — building mission-critical data centers, industrial distribution, manufacturing, advanced technology, and multi-family high-rise projects across Arizona,” Abbott says. “We are now active with over $3.1 billion in ongoing projects throughout the Valley.”

With the addition of enterprise companies (LJC) Lamar Johnson Collaborative (CSI) Concrete Strategies, Inc., and Ventana; Clayco now has more than 300 Phoenix-based administrative employees.

“We look forward to our team’s continued impact and transforming the Phoenix landscape, skyline, economy, and shared community,” Abbott says. “Our team thrives on removing unknowns by digitally rehearsing every possible scenario, allowing our builders to take full advantage of the speed and exactness that new, cutting-edge technology brings to the table. We realized we’re not only a real estate developer or a design-and-build company; we’re a technology company; and a technology company in this day and age handles an enormous amount of information.”

Commercial Properties, Inc. / CORFAC International (CPI)

CPI is the largest locally owned, full-service commercial brokerage and management firm in metro Phoenix for more than 43 years. In 2022 alone, the team at CPI completed more than 2,080 transactions resulting in more than $456 million in total sales consideration.

TEAM APPROACH: The Concord General Contracting team includes, front row, from left, Brooke Wasowicz, marketing manager; Grenee Martacho, CEO; Kristin Stehlik, project manager; and back row, from left, Jorge Rivero Loya, project engineer; Derick Aidoo, senior estimator; and JV Nyman, president.

Concord General Contracting

Concord General Contracting has been delivering high-quality projects throughout Arizona for more than 51 years, specializing in the commercial, education, municipal, and non-profit sectors. Concord is a 100% employee-owned company, resulting in empowered employee-owners eager to take ownership of their positions and work closely together to build success on every project.

Part of building success on each of their projects is providing individual clients with what Concord calls the “ultimate client experience.” From groundbreakings to ribbon cuttings and all of the milestones in between, the philosophy Concord lives by is “construction happens with you, not to you.”

Historically, Concord has been known as a school and non-profit builder. Over the past five years, however, the company devised an intentional and successful approach to diversify their markets.

Currently, Concord’s team is building a three-year strategic plan that is focused on sustainable growth and an intentional and continuous succession plan for every employee-owner. The company truly believes that a plan must have an external and internal approach, understanding that its employee-owners are what build a successful project for their clients.

Known for having multiple generations in the workplace, Concord also recognizes that career development, work/life balance, and human connection needs must be tailored specifically to each employee-owner. “When our employee-owners feel empowered and are excited to come to work every day,” says Grenee Martacho, CEO of Concord General Contracting, “that’s where innovation happens.”

CORE Construction

Earning recognition as a “Best Place to Work in Arizona for 2023,” CORE provides diverse building services in 13 markets, including Phoenix, focusing on the K-12, higher education, municipal, public safety, and senior living sectors.

Colliers in Arizona

With offices in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Colliers in Arizona maintains its status as a leading, full-service real estate powerhouse, providing integrated services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors, and business owners. Colliers serves office, industrial, retail, mixed-use, land, multifamily, hotels, education, and healthcare clientele.

CRE8 Advisors

CRE8 Advisors is a full-service commercial real estate firm in Phoenix. CRE8 was founded in 2023 by a group of seasoned brokers with more than 60 years of combined experience. The name CRE8 (create) is a play on words as CRE8’s goal is to “CRE8” opportunities and solutions for its clients.

Cushman & Wakefield

The firm advised the $81.7 million sale, plus financing, for Falcon Park 303-Phase I, a 599,486 SF industrial asset; the $29.5 million dispositional sale of Avalon multifamily, and represented international firm Perkins Coie in a 30,955-square-foot lease, among many other notable transactions.

DBSI

DBSI is a leading retail transformation firm specializing in design-build, digital signage, experiential marketing, equipment, and real estate services for the banking, healthcare, and retail sectors. For more than 25 years, DBSI’s commitment to excellence has revolutionized retail experiences through a comprehensive blend of architecture, interior design, technology, and people.

A trusted partner for thousands of projects across the U.S., DBSI simplifies the transformation process for projects of all sizes by housing the experts for every aspect under one roof — from design to delivery.

In 2024, DBSI is excited to showcase the latest updates to the Ideation Center, a unique experience showroom and event space situated at their 34,000-square-foot headquarters in Chandler. This space demonstrates the latest trends in financial retail space design, equipment, technology, and customer experience innovations.

The Ideation Center and new Collaboratory workspace are a hub for exclusive tours, strategy sessions, design intensives, professional workshops, conferences, vendor visits, and more. The company aims to provide a hands-on environment for visitors to explore retail transformation possibilities in one convenient location.

With a dedicated team of more than 135 professionals serving clients from coast to coast, DBSI plans to expand its expertise into new verticals.

DP Electric

DP Electric was founded in 1990 out of founder Dan Puente’s home garage and has since grown into one of the leading electrical contractors in Arizona. Over the past 30-plus years, DPE has grown to employ more than 650 people and exceeded $125 million in revenue in 2022.

Dominium

Dominium is a leading national owner, developer, and manager of affordable apartment communities with offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and Minneapolis. In 2023, Dominium and its partners broke ground on the 492,000-square-foot Estrella Springs and the 247,000-square-foot Suncrest Vista in Goodyear.

Empire Group of Companies

A pioneer in the single-family, build-to-rent space, Empire Group has more than 5,000 units in various stages of pre-development, development, lease-up, and completion. Through its division Aspirant Development, it’s also recognized for its luxury, urban infill, Class A mixed-use projects throughout the Phoenix Metro.

FCL Builders

FCL Builders is a general contractor and design-builder primarily focused on warehousing, cold storage, food production, e-commerce, and manufacturing facilities. With roots extending back to 1976, FCL has grown from the industry leader in the Midwest to serving its customers throughout the U.S. through its teams based in various locations, including Phoenix.

Since its inception, FCL has delivered more than 550 million square feet of industrial spaces. Financially strong and conservatively managed, FCL proudly maintains a 97% customer retention rate. FCL’s safety program and safety records are also among the best in the industry.

“As a builder, we must constantly have the pulse of the market in our planning,” says Kelly Pettigrew, regional vice president, FCL Builders Arizona. “While long-range planning can be valuable, too often the market changes in the ‘short range,’ and we must remain nimble and adjust our goals to stay relevant and of value to our clients.”

FCL is constantly improving its systems, and in 2024, will retool its pre-construction process to provide even faster and more accurate budget guidance both at the initial site consideration and in the final contract price presentation.

“FCL has created an internal ‘University’ — FCLU — launching fully in 2024 and will greatly increase our ongoing training and upskilling of our team in the latest technologies and product types we deliver,” Pettigrew notes. “FCL became a 100% employee-owned company in 2019, and our team members have a long-term focus on success and client satisfaction as they are fully invested in our goals.”

As FCL moves forward, keeping a pulse on industrial and commercial market trends, it has increased resources in their areas of strength (and market demand) including cold storage and food processing; data centers; manufacturing/chemicals; and specialized warehousing and distribution.

Graycor

It has been a record year for Graycor, with the industrial- and commercial-focused construction company kicking off several projects throughout Arizona, including a 123,516-square-foot flex industrial facility in Surprise, SkyBridge Arizona’s “Building 108,” and Phase I of Camelback 303.

Haydon Companies

Haydon is one of the largest general contractors in the Southwest with the unique ability to perform building, heavy civil, and landscape construction. Haydon provides all-in-one construction solutions including building (commercial), heavy civil, preconstruction, landscape, and building information modeling.

IndiCap

IndiCap specializes in ground-up joint venture, development management, and build-to-suit industrial projects from 50,000 to 1 million-plus square feet. The privately held industrial development company currently has more than 7 million square feet of industrial product in its development pipeline.

JLL

JLL employs more than 527 experts in office, industrial, retail, healthcare, multifamily, and data centers, with a growing predominance in hotels/hospitality and project and development services. In 2022, JLL completed 115 million square feet in lease and sale transactions and $180 million in project management.

Kidder Mathews

As the largest independent commercial real estate firm in the region, Kidder Mathew’s has a team of 900 local market specialists and top-producing professionals. The firm offers a range of services including brokerage, appraisal, asset services, consulting, project and construction management, and debt and equity finance services.

Layton Construction

Layton has flourished in the Valley since its inception in 1987. From Senna House and AC Marriott Downtown Phoenix to Mesa Arts Center and Retail on Cavasson, Layton Construction’s project portfolio is as wide as it is diverse.

FOUNDING PRINCIPALS: Sean Stutzman and Ari Spiro of ORION Investment Real Estate.

ORION Investment Real Estate

ORION Investment Real Estate is a leading full-service brokerage firm based in the Western U.S. With more than $1 billion in recent transactions, the ORION team provides best-in-class service to the commercial real estate community.

Boasting an extensive knowledge of the market and properties, ORION uses a tailored marketing and structured approach to each client to unlock the potential of every deal. ORION continually outperforms its competition and delivers unprecedented value to our clients.

The PENTA Building Group

Established in 2000, The PENTA Building Group is a nationally recognized commercial contractor with offices in Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California. As a general contractor, construction manager, and design-build partner, the company collaborates with every member of the development, design, and construction team to build a variety of projects ranging in size and scope.

Locally, PENTA empowers its employees, family, friends, and partners to make a positive impact in their communities. Through its charitable arm, The PENTA CARES Foundation, the company has donated $1.5 million and more than 5,000 volunteer hours in 2023 to nonprofit organizations.

Schnitzer Properties

Schnitzer Properties is a privately-owned real estate company that acquires, manages, and develops properties for its own portfolio. Led by President Jordan Schnitzer, the company owns and operates 30 million square feet of industrial, office, retail, and multi-family properties in six Western states. Schnitzer Properties has regional offices in various locations, including Phoenix.

In 2024, Schnitzer Properties plans to build on the successes of its expanded investment in the Phoenix market. The company will continue to focus on growing its 1.2 million square feet of holdings in Phoenix Metro. In the past year alone, Schnitzer Properties completed the ground-up development of Queen Creek Commerce Center in Chandler; a 560,352-square-foot property that was pre-leased to Intel, NEHP, and Horsepower Automotive.

SDB Contracting Services

Local to Arizona, SDB has provided general contracting services for more than four decades with a focus on healthcare, advanced technology, higher education, municipal, and commercial projects. The second-generation family business has demonstrated consistent growth and currently employs 725 people. SDB has diversified its in-house capabilities to include a metal fabrication division, a heavy civil and division, millwork, and an industrial/commercial scaffolding division.

Wespac Construction

Specializing in a full range of preconstruction and construction services, Wespac serves a wide and diverse mix of market sectors. Second to pursuing “the art of construction,” the company has a passion for — and commitment to — providing excellence in leadership to every employee, client, and project team.

“Throughout the years, we have weathered the ever-evolving landscape of construction, adapting and thriving through industry shifts and advancements,” says Garrett Nybo, president and CEO of Wespac Construction. “Our seasoned team of professionals brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to every project, combining time-tested techniques with cutting-edge innovations.”

Adds Nybo, “With decades of experience etched into the foundation of Wespac, client satisfaction is not just a goal, but a standard consistently exceeded, forging lasting relationships built on quality and trust.”

Wespac also has a deep dedication to philanthropic work, producing Arizona’s only 100% non-profit music festival. The company has reinvested more than $4.4 million into the community since 1991.

Willmeng

Willmeng is Arizona’s largest private general construction firm, employing more than 350 local employees. Willmeng was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Phoenix. All principals of the firm call Arizona home. Willmeng excels in constructing both ground-up and tenant improvement office, industrial, and retail projects for developers throughout Arizona. Willmeng is committed to building excellence and preserving the company’s high value to the clients it serves. With a culture that embraces being a “genuine place of purpose,” Willmeng prides itself on being built on solid relationships. The organization invests in team-building, recognizing employee achievements, and fostering a true family atmosphere.

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