Aloha mai kākou
Building Industry Hawaii once again proudly presents our highly anticipated Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors and Noteworthy Contenders list for 2023.
Mahalo to our participants, readers and sponsors who make it possible for Building Industry Hawaii to compile this who’s who of contractors for 36 straight years.
Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors list celebrates those of you who do the heavy lifting — many times, literally. It’s our pleasure to present your hard work, challenges and successes to the general public.
Building Industry Hawaii sincerely thanks you for your loyal partnerships and for helping make our Top 25 Contractors list an icon in the industry. We are proud to know every one of you.
Mahalo again, and congratulations from all of us in the Trade Media Hui ‘ohana!
Strength, Endurance, Flexibility
Top 25 Contractors list shows muscle, ingenuity of local builders
By Jason Genegabus, Brett Alexander-Estes, Paula Bender, Lorraine Cabanero,
Cathy Cruz-George and Jackie M. Young
t’s been another exciting year in the dynamic world of Hawai‘i construction, and Building Industry Hawai‘i’s 36th annual ranking of the Top 25 Contractors only underscores how the local industry includes a striking tapestry of inspiring resilience, impressive gains and newcomers staking their claims.
We begin with the powerhouses — No. 1 Hawaiian Dredging Construction, No. 2 Nan Inc. and No. 3 Nordic PCL Construction Inc. — who dominated the industry in 2022 and maintained their positions for yet another year.
But maintaining those positions didn’t come without battles of their own. Hawaiian Dredging faced a 5.8-percent shrink in revenue, from $608 million in 2021 to $573 million in 2022. Nordic also grappled with a contraction in revenue, dropping from $417 million in 2021 to $369 million last year — an 11.5-percent decrease.
Meanwhile, amidst the dance for dominance, there was significant movement in this year’s Top 25 among the middle tier, where Hensel Phelps Construction Co. clawed its way from the fifth spot to fourth with a staggering $102,955,000 surge in revenue, growing from $264 million to $367 million.
No. 6 Goodfellow Bros. LLC and No. 7 Swinerton Builders also muscled their way upward, with both companies seeing 53 percent revenue growth in 2022 over the previous year. And Unlimited Construction Services jumped two spots to No. 9 with a robust 46 percent revenue increase, from $121 million in 2021 to $178 million last year.
But the year wasn’t only about familiar names. The Top 25 welcomed three formidable companies to the list this year: Frank V. Coluccio Construction Co. Inc. at No. 10, with revenue of $133.7 million; Dorvin D. Leis Co Inc. at No. 11 with $123.7 million; and Moss Construction at No. 13 with $112.1 million in revenue in 2022.
According to University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, large public sector projects will become an increasingly important part of local construction activity. A plan by the U.S. Navy to spend $4 billion to update naval infrastructure is appearing in contracts at the local level.
Government spending on roads is another significant source of recent construction contracts. In January and February, Hawaii Department of Transportation awarded $200 million in funds for road improvement projects across Hawai‘i. The spending continues investments enabled by generous federal funding.
Cost and capacity pressures, as well as an uncertain future budget picture, mean that the boom in government construction projects could recede in coming years, however.
While the building industry is typically susceptible to cyclical fluctuations, it will remain the most resilient segment of the local economy in the short term. Last year’s surprising jump in payrolls demonstrates the industry’s strength, and the large number of projects in the pipeline will employ an additional 2,000 workers by 2026, according to state projections, bringing industry employment above 41,000 workers, the highest level on record.
Yet, amidst the rankings shuffle and significant revenue changes, the overall narrative of the year remains the collective strength of Hawai‘i’s industry as a whole. Will newcomers solidify their position in the industry? Will top-tier veterans continue to hold their ground despite revenue challenges faced?
Top 25 Contractors
These are the top-performing contractors in Hawai‘i, based on 2022 revenue. The companies voluntarily submitted financial data to Building Industry Hawaii.
|1/1||Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc.||$573.0/$608.0||-5.8%|
|3/3||Nordic PCL Construction Inc||$369.0/$417.0||-11.5%|
|5/4||Hensel Phelps Construction Co.||$367.0/$264.0||39.0%|
|4/5||Albert C. Kobayashi Inc.||$309.0/$316.3||-2.3%|
|7/6||Goodfellow Bros. LLC||$288.0/$188.2||53.0%|
|8/8||Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.||$210.4/$182.4||15.3%|
|11/9||Unlimited Construction Services Inc.||$178.1/$121.6||46.4%|
|NOT RANKED/10||Frank V. Coluccio Construction Co. Inc. (NEW)||$133.7/$87.3||53.1%|
|NOT RANKED/11||Dorvin D. Leis Co. Inc. (NEW)||$123.7/(N/A)||(N/A)|
|6/12||Layton Construction Co. LLC||$117.3/$191.3||-38.3%|
|NOT RANKED/13||Moss & Associates (NEW)||$112.1/$137.7||-18.6%|
|14/14||Maryl Group Construction Inc.||$107.0/$73.6||45.4%|
|10/15||Royal Contracting Co. Ltd.||$106.4/$136.3||-21.9%|
|13/16||Coastal Construction Co. Inc.||$103.2/$101.2||2.0%|
|12/17||Wasa Electrical Services Inc.||$95.0/$111.0||-14.4%|
|17/18||Allied Builders System||$88.1/$60.4||45.9%|
|NOT RANKED/19||Alaka‘i Mechanical Corp. (NEW)||$78.7/(N/A)||(N/A)|
|18/20||Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd.||$73.2/$60.3||21.4%|
|20/21||Armstrong Builders LLC||$55.8/$54.6||-7.5%|
|15/22||Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd.||$49.5/$68.1||-27.3%|
|19/23||Shioi Construction Inc.||$47.0/$57.0||-17.5%|
|21/24||Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc.||$41.4/$42.2||-1.8%|
|16/25||Group Builders Inc.||$40.7/$67.3||-39.5%|
|NOTEWORTHY CONTENDERS (NC)|
|NC/NC||Alan Shintani Inc.||$36.8/$32.3||13.8%|
|24/NC||S&M Sakamoto Inc.||$36.6/$32.5||12.5%|
|NC/NC||Metzler Contracting Co. LLC||$36.0/$27.5||28.6%|
|NOT RANKED/NC||Paradigm Construction LLC (NEW)||$31.0/$33.0||-6.0%|
|NOT RANKED/NC||Mira Image Construction LLC (NEW)||$30.0/(N/A)||(N/A)|
|23/NC||Arita Poulson General Contracting LLC||$28.0/$32.7||-14.4%|
|NC/NC||Constructors Hawaii Inc.||$19.3/$20.7||-6.9%|
A Decade of Hard Work (in billions)
Combined annual revenue of the Top 25 Contractors from 2013 to 2022
Construction Co. Inc.
2022 Revenue: $573M
Years in Hawaii: 121
Leading the 2023 Building Industry Hawaii list of Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors for the 18th year in a row, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. remains the cleanup hitter of Hawai‘i construction, with the ability to take on any project and knock it out of the ballpark.
The state’s largest general contractor also takes market instability in stride. Founded in 1902, Hawaiian Dredging performs 30 percent of its projects in the public sector and subcontracts about 58 percent of its work.
The company earned $573 million in 2022 revenue, down 5.8 percent from $608 million reported in 2021.
Hawaiian Dredging completed seven sizable projects last year. In Kaka‘ako, it built Ko‘ula, a luxury high-rise featuring state-of-the-art technology. As part of project group Core Tech-HDCC-Kajima LLC, it helped build an urban combat village on Guam.
Other projects finished last year include Maui Bay Villas Phase 1, Bank of Hawai‘i’s Hilo Banking Center, renovations at the Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort, the construction of Kamakee Vista and a Hamakua Energy Cooling Tower Replacement project.
“As we look back at 2022, the construction market was still strong, even considering higher interest rates and overall inflation,” says Gerry Majkut, Hawaiian Dredging president.
Ongoing 2023 projects comprise Victoria Place, Ililani and Kokua, three Honolulu high-rises; Phase 1B construction at the Wailuku Civic Center; six large infrastructure projects and multiple military jobs.
One of the military jobs, the Navy’s FY23 MCON Project P-209, Dry Dock 3 Replacement, is a joint venture between the company, Dragados and Orion, and is reshaping the landscape at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“The Hawai‘i construction market looks good for 2023,” Majkut says. “Of course, the market could change, but it seems that with the need to update our infrastructure, the demand for affordable housing, the [Navy’s] Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District, and with the possibility of tourism continuing to rebound, all suggest that 2023 has the potential to be a good year for the construction market in Hawai‘i.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
2022 Revenue: $465.8M
Years in Hawaii: 33
Nan Inc. is ranked second among Hawai’i’s Top 25 Contractors in 2023, repeating its second-place finish in 2022 and marking the fifth time the general contractor has occupied the position in the past 10 years.
Nan’s revenue is growing, too, up 6.2 percent from $438.8 million in 2021 to $465.8 million in 2022. The company has 761 employees in Hawai‘i and subcontracts 50 percent of its work.
Also in 2022, Nan welcomed Sungwon Baik, Building Estimating vice president and Ed Shukri, Civil Estimating vice president to the company.
According to self-reported data, 82 percent of Nan’s work last year was in the public sector. Completed 2022 projects include baggage claim handling systems improvements and Overseas Terminal Phase 1 construction for the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport ($25.1 million), and construction of the Apra Medical/Dental Clinic at Naval Base Guam ($66.5 million).
The company also continues to build on Guam, with ongoing projects and scheduled completion dates including the $104.5 million P-459 Bachelor Enlisted Quarters H at Naval Base Guam (expected completion in April), and the $206.8 million J-031 Bachelors Enlisted Quarters D & F at Marine Corps Base Guam (expected completion in September).
Back on O‘ahu, ongoing projects include the $122.6 million P-911 Bachelor Enlisted Quarters at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, the Daniel Kahikina Akaka Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Kalaeloa and East Kapolei Middle School.
“The forecast for Hawai‘i’s building industry still remains positive in the near term,” says Nan Inc. Vice President Ryan Nakaima. “But more in the public and military sectors, as inflation is expected to continue its gradual decline.”
Yet other impacts, like rising interest rates, supply-chain issues and extended material/equipment lead times, “remain at the forefront of discussion,” Nakaima says.
“Fortunately, Nan Inc. was successful in securing a considerable amount of work in 2022 to sustain us well into 2024 and beyond.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Nordic PCL Construction Inc.
2022 Revenue: $368M
Years in Hawaii: 85
Despite major projects — including the new Lilia Waikīkī, a F-22 Fighter Alert Facility and renovations to the Grand Wailea on Maui and Kahala Mall on O‘ahu — Nordic PCL Construction Inc.’s revenue dropped 11.5 percent to $369 million in 2022.
But it was expected.
“We weren’t surprised by the reduction, due to missed opportunities combined with delays arising from financing for private [projects] and building permit approvals,” says Glen Kaneshige, CEO and president of Nordic.
The company’s standout project last year was Lilia Waikīkī, a rental apartment community with high-end amenities. Not only did it receive an award of excellence from the Engineering News-Record, but it was also the first high-rise, multi-family rental property developed by private developer Brookfield Properties in more than two decades.
Recalls Kaneshige, “Lilia Waikīkī was underway when the pandemic shutdown went into effect, so our project team was challenged with managing the construction through an unprecedented period of fear in the workforce, constantly changing health protocols and supply chain disruptions.”
This year, Kaneshige says construction remains “surprisingly strong,” despite a possible recession looming later this year. Ongoing projects for 2023 include the 1 Hotel Hanalei (completed in June), room renovations at the Grand Wailea (expected completion in October), and structures at Maui’s Kihei High School and the Hawaii Electrician Pension Fund building on O‘ahu (both completed in March).
Next year brings renovations to Schofield Barracks Buildings 2075/2076 and the King Kalakaua Plaza in Waikiki. In addition, the company says Halawa View Apartments is
scheduled for completion in 2025.
– Cathy Cruz-George
2022 Revenue: $366.9 M
Years in Hawaii: 30
Hensel Phelps moves up a notch to the No. 4 position among Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors this year.
The general contractor earned $366,955,000 in 2022, a 39 percent gain over the $264,094,000 earned in 2021. Its Hawai‘i workforce is also larger, with 40 employees added since 2022.
Based in Greeley, Colorado, Hensel Phelps tackles some of Hawai‘i’s largest and most complex projects — 90 percent of them in the public sector — and subcontracts 75 percent of its work.
“There was [a] significant decrease in private building permits last year, which means the focus has shifted from private to public sector work,” says Thomas J. Diersbock, Hensel Phelps regional vice president.
Focusing on its public sector lineup, Hensel Phelps is ready. Completed 2022 work includes a consolidated training center and renovated facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the USARPAC Command and Control Facility (C2F) Phase 3 at Fort Shafter and a corrosion control hangar at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. In the private sector, the firm completed renovations on the Grand Wailea Resort’s Grand Dining Room and Botero Lounge.
“We have also focused on both public and federal wastewater markets and have been steadily acquiring projects in that sector,” Diersbock reports.
The firm also won the 2022 GCA of Hawaii Build Hawaii Awards grand prize for delivering Kaiser’s new West O’ahu medical office building.
Hensel Phelps’ 17 ongoing 2023 projects include 12 for the U.S. Department of Defense, with seven projects in Guam and the Pacific, along with four wastewater treatment facilities. One, the Synagro Bioconversion Facility upgrades at O‘ahu’s Sand Island treatment plant, continues through October 2028. Ongoing private sector projects include the Grand Wailea Resort Spa Grande renovation, set to wrap in January, and Kaiser Permanente’s Capital Projects Program, slated for a December close.
While most new federal construction funding is going towards transportation-related projects, “military installments across Hawai‘i will also benefit to include missile defense, enlisted housing, water and wastewater improvements and harbor repairs,” Diersbock says. “We continue to position ourselves to support this increased federal work in the Pacific Region.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Albert C. Kobayashi Inc.
2022 Revenue: $309M
Years in Hawaii: 60
“Despite many uncertainties in the marketplace, we were fortunate to maintain a relatively consistent volume,” says Michael Young, president and CEO of Albert C. Kobayashi Inc (ACK). The company moved up one notch to No. 5 with $309 million in revenue in 2022, despite a 2 percent drop from the previous year’s $316.3 million.
The 60-year-old company, founded and named after Young’s grandfather, holds a diversified portfolio — ranging from schools and retail to affordable rentals and luxury condos. The diversification is critical in the current economy, as higher lending rates and inflation impact Hawai‘i’s construction industry.
ACK completed two major projects in 2022: Kahuku’s Turtle Bay Resort, a $100 million transformation of the lobby, guest rooms, banquet facilities and pools. The company completed $90 million Hale Kalele Residences, a new 20-story Honolulu tower with 200 affordable rental units built above a juvenile service center for low-end law violators.
Over the next 30 months, ongoing projects for ACK include Sky Ala Moana’s high-rise twin tower residences and hotel, scheduled to finish on Kapi‘olani Boulevard in the fourth quarter of 2023; and The Park Ward Village, the eighth high-rise for Howard Hughes’ master-planned community; with a target completion date in the third quarter of 2025.
On the island of Lana‘i, ACK is building Hokuao Lana‘i, an affordable-rate rental neighborhood with 150 units. The highly anticipated project is slated for completion in summer 2024 and fills a dire need for housing for the island’s 3,000 residents.
More construction projects for ACK will be announced over the next few months. Meantime, Young says, “Hopefully, a few of these projects will move forward, creating exciting opportunities for our company and our employees.”
– Cathy Cruz-George
Goodfellow Bros. LLC
2022 Revenue: $288M
Years in Hawaii: 51
Family-owned Goodfellow Brothers LLC debuted on Building Industry Hawaii’s Top 25 Contractors list last year and returns in 2023 with a substantial increase in Hawai‘i revenue that places the company in the sixth position. In 2021 Goodfellow’s revenue was $188 million, and that number jumped 53 percent in 2022 to $288 million.
A recent promotion saw Dan Weisgerber assume general manager duties at Hawai‘i Paving; new executives at the company include Kelly Kidd as chief human resources officer and Carlos Alegre as vice president of operations services.
Projects completed in 2022 include an O‘ahu-Ho‘opili Box Culvert and Monopole foundation sitework at Mauna Loa Observatory on the Big Island. This year, there are more than 155 active projects in the works for the company, including the expansion, cold milling and repaving of Lana‘i Airport’s Runway 3-21 from 5,001 feet to 5,500 feet.
“We believe that the forecast in Hawai‘i for 2023 is shaping up to be a promising year for the construction industry, with opportunities extending to the renewable energy sector as well,” says Edward Brown, Hawai‘i divisional president. “Several factors are contributing to this positive outlook, including growth in tourism-related projects, increased demand for residential affordable housing, government-funded infrastructure development and the state’s commitment to achieving its ambitious energy goals.”
Brown says tourism is rebounding, resulting in new opportunities for renovations and expansions to existing facilities. Essential state infrastructure projects in transportation, utilities and public facilities provide additional opportunities. Also, Brown says Hawai‘i’s ambitious energy goal of 100 percent non-fossil fuels by 2045 has led to an increase in renewable energy projects.
Goodfellow Brothers was founded 1921 in Wenatchee, Washington. Its first Hawai‘i job was in 1972 as a subcontractor for the Kihei Sewage Treatment Plant on Maui. The company maintains offices on Hawai‘i island, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu.
– Paula Bender
2022 Revenue: $218.8M
Years in Hawaii: 20
Swinerton Builders jumps two spots to No. 7 among Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors, up from No. 9 last year — and the numbers tell the story.
The general contractor, which specializes in ground-up, renovation and self-perform construction, earned $218.9 million in 2022, a gargantuan increase of 53 percent over $143 million earned in 2021.
Swinerton’s Hawai‘i’ workforce has also grown to 330 employees this year, compared to 84 just a year ago. The company subcontracts 50 percent of its work, with 10 percent of all projects in the public sector.
All of the company’s projects in 2022 were private-sector build-outs and redevelopments, with work completed at Waikīkī Market at the Lilia Waikīkī, Holey Grail Donuts in Kaka‘ako and a rehab facility for Straub Medical Center.
Ongoing 2023 projects and scheduled completion dates include an O‘ahu distribution center for an unamed client, (expected completion in December), Target Windward (expected completion in May), the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Student Success Center (expected completion in June 2024), as well as various self-perform projects.
Last year, industry peers honored the firm for two very different projects. Swinerton’s Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel Renovation Phase 1 project delivered Ka‘anapali’s only beachfront restaurant directly on the sand and took GCA of Hawaii’s Build Hawaii Award of Excellence.
Swinerton’s Queen Emma Apartments project repurposed an office tower for affordable housing and won the GCA Construction Risk Partners Build America Merit Award.
Ben Steele, project executive for the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel renovation, was promoted to Swinerton operations manager this year, and was joined by Gary Gordon, who was promoted to Swinerton field operations manager.
“Construction activity continues to hold steady for our target markets despite the talks of a recession towards the end of the year,” says Aaron Yamasaki, Swinerton vice president and division manager. “Our clients and partners who have secured funding beforehand are moving forward with their projects. There are also a handful of projects that we see re-evaluated or timelines pushed back based on budgets.
“However, we are optimistic.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
2022 Revenue: $210.4M
Years in Hawaii: 75
Coming in again at No. 8, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. keeps the same spot among Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors it held last year, demonstrating the steadiness expected from a general contractor that builds large infrastructure projects across North America.
Kiewit earned $210.4 million in Hawaii-based revenue last year, a 15.2 percent increase over the company’s adjusted 2021 income of $182.4 million.
Kiewit also expanded its corporate footprint, acquiring Weeks Marine Inc. and its subsidiary, Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc., in January. (Healy Tibbitts is also a 2023 Hawai‘i Top 25 Contractor.)
Kiewit’s completed 2022 projects include a large agricultural water tank for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, two Drum Road improvements, Wheeler Airfield Apron Phase 1, emergency repairs to the Kolekole and Nanue bridges, the H-1 Airport Viaduct, Waimanalo Gulch Cell E8 Liner and Kuakini Stairs.
Eighty-nine percent of Kiewit’s Hawai‘i work is performed in the public sector, and 35 percent of it is usually subcontracted. Parent company Kiewit Corp. is headquartered in Nebraska.
Ongoing 2023 projects include Kapalama Wharf & Dredging, the final phase of the state’s Kapalama Container Terminal modernization; Hamakua Coast and Wailua River bridge repairs; improvements to Drum Road at Helemano Military Reservation; Wheeler Airfield Apron Phase 2; Ford Island and Tripler waterlines; Waimea Wastewater Treatment Plant R-1 Water Storage; a Kailua roundabout; Moanalua Freeway lighting projects; and Runway 8L, taxiways and shoulders at the Honolulu airport.
With increased federal funding for Hawai‘i infrastructure projects already in play and projected through next year, Kiewit’s strong lineup will likely increase into 2024.
– Brett Alexander-Estes
2022 Revenue: $178M
Years in Hawaii: 33
Downtown Honolulu is the site of several high-profile developments by Unlimited Construction Services Inc., which earned $178 million in 2022, up 46.5 percent from $73.6 million last year.
The company completed construction on Chinatown’s Pauahi Kupuna Hale Apartments, affordable rentals for seniors 62 and older and adults with disabilities, in April.
On the outskirts of Chinatown and adjacent to River Street is Halewai‘olu Senior Residences, a 150-unit rental community for lower-income seniors. Scheduled for completion in August, the building’s amenities include a dog park and computer room.
In the financial district of downtown Honolulu, Unlimited Construction is in the final phase of The Residences at Bishop Place, a commercial high-rise converted into 500 luxury apartments. Construction is set to wrap this month, nearly four years after the project began.
In addition to the trio of residential buildings in downtown Honolulu, Unlimited completed DE Thompson Village, an Ewa Beach community for seniors ages 62 and older, in April. It also is on track to finish two buildings at Kaua‘i’s Kai Olino apartments by January.
Jason Thon, Unlimited Construction’s president and CEO, is confident his company can continue building homes for Hawai‘i families.
Along with the residential market, Unlimited also specializes in hospitality and commercial projects. The company recently finished offices and a garage at Kaua‘i County’s Hanalei Baseyard, and secured contracts to upgrade military housing at Pa Honua in Kaneohe.
“With government funded projects through the military and overdue local infrastructure, we expect 2023 to keep pace yet remain relatively flat compared to previous years,” Thon adds.
Anticipated jobs over the next 20 months won’t come without challenges, however.
“Supply chains and market stability have improved,” Thon says. “But some specialty materials are still taking a very long time to manufacture compared to pre-pandemic years due to global impacts.”
– Cathy Cruz-George
Frank V. Coluccio
Construction Co. Inc.
2022 Revenue: $133.7M
Years in Hawaii: 46
Ahigh-five to Frank V. Coluccio Construction Co. for making its first appearance in the Top 25, landing at No. 10 on this year’s list. The company has operated in Hawai‘i for 46 years and reported 2022 revenue of $133.7 million, which is a 53.1 percent increase from its 2021 revenue of $87.3 million.
Parent company Frank Coluccio Construction is based in Seattle; its Hawai‘i office is in Kapolei. The company’s heavy-equipment presence as a general contractor for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) bears witness to Coluccio’s specialties in heavy underground infrastructures, utilities, tunneling and ground improvement.
Projects completed in 2022 include Beretania Street sewer improvements at the Awa Street wastewater pumping station, along with force main improvements, Ewa Beach wastewater pumping station improvements and sewer reconstruction on Kailiu Place in Hawai‘i Kai.
Among the ongoing projects taken on by Coluccio: Hart Street-Waiakamilo Road sewer replacement, HART’s City Center Utilities Relocation III project, and pipelines at the Kalāwahine Reservoir near Tantalus.
Frank V. Coluccio, president of the company’s Hawai‘i operations, says he expects the construction industry to have a “continued steady demand for infrastructure projects” this year.
And he’s right, so far: In May, Coluccio Construction was awarded the Beachwalk 42-inch Force Main rehabilitation in Waikīkī, a project expected to bring in nearly $6.4 million in revenue.
– Paula Bender
Dorvin D. Leis Co. Inc.
2022 Revenue: $123.6
Years in Hawaii: 56
Dorvin D. Leis Co. Inc. (DDL), returning to the Top 25 after a one-year hiatus, arrives at No. 11 in this year’s rankings. As Hawai‘i’s largest mechanical contractor, DDL earned $123,666,430 in 2022, a 26.3 percent decrease from the $167,993,678 the company earned in 2021.
Last year, DDL was subcontracted on and completed landmark projects such as 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, Ko‘ula, North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and Phase 2 at Kihei High School (since renamed Kūlanihāko‘i High School). The company also received high honors for its Island Palm Communities project, which won GCA of Hawai‘i’s Build Hawai‘i Award in 2022, which is presented to subcontractors in the $1-million-plus category.
“We spent time building Fiscal Year 2023 backlog,” notes DDL President Stephen Leis, and implemented new project management software company-wide. DDL also welcomed new Executive Vice President Michael St. Clair, previously co-president at Pan-Pacific Mechanical.
Ongoing 2023 projects and their scheduled completion dates include Kaulana Mahina (2024), Discovery Land Co.’s Makena Golf & Beach Club (2024), The Park on Ke‘eaumoku (2025), Ulana Ward Village (2027) and the Kauai Beach Resort Energy Project (2023).
In contrast to mainland construction, already hobbled by an expected U.S. recession, “construction continues to be a major contributor to the Hawai‘i economy,” Leis says, crediting Hawai‘i’s high housing demand coupled with low available inventory.
This year, Leis is also seeing large capital improvement projects pick back up, especially in high-end hotels, resorts and communities.
“Although we continue to face inflationary impacts to material, equipment and supply chains, as well as post-pandemic residual manpower issues,” Leis says. “We remain optimistic that construction will remain strong in the near-term.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Layton Construction Co. LLC
2022 Revenue: $117.3M
Years in Hawaii: 17
Landing at No. 12 is Layton Construction Co. LLC. Despite a busy year, its 2022 revenue of $117.3 million was 38.3 percent lower than its 2021 revenue of $190.2 million, causing the company to slip six places on our list.
However, Layton has plenty of optimism for the rest of the year.
“Our backlog for 2023 is strong as we finalize contracts with owners,” says Tyler Dillon, CEO and president of Layton Construction.
Layton’s parent company is STO Building Group, which was founded in 1963 and is based in New York. Construction specialties include commercial, hospitality, industrial, education and health care. Layton’s 2022 work for public sector government jobs reached 60 percent of total jobs; the company also subcontracted 95 percent of the work on its projects last year.
New additions in 2022 to Layton’s executive team include Kari Plaster, chief human resource officer, and Steven G. Schoolcraft, vice president of environmental health and safety.
Notable achievements for the company in 2022 are winning the Engineering News-Record Small Project of the Year for the California/Hawaii region, as well as the Oak Hard Hat Safety Award. Layton also launched its new Women’s Inclusion Network initiative.
Projects topped off in 2022 include the 803 Waimanu Affordable Housing project, Pua Loke affordable housing and renovations at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui and the Liholiho Dormitory on the campus of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.
While the Wai Kai Recreation facility was completed in February this year, work continues for Layton’s projects at the Maui Coast Hotel (March 2024 completion), Element Hotel (June completion) and Coco Palms (2027 completion). A new Honolulu Coffee storefront at the Grand Hyatt was expected to wrap in May.
Also still in production are a classroom at Island School that was set to be ready in June and two private residences.
– Paula Bender
Moss & Associates
2022 Revenue: $112.1M
Years in Hawaii: 9
This year we welcome Moss & Associates into the Top 25 Contractors ‘ohana at No.13 with reported 2022 revenue of $112 million, a dip of 18.6 percent from its 2021 revenue of $137.7 million.
Established in 2014, the Hawai‘i-based company enjoyed a 30 percent growth in employees, with Doug Rogers promoted to senior vice president and Matthew Jun promoted to vice president of Hawai‘i operations. Moss was also named Union Builder of the year in 2022, and its Mililani 1 project was named Solar Builder magazine’s Solar Project of the Year in the utility-scale category.
Moss’ specialties are construction management and solar EPC (engineering, programming and construction), with the company handling all solar jobs in-house without subcontractors.
According to Rogers, 2023 should see the number of solar and affordable housing projects in Hawai‘i continue to rise. In 2021, Moss started construction of Clearway Energy Group’s Mililani 1 Solar renewable energy build-out.
“To Clearway’s credit, it chose to develop a cutting-edge, innovative, solar-generating and battery-storage project,” says Rogers. “As an EPC contractor, Moss engaged and collaborated with Revamp Engineering for the electrical engineering, and HMS, the electrical contractor, to deliver the advanced system.
“It was this type of collaboration from the developer to consultants to the contractors that was instrumental in delivering Mililani 1 three months ahead of commercial operation date, despite COVID and recent supply chain issues.”
Moss’ ongoing projects and scheduled completion dates in 2023 and 2024 include Hale Makana O Mo‘ili‘ili (completed in April), Ho ‘Ohana Solar (expected completion June), University of Hawai‘i’s Atherton Hall (expected completion July), Maui’s Wailuku Apartments (expected completion March 2024), Kupono Solar (expected completion May 2024) and Wai‘awa II (expected completion Sept. 2024).
– Paula Bender
Maryl Group Construction Inc.
2022 Revenue: $107M
Years in Hawaii: 13
Maryl Group Construction Inc. (MGCI) spent most of 2022 in the affordables market, building steel-framed apartments and completing structural improvements. It also bumped MGCI to No. 14, with reported 2022 revenue of $107 million — up 31 percent from $73.6 million in 2021.
MGCI, a general contractor, specializes in rough carpentry and hanging drywall. Projects completed in 2022 include landlord improvements at Maui Marketplace, tenant improvements at Skechers in Kona Commons on the Big Island and an affordable apartment building in Lahaina.
“We’re doing a high school project and classroom building,” adds Tim Choi, strategic planning manager. “We’ll do everything, with the exception of high-rises.”
Mid-rise buildings are an area of expertise. In 2022, MGCI completed Kaiāulu o Kupuohi, an affordable LEED-for-Homes certified, mid-rise 89-unit apartment community on Maui for nonprofit affordable housing developer Ikaika Ohana.
Kaiāulu o Kupuohi features 20 one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedrooms and 35 three-bedrooms, each with Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, solar-water heating and air conditioning.
“If you can dream it, we can build it,” is a cornerstone slogan at MGCI. The company says it “stays faithful to a project’s architectural intent” and that “at every step, the success of the finished project depends upon a close, trusting and cooperative spirit between all entities involved.”
– Paula Bender
Royal Contracting Co. Ltd.
2022 Revenue: $106.4M
Years in Hawaii: 62
There’s probably a Leeward Oahu development Royal Contracting didn’t grade in 2022, but it may be hard to find.
According to Royal Contracting President Leonard K. P. Leong, the company graded sites and installed infrastructure last year at Kapolei Harborside’s Hanua Street crossing, Ho‘opili parcels 102, 104, 106 and 113, as well as substantially completing Ho‘opili Phase 10A.
Royal Contracting sits at No. 15 among Hawaii’s Top 25 Contractors this year, dropping five spots from 2022. Royal’s revenue also fell, dropping 21.9 percent, from $136.3 million in 2021 to $106.4 million last year.
But Leong is unfazed.
“Royal expects 2023 to be a busy year for the industry, especially with federal funding, Hawaiian Homes, affordable housing and shelter for the homeless,” he says.
That’s good news for Royal’s 175 Hawai‘i-based employees, as well as the company’s subcontractors, who perform 25 percent of Royal’s work.
Royal’s 2023 projects include Ho‘opili Phase 13 Backbone, set to wrap last month; construction of a permanent drainage basin at Ho‘opili and drain channel at Kapolei Harborside, both set to wrap in August; a drain at Coral Creek Golf Course, which was scheduled to wrap in May; Gentry Area 31 Increment 3, set to wrap in December; and Ho‘opili Phase 11 Backbone, slated to finish in April 2024.
Founded in 1961, Royal Contracting has prepped home lots for 62 years. The company’s “most rewarding project of 2022” was Pu‘uhonua O Waiana‘e, according to Leong.
“[That project] provided us with an opportunity to … provide shelter for approximately 300 people who were living next to Waiana‘e Boat Harbor.
“Elderly adults to children will [all] be living [in] this village,” Leong says. “Royal asked others in the industry to help, and we received responses from Aloha Trucking, Amazon Construction, B & C Trucking and Pacific Pipe to reduce costs.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Coastal Construction Co. Inc.
2022 Revenue: $103.2M
Years in Hawaii: 49
Coastal Construction Co. Inc. counts itself lucky to have seen a slight uptick in revenue in 2022, rising 2 percent from $101.2 million in 2021 to $103.2 million in 2022, good for the No. 16 spot in our Top 25.
Coastal specializes in new residential construction.
“Thanks to a strong residential market in 2021 and continuing in 2022, we were able to start and continue several residential development projects,” explains Les Masutani, vice president.
“Ken [Sakurai, company president] has always credited success to his dedicated and loyal employees. In turn, we are motivated and inspired by his leadership, passion and foresight.
“He continues to invest and train future generations to assure success and continue his legacy,” Masutani says.
One of Coastal’s significant builds completed in 2022 was The Villages of La‘iōpua, a single-family rental project on the Big Island.
“It’s indeed significant as it is being built on Hawaiian Homelands,” notes Masutani. “Phase 1 of the project has been successfully completed, [comprising] 60 spacious single-family homes.
“The rent-to-own program with no income requirements is especially beneficial for Native Hawaiians who often face difficulties accessing affordable housing. Building homes for friends and families of Hawaiian descent is a source of pride and purpose for us.”
This year, Masutani is thrilled about his company’s upcoming Kapolei Parkway project, set to begin in August. “The project entails the construction of a 405-unit affordable housing apartment complex, featuring studio to four-bedroom units, commercial space, day-care facilities and an outdoor recreation area,” says Masutani. “This project will play a critical role in addressing Hawai‘i’s affordable housing shortage.”
Although he’s optimistic for the future, Masutani sees a slowdown in the residential market due to increasing interest rates.
“Although the demand is still there, the pace of building has decelerated,” he says. “[But] the increasing need for housing and diversity of product types … will create an abundance of opportunities.”
– Jackie M. Young
Wasa Electrical Services Inc.
2022 Revenue: $95M
Years in Hawaii: 73
Wasa Electrical Services Inc. saw a 14 percent downturn in revenue, from $111 million in 2021 to $95 million in 2022, landing the company at No. 17 on Hawai‘i’s Top 25 Contractors list, a five-spot drop from last year.
President, CEO and COO Ronald Yee attributes the loss to two important projects — the Ala Moana Pacific Plaza condo and the Hokuala timeshare hotel on Kauai — being put on hold due to financing issues.
The company, a branch of construction arm U.S. Kinden, with corporate offices based in Japan, has operated in Hawai‘i for 73 years.
“On the positive side, we did not incur any liquidated damages during 2022 — or at all — so things turned out well,” Yee points out. “This was in spite of dealing with major supply problems like everyone else — some of our ordering lead times were two years!”
To mitigate this, Wasa ended up having to fly parts in or have crews work overtime.
Yee, who has been with the company for 51 years, also credits business remaining steady in 2022 due to high standards of employees, some of whom have been at Wasa their whole careers.
“We’re very careful when we hire. We have a three-month probationary period and a one-year evaluation,” Yee says. “So I believe we have the cream of the crop.”
Completed projects in 2022 include the new Veterans Affairs Advanced Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access clinic in Kalaeloa, the new Hawaii Electricians Pension Fund building in Kalihi and a second phase of construction at Kihei High School on Maui.
One significant project Yee is looking forward to this year is The Park at Ke‘eaumoku, $600 million twin towers that will offer both affordable housing and commercial space.
“There will be about 140 units that will be affordable and about 825 that will be market-priced,” Yee says. “It is good for us because it’s a large and steady project. Housing is always a need.”
Wasa’s forecast for 2023 and beyond is “flat, due to higher interest rates, material supply issues and rising costs from inflation,” Yee says. “Fortunately, there is always a need for licensed electricians.”
– Jackie M. Young
Allied Builders System
2022 Revenue: $88M
Years in Hawaii: 53
As President Gary Oda predicted last year, several projects for Allied Builders System that were delayed or canceled due to COVID-19 returned in 2022. This resulted in a healthy 46 precent increase in revenue for the company, from $60.4 million, in 2021 to $88 million in 2022.
The 53-year-old company drops one spot to No. 18 on this year’s Top 25 Contractors list.
Allied Builders received an Honorable Mention at the 2022 AIA Honolulu Design Awards in the institutional category for ‘Iolani School’s Kaneshiro Science & Innovation Center and Sidney and Minnie Kosasa Performance Studios.
“It was very encouraging to see more projects starting and the increased confidence level of our clients and industry partners about the recovery after the pandemic,” Oda says. “Our team learned a lot working together to overcome challenges created by supply chain disruptions and the economy.”
One significant ongoing project Allied is working to complete in 2023 is the AC Hotel Honolulu by Marriott at the site of the old Remington College in downtown Honolulu, a full-gut demolition and property-wide transformation to create 112 new guestrooms.
“One of the biggest challenges on this project is logistics. This building has no parking areas and limited loading stalls,” Oda says. “We need to be diligent about planning deliveries, hauling out debris, and any exterior work which may affect pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”
As for the future, Oda says he’s cautiously optimistic for 2023 and beyond.
“There are still many risk exposures regarding geopolitical concerns, rising interest rates, employee shortages and recessionary pressures, but our industry has been incredibly resilient through all the uncertainty over the past few years.”
– Jackie M. Young
HIGHS AND LOWS
When Building Industry Hawaii introduced its Top 25 Contractors Awards in 1987, the highest revenue reported that year was $285 million and the lowest was $10.4 million. Here is an overview of the self-reported revenue by Top 25 companies for the last 35 years.
Alaka‘i Mechanical Corp.
2022 Revenue: $78.6M
Years in Hawaii: 49
Alaka‘i Mechanical Corp. ranks No. 19 on this year’s list of the Top 25 Contractors as a result of its 2022 revenue of $78.69 million, a 38 percent increase over 2021 revenues of $56.98 million.
Projects completed in 2022 include Ward Village Block N East – A‘ali‘i; 902 Alder St. and Mililani Middle School classroom Building J. Alaka‘i’s ongoing projects comprise Sky Ala Moana (expected completion in September), Victoria Place (expected completion in 2024) and The Park at Ward Village (expected completion in 2025).
“As tourism continues to recover we should see increased activity in the hospitality sector,” says Ryan Ando, president, who added that inflation and high interest rates may start to affect the residential housing market.
Ando also believes certain areas should be prioritized in Hawai‘i.
“The need for more affordable housing combined with an increase in remote work could trigger more projects that convert commercial spaces to affordable residential properties,” Ando says. “An emphasis on energy efficiency should lead to more building and mechanical plant renovation work.”
Incorporated in Hawai‘i in 1974, Alaka‘i specializes in HVAC, plumbing, general sheet metal and kitchen work. Its experience and expertise span the areas of mechanical construction, renovation and retrofitting, which includes air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, fire sprinklers, plumbing and energy management. The corporation counts among its staff engineers, certified technicians, designers, estimators, office staff and managers — many of whom have been with Alaka‘i for more than a decade.
– Paula Bender
Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd.
2022 Revenue: $73.2M
Years in Hawaii: 97
In May 2022, Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. broke ground on a new 100,000-gallon water storage tank for the Kamā‘oa subdivision on Hawaiian homestead lots in Ka‘ū on the Big Island. The multiphased construction will connect future residents with county water service — and is a strong example of the critical infrastructure work that defines Hilo-based Isemoto Contracting, which ranks No. 20 on this year’s list.
The 97-year-old general contractor specializes in heavy site work, roads and utilities, and nearly 50 percent of its jobs last year comprised government contracts.
“The Hawaiian Home Lands projects are beneficial,” company President Leslie Isemoto told Building Industry Hawaii in 2022. “They can put the infrastructure in place to proceed with other developments, whether agriculture or affordable housing.”
Isemoto Contracting ended that year with an outstanding financial performance. The company generated $73.2 million in revenue, an increase of 21.3 percent over earnings in 2021.
One notable job last year was the Kanalani Street Extension, which alleviated traffic congestion near the Kaloko Light Industrial Park in Kona. Isemoto completed the road just in time for the holidays and the start of a seasonal upswing in tourism.
The Kanalani Street project was reminiscent of another major job the company recently completed on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona. For that project, Isemoto’s crew replaced and expanded an 82-year-old culvert with minimal disruption to traffic.
Isemoto is scheduled to finish improvements soon at Magic Sands Beach Park in downtown Kailua-Kona, with new comfort stations, accessibility ramps and new landscaping all in the plans.
Also on track to finish this summer is a track facility at Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona. In the third quarter, a covered play court at Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School will be completed in time for students to enjoy during the 2023-2024 school year.
– Cathy Cruz-George
Armstrong Builders LLC
2022 Revenue: $55.8M
Years in Hawaii: 47
Specializing in resort communities, luxury homes, commercial construction and workforce housing, Armstrong Builders’ revenue rose two percent from $54.7 million in 2021 to $55.8 million in 2022, which lands the company at No. 21 in this year’s rankings.
This indicates work remains steady for the general contractor, which assigns 76 percent of its projects to trades and crafts workers who finish each property with the details discriminating clients expect.
Case in point: Kohanaiki ‘Ohi Kai Phase 2 in the Kohanaiki private club community, a luxury resort just two miles south of Kona International Airport with sprawling ocean view estates, lavish homes with mauka views of the only Rees Jones golf course in Hawai‘i, plus a 67,000-square-foot clubhouse.
“The market for luxury home builds remains strong and we anticipate 2023 will continue to be robust for the construction industry. We currently have multiple luxury home projects underway on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i [island], many of which will continue into 2024,” says James Keller, company president. “We’ll also soon launch a new project on Kauai. The majority of our work comes through referrals, which is a testament to the caliber of projects and high-quality craftsmanship our team has delivered for nearly 50 years in Hawai‘i.”
In May 2023, Armstrong received a 2023 Gold Nugget Merit Award in the Best Multi-Family Housing Community category for its work at Makali‘i at Wailea. The development features 68 townhomes designed in Mid-Century Modern Hawaiian style and are spread across 17 acres overlooking Maui’s southeastern coast.
Among its notable achievements for 2022, the company “completed a very significant residential project” in Windward O‘ahu, but are withholding details due to client privacy.
Ongoing projects include La‘i Loa in Wailea, Maui (expected completion in 2024), Kohanaiki Hinahina Phase 2 (expected completion in 2024) and Kohanaiki Panana (completion date to be determined).
– Paula Bender
Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd.
2022 Revenue: $49.5M
Years in Hawaii: 61
Ralph S. Inouye Co. Ltd. (RSI), renowned for its eye-catching builds and exacting standards, also specializes in “fast-track” construction. Last year, one RSI project combined all three.
RSI’s spectacular Kūnuiākea Track Replacement project at Kamehameha Schools Kapālama not only rebuilt the facility’s concrete substrate, turf and track, it installed a new self-drainage system beneath a new synthetic field. And the company completed it in less than six months in an area larger than two acres in size.
“We finished the project on time,” confirms Blake Inouye, who became RSI president and CEO this year.
Other projects completed by RSI in 2022 include Million Air’s Hawai‘i fuel facility, renovations to Ford Island Building 97 and various improvements at Windward Community College.
Despite a busy year, RSI slid seven points from its No. 15 spot in 2022 to No. 22 in 2023. Earnings fell 27.3 percent, from $68.1 million in 2021 revenue to $49.5 million last year.
“Ongoing projects encountered delays, resulting in a decrease in revenues versus 2021,” Inouye explains. “However, notably, we were able to secure over $100 million in new contracts.”
Ongoing 2023 projects and their scheduled completion dates include the Manana Corporation Yard (expected completion last month), Leeward Community College’s Product Development Center (expected completion this month) and Leeward Refuse Collection Facility (expected completion in December).
The 61-year-old Hawai‘i company says it performs 80 percent of its work in the public sector, and usually subcontracts 65 percent of its work.
RSI’s outlook for 2023 is “challenging but hopeful,” Inouye says. “Hopeful that the industry remains healthy, but supply chain, cost escalations and manpower will remain challenges to overcome.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Shioi Construction Inc.
2022 Revenue: $47M
Years in Hawaii: 75
Kauai-based Shioi Construction Inc. and its Creative Partitions System (CPS) division are anchoring themselves statewide with 23 ongoing projects in 2023.
CPS serves as subcontractor on four O‘ahu projects, including Department of Environmental Services support facilities at the Honouliuli and Sand Island Wastewater Treatment plants, Lili‘uokalani Center, an aircraft maintenance hangar at Wheeler Army Airfield and improvements to Waiākea-Uka Park on Hawai‘i island.
Other 2023 projects where Shioi is general contractor include Phase 2 of the Timbers Townhouses on Kaua‘i, Phase 2 of Kaua‘i High School’s new gymnasium and Kaua‘i’s Lima Ola housing development.
Together, the projects demonstrate how effectively Shioi combines its CPS drywall services with those as GC to expand market penetration statewide. Shioi performs 14 percent of its work in the public sector. As a general contractor, the company subcontracts 31 percent of its work.
Shioi followed the same playbook in 2022, completing nine projects that included Kōloa Village, Phase 2 construction at the Kapa‘a Elementary School Library and a luau building at the Sheraton Kauai Resort.
However, Shioi experienced a 17.5 percent drop in earnings, from $57 million in 2021 revenue to $47 million last year.
Shioi’s Top 25 ranking fell, too, from No. 19 in 2022, to No. 23 this year. But Roy Y. Shioi, company president, remains positive.
“Shioi Construction expects to receive $60 million in 2023 revenue,” he says.
With the $32.8 million Timbers project and $21.2 million Kaua‘i High School gym project already underway, it looks like a sure thing.
– Brett Alexander-Estes
Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc.
2022 Revenue: $41.4M
Years in Hawaii: 59
Marine construction is a complex specialty, and No. 24 Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc. is one of the state’s leaders when it comes to that field of work.
“Our company undertakes some of the most unique and challenging projects in Hawai‘i,” says Healy Tibbitts President Rick A. Heltzel.
Healy Tibbitts, which specializes in underwater pipelines and dredging, along with deep-foundation pile-driving, generated $41.4 million in revenue in 2022. The company, a subsidiary of Marine Weeks, was also acquired by competitor Kiewit Corp. last year.
Approximately 98 percent of Healy’s work consists of government contracts. One project, the installation of a 35-inch force main at the Kamehameha Highway Wastewater Pump Station, earned the company an award of excellence from the General Contractors Association of Hawaii last year.
The next 24 months are expected to generate more public projects for Healy, including repairs to NAVFAC Hawaii’s 24-inch underwater waterline crossing from Ford Island to Landing C at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; pile removal and installation for waterfront improvements at NAVFAC Hawaii’s MCON P-044 Wharves S8, S9 and S10; and improvements to the waterfront at MCON P-1006.
“Our success is derived from a team approach where management and engineering staff collaborate with the highly skilled and very experienced craft workers to brainstorm methods for constructing these difficult projects,” Heltzel says.
– Cathy Cruz-George
Group Builders Inc.
2022 Revenue: $40.7M
Years in Hawaii: 44
Group Builders Inc. suffered a 40 percent decrease in revenue in 2022 from 2021, but President Anacleto “Lito” Alcantara is taking it all with a grain of salt.
“Being in the construction business for 44 years, we have gone through slow periods before and have learned to sharpen our skills, be more efficient and to streamline and crunch numbers,” he says, adding that 2022 was good, although business was slower.
“Some of our projects in 2022 were pushed back due to rising costs or lack of confidence in the economy, but we were able to pull through — though short of our goals — and have risen to fast-tracked jobs.
“[But] we completed all our projects, building quality work, and never had any project unfinished.”
The drywall, carpentry/cabinetry, plastering and acoustic contractor landed at No. 25 on this year’s list of Top 25 Contractors.
Among Group Builder’s significant projects last year: The Central at Ala Moana, Azure Ala Moana and Kona Village Resorts on the Big Island.
The company is also taking steps to help address Hawai‘i’s housing crisis.
“The Central at Ala Moana [features] 60 percent affordable housing,” Alcantara points out. “We also have the 902 Alder (Hale Kalele), which is a state project combining the housing authority’s affordable residences, as well as for the state judiciary’s juvenile services center and shelter for probationary youth.”
Alcantara says he’s looking forward to working on the Atherton Residential Life Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center in 2023.
“[That] project would be a place where students can live while they learn. It is an opportunity to develop Hawai‘i’s future generation of business people.”
As for his company’s future, Alcantara remains optimistic.
“We have a line-up of big projects [and] we hope for the longevity of the company,” he says. “We have gone through past recessions, dealt with changes in the economy, fluctuating costs [and] manpower shortages … but we remain positive.”
– Jackie M. Young
Alan Shintani Inc.
2022 Revenue: $36.8M
Years in Hawaii: 49
Waipahu-based Alan Shintani Inc. tops this year’s Noteworthy Contenders with $36,804,000 in 2022 revenue, up 13.8 percent from $32,335,000 in 2021. The firm also added 12 employees.
Shintani may owe its success to its diversified portfolio, comprising projects in virtually all Hawai‘i markets — federal, state, residential and commercial. Fifty-five percent are in the public sector. Sixty-five percent of work is usually subcontracted.
Last year, Shintani completed renovating Building 2019 at Schofield Barracks; replacing Sewage Pump Station MP-018 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH); replacing the chiller and lighting at Building 1514, JBPHH; and two series of Building 479 renovations and repairs at the Defense Logistics Agency, Pearl Harbor.
Last year, the firm also won two GCA of Hawaii Safety Awards for zero incident rates in one federal and one overall category, and the 2022 NAHB/Builders Mutual Safety Award for Excellence in a home remodeling category.
Shintani was also busy with Waikoloa Family Affordable Rental Housing, an ongoing Big Island project slated to wrap in June. Other 2023 projects and their scheduled completion dates include a maritime trainers’ building on Ford Island (May), a district chilled water plant at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (April) and a Department of Homeland Security tenant improvement at the PJKK Federal Building (April).
Going forward, high interest rates “will likely go beyond 2023,” says Fred Kim, firm president. “Public sectors like transportation, infrastructure upgrades, education, renewable energy and federal/Department of Defense are expected to be active, while housing and commercial development will be lagging due to high interest rates and delays in obtaining permits.”
– Brett Alexander-Estes
S&M Sakamoto Inc.
2022 Revenue: $36.6M Years in Hawaii: 83 Employees: 39
S&M Sakamoto Inc. saw a 13 percent rise in revenue last year, up from $32.5 million in 2021 to $36.6 million in 2022.
“We … maintained a steady flow of projects that were short-term and very efficient,” says SMSI President Dale Sakamoto Yoneda, who also served as General Contractors of Hawaii president in 2022.
Sakamoto Yoneda attributes the bump in revenue to a single project in 2021: new housing for the State Department of Accounting and General Services at the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) in Kailua.
“The facility has not had a major improvement in many years, [and] its capacity was hindered by this,” Sakamoto Yoneda explains. “The addition of a new housing building, administration building and support building will allow the staff of WCCC to provide much-needed services to their population.”
The increase in revenue didn’t change SMSI’s ranking, however. The company is a Noteworthy Contender after coming in at No. 24 last year.
This year, Sakamoto Yoneda remains focused on finishing the WCCC project.
“Opening up the facilities will assist the state in providing services required. We also have a number of other projects this year, [including a] Hy’s Steakhouse Kitchen renovation, Trutags Technologies [interior laboratory renovations] and the Waipahu High School Academic Health Center.
“These projects represent growth and innovation, which will not only benefit us currently, but also well into the future.”
Speaking of the future, Sakamoto Yoneda predicts “there will be a lot of construction work in the near future — federal funds especially.
“We will have to find our niche and focus on the projects that fit our companies.”
– Jackie M. Young
Metzler Contracting Co. LLC
2021 Revenue: $36M
Years in Hawaii: 47
With revenue of $27.5 million in 2021, Metzler Contracting was a Noteworthy Contender last year among Hawai‘i companies participating in our annual Top 25 Contractors list.
For 2022, the Big Island-based general building and engineering company enjoyed a 28.6 percent growth in revenue to $36 million. Metzler specializes in high-end homes across Hawai‘i, for which 55 percent of its work was subcontracted last year.
According to John F. Metzler, CEO, president and managing member, last year the company bid for and was awarded two public sector projects for the Hawai‘i Department of Accounting and General Services and the Hawai‘i Department of Education, developing a new middle school and library that is expected to wrap in 2024.
When it comes to high-end, custom-designed, single-family homes in the Kohala area of Hawai‘i island, the Joyce House is just one example of collaboration between Zak Architects, the Douglas Durkin Design team, individual homeowners and Metzler himself to take ideas from concept to completion. Another residence, Manele Lana‘i, is expected to be turned over to owners this summer.
Current projects for Metzler include two private residences at Kuki‘o Golf and Beach Club on Hawai‘i island and a residence at Hualālai on Maui. Two more Kuki‘o residences and a residence at Manini‘owali on the Big Island are expected to be completed in 2024.
Another residence near Hualālai Resort in Kaupulehu on Hawai‘i island is projected to be completed in 2025.
– Paula Bender
Paradigm Construction LLC
2021 Revenue: $31M
Years in Hawaii: 18
The decrease in the number of projects from private and public sectors caused Paradigm Construction LLC to experience a 6 percent decrease in revenue last year, from $33 million in 2021 to $31 million in 2022, according to President Alex Kwon.
That makes Paradigm a 2023 Noteworthy Contender on Hawaii’s Top 25 Contractors list.
Kwon says Paradigm was able to incrementally grow its workforce to 55, up from 50 the year before.
“Given current economic uncertainty, we are just trying to keep up with our volume of work, and not aggressively look for growth,” he says.
But this is a far cry from when Kwon founded Paradigm in 2005 with only himself and rented workers from other companies.
“Fortunately, we have a very strong project management team consisting of dedicated trade workers and office staff that strive to perform their best on our projects with the essence of safety, quality and pride,” Kwon says.
The company’s name derives from a new shift in general contracting Kwon wanted to provide the community.
“Our niche market is basically civil infrastructure work for residential subdivisions,” he says. “All our projects involve some grading work, structural walls, utility mains — such as water, sewer, electrical — and new roadway work, including landscaping.
“The most challenging part of our projects was how to effectively manage and complete our scope of work in time, when faced with constant short-supply issues. Our project deadlines are very important because they have a direct impact on new home buyers.”
In 2022, Paradigm completed a Koa Ridge Site M2 Multi-family subdivision project, single-family subdivisions at Ewa by Gentry’s Area 32, and subdivisions at Ho‘opili Parcels 98 and 100.
As for the future, Kwon is hoping for the best.
“If we can have a soft landing or no recession in the near future, then the construction industry will continue to prosper.”
– Jackie M. Young
2022 Revenue: $30M
Years in Hawaii: 23
With 23 years of contractor experience in Hawai‘i, MIRA Image Construction LLC enters our Top 25 rankings for the first time in 2023 as a Noteworthy Contender.
The company’s 2022 self-reported revenue of $30 million was up 11 percent from $27 million in 2021. MIRA focuses solely on the public sector, with 19 percent of its work on city, state and federal projects assigned to subcontractors; specialties include pre-construction, general contracting, design-build, infrastructure and sewer work.
New executives at the company include CEO/CFO Michael Gangloff and COO Joy Gangloff, and Michael Gangloff predicts MIRA Image will see its revenue increase to $43 million this year.
Projects completed in 2022 include the removal, transportation and storage of a large sculpture from Mokapu Elementary School to a compound at Shafter Flats for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts; a project at Foster Botanical Gardens; improvements to the Lanikai water system; and a project at Kihei High School on Maui.
MIRA’s current projects include improvements to Piers 24-28 (expected completion in March), the Wailuku Civic Complex (expected completion in April), Kalaniana‘ole Highway improvements (expected completion in June), Farrington Highway safety improvements (expected completion in September), an elevated pedestrian walkway on Ala Moana Boulevard (expected completion in January 2024) and Kamehameha Highway intersection improvements at Kahekili Highway.
– Paula Bender
General Contracting LLC
2022 Revenue: $27.9M
Years in Hawaii: 37
In 2022, Top 25 Noteworthy Contender Arita Poulson General Contracting completed dozens of high-profile projects including: the first Chick-fil-A restaurant on Maui; the science facility at Radford High School on O‘ahu; and upgrades to Maui Memorial Hospital’s cafeteria and the Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu.
In the same fiscal period, the contractor posted $27.9 million in revenue, down 14.6 percent from 2021 revenues of $32.7 million. The double-digit decrease stemmed from inflation, delayed permits and higher lending costs that halted several projects.
Approximately 72 percent of work was subcontracted, and 22 percent was in the public sector.
This year, the company will continue focusing on its strengths, which are commercial, medical, hospitality, multi-family residential and light industrial construction.
“Our management capabilities equal or surpass those of larger contractors, and our clients benefit from the personal focus our executive management team gives to every project,” says Brad Espedal, chief operating officer for Arita Poulson.
Construction activity so far is looking positive for 2023. In the first quarter, the company upgraded Hilo Medical Center’s lobby, gastro and cardio units; new features to Lahaina Cannery Mall; and plumbing improvements at Kahala Falls. The second half of the year will see construction activity at 3660 Waialae and Ma‘alea Triangle.
At the time of this writing, contracts valued between $10 million and $75 million were pending in affordable-housing and retail markets on O‘ahu, Big Island and Maui.
“We like to think of ourselves as the largest small contractor and the smallest big contractor in Hawai‘i,” Espedal says.
– Cathy Cruz-George
Constructors Hawaii Inc.
2022 Revenue: $19.3M
Years in Hawaii: 51
Constructors Hawaii Inc. celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a rebranding of its company logo and website.
“Even though 2022 was slower for us, we did make it to 50,” says Colin Yoshiyama, president. “Sadly, my dad passed in November. He was 89.”
Albert Yoshiyama founded Constructors in 1972, with offices on both the Big Island and O‘ahu.
The general construction firm experienced a seven percent decline in revenue in 2022, from $20.7 million in 2021 to $19.3 million last year, finishing as a Noteworthy Contender for a second year in a row.
“For one of our ongoing projects, the Medical Office Building at Town Center of Mililani, the weather was a real problem,” Yoshiyama recalls. “Just getting out of the ground was a challenge.
“For another of our ongoing projects, the Straub Medical Center Ear, Nose & Throat Department’s relocation to Waterfront Plaza, the supply chain was definitely an issue — we had to wait approximately a year to get the air conditioning equipment in. Then the building permits took a long time to be approved.”
Yoshiyama says COVID-19 was also a concern for financing projects, but he sees that uncertainty slowly fading away.
At the end of this year, Yoshiyama says he looks forward to completing a new Medical Office Building at Town Center of Mililani.
“It is a two-story building for a future 22,000-square-foot health clinic,” he explains. “A big portion of our business is the healthcare industry. It’s always exciting to complete those types of projects because of the immediate benefit it provides to the community.”
– Jackie M. Young
Biggest Piece of the Pie
Approximately 85 percent of the $4.35 billion in construction revenue reported in 2022 came from 15 of the Top 25 Contractors on this year’s list. Here’s a breakdown of who the money went to.
|2022 Revenue||Company Name|
|$573,000,000||Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc.|
|$369,000,000||Nordic PCL Construction Inc|
|$366,955,000||Hensel Phelps Construction Co.|
|$309,000,000||Albert C. Kobayashi Inc.|
|$288,000,000||Goodfellow Bros. LLC|
|$210,410,000||Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.|
|$178,078,652||Unlimited Construction Services Inc.|
|$133,700,000||Frank V. Coluccio Construction Co. Inc. (NEW)|
|$123,666,430||Dorvin D. Leis Co. Inc. (NEW)|
|$117,344,706||Layton Construction Co. LLC|
|$112,141,059||Moss & Associates|
|$107,000,000||Maryl Group Construction Inc.|
|$106,440,000||Royal Contracting Co. Ltd.|