Focus named one of "the best mixed-use contractors in Chicago, IL" by Chicago Architects

23 June 2021

Focus was recently named one of the top mixed-used contractors in Chicago by Chicago Architects. Read the original article below.


As the biggest city in the Midwest, Chicago offers a vibrant lifestyle and diverse community. Its towering skyscrapers, impressive architecture, and rich culture make it an inviting place for people who are looking to relocate. Chicago’s neighborhood comprises the north, south, west, and downtown districts. Each offers an attractive community for young couples and families.

Chicago is also the second-biggest market in the country for entry-level homes. With continuous growth in the housing and construction markets, particularly in mixed-use developments, you’ll find plenty of general contractors across the city. We hand-picked the best mixed-use contractors in Chicago based on their credentials, proven track record, and experience in the industry. Many of the firms on this list have been in business from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. With over a century of experience, these established contractors are equipped to provide all types of construction needs and development work.

Top Mixed-Use Contractors

Linn-Mathes Inc.

Address: 309 S. Green St., Chicago, Illinois 60607

About Linn-Mathes Inc.

As one of the most tenured contractors on this list, Linn-Mathes Inc. continues to provide a wide range of construction services throughout Chicago for more than a century. In 1919, Nathan Linn started a small construction business focusing on residential and commercial projects. Since then, the firm has come a long way from its humble beginnings and is now regarded as one of the most respected contracting firms in Chicago. In the mid ’70s, Brad Mathes joined the company and the name was changed to Linn-Mathes Inc.

With over 100 years of experience, the firm has amassed a diverse clientele with projects ranging from remodeling and rehabilitation to new construction. Linn-Mathes is a full-service company catering to residential, commercial, mixed-use, senior living, and hospitality projects. As a third-generation family-owned and operated business, the company maintains its standard of excellence through quality workmanship.

Featured Projects

Over the years, Linn-Mathes has worked with local architects and trade partners who have comprehensive background and experience in the construction industry. The decorated and celebrated firm has received numerous recognitions for its remarkable works earning accreditations from the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) and the Illinois Housing Council. In 2009, the firm was named Contractor of the Year by the Coalition for United Community Action.

Synergy Construction Group

Address: 2037 W. Carroll Ave., Chicago, IL 60612

About Synergy Construction Group

The multi-faceted general contracting firm, Synergy Construction Group has been serving Chicago homeowners and businesses since 2010. For a decade, the firm has worked on a variety of projects catering to mixed-use, multifamily, healthcare, retail, restaurant, manufacturing, institutional, and tenant improvement. As a design-build company, Synergy Construction provides expertise in all areas of construction using the most effective building methods.

Aside from construction needs, Synergy Construction also offers reconstruction management, consulting, budgeting, and development services. Communication plays a huge role in the firm’s build process. At the same time, making sure that all projects are delivered on schedule. The solution-driven firm handles all aspects of the project from start to completion. Through sustainable practices, Synergy Construction has earned its certification with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). By focusing on the needs of the client, the firm can effectively design and build spaces that are also safe for the environment.

Featured Projects

In 2015, the Pulse of the City News presented Synergy Construction with the Star Award. Its projects have gained attention from various publications including the Chicago Daily Herald, Chicago Tribune, Rejournals, REBusinessOnline, and ConnectCRE. One of its notable projects is the residential units at W Scott St. located in Old Town. The project consists of a six-story building with a mix of beautiful apartments and attractive retail stores.

Novak Construction

Address: 3423 N. Drake Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618

About Novak Construction

Since 1980, Novak Construction has been serving the Greater Chicago area with a full range of construction services. Founder John Novak formed Novak Construction as a family-oriented company. Its services cater to residential, commercial, mixed-use, corporate, restaurant, retail, healthcare, and industrial projects. With a strong commitment to its clients, employees, and the community, the firm continues to uphold its high standard of service.

For four decades, the company has expanded its services and now has over a hundred employees under John’s tutelage. The licensed firm has extensive experience in over 30 states offering general contracting services, preconstruction, and construction management. Known for its expertise in mixed-use and commercial projects, Novak Construction has become a reputable firm in the Chicago community. The firm is also highly experienced in preparing city requirements making the process easier for clients.

Featured Projects

Some of its notable customers include Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods Market among many others. Known for producing quality construction, 85% of its clients are repeat customers. The LEED Certified firm is recognized for its sustainable methods and regarded as a leader in green building practices. The firm has been featured multiple times in various publications including Crain’s Chicago Business, Bisnow, Commercial Property Executive, Chicago Sun-Times, Wednesday Journal, Block Club Chicago, and Nadig Newspapers.

Power Construction

Address: 8750 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60631

About Power Construction

Established in 1926, Power Construction is a veteran construction company with services catering to the Greater Chicago area. With nearly 95 years of service, Power Construction continues to provide all types of construction needs for various industries including luxury homes, multifamily units, mixed-use properties, senior living, industrial, retail, hospitality, education, science, and aviation. To get every project done effectively and with care, the family-owned and managed firm has established a unique system focusing on building long-lasting relationships with its clients, employees, and partners. Its team focuses on listening and participating in all aspects of the construction process, everybody sharing the same passion for providing the highest standard of service. Whether the task requires providing real-time updates or formulating solutions to address complex problems, the staff at Power Construction is more than happy to provide customers with what they need.

Featured Projects

Over the years, the firm received accreditations from the Public Building Commission of Chicago and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Its projects can be in various publications including Yahoo Finance, Chicago Morning Star, Chicago Tribune, REJournals, Bisnow, Business Wire, Commercial Property Executive, Chicago Sun-Times, and Multi-Housing News. From 2015 to 2020, Power Construction was consistently recognized by Chicago Tribune in the Top Workplaces Regional Awards.

Summit Design + Build

Address: 1036 W. Fulton Market Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60607

About Summit Design + Build

In 2005, Adam Miller started Summit Design + Build as a general contracting firm. Its range of services includes construction management, consultation, planning, sustainable construction, and design-build services for Chicago residents as well as other parts of the country. For 15 years, Summit Design has worked on mixed-use, adaptive reuse, recreation, retail, restaurant, hospitality, medical, industrial, institutional and sustainable projects, earning it a certification from the USGBC.

Summit Design possesses a group of skilled individuals with decades of industry experience. Trust, teamwork, commitment, and accountability have always been the firm’s core principles. The company also values the importance of building long-term relationships with its clients and suppliers. Recognized for its ability to find the most feasible and cost-efficient solutions, Summit Design consistently raises the bar in construction through its innovative practices while providing excellent quality construction and service.

Featured Projects

Its projects have been featured in Crain’s Chicago Custom Media, Midwest Real Estate News, Commercial Property Executive, REJournals, and The Real Deal. From 2019 to 2020, ENR Southeast named the company as one of Southeast’s Top Contractors while in 2015, the firm received the NAIOP Award for Excellence in the category of office and mixed-use redevelopment.

LG Construction

Address: 2234 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL 60647

About LG Construction

Chicago-based LG Construction has been providing general contracting services for 12 years. Brian Goldberg originally opened LG Development Group as a real estate development firm specializing in high-end residential and commercial properties. LG Development Group expanded its services and in 2008, LG Construction opened its doors. As the business grew, the company opened two more firms, LG Advantage and LG Design. LG Advantage is a service division focusing on smaller projects while LG Design is the company’s interior design arm.

With the establishment of these independent firms, LG Construction can provide a more efficient and convenient design-build process for customers, especially since all services are under one roof. LG Construction specializes in construction and development with clients ranging from luxury homes, mixed-used units, new construction, and commercial properties. The firm has deep roots in the Chicago market and can handle all types of construction needs.

Featured Projects

Publications such as Nashville Post, Chicago Curbed, Loop North News, Chicago Agent Magazine, Architectural Digest, and Modern Luxury have featured this LEED-certified firm. One of its notable works is the Transient Oriented mixed-use development project located in the West Loop neighborhood. The property features luxury apartments, retail shops, a rooftop terrace, a lounge, and a fitness center.


Address: 100 South Wacker Dr. Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60606

About Focus

Specializing in real estate development and construction, Focus has been providing a variety of solutions for residential and commercial properties for over 25 years. In addition to CRE development, Focus also offers general contracting services for third parties and has delivered projects valued at over $455M for its clients. Since its inception in 1993, Focus has earned a reputation for quality craftsmanship and design based on an impeccable track record in municipalities like Chicago, Wheaton, Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Forest Park, Oak Park, and Winnetka.

Founder Tim Anderson has over 40 years of industry experience and is committed to providing quality architecture with the mission to create spaces for people to experience a better life. He leads a team of over 50 talented professionals across multiple disciplines. Under Tim’s leadership, Focus has proven its value to its investors as well, with projects like Kelmscott Park in Lake Forest and The Parker in the Fulton Market fetching record-setting prices at the time of their sales.

Featured Projects

The company’s impactful and diverse portfolio has resulted in recognition from institutions and peers. In 2019, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Greater Chicago honored the firm with the Crystal Key Award for Multi-Family Development and the firm’s projects have been featured in publications like The Real Deal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, and Curbed Chicago. Focus is accredited with the West Central Association Chamber of Commerce and is LEED Certified.

Pepper Construction

Address: 643 North Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60654

About Pepper Construction

As experts in the construction industry, Pepper Construction Group continues to provide quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service throughout the Midwest. The general contracting firm caters to residential, private, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, industrial, retail, gaming, and government sectors. In 1927, the company opened its doors to Chicago residents and since then has grown to become the 6th biggest contractor in the Midwest.

With 93 years of experience, Pepper Construction has developed its skill in integrating innovative building practices and state-of-the-art technologies. These methods provide the most effective solutions for challenging spaces while maintaining a safe and healthy environment. The firm is committed to using clean and sustainable materials in every project. Additionally, the firm also offers construction management services using an efficient system for a streamlined process.

Featured Projects

Over the years, the company has amassed multiple awards. In 2020, Pepper Construction received the Safety Innovation Award from The Coalition for Construction Safety and was given the Sustainable Leadership Award at the CoreNet Real Awards in 2019. The firm is accredited with the Greater River North Business Association and is LEED Certified. With its numerous awards, Pepper Construction was also featured in various publications including the ENR, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Daily Herald, Construction Dive, ArchDaily, and Archinect.

James McHugh Construction

Address: 643 North Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60654

About James McHugh Construction

James McHugh Construction is recognized for its unique, creative, and innovative buildings. As a general contractor, the firm focuses on providing construction and renovation needs for Chicago clients. It specializes in high-rise buildings, complex structures, and large-scale projects for private and public properties. Over the years, the company has worked on a variety of projects including apartments, mixed-use properties, institutions, retail shops, and restaurants.

James D. McHugh founded the firm in 1897 making it the oldest contractor on this list. By the 1920s, the company became known for its exceptional masonry works. With over a century of experience, James McHugh Construction has become one of the most trusted, respected, and reliable contractors in Chicago. Its services also cater to international clients. The 4th generation-owned firm employs over 130 professionals and 400 tradesmen. Its projects include 7 of the 10 tallest buildings in Chicago.

Featured Projects

As one of Chicago’s top-rated contractors, James McHugh Construction has received multiple awards over the years. From 2017 to 2020, the Chicago Tribune named it as one of the Top Workplaces and in 2009 was awarded the Emporis Skyscraper Award. The firm’s accreditations and certifications include the USGBC, Association of Subcontractors & Affiliates (ASA) Chicago, and Chicagoland Associated General Contractors (AGC).

Clark Construction

Address: 643 North Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60654

About Clark Construction

As a leading contracting firm in Chicago, Clark Construction offers a full range of construction services catering to all states across the U.S. The firm specializes in mixed-use, commercial, institutional, science, healthcare, and public spaces. Since its inception in 1906, Clark Construction has produced award-winning projects with an extensive portfolio and a diverse clientele. Its projects span across all scopes and sizes including the most complex buildings.

Clark Construction has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a small local excavation company. Now with 4,200 employees and offices across various locations in the country, the firm is ranked as one of the leading general contractors in the U.S. The reputable and established firm offers unparalleled expertise in all areas of construction.

Featured Projects

Clark Construction has earned more than 1,400 awards throughout its tenure. In 2020, it received three awards at the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Awards and 10 AGC awards between 2018 to 2020. Along with its numerous recognitions, the firm was also featured in the press including ENR, Construction Dive, Commercial Observer, BD+C, BisNow, Business Wire, and CBS Chicago among many others. With 114 years of service in the construction industry, the firm has earned accreditations from the USGBC, AGC, and ABC.

This article original appeared in Chicago Architects, read the original here.

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