General contractors in the Southwest have submitted their surveys and the next issue of ENR Southwest will present the results along with a snapshot of the health of regional firms and the market niches in which they perform. More than 60 firms from Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico participated in the survey.

While many firms performed well in 2013 and the market is stable, there can be only one firm that can be called Top Contractor. This year, Penta Building Group of Nev. and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., made the final nominations. And, while many regional editors hailed Penta for their steady growth — they’ve jumped nearly 10 spots in the ranking in the past three years — the winner this year is McCarthy.

McCarthy Building Companies is the oldest American-owned construction company in the United States that is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. It is also employee owned. Throughout the southwest, McCarthy has been building communities since opening its Phoenix office in 1979. McCarthy Southwest attributes its consistent growth, even through the later years of the economic downturn, to the vision of leadership to diversify into new market sectors and expanding its expertise nationally.

New market sector expansion included growing into the renewable energy market and as well as expanding expertise of the Southwest division nationally. Southwest market’s renewable energy sector saw growth over the past several years, and McCarthy was served as GC on major solar utility projects including Gila Bend’s Cotton Center, Chino Valley and Hyder II. Growth of the division into other geographic markets through proven construction types, specifically water treatment plants and infrastructure, provided McCarthy with additional growth opportunities.

One of the most noteworthy of McCarthy’s projects in 2013 was the Banner Estrella Campus Expansion in Phoenix. Work included a new patient tower and parking structure. The new patient tower is the first structural concrete hospital to be built in metro Phoenix since the early 1980s. The use of concrete for the structure enabled the construction team to fast-track the project.

The new 178-bed, $161 million patient tower is opening in phases, ultimately taking the campus from 214 to 392 licensed beds. Phase I was completed in March 2014. The new tower includes maternity services, a new cardiac catheterization labs, a special procedures room, dialysis unit, endoscopy suite, and private rooms. The fifth and sixth floors have only their exterior walls complete, with no interior walls or finishes for future growth.

The new patient tower construction team earned top safety honors from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the project was designated a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) STAR Site, the highest safety award by OSHA.

We’ll have much more on McCarthy and a perspective from other general contracting firms on current business conditions. If you would like to contribute, please email me at