Originally from a small town in Iowa, Andy Todtz (on right in picture with co-owner Chris Ronnebaum) was visiting his college roommate in Baltimore when he realized how much remodeling work there was to be done in the city.

“I quit my job and moved out here the next day,” Todtz recalls. It was a rash decision, but one that has paid off for Todtz — and for Baltimore. Hawkeye Construction, which does about 10% commercial remodeling, specializes in renovating the city's historic row houses.

“There's a certain amount of difficulty involved in navigating the limited space and accessibility,” he says. “And nothing is level or square because it was all built 100 years ago.” According to Todtz, the company has rescued more than its share of botched row house renovations.

Hawkeye recently moved into a 6,000-square-foot office and warehouse where it houses all of its vehicles and materials as well as a woodworking shop for custom doors and cabinets.

Todtz has also stepped up his company's green efforts, instituting recycling programs in the office and on the jobsite, including special Dumpsters for recyclable steel. Clients in the area are still wary of the added cost of green, but it's something that is important to Todtz. “We recently installed a solar hot water system for a client — at cost,” he says. “It cost us a little bit more, but we wanted to do it.”

- Chris Keimig