Empress Builders is a full service general contracting firm headquartered in Orange County, California and serving the Southern California market.

Empress Builders offers clients a diverse group of skilled individuals who possess the knowledge and experience to meet construction project demands. From pleasant administrative staff to highly qualified project management and field superintendent teams, Empress Builders aims to provide clients with the winning formula to complete the project and exceed expectations.

Our Vision

To be Southern California’s premier general contracting firm sought after by potential clients and employees for our track record in reliable execution, cost effectiveness, quality construction and world class technical expertise. 

Our Mission

To make the construction process safe and enjoyable for our clients and associates. We will operate with a positive foundation for honest and fair working relationships where entire project teams can experience pride and satisfaction in their work.

Meet The Team

Imer Bauta, P.E.

Chief Executive Officer


Chief Executive Officer of Empress Builders, Imer Bauta lends clients the kind of confidence and honesty that comes from a lifetime of devotion to construction, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the construction process. Over the last 15+ years he has earned a reputation for professionalism, talent, hard work and integrity.


As a second-generation builder, Imer got his start at a very young age by flipping apartment units with his brothers; having amassed a total apartment unit conversion count of over 100 units prior to departing for college. Imer took his passion for construction to the field of Civil Engineering where he graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering with a structural engineering concentration from the prestigious Villanova University. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree; Imer dedicated time to work as a Structural Engineer where he had a chance to design various structural elements using technical codes and advanced technologies. Imer utilized this experience to become a Licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California.   


After a few years on the design side; Imer made the jump in the business to the construction side as a project engineer. Imer soon distinguished himself for his eager commitment to excellence by paying strict attention to every detail. Being the first man on the job and the last to leave, he soon became the “go-to” resource for many construction companies. A natural leader with a love for the construction industry, he soon worked his way up to assistant superintendent, area superintendent, project manager and ultimately to the senior project manager position. In 2019, Imer formed Empress Builders.


Imer’s experience includes commercial and residential construction in the FL, NY, NJ, and CA markets. He has intimate knowledge in all aspects of pre-construction, project management and delivery in completing over 1500 apartment units and $500 Million of construction from commercial space, to high rise to garden style multifamily communities.


Imer consistently strives to protect client interests, not just those of the company. He sets realistic expectations before starting a project and keeps project teams informed throughout the whole process. Imer is hands on and active in all aspects of the management of Empress Builders and looks to exceed expectations for all clients.


Imer enjoys the outdoors and is an enthusiastic runner. Imer and wife Carly have two sons and are active members in the Laguna Beach Parents Club and enjoy spending time in town and walking the beach on the weekends. Imer is also an active member in the Laguna Beach Rotary Club and Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. 



B.S. in Civil Engineering, Villanova University

M.S. in Civil Engineering: Structural Engineering, Villanova University

Evan Nishizu

Chief Operating Officer


Chief Operating Officer of Empress Builders, Evan leads the company efforts to make planning and constructing straightforward and efficient for the ultimate client experience.


Evan's career experiences include a comprehensive selection of markets and construction management workflows. Evan has successfully completed projects in mixed-use multi-family housing, parking structures, laboratory facilities, education facilities, health facilities, offices, and renovations in the greater Los Angeles area. He has had his hand in virtually all aspects of construction management including pre-construction & estimating, field coordination, cost management, schedule management, and design management.


Evan is dedicated to the development, design, and operation of the systems that create and deliver the unique construction services of Empress Builders; ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective and that the proper management of resources, distribution of services to customers promotes constant improvements and positive experiences.


Evan hopes to share his experience in the construction industry with those with the same visions and passions. Evan participates in two ways: mentorship programs at his alma mater, and as an instructor for the construction management certificate program at UCLA Extension. 


B.S. in Civil Engineering: Building Science, University of Southern California
Minor in Architecture, University of Southern California
M.S. in Civil Engineering: Structural Engineering, University of Southern California


Lav Bauta

Chief Financial Officer 


Chief Financial Officer of Empress Builders, Lav Bauta is a dynamic team leader. Lav Bauta brings a wealth of financial knowledge to Empress Builders. Building on a near two-decade body of success across the construction, development and real estate sectors. This, coupled with his teams’ understanding of multifamily and commercial operations, provides the edge that distinguishes Empress Builders’ methodology, processes and outcomes.


Lav’s experience includes commercial and residential real estate financial investment and management. Having worked his way up from assistant property manager to property manager and ultimately investment strategist managing a private real estate fund in excess of $200 Million. Lav has intimate knowledge in all aspects of capital management, leveraging debt, financial analyses, refinancing, 1031 exchange, and market studies in the acquisitions and management of a portfolio of over 1000 apartment units, the acquisitions of over $60 Million and the refinancing of over $100 Million in loans.


Intensely entrepreneurial, a trait he shares with many of Empress Builders’ client partners, Lav has taken the time and expended the effort to understand all facets of construction, development and real estate sectors. Lav is focused on maintaining and growing Empress Builders’ financial strength. Bringing unmatched integrity and attention to detail, Lav considers it his personal responsibility to ensure the company is financially positioned to succeed for the next 50 years.


Lav loves to spend time with his family, wife Suzy and their two sons. Lav enjoys playing pick-up basketball. When not on daddy duty or working, Lav is a wine enthusiast and enjoys Californian Cabernet Sauvignon.



B.A. in Sociology & Markets and Management Studies – Duke University

Master of Business Administration, Finance (MBA) – Villanova University

Izzy Bauta

Chief Information Officer


Chief Information Officer of Empress Builders, Izzy Bauta is a catalyst for open communication, rapport, bonding and trust. Izzy Bauta brings two decades of success across the construction and real estate sectors. An organizational controls and communications expert, Izzy brings a wealth of organizational and IT knowledge to Empress Builders.


Izzy’s experience includes commercial and residential construction, as well as real estate management. Having developed a training and operations manual and property management software for a private real estate fund valued in excess of $200 Million, Izzy brings intimate knowledge in all aspects of training and operations management. Izzy looks to bring his technology experience to Empress Builders by customizing IT systems and platforms to improve client and team experience.


Izzy’s focus is on guiding the company to success via smart, strategic growth. He works to align specific client and project needs to the capabilities of our in-house teams. Clients appreciate the investment he makes in long-term relationships, his extensive experience on the operations side of real estate and his open and honest communication.


Passionate about both quality construction and company organization, Izzy looks to implement suitable technology to streamline all internal operations and help optimize their strategic benefits for the company and its clients. As a leader, he works with internal teams and with outside software consultants to design and deliver next-generation tools that will allow for Empress Builders to provide the best quality and value in general contracting services. 


Izzy is an avid cyclist and is addicted to his Peloton, where he has amassed over two hundred rides this past year. Izzy and wife Liz enjoy traveling the world together and spending time with close friends.



B.S. in Marketing (Business Law Minor) – Villanova University

Master of Business Administration, Finance (MBA) – Villanova University