Broadbent spins off construction business

Beleaguered local developer The Broadbent Co. plans to spin off its construction division as an independent company as of Jan. 1.

S&B Construction—which opened its doors in 1972 as the construction arm of what was then known as The Skinner & Broadbent Co.—plans to change its name to S&B Construction Group and move to a new headquarters.

Longtime S&B President William Cooper will take ownership of the company, which will move to 10049 E. Washington St., from Broadbent's newly remodeled headquarters at 117 E. Washington St.

"We look forward to providing you with the same construction management and general contracting expertise and attention to detail under our new ownership and from our new location," company spokeswoman Teri Nihiser wrote in an e-mail to clients.

Broadbent officials could not be reached Thursday morning, and Nihiser did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting more information on the change.

The move likely is a response to financial troubles that have plagued Broadbent's core development business. The retail strip centers that are the company's specialty have been hit particularly hard by the lingering effects of a recession that weakened occupancy rates and shrank property values.

Two banks in May filed lawsuits that claim Broadbent President George Broadbent defaulted on loans and owes more than $2.6 million. Two of the company's largest projects in Indianapolis—Clearwater Crossing along East 82nd Street and Greenwood Place on South U.S. 31—were ensnared in the litigation.

All told, financial institutions are seeking to collect about $13 million from the 38-year-old firm, long one of the city’s biggest developers of shopping centers.

Past clients of S&B Construction include the U.S. Postal Service, Kroger, CVS, Kohl's and IBJ Media.

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