Lauth lays off 54 workers in Indianapolis

Developer Lauth Group Inc. today laid off 80 employees – about 18 percent of its nationwide work force – including 54 at its Indianapolis headquarters.

The company described the move as part of a “realignment” that will help the nation’s 13th-largest developer continue to grow. About 90 percent of Lauth’s business is outside Indiana. The company had 450 employees prior to the layoffs.

Most of the eliminated positions are in construction and engineering services, areas in which Lauth now plans to increase its reliance on third parties. The company has about 30 projects totaling 7 million square feet under construction.

“These changes make us better positioned to meet the needs of our clients and post double-digit volume growth in 2008 despite a slowing economy,” Lauth CEO Robert Lauth said in a statement.

David Reed, managing director of the local office of Los Angeles-based real estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis, said Lauth’s pipeline remains strong.

“I would not look at this as an economic indicator,” Reed said. “They’re tweaking their model. We still see a strong pipeline for office and industrial.”

Lauth built $592 million in projects in 2006, up from $143 million in 2004. During the same period, the company grew from 168 employees to 405. It doubled its revenue from 2004 to 2005, then doubled it again from 2005 to 2006.

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