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Thomas & Egenhoefer closes

Sean Ryan

Thomas & Egenhoefer Inc., a 28-year-old general contractor, is officially closed.

The company’s Menomonee Falls headquarters phone number has only a message saying the office closed permanently Friday. Officials from the company did not respond to messages requesting comment.

Thomas & Egenhoefer’s closing follows other Milwaukee-area construction company closures, including The Bentley Co. and William Beaudoin & Sons Inc. It is the latest casualty but likely not the last, said John Topp, chief executive of the Allied Construction Employers Association, of which Thomas & Egenhoefer was a member.

“It’s an unfortunate thing,” he said. “Unfortunately, I think we’re going to see more of it.”

Topp said there were signs of Thomas & Egenhoefer’s closing, including company employees who were looking for new jobs. He said he does not know why the contractor is closing, but all builders are having trouble eking a profit because so many companies are under-bidding projects to win contracts.

All contractors that did not reserve money going into the construction slowdown are in jeopardy, Topp said.

“There’s the old saying that if you are not growing and you are not profitable you are dying, and you can only sustain yourself off of the fat of the land for so long,” he said. “It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s a situation that nobody likes to be in.”

Thomas & Egenhoefer is still fighting an up to $25,000 Waukesha County Circuit Court lawsuit filed by Raab Mechanical Inc., Waukesha, over work on a The Home Depot project, said Joseph Niebler Jr., Thomas & Egenhoefer’s attorney in the case. Niebler said he does not work on the company’s financial affairs and cannot comment on its closing.

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