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our history

Quality Construction Begins With Integrity

Leslie I. Combs L. I. Combs & Sons’ first commercial construction was the 12-20 Bowling in Gary in 1961.

A native of Vermont, Leslie I. Combs started his company in 1917 after arriving in Gary, Indiana. Combs developed thousands of homes in Gary creating some of the finest neighborhoods.

Combs Sr. went into business with his two sons. Allen E. Combs, the eldest son, joined his father in 1927 after graduating from Purdue University and helped design and sell the homes. Leslie I. Combs Jr. joined the firm in 1945 after serving in the U. S. Navy. Combs Jr. went on to become CEO of the company shortly before his father died in 1959. Combs Jr. developed areas throughout Gary including Glen Park, Ambridge and the West Side.

L. I. Combs & Sons’ first commercial construction was the 12-20 Bowling in Gary in 1961. The company’s first major commercial development was the Village Shopping Center built by a Chicago contractor in 1955. Since then the company has an extensive repertoire including hundreds of commercial structures such as restaurants, office buildings, warehouses, churches, and hospitals. The most notable commercial land development is the Environ Executive Center in Merrillville that is home to Chase Bank and Northern Indiana Public Service Corporation.  Recently, we have completed the St. John branch of the Lake County Public Library and the Lake Etta Banquet Hall in Gary.

Jim Combs started working for his father, L. I. Combs Jr., after graduating from Valparaiso University in 1976. Since taking the helm in 1987, Jim has attracted clients both large and small. Much has changed since 1917, but for more than eight decades, the company has proven that – no matter how much things change – high quality workmanship never goes out of style.