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Appraisal services firm plans local expansion, 150 jobs

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Indianapolis-based StreetLinks Lender Solutions plans to expand its operations, adding 150 employees by 2013, the real estate appraisal management services provider announced Friday morning.

The company, which provides residential valuation and technology services to mortgage lenders, plans to invest nearly $1.1 million to expand its south-side headquarters.

StreetLinks currently employs nearly 400 at its offices at 7551 S. Shelby Street. New hires will consist of operations associates and managers.

Paul Bradley, operations vice president at StreetLinks, said the company considered expansion elsewhere before deciding to stay in Indianapolis.

"When the search began to expand our operations, we were approached by many states and municipalities to consider their marketplace, but we know where our roots are," Bradley said. "Our Hoosier associates are simply the best."

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered StreetLinks up to $950,000 in performance-based tax credits and up to $40,000 in training grants based on the company's job-creation plans. Indianapolis will back personal property-tax abatement for StreetLinks before the Metropolitan Development Commission.

StreetLinks is one of the largest appraisal management providers in the country, with a network of more than 25,000 appraisers serving clients throughout the United States.

The company was formed in 2008 when Kansas City, Mo.-based NovaStar Financial Inc. paid $750,000 in cash and a portion of future profits to acquire control of Indianapolis-based PipeFire LLC and rename the business StreetLinks. NovaStar is still the parent company.

StreetLinks spent about a $1 million to move to Indianapolis and add 220 employees in 2008. The company got more than $400,000 in state grants and tax credits for the move.

NovaStar was founded in 1996. Its NovaStar Mortgage unit initiated thousands of subprime loans, many of which the company held in its own portfolio.

Shares in NovaStar ballooned to more than $100 apiece as the housing boom peaked from 2004 to 2006. But when the subprime business went bad, the company laid off all but 30 of what had been a work force of several thousand, and the New York Stock Exchange delisted the company.

NovaStar shares now trade for less than 50 cents each on the pink sheets.
 

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  • Government waste
    It is tiring to see the government in their desire to enhance their look politically to give away our money for companies utilizing negotiation tactics to securing funding from the government. I wish municipalities would reserve their tax abatements for primary industries (manufacturing, research facilities such as life sciences) rather than spend money on companies that would most likely stay here anyway.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

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