ARTICLES

Expectations high as Economic Club opens season: Group sees turnaround in sponsorships, attendance

Organizers of the Economic Club of Indiana believe they'll hit a home run when their first speaker of the season, Eli Lilly and Co.'s new CEO, John Lechleiter, steps to the podium Sept. 24. "I believe John Lechleiter will blow the socks off the place," predicted Steve Walker, who serves as club president and also is CEO of WalkerInformation. Just a few years ago, club organizers weren't in a position to be so upbeat. Early this decade, the club witnessed...
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Westfield hopes to draw business farther north: New development could reduce residential tax rates

Back when they arrived in 1996, there were lots of open spaces and taxes were low, Jones said. "Overall, it was a good place to live," he said. Jones said he still loves living in Westfield, which is 20 miles north of Indianapolis. But he admits things are changing, which is a double-edged sword. Eight years ago, according to the U.S. census, Westfield had just 9,300 people. Now, it's a rapidly growing city with a population of 24,000, an increase...
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Malls are 'soft targets' for terrorism, experts say: Risks aren't scaring away holiday shoppers

The deadly shooting spree at a Nebraska mall this month highlighted a challenge confronting Simon Property Group Inc. and other shopping center operators: how to protect their properties from violent acts, or even terrorism, while also leaving them welcoming to shoppers. Most retail real estate owners have ramped up security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though experts say shopping centers, like schools, remain "soft targets" for terrorism. "Shopping center owners have been very concerned about security for their patrons for...
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Kits & Kaboodle founder back at it with Mass Ave store

Local-toy-store veteran Natalie Canull is now operating a bustling store on Massachusetts Avenue that's narrowly focused on upscale toys--a niche that keeps her out of the path of mass-market heavyweights like Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart.
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Gatorade inventor's death recalls local links: Stokely-Van Camp launched sports drink here in 1960s

Gatorade's inventor, Dr. J. Robert Cade, who died Nov. 27 in Gainesville, Fla., left a legacy in Indianapolis that stretches back four decades to the birth of the multibillion-dollar sports drink industry. The invention became a blockbuster product for an Indianapolis-based company and spawned the creation of an Indianapolis-based trust that has doled out tens of millions of dollars in royalties to inventors and other beneficiaries. The city continues to get an economic jolt from Gatorade, with nearly 500 local...
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Glut of local golf courses puts squeeze on owners: Demand has never quite met expectations

Tiger Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, has been great for the sport. But he has not helped attract enough players to the game here and across the country to keep pace with the numbers who are stepping away because of age. That means many local golf course owners are closing the books on another tough season. Some area owners have seen the number of rounds played decline 40 percent since 2000. Golf course values here, meanwhile, have slid about...
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Sellers waiting for recovery in area housing market: Economist expects another nine months of 'slow going'

Melinda and Brooks Bertl know the ups and downs of the current real estate market-personally. They started looking for a home to buy this spring and it took them only two weeks to find one they liked in Carmel. "I guess we knew what we wanted and found it. And the house had been on the market for some time," said Melinda Bertl, indicating the sellers were ready to make a deal. They bought the house and moved into it....
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Noble Roman's rebuilds empire through franchising

Noble Roman's Inc. stock this year has been rising nearly as fast as its pizza dough, defying skeptics who'd written off the long-ailing Indianapolis company. With a new business strategy built on franchising and dual-branded restaurants, Noble Roman's has seen quarter-to-quarter earnings increase for more than two years.
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Housing advocate seeing upswing: Mortgage market woes boost INHP participation

Al Smith of Chase Bank doesn't know Patricia Wells, but he is glad he was able to help the Indianapolis mother of five, if only indirectly. Wells closed on the purchase of a house on East Washington Street three months ago, thanks in no small part to two programs of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, a two-decade-old not-for-profit that has helped hundreds of families realize the American Dream of homeownership. "I'm a single mother with five kids and I didn't...
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Butler class to invest university endowment money

When a Butler University finance class starts investing in the stock market this fall, it won't be Monopoly money that's on the line. In a three-year pilot program that is unique for a school of Butler's size, a group of senior finance students will use $1 million from the university's endowment fund to invest.
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