ARTICLES

Hitching its wagon to central Indiana: Wells Fargo quietly lassoes big share of local loans

How big is the portfolio? Very big. How does it stack up to its rivals? Nobody knows for sure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. requires banks to report the deposits they hold at branches, but it doesn't require banks to spell out how much commercial business they're generating geographically. "It's one of the biggest frustrations of the bank information that we [compile]," said Karen Dorway, president of Bauer Financial Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based bank rating service that tracks market...
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St. Elmo top-selling restaurant; others sizzle, too

St. Elmo Steak House was the top-selling restaurant in 2005, ringing up $11.3 million in sales, but the Cheesecake Factory, Oceanaire, Maggiano's Little Italy, Sullivan's Steakhouse and P.F. Chang's, among others, all topped $5 million.
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Bank boss eyes No. 1: New Fifth Third chief plans expansion, faces tough Chase

The view from John Pelizzari's 14th-floor office in downtown's Capital Center is a good one. The recently hired president and CEO of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp's central Indiana operations can see the rooftops of many of downtown's landmarks. And he likes it that way. He's used to the view from the top. From 2001 to 2005, Pelizzari, 50, captained the ship for Fifth Third's northern Michigan affiliate, which enjoyed a whopping 28-percent market share, more than 10 percentage points higher...
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Developer goes west with retail: Lauth's Brownsburg Station to cover nearly 70 acres

Lauth Property Group soon will break ground on Brownsburg Station, a massive retail complex that will be one of the largest in the Indianapolis area. The Brownsburg property, which will be roughly 500,000 square feet and sit on almost 70 acres, will take advantage of the west side's rapidly growing suburbs. The project received preliminary approval from the town of Brownsburg in late June and needs only to clear a few minor hurdles before building can begin. Tenants could move...
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Whole Foods shopping for alternative store site: Will grocery go to Nora instead of Keystone Crossing?

Whole Foods might not be coming to Keystone at the Crossing after all. Residents of the Driftwood Hills neighborhood sued the city in February after it approved a zoning change allowing developer Paul Kite to build a Whole Foods grocery, plus as many as 30 condominiums, on the northwest corner of 86th Street and Keystone Avenue. As residents push on with their effort to block that zoning decision, Whole Foods is exploring other sites, including one in nearby Nora, for...
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Scrapping it: Flurry of area shops close the books on once-hot business

Forget-Me-Not in Greenwood will soon be forgotten. The store, which sold scrapbook albums and supplies, closed last month. It was the latest of at least seven scrapbook stores to close in the past few months in central Indiana. Business analysts are calling the rash of out-of-business signs a cautionary tale for proprietors who invest in "silo businesses" that base their bottom line on a trend or product that may soon be out of style. "A lot of the mom-and-pop [scrapbook]...
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Driving through adversity: First-time team owner uses business fundamentals to help reach the finish line

It's been a bumpy ride for Michael Crawford this year. Scratch that-it's been like driving into a concrete wall at 190 miles per hour. Repeatedly. The rookie race team owner put his financial livelihood on the line this year to buy two cars and run them in the Indy Pro Series, the open-wheel racing equivalent of AAA baseball, one step below the major leagues. IBJ is following Crawford's progress in hopes of shedding light on the challenges startups face when...
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$20M overhaul for City Market?: Culinary school may replace east wing

City Market officials are trying to pull together an ambitious plan to transform the century-old downtown lunch spot into a virtual paradise for foodies, complete with an Ivy Tech culinary school campus. But they still have a couple of big hurdles to clear before giving the green light to the nearly $20 million project. Plans include razing the east wing and replacing it with a five-story, $18 million building that could house Ivy Tech State College's culinary programs. A separate...
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Ex-Chamber chief buys Daleville testing firm: Deal gives LaMothe one-third ownership, CEO post

Now, he's an owner himself. This month, he teamed with two prominent executives to buy Dalevillebased Sherry Laboratories, a 180-employee company that does product testing for firms in such fields as aerospace and automotive. "I've been interested in Sherry for about 10 years," LaMothe said. "I had approached them two or three different times ... . I was intrigued with the company because I believed it was needed and necessary and adds value to society." LaMothe will serve as chairman...
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In midst of sale, Marsh rolling out new slogan: Grocer says it's the place to 'Treat your family well'

Executives at Fishers-based Marsh Supermarkets Inc. aren't sitting on their hands, despite signing an offer a little more than a month ago to sell the grocery chain to a private equity group in Florida. For the past two years, they've been scratching away on flip charts coming up with a new brand. And they figure they might as well put it to use. They launched the new identity last month with the help of Dallas-based Ivie & Associates Inc., an...
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