Brizzi's lease deals benefited friend, donor

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Carl Brizzi was preparing to take over as Marion County prosecutor in late 2002 when he met John Bales, an up-and-coming real estate broker with CB Richard Ellis.

Carl Brizzi Brizzi

Departing Prosecutor Scott Newman had picked Bales, on the advice of Auditor Martha Womacks, to help shepherd a deal to consolidate the department’s office space into 71,000 square feet in the 11-story 251 East Ohio building. Newman signed the deal but left the details of designing the space to Brizzi.

The prosecutor hit it off with Bales. The pair began to hang out and partner on real estate deals, including a bank branch and a small office building. Bales became one of Brizzi’s top political contributors, giving more than $5,000 to Brizzi’s re-election effort in 2006.

John Bales Bales

Meanwhile, records show Brizzi directed more lucrative work for the Prosecutor’s Office to his friend and business partner. From 2003 to 2007, the Prosecutor’s Office negotiated three separate amendments to its original lease, each resulting in a new commission check for Bales.

Brizzi, 41, already has come under fire for investments in companies connected to another friend and prolific Republican donor, Timothy Durham, who is the target of an FBI securities fraud investigation. Durham was Brizzi’s finance chairman for his 2006 re-election.

Now, the FBI is asking questions about Brizzi’s business dealings while in office, including whether he put business relationships with people like Durham and Bales ahead of those who elected him. His handling of the Prosecutor’s Office lease deal, worth more than $1 million annually in rent payments, is one of the deals attracting interest.

Prosecution of an elected official at the state level requires an actual quid pro quo, but the standard under the federal Hobbs Act is lower: Any elected official who receives money or property under “color of official right” or through “fear of economic harm” can be charged.

Brizzi, who said earlier this year he will not seek a third term as prosecutor, declined an interview request. But Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Mario Massillamany said Brizzi had no choice but to negotiate with Bales on changes to the lease.

“According to the terms of the lease that Prosecutor Newman signed, only Mr. Bales could negotiate the amendment and subsequent extension,” Massillamany wrote in an e-mail. “Mr. Bales has not represented the office in any other capacity.”

But an expert on government ethics questioned Brizzi’s judgment in pursuing a personal business relationship with a vendor to his elected office.

Judy Nadler, a senior fellow on government ethics at Santa Clara University, said it would be nearly impossible for any public official to put the interests of constituents first if a decision conflicts with his own financial interests.

That’s why elected officials must avoid situations that even suggest a conflict, said Nadler, a former two-term mayor and council member in Santa Clara, Calif.

“Sometimes people forget they are public servants, not businessmen or developers,” Nadler said. “Either be a real estate mogul or serve out your time as a public servant.”

Early extension

Brizzi mapBefore the Prosecutor’s Office moved into 251 East Ohio, its functions were spread out over a few floors in the City-County Building, a suite at 17 W. Jackson Place above the Ike and Jonesy’s bar, and a leak-prone 9,000-square-foot space in the Victoria Centre at 22 E. Washington St., said Newman, the former prosecutor.

Newman said he brought in Bales, 43, to represent the Prosecutor’s Office after watching other Marion County officeholders negotiate their own leases and get bad deals. Newman signed the deal in December 2002.

“Bales was wringing his hands—he was afraid I would negotiate it to death,” Newman said. “I introduced him to Carl as I was leaving office.”

The lease deal—valued at $9.8 million over 10 years—paid Bales a 4-percent commission, about $392,000. The landlord paid both Bales’ commission and a 2 percent fee for its own broker.

Brizzi made the first change to the deal in his first month in office. He executed an amendment that extended the lease more than 18 months, to 2014—paying Bales another $51,000. The document does not say whether the building owner provided something in exchange for the lease extension.

Office market observers say the extension could be related to cost overruns on the construction of the space or a change in fixtures to suit Brizzi’s tastes. Such changes to major lease deals are not uncommon.

A few months later, in August 2003, Brizzi signed off on another amendment, this time waiving three months of free rent gained in the first amendment to entice the landlord to help cover a $300,000 tab to connect the new offices to a computer network at the City-County Building. Bales had overlooked the cost of running the wires in the original deal, said a broker familiar with the agreement. Bales nonetheless earned another $12,000 or so in fees on the second amendment.

Four years later, in August 2007, Brizzi signed a third amendment to the lease. The deal added another 6,800 square feet to the Prosecutor’s Office space, and extended the entire lease deal to 2017.

Bales collected another commission check, likely for more than $219,000, based on an IBJ calculation of the value of the additional annual rent payments.

Massillamany said the amendments will help the department save on rent by locking in a long-term deal. He said the 2007 amendment cut total rent an estimated $423,000.

Bales did not return phone messages.

Competitive rate

The current lease rate for the Prosecutor’s Office is $15.69 per square foot, which is competitive compared with similar space available downtown. Market Tower, for example, is marketing space for $17 to $20 per square foot, and M&I Plaza is listing space at $18 per square foot.

But the space is pricier than what other city agencies pay for offices in the City-County Building, which is 100-percent occupied. Those departments pay $10.35 per square foot, said Deputy Controller Jason Dudich.

To lease space outside the City-County Building, a municipal division must seek approval from the City-County Council. The council approved the initial Prosecutor’s Office move in October 2002, and the expansion in June 2007.

The resolution authorizing the lease extension and expansion was sponsored by former Republican Councilman Lincoln Plowman, who resigned from the council and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department this month after word leaked he is the subject of a federal investigation. There was no indication his resignation was connected to the Prosecutor’s Office deal.

The 251 East Ohio building is owned by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hertz Investment Group, which acquired the property and the Gold Building at 151 N. Delaware St. for more than $40 million in 2006.

A year after Hertz bought the Indianapolis buildings, the company landed the expansion deal with the Prosecutor’s Office. The owner also scored a tax-assessment drop of more than $9 million, thanks to its public-sector tenants.

Two masters

Brizzi also has partnered with Bales, now president of locally based Venture Cos., as a private investor.

In 2004, Brizzi bought and later flipped two condos in Broad Ripple’s Reserve development, which was developed by Bales and partners including Steve Pittman and Barnes & Thornburg attorney Ben Pecar.

Brizzi and Bales partnered in 2005 to develop a Key Bank branch in Broad Ripple, at a time Bales was a member of the Metropolitan Development Commission as a county appointee. Bales was reappointed in 2006—at the request of Womacks, the former county auditor—despite concerns over his spotty attendance record at board meetings.

In 2008, Bales and Brizzi took an ownership interest in a building in Elkhart where the state Department of Child Services is a major tenant. Brizzi has said on disclosure forms his stake in the building’s ownership is worth $50,000 to $100,000.

Brizzi also owns a 10-percent stake in downtown’s Harry & Izzy’s restaurant, which he acquired in 2007 and says is worth $100,000 to $250,000. The same year, he worked with Bales to try to raise $30 million for a fund to buy distressed residential and commercial projects in Florida and Indiana. The plan fizzled when they could not generate sufficient interest from investors.

Prosecuting attorneys as a general rule are allowed to maintain outside business interests, including in real estate, as long as they don’t conflict with prosecutorial responsibilities, said Steve Johnson, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.

He noted that Brizzi sought and received the Indiana attorney general’s blessing of his deal to invest in Harry & Izzy’s.

Higher standard

Since he took office, Brizzi has managed to build a real estate portfolio without much money or extensive assets. He earns $125,000 a year as prosecutor. A divorce settlement filed in February 2009 shows Brizzi and his wife had three residences, each with first and second mortgages. He pays about $1,000 a month in child support for his four children, and he is paying for student loans.

Meanwhile, Bales has continued to capitalize on political connections to secure real estate deals. In 2008, he won a no-bid contract to handle the sale of all surplus city property, mirroring a similar contract he has with the state.

For now, though, the city has stopped sending work to Venture and Bales. Michael Huber, the city’s director of enterprise development, said the deal is on hold as the city shifts its strategy away from a sale-and-lease model to focus on partnerships with businesses and not-for-profits interested in better uses of properties such as City Market.

Brizzi acknowledged in a December letter to supporters that he has made mistakes, including a decision to serve on the board of Durham’s Fair Finance Co. He later backed out of the commitment after learning IBJ was investigating more than $168 million in related-party loans the Akron, Ohio, company had made to Durham, partners and related entities.

Another flap over Brizzi involves $29,000 in campaign contributions he accepted from businessman Harrison Epperly. At the same time, an attorney for Epperly’s daughter—who got a 110-year sentence in 1991 for a murder-for-hire scheme—was seeking her early release.

Brizzi’s office supported the sentence modification, and Paula Epperly Willoughby was freed in July 2009. Brizzi returned the contributions and said they were not a factor in his decision.

“As a public official, I am, understandably and appropriately, held to a higher standard—and any association or action is subject to greater scrutiny,” Brizzi wrote in December, referring to his involvement in Fair Finance. “In hindsight, I should have conducted greater due diligence … before agreeing to serve on the board.”•


  • what???
    "The document does not say whether the building owner provided something in exchange for the lease extension."

    How about the use of the space for 18 additional months?
  • Proof?
    You point fingers at Andre Carson (kind of like Obama's birth certificate?) but offer no proof. If you have one coincidence - it could really be coincidental. But several coincidents and you're getting a pattern of subterfuge.
  • No Jail for Durham
    It just dawned on me that Durham is not in jail or hasn't been arrested because his former father-in-law is trying to protect the ex-wife and children!
  • where is the I.R.S.
  • crooks in indy
    i cannot believe that the law enforcement agencies,are not on top of this very apparent corruption in indy..if you have a name or money,connections,no one looks at you,no money live middle class or less you go to jail for along time..is this justice..
  • Fact not Appearance
    Neither you or the media know the facts or the truth. The sad part is hype sells and gives hate mongers an excuse to flap their
    gums. Anyone can take the circumstances and
    make it look like any individual is guilty.
    That's how we send innocent people to jail.
    we don't look to destroy a person so that another could gain Massa. Appearances don't
    count. Only fact and truth. Alot of hype and Monday morning quarter backing. Where was all
    this hype when Andre Carson took money from terrorist groups. Ed Tracey protected his own and we sent him to Congress (Source:Advance Indiana)
    • This is criminal...
      Brizzi absolutely MUST go! He clearly lack the honor and integrity to do so on his own volition-- therefore the media and citizens of the county must force him out.
      • coincidence?
        funny how Ryan Vaughn got plush job at B&T soon after 'winning' seat on City-Council...funny hoy the greased wheels keep spinning?
      • grass clippers
        sending a federal attorney into indy is like sending a forest ranger into yellowstone with grass clippers....it would be decades before you saw the forest let alone a tree... years of patience. years of taking care of those who matter... brizzi and durnham are blades of grass...gone to fl. they'll be back.
      • Keep digging
        Your close. This goes deeper into the GOP. Specifically, Womack, a former Clerk of the courts, a former councilman and former chair of the public safety comittee. Keep digging there is much more to this and many more players
      • An example if quick, efficient justice
      • Brizzi Is Junk Stop
        brizzi's stock is at an all time low!

      • re
        Chris, it will be interesting to see if anyone ever gets charged. I don't see Daniels letting that happen, especially given the alleged premise that he had a big falling out with Brizzi at the very same time CLST Holdings was redirecting cash to Fair Finance receivables--the cash that was supposed to be paid to Verizon that Verizon miraculously did not know about and instead was going to be distributed to the shareholders. It was sizeable, somewhere around $15 Million bucks or about 85 cents a share. Not bad return for those friends and family who were tipped off that the money was not going to be paid to Verizon but instead given to the shareholders, when the rest of the investing public had written off CLST at .10/share since it was supposed to be dissolved with no remaining cash to distribute.

        Remember this? No, $3.03 was NOT distributed. $1.50 and .60 was, for a total of $2.10. I seem to recall a statement was later issued that there was no more cash. Remember?

        Ah, but there was.

        Now, what kind of business matter caused a falling out between an Indianapolis prosecutor and the Governor? I'd like to know.
      • David, David, David.... David
        David... let me put it more simply...

        John Bales and Carl Brizzi are crooks and belong in jail for all their bribes, pay offs, and ill-gotten gain.

        Jail time for Brizzi and Bales.
        • re
          You are so spot on. It is 100% Mickey Maurer's fault that Tim Durham offered $1.65 Billion in worthless high interest rate investment certificates to naive, trusting, elderly Ohioans, most of whom are Amish and Mennonite. And, it is totally Maurer's fault that Carl Brizzi was a recipient of thousands and thousands of that cash, through campaign contributions and possibly "loans"--after all, he got the hundreds of thousands to buy Cellstar and real estate from someone IN MY OPINION because for one thing, I don't think banks give you loans to buy penny stocks, especially in such a timely urgent fashion to get those purchases in before Brightpoint buys the same company in which you are gobbling up hundreds of thousands.

          And, it's Mickey's fault that Brizzi allegedly got involved in that LaScala disaster down in the Naples or is it Bonita Springs part of Florida. You know, the one where Huntington bank allegedly got stiffed about $10 million bucks. It's hard to keep track of all Brizzi's prescient investments lately, what with the Elkhard building leasing to the child services division that his ex wife who at the time was still his wife conveniently scored that high-level position in and all. But, hey, Mickey Maurer has a magic wand that is able to cast diversion on all these people except himself because you know, Mickey doesn't trade on inside information or strike himself up cushy real estate deals. Last time I heard he just lives under his means and buys boring stocks like Proctor and Gamble and Google. You know, like a real investor with a brain.

          But, what do I know? I just read these boards like you do and it's all very bizarre to me that anyone after looking at evidence evidence evidence would have the audacity to assail the free press that Mr. Maurer encourages enough to invest his hard earned cash in, instead of throwing the book at those in Indy who obviously deserve to be locked in prison for a very long time.

          Just my two cents and opinion--which I proudly post on the very free Indianapolis Business Journal website.

          "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable."
        • Jealous?
          Maybe if the IBJ bashes on Bales enough Mickeys son will have a shot at the state contract?? Pathetic.
          • Leave the wife and family out of it.
            You are going pretty low when you drag in the wife & bills of recreational activities his children attend. Why don't you get a life.
          • Business as usual in Indy
            Houchins conveniently drops dead on the sidewalk after exiting the restaurant where he heartily ate his last meal....Plowman hires Durham's attorney while Durham allegedly hides out in a $40,000 a month rental at 1650 Marlay because Kenny the Builder is allegedly revamping 1227 Sierra Alta for sale, and besides it's too small anyway to impress, but hey, at least the trustee and feds missed the fact that it, like all of Durham's and friends' propertes and toys, allegedly has no UCC filing linking it to Fair Finance/Fair Holdings/Diamond Investments/DC Investments/DC Capital.....

            in the interim Brizzi is smiling because he could never have dreamed of such constant publicity, and all of it at no cost! Take that, Rypel!

            And don't forget the nice little jurisdictional aspects of everything being consolidated in Indianapolis despite investigations from appropriate personnel in other states....thanks so much to the shorty with secrets for that gift...
          • equal opportunity donor
            John Bales must not be that bad. Judge Rebecca Pierson Treacy, wife of the Democratic county chairman, also accepted a contribution from him.
          • Disheartened in Indy
            Its a sad state when so many people decide its "OK" to scam the system, they all want to get theirs. Makes all of us working folks who follow the rules wonder why we work so hard, when others are getting things for free.
          • Crook
            John Bales is a crook.

            Bob Grand and John Bales are tight, tight, tight.

            I'm looking forward to a long, exspensive, and embarassing FBI investigation for them both.
          • Hold on...
            Did the IBJ interview anyone with knowledge of real estate deals for this? Was Bales negotiating better rates for his client when they restructured those deals? If so, it would seem he was doing HIS JOB for them. Also, if he were still at CRRE when he was restructuring those deals, how much of that commission did he actually recieve? I am sure CBRE got the bulk of it...
          • M&J
            I believe "JEALOUSY" is a stinky cologne.
          • O-U-T
            Get Brizzi out of there NOW! If he is half as shady as the IBJ makes him seem then he is worse than Calipari!!
          • Hey now
            Hey now, do not be making fun of the immense responsibility it is to examine and safeguard child pornography evidence. That takes precedence over all.
          • Famous last words, especially given that at the very same time he was trading in Cellstar
            According to the terms of guilty-plea agreements filed Tuesday in Marion Superior Court, Chad R. Adkins and Daniel J. Foltz will admit to theft and testify against William C. Foreman, the former lottery official charged with telling them where to buy a winning ticket.

            "This type of insider trading could devastate the public's confidence in the lottery," Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said. "This is one occasion when the game was fixed. Those responsible need to be held accountable."
          • Bodog has no bets on Brizzi, moron
            According to both their website and customer service, no bets on Brizzi

            No wonder! Even the bookies won't touch him!!!!
          • re
            Hey Neal, how stupid are you, did it not occur to you that Carl had the mortgages because he knew he was taking chances and wanted to make it look like he had debt? HOW DO YOU THINK HE KNEW HE WOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THE PAYMENTS with a stayathome wife and no renters? HELLO?

            Carl did not "guess" to buy Cellstar. He did not "guess" to buy and hold CLST holdings. He was so strapped for cash that in mid 2004 Carmel Gymnastics sued him in Hamilton County for failure to pay a $134 bill--which was a cumulative result of failure to pay more than one bill. Case No. 29D05-0406-SC-000989.

            This is back when he lived in the house on Compton with basically income-less Melanie and the four kids. Suddenly, he started swimming in cash?

            How did Carl Brizzi at least $100,000 to purchase hundreds of thousands of shares of Cellstar, a company that was allegedly one step from bankruptcy, shortly before Brightpoint came in and purchased the bulk of its assets?

            And why would Carl, who had no previous history of buying any massive quantity of any stock, know to buy this stock at the very time his buddy and finance chair Tim Durham was accumulating a massive position?

            In an interesting freudian twist, on March 5th Carl posted this on his Facebook wall:

            Carl Brizzi Although today's economic climate is difficult, resorting to the use of soothsayers is just asking for trouble.
            • Money!
              I love the personal hatred for Carl Brizzi as well as the perception he his very wealthy from these deals he has been involved in!

              Did everyone not read the fact that he has 6 mortgages! HA

              According to Bodog.com, Brizzi is 35-1 to ever be charged with a crime and 100-1 to spend a day in Jail!
              • Bob Grand, Barnes & Thornburg
                Carl Brizzi and John Bales are both clients of Bob Grand, Barnes and Thornburg.

                First the CIB and now this; Bob Grand has some explaining to do.
                • FBI
                  Brizzi is going to do some time for this. Don't be surprised if Barnes & Thornberg's managing partner Bob Grand isn't indited as well. Bob Grand has been 'helpful' enough to Mr. Brizzi that the FBI has finally taken an interest.
                • Oh My
                  So if you do business with a friend, he must have motives?!

                  Think of how much quality business can be done when we all work with strangers and have no idea what quality of service we can expect!

                  Sign me up!
                • Prosecutor for Hire
                  Prosecutor Brizzi is a disgrace. He should step down. Mr. Brizzi, if you are reading this, please resign. You are everything wrong with the legal profession. Resign.
                • What's Wrong
                  It amazes me that the everyone can see that Brizzi, Bales and Durham are all best friends making money for eachother by scaming Ohioans and Indianapolis residents. Brizzi has routinely used his office to make money for himself and cronies. What the heck are Tim Morrison and the FBI doing? I think the news stories and investigations need to focus on Tim Morrison and the FBI. Is it a stretch to think these crooks have the FBI in their pockete? Not really, so far they seem to have immunity!
                • Brizzi Benefits
                  It would not surprise me if Brizzi and Bales owned the property management contract and or the building.

                  Sadly, I think reality of Brizzi's wrong doings are far worse than what is being reported here.

                  Brizzi needs to serve time in a federal prison.

                  This is wrong.
                • More "Benefits" for Brizzi
                  This article should be retitled "Brizzi's lease deals benefited friend, donor... and himself"

                  Does anybody really believe Brizzi re-did his lease without getting a taste of the commision.

                  Brizzi is far worse than the criminals his office prosecutes.

                  Maybe Brizzi and Bales can get an adjoining cell.
                • Jail time for Bales
                  Brizzi is a liar and completely corrupt. It's disgusting to see him still in office.
                • Yeah, Right

                  Brizzi only won twice, not three times.

                  So you think it's okay that Brizzi let his friend make a ton of money off the taxpayers and then Brizzi mysteriously made so much money (on a government salary no less) that he was able to invest in multi-million dollar projects with his friend? Are you really that naive that you don't see a connection?
                • Don't be silly
                  Mr. M. would never use this paper to his financial benefit, plus he is to busy bashing Emmis and Simon when he can.
                  This is OLD news, unless upcoming investigations by Durham land something with Brizzi involved with these transactions.
                  What is most uncomfortable is a public servant who cuts deals to benefit himself, he is brazen in that regard, too open and in many cases reckless. BTY, he used to use National Bank of Indianapolis alot, so I doubt Mr. M is too upset
                • How new are these allegations?
                  How new are they? He has won three times at the ballot box, so evidently less than 50% of those who vote dont think he has done much wrong.

                  Also, these stories with no attributable quotes to the main people involved at typical IBJ reporting. At a minimum how does the reporter not interview another high profile Commercial Real Estate broker (Paul Dick, Bill French, John Crisp, etc) and get their opinion on the fairness of these deals between the City of Indy and Bales?

                  Poor reporting.
                • Huh?
                  Mike, are you kidding me? Do you really think Bales has done nothing wrong? So do you think the driver of a get away car isn't doing anything wrong because he didn't commit the bank robbery?

                  How do you think Brizzi got all that money to enter into investment deals with Bales? Bales was clearly buying influence...cutting deals and kicking money back to Brizzi in the form of of investments. Do you think that is legal?
                • US Attorney
                  Why is no one screaming at US Attorney Tim Morrison? He says there is an ongoing investigation, but its been what 6-8 months and nothing? Why doesn't the IBJ pound on HIS door?
                • jealous
                  I wonder what Carl and John's baby would look like?? I'll bet they wipe with $100 bills yo!
                • WHY does anyone care?
                  Despite the constant outing and reporting, as well as the misses (such as Ben Pecar is also the registered agent for 1428 W. Henry, the dump that Brizzi tried to get directed to the Metro Drug Task Force at an absurdly high lease rate) and the alleged $10M default on La Scala in Naples/Bonita Springs, Florida, an alleged partnership gone bad between Brizzi et al ((and the rumored bank would be Huntington, whose rumored loan officer just happens to be old old neighbor and best friend of_________(fill in the blank,)) well, nothing ever happens except some newspapers are sold and computers for certain people are busily scurrying the latest internet reportings....and maybe some sweat glands are dilated....because at the end of the day, these guys are laughing all the way to the bank, a bad cop gets to retire with full pension and benefits, the ponzi king is living in a $40,000 a month rental mansion in LA, NO ONE is criminally charged and a certain FBI agent is spending his time screaming at and screening whistleblowers while he huffs and puffs, instead od stopping corruption in Indianapolis.

                  If I had known how easy it is to commit a white collar crime in Indiana, well, I still wouldn't have because at the end of my life I have to answer to God. But, I fancy many others would.

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                  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

                  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

                  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

                  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

                  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.