Indianapolis loses a quiet giant

April 16, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Ken Thompson passed away on March 25. Ken was a quiet giant in the real estate development field in Indianapolis, Carmel and Fishers.

Ken volunteered for the army, as an engineer in the construction battalion area during the Korean War. Following the Korean War, Ken was focused on obtaining a college degree and enrolled in Tri-State University, as he said, “The only place that would have me.” Ken finished a civil engineering degree in three years.

Ken started his career with Paul Cripe Co. His engineering skills soon opened many doors for him. Ken worked for Milton Fineberg, developing many projects before starting with his own and then partnered with Tom Schultz to form Schultz and Thompson Co.

Ken was in an airplane and recognized a very low area in the Carmel vicinity, which he ultimately developed into Woodland Springs. Following that, he developed the Woodlands, The Eden Project and many other Carmel landmarks.

In 1978, the old Indiana National Bank asked Ken to assist in a struggling real estate venture in the town of Fishers. That led to Ken developing many of the Fishers areas. He always made sure that there were recreational areas, churches and municipal facilities as part of his developments.

He donated the land that is now Holland Park and Harrison Park. Ken founded Hamilton Southeastern Utilities in order to serve the areas east of State Road 37 with sanitary sewers. Ken was involved in the communities of Sunblest, River Glen, River Highlands, Fawnsbrook Woods, Harrison Park, Weaver Woods and Sweet Briar.

Ken received the first key to the town of Fishers by his friends Walt Kelly and Gaye Cordell. Ken never expected anything in return except honesty. I personally met Ken in June of 1973. Ken has been, and always will be, more than a friend to me.


Daniel Spitzberg
Associate professor
Indiana University School of Medicine
Department of Ophthalmology


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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.