Economic Development

Many of state's new jobs are at call centersRestricted Content

March 3, 2008
Cory Schouten
The state's economic development leaders have been touting 2007 as a banner year that brought commitments for more than 22,000 new jobs, including positions in manufacturing, logistics and life sciences. But almost 20 percent of the announced jobs would be in call centers--jobs that typically pay near or below the state's $35,000 average annual wage.
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State goes from first to last in catastrophes: Indiana sails through 2007 without a single large weather event, rebounding from hailstorm of claims in 2006Restricted Content

March 3, 2008
Scott Olson
Indiana weather is notorious for the volatile swings it can produce from one day to the next. Just this month, high temperatures in Indianapolis fluctuated about 40 degrees within 48 hours. The disparity in major storm damage that befell the state the past two years is quite unusual, though, even by Hoosier standards. Statewide property losses totaled $1.5 billion in 2006, the most in the nation, due in large part to what's become known as the Good Friday hailstorm. Last...
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Indy to host Urban Forum: Group that helps revitalize properties to showcase city's projectsRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Scott Olson
Visitors in Indianapolis for the Urban Forum in April might patronize Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza in Irvington not only to sample the food but also the success of a neighborhood business district revitalization program. The pizzeria benefited from an effort called Fostering Commercial Urban Strategies, or FOCUS, through a $16,000 facade grant from the Indianapolis chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corp. Indianapolis is one of 30 cities boasting LISC chapters. Nationally, they invested more than $1 billion in low-income...
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Streetcars work in Portland, but viability here uncertainRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Chris O'Malley
If the introduction of modern streetcars to one West Coast city can be replicated here, Indianapolis would see new, higher-density housing and related retail and restaurants shadowing the line. Fallow areas crossed by the tracks would become fertile for new investment. At least that was the case in Portland, Ore., a city mesmerizing to Indianapolis civic leaders, who last month formed Downtown Indianapolis Streetcar Corp. They risk being run out of town on a rail: a streetcar line will cost...
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Commentary: Ice Miller finds gem in ag hireRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller recently announced the formation of an Agricultural Law Initiative and named Beth Bechdol as its director of agribusiness strategies. The group includes more than a dozen attorneys and industry specialists. The recruitment of Bechdol is a brilliant move that was ultimately possible because of a family tragedy. Bechdol is a farm girl from just outside of Auburn who graduated from Georgetown University in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in foreign service and visions of becoming...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Protestors shouldn't control community developmentRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Brian Mann
N e i g h b o r h o o d activists in Pittsburgh are fighting a development that would bring a grocery store, job training center, youth programs and other social services to the area of the Pittsburgh Penguins' $290 million arena. The Pittsburgh group was planning a march in protest. Is retail and commercial development next to a sports arena a bad idea? A Cambridge, Mass., neighborhood group was opposed to the development of three townhomes, arguing...
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Uphill battle ahead: State poses tough test for new enviro leaderRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Chris O\'malley
By the time Jesse Kharbanda earned a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford, the University of Chicago student already knew he wanted to advocate environmental policies in the developing world, someday. Eight years later, some might say Kharbanda has landed in the developing world, all right-Indiana, insofar as it's considered the backwater of environmental stewardship. One might recall the state's 49thplace ranking in a 2007 review of "greenest" states by Forbes magazine. Only West Virginia-a national leader in illiteracy-scored worse....
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Technology park could boost area's biomedical efforts: First phase of Purdue project, featuring accelerator building for up to 25 startups, should be finished this yearRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Scott Olson
The park is expected to be a major amenity for the area's growing biomedical economic development efforts. Purdue Research Foundation paid $2.5 million in June to purchase a half-interest in 78 acres at AmeriPlex industrial park. The university ultimately anticipates filling it with as many as 75 businesses and 1,500 jobs. AmeriPlex owner Holladay Properties, a South Bend developer of industrial parks, owns the other half of the site. Dubbed Purdue Accelerator Park at AmeriPlex-Indianapolis, the project is intended to...
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Report sees jackpot with BioCrossroads, but expert sees obstaclesRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
J.K. Wall
Three months after launching an initiative to boost drug-development firms in Indiana, officials at BioCrossroads have written a report that attempts to show in detail the vast market opportunity they see.
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Legislators avoiding games as they tackle tax reformRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Ed Feigenbaum
People outside the legislative process finally are understanding that there is no perfect solution to the property tax reform dilemma, that it is not a zero-sum game, that there will be winners and losers, and that this is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. What they still do not realize is how hard legislators are working to accommodate the legitimate concerns of homeowners, governmental units and schools, businesses, and agricultural interests, and how difficult it is to assemble a package...
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City emerging as drug distribution hub: Medco Health Solutions deal latest boon to growing subsector in Indiana's life sciences development effortsRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Thanks to a series of major economic development wins, Indianapolis is enjoying a pharmaceutical distribution business hot streak. Life sciences industry leaders hope to keep the sizzle burning in 2008 and beyond. "It's not something we're hoping we can do someday. It's something we're already doing now," said BioCrossroads CEO David Johnson. "We're simply trying to expand the footprint of what we're doing." Pharmaceutical logistics has become a big business. According to the Arlington, Va.-based Healthcare Distribution Management Association, U.S....
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Bills would require utilities to reduce reliance on coalRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Chris O'Malley
Two bills in the Indiana Legislature would require utilities that operate here to supply up to 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources such as wind, landfill gas, and plant and animal waste. Backers say utilities need more incentive to diversify from coal-based power generation.
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Westfield hopes to draw business farther north: New development could reduce residential tax ratesRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Michael Dabney
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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Commentary: 2007 columns sparked debateRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Mickey Maurer
Each January, I like to reflect on a few of the prior year's topics. I am always curious about the people I have written about over the course of the year. I hope you are, too. In the May 21 issue, I wrote about the plight of Amy Sorrell. Sorrell was an English and journalism teacher at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School in Allen County near Fort Wayne who also advised the school newspaper, The Tomahawk. The Jan. 19, 2007, issue...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Change economy to raise incomesRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Morton Marcus
My holiday gift was the latest quarterly data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Santa put them in my e-mail box and I played with them when not attending to ritual family matters. Yes, personalincome numbers for all the states right up to the third quarter of 2007. Oh, joy; oh, ecstasy-feeding my lascivious quantitative desires. And what did I find? Over the past year, the third quarter of 2006 to the same quarter of 2007, Indiana has ranked...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Agendas vary widely as tax-reform efforts heat upRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Ed Feigenbaum
How did it all seem so simple back in September? The reality of reform is sinking in for lawmakers and interest groups. Hoosiers who demanded serious property tax reform in November-and expected their wishes to be fulfilled-now see indications that the road to reform may be bumpier than foreseen. The property tax reform plan detailed in late October by Gov. Mitch Daniels was initially largely well-received by voters and lawmakers, but after it rattled around for a while and the...
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State ads try to lure Illinois, Michigan businessesRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's friendly economic development rivalry against Michigan and Illinois is heating up. Confident that its business costs are lower, Indiana has begun a six-month advertising campaign designed to attract companies across the state line.
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National City Center nabs VeoliaRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Cory Schouten
Paris-based utilities giant Veolia Water has reached a deal to move its North American headquarters into the 16-story National City Center, providing a boost to a downtown building still reeling from the loss of Simon Property Group Inc.
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Feltman takes overRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
In 2007, Nathan Feltman became Indiana's secretary of commerce, replacing his mentor, IBJ Media Corp. co-owner Michael Maurer. It was a smooth transition.
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New steam plant could propel Speedway revivalRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Chris O'Malley
A unit of Citizens Gas proposes building a natural-gas-fueled steam plant in Speedway to serve large employers in the town of 12,800.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Why state's job growth is better than neighbors'Restricted Content

December 24, 2007
Mike Hicks
For the past week or so, I have been flooded by phone calls from colleagues in Illinois and Michigan, chortling over a new marketing campaign launched by Hoosiers. The privately financed billboards and radio spots ask businesses and residents whether they are tired of high taxes and unresponsive government. If so, they are invited to "Come on IN" to Indiana. It's high-order fun this holiday season. Indiana sits as a small island of growth in the Midwest, and it is...
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VIEWPOINT: Let's bring art and commerce togetherRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Turner Woodard
Back in 1992, when I was a board member of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, then-president Reid Williamson invited me to walk through a building slated for demolition. Given my passion for cars and history, Reid knew I would be intrigued by the place where the Stutz Motor Car Co. once manufactured the Bearcat and Torpedo Roadster. And I was. But it wasn't just the longvacant Stutz Building's legacy that got my attention; it was also its potential. Yes, the...
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Logistics advocacy group Conexus gears up for statewide pitchRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Carol D'Amico, president and CEO of the newly formed industry advocacy group Conexus Indiana, is intent on boosting the visibility and growth of the logistics industry. Large though it is, it's also relatively ambiguous and sits in the shadow of the state's much-vaunted life sciences industry.
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Commentary: A foreign investment that is sure to pay offRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Brian Williams
As the year draws to a close, the business community remains focused on taxes and the health of the economy. The governor's privatization of the Indiana Toll Road generated a windfall of $3 billion. If managed properly, that money should fund Indiana's road and bridge repair work. However, perhaps we should consider investing some of the interest to radically change our stature in the global economy. Canada possesses coastlines along the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans; has abundant natural resources,...
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PROFILE MICKI STIRSMAN: Education at heart of growth Continued training is part of her biz planRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Della Pacheco
PROFILE MICKI STIRSMAN Education at heart of growth Continued training is part of her biz plan Your face might be Micki Stirsman's canvas. Instead of applying paint to paper or molding clay into sculpture Stirsman and her staff use their artistry to transform their clients' appearances. The Speedway native is owner of Salon 01, a business she started with a $10,000 contribution from her grandmother that has grown into a million d o l l a r- p l u...
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