Economic Development

New NFIB boss knows politics: State chapter to devote more time to campaignsRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Kevin Hughes cut his teeth in the political world. Now he's taking a bite out of small business, as the new state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. Hughes, 30, has never owned his own business, but he worked for six years at the Ohio State Legislature as a legislative aide and for the Senate Republicans there. He also worked on several campaigns. In 2004, Hughes took a job as the Midwest regional political director for NFIB in...
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Economic development tops insurance initiatives: Raising money, lowering taxes top legislative agendaRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Scott Olson
The Indiana Department of Insurance wants to raise almost $2 million by hiking some fees it charges insurers, while still cutting their premium taxes in an effort to attract more companies to the state. The proposals are among several bills lawmakers are mulling that affect the insurance industry this legislative session. House Bill 1570, which would bolster Insurance Department coffers in part to hire more staff, has cleared early hurdles. It sped through both the House insurance and ways and...
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WFYI Teleplex to make $20 million move: Federal tax credit will help pay for purchase of former Indiana Energy building, renovations, equipmentRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting Inc. will invest $20.1 million to move its WFYI Teleplex up the street into the former Indiana Energy headquarters, a shift that will give the notfor-profit room to grow and breathe new life into an enormous building that's been nearly vacant since 2000. The broadcaster will pay $8.5 million for the four-story, 94,000-square-foot building at 1630 N. Meridian St., and spend $11.6 million on renovations and equipment. Funding will come from a hodgepodge of sources, including...
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Interstate 69 corridor luring more distribution buildings: Unlike busy Plainfield market, where projects are huge, Fishers, Noblesville attracting smaller warehousesRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Two massive developments with sizable retail components along the Interstate 69 corridor in Hamilton County are helping to spur the construction of several nearby distribution centers. The light industrial space rising near Fishers and Noblesville is unlike the monstrous warehouse projects prevalent west of Indianapolis in Plainfield and popping up within the Anson project near Whitestown. They instead are mediumsize warehouse or showroom space meant for small businesses expected to populate Hamilton Town Center and Saxony at the Exit 10...
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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: A plug for non-partisan policy makingRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
MICKEY MAURER Commentary A plug for non-partisan policy making In my final week as secretary of commerce, I appeared at a hearing before the State Budget Committee on behalf of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The hearing was the first step in the reauthorization process for operating budget and incentive program funding for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. It was to be my final presentation at the Statehouse. In an effort to demonstrate that the Legislature was reaping a handsome...
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Technology-friendly legislation quietly advances: Bills could spur patent commercialization and moreRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
A handful of bills pending in the General Assembly could have a major impact on Indiana's high-tech sector. Legislation under consideration could stimulate increased commercialization of patented Indiana technology, channel more money toward development of alternative fuels, require regular review of Indiana's certified technology parks, and more. Tech leaders are optimistic about the chances their agenda will be approved. "It's the reason we married up with CICP," said Ron Brumbarger, chairman of TechPoint, a trade association for Indiana high-tech companies....
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Forensic engineering firm seeks defense work: New initiative hopes to help other local firms follow in Wolf Technical's footstepsRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
After 30 years in the forensic-engineering business, Wolf Technical Services Inc. has analyzed everything from deadly car crashes to patent infringement. Now, Indianapolis-based Wolf is hoping to diversify into a new area: federal defense contracting. It's a field local corporate leaders hope Indiana will tap much more frequently in the years to come. "We don't quite know at the moment where this could lead," said Wolf Director of Client Relations Joseph Ward. "And that's the fun part." The 30-employee Wolf's...
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University Loft finds growing niche in hospitality industry: Indianapolis-based furniture manufacturer known for college products sees big potential in hotel segmentRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Scott Olson
The University Loft Co.'s graduation from dormitory to hotel-furniture maker is beginning to show promise. While the Indianapolis-based manufacturer's bread and butter remains campus furnishings, its decision to enter the hospitality market in 2003 has CEO James Jannetides thinking big-as in presidentialsuite big. In four years, the ULC Hospitality division has grown to account for nearly 10 percent of the company's $100 million annual revenue. Jannetides, though, envisions the branch's eventually contributing half in his quest to someday make ULC...
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Lawrence turns down rezoning for vacant drive-in: Developer and city working on a compromiseRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
A developer wanting to breathe new life into a long-vacant drive-in theater along Pendleton Pike is working to change the minds of Lawrence leaders who already have said no thanks. New York-based Norry Management Corp. is leading an effort to redevelop the 93-acre property for retail, office and industrial uses. But its plans faced a setback last month when a rezoning petition got a negative response from officials concerned about what might end up there. Lawrence City Council members voted...
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Tech firm Powerway seeking reboundRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Powerway Inc., the Indianapolis-based maker of manufacturing quality-control software that grew like gangbusters in the 1990s and aimed for an initial public offering, has endured a dog of a half-decade. But that soon could change. Powerway just hired an IT industry turnaround expert as CEO.
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Daniels administration subtly shifting ethanol strategyRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Ed Feigenbaum
Folks in central Indiana who were watching probably took advantage of the section of President Bush's State of the Union address on energy independence Jan. 23 to grab a drink or check in on the Indiana University post-game show. While the president's energy proposals probably didn't generate a lot of attention in urban areas of the state, the mere mention of ethanol in Indiana outside the collar counties makes lots of Hoosier ears perk up-both ears of corn and human...
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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: Announcing a camp for womenRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Ladies, listen up. Mickey's Camp for Women will hold its inaugural event Aug. 13-15, 2007. You are invited. The Mickey's Camp concept grew out of a frustrating evening of 8-ball at a friend's house more than six years ago. I started thinking that pool was just one of a number of skills and activities I hadn't had time to sharpen and enjoy during the course of my life. Occupied with business and family, like most of us, I had relegated...
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Giant Ford plant could join warehouse conversion trend: Observers say size, age may be obstaclesRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
City officials haven't given up hope on keeping 1,400 lucrative manufacturing jobs at an Indianapolis steering parts plant, but Ford Motor Co. has. The company this month said it will close the facility by the end of 2008. A closure will leave the 1.8-millionsquare-foot building empty, but real estate observers say it could be redeveloped as leaseable industrial space-as shuttered Chrysler, Maytag and Western Electric factories nearby have been. Some of the premier projects in the area are leasing well,...
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Neighbors examine the BioCrossroads' approach: Collaboration, not competition, now key for Midwestern life science industryRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Five years ago, when the BioCrossroads initiative debuted, pundits compared its challenge to a foot race on a track crowded with competitors. And they noted a handful of traditional biotech hub cities like San Diego or Boston enjoyed a huge head start. Today, a better analogy might be a rising tide that lifts all boats. "The pie is getting bigger. It's not a zero-sum game," said Walt Plosila, vice president and leader of the technology partnership practice for Columbus, Ohio-based...
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VIEWPOINT: What we could learn from Fort WayneRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
Graham Richard
To be competitive in a global economy, city leaders must embrace change and look for innovative ways to attract jobs and private investment. In Fort Wayne, we are working to save energy and improve air and water quality to build a better city. We must decrease our dependence on imported oil for many reasons, including national security, cost of living and the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Energy and environmental concerns are directly related to economic development and quality of...
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College targets dropouts with new program: Ivy Tech offers high school failures chance to get degree, pursue higher educationRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Ivy Tech Community College this month launched a pilot program that allows high school dropouts to earn their diplomas while simultaneously working toward a certificate or associate's degree in college. Intended to improve the state's labor pool, and as a lifeline to dropouts facing a dismal life in the earnings underclass, it will first be rolled out in Bloomington, Lafayette and Terre Haute. The Indianapolis campus also will offer the program aimed at those 19 or older, although a date...
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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: A fresh start for this IEDC alumRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
I'm back. My last regular column appeared in the Indianapolis Business Journal on Jan. 3, 2005. In that column, I announced that I had accepted a twoyear hitch with the Daniels administration as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and that columns would be suspended during my tenure with the state. The editors at IBJ felt that writing a column would pose a conflict of interest with my new responsibilities, and I agreed. It was a good thing; I...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Community resolutions for 2007Restricted Content

January 8, 2007
It's a week past the appropriate time to be writing about New Year's resolutions, but from the feel of traffic heading in and out of town during rush hour, it appears a number of folks are still on vacation. I think the vast majority of us are ready now to get back down to business, so I feel justified in my timing. Therefore, be it resolved: Mayor Bart Peterson and Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi should continue to address the...
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Daniels' major moves raise eyebrows:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Chris O\'malley
Gov. Mitch Daniels created a firestorm in 2006 with his solution: Privatize the Indiana Toll Road. The 75-year lease of the 175-mile road in northern Indiana, to an Australian-Spanish consortium, closed June 29. The deal that gave the state a $3.8 billion check to finance other highway projects under Daniels' Major Moves program not only lives on in controversy, but also could be the defining legacy of his administration. Daniels recently proposed privatizing the Indiana Lottery. And his team already...
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CICP's chief launches raft of initiatives:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Peter Schnitzler
In January, Mark Miles returned to Indianapolis after more than a decade at the helm of the Association of Tennis Professionals to become CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. Twelve months later, the CICP looks much different than it did under his predecessor David Goodrich. And it could soon change even more. A former Eli Lilly and Co. executive and aide to Dan Quayle, Miles, 53, has been one of the key players in the potential consolidation of the...
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Business shoved aside: Readers say city should focus on crime, education in 2007Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
Scott Olson
The brutal murders of seven family members, including three children shot dead in their east-side Indianapolis home, cast a dark cloud over the city last summer. Yet the June slayings only served as a harbinger of a wave of violence that later claimed 15 lives in a 10-day span. The crime spree rattled city leaders so severely that Mayor Bart Peterson declared an emergency normally reserved for a natural disaster. 2006 no doubt ranked among the most deadly years in...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Tying up some local loose endsRestricted Content

January 1, 2007
Maybe you've already heard. Mickey Maurer's column will return to this space in a few weeks. After two years serving as Gov. Mitch Daniels' go-to economic development guy, Mickey should have plenty of stories to tell. And Associate Editor Tawn Parent and I, as his trusty substitute columnists, should have a bit more time to devote to our behind-the-scenes work at IBJ. I'm closing out my brief columnwriting career by addressing a handful of topics-some of them new, some of...
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Bringing Honda to Greensburg highlights a wild year for Daniels:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Peter Schnitzler
It was a banner economic development year for Gov. Mitch Daniels, topped by the blockbuster Honda auto plant deal. Thanks in part to a second trip to Japan, Daniels landed a $550 million plant for Greensburg in June. Slated to begin production in 2008, the plant is expected to employ more than 2,000 people. Two months earlier, Daniels unveiled "Accelerating Growth," his economic development plan for the state. Its ambitious goal is to boost Hoosiers' per-capita income to the national...
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Small talk with new SBDC chief: Central Indiana counseling office gets fresh start after years of uncertaintyRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Cory Schouten
Victoria Hall this year took over the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, which counsels more than 500 Hoosier entrepreneurs annually. Hall, a former vice president for H&R Block Tax Services, oversees four employees, including three business counselors. She also teaches part-time at Ivy Tech Community College, which hosts the local SBDC. She earned her MBA from the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne. One of 11 regional centers in Indiana, Central Indiana SBDC has been plagued in recent...
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VIEWPOINT: Sustained momentum crucial for sessionRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Larry Gigerich
The 2007 Indiana General Assembly session will begin in January. As a result of last month's election, the House of Representatives is now controlled by Democrats, and the Senate is in the hands of Republicans. Regardless of which political party controls which branch of the Legislature, Hoosiers expect collaboration and progress. Indiana has built tremendous momentum in economic development, but more work lies ahead. The momentum must continue into 2007 and beyond. Despite our progress, Indiana must continue to be...
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