Economic Development

Industry races to promote itself: Statewide motorsports group hopes to thwart competition from other U.S. marketsRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Area motorsports leaders are gearing up for another run at unifying the industry and assuring the region retains its status as one of the world's leading motorsports markets. Organizers of the latest effort promise they won't spin their wheels this time around. They're casting a wider net-going statewide with a motorsports association-to attract more members and build more clout with the media, local and state lawmakers, and service providers, such as banks and insurance companies. The Indiana Motorsports Association Inc....
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VIEWPOINT: Choosing judges: If process isn't broken ...Restricted Content

November 28, 2005
Jon Laramore
As the 2006 legislative session approaches, the business community should urge the General Assembly not to resurrect proposals to change appellate judicial selection it considered last session. These proposed changes are misguided because Indiana's system has worked well to build an appellate judiciary we can be proud of. The proposed changes work against the predictability, stability and sophistication necessary to ensure an appropriate judicial climate, and Indiana's business leaders should oppose them. Although last session's measure may not come up...
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VIEWPOINT Valerie Eickmeier: Business needs to harness power of artsRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
VIEWPOINT Valerie Eickmeier Business needs to harness power of arts Indiana will more fully reach its potential in economic development for the 21st century when its common goal is to build a community where commerce and creativity can thrive. The world is entering an era some business leaders and economists are calling the "Conceptual Age." They trace the economic growth of our country from agriculture to industrial manufacturing, technology and the Information Age. Today, our country's primary economic growth and...
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Technology proposals get business focus: IEDC requests new 21st Century Fund applicationsRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
It's been 18 months since state government requested new technology proposals from startups or academics. The days of waiting are now finished. "We're in business," said the Indiana Economic Development Corp.'s new director of entrepreneurship, Bruce Kidd. "The open sign is in the window. We want to start accepting applications again." On Nov. 16, the IEDC issued a request for applications to its $75 million 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. Much has changed since March 2004, when the state...
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Lawrence, Crane build on base realignment: Economic developers hope to increase job countRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Now that Indiana has survived the latest round of military base closings relatively unscathed, state leaders are turning to their next task: spurring economic development around the state's two largest remaining military assets. After two years of review, the military's Base Realignment and Closure process concluded Nov. 9 when Congress allowed the BRAC commission's recommendations to become law. When the commission unveiled its recommendations this spring, state officials were relieved the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center in southwest Indiana would...
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Incentives no help if hard to use, developers say: Program used on northwest side can be too much of a good thingRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A year and a half ago, Indianapolis officials announced an incentive program designed to lure businesses to the vacancy-plagued commercial area surrounding Lafayette Square Mall on the northwest side. To date, just one developer has taken advantage of the community revitalization and enhancement district, or CRED, and its project was in the works before the program began. The developer built a movie theater and grocery store in a former Cub Foods near 38th Street and Lafayette Road. Smaller developers may...
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'Backward' thinking seen as key to future: Students hope experiential history puts them on promising career pathRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Chris O\'malley
As counterintuitive as it sounds, "experiential history" is one of seven key careers, besides usual suspects like logistics and bioinformatics, that are the focus of the University of Indianapolis' Institute for Emerging Careers. No, drug testing of college faculty isn't among the emerging careers. The institute was formed last year with a $750,000 Lilly Endowment grant. It aims to stem the so-called "brain drain" of Indiana's college graduates to other states in search of work-in part by pointing them in...
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Incentive search shot down: University Loft eyes Tennessee after Hancock County spurns request to create a TIF districtRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Hancock County Commissioners' unwillingness to consider creating a Tax Increment Financing district has sent a growing Indianapolis-based manufacturer looking for a new expansion site, possibly out of state. University Loft Co. CEO James N. Jannetides said he was continually rebuffed over a months-long process to get the tax incentives his company needed to bring 200-plus jobs to the county directly east of Marion County. Now Jannetides said he might look to consolidate manufacturing in Tennessee where he opened a plant...
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MASTER OF THE PLAN: Ultra-prepared president has Purdue primed for 'pre-eminence'Restricted Content

November 14, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
It's half-past eight on a Monday morning and Martin Jischke is at his desk, poring over notes. This is how Purdue University's president spends his days and most of his nights-preparing to be prepared. At any time, Jischke could be interacting with students, alumni, faculty, legislators or business leaders. He wants to be ready for their questions with clear, articulate answers, no matter the subject. His responses seem off-thecuff, but make no mistake: Jischke has studied and considered his position...
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Database puts 800 technology researchers in reach: Indiana Information Network hopes to link businesses with industry expertise through extensive online portalRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Tracy Donhardt
A Web-based melting pot of intellectual resources intended to aid technology transfer to the market boasts 800 researchers in 40 fields that businesses can tap for help. Indiana Innovation Network is an offshoot of Access Technology Across Indiana, or ATAIN, which was formed about 12 years ago as an alliance of universities, research institutions and businesses statewide. The alliance, led by John Schneider, assistant vice president for industry research at Purdue, helps research facilities commercialize their technology. IIN, founded by...
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Hammond Kennedy Whitney buys centrifuge maker: Investment allows Midwest Engineered Products to expand sales and marketingRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Sometimes, a profitable product isn't enough to sustain a company's growth. That's what financial partners are for. Consider Midwest Engineered Products Corp. Founded in 1982 with a $1,000 investment by Jim Beattey and his son Jeff, the locally based industrial centrifugemaker has grown since then on bank loans and its own profits. These days, it brings in annual revenue of $10 million, with sales as far away as Europe and New Zealand. "We were having trouble keeping up with the...
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Omnicity making inroads among the dirt roads: Rural areas served by wireless broadband provider have grown nearly six-foldRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Chris O\'malley
An Indianapolis company that provides wireless broadband service from atop grain elevators, water towers or darned near anywhere the warbler roosts is expanding at a rapid clip and plans to launch Internet-based phone service in early 2006. Omnicity Inc. also plans another private offering to raise cash for its ambitious build-out in rural areas that are underserved by high-speed Internet providers. Improving broadband access has economic development implications in Indianapolis' remote bedroom communities and throughout sparsely populated areas. Now, even...
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Groceries go global: Ethnic food stores surge in popularity, numberRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Matthew Kish
Salsa outsells ketchup. Tortillas fly off the shelves almost as fast as white bread. And if you're looking for these new staples of the American diet, Indianapolis is increasingly a good place to find them. Sixteen years ago, there were three Latino grocery stores in Indianapolis, according to Manuel Gonzalez, president of the Indiana State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Today, there are more than 40. And that's just the places that specialize in products like milpero tomatoes and serrano chilies....
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There's more to logistics than forklifts and sweat: Colleges offer degrees for white-collar jobs in the fieldRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Chris O\'malley
It's not sexy, but it's where the jobs are. Ivy Tech Community College will offer an associate's degree in logistics management, the latest effort in Indiana aimed at cultivating a work force for the transportation-distribution-logistics sector, known as TDL. Meanwhile, the University of Indianapolis is preparing a concentration in supply chain management that will have key applications in logistics careers. Experts say the educational push is sorely needed, yet it's still a challenge to get young people interested in the...
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PLAN OF ATTACK: Anderson's leaders are working to exorcise the ghosts of GMRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Four miles and decades of history separate the Anderson exits along Interstate 69 northeast of Indianapolis. Empty General Motors Corp. plants-as much a thing of the past as single-class basketball-cast ominous shadows at Exit 26, once Anderson's front door. To the west, closer to Indianapolis, is Exit 22 and the trappings of the future: millions of dollars in new infrastructure, a new business park, and the state's largest business incubator-tools Anderson officials think they need to turn this rust-belt poster...
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Startups offered a fast track: Motorsports-themed incubator gets green light in BrownsburgRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Matthew Kish
Hendricks County officials hope a new business incubator there revs the engines of local entrepreneurs. The motorsports-themed facility, to be known as Fast-Start, got the green light after a year-long feasibility study concluded the project was a logical fit for a community that already houses Prudhomme Racing, John Force Racing and Bill Simpson's Impact Racing. "It would help achieve some of our goals in Brownsburg," said Jeanette Baker, town council president and treasurer of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership,...
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Incentives abound to help backfill old GM sites:Restricted Content

October 31, 2005
-Anthony Schoettle
Anderson officials are taking advantage of two incentive programs-one state and the other federal-to lure users to former General Motors Corp. factories. A collection of vacant buildings and empty lots where more than 24,000 GM employees once worked was designated last December as a state Community Revitalization Enhancement District, or CReED. Anderson is one of only seven Indiana cities to have a CReED, which offers tax advantages to private companies that locate in the district. The program is funded by...
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Theater rehab project symbolic of city's makeover:Restricted Content

October 31, 2005
-Anthony Schoettle
While Anderson officials have focused much energy on Interstate 69 access points and former General Motors Corp. sites and business parks outside the city's center, they've also been carefully rebuilding downtown. In 2002, Anderson Indiana Main Street was formed, and has become active in the last two years recruiting business there and hosting a number of festivals and other events. In recent years, many of the streets have been repaved-some with brick pavers as part of a massive beautification project...
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Hot mod madness: Customizer Kenny Brown enjoys performance-car revivalRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Chris O\'malley
In a dark corner of the Kenny Brown Performance garage is the 2005 Mustang Ford Motor Co. should have built. Supercharger. Disc brakes as big as the tires of some cars. All hung on a chassis that's Prince Charles stiff. And shrouding its meaty tires are a protruding rear fender and a filled-in quarter window raked all the way back to the taillights, akin to the 1967 Mustang fastback. "It's kind of like the marriage of heritage and technology," said...
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Marsh store on hold: Grocery chain halts plan for much-ballyhooed Atlas replacementRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Matthew Kish
Farrar broke the news to residents this month after speaking with Arthur Marsh, the store's namesake, who lives in the area. A source inside Marsh confirmed the project is on hold, but company officials declined repeated opportunities to elaborate. Marsh is pulling back from the project at a time it's under increasing financial strain. In its most recent quarter, the Indianapolis-based company posted a profit of just $674,000 on revenue of $410 million. In an August statement, CEO Marsh Supermarkets...
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State changes malpractice tact: Insurance department using more outside legal helpRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Tom Murphy
The Indiana Department of Insurance has boosted the outside help it uses to defend its medical malpractice Patients' Compensation Fund after seeing a record payout this summer. A staff shortage, concern voiced by providers and a ruling that could lead to huge damage sums all spurred the move, said Amy Strati, who oversees the fund as the Insurance Department's chief counsel. "The provider community has clearly said to us, 'We want you using experienced [medical malpractice] attorneys on the complex...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Luring people with bricks, mortarRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
A parking garage is about to rise on a vacant lot at 120 E. Washington St. It's ironic that a block or so west of the site, a group of architects, city planners, real estate developers and leaders of the city's arts movement meet on a regular basis to plot against such garages. The garage in the works isn't just any garage. In its current design, which is yet to be approved, it's only a garage. No ground-floor retail. Just...
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Backing home again: CID changes out-of-state course, invests $50M in IndianaRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana's flagship venture capital firm has changed direction. Often criticized for not investing frequently enough within state lines, CID Equity Partners over the last five years has quietly put nearly $50 million to work in 10 Indiana companies. In the decade before, CID invested in just a half-dozen local deals. And after struggling to weather the 2001 recession, CID's managers believe the wind is finally at their back. Three years ago, massive losses threatened to sink the firm. Since then,...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Let's make Indiana a true hubRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Morton Marcus
Sometimes, the obvious is ignored. It is obvious that, geographically, Indiana holds a central position in North America. But when we think about economic development, we take this obvious point for granted. As business grows and incomes rise across the world, the demand for transportation increases. The question for Indiana becomes, "How much does this increase in demand translate into jobs and income for our citizens?" Most people understand that Indiana does not gain anything by having airplanes cross our...
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South-side exit finally sparking development: Wal-Mart might by key to I-65/County Line interchange meeting expectationsRestricted Content

October 10, 2005
Scott Olson
An interchange linking Interstate 65 and County Line Road completed six years ago is finally helping attract large commercial development to a busy Johnson County corridor. While Greenwood city officials are pleased by the amount of activity occurring there, they question why it took so long. "We thought it would take off much sooner than it did," said Ed Ferguson, Greenwood's director of planning, zoning and economic development. "We still have several hundred acres available in what we call the...
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