Environment

BRIAN WILLIAMS Commentary: Legislators should address insurance costsRestricted Content

April 10, 2006
Members of the Indiana General Assembly resolved some contentious issues in 2006, including property tax relief, telecommunications reform and the long-term leasing of public infrastructure. U n f o r t u n a t e l y, they did not have an opportunity to debate Senate Bill 124, which, if measured on the basis of the value per page, would have exceeded the much-heralded "Major Moves" transportation initiative. Introduced by Sen. Beverly Gard, a Greenfield Republican who has been...
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Tourism's new buzz: Product development: Officials want to build on Indiana's unique assetsRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
Billboards in southern Indiana used to tug spelunkers in four different directions. Come to Marengo Caves. Spend an afternoon at Bluespring Caverns. Visit Wyandotte Caves. Don a headlamp at Squire Boone Caverns. Two years ago, however, operators at the four attractions decided it might be a better use of cash to market the area as a single attraction. They pooled their advertising budgets and printed a brochure that listed all four destinations. They also created a passport that visitors could...
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City gives cultural trail green light: Long-anticipated project could cost $35M to $42MRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
The long-discussed trail will loop through downtown and cost $35 million to $42 million. All the money will come from federal transportation dollars and private contributions. "The trail has been officially approved," said Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the project's lead managing partner. "It's definitely a project that's going to happen now." Tourism officials greeted the news with enthusiasm. It's a "huge win for White River State Park as well as the city," said Bob Whitt,...
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Indiana Avenue looks for revival: Cultural plan: stresses retail, residential growth, and a possible extensionRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Scott Olson
Indiana Avenue looks for revival Cultural plan stresses retail, residential growth, and a possible extension Indiana Avenue's glory days as a haven for black-owned businesses and vibrant nightclubs exists only in the history books. But a plan to revitalize the city's newest cultural district could restore some of the luster. City leaders completed the blueprint for redevelopment early this year and now are in the early stages of executing a plan that organizers say could take 20 years to play...
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VIEWPOINT: 'Eating our young' as a way of mentoring?Restricted Content

March 27, 2006
Tim Mulherin
I recently came across an insightful publication by the Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being at the University of California, Berkley, called Greater Good. One article especially caught my attention: "Inspiring Good Work" (spring-summer 2005 issue) by researchers Wendy Fischman and Howard Garner, of Harvard University's GoodWork Project. As highlighted in the article, the GoodWork Project's research, under way for the past decade, has revealed that young people leaving college and embarking on their professional careers are finding...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Green building trend should be here to stayRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Fred Green
Trends come and go all the time in the architecture and construction fields. But one movement that is proving to be steadfast and is gaining momentum is called "green architecture." Simply stated, it is the effort to minimize the effect of new and refurbished buildings on their environment. The green approach to building design is often seen by many as merely focusing on the recycling of building materials, but in fact addresses multiple aspects of the construction process. Green design...
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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Short but historic session produces election plot linesRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Ed Feigenbaum
You can go home now (unless you live in Perry Township) and rest somewhat assured that the governor and state lawmakers won't do anything untoward to you until, at the soonest, November. Yes, the 2006 short session of the Indiana General Assembly has run its course, and left the state with some key policy and economic legacies. Not the least of them, as we have discussed at length in this column, and has been covered elsewhere in these pages, are...
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IDEM pollution fines fall: Violators assessed lowest amount since '99, but Daniels administration speeds up processRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
Under Republican control for the first time in 16 years, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in 2005 handed out $2.03 million in fines for pollution violations, the lowest annual assessment since at least 1999. The 2005 penalties were down nearly $600,000 from a year earlier, when the department was under the administration of Gov. Joe Kernan. But IDEM records show Gov. Mitch Daniels' team had comparatively little patience for unresolved cases, in which the commission and alleged violators couldn't...
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Art Institute students face changing world of design: Businesses should keep interior designers in demandRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Facing an expanding world of corporate rebranding, homier hospital rooms and high-tech theaters in every suburb, students entering the field of interior design know they'll be doing more than redecorating high-end homes. What once was considered predominantly a luxury service for wealthy homeowners wanting to expand their drawing rooms, interior design became a necessity in business years ago. Today, a majority of interior designers handle both residential and commercial work. And a growing number of firms that specialize in commercial...
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Steel Dynamics seeks part of former Olin site: Metal recycling operation would serve expanding Hendricks County millRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Tammy Lieber
The site of the former Olin Brass factory on the near-west side might soon roar to life again if a plan to erect a metal recycling operation there comes through. A joint venture between Fort Waynebased Steel Dynamics Inc., Chicagobased Metal Management Inc. and local hauler Ray's Trash is seeking city approval to install a metal shredder and recycling operation on about 40 acres at Holt Road and Airport Expressway. The venture, called Metal Dynamics LLC, would accept scrap metal...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: Kids were pawns in an adult gameRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Judge S. Hugh Dillin is dead, but the negative consequences of his school desegregation orders are still with us. Dillin, who died March 13, didn't invent white flight, suburban sprawl or broken urban school systems, but if those problems were smoldering in 1970s Indianapolis, Dillin's decisions poured gasoline on the fire. This column is not a diatribe against Dillin. His decisions were only interpretations of the law, after all, and the highest court in the land affirmed them. Based on...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Mediocre planning efforts don't invite people to stayRestricted Content

March 27, 2006
Don Altemeyer
Analysts say the housing market is slowing in Indianapolis and across the nation. Perhaps that's why three significant, real estate developments have attracted so much local media coverage recently. In one story, the City-County Council approved the development of 28 condos in Broad Ripple, despite strong resistance from the neighborhood association. Meanwhile, local planning councils easily approved two new developments-a subdivision on the far northeast side of town that will feature almost 2,000 homes and a large condominium complex in...
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Mega-hotel on city agenda: Pan Am Plaza possible site for 800-room developmentRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Matthew Kish
The city is looking for developers interested in adding 800 hotel rooms downtown, a project that could be accomplished by building a massive, new hotel or augmenting several existing facilities. Insiders say a new hotel is most likely. They picture it on Pan Am Plaza. If that happens, the hotel would become the city's largest-eclipsing the Indianapolis Marriott by almost 200 rooms. Ideally, the rooms would be available by 2010, when the wraps come off the expanded Indiana Convention Center....
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: 'Dallas'-like TV hit in our future?Restricted Content

March 20, 2006
Just as the popular prime-time soap opera "Dallas" emerged from Texas oil-industry lore, "Indiana" someday could become a mega-hit on television. After, that is, the state becomes the "Texas of biofuels" and the lurid, steamy tales of Big Biofuel begin to play out. I'm not sure who came up with "Texas of biofuels," but the analogy surfaced after the recent announcement that the world's largest soybean processing plant and biodiesel facility will be built in northern Indiana. With this project,...
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Hospitality madness: City wants to grow reputation as Final Four's ideal siteRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
Matthew Kish
Bill Evans' phone rang at 11 p.m. It was a basketball team. The players wanted milkshakes. He popped up like he was bouncing on one of those mini-trampolines mascots use to dunk basketballs at halftime. He tapped his partner on the shoulder. They rolled two coolers to the downtown Steak n Shake. He ordered milkshakes. Large ones. Two for each player. They put the shakes in the coolers and rolled them through the downtown night to the team hotel. The...
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Short session long on action: Led by Major Moves, telecom successes, biz interests fared well in 2006 General AssemblyRestricted Content

March 20, 2006
In less than three months, the Indiana General Assembly approved a pair of blockbuster economic-development measures designed to dramatically upgrade the state's infrastructure. With the passage of Gov. Mitch Daniels' Major Moves initiative, Indiana will lease the Indiana Toll Road to an Australian-Spanish consortium for 75 years. It will use the upfront, $3.9 billion payment to build roads. Meanwhile, the approval of telecom deregulation sets the stage for more local phone, cable and Internet competition. Daniels, a Republican, argued that...
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You can take it to the bank: Financial experts say state's economy is rising, merger mania isn't over and regulatory laws could take a tollRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
On Feb. 24, IBJ Publisher Chris Katterjohn, Managing Editor Greg Andrews and banking reporter Matt Kish sat down with four leaders from Indianapolis' banking and finance sector: Judith Ripley, director of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions; Kit Stolen, CEO of Union Federal Bank of Indianapolis; Steve Beck, president and CEO of the Indiana Venture Center; and Keith Slifer, senior vice president of LaSalle Bank. Among the topics of conversation: How's the state's economy doing? Are more bank mergers on...
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TAWN PARENT Commentary: Bill offers new hope for Main StreetRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Recycling isn't just good for the environment. It's good for buildings, and ultimately for economic development. When the Disciples of Christ moved its international headquarters downtown from Irvington in 1995, it left behind a 121,000-square-foot structure built in 1910 that could easily have become a vacant eyesore in the east-side neighborhood. Instead, local developer Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. helped give it new life as Mission Apartments for seniors. That $6.5 million project might not have happened without the help...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Rising costs, lower prices sting domestic carmakersRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Patrick Barkey
As predictions go, it's not a particularly difficult call. The trends are unmistakable, and the precedents in other industries are clear. Yet the silence on the part of workers, executives and even analysts on the issue bespeaks the pain, anger and denial that lurk just beneath the surface. The situation is this: In a very short span of time, perhaps as little as two or three years, the era of the highly paid automobile industry production worker will come to...
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Indiana's universities give industry a boost: State touts wealth of higher-ed insurance programsRestricted Content

March 6, 2006
Scott Olson
Politicians seem so much more 21st century when they talk about attracting life sciences and information technology jobs to Indiana. But they're not about to ignore the state's second-largest employer-the often-overlooked insurance industry. Indiana insurers employ more than 60,000 Hoosiers, second only to farming, and pay an average annual salary of $47,500, nearly $10,000 more than the state average, according to a 2004 study by Purdue University. Moreover, the industry boasts some of the state's largest public and private companies-WellPoint...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: The fight to hire top talent: Do we have what it takes?Restricted Content

March 6, 2006
Patrick Barkey
Most cities have mayors, police chiefs and tax collectors. But suppose for a moment they each had an additional staff position as well-the recruiter. Like a basketball coach or a talent scout, these recruiters would scour the country, looking for talented people who would fit into the community and add to the economic base. And when they found one, they would make their pitch, touting their town's assets and strengths, and urging the recruit to relocate. The prospects, on the...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Study casts new light on rising house pricesRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Patrick Barkey
I have always been amazed at the confidence and certainty projected by those who stand before the television cameras at the end of the day and explain to us-in 90 seconds or less-why the stock market behaved as it did. I suppose if we are silly enough to ask for a simple explanation for the 5 million or 6 million trades conducted on any given day, we should expect nothing more in return. Of course, those trades take place for...
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Ethanol's secret: Highly touted alternative fuel needs tax subsidies to surviveRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Chris O\'malley
State and local leaders have been crowing about how ethanol plants will bring more jobs to Indiana and put more dollars in the pockets of corn farmers. If that prospect isn't enough to make votecoveting politicians and corn farmers giddy, General Motors Corp. started singing ethanol's praises this month in TV ads. Joyous motorists frolic under blue skies-all thanks to ethanol's promise of cleaner air and energy independence from oil. But there's another economic reality for motorists who use E85,...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Impending pain: Expect big cuts after sale of Irwin unitRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Greg Andrews
No one wants to say it, but Fishersbased Irwin Mortgage Corp., one of the area's biggest financial-services companies, is almost sure to lose hundreds of jobs, and may disappear. Parent company Irwin Financial Corp. last month put Irwin Mortgage on the selling block, a move that imperils many of the unit's 450 local jobs. Hoosier bankers have been through enough sales to know that out-of-state buyers almost always trim jobs. But this could be something else entirely-a wholesale gutting of...
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BULLS & BEARS: Indiana's in biofuel game; now it should strive to winRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Ken Skarbeck
Over the past few months, Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar has been vocal in touting the benefits of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. It would be wise for the state's government and business leaders to heed his message. The renewable fuel industry is gathering momentum and has a high probability of growing into a substantial industry. The energy bill President Bush signed into law last summer mandates the use of 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol each year by 2012,...
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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.

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