Real Estate & Retail

SPECIAL REPORT: Financial travails dog 'mystery man' at helm of Premier Properties

December 17, 2007
Cory Schouten
An IBJ review of hundreds of pages of public records shows Christopher P. White and his Premier Properties USA Inc. are facing major financial and legal challenges. The most glaring signs of trouble: Contractors have filed more than $3.5 million in liens against Premier’s retail properties in Plainfield; the state of Indiana is trying to recover $375,000 in sales taxes on White’s airplane; and the contractor who renovated his Lake Clearwater mansion is suing him to recover more than $600,000 in unpaid bills.
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'Mystery man' at helm of Premier Properties dreams big, but bills pile upRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Cory Schouten
Christopher P. White is arguably the city's most daring real estate developer. But an IBJ review of hundreds of pages of public records shows White and his Premier Properties USA Inc. are facing major financial and legal challenges.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Simon's Arizona flop highlights perils of housing sectorRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Greg Andrews
No wonder investors are jittery. The housing slump is stinging companies of all stripes these days, even those that would seem to be safe havens. A case in point: mall developer Simon Property Group Inc., which surprised investors this month by announcing it was taking a $26 million charge to write off its entire investment in what was to become a huge Arizona housing development. "Frankly, we had forgotten they had this Arizona thing," said Lou Taylor, an analyst with...
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Malls are 'soft targets' for terrorism, experts say: Risks aren't scaring away holiday shoppersRestricted Content

December 17, 2007
Michael Dabney
The deadly shooting spree at a Nebraska mall this month highlighted a challenge confronting Simon Property Group Inc. and other shopping center operators: how to protect their properties from violent acts, or even terrorism, while also leaving them welcoming to shoppers. Most retail real estate owners have ramped up security since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, though experts say shopping centers, like schools, remain "soft targets" for terrorism. "Shopping center owners have been very concerned about security for their patrons for...
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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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Kenley a go-to guy in taxing situations: Influential senator sees public service as his dutyRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Take a look at some of the most complicated, heated and thankless Statehouse negotiations and chances are you'll find Republican Sen. Luke Kenley smack in the middle of the fray. While some Hoosiers are hard-pressed to attend a school board meeting or even try to understand their property-tax bills, the 62-year-old chairman of the Senate Tax & Fiscal Policy Committee sits through hours of public hearings and even more hours of closed-door negotiations. This General Assembly promises to be one...
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Fundex mixes tradition with high-tech in game bizRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Emily Groen
Fundex's Oct. 10 acquisition of the Great American Puzzle Factory keeps the Indianapolis-based game and toy company firmly planted in the tried and true, even as it experiments with the burgeoning mobile-game market.
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AllPoints Midwest lands huge leaseRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The massive new AllPoints Midwest industrial park in Plainfield has landed its first tenant in a mega deal that likely will be the area's biggest industrial lease in 2007. Local logistics firm Prime Distribution Services Inc. has signed a lease for 1.2 million square feet in the 920-acre park, a joint venture between Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. and Browning Investments Inc.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Steak n Shake troubles may cut chance of saleRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Greg Andrews
Here's a silver lining to The Steak n Shake Co.'s deepening woes: They might scare off potential buyers, keeping the locally based diner chain independent for the foreseeable future. "While Steak n Shake continues to look at alternatives to increase shareholder value, we believe the business will need to be stabilized to attract any meaningful interest," CL King & Associates analyst Michael Gallo wrote in a new report. Indeed, getting the 491-restaurant chain back on track could take a long...
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Kits & Kaboodle founder back at it with Mass Ave storeRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Michael Dabney
Local-toy-store veteran Natalie Canull is now operating a bustling store on Massachusetts Avenue that's narrowly focused on upscale toys--a niche that keeps her out of the path of mass-market heavyweights like Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart.
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Regulators seek mortgage reformsRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
State regulators want more firepower to fight mortgage crimes. But a month before the General Assembly convenes, real estate interests are uneasy, fearing lawmakers may go overboard.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Reforms could create barriers to homeownershipRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Mike Hicks
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Maybe it is because no one wants me to help cook, or perhaps it's due to the stream of college football. Mostly I think I like it because it is such an unhurried, fun, shared day. This year, many of us gathered for Thanksgiving at family homes and we gave thanks for the many gifts life brings us in this nation. What many of us didn't conscientiously dwell on is how important the simple act...
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Ritter's sets new game planRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Cory Schouten
The Indianapolis-based parent of the Ritter's Frozen Custard brand has been stuck in a cold streak lately, facing scores of new ice-cream competitors and a dwindling lineup of franchisees. But RFC Franchising LLC is planning big changes designed to firm up the home-grown chain, which now has 48 stores in nine states, down from more than 60 locations in 2005.
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Commentary: Let's welcome Hilbert backRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Mickey Maurer
You gotta love Steve Hilbert. He conceived of an idea and had the strength and focus to achieve an extraordinary result that he sustained over a number of years. ... He will undoubtedly return to the grand game of entrepreneurship. If given the opportunity, I would be inclined to invest in his next venture. -July 10, 2000 I penned the above prediction in this column on the anointment of Gary Wendt as CEO and savior of Conseco Inc. After Stephen...
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VIEWPOINT: The high cost of traffic Band-AidsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Adam Thies
According to the article titled "Traffic Transformation?" in the Oct. 15 IBJ, the Indiana Department of Transportation is working on a roughly $600 million plan to relieve traffic congestion in the area of interstates 465 and 69. Hold on a second! What is really broken here? I contend little to nothing. Yes, roadways need maintenance and upkeep, but these roadways operate just fine. Because this area is congested at the morning and evening rush hour, the perception exists that these...
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SoDo proposal faces stiff oddsRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Cory Schouten
If Circle Centre mall were built today, it would cost $420 million. Throw in another $60 million, and you've got the price of Legends District-SoDo, a proposed mixed-use development on the south edge of downtown.
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Concert hall component would test demandRestricted Content

November 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Entertainment is a big part of a $480 million development proposed for the south side of downtown--plans include a 3,400-seat theater to attract the likes of Bruce Springsteen and first-run tours of Broadway shows such as "Wicked." The question is whether the city can support another midsize venue.
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West-side group promotes ethnic eateries: Will visitors see gems among strip malls?Restricted Content

November 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Lafayette Square neighborhood is known for its aging mall and the ongoing struggle to keep tenants there and in the surrounding sea of strip centers. But some advocates want to promote a success story: the demographic diversity that has given rise to a plethora of ethnic eateries in the area. Visitors who take a trip through some of the retail centers and outlots off West 38th Street can find the ubiquitous pizza, gyros and sushi-along with more unusual Ethiopian,...
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Glut of local golf courses puts squeeze on owners: Demand has never quite met expectationsRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Michael Dabney
Tiger Woods, the world's No. 1 golfer, has been great for the sport. But he has not helped attract enough players to the game here and across the country to keep pace with the numbers who are stepping away because of age. That means many local golf course owners are closing the books on another tough season. Some area owners have seen the number of rounds played decline 40 percent since 2000. Golf course values here, meanwhile, have slid about...
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High-rise in works near canalRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Cory Schouten
A strong demand for student housing downtown is driving a $40 million plan for a high-rise apartment tower a couple of blocks east of the Central Canal. The developer, a partnership of Fishers-based Paramount Realty Group and Indianapolis-based Alboher Development Co. Inc., hopes to build the 16-story Paramount Tower on a OneAmerica parking lot.
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Turf war unfolds in Babe Denny neighborhoodRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Cory Schouten
A long-neglected neighborhood south of downtown called Babe Denny suddenly is in the spotlight, attracting attention from city planners, code enforcers, land speculators and a politically connected attorney.
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Now solo, VP set to expandRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Cory Schouten
Convenience store stalwart Village Pantry has launched a $15 million plan to renovate 146 stores and is eyeing acquisitions that could double the chain's size in three years. The moves come as Village Pantry separates from parent Marsh Supermarkets Inc., a company that for years treated the convenience-store division as a redheaded stepchild.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: It's time to use mass-appraisal model on state's homesRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Mike Hicks
In the 10 years since Indiana's property-appraisal system was ruled unconstitutional, taxpayers have spent perhaps $1 billion to remedy the situation. That's more than $350 per household, and more than we spend on environmental protection each year. "Wowser" is the only printable exclamation I can muster. Among other things, Gov. Mitch Daniels' tax plan proposes the elimination of the township assessors (there are 1,008 offices statewide). According to a 2004 Chamber of Commerce study, streamlining the system would result in...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Smooth sailing for Simon, despite economic squall?Restricted Content

November 5, 2007
Greg Andrews
Retail pundits are trotting out all the downbeat analogies these days, as they fret that high gas prices and the slumping housing market will crimp consumer spending the rest of the year. As Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte Research, put it, "The holiday season will be somewhat Grinch-like." So it may come as a surprise that some analysts are almost gushing about the prospects for Simon Property Group Inc., the nation's largest mall owner. As Rich Moore, managing director...
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Fast-growing WDG built on years of industry experience: Veteran of Kite, Lauth branches out on his ownRestricted Content

November 5, 2007
Scott Olson
For Mike Wyman, a devastating fire that gutted the family home during his teen-age years laid the foundation for a rewarding career in construction. The 41-year-old Wyman climbed from carpenter to become a leader of projects at two of the city's largest commercial developers before launching his own company in 2005. WDG Construction & Development Services Inc. on East Washington Street downtown has since grown into a firm that expects to top $30 million in revenue next year-double this year's...
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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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