Real Estate & Retail

Pedestrian bridge to state park still in the works: White River venues think hotel complex will be a boostRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
Developers of the $425 million hotel complex downtown still are working out plans for a pedestrian bridge spanning Washington Street that will connect it to White River State Park. Merrillville-based White Lodging Co. and Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services proposed a connector-either a bridge or an underground tunnel-in early designs of the convention hotel complex at the southwest corner of West and Washington streets. Although later site plans did not include the link, REI President Mike Wells said the developers...
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Memo: Unpaid contractors demanding payment from Premier Properties

January 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
Premier Properties USA Inc. is scrambling to keep up with bills for basic services including snow removal, security and interior design—more signs of financial troubles for the developer of Metropolis in Plainfield and the proposed Venu project in Indianapolis.
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INVESTING: How to remain rational amid market's turmoilRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Ken Skarbeck
We can let the mar ket mouthpieces and economists debate whether we are offi cially in a bear market or a recession, but investors don't need labels to know times are tough. One year ago at this time, the financial world was idyllic Credit was cheap and plentiful. The largest private equity takeover in history was nearing completion, with Sam Zell selling his Equity Office Properties for $40 billion to the Blackstone Group (signaling the market top for real estate...
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Busy year, no whoppers: Deals were numerous in 2007, but lack of blockbuster holds overall price tag downRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Scott Olson
The Indianapolis area didn't experience a monster-size business transaction in 2007 like it has in recent years, but that doesn't mean the deal-makers weren't busy. IBJ's annual list of Big Deals tracked more large business transactions involving Indianapolis-area companies than ever before in 2007, even though the total dollar amount of the deals was dramatically lower than the previous year's. Deals compiled by the Indianapolis Business Journal that closed in 2007 totaled $23.4 billion, well below the $38.5 billion posted...
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Local builders slash jobs, offices to survive housing slumpRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Cory Schouten
At the market's peak, builders churned out more than 12,000 new homes a year in central Indiana. In the current slump, new-home production has dropped to fewer than 7,000 per year, leaving builders with no choice but to slash prices, eliminate hundreds of jobs, and look to unload huge chunks of office space.
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Firm that sells sunglasses for large heads lands Wal-Mart dealRestricted Content

January 28, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
In March 2006, USA Today picked up a local newspaper's profile of Indianapolis-based Fatheadz Inc., the company Rico Elmore and two partners founded in 2005 to sell eyeglass frames for larger heads. That eventually led to the company's big break: A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executive read the article and ordered buyers to track down Fatheadz to make a deal.
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Patent ruling a big victory for biotech, drug industriesRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Lynn Tyler
Last Halloween a federal court in Virginia gave the biotech and pharmaceutical industries a big treat when it preliminarily halted the Patent and Trademark Office, or PTO, from implementing new rules governing certain aspects of patent prosecution. This ruling was significant because it prevented the PTO from imple menting new rules governing patent applications that many thought would weaken protection of important biological and chemical inventions. Several local life sciences businesses and entities with significant numbers of patent applications in...
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Former RCA industrial site to get $20M rehabRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Cory Schouten
A Bloomington company that revived a former Thomson Consumer Electronics/RCA plant in that city is taking a shot at redeveloping one of the largest industrial eyesores in Indianapolis, also a former RCA complex. Pinnacle Properties plans to spend $20 million redeveloping the 13-building property northwest of Sherman Drive and East Michigan Street.
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Sports tenants ponder vacating Pan Am Plaza: Four national governing bodies could share officeRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
The Pan Am Plaza building, constructed to provide office space for amateur sports organizations, may soon be losing three of its highest-profile tenants. USA Gymnastics, USA Diving and U.S. Synchronized Swimming are contemplating moving out of the building at 201 S. Capitol Ave., sources close to the organizations said. A fourth group, USA Track & Field, which is preparing to move from the RCA Dome, is considering joining the other three sports-governing bodies in shared office space-preferably downtown. USATF will...
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Upscale mainstay Glass Chimney ending its 32-year runRestricted Content

January 21, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
Lured to America in 1967 by brothers who owned restaurants in Cincinnati and Indianapolis, Dieter Puska has spent the past 32 years--nearly half his life--as owner and chef of the elegant Glass Chimney restaurant in Carmel. So it was a bittersweet moment when he told his employees this month that he is hanging up his chef's coat and giving up his 70-hour workweeks to retire.
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Real estate exec with lavish lifestyle accused of $160M fraudRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Chris O'Malley
A high-flying Carmel businessman who moved his base of operations to Miami a couple of years ago is accused of burning through $160 million of investors' money in the collapse of his real estate empire.
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Few stocks avoid effect of housing, banking woes: Wall Street pessimism spreading across industriesRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
Nineteen central Indiana companies have seen their stock prices fall more than one-quarter from the 52-week highs-a plunge that largely reflects pessimism over the strength of the economy. The pullback has hammered some of the top-performing Hoosier companies in recent years, including shopping mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. (off $46 a share, or 38 percent) and school operator ITT Educational Services Inc. (off $52, or 39 percent). Former highfliers often take the biggest tumble when investor sentiment turns bearish....
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Nature Conservancy buys blighted industrial siteRestricted Content

January 14, 2008
Cory Schouten
The Nature Conservancy has agreed to buy a blighted industrial property on the eastern edge of downtown to develop a new Indiana headquarters. The $4.5 million project--which will revitalize or replace the former home of Nemec Heating & Supply Co. at 614 E. Ohio St.--should provide another boost to an area that has been bulking up on development, mainly residential.
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Financial Planning Titles: A list of acronyms after an adviser's name might look impressive, but those seeking credible advice need to sort through designationsRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Scott Olson
inancial F Planning Titles A list of acronyms after an adviser's name might look impressive, but those seeking credible advice need to sort through designations Investing your money is overwhelming enough already-especially with all the available options-without having to fret over whether a financial adviser has the credentials to keep your retirement account afloat. Sure, there are a litany of fancy titles financial planners can earn that may help ease your concerns. But what do they really mean? With more...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Beware: e-mail is bastion of many security lapsesRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Tim Altom
Tell the truth-you've "Googled" yourself, haven't you? All of us have, or at least we should. It's interesting for me to do it for myself, because I've been an Internet denizen since before the Web was woven, when all most of us did was exchange e-mails. What chills me sometimes is how far back the Google results for my name can go, clear into the mid-1990s in some cases. The 'Net never forgets anything. If you have doubts about that,...
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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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Running Co. takes aim at sporting-goods giantsRestricted Content

January 7, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
Retired Olympic distance runner Bob Kennedy and his business partner, Ashley Johnson, have expanded their Running Co. to four stores. The most recent expansion is their boldest yet, pitting them against mall giants Dick's Sporting Goods, The Finish Line and Foot Locker for supremacy among south-side runners and walkers.
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Residential real estate market follows nation into slumpRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Cory Schouten
For most of this decade, the Indianapolis residential real estate market enjoyed a good run. But in 2007 it muddled through the doldrums just like the rest of the country, and builders pulled out all the stops to avoid getting stuck with inventory.
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Developers roll out barrage of projectsRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Cory Schouten
It was a big year for downtown development proposals. Two in particular grabbed headlines: Legends District SoDo and Penn Centre.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Indiana's economy: The fundamentals are in placeRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Mike Hicks
Predicting the size and scope of economic activity for the nation, state and region is one of the more important roles played by university economists. But 2008 is the kind of year that really tests economic forecasting. The Bureau of Business Research just released its forecasts for Indiana and two regional labor markets. In total, we examined eight different data series and have stressed the performance of net employment and wages. Our forecast is fairly optimistic. We predict job growth...
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Developers have new plans for cornerRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Cory Schouten
The retail juggernaut at 86th Street and Keystone Avenue could get even stronger in the next several years. Locally based Premier Properties USA Inc. revealed plans in 2007 for a $750 million redevelopment of a prime corner near The Fashion Mall at Keystone.
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Failing Noble Roman's franchisees say chain doesn't deliver on promisesRestricted Content

December 24, 2007
Cory Schouten
Noble Roman's Inc. wrote an impressive comeback story by selling its home-grown pizza and subs concepts to hundreds of gas stations, bowling alleys and food courts. But the Indianapolis company's push to add stand-alone restaurants across the country isn't going as smoothly.
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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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