Real Estate & Retail

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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Sellers waiting for recovery in area housing market: Economist expects another nine months of 'slow going'Restricted Content

October 29, 2007
Michael Dabney
Melinda and Brooks Bertl know the ups and downs of the current real estate market-personally. They started looking for a home to buy this spring and it took them only two weeks to find one they liked in Carmel. "I guess we knew what we wanted and found it. And the house had been on the market for some time," said Melinda Bertl, indicating the sellers were ready to make a deal. They bought the house and moved into it....
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City fights property owners over value of land by stadiumRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Cory Schouten
A legal fight is brewing over a 2.3-acre parking lot sandwiched between the RCA Dome and Lucas Oil Stadium. The state is seeking to acquire the property through eminent domain and is fighting an appraisal that puts its value at $7 million. The owners, meanwhile, contend the land is worth about twice as much.
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Bank's plans unclear after LaSalle buy: Bank of America unlikely to grow local retail biz, but lending office should stay, industry observers sayRestricted Content

October 29, 2007
Scott Olson
But here in Indianapolis, where LaSalle's lone location is a downtown commercial lending office, banking observers don't expect Bank of America retail outlets to follow. "I don't think [Indianapolis] will be a primary focus, at least not in the near term," said Tom Kersting, an Edward Jones analyst in St. Louis who follows the bank. "Their main purpose in making the purchase was getting the Chicago presence. That was the last major market they were lacking." Even so, observers say...
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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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