Real Estate & Retail

Broker wants Lucas Oil to move HQ near airportRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Marvin Miller is representing a landowner trying to sell 125 acres just north of Indianapolis International Airport. But Miller wants him to give away some of the property to persuade California-based Lucas Oil to move its headquarters there, jump-starting the stagnant area in the process.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Duke Realty hits groove; stock rings up big returnsRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Greg Andrews
T h e m a n a g e - ment team at Duke Realty Corp. is proving itself adept at juggling these days. The Indianapolis-based industrial, office and retail developer wowed Wall Street with a 25-percent increase in fourth-quarter funds from operations, a key measure of performance for Duke and other real estate investment trusts. The company received a lift, in part, from a spate of property sales. But the solid results weren't an aberration for the relatively low-profile...
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Meridian Street landmark gets new lifeRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
Tammy Lieber
Buckingham Cos., the Indianapolis-based owner/manager of more than 60 apartment complexes in five states, has broadened its development sphere to include three square blocks of downtown real estate.
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Guidelines target design of downtown development: New rules will protect urban character, supporters sayRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
Downtown developments soon will come under extra scrutiny, once new design guidelines are approved in the spring. Known as Urban Design Indianapolis, the process of developing the criteria fell on the shoulders of several groups: the Department of Metropolitan Development, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Ball State University's architectural school and the Urban Design Oversight Committee. The intent is not to mandate to developers that their buildings meet certain design standards, but rather that the cosmetics coalesce with the existing...
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Condo project sparks interest in Fletcher Place: Property values rising as Villaggio takes shapeRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Cory Schouten
Revitalization efforts had been plodding along for years in the triangleshaped historic neighborhood known as Fletcher Place. The slower pace of development gave the neighborhood just southeast of downtown a lower profile than places like Chatham Arch and Lockerbie Square. But Fletcher Place is under the radar no more, thanks to a massive eight-story condo project known as Villaggio at Page Pointe. The 64-unit building-now the neighborhood's tallest structure-looks like it could be in Florida, except its panoramic views capitalize...
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Biz parks looking to regain cachet: Once-hot office spots Keystone, Precedent face more competition, see occupancy slipRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Scott Olson
The new owners of Keystone at the Crossing and Precedent Office Park-two prominent, but aging, business parks on the city's north side-are undertaking major projects to stay competitive amid a rising glut of office space. Both office complexes became popular corporate addresses after their development in the 1980s and enjoyed near-maximum occupancy throughout much of their history. But vacancy rates at the high-profile parks have begun to climb in recent years. Indianapolis-based commercial real estate investment manager HDG Mansur, on...
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Cross-border investment in real estate on the rise: Local brokerages playing a role in growing trendRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
In 2006, $645 billion was sunk into real estate investments across the globe, according to a recent Cushman & Wakefield report. Of that, $187 billion was sent across borders to invest. And companies everywhere are chasing the most cost-effective spots to locate factories and needed hubs for office space. With all that cash changing hands, several locally based companies have made sure they're positioned to help play a part. Take Indianapolis-based HDG Mansur, for example. In the field for 25...
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BULLS & BEARS: Investors overlooking risk, and that spells troubleRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
I closed my last column by suggesting that the markets seem to be paying little attention to risk across a broad range of asset classes. One measure of risk is stock market volatility, or the magnitude of ups and downs in stock prices. The Wall Street Journal recently reported the following statistics compiled by the market analysts at Ned Davis Research: It has been almost 1,000 trading days since the Dow Jones industrial average has seen a 10-percent decline from...
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More restaurants are looking to south side: Eateries eye expansions in 'underserved' marketRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Cory Schouten
Big-name restaurants scouting for Indianapolis locations have snubbed the south side for years. Eateries like Champps, Cheesecake Factory and Rock Bottom Brewery headed north, drawn by upscale developments and affluent neighborhoods, or downtown to capitalize on the high-traffic from convention visitors. But now, more high-end restaurants are showing interest in the south side, local retail brokers say. Among the chains looking are Fox & Hound, Champps and Old Chicago, a pasta and pizza concept that's part of the Rock Bottom...
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Steak n Shake trying out lighter menu optionsRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Cory Schouten
But as more people seek out healthier food and become conscious of high fat and calorie counts in Steak n Shake's staples, some are staying away or not visiting as often. To fight back, the chain is working on a barrage of healthier menu options, including yogurt shakes, chicken sandwiches and new salads. Perhaps a variation on the slogan that started it all in Normal, Ill., in 1934 is in order: "In Sight It Must Be Light." The first leaner...
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Giant Ford plant could join warehouse conversion trend: Observers say size, age may be obstaclesRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
City officials haven't given up hope on keeping 1,400 lucrative manufacturing jobs at an Indianapolis steering parts plant, but Ford Motor Co. has. The company this month said it will close the facility by the end of 2008. A closure will leave the 1.8-millionsquare-foot building empty, but real estate observers say it could be redeveloped as leaseable industrial space-as shuttered Chrysler, Maytag and Western Electric factories nearby have been. Some of the premier projects in the area are leasing well,...
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Corporate shopping spree: Massive Guidant deal helps make 2006 a record-setting year for local M&A activityRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Scott Olson
Last year was a record-shattering period for the Indianapolis-area merger and acquisition market, thanks in large part to the loss of one public corporation. Guidant Corp.'s acquisition by Boston Scientific Corp. for $28.4 billion last year and the related sale of its vascular business to Abbott Laboratories for $4.1 billion made the 2006 Big Deals list bigger than ever. That's because the two deals made up about 85 percent of the $38.5 billion of M&A activity tracked down by the...
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A lonely number for IPOs in Indiana: Calumet joins short list of Indiana companies to go public this decadeRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Scott Olson
A little-known refining and petroleum products company on the city's west side has the distinction of being the only company in the state to go public in 2006. Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP filed its initial public offering last January. It completed the process in June by selling 5.7 million shares of stock at $21.50 each, ultimately raising $122.5 million. Shares since have nearly doubled in value, thanks in part to rising prices in the petroleum industry. While Calumet's decision...
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Chocolatier maintains steady routine between busy seasonsRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Lisa Gerstner
Each week at David Alan Chocolatier in Lebanon, three employees make a different variety of chocolate truffles, nut clusters and other chocolate-laden delights. Alan uses 7,000 pounds of chocolate a year to make his products out of the renovated gas station he has operated at since 1984.
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Indianapolis SouthRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
NAPLES, Fla.-Here I am more than 1,000 miles from Indianapolis and yet feeling right at home. Seems like everywhere I turn, there are signs of the city. The first night I was here, I ate dinner at a restaurant where six Indianapolis people I know were sitting at the table next to ours. During the course of my stay so far, American United Life Insurance Co. held a board retreat here and the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation threw a fund-raiser...
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Suburban builder J. Greg Allen to tackle downtownRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
J. Greg Allen & Associates has made a name for itself building suburban subdivisions, office buildings and retail complexes. Now, the developer is poised to tackle a pair of projects downtown.
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Blue Crew Sports Grill beating the odds

January 8, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Being an Indianapolis Colts fan doesn't mean you will necessarily succeed at running a Colts-themed restaurant, but Blue Crew Sports Grill owners Randy Collins, Dan Dilbeck and Everett Myers aren't ordinary fans. They are three pillars on which one of the National Football League's biggest fan clubs has been built.
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Merging banks to put pressure on downtown real estate: Huntington, Sky to combine offices, but where?Restricted Content

January 8, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Ohio-based Huntington Bank's plans to buy Sky Financial Group Inc. will mean more available office space in a downtown market already awash in it. "People never merge without reducing their space," said Jeff Harris, president of locally based Meridian Real Estate. "[This merger] is not going to have a monumental effect overall, but it's just more square feet, another hole to be filled." Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares Inc. announced Dec. 21 that it agreed to purchase Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky...
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New owner takes over at MarshRestricted Content

January 1, 2007
Cory Schouten
Marsh Supermarkets Inc. saw big changes in 2006 as new owners and a new CEO took over, and the Fishers-based company announced store closures and layoffs. Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners in October closed on its $88-million purchase of Marsh. The purchase included the assumption of about $200 million in debt. For the first time since the company's founding in 1931, a Marsh isn't calling the shots at Marsh Supermarkets. With the deal's closing, Sun installed Frank Lazaran, the...
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EYE ON THE PIE: News flash? Indiana continues to lag nationRestricted Content

January 1, 2007
Morton Marcus
The U.S. Department of Commerce put two data sets under my tree the week before Christma. On Wednesday, I got personal-income data, by state, for the third quarter of 2006 from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. On Friday, the Bureau of the Census sent me 2006 population estimates for all the states. Could I ask for anything better unless it was the "Complete Works of Alvin and the Chipmunks"? However, my joy may not be shared by those who have...
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City picks Marriott, passes on Pan Am plan:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Cory Schouten
A willingness to redesign and add rooms to its proposed JW Marriott hotel helped push locally based REI Real Estate Services and its partner over the top in their quest to build a convention headquarters hotel. The team of REI and Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp. proposed building an 800-room JW Marriott as the centerpiece of a 1,500-room, five-hotel complex at the site of the existing Courtyard by Marriott hotel at West and Washington streets. A city committee charged with...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: IBJ has big plans for coming yearRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
This has been a strong year for your local business weekly. We take seriously our mission of providing readers with the best, most in-depth coverage of local business, so it is with a sense of both pride and gratitude that I report on our most successful year ever. Editor Tom Harton has called 2006 the Year of the Award. This year, IBJ won 18 news awards-eight of them gold-from three different organizations. Our coverage was recognized nine times by our...
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Verizon amphitheater might be redevelopedRestricted Content

December 25, 2006
Cory Schouten
The potential redevelopment of Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville could open the door for a new concert venue in Indianapolis, but industry veterans don't expect it would look anything like the popular Hamilton County amphitheater.
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Randy's Toy Shop breathes life into ailing play things

December 18, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
Randy Ibey, owner of Randy's Toy Shop in Noblesville, is legendary among antique toy collectors and dealers worldwide. Ibey can fix more kinds of toys than an elf in Santa's workshop--from a German tin soldier created in the 1850s to a remote-control Pluto made a century later.
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New Nordstrom an obstacle for fragile downtown mall

December 18, 2006
Greg Andrews
When Nordstrom in 1992 signed its lease to open in Circle Centre, mall developers extracted an unusual commitment. The Seattle company agreed not to open another Indianapolis-area store for at least five years. So when Nordstrom last month announced it will launch a second location here, in The Fashion Mall at Keystone, it caught the attention of Herman Renfro, a former Simon Property Group Inc. development executive who oversaw Circle Centre.
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