Real Estate & Retail

Hamilton County officials splash cold water on RiverPlace: Upstream trouble on White River could result from adding fill, overflow channelRestricted Content

December 11, 2006
Chris O\'malley
A government panel is echoing the concerns of the Hoosier Environmental Council that Centre Properties' proposed RiverPlace development along White River at 96th Street could worsen the effects of a flood. The Hamilton County Drainage Board doesn't carry the weight of the U.S. Geological Survey, but its opinion could influence the giant, mixed-use project's chances of winning a rezoning case. A letter the drainage board sent recently to the Fishers planning commission comes just before the Fishers Town Council considers...
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H.H. Gregg betting big on flat screensRestricted Content

December 11, 2006
Cory Schouten
Locally based Gregg Appliances Inc. found itself flat-footed last holiday season when consumers demanded flat-panel TVs. The popular televisions were in short supply at H.H. Gregg stores. This year, Gregg has bet on a huge selection of flat-panel TVs to buoy sales.
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Shoopman ready to build againRestricted Content

December 11, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Paul Shoopman put 33 years into Dura Builders Inc. before selling his residential construction firm to national player KB Home Inc. as the local housing market boomed. Two years later, he's getting back into the business even as KB and others retrench.
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Canal site picked for $33M projectRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A local developer plans to build a $33 million, four-story apartment and retail complex on the Central Canal just north of Michigan Street. Flaherty & Collins Properties has the three-acre parcel under contract from American United Life Insurance Co.
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Crystal Food Services to go nationalRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Cory Schouten
Crystal Food Services plans to team with several prominent restaurant chains for a nationwide expansion after severing ties with Marsh Supermarkets Inc. early next year. The locally based catering and food-service company will report directly to Florida-based Sun Capital Partners, which acquired Marsh in September.
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Starbucks pours it on in IndianaRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Cory Schouten
Over the last seven years, Starbucks has inundated virtually every corner of the Hoosier landscape. And the company has no plans to slow down. Several Indiana towns--from Gas City to Angola, Batesville to Bluffton--will get their first Starbucks in 2007.
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Car wash company cleans up: Mike's Express grows by luring loyal clientleRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Cory Schouten
The state's best-known car wash company has found a new formula for success it hopes will rival its popular multiwash books: monthly passes that practically guarantee a permanent shine. Indianapolis-based Mike's Express Carwash already has enrolled more than 3,000 customers in a monthly membership program, launched in September, that allows unlimited washes in exchange for a monthly fee. Express wash passes are $39.99 per month, and "Works" passes are $69.99. "It's truly for the person who always wants a clean...
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Faced with competition, record shops look for fresh ways to rockRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Marc D. Allan
Music CD sales are falling--down 8 percent so far in 2005--while digital downloading of music jumped 163 percent. And nearly one-third of the nation's record stores have closed in the past three years. Even so, Indianapolis record-store owners say they've been reasonably successful adapting to a changing marketplace.
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Coming attraction: Imax theater in Noblesville: Technology lets theaters show Hollywood blockbustersRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Tammy Lieber
Once upon a time not so long ago, Imax films were nearly synonymous with museums. In Indianapolis and elsewhere, the largeformat movie screens-some as big as the side of an eight-story building-featured 40-minute films that took viewers to exotic places like outer space or the top of Mount Everest, and were usually attached to educational and cultural institutions. But technology that debuted in 2002 is bringing Imax screens to suburbia-including to Noblesville in 2008. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Goodrich Quality Theaters...
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Biz park plan west of Plainfield counting on cheaper landRestricted Content

November 27, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Plans are in place for a 400-acre mixed-use development off Interstate 70 just west of Plainfield--an area quickly becoming the next big thing in industrial real estate.
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Critics question trustee's property portfolio given mission to help needy

November 20, 2006
Tom Murphy
Center Township has real estate holdings worth more than $10 million, according to IBJ research. The township's robust real estate portfolio—highly unusual for an Indiana township—fits Trustee Carl L. Drummer's vision for his taxpayer-supported office. But it makes others see red.
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Bypass too tentative to affect land values, experts say: Property near toll-road exits may be coveted eventually, but uncertain route should keep speculators at bay for nowRestricted Content

November 20, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
When Gov. Mitch Daniels unveiled his ambitious but vague plan for an outer loop around more than half of Indianapolis, some landowners in the potential path panicked while others dreamt of a windfall. But local experts say, until a route is more defined, neither worry nor anticipation is warranted. "There are so many outstanding issues," said Abbe Hohmann, a land-price expert for the local office of St. Louisbased Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. Hohmann said two types of buyers usually drive...
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RETURN ON TECHNOLOGY: Big screen? Two screens? Productivity debate goes onRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Tim Altom
Apple computer recently announced the results of a study by Paris-based Andreas Pfeiffer, which said buying one of Apple's $1,999, 30-inch displays would increase productivity of one lucky employee 50 percent to 65 percent, enough to earn back the cost of the monitor before it dies or is supplanted by one with more pizazz a few years from now. Pfeiffer argues that it takes a lot of time to switch between windows on a smaller monitor, time that isn't taken...
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Smaller sales keep office real estate market humming: A $38 million deal for 3-building complex in Carmel stands out in 2006, but it wouldn't have last yearRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A flurry of blockbuster office-building sales in central Indiana last year has led to fewer mega-deals in 2006. A $38 million sale of a Carmel office complex on Nov. 1, for example, was among the top five such transactions so far this year, but it paled in comparison to the nine-figure deals that won headlines in 2005. That's to be expected, real estate observers say, since so much office inventory changed hands recently. And given the new persquare-foot highs set...
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New golf superstore part of retail shakeup: Golfsmith goes head-to-head with Golf GalaxyRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Cory Schouten
One of the nation's largest specialty golf retailers, Golfsmith, is preparing to take a swing at the reigning champion of golf stores in central Indiana. The Austin, Texas-based chain is planning a 28,000-square-foot superstore in space now occupied by Marshalls in Castleton, less than a sand wedge from fellow category killer Golf Galaxy. The move is part of a major shakeup in a part of Indianapolis that's long been a headquarters for golf shopping. The arrival of another national heavyweight...
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Speedway's windfall leads to speculation: Questions arise about possible new hotel, turn-two suite upgrades and acquisition of adjacent landRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's announcement this month that it would sell its stake in Chicagoland Speedway for $69 million has racing industry experts wondering if the famed Brickyard is planning an expansion. "There are a number of things [IMS President] Tony George could use that money for," said Dennis McAlpine, a New York-based financial analyst covering motorsports and entertainment. "That's not to say he's hurting for cash, but I believe he has projects on his plate." IMS and Daytona Beach,...
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Glendale might become open-air center, gain a TargetRestricted Content

November 13, 2006
Cory Schouten
Kite Realty Group is in final negotiations to bring Target to Glendale Mall as part of a wholesale redevelopment that could transform one of the city's first enclosed malls into an open-air shopping center.
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Green roofs slow to take root in Indianapolis area: Despite an array of environmental and other benefits, initial costs and lack of incentives put lid on their useRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Jo Ellen
Green roofs color the skylines in Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto and other North American cities, but Hoosiers have to look high and low to find similar examples of the plant-filled building tops in Indianapolis. "Most green roofs [in other cities] are on the tops of existing buildings, where here they are [more likely to be found] above an underground parking garage that you might not even be aware is there," said Mark Zelonis, director of the gardens and grounds at the...
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Some say Wheeler Mission hurts neighborhood's potentialRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A fall merger of two Indianapolis homeless shelters set off a new round of speculation about whether Wheeler Mission Ministries Inc. will continue to operate out of its 245 N. Delaware St. location--a stone's throw from multimillion-dollar redevelopment under way on Massachusetts Avenue.
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Century-old landmark building gets new life as condos: Former Ashantii Ballroom renovated into 11 unitsRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
He lived in the south Broad Ripple house 11 years, rented it out for another 11, then sold it for three times what he paid for it. Today, McMichael, 43, owns a dozen rental properties around Indianapolis, plus the well-known Rathskeller Restaurant downtown. And recently he's turned his real estate eye to 16th and Alabama streets where he's converting the former Ashantii Ballroom into luxury condominiums. "I learned years ago with that first house the power of real estate," Michael...
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Massive hotel project could advance without city help: Redevelopment would be on a smaller scaleRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Cory Schouten
Land near Victory Field could get hundreds of additional hotel rooms even if the developers that control the site don't receive city incentives they're seeking for a huge convention hotel project. Merrillville-based White Lodging Services Corp. and Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services are asking the city to invest $45 million to $55 million toward a $250 million campus of hotels on land that's now home to a 235-room Courtyard by Marriott and a TGI Friday's. If they don't win the...
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Ponds poo-pooed by more developers: Land prices create need for alternative storm systemsRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
For years, the model for most local drainage systems-especially in large development sites not directly downtown-has been underground pipes running into a large detention pond. The ponds have dotted the landscape, becoming a perk for office dwellers and homeowners wanting a "lake" view, but raising the concern of many safety officials over the increased risk of drownings. But as new federal rules come into effect requiring not just flood prevention but also filtration of contaminants, more developers may be moving...
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Obstacles couldn't stop community-minded ShaheenRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Tammy Lieber
Yvonne Shaheen, retired CEO of Long Electric Co., is the winner of the 2006 Michael A. Carroll award, given annually in memory of the former deputy mayor to a person who embodies determination, devotion, humility and community.
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Developer has big plans for long-vacant drive-in: N.Y. firm has 93-acre Lawrence site under contractRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A 93-acre former drive-in south of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison has sat vacant since the theater closed in 1993. But now a Rochester, N.Y., developer has agreed to buy the property and envisions building retail space plus either a light-industrial business park or a medical campus. If it comes to pass, the large development could kick-start Lawrence's efforts to revitalize struggling portions of Pendleton Pike. Norry Management Corp. has had the land under contract since spring and is preparing...
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Malls' redevelopment attracts familiar names: Borders, AMC Theatres among first tenants identifiedRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Justin Hesser
A mix of familiar stores and upscale retailers will be moving into the nowvacant L.S. Ayres space at Greenwood Park and Castleton Square malls, which owner Simon Property Group Inc. is turning into small-scale lifestyle centers. The open-air developments, which will be similar in design to Carmel's Clay Terrace, have attracted a host of major retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Borders and AMC Theatres. Smaller specialty shops and sit-down restaurants also are planned. Barnes & Noble will be going in...
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  1. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  2. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  3. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  4. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

  5. I live downtown Indy and had to be in downtown Chicago for a meeting. In other words, I am the target demographic for this train. It leaves at 6:00-- early but doable. Then I saw it takes 5+ hours. No way. I drove. I'm sure I paid 3 to 5 times as much once you factor in gas, parking, and tolls, but it was reimbursed so not a factor for me. Any business traveler is going to take the option that gets there quickly and reliably... and leisure travelers are going to take the option that has a good schedule and promotional prices (i.e., Megabus). Indy to Chicago is the right distance (too short to fly but takes several hours to drive) that this train could be extremely successful even without subsidies, if they could figure out how to have several frequencies (at least 3x/day) and make the trip in a reasonable amount of time. For those who have never lived on the east coast-- Amtrak is the #1 choice for NY-DC and NY-Boston. They have the Acela service, it runs almost every hour, and it takes you from downtown to downtown. It beats driving and flying hands down. It is too bad that we cannot build something like this in the midwest, at least to connect the bigger cities.

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