Real Estate & Retail

Steak n Shake expects 'rebuilding year'Restricted Content

August 20, 2007
Cory Schouten
Steak n Shake Co. CEO Peter M. Dunn analyzed and measured just about everything at the restaurant chain, from drive-through times to employee turnover. All that research and testing was welcome when the company was thriving a few years ago. But the lack of evidence that all the analysis was paying off eroded Wall Street's confidence in Dunn.
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Noble Roman's rebuilds empire through franchisingRestricted Content

August 20, 2007
Michael Dabney
Noble Roman's Inc. stock this year has been rising nearly as fast as its pizza dough, defying skeptics who'd written off the long-ailing Indianapolis company. With a new business strategy built on franchising and dual-branded restaurants, Noble Roman's has seen quarter-to-quarter earnings increase for more than two years.
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Busy Lauth develops into national power: Hoosier entrepreneurs fuel growth at real estate firmRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Cory Schouten
Before they had fancy suits or fast cars, the four owners of Lauth Property Group were resourceful teen-agers, busy finding ways to make money. Chairman Bob Lauth, President Michael Curless and CEO Greg Gurnik each started neighborhood lawn-care businesses. The company's treasurer and chief accounting officer, Larry Palmer, hawked programs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. At the time, their hard work and entrepreneurial instincts helped scrounge up date money. In the last few years, it's helped them turn Indianapolis-based Lauth...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: So, you really want to be a real estate developer ...Restricted Content

August 13, 2007
Brian Mann
Real estate developers have a secret: We're not evil. OK ... we're not all evil This runs contrary to the perception that some people seem determined to promote. They opine that "good development" is an oxymoron. Development is a humbling business. It turns out that a lot of people know a lot more about the right way to do development than we do, and they're not shy about letting us and everyone else know this, in public meetings, private conversations,...
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PROFILE: LB&A Sign Management: Signs matter Artist helps firms promote their brandsRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Jo Ellen
LB&A Sign Management Signs matter Artist helps firms promote their brands It takes more than a power drill to put up a company's sign these days. In most cities and towns, there are ordinances and zoning regulations to comply with and permits to get before a sign is tacked on the side of a building. Business owners also want their signs to capture the firm's essence-and look good, too. That's where Lisa Bohn comes in. Bohn, 40, parlayed 15 years'...
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INVESTING: Strange time for business: Bad, good news aboundsRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, "May you live in interesting times." The saying possesses a sort of electric connotation, with hopes that one experiences an exciting lifetime. Yet in the historical use of this proverb, the interpretation of "interesting times" hasn't always meant "good times," with some recitals implying "dangerous times." For investors, our times are certainly interesting. We have a global economy that is booming. Economic growth across the planet has never been in such harmony....
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Did mortgage losses spur sudden First Indiana sale?:Restricted Content

August 13, 2007
First Indiana Corp. announced poor second-quarter financial results Aug. 7-which raises this interesting question: Did the city's biggest locally owned bank race to sell itself last month because the results otherwise would have caused its stock to tumble? Even before the earnings report, banking observers were abuzz that the $529 million sale to Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. seemed rushed. While many expected First Indiana to sell eventually, CEO Robert Warrington had seemed hellbent on improving results first to drive...
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Office market vacancy rates showing positive signs: Government leasing boosts downtown performance; suburbs see fast absorption despite flurry of constructionRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Scott Olson
Downtown and suburban vacancy rates are declining slightly or at least holding steady-a positive sign for an Indianapolis office market absorbing a plethora of new space on the city's north side. The second-quarter vacancy rate for the central business district dropped to 15.9 percent, from 16.7 percent the previous quarter, according to data from the local office of St. Louis-based commercial real estate firm Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. A similar report from the local office of Los Angeles-based CB Richard...
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Beilouny Luxury Properties carves out downtown niche: Propelled by its flagship 757 Mass Ave project, upstart local developer eyeing more mixed-use projectsRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Cory Schouten
When Ed Beilouny bought property at the southwest corner of Massachusetts and College avenues in 1977, many of his friends and family members thought he was crazy. The neighborhood wasn't much to look at. In the eyes of some, it was downright dangerous. But Beilouny, who was born in New York, had a vision that would take 30 years to develop. The land is now home to the flagship building of Beilouny Luxury Properties, a privately held company that has...
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Inventory tax repeal still being hailed as good decision: Amid rising property taxes, economic development officials and brokers say taxing inventory was bad policyRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Scott Olson
With the state in an uproar over soaring property taxes, some have wondered whether phasing out Indiana's business inventory tax was a good idea. The phase-out process began in 2002 before completely eliminating the inventory tax this year, taking with it roughly $380 million in tax revenue shared annually by local governments. Supporters of the move insist lawmakers made the right decision. And they say Indiana has become more attractive to business as a result. Marion County property-tax bills were...
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Class A towers paying B taxesRestricted Content

August 6, 2007
Cory Schouten
When it comes to advertising and marketing, the city's two tallest skyscrapers are Class A, all the way. But throw out that notion at tax time. The owners of Chase Tower and OneAmerica Tower--and some of the city's other large office buildings--have successfully lobbied for lower building "grades" that save them big bucks on property taxes.
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Dealer Services Corp. has rival Adesa taking noticeRestricted Content

August 6, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Dealer Services Corp. is an example of what happens when an entrepreneur sells his company to a bigger one and then comes back to haunt it after he is tossed aside. In this case, the spurned entrepreneur, John Fuller, became a thorn to Adesa Inc. a few years after its CEO sent him packing in late 2001.
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STARTUP GAZELLE WEB & CONSULTING LLC: Entrepreneur offers to help entrepreneursRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
-Amanda Getchel
STARTUP GAZELLE WEB & CONSULTING LLC Entrepreneur offers to help entrepreneurs Type of business: Consults with startup and growing companies Location: 885 Waveland Lane, Greenwood Phone: 450-7746 E-mail: lott.brandon@gmail.comWeb site: www.gazellewebandconsulting.comFounded: December 2006 Owner: Brandon Lott Owner's background: Lott, 33, grew up in the south side of Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University in 1998 with a health care degree. He went to New York in 2005 to work as an operations manager for retailer Alan Flusser Custom Shop, but...
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Merger has bank near top: Huntington a big player after acquisition of SkyRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Scott Olson
Huntington Bancshares Inc. entered the Indianapolis market in 1986 and since has led a relatively unassuming existence, barely cracking the top 10 in local deposit amounts and operating just a few dozen branches. So, the Columbus, Ohio-based bank is entering uncharted territory following its $3.6 billion acquisition of fellow Buckeye bank Sky Financial Group Inc. in Bowling Green. Huntington completed its purchase of Sky on July 2, making it the 24th-largest domestic bank in the United States in terms of...
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Pan Am buyer to raze rinksRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Cory Schouten
A Texas firm has agreed to buy Pan Am Plaza's 12-story office building and skating rinks and is planning to replace the rinks with a more-than-$50-million restaurant and retail development.
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New kind of high school pairs projects, technology: Educators hope approach boosts graduation ratesRestricted Content

July 30, 2007
Tracy Donhardt
Students at three new Indiana high schools this fall are going to learn the California way. No, they won't be holding classes on the beach. They'll use technology and a project-oriented curriculum to learn about math, science and history, plus gain 21st century skills business leaders say today's work force needs. The New Technology High School model, which began in Napa Valley, Calif., in 1996, will launch in Indiana this fall with New Tech High at Arsenal Tech, New Tech...
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Strides taken in life sciences, experts say: Industry panel: Thanks to ongoing efforts, Indiana has experienced serious progress as biomedical hotbed during last 5 yearsRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Five leaders of Indiana's life sciences industry offered their perspectives at the Indiana Convention Center June 26 as part of the Indianapolis Business Journal's Power Breakfast Series. The panelists: Mike Arpey, managing director of global investment bank Credit Suisse's Asset Management Division and manager of the $73 million Indiana Future Fund for BioCrossroads, the state's life sciences economicdevelopment initiative. Ron Ellis, co-founder, president and CEO of Lafayettebased Endocyte Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the treatment of cancer through receptor-targeted...
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NOTIONS: A property tax sigh of relief and a reform wish listRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Bruce Hetrick
The nightstand clock reads 5:17. Too early to wake up. But hey, I've been tossing and turning for hours, so why lie here any longer, pretending? The cause for this night's insomnia is money. Money for two kids starting college. Money to replace the Money to paint the house. Money for employees' salaries. Money for employees' parking. Money for employees' retirement. Money for employees' health insurance. Money for their families' health insurance. Money to get the yellow highway paint off...
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VIEWPOINT: Art is good for business and the communityRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Bradley B.
The Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission recently launched a campaign to encourage individuals and businesses to buy art from local artists. I couldn't agree more with the message. In addition to the "Be Indypendent, Buy Indy Art" stickers you'll no doubt see all over town soon, the campaign includes a Web site, www.beindypendent.org, with a downloadable "how to" guide, plus links to the Arts Council's artist database that includes the work of more than 400...
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Hotel tower planned by stadium, Lilly campusRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Cory Schouten
After years of designing banks, churches and condo conversions, Prince/Alexander Architects Inc. is working with unnamed partners on a plan to replace its headquarters with a $47 million, 24-story hotel and condo development called West Merrill Tower.
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Brugge Brasserie gastro-pub to produce line of 10 beersRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Amanda Getchel
Since mid-2005, Brugge Brasserie's beer tanks have been operating at full capacity--pouring out 400 barrels of its signature Belgian brew each year. Now the Broad Ripple gastro-pub is aiming higher. Brugge owner Ted Miller is set to start producing a line of 10 bottled beers--plus seasonal specialties.
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Huntington consolidates downtown office space: Bank leaving Capital Center after merger with SkyRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Cory Schouten
Huntington Bancshares is giving up its local headquarters in Capital Center downtown now that it has completed its $3.6 billion purchase of Sky Financial Group. The 100 employees based at Capital Center, 201 N. Illinois St., will move to a Sky-owned office building at 45 N. Pennsylvania St. Sky bought the building last year as part of its $321 million purchase of locally based Union Federal Savings Bank. Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky announced it was being purchased by Columbus, Ohio-based...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Why diner chain whets the appetite of the buyout crowdRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Greg Andrews
The Steak n Shake Co. may not be delighting diners these days, if slumping sales are any indication. But you can bet the privateequity crowd is salivating. Investment pros say the Dallas-based investment group that recently amassed a big stake in Steak n Shake surely isn't alone in hungering to take the Indianapolis-based diner chain private. "Some ... funds make their money by identifying underperforming companies that have intrinsic value which can be unlocked," Motley Fool columnist Timothy Otte wrote...
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SPORTS: Tennis tourney healthy but needs a new homeRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Bill Benner
A significant Indianapolis sporting event with international appeal is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011. The Indianapolis 500? Well, yes, that too. Far less-wellknown and recognized is that the origins of elite-level competitive tennis in Indianapolis also date back to just after the turn of the century ... the last century, that is. Records show that the Western Tennis Championships, which led to the U.S. Clay Court Championships, which led to the U.S. Hardcourt Tennis Championships, which led...
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SPORTS: Pan Am Games was 'coming out' party for cityRestricted Content

July 9, 2007
Bill Benner
Twenty years ago, Indianapolis was preparing to take on the world. Or at least half of it. It was a month before the 10th Pan American Games. In my lifetime, I do not recall many times-if any-when there was such a feeling of collective effort. This wasn't a city rooting for a team, like the Pacers or the Colts. This was a city rooting for itself to pull off this mammoth undertaking, to show not just the country, but the...
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