Real Estate & Retail

Daniels' team shakes up pension fund for teachers: Retirement plan may risk more on private equityRestricted Content

January 9, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Under Gov. Mitch Daniels, Indiana is renewing its commitment to making sure teachers receive their pensions. But in the process, the state may also put their pension principal at greater risk. State Budget Director Chuck Schalliol said the $7.5 billion Indiana State Teachers' Retirement Fund is considering expanding its holdings in private equity. The enormous pension fund already allocates 5 percent of its assets, or $240 million, toward such investments, which include venture capital, real estate and leveraged buyouts. Highly...
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TOM HARTON Commentary: On defense, Republicans get divisiveRestricted Content

January 2, 2006
After Republicans Scott Keller and Lance Langsford broke party ranks at the Dec.19 City-County Council meeting and voted for cop consolidation and an expanded human-rights ordinance, fellow Republican Jim Bradford e-mailed them and questioned whether they were true Republicans. Lately, it's Bradford and other Republican hard-liners who don't seem like the Indianapolis Republicans of old. Republicans mayors Richard Lugar, William Hudnut and Steve Goldsmith provided pragmatic, progressive leadership here in the 1970s and '80s and '90s. Lugar and longtime Council...
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Big sale finishes hot year: Firm buys 6 office buildings at Keystone at the Crossing; price lags other mega-dealsRestricted Content

December 26, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A record year for sales of local office properties is ending with a bang, as a half dozen buildings at Keystone at the Crossing change hands. Philadelphia-based Berwind Property Group purchased a six-building portfolio, including the high-rise office towers at Keystone at the Crossing, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association. The deal, which closed Dec. 22, includes buildings totaling about 1 million square feet at 8500, 8888, 8900, 8930, 9100 and 9200 Keystone Crossing, developed by locally based Duke Realty...
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Marsh puts itself up for sale:Restricted Content

December 26, 2005
-Matthew Kish
Locally based Marsh Supermarkets Inc. closed out perhaps the most disappointing year in its nearly 75-year history by hanging a for-sale sign on its front door. The announcement came Nov. 29, the same day the grocer reported another disappointing quarter-this time a $3.4 million loss on revenue of $549.6 million. Marsh said it had hired Merrill Lynch to explore alternatives, including a sale, but otherwise said little. Increasing competition from large-format retailers such as Wal-Mart is partly to blame for...
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Hotel proposed for Hamilton County's Strawtown: Site overlaps sensitive American Indian landRestricted Content

December 19, 2005
Matthew Kish
Hamilton County park officials hope to find a developer to build a three-star hotel in 750-acre Strawtown Koteewi Park, an area rich with fragile American Indian artifacts. Businesses near the northeastern Hamilton County park love the idea. American Indian groups are less enthusiastic, but willing to work with park officials. "It's kind of disturbing," said Chief Brian Buchanan of the Miami Nation of Indians of the State of Indiana. "You wouldn't want anybody digging up your grandmother." Buchanan learned of...
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Duke, Bremner pairing bearing fruit for both companies: Venture surpasses goals with $100 million in projectsRestricted Content

December 19, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A year after forming a joint venture to pursue health care development, Duke Realty Corp. and Bremner Healthcare Real Estate are preparing to storm the Southeast, one of Duke's stronghold markets, by opening offices in Atlanta and Miami, and by bringing on a new partner. Announced last December, Duke's and Bremner's joint venture this year locked up $100 million worth of projects, ranging from a medical office building on Michigan Road in Hamilton County to an outpatient hospital in Summit,...
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MSA condo interest builds: With sales up, developer hopes to begin site work in JanuaryRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Tammy Lieber
Two months after unveiling a new name, new floor plans and a new sales center for their development, the team in charge of building condominiums on the former Market Square Arena site is reporting more success than the first time around. Reservations have been taken for two-thirds of the units that need to be sold before the developer can fund One Market Square, real estate agent Kurt Flock told the Metropolitan Development Commission Dec. 7. Market Square Partners is considering...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Another mark against Marsh: It has big pension shortfallRestricted Content

December 12, 2005
Greg Andrews
As if Marsh Supermarkets Inc. didn't have enough problems, here's another whopper: The company has a drastically underfunded employee pension plan-to the tune of $44 million. That figure is disclosed deep within a Securities and Exchange Commission filing the company submitted in June. It shows the pension plan had assets of $39 million, less than half its $83 million in projected obligations. It's a big shortfall, and one analysts say is sure to draw the attention of potential suitors. An...
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Clarian nabs UAC building: Hospital network wins bid for former corporate headquartersRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Tom Murphy
Clarian Health Partners is polishing a deal to buy the former Union Acceptance Corp. headquarters on North Shadeland Avenue, a move that plants a large footprint for the burgeoning hospital network squarely in a competitor's east-side back yard. Clarian made the winning bid for the 126,000-square-foot building at a Nov. 15 auction, but the sale had not closed as of Nov. 30, said Bob Getts of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker, which ran the auction. He referred all questions to Clarian....
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Landlords may face big holes: If groceries close, centers would sufferRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Tammy Lieber
Marsh Supermarkets Inc. serves as an anchor tenant for dozens of central Indiana shopping centers. So if the company or a buyer ends up closing stores, centers across the region could be left with gaping holes. Not only can large vacant spaces in shopping centers make them look blighted. They also reduce customer counts at smaller retailers that feed off grocery store traffic, retail experts say. "People go to the grocery store once or twice or three times in a...
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BULLS & BEARS: Buffett colleague Munger is also a man of wisdomRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Ken Skarbeck
I am reading the book "Poor Charlie's Almanack," edited by Peter Kaufman. It's mostly a compilation of advice from Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and chairman of Wesco Financial, which is 80-percent owned by Berkshire. Munger, 81, owns Berkshire Hathaway stock worth $1.6 billion. Like Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett, Munger hails from Omaha and as a youngster worked at the Buffett and Son grocery owned by Warren's grandfather. The two were reacquainted in the early 1960s and became...
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Under pressure?: Largest outside shareholder could be pushing Marsh to find buyerRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Matthew Kish
Marsh Supermarkets Inc.'s decision to seek a buyer might not have been made within the company's Indianapolis headquarters. It might have come from 115 miles away in Cincinnati. That's home base for the c o m p a ny 's largest outside shareholder, A m e r i c a n Financial Group Inc., an insurer controlled by the family of billionaire tycoon Carl Lindner. A source knowledgeable about the discussions said AFG, a Marsh shareholder for more than two...
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EYE ON THE PIE: WestClay, prepare for some competitionRestricted Content

December 5, 2005
Morton Marcus
U.S. 20 is one of our lesser-known t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l highways. It starts at the Boston Commons, about two miles from the Green Monster of Fenway Park. The route then winds west to a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean at Newport, Ore. U.S. 20 runs through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and such cities as Albany, N.Y.; Erie, Pa.; Toledo, Ohio; Rockford, Ill.; Sioux City, Iowa;...
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Setting an example for SacramentoRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
"To improve Sacramento, learn from Indianapolis" was the headline of a column in the Nov. 18 Sacramento Business Journal. It's always nice to get a compliment and some good PR. Turns out a delegation of nearly a hundred Sacramentonians-or is it Sacramentites?-were here in October on a three-day study mission to learn how to become a great city. It was the seventh year in a row for them to make a learning visit to another community. Tom Stallard, head of...
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Fledgling Music Mill finding its beat: Venue strikes chord with local concert fansRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Tammy Lieber
On its opening night late last year, Music Mill started off with a bang. The first concert at the northside venue was the Scissor Sisters, an energetic New York band whose self-titled debut album includes a disco-flavored cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." More than 400 people showed up for the Dec. 15 show. More than half of them were lastminute arrivals who bought their tickets the day of the show. "We got to find out on our first big...
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Industry races to promote itself: Statewide motorsports group hopes to thwart competition from other U.S. marketsRestricted Content

November 28, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
Area motorsports leaders are gearing up for another run at unifying the industry and assuring the region retains its status as one of the world's leading motorsports markets. Organizers of the latest effort promise they won't spin their wheels this time around. They're casting a wider net-going statewide with a motorsports association-to attract more members and build more clout with the media, local and state lawmakers, and service providers, such as banks and insurance companies. The Indiana Motorsports Association Inc....
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Merry Realty Inc.: Big plans for small firm Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the gameRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Ed Callahan
Real estate agency tries to win business by teaching buyers rules of the game Large agencies may dominate the residential real estate game, but Indianapolis-based Merry Realty is trying to prove a small player still can make a big name for itself. For years, Merry Realty has focused its efforts on properties in Indianapolis, but it is rapidly expanding into a more diverse market, targeting booming areas like Hamilton County while staying loyal to its inner-city roots. Real estate broker...
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Incentives no help if hard to use, developers say: Program used on northwest side can be too much of a good thingRestricted Content

November 21, 2005
Tammy Lieber
A year and a half ago, Indianapolis officials announced an incentive program designed to lure businesses to the vacancy-plagued commercial area surrounding Lafayette Square Mall on the northwest side. To date, just one developer has taken advantage of the community revitalization and enhancement district, or CRED, and its project was in the works before the program began. The developer built a movie theater and grocery store in a former Cub Foods near 38th Street and Lafayette Road. Smaller developers may...
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BULLS & BEARS: Problems look daunting? A lesson from GranddadRestricted Content

November 14, 2005
Dave Gilreath
Granddad rocked back and said, "The news is pretty tough to read these days. Makes me want to sit on the porch and just watch the leaves turn." He shook his head and mentioned all sorts of events that made him wonder if the United States could ever bounce back. First, he brought up the battles for control in the Gaza strip and the fierce fighting over Palestinian areas. Then came speculation on how the United States was going to...
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Museum deemed Monumental: Expansion project earns two design firms top awardRestricted Content

November 7, 2005
Staff Report
Indianapolis-based firms Fink Roberts & Petrie Inc. and Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects won the Monumental Award for their work on the Indianapolis Museum of Art expansion project. The 28th annual A Monumental Affair was set to take place Nov. 3 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. The awards recognize excellence among those who have contributed to the enhancement and beautification of Marion County through the built and natural environment. Local non-profit organization Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Inc. leads the Monumental Affair...
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Public markets are sometimes a double-edged sword: Many companies enjoy access to capital, but others complain regulatory compliance costs are just too highRestricted Content

October 31, 2005
Peter Schnitzler
For young and growing companies, initial public offerings are a bit like climbing a mountain: a long, harsh toil to reach a distant summit. But planting a flag at the peak isn't enough. To make the journey worthwhile, companies must stay there. The payoff can be enormous, in the form of ready access to capital. But operating at such a high altitude requires careful footing. And the effort costs more than some can afford. "It's a double-edged sword," said George...
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Indiana taps Meridian to handle surplus land: Second call put out for firms to oversee leasingRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Tammy Lieber
The state of Indiana has taken a first step in overhauling how it manages its real estate by selecting a local firm to sell surplus property. Meridian Asset Development was notified Oct. 12 of the state's intent to award it a contract to manage the sale of potentially hundreds of acres of land the state owns. A contract could be in place within two weeks, pending negotiations over the exact terms, said Kevin Ober, deputy commissioner for the Indiana Department...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Ex-exec cuts guilty plea; Brightpoint says it's not a targetRestricted Content

October 24, 2005
Greg Andrews
One of two former Brightpoint Inc. employees charged this month in an accounting scandal has agreed to plead guilty in return for receiving a prison sentence of no more than 18 months. John Delaney, 40, former chief accounting officer of the wireless phone wholesaler, could end up spending far less time behind bars. In his nine-page plea agreement filed in federal court in Indianapolis, the U.S. Attorney's Office says it will argue for a lesser sentence. Delaney on Oct. 13...
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Kipps Brothers still evolving after 125 years

October 24, 2005
Candace Beaty
Walk through the Kipp Brothers showroom and you’ll find the makings of one heck of a birthday celebration: gag gifts galore, endless sugary treats and headgear that puts the traditional party hat to shame.
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Lee, Willis prosper outside limelight: Former WRTV co-anchors run growing public relations firmRestricted Content

October 17, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
News defined the careers of Clyde Lee and Diane Willis for a combined five decades. And it was the nation's biggest news event of the last decade-9/11-that served as an ominous backdrop for the duo's first entrepreneurial venture. "We incorporated in August 2001, and less than a month later, 9/11 hit, and we thought, 'Oh my,'" Lee recalled. But more than four years later, Lee/Willis Communications is still standing-and prospering. The fiscal swoon that followed 9/11 caused many companies to...
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