Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Task force to tackle big job: tallying infrastructure needs: Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce leads one-year studyRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Indianapolis hasn't attempted to systematically catalog all its infrastructure needs since 1991. Back then, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce collected a list of the most pressing local projects and presented it to Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. The price tag at that time: $1.1 billion. A lot has changed in the 16 years since the Chamber released its Getting Indianapolis Fit for Tomorrow report. Some problems it identified, such as the health risk of combined sewer overflows, have been partly addressed....
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EYE ON THE PIE: Whom will the state subsidize next?Restricted Content

April 2, 2007
Morton Marcus
Last week, I was walking on the Statehouse grounds and I saw some folks with large green pins on their lapels. "What do those stand for?" I asked. "Small businesses need Electronic Gaming Devices" one wearer told me. "That's for bars," I commented. The reply I got was not friendly. In the newspapers and on TV during the same week, there were features about horse breeders "needing" more state subsidies from slot machines at racetracks to "keep the industry alive."...
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Concrete price-fixing case might not be wrapped up: Undisclosed state investigation delaying civil lawsuitRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The U.S. Department of Justice's highprofile, three-year investigation into price fixing in Indiana's concrete industry resulted in one of the largest antitrust fines in history: $29.2 million against Greenfield-based Irving Materials Inc. The investigation might not be over yet. The DOJ seemed to conclude its Indianapolis inquiry last month, finally closing the criminal case. But a recent filing in a pending civil suit against IMI and its four former top executives hints the probe is continuing elsewhere. This time, IMI...
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University takes advantage of new design-build law: IU finishes its first building under construction processRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Katie Maurer
What do the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal have in common? Each project was both designed and built by the same people. Basically, they were among the first design-build projects in history. What seemed like a good idea hundreds and thousands of years ago has been slower to take hold in modern times. These days, most construction projects are still completed by separate entities-one that draws up the plans and another that brings those plans...
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Mass-transit movement focuses on education: Passenger projections, search for director delay effortRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Efforts to secure a mass-transit system for central Indiana are moving ahead. But not rapidly. Several mass-transit bills are pending in the General Assembly-including one requiring the Indiana Department of Transportation to study building a rail system from Indianapolis to Muncie, and another encouraging development of mass-transit systems across the state. But neither is likely to result in immediate funding for a system serving Indianapolis commuters. Local mass-transit advocates still are a long way from winning over lawmakers and others...
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Mansur lands $50M midfield airport hotelRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Indianapolis Airport Authority has tapped Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. to develop a $50 million-plus Westin hotel at the new midfield terminal. But the hotel's final design may be one submitted by a former competitor, White Lodging Corp. of South Bend.
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Mixed-use project would transform Lawrence: Final piece of Fort Ben development includes residential, retail, officesRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Cory Schouten
The final piece of a decade-long redevelopment of Fort Benjamin Harrison would give Lawrence a new downtown with shops, offices and public plazas mixed among as many as 1,000 condos, townhouses and apartments. The Fort Harrison Reuse Authority hasn't settled on a name yet for the 88-acre project, but the quasi-governmental group's board is expected to approve zoning updates this month that pave the way for the project. Public meetings will be held in March and April, and the first...
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NOTIONS Bruce Hetrick: A buck-a-pack increased tax for the health we lackRestricted Content

February 26, 2007
After our Valentine's Day wedding, my bride and I took a few days off for a brief New York City honeymoon. We walked nearly everywhere, used public transportation when we wanted to go farther and bought our food and drink in jam-packed, smoke-free restaurants and bars (the only kind there are in New York, thanks to a several-years-old, levelthe-playing-field, smoke-free workplace law). I liked being able to dine anywhere and everywhere with clean indoor air. I liked the exercise from...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Coming to the defense of 'sprawl' in the suburbsRestricted Content

February 19, 2007
Brian Mann
Since World War II, strong public policies and economic conditions have led to booming homeownership in America, and rapid expansion of a great highway transportation system has accelerated our country's suburbanization. We all know the story; we are participants. In the 1960s, it was often referred to as the American Dream. Although never specifically defined, the American Dream always included having a family, a reliable (maybe even cool) car, a nice home of one's own, and the freedom to work,...
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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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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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Airport considering air cargo facilityRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Indianapolis airport officials are considering building a smaller version of FedEx's 2-million-square-foot hub here, one that could accommodate several cargo carriers from around the globe. The "international air cargo facility" could be up to several hundred thousand square feet large and could cost tens of millions of dollars to build.
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Private equity fever fuels talk of Brightpoint buyoutRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Greg Andrews
Brightpoint Inc. shares have shed 60 percent of their value since April 2006. But the distributor and logistics provider for the wireless phone industry continues to turn a tidy profit, and in recent months has cut a flurry of deals that bode well for the future. Don't think the nation's private equity fund managers haven't noticed. Flush with billions of dollars to invest, they're poring through spreadsheets in search of undervalued acquisition targets. So no one should be surprised that...
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Forensic engineering firm seeks defense work: New initiative hopes to help other local firms follow in Wolf Technical's footstepsRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
After 30 years in the forensic-engineering business, Wolf Technical Services Inc. has analyzed everything from deadly car crashes to patent infringement. Now, Indianapolis-based Wolf is hoping to diversify into a new area: federal defense contracting. It's a field local corporate leaders hope Indiana will tap much more frequently in the years to come. "We don't quite know at the moment where this could lead," said Wolf Director of Client Relations Joseph Ward. "And that's the fun part." The 30-employee Wolf's...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Earmarking taxes in vogue, but is it good state policy?Restricted Content

February 12, 2007
Patrick Barkey
I was taught economics, and in particular, the subject of public finance, by a faculty dominated by old Kennedy Democrats. A lot of that teaching has rubbed off or has simply been forgotten. Much of it also could be dismissed as idealism, a sort of ivory-tower thinking not relevant to the real world. Yet as I scan and digest the various tax proposals now in front of the Indiana General Assembly, several of those old lessons keep coming to my...
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Alternative commuting gaining traction, slowly: Discounted vanpool fees offered during I-70 projectRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Only road contractors, Ruth Reiman and the Devil himself are welcoming interstate reconstruction that could cause mass chaos for east-side commuters this year. For Reiman and her team at Central Indiana Commuter Services, the $175 million Interstate 70 project starting Feb. 25 might be the best recruiting tool since stratospheric gasoline prices a year ago. "I'm just waiting for them to hit the first lane closure," said Reiman, executive director of federally funded CICS. CICS-rhymes with kicks-hopes to lure lone...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Saving Hoosier lives depends on telemedicine technologyRestricted Content

February 5, 2007
Cullen Mccarty
If you find yourself in need of advanced medical care, the Indianapolis area represents one of the best places to live. Superb resources at the nationally ranked Indiana University Hospital, St. Vincent, the Riley Hospital for Children and a whole host of other Indianapolis based medical facilities will effectively meet the challenge of providing worldclass health services. But if you live or work outside the capital city, securing life-saving services may be a different matter. The last national census disclosed...
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Aviation school adds five degree programs: Embry-Riddle considered closing local campusRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Chris O\'malley
One of the nation's most prominent aviation schools is giving Indianapolis another chance. After withstanding a plunge in enrollment, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is adding five degree programs at its center here, with most of them aimed at careers outside the turbulent commercial aviation sector. It also plans to expand beyond its local student base of mostly working adults to court recent high school grads. Though in Indianapolis for 13 years, Embry-Riddle has had all the profile here of a stealth...
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'Road to ruin' project may offer exit to businesses: City says INDOT may crack open exit on Interstate 70 for delivery vehicles during reconstruction projectRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Chris O\'malley
The Indiana Department of Transportation may yet allow a partial opening of one or two Interstate 70 interchanges on the east side during a 10-month reconstruction of the main artery between downtown and Interstate 465. City-County Councilor Mary Moriarty Adams said she's been talking with INDOT officials and with Mayor Bart Peterson in recent days about the potential harm to businesses of having all the interchanges closed. "We're hopeful that we can have some exit and/or on ramps open at...
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College targets dropouts with new program: Ivy Tech offers high school failures chance to get degree, pursue higher educationRestricted Content

January 15, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Ivy Tech Community College this month launched a pilot program that allows high school dropouts to earn their diplomas while simultaneously working toward a certificate or associate's degree in college. Intended to improve the state's labor pool, and as a lifeline to dropouts facing a dismal life in the earnings underclass, it will first be rolled out in Bloomington, Lafayette and Terre Haute. The Indianapolis campus also will offer the program aimed at those 19 or older, although a date...
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Labor sector diversification could spur local economy: $200,000 study targets finance, retail and constructionRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Sexier industry sectors like life sciences or motorsports get all the press. But to remain robust, the Indianapolis Private Industry Council believes, the area economy needs diversification. The 23-year-old work-force-training not-for-profit believes the nine-county area also should target three tried-and-true industries: finance and insurance; retail, hospitality and restaurants; and construction. IPIC, whose $9 million annual budget comes from public and private grants, plans to spend $200,000 during the first quarter studying the three sectors, which collectively employ 270,000 people in...
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EYE ON THE PIE: In 2007, sweat the little thingsRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Morton Marcus
This time of the year, serious people make serious resolutions about important matters; people like me, experienced and lacking determination, avoid resolutions. If, however, I were to recommend resolutions to business and government leaders, my list could be condensed into this: Attend to the little things. For too long, we have heard the preaching of management gurus and public-policy mavens that we must keep our eyes focused on the bigger issues. If you are a decision maker, you are supposed...
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CICP's chief launches raft of initiatives:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Peter Schnitzler
In January, Mark Miles returned to Indianapolis after more than a decade at the helm of the Association of Tennis Professionals to become CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. Twelve months later, the CICP looks much different than it did under his predecessor David Goodrich. And it could soon change even more. A former Eli Lilly and Co. executive and aide to Dan Quayle, Miles, 53, has been one of the key players in the potential consolidation of the...
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Business shoved aside: Readers say city should focus on crime, education in 2007Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
Scott Olson
The brutal murders of seven family members, including three children shot dead in their east-side Indianapolis home, cast a dark cloud over the city last summer. Yet the June slayings only served as a harbinger of a wave of violence that later claimed 15 lives in a 10-day span. The crime spree rattled city leaders so severely that Mayor Bart Peterson declared an emergency normally reserved for a natural disaster. 2006 no doubt ranked among the most deadly years in...
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Payne blazed Cultural Trail:Restricted Content

January 1, 2007
-Cory Schouten
Inspiration struck Brian Payne in 2001 while he was walking the Monon Trail. He remembered a conversation in which city officials lamented that downtown streets were too wide and cars moved too fast to allow much of a pedestrian connection town's top attractions. between down- His brainstorm: Eliminate lanes of traffic and build a path-creating an amenity that could become a destination in itself. Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, began telling everyone he knew about the idea....
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