More layoffs for developers

April 9, 2008
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Pink SlipNews from the city's development industry has been grim lately. Duke Realty Corp. joined the layoff parade this week, dropping 45 employees (including 20 locally). In January, Lauth laid off 80 employees, including 54 at its Indianapolis headquarters, then dropped dozens more in March. Premier Properties USA Inc. laid off more than 40 employees at the end of March. Many in the business expect there could be more pain before the economy improves. “I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before,� Lauth CEO Bob Lauth told me for a recent story. “We’re still incredibly bullish on this company and our people, but I am not bullish on the short term from an economic perspective.� Duke resorted to layoffs after reducing its projection for 2008 development starts from $1.3 billion to between $750 million and $1 billion. Will things get better or worse from here?
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  • This is to be expected in a state where greedy developers
    build senseless new strip malls and office complexes next door
    to vacant strip malls and office complexes. There's no demand
    for these developments (look on the west side 56th street/Lafayette Road),
    just greedy developers and cheap land with no one to stand in their way.
    Of course we'll blame the sluggish economy and not the fact that
    we allow senseless over development to happen in the first place. It's the
    same situation in the housing market. Don't get me wrong. I feel bad for
    anyone who's losing a job. I wish we'd learn a lesson from this over
    development and not entirely blame the economy.
  • There's no demand for these developements? Well, not really near the area you mentioned. Whenever people are building houses, commercial development will follow. No people, no commercial. Perhaps instead of blaming greedy developers, you should blame the greedy homeowners that happily bought a lot in a newly minted subdivision. Or how about the farmers that sold the land to the residential develper to begin with? Why don't you name me some areas where Duke and Lauth have built that have empty strip centers next to them? Even if there are some, it could be that the owner is asking too much rent, is a bad landlord, ect. You seem to want to make quick judgements on the industry without really knowing what you're talking about.
  • the city needs to create a ring where development stops. As in London, where outside a certain radius, developments have to encompass residential of 1 unit per 10-20 acres
    this would spur redevelopment of existing structures, and force retailers and other users to ditch their prototypes and adapt to the real estate that exists.

    The reason developers lay off workers is because they grow with cheap money-and shrink when that disappears. Thanks for inflating land and building prices for the last 10 years FED-now all these REITs and other developers own properties not worth what they paid.
    Good day for all those with a bunch of cash looking to swoop in on the deals!!!!
  • Firewoman: Drive down Lafayette Road and on 56th street. Intersection of
    Lafayette and the 65 north ramp: New strip mall 95 percent empty and
    Bada Boomz struggling to stay open. 56th Street across from Eagle
    Creek Park: another fairly new strip plaza 40 percent empty (never had
    occupants). 56th and Guion, another new strip plaza, 95 percent open.
    Lafayette Road just south of 56th street, another strip plaza with vacancies.
    Now land is for sale on both sides of Lafayette Road near 56 Street for
    massive development. There are no new housing developments in that area to
    support this. I would never call homeowners greedy. I would call them uneducated in
    what they can afford and blame a mortgage industry that allows them to
    purchase what they cannot afford.
  • Explain to me what is greedy about building developments that are economically unsustainable? Sounds like a little enthusiasm for the cheap credit market, but blame the Fed for artificially controlling interests rates and holding them below market levels for so long.

    @smart: Let's not be like the fascistic cities of the world like London and Portland which artificially restrict development based on geography. It is restrictions like these that catapult land values to astronomical levels and drive out lower-income people, or cause them to move into hovels. Let's instead wait for more common sense monetary policy to come from the Fed(well, if you've got the time at least...) and in the mean time reduce the tax burden in Marion County, stop subsidizing highway commuters from the suburbs, allow real transit options to flourish, and lower crime in the central city. That is the real way to stop sprawl and create a more urban city.
  • I know you don't slap the hand that feeds you for the IBJ, but Simon is apparently restructuring as well.....
  • Does anyone know what the Development is on Illinois maybe a half block north of the Church Condos on Meridian. It is a large White Steel Strcuture placed in front of an old garage. But they just dropped what appears to be 3 large Cooling Tower Units on the Upper floor and the lower floor is looking like it will have close to 13ft or larger ceilings. And while we are at that location. Anyone know the name of the bar/restaraunt across the street on illinois from this location that as no sign, hard to see in but always seems to have people in it?
  • Not sure what that building is either, I have questioned what this is to...but the bar is Olley's mostly a gay sports bar/restaurant which has really good food and generally pretty open to anyone..but mostly gay. Just depends on how ciomfortable you are witht that.
  • No I don't know what that white structure is either and have asked my self. The resatarunat/sports par is Olley's. Mostly gay, but you will find alot of different people there. Just depends on what you are confortable with. The food is pretty good
  • I dont know what the structure is myseld. I have asked around. The restaurant/sports bar acress the street is Olly's an alternative lifestyle bar. The food is pretty good if you are comfortable in that environment.
  • In other words it a gay bar.not sure that would got through the journal police.
  • That is code for G for A if Yyou didn't know....it doesn't get through the free speech filter.
  • Okay thank you! I have always wondered what that place is. The specials on their board always looks good. Might not be bad to check it out sometime, I'm comfortable of that lifestyle, just not part of that lifestyle. lol.
  • The development in the 800 block of Illinois is Citizens Thermal Energy. They are expanding their district cooling plant.

    When the building is done it will look like a commercial building with storefront windows and doors built up to the street.
  • Thanks for the info, thundermutt...oddly enough I was just wondering yesterday what that structure was, and then I open up property lines to see that someone has already asked it.... are there going to be offices? for citizen's people or something on the first floor? Can't wait till they're done with construction and the street lane opens up, its crowded during rush hour
  • Thanks Thundermutt. I wondered with the large BAC cooling units on there and about 5 of them, I wondered if they were going to aircondition all of Indianapolis or if it was the cooling tower for the Church Condos. Thanks for the info.
  • Thanks thundermutt! I, too, was wondering about that building. What else is going on? It's been a slow day...
  • Blame...Blame...Blame... How about some actual thought here? The finger can't be pointed squarely at the Commercial or Residential Developers, the Land Owners, the lack of proper planning, or the Market. When all of these factors fail to think even a little bit about the consequences of their actions, it's no wonder they follow each other and end up in a mess. Any one of these parties can't possibly consider what they do as successful simply on the basis of how much money they made today. Don't get me wrong. Making money is good. Just not on the backs of others or at the cost of ultimate destruction of other things we ultimately consider as valuable. If a finger can be pointed anywhere, it is not at the parties above. It is at the inability of us all to think beyond our actions any further than the money put in our pockets today. You will find any one of the parties above that puts even a little bit of thought into what they are doing succeeding today, and tomorrow. Those that follow and think a bit will succeed more. Try a little reading on the theory of Creative Fitting. Research a little Ian McHarg.

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