My, how Marion has changed

November 5, 2007
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It wasnâ??t so long ago that Marion was the poster child for Rust Belt decline in Indiana. The city, which is just off Interstate 69 between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, lost a string of manufacturers and then finally the big one, Thomson Consumer Electronicsâ?? television picture tube plant, in 2004.

Things were so bad that several hundred people showed up for a rally at Indiana Wesleyan Universityâ??s basketball arena.

Since the Thomson plant closed, fully 20 economic development projects have been announced in the Marion area. Grant County Economic Growth Council figures the commitments amount to $400 million in investment and 2,500 jobs.

And now a virtually unknown company, a tech startup called Veriana Networks, is making a splash with plans to build a headquarters and hire 280 people by 2012. These jobs will bring a lot more money into the area than the warehouse projects and some of the other deals.

Whatâ??s your take? Can Marion keep up the momentum? And where will the next Hoosier turnaround story happen?
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  • My quess is Marion would benefit by the new I-69 extension.
  • This appears to be the very first posting of the very first blog of Indianapolis Business Journal. What does Marion have to do with business in Indianapolis? Just an observation. Nothing particularly wrong with this. Is the Business Journal going to start covering business in northern Indiana? Good.
  • Mark, thanks for writing. This actually is IBJ's second blog, after Property Lines, which follows real estate. Despite the Indianapolis in IBJ's name, we don't limit coverage to the Indianapolis area, particularly online. We feel cities outside IBJ's primary coverage area interest readers because events affect their businesses--not to mention the common thread of living in the same state.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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