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Review finds no conflict in state's deal with Mainstreet

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An economic development incentive deal between the state and a central Indiana real estate company that was put on hold by Gov. Mike Pence has passed a review by a panel looking for potential conflicts of interest.

Pence asked the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in early April to review its decision to grant $345,000 in performance-based economic incentives to Mainstreet Property Group LLC, a company started by a top Republican lawmaker and his son.

"Today, the policy committee of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. board of directors reviewed the Mainstreet Property Group LLC project regarding potential conflicts of interest," the IEDC said Tuesday in a prepared statement, citing committee chairman John Mutz. "The committee found no conflicts and confirmed that the IEDC incentive offer to Mainstreet is very much in line with other IEDC projects. The committee recommended that the IEDC proceed with the project."

Mainstreet, which develops senior and assisted living complexes, was co-founded by Republican House Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner and is run by his son, Zeke.

The IEDC awards tax breaks and training grants to foster economic development in the state. Mainstreet was offered conditional jobs tax credits and training grants if it hired additional workers as part of its move from Cicero to Carmel. The deal was announced April 8 by IEDC.

IEDC spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock said in a prepared statement April 8 that the agency, at the governor's request, "placed the letter of intent with Mainstreet Property Group LLC on hold pending a review by the IEDC board of directors."

Mainstreet is planning to spend $800,000 leasing and equipping 7,120 square feet of office space in Carmel, and hiring as many as 25 new workers by 2015. The company currently employs 20 workers.

Founded in 2002, Mainstreet has been one of the fastest-growing companies in central Indiana in recent years. It currently has some $200 million in projects under construction.

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