2023 Year in Review

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Here’s a month-by-month review of some of the biggest stories in 2023.

JANUARY

Former Celadon execs sign civil settlement

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reached a settlement in its civil case against former Celadon Group Inc. executives Eric Meek and Bobby Peavler, who were both accused of engaging in fraud before the Indianapolis-based trucking company filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 2019.

In April, the SEC said the men each agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty. The SEC alleged Meek and Peavler had engaged in a fraud related to a complex joint-venture arrangement involving the sale of trucks through a Celadon division called Quality Cos.

Banks announces run for U.S. Senate

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks jumped into the 2024 race for the U.S. Senate on Jan. 17. The conservative lawmaker has served the 3rd District in the U.S. House since 2017. U.S. Sen. Mike Braun is giving up his seat to run for governor in 2024.

Bastian plans $130M HQ, plant in Noblesville

Bastian Solutions, a Carmel-based subsidiary of Japan-based Toyota Industries Corp., announced plans Jan. 24 to move its corporate headquarters to a new $130 million corporate campus in Noblesville and build a manufacturing plant.

Construction at the 162-acre site near East 146th Street and Promise Road was expected to begin in two to three years. The campus is to include Bastian’s corporate headquarters and an innovation center, together totaling about 180,000 square feet, and a 400,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility.

FEBRUARY

Monarch plans $73M facility

The owner of Lawrence-based beer distributor Monarch Beverage Co. said Feb. 15 it would spend
$73 million to develop a new facility for the company on the east side
of Indianapolis.

Illinois-based Reyes Beverage Group partnered with Carmel-based developer Lauth Group Inc. to build a 450,000-square-foot facility on 44 acres at the southwest corner of the former Ford Visteon site, 6900 English Ave. Lauth is redeveloping the entire site as a $150 million industrial park.

MARCH

Cummins rebrands division as Accelera

In a play to spotlight and advance its efforts with hydrogen fuel cells, battery power and other green technologies, Cummins Inc. rebranded that part of its business as Accelera by Cummins.

The rebranding is an attempt to differentiate what until then had been known as Cummins’ New Power business unit, giving it a separate identity from the rest of the 104-year-old company, which has traditionally been known for its diesel engines.

APRIL

Salesforce gives up 25% of space in tower

Salesforce Inc. announced that it planned to give up nearly one-quarter of its office space in Indiana’s tallest building.

Dallas-based brokerage CBRE listed about a quarter of Salesforce Inc.’s space on the market for sublease in April. The move came after the company announced it was giving up the remaining 100,000 square feet of space at its Salesforce East campus in its headquarters city of San Francisco.

Waterfront park opens

The first phase of a 70-acre park featuring a beach and water sports opened on Geist Reservoir in Fishers April 22 after three years of construction. Access to the 100-yard-long beach began May 27, with the season ending Sept. 4.

The park at 10811 Olio Road was expected to draw 150,000 visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In May, Fishers officials approved a $50 parking fee at the park for non-residents.

The first phase cost $16 million. Two more phases are planned.

Legislature expands vouchers, funds public health

The Legislature approved a two-year plan that expanded eligibility for the private-school voucher program, allocated $225 million in new funding for local public health services and sped up individual income-tax rate cuts.

The budget included a $1.1 billion expansion of the voucher program by increases the eligibility to 400% of the federal free or reduced-lunch program, meaning a family of four making up to roughly $220,000 would qualify for a voucher.

Public schools are set to receive an additional $1.2 billion in K-12 tuition support. The budget also increases the rate at which income-tax rates drop from the current rate of 3.15% to 2.9% by 2027, shortening the time line enacted in the 2022 income-tax-cut legislation by two years.

MAY

McCormick announces run for governor

Jennifer McCormick, the former Republican state superintendent of public instruction who switched to the Democratic Party in 2021, announced that she would run for governor in 2024. McCormick  formed an exploratory committee for governor late last year,.

KAR rebrands as OpenLane

Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. changed its corporate name May 15 to OpenLane Inc.,although it kept the KAR ticker symbol. KAR has been using the name for a portion of its business for more than a decade. In 2011, KAR acquired OpenLane Inc., a California-based online auto auction company, for $210 million.

McClaren calls off move to Whitestown

McLaren Racing said it had shifted gears on its plans to build a $25 million, 97,000-square-foot facility in Whitestown to house its Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team, workshops and a training center.

Instead, the London-based racing company said it would take over the current Andretti Autosport building at 7615 Zionsville Road in Indianapolis once Andretti makes its move to a new headquarters in Fishers in 2025.

Keystone breaks ground on Eleven Park campus

Keystone Group hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on May 31 for Eleven Park, a $1 billion development that’s set to include a 20,000-seat stadium, office space, apartments, retail, parking and public spaces on the southwestern side of downtown.

The project will be on the 20-acre Diamond Chain manufacturing site along Kentucky Avenue, with some portions—including the stadium—expected to be completed in mid-2025. Demolition on the Diamond Chain facilities started shortly after the groundbreaking.

JUNE

City announces Spark

In early June, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for a four-month closure to vehicles in the southwest quadrant of Monument Circle and a pedestrian-focused redevelopment of Georgia Street.

Hogsett said the projects mark the first steps in the South Downtown Connectivity Vision Plan.

The Monument Circle quadrant outside of the Emmis Corp. headquarters was pedestrian-only from July 8 to Nov. 2 to host Downtown Indy Inc.’s Spark on the Circle programming.

As for the Georgia Street project, in partnership with the CIB, the city plans to transform the block between Capitol Avenue and Illinois Street into a car-free “new front door” for the Convention Center and the planed Hilton Signia Hotel.

JULY

Chambers confirms run for governor

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers announced he was stepping down from his role after two years of record economic investments and fundamentally changing the way the state attracts businesses. In August, he announced he would run for governor.

Hill runs for governor

Curtis Hill, the former Indiana attorney general who had his law license temporarily suspended after allegations surfaced that he drunkenly groped four women during a 2018 party, entered the crowded Republican primary in the 2024 governor’s race.

AUGUST

IEDC gets new head

Gov. Eric Holcomb in August chose David Rosenberg as the next CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp., replacing Brad Chambers, who had stepped down.

Rosenberg was one of Chambers’ first hires for his leadership team when he took office in 2021. Rosenberg previously was vice president of operations for Indianapolis-based Market Street Group Inc.He also served as operations officer for Indianapolis Public Schools.

City picks developer to revamp Old City Hall

Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration chose TWG Development to redevelop Old City Hall.

The $140 million project calls for a 387-foot glass-encased tower with 190 apartments, 24 condominiums, 150 hotel rooms and 8,000 square feet of retail and hospitality space. It also proposes reuse of the four-story Classic Revival city hall building as an art gallery and community or office space.

Construction of the project is expected to begin late next year.

SEPTEMBER

Defense Department awards state hub

Indiana is one of eight states selected for a regional technology and innovation hub that will be part of a federally funded national network of centers supporting domestic production of microelectronics, semiconductor manufacturing and other advanced technologies.

The Silicon Crossroads Microelectronic Commons Hub will receive $33 million in federal funding, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said.

Chamber picks first new leader in 20 years

After a six-month search in which Carmel-based executive search firm Medallion Partners was tapped to find and vet more than 100 candidates, Vanessa Green Sinders was named the first female president in the 100-year history of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. She will succeed Kevin Brinegar, who will retire in early January after serving as CEO more than 20 years.

Before she moved to Indiana, Sinders was senior vice president for government affairs at Connecticut-based telecom giant Charter Communications.

OCTOBER

Feds pick state as biotech hub

In October, it was announced that Indiana had been chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce for a federal technology hub, making the state eligible to compete against 30 other designated hubs in hopes of landing up to $70 million in federal funding to implement the program.

Five to 10 of the 31 designees will be awarded grants ranging from $40 million to $70 million.

Indiana’s winning application was submitted by Heartland Bioworks. The hub will be based in the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan statistical area.

IU bets big on microelectronics

Indiana University officials announced plans to invest $111 million in new faculty, facilities, equipment and strategic initiatives focused on advancements in microelectronics and nanotechnology.

As part of the investment, the state’s flagship university will collaborate with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division to address emerging semiconductor technologies, accelerate research and development, and expand the Hoosier microelectronics workforce.

Conner Prairie to expand

Conner Prairie’s plan to expand west of the White River into Carmel received unanimous approval from the Carmel City Council in October after a months-long process.

The council voted 9-0 to rezone 260 acres that Fishers-based Conner Prairie owns west of the river to the Conner Prairie Planned Unit Development. The land, which is south of East 146th Street and east of River Road, had been zoned mostly for residential use.

The museum’s plans for its west-side expansion to focus on food, farming and the environment. The project could take up to 20 years to fully develop.•

Check out more year-in-review stories from 2023.

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