Former Mayor Peterson joins Kite Realty board

Former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, who grew up around the commercial real estate business, is making a small return to his roots.

Peterson, 55, has been appointed to the board of trustees of Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group Trust, the company announced Tuesday.

The former two-time mayor is better known for politics and public policy, but he spent many of his early years working in his family’s commercial real estate company.

Peterson’s father, Howard, developed the massive Castleton Commercial Park in the 1960s. His firm, the Precedent Cos., was one of the city’s top developers until last decade, when it fell victim to the recession. It now operates as the Peterson Co. under the direction of Bart's brother, Tim.

Peterson was heavily involved in the family business at times, including a stint in the mid-1990s as president of the company. He left that position to run for mayor in 1999.

He is currently the senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications at Eli Lilly and Co., which he joined in 2009.

As a member of Kite's board, Peterson will receive an annual cash retainer of $42,500 and first-year stock awards worth roughly $62,000.

"We are delighted to welcome Bart Peterson to our board of trustees," Kite Realty CEO John Kite said in a prepared statement. "Bart's significant background and stature as a business and civic leader fit extremely well with our current board and make us an even stronger company."

Kite shares rose 2.4 percent Tuesday morning, to $6.44 each.

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