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Manufacturing

Developers plan spec industrial on heels of new deals: More big leases are expected in coming months

For months, local industrial brokers have reported an uptick in activity from potential tenants in the modern bulk-industrial market. With the start of the second quarter, tirekickers seem ready to sign on the dotted line. Three large-scale industrial deals in Plainfield kicked off the second quarter, prompting developers to release plans for more speculative bulk-industrial development this year across the metro area. "The activity in the first quarter is setting up the second quarter for a lot of closings," said...
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IU planning logistics center: University seeks funds for facility to provide services to TDL industry

Indiana University officials say they're shopping for a site near the airport or in Plainfield for a laboratory to help grow the state's transportation-distribution-logistics industry-known as TDL. The IU Supply Chain Control Center would evaluate for companies the feasibility and cost benefits of new technologies that could be used to improve sourcing, production and product distribution. The service would be provided at no or little cost. But the center faces a logistics challenge of its own-a delivery of cash. IU...
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Farming fortune from frustration: Mower mogul got tired of servicing 'crap'

In 1979, Art Evans busted his knuckles repairing one too many lawn mowers. As a distributor for a nationally known manufacturer, Evans also rebuilt mowers. And refined transmissions and steering units. And spent countless hours on tedious tasks, like adding washers and tightening bolts. Working a few weeks ago in an old milk barn adjacent to his parents' Putnam County home, Evans was a long way from the 1973 Indiana State Fair, where he first saw a zero-turning-radius lawn mower....
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Crossroads' work helps soldiers in Iraq: Money from project used for massive upgrades at Indianapolis operation

When the U.S. Army sought a contractor to manufacture a special identification panel for military vehicles in the mid-1990s, some shops didn't think the contract was big enough to pursue. Others thought the work on the panel was too tedious. Locally based Easter Seals Crossroads Industrial Services didn't hesitate to bid. Six years after supplying the Army with its first shipment of combat ID panels, Easter Seals Crossroads Industrial Services, a division of the not-for-profit Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation Center,...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Revisiting the crystal ball reflects timid predictions

When economists look into the future, what do they see? Many of us reported our visions of the coming year late last fall in annual forecasting presentations. Our Ball State University forecast, like many others, was pretty optimistic about 2005. It foresaw reasonably strong growth for both the U.S. economy and Indiana. But as we start the second quarter, with four more months' worth of fresh data in hand, is there any reason to change that outlook? It depends on...
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Helping pets pop pills: Butler MBA student invents easy way to medicate animals

Rob Puma's idea of a romantic date is not making dog treats in his kitchen. Yet that's exactly what he found himself doing with his girlfriend over Valentine's Day weekend in 2004. The unusual celebration of a lover's holiday was part of what began as a semesterlong MBA project at Butler University four years ago and became, as trite as it sounds, a labor of love for Puma, the inventor of Medi-Crunch, a snack designed to help people medicate their...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Enjoy growth while it lasts, because change is afoot

There is good news for the Indiana economy. Strong spending by businesses on capital goods in the national economy in 2004 translated into the best year for output and hiring we've seen in the state economy in more than five years. And it's showing up in tax revenue as well. On a year-over-year basis, Indiana's collections from income and sales taxes were up 8.3 percent in the last quarter of 2004, better than the national average and significantly better than...
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EYE ON THE PIE Morton Marcus: Casino location none of state's business

Let's see if I have this right. This is Indiana, a state dominated by conservative thought. Folks here support the free market, unimpeded competition, the roughand-tumble world of entrepreneurs doing their stuff guided by the benevolent invisible hand. So, why don't we live by our supposed principles? Case in point: gambling, specifically at French Lick, where the Donald has ducked out, thus reopening the bidding for the right to build a casino and hotel complex in Orange County. Let's review...
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Sweet Spot: Local philanthropists plan $15M chocolate facility on Indianapolis' north side

Local philanthropists plan $15M chocolate facility on Indianapolis' north side Two local philanthropists have bought 51 percent of Endangered Species Chocolate Co., based in Talent, Ore., and plan to move production of the company's gour met dark chocolate to Indianapolis. Randy Deer and Wayne Zink, founders of the Back Home Again Foundation, paid $3 million in January for majority control of Endangered Species and plan to invest another $15 million in a manufacturing facility and new marketing strategy. "We wanted a...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Revised job-growth figures provide hope for economy

It wasn't many months ago that Indiana's leaders faced an unpleasant question: Would the jobs being destroyed by the recession, technological change and global competition ever come back? Today, we know the answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, Indiana's employment growth over the last 12 months has been stronger than all but 15 other states. If that news had come out six months ago, in the harsh glare of the political campaign, you wouldn't be reading about it here...
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