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Articles by Matthew Kish

Kroger shops for land: Grocer gathering property for full-size downtown store

Downtown residents might finally get their second full-service grocery store. Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has purchased an acre of land immediately west of its store near the intersection of 16th Street and Central Avenue in hopes of razing the existing store and replacing it with a new, and much larger, grocery. "We would like to build a brand new store that incorporates all of the amenities that [we] have at our newer stores," said Jeff Golc, a Kroger spokesman. Neighbors are...
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Marsh merger muddied: Federal filings show grocer wants to ponder richer offer, but legalities might prevent it

A new federal filing suggests Marsh Supermarkets Inc.'s board wants to negotiate with a second potential buyer, even though it's already agreed to be sold to a Florida private equity firm. The original buyer, Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, says merger talks with the new suitor, a partnership between Dallasbased Cardinal Paragon Inc. and New Yorkbased Drawbridge Special Opportunities Advisors LLC, would violate the agreement already in place unless Sun Capital grants Marsh permission to enter the discussions. And...
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Museum's battle plan: Conner Prairie seeks boost from Civil War re-enactment

There were no Civil War battles fought in central Indiana. That won't stop 400 soldiers in inhumanely hot wool uniforms from re-enacting a massive battle June 10-11 at Conner Prairie. Confederate and Union flags will wave. Brass instruments will sound. Cannon blasts will shake the trees. Sixty armed men on horses will lead the charge. The fighting will last less than an hour each day. The Hamilton County living-history museum hopes the economic effects last much longer. With the 150th...
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Executive Pay Special Report: WORTH IT?: Top brass still collects big packages, but ties to company performance grow

Michael Doar once had to give back part of his salary. How times change. Now CEO of Indianapolis-based Hurco Cos. Inc., Doar offers more bang-for-the-buck than any chief executive in the state, according to an in-depth study of salaries and shareholder returns by IBJ. One would shudder at the t h o u g h t o f Hurco's board asking Doar to forfeit a penny of his modest salary, as he did one year in the '90s when the...
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Vacancies and sales spike at Circle Centre: Analysts say mall attracting higher-end shoppers

Vacancies at Circle Centre mall hit a five-year high in 2005. But so did salesper-square foot. How does one reconcile the discrepancy? Observers say the mall is luring more high-end consumers with trendier shops despite having a big chunk of open space. "They've been incorporating and attracting more productive and upscale retail concepts," said Terry Sweeney, vice president of real estate development for Indianapolis Downtown Inc. The 10-year-old mall posted $393 in sales per square foot in 2005, up from...
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Banks enroll to help educators: As Indiana falls behind, financial literacy programs blossom

Their answer: a need. As in, one cannot exist without food, shelter and a $175 pair of sneakers. While the marketing folks at Nike would smile at the association, it makes personal finance experts like Avery cringe. They say it's another example of an alarming level of financial ignorance that has allowed nationwide consumer debt to zoom past $2 trillion. And the pain is especially acute in Indiana. "You don't have to look far beyond the bankruptcy and foreclosure statistics...
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Battle of the brands: Planners go back to drawing board after city slogan nixed

They thought they had a winner with The New Midwest. They even had the logo-a stylized "I"-all figured out. And a color palette. But then they hit a bump in the road. When Mark Miles became CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership in January, he joined the big group and said the slogan was a dud. At the least, he said, participants should run it by focus groups. They only had to run it by two before they realized...
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Land drove Marsh sale: Sun Capital has backup in real estate if grocery biz fails

When Marsh Supermarkets Inc. put itself on the block in November, the company's stock dove. When it cut future executive compensation $28 million a month later, the stock continued falling. When it terminated 25 executives and closed two groceries and six convenience stores, shares slipped yet again. Nothing, it seemed, could stop the downward spiral. Then a footnote appeared in the Fishersbased company's fiscal third-quarter financial report Feb. 21. It said an appraisal showed the company's real estate was worth...
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Scholar's Inn ready to rise: Starbucks-like strategy: 'Bread for the masses'

Scholar's Inn bakers load delivery trucks with more than 5,000 loaves of bread each week. And each time head bread baker Jeff Duez rolls a rack of apricot almond bread out to the loading dock, he ducks his head. A 5-foot-high doorway separates the bakery's Bloomington kitchen from the ramp where delivery trucks pull up twice daily. That's one of the many inefficiencies co-owner Lyle Feigenbaum addressed when he purchased a 10,000-squarefoot production facility the company will fire up this...
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Racing for the green: Rookie owner risks house and home to realize dream

"If somebody wipes one of them out, the associated residence goes with it," he says, only half jokingly. Now in his 14th season in t h e m o t o r - sports industry, Crawford, 38, decided to hoist his own flag for the first time this year in the Indy Pro Series, open-wheel racing's highest minor league. For the record, he's not a wealthy man. The second property is the only investment he and his wife, Myra, haven't...
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