Articles

Circle Centre’s 4th floor may drum up office tenant: Percussive Arts Society lease could spawn other deals

The Lawton, Okla.-based Percussive Arts Society might announce as early as next month that it’s moving its 12 headquarters employees into 15,000 square feet on the troubled fourth floor of Circle Centre mall, according to a source familiar with the discussion. Roughly 10,000 of those square feet would be a museum that might get bongo enthusiasts and the curious alike to stop by and check out some Thai button gongs and West African talking drums. If all goes as planned,…

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Atlas draws Fresh interest: Upscale grocery chain with a store in Carmel considers local expansion

North Carolina-based The Fresh Market Inc. has confirmed it’s interested in the former Atlas Supermarket site at 54th Street and College Avenue. “We are looking at expanding in that area and we’re looking at a lot of sites,” said spokesman Eric Blaesing. “[The Atlas site] is one of them.” He added that nothing is definite and “for every 100 sites you look at, you end up with one of them.” N e i g h b o r s hope…

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Ovation liquidates assets as part of Chapter 11 filing: Stores will remain open under new ownership

Indianapolis-based Ovation Audio Video Specialists has emerged from bankruptcy, and some creditors are saying they got the short end of the amplifier. The high-end consumer electronics retailer filed Chapter 11 on Oct. 14 after 19 years in business. Creditors are upset because the bankruptcy case quickly became an asset sale rather than a typical Chapter 11 reorganization. They’re also suspicious that the company’s president walked away with some of the best assets. “Although when they filed they talked about their…

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Tourism’s new buzz: Product development: Officials want to build on Indiana’s unique assets

Billboards in southern Indiana used to tug spelunkers in four different directions. Come to Marengo Caves. Spend an afternoon at Bluespring Caverns. Visit Wyandotte Caves. Don a headlamp at Squire Boone Caverns. Two years ago, however, operators at the four attractions decided it might be a better use of cash to market the area as a single attraction. They pooled their advertising budgets and printed a brochure that listed all four destinations. They also created a passport that visitors could…

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City gives cultural trail green light: Long-anticipated project could cost $35M to $42M

The long-discussed trail will loop through downtown and cost $35 million to $42 million. All the money will come from federal transportation dollars and private contributions. “The trail has been officially approved,” said Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the project’s lead managing partner. “It’s definitely a project that’s going to happen now.” Tourism officials greeted the news with enthusiasm. It’s a “huge win for White River State Park as well as the city,” said Bob Whitt,…

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READY TO EXPLODE: State’s new fireworks law has retailers predicting their sales will skyrocket

READY TO State’s new fireworks law has retailers predicting their sales will skyrocket Indiana’s fireworks industry officials say their business is about to explode faster than a gas-soaked cherry bomb, thanks to a new law that makes it legal to ignite bottle rockets and Roman candles in back yards. And best of all for retailers, the law makes it almost impossible for new competition to get a piece of the action. “I’m going to sell more stuff,” said Elizabeth Howard,…

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National City Center to get $11 million facelift: Projects include new Starbucks and restaurant

National City Center and anchor tenant Hyatt Regency Indianapolis plan to pump more than $11 million into the aging, 16-story building to boost its competitiveness with other downtown towers. The plans might grow to include connecting the building to the Artsgarden at the corner of Washington and Illinois streets. The Hyatt Regency, which occupies a wing of the National City Center, plans an $8.5 million renovation that will include the addition of 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a Starbucks…

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Master planner: Veteran event organizer Smith helps city land major events

Maribeth Smith never talks about herself. Despite engineering some of the biggest events in the city’s history-everything from Final Fours to the Jazz Fest to last year’s meeting of the American Association of Museums-she’s loathe to use the word “I.” She prefers “we.” As in “we” the city. Or “we” Maribeth Smith & Associates, her 14-year-old event planning firm. But as reticent as the 62-yearold Smith might be to take credit for her accomplishments, convention organizers and city officials say…

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Mega-hotel on city agenda: Pan Am Plaza possible site for 800-room development

The city is looking for developers interested in adding 800 hotel rooms downtown, a project that could be accomplished by building a massive, new hotel or augmenting several existing facilities. Insiders say a new hotel is most likely. They picture it on Pan Am Plaza. If that happens, the hotel would become the city’s largest-eclipsing the Indianapolis Marriott by almost 200 rooms. Ideally, the rooms would be available by 2010, when the wraps come off the expanded Indiana Convention Center….

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Hospitality madness: City wants to grow reputation as Final Four’s ideal site

Bill Evans’ phone rang at 11 p.m. It was a basketball team. The players wanted milkshakes. He popped up like he was bouncing on one of those mini-trampolines mascots use to dunk basketballs at halftime. He tapped his partner on the shoulder. They rolled two coolers to the downtown Steak n Shake. He ordered milkshakes. Large ones. Two for each player. They put the shakes in the coolers and rolled them through the downtown night to the team hotel. The…

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Forum Credit Union buys health-care consultant: Financial institution beefing up commercial services

Forum Credit Union, central Indiana’s largest credit union, has acquired Indianapolis-based health-care consulting firm Health Care Economics Inc. And banks are piping mad about it. “It’s part of our effort to meet the needs of what our members have been asking us to do,” said Andrew Mattingly, senior vice president of strategy and marketing for Fishers-based Forum. “They want to put all of their finances together [at one institution].” Health Care Economics primarily serves as a business consultant to medical…

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Bulls of the Fairways:

David Simon and Alan Cohen are outstanding golfers, among the best of all Indianapolis businessmen. The CEOs of Simon Property Group Inc. and Finish Line Inc. share something else in common: Their companies are top performers, with their stock prices more than dou-Professor sees link between golf scores, biz success bling in a little more than three years. Coincidence? Not according to Dan Dalton, golf aficionado and former dean of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. “Business is like match…

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Ayres stores may be razed: Smaller shops likely replacements at Castleton, Greenwood

Simon Property Group Inc. wants to take the wrecking ball to the soon-to-be-vacant L.S. Ayres stores at Castleton Square and Greenwood Park malls, clearing the way for development of a collection of smaller stores and restaurants, sources familiar with the plans say. “There have been numerous site plans circulated showing redevelopment with the existing structures removed,” said Bill French, a local retail broker with St. Louis-based Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. Mark Perlstein, a partner with The Linder Co., an Indianapolis-based…

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Cream, sugar, social awareness: Fair-trade coffee firm looks beyond profits

When one considers the new company pays about 40 percent more for its raw product than do its non-fairtrade competitors-and it gives roughly $1 from every bag it sells back to the farmers who produce the coffee beans-it might seem like the McLeans are destined for drinking macchiatos in the poorhouse. But the couple didn’t build Advance Interface Solutions into a successful business by accident. And Beans for Better Life, their foray into the cappuccino craze, is hardly reckless. Local…

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New support group aids entrepreneurs: Growing network quick to attract diverse membership

But it’s not because Roots doesn’t know how to write HTML code. Rather, he’s got so much business coming in the doors he doesn’t have any free time for turning wrenches on his own site-www.squishdesigns.com. That’s a good problem to have for an entrepreneur who’s still dotting the “i”s on his LLC application. He credits the influx of business to a new networking group for entrepreneurs that is attracting a sizeable contingent of women and minority business owners. The group-which…

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Banning ‘McLawsuits’: State bill outlawing fast-food litigation nears passage

A bill nearing the governor’s desk would make it illegal to sue Indiana restaurants-including the state’s ubiquitous fast-food joints-for those extra notches in the belt. Commonly referred to as the “cheeseburger bill,” the measure is part of a national effort by restaurants and small-business owners to protect themselves from enormous class-action lawsuits that have been filed against some national chains. House Bill 1113 passed out of the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Feb. 14 by a…

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Retail space coming to Fall Creek Place: Restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores planned

Wayne Ashford sat in his Fall Creek Place coffee shop-Tea’s Me Café & Gifts-during a recent lunch hour waiting for customers to show up. After six months in the neighborhood, he’s been “a little disappointed” at the foot traffic through his business at the corner of 22nd and Talbott streets. While the master-planned community has won accolades for its urban design, it has failed to generate revenue for smallbusiness owners like Ashford. That may change in a hurry. Three sizeable…

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Marsh shares swoon as sale talks drag on: Value of CEO’s stake has been cut almost in half

The value of Don Marsh’s stake in the Indianapolis company that bears his family’s name has diminished more than $1 million a month since the company declared Nov. 29 that it was seeking a buyer. Don Marsh, the CEO, owns almost 750,000 shares of Marsh Supermarkets Inc.’s Class A and Class B stock, making him the company’s largest individual shareholder. The price of both stocks has plummeted since the announcement, making his stake worth less than $5 million. It was…

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David Marsh to buy Jodi $435,000 home:

Former Marsh Supermarkets President David Marsh will buy ex-company spokeswoman Jodi Marsh a $435,000 north-side home as part of the couple’s divorce settlement, court records show. David Marsh had been with the grocery chain 25 years when the board dismissed him Feb. 8. He is the son of CEO Don Marsh. Jodi Marsh resigned as vice president of community relations for the grocery chain Jan. 27, nearly two months after she filed for divorce from David. She has since joined…

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Bank profit see-sawed before sale: Union Fed investors may have tired of volatile performance

Union Federal Bank’s profits have gone up and down like an electrocardiogram since a group of elite investors bought a major stake in the privately held institution in 1999. That wildly inconsistent performance likely played a role in the decision by investors to sell the bank, experts say. On Feb. 3, both the bank and its parent company were sold to Bowling Green, Ohio-based Sky Financial Group Inc. for $330 million. The bank had been the thirdlargest in town. After…

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