Indianapolis Business Journal - December 11-17, 2017


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In This Issue

Front Page

Couple who pitched Westfield baseball center bristle over potential deal with mayor’s nephew

Sue and Chris Estep, owners of RoundTripper Baseball Academy in Westfield, say they met with Mayor Andy Cook to discuss the possibility of relocating to Grand Park.

Economy is good, but many restaurants closed in 2017

When downtown’s upscale Cerulean stops serving on Dec. 31, it will mark the end of a brutal year for the local restaurant industry marked by an unusually high number of closings.

All eyes on Anthem after CVS megadeal

Pressure is building on the insurer to drop its conservative, bread-and-butter approach after one of its biggest rivals, Aetna Inc., agreed to be bought by drugstore chain CVS Health for $69 billion.

Top Stories

Is marijuana debate at a tipping point?

A fight over whether Indiana should legalize medical marijuana seems all but inevitable now.

Auto industry bracing for slight sales declines this year and next

Following seven years of growth in new-vehicle sales, U.S. consumers appear to be tapping the brakes—but the auto industry says the slowdown is not causing them concern.

Known for malls, Simon turns to apartments, hotels

The company said it hasn’t lost faith in brick-and-mortar retail but now is broadening its development focus in a quest to continue increasing the value of its real estate holdings.

IBJ moving to Friday delivery, expanding 'Book of Lists'

IBJ is changing the issue date of the newspaper from Monday to Friday, effective with the last issue of 2017.

Brown's biotech startup to hire 225, invest $16M in HQ

A company founded a year ago by prominent local tech entrepreneur Don Brown expects to pay average salaries of $156,000 a year in new space at the IU Emerging Technology Center.

Symphony reports record ticket sales, balanced budget

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra experienced its fifth straight year of record ticket sales during the 2016-17 season while meeting budget projections for the fourth time in five years.

Miller finally comments on his City-County Council status

Indianapolis City-County Council member Jeff Miller has finally explained his reasons for remaining on the council—more than two weeks after he was charged with three felony counts of child molesting.

How to fill 300,000 square feet of fresh retail space

Big downtown real estate projects are expected to add that much room to the retail inventory, and advocacy group Downtown Indy is jumping in to help drum up interest.

Indianapolis author Green sells film rights to latest novel

John Green is once again teaming with movie studio Fox 2000 Pictures to produce what could be the third straight novel from the Indianapolis author to reach the big screen.


Holcomb, lawmakers try to crack the code on a convoluted workforce system

Gov. Eric Holcomb says his workforce plan won't just replace existing bureaucracy with new bureaucracy. He said he wants to “make sure we’re getting folks at the local level not just around the table, but that they have both the flexibility and the funding” to make necessary changes.

Expected hot topics in the 2018 General Assembly

Lawmakers returning to the Statehouse in January for their 2018 session will face questions about alcohol, autonomous vehicles, hate crimes and more.

A&E, etc.

DINING: Two new breakfast spots increase morning options

We try Carmel's Rad's and Irvington's Batters for the alleged most important meal of the day.

LOU'S VIEWS: ’Tis the season to be silly in Santa’s North Pole shop

Defiance Comedy's "The North Wing" gives us a look into the working lives of elves.

LOPRESTI: Pagano uniquely positioned to handle losses, job insecurity

Battle-tested coach has endured lousy year with grace, perspective


EDITORIAL: Instill common sense into alcohol laws

Lawmakers have an obligation to listen to their constituents and develop a system for selling alcohol that serves and protects Hoosiers’ interests first and foremost.

FELTMAN: Why an avid IBJ reader became an owner

To ensure IBJ’s future, you will see us take chances and go in new directions in the coming months and years.

ZWIRN: Tax bills betray GOP principles

The Republican tax bills stand among the most backward-thinking pieces of tax legislation since the 1920s.

GIGERICH: Make changes to venture capital tax credit

By making the tax credit refundable or transferable, investments in Indiana companies would become more attractive to investors at a time our 20 percent tax credit value is lower than that of many “best in class” entrepreneurial states.

SKARBECK: Some new ETF products are downright wacky

ETFs can be designed to track any index or concept you can dream up. Today, a degree of silliness is showing up in many of the new ETF product offerings.

BOHANON & CUROTT: Make licensing requirements more flexible

The movement to modify licensing requirements for public schoolteachers is coming to Indiana. It’s about time.

LETTER: Downtown Indy tax needs more scrutiny

Commercial property owners, responsible for covering more than 95 percent of the proposed EID’s cost, must ask precisely what its tangible benefits will be.

In Brief

FedEx plans $385M upgrade for Indy hub, seeks $29.2M tax break

The investment in new equipment would ramp up the speed of sorting and handling at the 2.4 million-square-foot hub, as well as create about 125 full-time jobs and 450 part-time positions.

Indianapolis-based CraftMark Bakery plans $56 million expansion

The industrial bakery is seeking local tax breaks in connection with the project, which is expected to create 118 jobs over the next three years.

Chicago-based chain acquires most of Butler Auto Group's dealerships

Butler is keeping its Butler Toyota dealership, but has sold off its Kia, Hyundai, Fiat, Maserati and Alfa Romeo dealerships to a major regional chain that has rebranded the locations.

Serial entrepreneurs opening low-key, eclectic nightspot on Mass Ave

The longtime collaborators responsible for Wild Beaver Saloon are melding live performance with a love of facial hair in the three-story Burnside Inn.

Lee & Associates lands real estate veteran

Rebecca Wells arrives from JLL to boost the firm's capital markets team in the Midwest.


IMUS: Alcohol reform for all, not just the powerful

These Hoosiers are our partners; we call them customers.

SINDER: Pass expanded sales, expanded safety rules

To make Sunday sales happen, we need more collaboration and less division.

SCHNEIDER: Political parties must hold wrongdoers accountable

There’s been a stark double standard when it comes to consequences for this long-delayed reckoning.

WOLLEY: Men must set right tone for women in workplace

Zero-tolerance sexual-harassment policies are only as good as the reporting and complaint-review process.

WAGNER: It’s time to turn our anger into everyday action

Go do something that actually matters. Volunteer at a food bank or clean up a neighborhood or read to kids at a local school. Make a difference, and make that difference away from the partisan sideshow.

SIDDIQUI: Tax cut plan doesn’t set good example for other nations

The tax reform debate has little connection to research, data or thought-out policy implications.

PARR: The ultimate tension—who holds the power?

The freedom-through-government-regulation argument has never made much sense.

LEPPERT: A toast to the (possible) end of regulatory stupidity

These laws, like all the rest of them, are a product of us. When they seem stupid, we seem stupid.

SMITH: An inspirational story of faith and survival

Cody Byrns is ready to share with others the lessons mastered.

SHEPARD: Indiana leaders are rising to fight opioid crisis

Last year, more of our fellow citizens died from drug abuse than died in Vietnam.

ROBERTSON: Medical marijuana and the opioid crisis

Studies show … that the majority of those who use marijuana do not move on to harder drugs

SHELLA: Indiana’s Statehouse as a soap opera set

All these incidents at the Statehouse involve consensual behavior, as far as I know.

SHABAZZ: Hoosiers for Life needs to get one

All their antics do is make people like me who tend to be more agnostic on the abortion issue want to write checks to Planned Parenthood.

DANIELS: Lugar deserves all the accolades he’s receiving

We are all better off because Dick Lugar has spent his entire adult life serving his fellow citizens.

IRELAND: Conservative groups shouldn’t groom just future politicos

The need for conservatives to infiltrate media, to produce art and films, and to develop and create new technologies has never been more apparent.

RITZ: A call to action of the Indiana Rural Caucus

At nearly 250,000, Indiana has a larger absolutely rural student population than all but eight other states.


Records for Dec. 11-17, 2017

Here are the records listings for Dec. 11-17, 2017.

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