Indianapolis Business Journal - December 25-31, 2017


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Top Stories

2017's top stories include Salesforce Tower, retail meltdown, failed Anthem deal

Central Indiana lost some of its most prominent locally based companies in 2017, including Marsh and HHGregg, while Salesforce put its name on the state’s tallest building and tech giant Infosys announced it would bring 2,000 jobs to Indianapolis. Those stories made IBJ’s year-in-review issue, which is combined with our annual Book of Lists.

2017 TOP STORIES: Retailers report record number of closings in ’17

Two locally based companies, HHGregg Inc. and Marsh Supermarkets Inc., contributed to the count in a big way, shuttering more than 280 locations between them.

2017 TOP STORIES: Anthem gives up deal after judge says no

Anthem’s goal in pursuing Cigna had been to build scale and get more leverage with hospitals and other providers in an industry undergoing huge change under the Affordable Care Act.

2017 TOP STORIES: India-based Infosys plans 2,000 jobs in Indy

Tech-consulting firm Infosys Ltd. said in May that it would open an $8.7 million tech and innovation hub in the Indianapolis area.

2017 TOP STORIES: Hogsett chooses criminal justice site

The former Citizens Energy coke plant on the southeast side will house a 2,600- to 3,000-bed jail; an assessment and intervention center focusing on mental health and substance abuse treatment needs; and acute health care and mental health units.

2017 TOP STORIES: Marsh closes stores after 86-year run

Ultimately, two Ohio-based grocery chains, Kroger Co. and Fresh Encounter, agreed to buy 26 of Marsh’s 44 remaining stores for a total of $24 million.

2017 TOP STORIES: HHGregg ends 63-year run

Founders H.H. and Fansy Gregg opened the first store at 4930 N. Keystone Ave. in 1955, and family members helped build the chain to more than 200 locations in the decades that followed.

2017 TOP STORIES: Tower officially renamed Salesforce

Salesforce put its name and logo on the former Chase Tower in April, after announcing a year before that it would add 800 workers in the city by 2021.

2017 TOP STORIES: State earmarks $250M for startups

Creating and funding the Next Level Fund was part of Holcomb’s larger legislative agenda.

2017 TOP STORIES: City pulls plug on 21c hotel

Two years after the project was announced, the city still had no commitment from 21c that it would move forward anytime soon.

2017 TOP STORIES: No happy new year for Colts GM

After several seasons of tumult, Grigson was fired by Colts owner Jim Irsay and later replaced by Chris Ballard.

2017 TOP STORIES: Troubled Celadon hires new CEO

In May, Celadon disclosed that its auditor, BKD LLP, had raised questions about a complicated joint-venture arrangement involving the sale of leased equipment.

2017 TOP STORIES: Angie’s List becomes part of ANGI

2017 TOP STORIES: Jonathan Byrd’s exits Grand Park

The city of Westfield evicted the company from the Grand Park Events Center in January after the caterer missed several rent payments—ending its 10-year agreement after less than seven months.

2017 TOP STORIES: Indy area bids for Amazon HQ2

The giant online retailer kicked off the bidding war in September, when it announced it was searching for a home outside its Seattle base.

2017 TOP STORIES: IndyGo issues bids, picks Red Line firms

IndyGo selected Indianapolis-based F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. Inc. and Goshen-based Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc., which has an office in Indianapolis, as the apparent low bidders.

2017 TOP STORIES: Carmel’s debt grows as bond rating falls

In September, the Carmel City Council approved two bond packages, which totaled $96 million, to fund street, path and infrastructure improvements, land acquisition and a high-end hotel at City Center.

2017 TOP STORIES: IU gives Crean the boot

IU did not qualify for the 2017 NCAA tournament and was bounced from the first round of the NIT.

2017 TOP STORIES: Airport announces nonstop flight to Paris

The year-round Delta Air Lines flights, to be offered at least three times a week, will begin May 24.

2017 TOP STORIES: Republic emerges from bankruptcy

Republic trimmed its fleet to 170 aircraft, with another 18 planes set for delivery by year’s end. It trimmed its daily schedule to 900 flights.

2017 TOP STORIES: Ikea opens in Fishers

It is the company’s first store in Indiana and 45th in the United States.

2017 TOP STORIES: UnitedHealth buys American Health Network

The sale of the 300-doctor practice to suburban Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth Group marked the end of a 19-year run as a proud, independent player.

2017 TOP STORIES: Purdue buys Kaplan to expand online offerings

Purdue officials—who are calling the school NewU for the moment—said they hope the initiative will address the need for post-secondary education for working adults and others unsuited to traditional campus-based education.

2017 TOP STORIES: Law makes residential solar less attractive

Environmentalists criticized the legislation, known as Senate Bill 309, saying it would remove incentives for those who might want to invest in solar energy.

2017 TOP STORIES: Legislature passes gas tax hike

Indiana drivers are also now paying a higher fee at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on their vehicle registrations.

2017 TOP STORIES: Cummins plans all-electric powertrains for 2019

It’s a bold step for the Columbus, Indiana-based engine-maker, which has been known for its diesel engines since its founding in 1919.

2017 TOP STORIES: Fuel owners plan Greenwood ice-plex

Jim and Sean Hallett have an option to buy a parcel near the interchange in Johnson County and hope to break ground on an ice-plex next spring with an opening set for August 2019.

2017 TOP STORIES: One coding school closes, another planned

The Iron Yard closed all its coding schools across the country, including one in Indianapolis, but Kenzie Academy opened this fall downtown.

2017 TOP STORIES: Nickel Plate to become partial walking, biking trail

The railroad hasn’t had an operator since the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, the quasi-government agency that oversees the railroad for the owners, terminated its agreement with the Indiana Transportation Museum in March 2016.

2017 TOP STORIES: Sisters of Savings sell Hare Chevrolet

Asbury Automotive Group Inc. agreed to buy Hare Chevrolet in Noblesville as well as its sister companies—an Isuzu dealership, collision center and a truck center.

2017 TOP STORIES: Allegiant plans $40M base

2017 TOP STORIES: College football championship headed to Indy

The 2022 title game and related activities are expected to draw 100,000 visitors and have a $150 million economic impact on the region, Visit Indy officials said.

2017 TOP STORIES: Lilly ponders Elanco future

Eli Lilly and Co. announced this fall it was reviewing whether to sell or spin off the division, which employs 6,500 people, including 800 at its Greenfield headquarters.

2017 TOP STORIES: IBJ’s Forty Under 40 turns 25

IBJ celebrated the milestone with a weekly series highlighting each class, including updated information about previous honorees.


2017 NEWSMAKER: Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones, who had been president of United Steel Workers Local 1999 since 1996 and vice president for 11 years before that, retired last summer at age 65.

2017 NEWSMAKER: David Ricks

It’s been a whirlwind of activity at the Eli Lilly and Co. under David Ricks, who has acknowledged he is impatient and has “a high motor.”

2017 NEWSMAKER: Andrew Luck

The 2012 No. 1 overall draft pick had surgery on his right shoulder in January and was expected to be ready for the start of the season in September, but he never played a down.

2017 NEWSMAKER: Lewis Ferebee

A&E, etc.

2017 TOP STORIES: Dining year in review

Cerulean, LongBranch and Barcelona Tapas are among the eateries that closed, but Indy welcomed Burger Study, Crispy Bird, Open Society Public House and more.

2017 TOP STORIES: Transformations mark year in arts

I’m looking back with great pleasure at “The Great Bike Race,” “Human Rites” and “Barbecue," among others.

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