Indianapolis Business Journal – March 1-7, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

Indy Eleven’s race to join Major League Soccer must clear many hurdles

Legislation passed by the Indiana Senate makes money for a soccer stadium available only if the city gains a Major League Soccer franchise—but that same legislation could make it more likely the MLS gives it a team.

$50M HHGregg suit attacks insiders for accepting customer deposits to very end

The suit charges that accepting the deposits at a time HHGregg’s tailspin cast doubt on its ability to provide the merchandise saddled the company “with tens of millions of dollars in unwarranted and unnecessary liabilities and recklessly caused the permanent destruction of the company’s value as a going concern.”

Fans of late champion cyclist Major Taylor say it’s time for city to embrace icon

The African-American cyclist—who took the world by storm at the turn of the 20th century is finally receiving the national admiration he never garnered while alive.

Top Stories

Study finds rail-with-trail idea much costlier than trail-only plan, Fishers says

The city of Fishers has released a study that says constructing a trail on the Nickel Plate Railroad corridor would cost at least $20 million more if the development maintained a rail line alongside the trail.

Indy earplug maker is focus of veterans’ product-liability lawsuits

More than 200 current and former members of the military from multiple states have filed federal and state suits against the parent of Indianapolis-based Aearo Technologies LLC in recent weeks.

California tech firm Jobvite invests in Fishers

In four years, the Indianapolis office of the job-candidate-recruiting software company has grown from one employee to 30.

Here’s where six General Assembly issues stand at halfway mark

The first half of the legislative session was generally quiet (save an emotional debate about a hate-crimes bill) but that might just be the calm before the storm.

New sign ordinance sails to City-County Council approval

The ordinance as originally proposed included a controversial provision that would have reversed the city’s ban on digital billboards, but the provision was removed earlier this month.

Q&A with Jeannie Marrugo, co-founder of Cafe Baby

The company cooks, purees and freezes fresh baby food at the Circle City Industrial Complex and sells it online and at the Carmel Farmers Market.


Upgrades by city, Indiana Repertory Theatre boost future of iconic building

The Indiana Theatre building, which opened in 1927 as a movie palace topped with a ballroom, had been in need of TLC for years.

Developer plans $30M apartment project at former college site downtown

Milhaus’ 175-unit project, dubbed The Grid, will also include a 180-space parking garage and an enclosed outdoor courtyard with kitchen and lounge areas.

Shiel Sexton taps new president

Kevin Hunt, 50, is assuming the presidency from Mike Dilts, 63, who remains CEO and chairman.

Flaherty & Collins plans $170M Michigan project

The project in suburban Detroit will include 500 apartments, a 200-room hotel, 20,000 square feet of retail and dining space, and a 30,000-square-foot grocery.

Planned 800-room convention center hotel would carry ritzy, new Hilton flag

Hilton selected Indianapolis as one of three markets for its new Signia line. The hotel is a key component of efforts to beef up downtown’s capacity to host large events and conventions.

Kite Realty to unload up to $500M in properties

The Indianapolis-based retail real estate firm hopes to pay down debt, improve the quality of its assets and focus on preferred markets. Its shares fell on Wednesday after it revealed the plan and underwhelming quarterly results.


Indiana on the right path in rethinking tourism approach

GREG MORRIS: Agbiosciences innovation helps drive state economy

AgriNovus working to help Indiana capitalize on natural strengths.

KENNEDY: Legislators ignore their constituents—again

Tim Cook & Katie Culp: Legislature should learn from New York’s HQ2 flameout

How the New York collapse transpired was unique to that location and those facts, but it provides a meaningful lesson for the Hoosier state.

Letter: Absentee-ballot voters shouldn’t need an excuse

State Rep. Carey Hamilton’s ideas to improve voter access in Indiana are common sense ideas, all well-proven in other states.

Letter: Indiana’s forests are in good hands

The Division of Forestry, staffed by real foresters, has no intention of liquidating our state forests. That would make no sense. The forest products industry gains nothing by lowering hardwood values and cutting away their futures.

Indiana’s kids can’t wait

Not-for-profits should prepare for volunteers

In Brief

Airport sees second straight year of record passenger traffic

Growth in international airline traffic, fuller planes and the addition of 500 flights by Allegiant Air helped led to record passenger traffic at Indianapolis International Airport in 2018.

Allison Transmission’s sales, profit surge to annual record

Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. saw sales rise 10 percent in the fourth quarter, capping a record year for the Indianapolis-based manufacturer.

Rolls-Royce pursues big contract that could boost local jobs by 150

Rolls-Royce announced Monday that it intends to bid on the Air Force’s B-52 bomber re-engining program, which would extend the fleet’s life until 2050.

Council OKs $300K appropriation to assist homeless, panhandling population

The funds will allow the city to start a pilot job program for would-be panhandlers, offering work on projects like graffiti abatement, downtown cleanup or beautification.

Special Sections

2019 Health Care Heroes: Internships for the disabled put desirable jobs within reach

A partnership forged six years ago to match disabled college students with paid internships has blossomed into the Eskenazi Health Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Team helps frail elderly avoid hospitalization

OPTIMISTIC, a project of Dr. Kathleen Unroe and researchers at the Regenstrief Institute, gives frail nursing home patients the medical care they need without moving them to a hospital.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Clinic cares for Hamilton County’s poor

In a county known for its affluence, the clinic has become a lifeline for the working poor and the small businesses that employ them.

2019 Health Care Heroes: IU Health, Riley give sickest cancer patients access to game-changing therapy

CAR-T therapy, a life-saving treatment for certain types of cancer, became available at IU Health in July 2018, four months after FDA approval.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Dementia-care model keeps drugs on shelf

American Senior Communities is at the forefront of the movement to replace drugs with a holistic approach that relies primarily on tools such as music, aromas and robotic pets to put residents at ease.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Kids get chance for more-mobile future

Dr. Denise Carpenter and nurse Jennifer Buckingham are advocates for Pediatric WalkAide, a programmable battery-powered device worn in a cuff that sends electronic impulses over nerves and muscles to stimulate movement and help some children with disabilities walk.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Decorated pediatric surgeon works with kids he saved decades ago

Dr. John Brown has spent four decades repairing children’s hearts and, in some cases, inspiring them to follow in his footsteps.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Respect for seniors set doctor’s path

Dr. Chris Callahan’s care for elderly patients informs his research into Alzheimer’s disease and late-life depression.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Oncologist champions access to care

Dr. Sumeet Bhatia helped launch a dedicated oncology informatics team at Community Health, which he says is crucial to the efficient delivery of care.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Longtime hospice advocate helps homeless die with dignity

For turning around the fortunes of the Abbie Hunt Bryce home’s fortunes through sheer will and compassion, Penny Davis is the top honoree in the Health Care Heroes non-physician category.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Former journalist puts passion to work for patients

Shelley Johns didn’t find her calling the first time around. She began working in broadcast journalism, but decided to switch to a career in health care.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Nurse leaves bedside to shape lives

Eight years ago, Delores Brown made a career leap that isn’t as jarring as it sounds. She left her longtime job as an Indianapolis Public Schools police officer to become a nurse.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Top volunteer works tirelessly to help neighbors live longer lives

Linda Ellis is a leading ambassador for the American Heart Association’s work to address health disparities, heart disease and stroke in the African-American community.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Riley wagon wrangler brings personality to job

If there’s a model volunteer at Indiana University Health’s Riley Hospital for Children, it might be Kurt Bassett. Though Bassett lives with autism, it doesn’t define him.

2019 Health Care Heroes: Centenarian finds role that’s ‘just right’

Eulala Roettger became a volunteer after she retired from classroom teaching in 1984, but it took her a while to find the perfect place to donate her time.


MIKE LOPRESTI: This year’s basketball onslaught is prelude to 2020

Next year’s hoops smorgasbord will be unlike anything the city has ever seen.