Indianapolis Business Journal – March 15-21, 2019


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In This Issue

Front Page

Father-son Sahm’s duo blazes trail to build 15-restaurant juggernaut

Sahm’s Restaurant Group focuses on filling underserved niches, making its customers happy with unpretentious food, and building deep connections with the neighborhoods in which it operates.

IPS at fork in road as district searches for next superintendent

Will the school district continue to embrace the changes championed by former leader Lewis Ferebee, or will a new leader slow down some school-reform efforts?

Payday lending industry gains upper hand in Statehouse fight

A Senate bill addressing subprime lending, which had a 69-page strip-and-insert amendment released the night before passing out of committee, is headed to the House.

Top Stories

Hospitals get socked for safety concerns

In Indiana, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is docking 22 hospitals for high rates of infection and patient injuries.

Coal mining in distress? Not to this Fishers startup

American Resources Corp., formed in 2015, specializes in buying distressed coal assets from struggling or bankrupt coal operators.

Pacers ticket sales, ratings rise as playoffs near

Boosted by the fifth-highest winning record in the 30-team NBA, the team has seen home attendance rise 4.6 percent and TV ratings climb 6 percent, compared with this time last year.

Q&A with Darcy Lee, president of Women & Hi Tech

Darcy Lee said girls know more about tech than they ever have. Still, the number of women in STEM-related careers hasn’t budged much.

Plan for private health clinic at Broad Ripple Park hits opposition

A group that opposes a public-private partnership to help raise funds for an event center in Broad Ripple Park plans a forum Monday night to discuss the matter, but did not invite city or park officials.

Lilly’s $7M tax-abatement request advanced by City-County Council panel

The proposed tax abatement is related to a $91 million investment the company is making in a building at the Lilly Technology Center on Kentucky Avenue.

Developer seeking $6M bond from city for projects in Mass Ave area

The combined development cost of the two projects—now lumped under the name Block 20—is projected at $40 million. They would include apartments next to the Athenaeum and high-end office space two blocks away.


New developer tackles downtown projects in smaller towns

Rebar Development launched just over a year ago, and already the small team has won three projects that are the result of public-private partnerships with metro-area communities.

Council panel votes for west-side TIF districts, including one for Infosys site

The council’s Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to approve the creation of the two new tax-increment financing districts.

IPS sells maintenance buildings for $2.75M

The buyer is TWG Development LLC, one of four bidders for the 4-1/2 parcel. It plans to construct 190 market-rate and affordable apartment units and office space.

Thompson Thrift plans townhomes, hotel for land adjacent to The Yard

Thompson Thrift Retail Group now has firmer plans for developing land adjacent to The Yard at Fishers District as the project moves forward in the zoning process. The plan moved forward in the approval process Wednesday night.


EDITORIAL: With move to Circle, IBJ recommits to boldly cover city’s challenges

We are excited to now be doing OUR work with the Soldiers and Sailors Monument right outside our window—the view a constant reminder of our obligation to aggressively and accurately cover our community and hold elected officials and business leaders accountable.

GREG MORRIS: 12- and 13-year-olds can belong in adult court

Certain crimes cry out for more severe punishments than juvenile cases allow.

PETE THE PLANNER: The more money you make, the more you can delude yourself

There are only two successful retirement strategies. Just two. And the sooner you choose which one you’d like to employ, the better chance you have of securing a desirable outcome.

Mike Wells: Orcutt’s vision led to airport we enjoy today

As the Indianapolis International Airport continues to receive accolades as one of the best airports in North America, it is important to remember the person who was the visionary force behind the planning of our airport. Dan Orcutt, executive director of the airport for 25 years, passed away in January.

Mary Titsworth Chandler & Elyssa Campodonico-Barr: Promoting gender equity is good for all of us

Advancing women and girls is a smart investment, leading to more talent, productivity and customers, and better financial results. Every extra year a girl stays in school, her income can increase 15 percent to 25 percent.

Liz Malatestinic: Your brain, wired for shortcuts, may lead to biased hiring

Implicit bias is a hot-button topic today. People often conflate it with outright bigotry, but the two are not the same. The truth is that our brains are wired to make generalizations.

URBAN DESIGN: Score high on ‘Stroller Index’ to keep millennials in city

Young parents give urban neighborhoods seal of approval for safety, walkability.

Ed Feigenbaum: So far, lawmakers are ignoring privacy, data issues

It seems as though the courts have been more involved in privacy and tech issues than lawmakers have been.

BOHANON & CUROTT: Little-known Jones Act is outdated and ripe for repeal

The act, passed in 1920, stipulates that cargo shipped between domestic ports must be transported by ships that are domestically built, flagged and crewed.

Letter: Judge each virtual school on its merits

Indiana virtual school follows the same regulations as any other public school in Indiana.

In Brief

Butler switches food-service vendors in move affecting 200 workers

California-based Bon Appetit Management will take over in May for Philadephia-based Aramark Corp., which had the contract for 20 years.

Indiana’s unemployment rate holds steady

Indiana’s labor-force participation rate—the percentage of the state’s population that is either employed or actively seeking work—stayed at 65.1 percent in January.

Maker of tobacco alternative moving headquarters from California to Westfield

Grinds LLC—which produces pouches of flavored coffee designed as a healthy alternative to chewing tobacco—plans to invest $6.7 million and create 56 jobs.

Indiana budget director resigning to join UIndy

State Budget Director Jason Dudich is expected to work for the state through the end of the legislative session in mid-May.

Special Sections

Top Indiana companies are increasingly weighing in on the key issues of the day

In recent years, some of Indiana’s biggest companies and trade organizations, including the Indiana Chamber and the Indy Chamber, have publicly voiced opinions on a variety of social issues, including pre-kindergarten funding, gay rights, mass transportation and higher cigarette taxes.

Q&A: What corporate responsibility is—and isn’t

IU Kelley School of Business professor Amrou Awaysheh says the term corporate social responsibility is often misunderstood. It’s not just philanthropy or volunteerism. It’s how companies treat their employees, how they interact with the environment, and the care they take with their supply chains.

Nate Feltman: New ‘Impact’ section focuses on role of business in community

A new section—titled “Impact Indiana, the intersection of business and community”—makes its debut in this week’s IBJ and will focus on the role businesses and their leaders play in public-policy advocacy, volunteerism and neighborhood development.

Connie Bond Stuart: Advocating for early education matters, both today and tomorrow

We tell our customers that the choices they make right now matter tomorrow. But these words would ring hollow if we didn’t live by them ourselves. I urge you to join us and advocate for those who do not have the opportunity or means to speak for themselves.


MIKE LOPRESTI: Belmont and its Indy star await tournament fate

Perry Meridian’s unheralded Dylan Windler powers Nashville school to brink of Big Dance.