Articles

New La Plaza says adios to independent NFP operations: Three groups uniting to serve Hispanic community

It took several years and a couple of gentle nudges in the direction of progress, but a streamlined support system for local Latinos is finally taking shape. Three Indianapolis not-for-profit agencies are giving up their own identities-and autonomy-to populate La Plaza Inc., an organization that aims to position itself as the place for the burgeoning Hispanic community to look for help. “When you have three or four groups working with minimal budgets and overlapping services, it can get confusing,” said…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Telecom regulation takes center stage at Statehouse

While this session will, necessarily and constitutionally, be all about the budget, you can expect a few interesting stops during the long journey to that point. Even as the House Ways and Means Committee was hearing last week from assorted state agencies about their respective budget needs, other lawmakers were hearing from Hoosiers more interested in altering state policy than what the state’s fiscal bottom line might be. And just like the governor will be distracted this week-as he should…

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Telecom bill would cut power of state regulators:

Legislation backed by SBC Indiana would dial down the state’s authority to regulate telecommunications in the face of new competition from wireless and cable TV providers. House Bill 1518 likely faces static from regulators and consumer interests in its call to block the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission from setting pricing and terms on basic phone service after 2007, and to strip the agency’s leverage over broadband services. As a practical matter, the IURC already lacks authority on broadband, given previous…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Convention centers as economic development

It was more than 50 years ago that suburban growth began to explode and central cities haven’t been the same since. Businesses have gradually followed new housing and population growth out to the fringes of one urban area after another over the decades, to the detriment of many a downtown. The trend continues unabated and the central business districts in some large and medium-size cities have yet to recover. Their vibrant, dominant role in economic activity is just a memory,…

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Advocacy office leader will keep job with state: Daniels administration retains Kernan appointee, who took new position in July

Amid all the resignations and terminations in state government recently, at least one holdover appointed by the previous administration is remaining on the job. And small-business advocates could not be more pleased. David Dorff, whom former Gov. Joe Kernan tabbed in July to lead the state’s new Office of Small Business Advocacy, received word from Gov. Mitch Daniels in early January that he would remain on staff. Kernan unveiled the agency last summer as part of a series of initiatives…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Boards and commissions moratorium prompts concern

Expect House Bill 1188, authored by Rep. Rich McClain, R-Logansport, and awaiting a hearing in the new Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform, to provoke a lot of questions and controversy. In fact, the measure already has caused some panic among assorted business, professional, trade and local government interests. McClain’s measure, which should receive a favorable reception in the new panel chaired by red-tape-busting Rep. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, would place a one-year moratorium on the operation of all-yes, all-statutorily created…

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Roche CEO search continues with no end in sight: Sudden departure of Madaus last October opened up broad search for successor

Roche Diagnostics Corp. is still searching for a CEO to lead its North American headquarters in Indianapolis, and the company has cast a wide net. Roche is searching “internally, locally, nationally and internationally” for the right executive to replace Martin D. Madaus, spokeswoman Doyia Turner said. Madaus, 45, left in October to become president and CEO of Millipore Corp. in Massachusetts, Turner said. The search is going well, she said, but the company has no time frame for completing it….

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Area deals reach new pinnacle: Anthem’s $22.7 billion purchase of Wellpoint heads busy year for acquisitions

In 2004, Indianapolis had plenty of both, crushing all previous local merger-andacquisition records. IBJ tracks business deals larger than $5 million involving area companies in which financial terms are available. Last year, there were 56 of them, worth a grand total of $31 billion. Anthem Inc.’s massive $22.7 billion acquisition of Wellpoint Health Networks Inc. led the pack. Before 2004, $17 billion was the most M&A activity Indianapolis had ever seen in a single year. All by itself, Anthem’s deal…

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Terminal move might spur land rush: Midfield project to free choice real estate

Overshadowed by the $974 million midfield terminal project is a potential economic development bonanza: the reuse of the existing terminal and surrounding land at Indianapolis International Airport. More than 120 acres along Interstate 465 that today hold parked cars might someday house hotels, shipping operations or even a light-rail station after the midfield terminal opens in about three years. Another 54 acres representing the terminal and its immediate surroundings will be available for aviation uses from air freight to corporate…

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Incubator shakeup puts prez under fire: Rose-Hulman Ventures in turmoil after resignations

But outside his camp, others at Rose-Hulman are calling for Midgley’s scalp. They fear the man who replaced Samuel Hulbert in July is another George Armstrong Custer. A pair of sudden resignations at nationally renowned business incubator Rose-Hulman Ventures provoked the skirmish that now threatens to become an all-out assault on Midgley’s leadership. “We cannot trust him,” said a Rose-Hulman dean who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is by far not the only time I have felt this way,…

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Purdue, IU out to bolster their life sciences futures: Both universities invest millions in biomedical pursuits Grants help growth ‘A new kind of engineer’

Whenever Indiana and Purdue universities get together on the hardwood or the debate arena, the rivalry is intense. But as various public and private players around the state put on a full-court press for Indiana’s life sciences future, the schools have teamed up like a dynamic backcourt duo. The Scientist, a biweekly publication delivered to 75,000 people worldwide, in November ranked Purdue No. 2 and Indiana No. 10 on a list of “Best Places to Work in Academia,” based on…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Avoid Florida-like snags on stadium

NAPLES, Fla.-As I entered the state of Florida yesterday, I remembered that just about a year ago I was at a meeting in South Miami where Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was holding court on economic development efforts. His pride and joy was a deal to bring the Scripps Research Institute to Palm Beach County on the state’s east coast. I wrote a column about it in our Feb. 9, 2004, issue. Bush and his team had lured the highly regarded…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Stadium parley scrambles 2005 legislative agenda

At least until mid-December, we thought we had a tentative handle on the General Assembly’s focus for the 2005 session. We knew the new governor and the new Republican House majority would team up on economic development initiatives, improving governmental efficiency and restructuring state agencies. The biggest task would be crafting a realistic state budget in the face of adversity and uncertainty. The regular “stuff of government” would also be squeezed in and some thorny telecommunications issues would be raised,…

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Dems hope for some strategic input: Indiana Economic Development Council completes state plan, but it could get lost in switch

For months, Jackie Nytes has been developing a strategy for statewide economic development. It comes off the presses this week. But the inauguration of Mitch Daniels leaves her wondering whether anyone will ever read it-let alone act on its recommendations. Nytes, a Democratic member of the City-County Council, serves as president of the Indiana Economic Development Council Inc. Daniels, the Republican governor-elect, is folding all state economic development efforts into the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The corporation, a public-private partnership,…

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Wal-Mart nears deal on city’s northwest side: Neighbors hope retail behemoth will revive corridor

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is said to be getting closer to selecting a site in the Lafayette Square area for a SuperCenter, a move retail experts say would be a boost for the struggling commercial corridor. The world’s largest retailer has scouted the area around 38th Street and Lafayette Road for at least a year, but a decision on a site could happen in the next few months, according to several real estate sources. Unlike the situation surrounding a proposed SuperCenter…

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MICKEY MAURER Commentary: Looking back at 2004 and beyond

MICKEY MAURER Commentary Looking back at 2004 and beyond Every January, I like to reflect on some of the prior year’s topics. This year, I am especially nostalgic. You may be reading my last column. I have accepted a two-year hitch with the Daniels administration as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and our editors at the Indianapolis Business Journal feel writing a column poses a conflict of interest with my new responsibilities. I agree. Last summer, I reviewed…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: It’ll be full speed ahead as legislators start term

Words once uttered by a man who certainly qualifies as an honorary Hoosier-Mario Andretti-will probably prove prophetic as we watch Indiana’s new governor and General Assembly over the next four months. “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough,” Mario once said. That may well be the mantra of Gov.-elect Mitch Daniels and the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. While writing the initial column previewing the legislative session is always a daunting task, it…

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Federal grants are flying to Indiana airports: Record money a boon for capital improvements

Indiana airports landed record federal grants of $61.9 million in fiscal 2004 for everything from building taxiways to extending runways to transmitting weather data to pilots. The $17 million, or 38 percent, increase from 2003 could bode well for economic development in cities with growing airports, such as Columbus. “About 65 percent of our traffic here is business during the week. The more accessible we become, it’s bound to have an impact,” said Rod Blasdel, manager of Columbus Municipal Airport….

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Growing convention business creates tough decisions: Mayor outlines possible solution for expanding center and adding stadium, but funding battle looms ahead

Consider Indianapolis a victim of its own success. The city’s efforts to make a name for itself as a convention destination have worked-almost too well. The Indiana Convention Center is at capacity with 40 major events a year, and two of its biggest customers are moving to roomier digs. What began as a “what if” discussion about adding space to accommodate more business has turned into a “must do” conversation about keeping what’s already here. “That’s what really drove it…

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