Articles

Health care developers eye their next frontier: Northeast Hamilton County offers a lucrative market

Chris Hamm’s phone started buzzing with calls from health care developers once plans for an extension of 146th Street east to Interstate 69 crystallized a couple years ago. The Noblesville economic development director said several organizations have shown “significant interest” in planting health care businesses along 146th Street, which will see a big boost in traffic once workers complete the interstate connection in the fall of 2007. At least three health-care-related deals are in the works, he added, declining to…

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Steel Dynamics seeks part of former Olin site: Metal recycling operation would serve expanding Hendricks County mill

The site of the former Olin Brass factory on the near-west side might soon roar to life again if a plan to erect a metal recycling operation there comes through. A joint venture between Fort Waynebased Steel Dynamics Inc., Chicagobased Metal Management Inc. and local hauler Ray’s Trash is seeking city approval to install a metal shredder and recycling operation on about 40 acres at Holt Road and Airport Expressway. The venture, called Metal Dynamics LLC, would accept scrap metal…

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Schneider Corp. has designs on big growth in Lawrence: Long-time engineering firm gets boost from state as it plans to make $4.4 million investment, add 140 workers

The voluminous building the Schneider Corp. occupies on the former Fort Benjamin Harrison property was built as a barracks for enlisted men and later converted to a dormitory. So it’s fitting that the locally based engineering firm has a vision to create a university-type setting on its nearly fouracre campus where employees can receive training without stepping foot off the property. “We’ve worked on a strategic plan for the last couple of years, and Schneider University is part of that…

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Turned away, twice: Hot biotech inventor scores coastal cash after local VCs say no

When a proven Indiana life scientist invents a promising medical technology, you’d expect local venture capitalists would snap to attention. So when Lafayette-based Ash Access Technology Inc. announced March 14 it had landed $6 million in venture capital, it was surprising to note the names of the investors in the deal. None were based inside state lines. But Dr. Stephen Ash wasn’t shocked. After all, he’s been through this before. “I don’t know what happened,” Ash said. “I was disappointed….

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Mega-hotel on city agenda: Pan Am Plaza possible site for 800-room development

The city is looking for developers interested in adding 800 hotel rooms downtown, a project that could be accomplished by building a massive, new hotel or augmenting several existing facilities. Insiders say a new hotel is most likely. They picture it on Pan Am Plaza. If that happens, the hotel would become the city’s largest-eclipsing the Indianapolis Marriott by almost 200 rooms. Ideally, the rooms would be available by 2010, when the wraps come off the expanded Indiana Convention Center….

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Short session long on action: Led by Major Moves, telecom successes, biz interests fared well in 2006 General Assembly

In less than three months, the Indiana General Assembly approved a pair of blockbuster economic-development measures designed to dramatically upgrade the state’s infrastructure. With the passage of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Major Moves initiative, Indiana will lease the Indiana Toll Road to an Australian-Spanish consortium for 75 years. It will use the upfront, $3.9 billion payment to build roads. Meanwhile, the approval of telecom deregulation sets the stage for more local phone, cable and Internet competition. Daniels, a Republican, argued that…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Low poll numbers don’t seem to slow Daniels’ agenda

For a guy whose approval level is about as low as-well-the president’s, and who was pushing a program about as popular as turning over supervision of vital national assets to a foreign entity (see the parallels yet?), Gov. Mitch Daniels sure enjoyed some major success this legislative session. He just signed a wide-ranging telecommunications deregulation measure he had strongly advocated, placing Indiana at the cusp of reform in the field, after several years of the Legislature’s refusing to move off…

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TAWN PARENT Commentary: Bill offers new hope for Main Street

Recycling isn’t just good for the environment. It’s good for buildings, and ultimately for economic development. When the Disciples of Christ moved its international headquarters downtown from Irvington in 1995, it left behind a 121,000-square-foot structure built in 1910 that could easily have become a vacant eyesore in the east-side neighborhood. Instead, local developer Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. helped give it new life as Mission Apartments for seniors. That $6.5 million project might not have happened without the help…

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Indiana’s universities give industry a boost: State touts wealth of higher-ed insurance programs

Politicians seem so much more 21st century when they talk about attracting life sciences and information technology jobs to Indiana. But they’re not about to ignore the state’s second-largest employer-the often-overlooked insurance industry. Indiana insurers employ more than 60,000 Hoosiers, second only to farming, and pay an average annual salary of $47,500, nearly $10,000 more than the state average, according to a 2004 study by Purdue University. Moreover, the industry boasts some of the state’s largest public and private companies-WellPoint…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Partisanship: The nemesis of progress

Like Mayor Bart Peterson’s Indianapolis Works legislation last year, Gov. Mitch Daniels’ Major Moves bill has become the political football of this legislative season. The rhetoric and posturing associated with the highway funding bill has been as partisan and irrational as it comes. It’s as if the Democrats who oppose Major Moves are trying to compensate for their party’s inability to produce a solution to our state’s highways needs during the previous 16 years of Democratic leadership under governors Bayh,…

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Insurers: Session a ‘dog’: Industry’s favored bills bark up the wrong tree

The state’s insurance industry could use coverage for the lumps it has taken this legislative session. The three main issues of interest for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, the sector’s lobbying arm, all flamed out early. The disappointing performance prompted Marty Wood, the organization’s director of public affairs, to proclaim it a near failure. “I would give this session for insurers a ‘D’ as in dog. Dog is probably pretty accurate, too,” Wood said. “Had we had this kind of…

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INVESTING: Slide in Google shares a sign of weakening stock market

“Google will close down for the year, but it may begin its fall from higher levels.” I wrote that on Jan. 10, with Google at $465 a share. “If you bought Google last year for $250 a share and still own it, this may be the time to cut and run.” I wrote that on Jan. 31, when Google was selling for $430 a share. On the morning of Feb. 28, the stock was up a little, to $397. Then…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Senate doesn’t hesitate to check House, governor

Why do we have a bicameral legislature, with four-year terms for senators and two-year terms for House members? Because, as George Washington reputedly told Thomas Jefferson, the framers created the Senate to “cool” House legislation, just as a saucer was used to cool hot tea. We’ve just seen evidence of this, and also of another important phenomenon, one that reminds us of just how separate our branches of government truly are. We recently mentioned how the “adults” in the Senate…

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Ethanol’s secret: Highly touted alternative fuel needs tax subsidies to survive

State and local leaders have been crowing about how ethanol plants will bring more jobs to Indiana and put more dollars in the pockets of corn farmers. If that prospect isn’t enough to make votecoveting politicians and corn farmers giddy, General Motors Corp. started singing ethanol’s praises this month in TV ads. Joyous motorists frolic under blue skies-all thanks to ethanol’s promise of cleaner air and energy independence from oil. But there’s another economic reality for motorists who use E85,…

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Emerging India: Opportunity or threat?: Indiana businesses brace for growing global competition

Opportunity or threat? Indiana businesses brace for growing global competition Next month, President Bush will make his first official visit to India. To most of the American media, it’ll be just one more round of global terrorism discussions with a distant foreign nation, perhaps worthy of a brief. The Indian press knows better. Six weeks ahead of Bush’s trip, banner headlines about it ran in every newspaper. Al Hubbard knows better, too. Friends with Bush since their days at Harvard…

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Tiny firm initiates ‘triple play’: Hancock Telecom first to bat with voice-data-video combo

Not so long ago, the heart of Hancock Telecom in the tiny town of Maxwell was a concrete bunker ticking with the solenoids of telephone switching equipment. But about a year ago, the devices were moved to a corner to make room for rack after rack of satellite receivers-fed by a 32-foot dish big enough to cap a corn silo. The product: 176 channels of network and local TV programming that leave headquarters in the form of pulsing light via…

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Irvington confronts development dilemma: District’s new historic guidelines receive first test

A proposed development that would bring a Starbucks and a Union Federal Bank branch to the east side of Irvington presents a conundrum for folks there thirsting to revitalize the historic but neglected neighborhood. Local developer Tharp Investments Inc. wants to demolish a NAPA auto-parts store and a vacant building on adjoining properties it owns on East Washington Street to make way for the coffee shop and bank. Residents welcome the investment as a first step in a broader plan…

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Forum to focus on global business:

A forum hosted by the International Center of Indianapolis will tackle global business challenges March 1 at the Dow AgroSciences headquarters on the northwest side. The seminar, focusing on the rapid growth of China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, will explore how Indiana companies can attract a diverse work force and compete globally. Several local and international diversity experts are scheduled to speak. Jerome Peribere, president and CEO of locally based Dow AgroSciences, will launch the day’s discussion with…

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STATEHOUSE DISPATCH: Slow-moving lawmakers have an economic upside

Is the wall finally crumbling? After years-or decades-of assiduously avoiding certain issues because they were so fraught with controversy, lawmakers now seem to be tackling them … and, at least in some cases, are finding their actions are met with a collective public yawn. Last year, spurred by Gov. Mitch Daniels, legislators confronted the controversial matter of daylight saving time, long considered the last “third-rail” issue of Hoosier politics and policy. The issue had not even been debated in recent…

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New FBI facility: tough case to crack: Government struggling to find site to build field office for bureau

The highly-sought-after job of developing a new building for the FBI’s Indianapolis field office is still in play, but it’s hampered by the federal government’s inability to find a site for the building. A bevy of local and national developers are expected to throw their hats in the ring to develop the building, which the Government Services Agency says needs to be 110,000 square feet. For the winner, it would be a high-profile project and one of the more significant…

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