Articles

Developer casts eye beyond downtown: New company led by Brian Knapp to look beyond condos in metro area

A former Simon Property Group Inc. executive known in recent years for downtown condominium developments is launching a new development company that puts him closer to his retail roots. Brian F. Knapp, president of Dinmont Development LLC, recently created Diverse Development Co. LLC to focus on real estate beyond downtown’s borders. He’ll continue to serve as Dinmont’s president at least until its current projects are completed. Those projects, both joint ventures with locally based Hearthview Residential Inc., are the 40-unit…

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Omni Severin seeks lot for expansion: Downtown parking garage, grand ballroom on drawing board

The Omni Severin Hotel has confirmed it’s negotiating to buy the surface parking lot immediately east of the hotel, which it wants to redevelop into a parking garage capped by a 12,000-square-foot ballroom. Tourism officials love the idea, but some parking lot managers say it’s unnecessary. “We’re buying it for a reason,” said Chris Ratay, the hotel’s area director of sales and marketing. “This would allow us to have our own parking facility.” Today, the hotel’s valets run across the…

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Ex-Winona owner under fire: Leland Medical Centers CEO faces fraud accusations, questions about his own bankruptcy

Accusations of fraud and other misconduct are piling up against the former owner of Winona Memorial Hospital. Two companies recently joined Winona’s creditors in questioning money transfers made by Texasbased Leland Medical Centers Inc., which owned the nowdefunct Indianapolis hospital from 2002 until a short time before it closed in 2004. Meanwhile, lawyers sorting through the liquidation of Winona still have no explanation for why Leland took $3.6 million from the struggling Indianapolis hospital before it slid into bankruptcy and…

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BEHIND THE NEWS: Consumer spending spree gives spark to Simon stock

It’s becoming almost ho-hum for Simon Property Group Inc. Another year, another round of eye-popping returns for the company’s shareholders. The Indianapolis-based mall owner, by far the nation’s biggest real estate investment trust, just closed the book on 2005, a year when funds from operations-a key measure of REIT performance-zipped up another 13 percent. Simon shares last year rose 18 percent. Including reinvested dividends, the stock in 2005 returned 23 percent. It was the fifth year in a row the…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN The case of the missing passport Commentary:

Friday, 7:30 a.m.: I arrive at Indianapolis International Airport for a 9:01 a.m. flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where I’ll be attending a conference, and realize I have left my passport at home. I ask myself, “How could I be so stupid?” Friday, 7:35 a.m.: I check in at the American Airlines ticket desk, then call my brother, who is already at work. I ask him for a “huge favor,” whereupon he leaves work, goes to my house to retrieve…

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Compensation takes stage in state leasing contracts: Meridian Asset, Resource to cap fees on state leases

New contracts between the state of Indiana and two local commercial real estate brokerages signal the beginning of an overhaul of how the state handles its real estate. Resource Commercial Real Estate and Meridian Asset Development will, at least for the next year, broker leases on behalf of the state. State agencies pay nearly $40 million each year to lease space in nearly every county. In many cases, agencies or the Indiana Department of Administration handle leasing duties, but IDOA…

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ABDUL-HAKIM SHABAZZ: Indy Works, part deux (the sequel)

As someone who enjoys a good film, I always worry when Hollywood tries to produce a sequel. The producers figure they raked in millions on an idea, so they run it again and again until it’s run into the ground. Mayor Bart Peterson is hoping to pass Indianapolis Works ’06 through the Indiana General Assembly this session. How successful will this sequel be? Let’s look at all the players and find out. Last session, GOP lawmakers gave the mayor police…

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Appliance biz heads north: Clark to open Castleton store, compete with H.H. Gregg Fine Lines for high-end customers

The high-end appliance retailer Clark Appliance Showcase will open a store practically in the back yard of its closest competitor in early March. Does the move signal a turf battle between two local retailers that cater to homeowners willing to pay luxury car prices for a kitchen? Not really. The local market for products such as $10,000 Viking ranges is growing so fast that executives at Clark and H.H. Gregg think there’s room for both on the northeast side. “It’s…

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Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbuster

For the second year in a row, a giant Wellpoint deal led the pack. As much money was involved in Wellpoint’s $6.7 billion acquisition of WellChoice Inc. as in the rest of the list combined. It was a huge deal by most any company’s standard-except Wellpoint’s. The year before, Wellpoint’s $22.7 billion merger with Anthem Inc. led all deals and then some. Thanks to that single mega-deal, 2004’s $31 billion list total shattered all previous local merger and acquisition records….

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BEHIND THE NEWS: Call puts Smulyan on spot; fellow execs know feeling

Emmis Communications Corp. didn’t have the best news to report when it rolled out fiscal third-quarter financial results Jan. 9. Expect radio revenue next quarter to increase just 1 percent to 2 percent, the company said, even as expenses climb more than 5 percent. Then, on the investor conference call that followed, Wachovia Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker didn’t think CEO Jeff Smulyan was his regular, upbeat self. “Jeff, your tone is less optimistic than it’s usually been,” she said on…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Americans’ spending binge is ultimately unsustainable

Americans don’t save much these days. Twenty years ago, our 9-percent rate of savings was troubling and somewhat embarrassing, compared with the double-digit savings rates of other industrialized economies. But that rate seems sky-high compared with today. If savings rates remain as low as they’ve been the last few months, we may have to rename them. Dis-saving rates? It’s an odd-sounding word, if it even is one. But what else do you call a negative savings rate? According to the…

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IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early ’06

Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state’s slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year’s end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S….

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SPORTS: Crazy-with-grief Colts fans, you’re now on the air

Welcome to WIBJ Radio. I’m Beebee, your host of “Sports Geeks.” Our first caller is Fred from Franklin. Fred? Beebs, man, here’s how we handle those low-life, stomp-onour-hearts, marshmallow-soft Indianapolis Colts. We take their new stadium away. I mean, they are not worthy. So until they reach the Super Bowl, I say keep ’em in the Dome. Fred, what do we do with that big hole? Fill it in with water so the bean company can have beachfront property. Let’s…

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BEHIND THE NEWS: Call puts Smulyan on spot; fellow execs know feeling

Emmis Communications Corp. didn’t have the best news to report when it rolled out fiscal third-quarter financial results Jan. 9. Expect radio revenue next quarter to increase just 1 percent to 2 percent, the company said, even as expenses climb more than 5 percent. Then, on the investor conference call that followed, Wachovia Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker didn’t think CEO Jeff Smulyan was his regular, upbeat self. “Jeff, your tone is less optimistic than it’s usually been,” she said on…

Read More

Busy year, but no record: A Wellpoint deal leads list for second year in row, but 2005 lacks blockbuster

For the second year in a row, a giant Wellpoint deal led the pack. As much money was involved in Wellpoint’s $6.7 billion acquisition of WellChoice Inc. as in the rest of the list combined. It was a huge deal by most any company’s standard-except Wellpoint’s. The year before, Wellpoint’s $22.7 billion merger with Anthem Inc. led all deals and then some. Thanks to that single mega-deal, 2004’s $31 billion list total shattered all previous local merger and acquisition records….

Read More

SPORTS: Crazy-with-grief Colts fans, you’re now on the air

Welcome to WIBJ Radio. I’m Beebee, your host of “Sports Geeks.” Our first caller is Fred from Franklin. Fred? Beebs, man, here’s how we handle those low-life, stomp-onour-hearts, marshmallow-soft Indianapolis Colts. We take their new stadium away. I mean, they are not worthy. So until they reach the Super Bowl, I say keep ’em in the Dome. Fred, what do we do with that big hole? Fill it in with water so the bean company can have beachfront property. Let’s…

Read More

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Americans’ spending binge is ultimately unsustainable

Americans don’t save much these days. Twenty years ago, our 9-percent rate of savings was troubling and somewhat embarrassing, compared with the double-digit savings rates of other industrialized economies. But that rate seems sky-high compared with today. If savings rates remain as low as they’ve been the last few months, we may have to rename them. Dis-saving rates? It’s an odd-sounding word, if it even is one. But what else do you call a negative savings rate? According to the…

Read More

IPOs take minor dip in 2005: Analysts stay optimistic; 3 Indiana companies set to go public in early ’06

Three Indiana companies took the plunge to go public last year, two less than the number that did so in 2004. The state’s slight dip in initial public offerings mirrors the slump in activity nationally. But Indiana appears to be off to a fast start for 2006. Three other Hoosier companies filed to go public late last year, but had yet to complete their IPOs by year’s end. Overall, the number of companies that went public on the major U.S….

Read More

Appliance biz heads north: Clark to open Castleton store, compete with H.H. Gregg Fine Lines for high-end customers

The high-end appliance retailer Clark Appliance Showcase will open a store practically in the back yard of its closest competitor in early March. Does the move signal a turf battle between two local retailers that cater to homeowners willing to pay luxury car prices for a kitchen? Not really. The local market for products such as $10,000 Viking ranges is growing so fast that executives at Clark and H.H. Gregg think there’s room for both on the northeast side. “It’s…

Read More

Bike Line, Broad Ripple firm plan Mass Ave purchases: Two sales would be latest in owner-occupant trend

Two buildings on Massachusetts Avenue downtown are slated to change hands in coming weeks as two Broad Ripple businesses stake their claims on the resurging corridor. The first deal scheduled to close is the sale of 409 Massachusetts Ave., owned for the last 15 years by advertising firm Young & Laramore. Elizabeth Dillon, owner of RN Specialties, plans to move her growing 10-year-old company and its 21 employees into the 17,000-square-foot building after minor renovations to the ad agency’s former…

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