Articles

More condos planned for north Lockerbie: Mill No. 9 developers teaming up again to bring townhouses to Dinmont-owned land north of Michigan Street

North Lockerbie LLC, a subsidiary of Dinmont Development LLC, filed plans with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission Jan. 27 to build brick townhouses on the land. The $20 million project, to be called Lockerbie Park, will be jointly developed by Dinmont and locally based Hearthview Residential. The development sits at the northwest corner of Michigan Street and College Avenue on land that in 2001 was slated for a multi-use project that would have included 100 condos, plus retail and office…

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Movie theater ads spark big-screen debate: Appeal of captive audience and demographics push advertising sales to record levels, prompting backlash

Ron Keedy can be found taking tickets, popping popcorn and sweeping floors at Key Cinemas on Indianapolis’ south side. There’s little Keedy won’t do to build customer loyalty at the two-screen cinema he owns. What he won’t do is sell advertisements to go along with the first-run, often offbeat films he shows. Keedy thinks movies are art, and there’s no place for commercial ads in the art his patrons pay to see. “Maybe I’m a purist,” Keedy said. “I feel…

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BEHIND THE NEWS: REIT run leaves analysts ‘worried and optimistic’Ex-executive settles with SEC

Mall developer Simon Property Group Inc. and many of the nation’s other top real estate investment trusts have earned investors huge returns since 2000, so huge that continued gains seem unlikely. Or do they? That’s the million-dollar question as investors close the book on 2004, one of the best years in the history of REITs. For the 12 months, Simon posted a total return of 47 percent, while REITs overall returned 31 percent. It was the fifth straight year REITs…

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Making room for art: Renovated northeast-side factory to target artist tenants

An Indianapolis native with an interest in troubled real estate has set his sights on creating an arts center in a former factory in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood. Investor Robby Richards has purchased the former Atlas Engine Works at 2045 Andrew J. Brown Ave. and is in the process of cleaning it up to lease to artists and others interested in the space. Richards hasn’t formally marketed the space and only recently hooked up with a broker, but he said word…

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Duke scratches spec itch on far north side: Nine Parkwood doesn’t signal new building boom

A strong leasing year in the Meridian corridor Class A office submarket led Duke Realty Corp. to break ground on a speculative office building, but local experts don’t expect other developers to follow Duke’s lead anytime soon. Site work has begun on Nine Parkwood Crossing, the final building in Indianapolis-based Duke’s project on 96th Street east of Meridian Street. Completion is set for January 2006. Minnesota-based American Family Insurance will occupy 45,000 square feet of the building, moving its offices…

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BULLS & BEARS: Investors do well to avoid asset-allocation infatuation

Asset allocation is a term regularly used in the investment industry. A close cousin of diversification, it refers to the division of an investor’s dollars between a variety of different “asset classes,” and is generally considered to be a tool to control risk. The two most basic asset classes are simply stocks and bonds. There was a time when simple “models” were employed by institutional investors, such as pension funds, with the rule of thumb formula being a portfolio of…

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Retail beginning to take hold on Michigan Road: Browning eyes 100 acres for retail or mixed-use

Browning Investments Inc. has nearly 100 acres under contract in the rapidly growing Michigan Road retail corridor. The locally based developer hasn’t yet cemented plans for the land, but they could include purely retail or a mixeduse development with multifamily, flex/office and retail components, said Vice President of Development James W. Browning. Most retail on the site would likely be highway-oriented, such as hotels or outlets of national chain restaurants, he said. The parcel, under contract from various owners, lies…

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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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Partners bet on Capitol block: Shiel Sexton teams up with Gregory & Appel to redevelop old factory

An Indianapolis contracting company is deepening its near-north-side roots-and exploring another avenue of the real estate business-with a multimillion-dollar plan to renovate and rent out an 85-year-old building just blocks from its Capitol Avenue headquarters. Shiel Sexton Co. Inc. has agreed to spend more than $5 million on the 60,000-square-foot brick building at 1402 N. Capitol Ave., restoring the property to its former glory and transforming it from industrial to office use. The company also is seeking tenants for a…

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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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Indiana IPOs break out of recent slump: Kite Realty, Republic Airways, Adesa among 5 state firms to test public waters

Hoosier-based companies registered five initial public offerings last year, a robust number considering not a single Indiana business went public in 2003. The uptick could signal the state’s economy, as well as the nation’s, is on the mend. Nationally, 233 companies raised $43 billion collectively to go public on the major U.S. stock exchanges in 2004, a 195-percent increase in the number of IPOs over 2003. And the performance could be even stronger this year, said Richard Peterson, a market…

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VIEWPOINT: We stand on the shoulders of black business giants

In a recent conversation with a family member regarding the lack of African-American businesses in the high technology, life sciences and larger manufacturing arenas, I began to wonder, “What are the barriers that prevent African-Americans from entering business? Are conditions worse now than in the past when we seemed to have greater representation in these areas?” Some will say it is the lack of access to capital. Some will point to the continued aura of racism and prejudice, while still…

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Stadium’s pathway not clear: CIB must make land deals with Comfort Inn, Hurst Co.

It’s up to legislators to approve whether and how the city’s proposed $900 million Indiana Convention Center expansion and stadium complex would be funded, but a handful of property owners that have title to land in the planned stadium’s path will also play a role in determining the project’s fate. The Marion County Capital Improvement Board is working with owners of the few pieces of property it still needs for the construction project and associated parking lots. CIB owns about…

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Zipper’s future open to speculation:

The fate of “the Zipper Building,” a black-and-white office building at Washington Street and Virginia Avenue, is the subject of rampant speculation amid news a sale is pending. The three-story flatiron-style building at 117 E. Washington St. is owned by a locally based partnership and managed by Freihofer Commercial Real Estate. Firm owner Walter Freihofer confirmed the building is under contract, but would provide no details, including when the sale is expected to close. He also would not identify the…

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INVESTING: Keeping an eye out for the next great chief executive

A client’s question recently struck me as a great thing to think about in the new year. The client wondered who would be the next Warren Buffett or Sandy Weill. The stock market exists to provide capital for industry, and in turn industry has to provide an acceptable rate of return on that capital. On a historical basis, we can easily measure the rate of return for any public company and anyone running a public company. Hence the question of…

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Downtown dining changes flavors: New year brings eatery moves, winner in chocolate war

A victor has emerged from the Monument Circle chocolate war, and the spoils go to the Indiana-based warrior. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory closed its store at 28 Monument Circle Dec. 31, leaving South Bend Chocolate Co.’s Chocolate Café next door as the Circle’s sole sweets source. The franchise’s closing is one of several changes afoot in the downtown restaurant scene. Coming attractions include an Oregonbased seafood chain and the return of local favorite Eh! Formaggio, which is shopping for a…

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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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Weight center waits: Bariatric surgery hospital had been scheduled to open in mid-2004

Michigan-based Forest Health Services LLC launched plans in 2003 to build a two-story inpatient bariatric hospital at Intech Park off 71st Street and then applied a year ago for a license to operate it. The hospital would treat people with severe weight problems. Workers completed most of the construction on the 37,000-squarefoot building last spring, but little has happened since. A letter filed last January with the Indiana State Department of Health said Forest Health anticipated a June or July…

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Around town retail roundup

More Mini-Medical Clinics Coming. A Tennessee-based company that operates small healthcare centers in nine states plans to open so-called Little Clinics in at least three local Kroger grocery stores. It filed plans this month to open the roughly 300-square-foot clinics…

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Should Simon be afraid?

Conservative groups are threatening to boycott the hundreds of malls owned by locally based Simon Property Group over the company’s decision to not renew the lease for a kiosk called Free Market Warrior Concord Mills Mall.

kiosk is essentially a billboard,…

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