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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Now we have a plan-let’s use it

For years, Indiana politicians-at least the smart ones-have talked about the importance of economic growth and development, and behind the scenes business leaders have replied, “Duh. How about coming up with some kind of plan?” This was always a hot button for Dave Goodrich, retired real estate executive and former head of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. In his days at CICP, Goodrich would bend the ear of anyone willing to listen about the need for a plan. Well, how does…

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Daniels’ economic development plan calls for pricey tools: Three incentive funds would cost more than $100M

Indiana’s days of economic development on the cheap may soon be finished. Three major new business-incentive funds are on the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s wish list, each bearing a significant price tag. The General Assembly will decide next year whether to provide the more than $100 million IEDC requests to form them. Plans for the three funds are tucked into Gov. Mitch Daniels’ comprehensive new state economic development plan, “Accelerating Growth,” released April 25. It aims to bring Hoosiers’ lagging…

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BEHIND THE NEWS: California investor arrives with a splash-and a past

Remember the name Judah Hertz. The Californiabased real estate investor last month became a sizable player in the downtown Indianapolis office market, buying the Gold Building and 251 East Ohio for more than $40 million. But he has bigger aspirations here-and the cash to carry them out. “We like Indianapolis a lot,” Hertz said. “We’re definitely interested in purchasing more buildings in Indianapolis.” Plain-vanilla pension funds buy and sell buildings here all the time. By contrast, the 56-year-old Hertz is…

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BULLS & BEARS: Marsh, Suros deals a study in how to value businesses

Two recent Indianapolis business deals have provided local investors with excellent case studies in business valuation. What is truly instructive is that these acquisitions are polar opposites based on the valuation methods employed and in the future expectations the buyers have for these two businesses. They are the announced purchase of Marsh Supermarkets Inc. for $88 million by Florida-based Sun Capital Partners and the acquisition of Suros Surgical Systems for $240 million by Massachusetts-based Hologic Inc. In the Marsh acquisition,…

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New funds target life sciences: MidPoint concentrates on agricultural technology; Heron aims at broader market

Two new locally based venture capital funds believe Indiana is ripe with opportunity for biotech deals. With $20 million under management, Heron Capital LLC is broadly focused on the whole Hoosier life sciences market. Attempting to raise $30 million, the Mid-Point Food & Ag Fund LP has a narrower concentration: high-technology related to farming and nutrition. “We’re very excited about our prospects,” said Heron Managing Director Greg Maurer. “We have a number of deals in the hopper, some of which…

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Land drove Marsh sale: Sun Capital has backup in real estate if grocery biz fails

When Marsh Supermarkets Inc. put itself on the block in November, the company’s stock dove. When it cut future executive compensation $28 million a month later, the stock continued falling. When it terminated 25 executives and closed two groceries and six convenience stores, shares slipped yet again. Nothing, it seemed, could stop the downward spiral. Then a footnote appeared in the Fishersbased company’s fiscal third-quarter financial report Feb. 21. It said an appraisal showed the company’s real estate was worth…

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Cleveland tech firm going west: Parker Hannifin falls short of employment promises, plans to leave Intech Park

A Cleveland-based technology giant plans to move its Intech Park operation next month, leaving behind some attractive office space and a broken promise to create jobs. Parker Hannifin Corp. will consolidate its Indianapolis location into a California site, spokesman Jim Cartwright said. It should empty its 30,700-square-foot offices in the park’s Intech 10 building by the end of June. The move will have no impact on Parker Hannifin’s Tell City production facility, which employs about 100 people who make industrial…

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Required agent, broker education now available online: Rule change gives them option of Web or classroom

Indiana real estate agents and brokers need not venture outside the comforts of their homes to complete continuing-education requirements, thanks to a rule change allowing providers to offer courses online. Licenses expire every two years, and 16 hours of continuing education must be completed in that span for professionals to remain in good standing. The Indiana Real Estate Commission adopted the change that took effect April 1. “Rather than having to go to a hotel room or a physical classroom…

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Tower’s leasing power should weather storm: Brokers say One Indiana Square will remain attractive

Several downtown leasing agents doubt the storm damage incurred at One Indiana Square will have a significant impact on the tower owners’ ability to attract future office tenants. In fact, a few contend their quick response to containing the fallout from displaced occupants could even make the building more attractive. “There are a lot of people who never have this challenge put in front of them,” said Jeff Harris, president of locally based Meridian Real Estate and a former marketing…

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Real estate club members gain industry knowledge: Indiana University organization enjoys growth spurt

As the new headquarters building for Simon Property Group Inc. was going up downtown last fall, a group of Indiana University students donned hard hats and toured the 13-story building. After riding the construction elevator to the top floor, students got a bird’s-eye view of the city and a firsthand account from the developers about the building’s cost, size and challenges in constructing it. The students were members of the IU Real Estate Club, and the tour of the 350,000-square-foot…

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Real estate experts examine the market: Indianapolis in good shape overall, panelists say, but job growth, incentive issues, among concerns

On April 14, as part of its Power Breakfast Series, the Indianapolis Business Journal gathered a panel of commercial real estate and construction experts to discuss industry conditions in the local market. In a discussion moderated by IBJ Editor Tom Harton, panelists took on a wide range of issues, including tax incentives and the status of downtown’s residential and retail markets. Power Breakfast guests were Mike Curless, executive vice president and principal with Lauth Property Group; Mike Wells, president of…

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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: As construction costs rise, older buildings gain appeal

Construction costs continue to rise in the wake of hurricanes, tornadoes, the war in Iraq, the building boom in China and general inflation. The trickle-down effect often lands at the feet of small business owners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index, prices for materials and construction components increased 0.3 percent in February, following a 1-percent hike in January and continuing a threeyear upswing. The average building cost index has increased about 45 percent since 1995,…

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Longtime developer undergoes changes: Shopping centers prove fruitful for Zinkan & Barker

Stephen Zinkan is one persistent fellow. The veteran real estate developer began knocking on the door of Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. in the early 1990s, in an attempt to build his firm’s portfolio. He and Kelly Flynn had founded Flynn & Zinkan Realty Co. in the early 1980s and carved a niche developing groceryanchored shopping centers. Amid the rejections, Zinkan, 56, implored Kroger to give him its toughest assignment. The corporation relented and handed him property at 71st Street and…

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Scholar’s Inn ready to rise: Starbucks-like strategy: ‘Bread for the masses’

Scholar’s Inn bakers load delivery trucks with more than 5,000 loaves of bread each week. And each time head bread baker Jeff Duez rolls a rack of apricot almond bread out to the loading dock, he ducks his head. A 5-foot-high doorway separates the bakery’s Bloomington kitchen from the ramp where delivery trucks pull up twice daily. That’s one of the many inefficiencies co-owner Lyle Feigenbaum addressed when he purchased a 10,000-squarefoot production facility the company will fire up this…

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Circle Centre’s 4th floor may drum up office tenant: Percussive Arts Society lease could spawn other deals

The Lawton, Okla.-based Percussive Arts Society might announce as early as next month that it’s moving its 12 headquarters employees into 15,000 square feet on the troubled fourth floor of Circle Centre mall, according to a source familiar with the discussion. Roughly 10,000 of those square feet would be a museum that might get bongo enthusiasts and the curious alike to stop by and check out some Thai button gongs and West African talking drums. If all goes as planned,…

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Clinic can’t pull its weight: Forest Health leaves behind $11M hospital

“They’re not the most communicative people in the world, so I don’t really have a good reason, other than the fact that I think at one point they thought they had a group of doctors to operate the clinic with, and it fell through,” said Jack Hogan, a senior vice president for Indianapolis-based Lauth. Forest Health corporate attorney Marie Paratto referred questions to Laurence H. Lenz Jr., an A bariatric surgery center built for roughly $11 million a couple years…

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Separating emotion from reality: Home-staging companies help ‘sell that house’

Shakespeare wrote that “all the world’s a stage,” but when it comes to the competitive home-sales market, one might say all the world’s about staging. Home staging-the process of making a home more appealing to potential buyers-has gained recognition through popular cable television programs such as “Designed to Sell” and “Sell This House.” It can run the gamut from repainting walls to tearing them down, or from changing window treatments to replacing windows. Interior designer Marion Stewart and her longtime…

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Binford med center making headway

The building skeleton planted recently at the corner of 65th Street and Binford Boulevard offers only a hint of the $29 million medical complex Ken Schmidt wants to grow there. The Indianapolis developer will add four more buildings and a separate pharmacy to the 17 acres of land he bought several years ago. The end result, he said, will be a medical plaza that offers a unique blend of services encompassing dental work, radiology and ambulatory surgery, among other specialties….

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Atlas draws Fresh interest: Upscale grocery chain with a store in Carmel considers local expansion

North Carolina-based The Fresh Market Inc. has confirmed it’s interested in the former Atlas Supermarket site at 54th Street and College Avenue. “We are looking at expanding in that area and we’re looking at a lot of sites,” said spokesman Eric Blaesing. “[The Atlas site] is one of them.” He added that nothing is definite and “for every 100 sites you look at, you end up with one of them.” N e i g h b o r s hope…

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Single women opt for owning homes: Marriage and home ownership aren’t always synonymous

Apparently, Dorothy’s still right. There is no place like home, particularly if you are a single woman with good credit. Single women now are significant players in the real estate market. In fact, one out of every five homebuyers nationwide in 2004 was a single woman-and locally the percentage is even higher. According to a 2004 study by the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, almost 25 percent of homebuyers in the area were single women. The national figure, compiled by…

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