Articles

Villaggio condos aim high: Proposed eight-story project targets downtown’s SE side

A developer with deep roots in the Fletcher Place neighborhood is setting its sights on an ambitious eight-story condominium project on the southeast side of downtown. Villaggio at Page Pointe calls for 65 condos ranging in size from 1,600 square feet to 4,300 square feet. Most units will sell for $265,000 to $530,000, with three penthouse units listed for more than $900,000. The first floor of the building will house about 20,000 square feet of retail space. A parking garage…

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Bye-bye Big Apple, hello Indy: Young entrepreneurs opt to open firms here

Two Hoosier natives are back home in Indiana to start neighboring businesses on Fort Wayne Avenue, no less. The world travelers-separated in age by just a year-spent significant time in New York City but only met within the past six months. With similar stories to tell about why they chose to return to Indianapolis, and impressed with the city’s vibrant downtown that had blossomed while they were away, the two opted to take the plunge together. Both say they’re not…

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Ex-execs fly solo: Horn, Shoopman, others trade big firms for small

As president of The Dura Cos. Inc., Paul Shoopman was responsible for a 155-employee company that brought in $75 million in revenue in 2003 and built as many as 700 homes a year in Marion and the surrounding counties. Last year, Shoopman won an Ernst & Young national Entrepreneur of the Year award and sold his company to publicly traded California-based KB Home. This year, he’s starting over. Shoopman, 51, opened Indiana Land Development Co. in early January. From his…

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Carpenter moving forward as independent brokerage: Execs confident of success without GMAC affiliation Name has value

Armed with a stack of market research chock full of industry sales figures, Tom Prall says he’s certain Carpenter Realtors will carry on just fine without any outside assistance. Prall has led the south-side residential real estate agency the past 30 years and recently guided its divestiture from national franchise GMAC, a division of Detroitbased General Motors Corp. With the contentious split behind him, the former Marine first lieutenant, who served in South Vietnam, is poised to navigate Carpenter through…

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Mann seeks larger digs as growth strategy pays off: Busy developer eyes property for new headquarters

On Bash Street, off the beaten path from often-congested East 82nd Street, Mann Properties has quietly built a commercial real estate development business that is outgrowing its cozy quarters. The location in the developer’s secondoldest office park has served Mann well since the mid-1980s. But flanked on both sides by other companies, the space offers virtually no chance to expand, let alone any opportunity for increased visibility. So Managing Partner Brian Mann, 37, has brokered a deal to purchase 20…

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Auctions bucking tradition: Sales method no longer last resort in real estate

In the not-so-distant past, a real estate auction meant one of only two things. “It used to be who died or who went bankrupt,” said Bob Getts, local director of auction services for Indianapolis-based commercial real estate brokerage Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. But over the last decade or so, real estate auctions have come out of the shadows, and are no longer viewed as a last resort for owners desperate to unload a property. These days, no property is considered…

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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Learning the basic categories of investment real estate Property type New development or existing Risk of landlord responsibilities

Baby boomers, the wealthiest generation in the history of our country, are getting richer. Much has been written about the extraordinary transfer of wealth that will take place as the boomers take over the estates of their parents. As their assets grow, many are get ting more directly involved in the management of their money. Rather than sending all their cash to Wall Street or their bank, an increasing number of investors are allocating a portion of their portfolio to…

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Eminent domain facing legal challenges: Supreme Court, Indiana legislature consider changes to economic development tool some say is unfairly used

The tool of eminent domain, increasingly used for redevelopment projects in Indiana cities and towns, could change significantly depending on the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case and a bill before the Indiana General Assembly. In Indianapolis, city officials are closely watching the cases and legislation. In recent years, construction of WellPoint Inc.’s operations center, redevelopment of the Link-Savoy and Blacherne apartment buildings, and Fall Creek Place have all involved eminent domain. Officials have also indicated they may use…

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Sides nearing peace on the Prairie: ‘Solomonic’ ending awaits Earlham, museum

Once the fine points of the deal with Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter are worked out, Earlham will hand over $91.5 million in cash and its interest in a jointly owned golf course worth another $2.5 million-much more than the $64.7 million take-it-or-leaveit offer the college made just before firing the museum’s CEO and dismissing nearly all its directors in June 2003. “We’re just trying to put this behind us,” Earlham board Chairman Mark B. Myers told IBJ after trustees…

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Carmel’s Sunrise Café may be nearing sunset: Developer would raze café to make way for retail, office

A longtime favorite spot to conduct business over breakfast on the far-north side will close if plans to sell the building that houses Sunrise Café come to fruition. Locally based Meridian Asset Development has the café building and a surrounding 2-1/2-acre lot at 11450 N. Meridian St. under contract. The seller is an Omaha, Neb.-based trust that owns it and a nearby office building. If the sale closes as expected in the coming weeks, Meridian Asset plans to raze the…

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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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