PDA

You are viewing a trimmed-down version of the SkyscraperPage.com discussion forum.  For the full version follow the link below.

View Full Version : Indy I: The Start



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:11 PM
I figure this may be a good time to create a thread that highlights the happenings around Indianapolis. People say they don't know enough about Indy or don't here enough about Indy.

This thread will allow Indy heads to post pictures of downtown, city neighboorhoods, and suburbs. This forum will also allow us to post news about Indy, developments around Indy. If people outside of Indy have anything about Indy feel free to post. Opinions feel free to post. But please if you critisize, let it be constructive and not hurtful and we promise we wont jump on your backs (too much);) :crazy: :rolleyes:

I'm hoping this turns into a Philly I, II, III, IV or like the Milwaukee Development thread.

Post away.

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:12 PM
Ryan Blankenship and his girlfriend, Pammy Willoughby, splashed each other in the fountain at Capitol Commons on Tuesday to cool down.

Next summer, they'll have to go someplace else.

Under a plan Mayor Bart Peterson announced last month, construction will begin this fall on a 12- to 14-story building for Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls on the continent, on top of part of the park at Washington Street and Capitol Avenue this fall.

The project, set to be finished by August 2006, will shut down the fountain for its duration.

Blankenship and Willoughby registered their opposition to the project by signing a petition that state Reps. Phil Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, and Tom Saunders, R-Lewisville, circulated Tuesday in the park.

"I think they ought to leave everything here the way it is," said Blankenship, a chef at the Marriott near the park. "A lot of people come here. It's romantic, and the kids like to play around."

Hinkle and Saunders want the park to remain untouched as a green space and made their case to passers-by from noon to 2 p.m. They collected 380 signatures, said Matt Cramer, Hinkle's spokesman.

"I don't know what other action we can take," Saunders said. "We wanted to show the city that there are people who are concerned with their decision."

But construction plans will move forward.

Steve Campbell, the mayor's spokesman, noted the building will occupy only a third of the park.

Judy Casteel, an administrative assistant at the Indiana Energy Association, doesn't buy the explanation.

"It has annoyed me a great deal," she said, sipping iced tea in the park. "I think most people think it's the rich and powerful getting what they want. I'm not rich and powerful, but I really like coming to this pretty space."

Some at the park, however, reserved judgment.

Tom Leas, a staff engineer at the Department of Commerce across from the park, eats lunch there frequently.

"If they took the whole thing out, it would be one thing," he said . "I haven't seen the full plans of what needs to be done."

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:13 PM
Massive capital investments at Indianapolis International Airport during the 1990s boosted cargo volume dramatically, but not passengers -- and there's no guarantee that a $974 million midfield terminal will generate enough passengers to have a dramatic impact on the economy.

Those findings, contained in a recent report by an IUPUI professor, are the subject of some debate by city and airport officials.

"Public officials generally believe that modern airport facilities can boost economic development in a region. Clearly, aviation infrastructure plays a crucial role in national and international networking, travel, materials processing and regional development," writes Sam Nunn, research director at the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

"However, in many ways the role of airports in economic success is unclear, and even a cutting-edge airport, by itself, may be incapable of sustaining adequate regional economic growth," Nunn wrote in a summary of his report.

City and airport officials have spoken broadly of economic benefit from a new terminal but have stopped short of naming dollar targets.

Probably the biggest initial impact will come in the form of construction contracts that will have a positive impact on the local economy, said John Kish, program manager for the midfield terminal. His team estimates about $739 million in direct construction costs.

Nunn said investments at the Indianapolis airport in the 1990s -- including continued expansion of FedEx's second-largest U.S. hub and a U.S. Postal Service air hub that since has closed -- contributed toward a 661 percent increase in enplaned freight tons over the decade -- the highest among all nine airports Nunn examined. Among the airports were Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Kansas City; Nashville, Tenn.; and Raleigh- Durham, N.C.

At the same time, Indianapolis' passenger boardings rose 19 percent.

"Thus, although aviation investment volumes in Indianapolis improved the region's material throughput, the region's investments did not generate parallel increases in passengers per capita, and they have had a weaker effect on Indianapolis' economic success."

He estimates an average of roughly $25 million a year spent on airport infrastructure improvement in Indianapolis from 1990 to 2001 -- and now even more with the massive midfield project.

But even that spending on the passenger side doesn't guarantee economic payoff, Nunn says. He points to other assets such as industry clusters that can sustain economic development even if a city's aviation infrastructure is lacking.

Indeed, Indianapolis airport officials have said the city's life sciences initiative helped business travel pick up last year and contribute toward a 7 percent jump in passenger boardings for 2003.

David Dawson, spokesman for the new terminal project, said Nunn's research falls short of saying what kind of economic impact to expect, so to raise doubts about its economic benefit is itself questionable.

Dawson also said economic impact is too narrow a gauge of the terminal's benefits. It fails to recognize other benefits, such as reduced aircraft fuel consumption because aircraft no longer will have to taxi all the way to the eastern edge of the field, where the current terminal sits.

Moreover, the new terminal better accommodates post-9/11 security improvements and is more adaptable to future passenger growth and new low-fare carriers launching service here.

"These things are being done for reasons of safety, conservation, security, convenience and attractiveness. Indianapolis needs a new terminal," Dawson said.

Kish said the vision for the new terminal has never been solely economic in nature. "We're looking at it as building expansion capacity for the next 50 years," he said.

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:14 PM
New owners at the Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites Downtown are about to make a $6.5 million bet that they can score more business travelers willing to pay more for their rooms.

Officials at Boston-based Pyramid Advisors and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund, who jointly purchased the Downtown Adam's Mark in December, want to raise the hotel's average room rate per night to $130 to $140, up as much as 22 percent from the current $115 average.

To do this, Pyramid and Morgan Stanley plan to change the hotel to the Hilton brand in August, upgrade its 332 rooms, renovate the lobby, light up the exterior and add a second restaurant. The renovations should be complete by year's end.

Such a renovation is a standard way to boost prices, said Robert Mandelbaum, director of research for the Hospitality Research Group of PKF Consulting in Atlanta. Given the recovery that began to take hold among hotels late last year, he said, the Hilton Indianapolis might be able to pull it off.

A study by PKF predicts that rising occupancy will lead to roughly 3 percent jumps in room rates in both 2004 and 2005. Another study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, released this week, forecast similar increases.

"They are catching the industry on an upswing," Mandelbaum said.

Pyramid's strategy is to buy low-performing hotels in good locations. It then tries to improve their business with large capital investments. The Adam's Mark maintains an occupancy rate of just over 60 percent while its peer hotels in Downtown Indianapolis have occupancy rates of more than 70 percent.

Pyramid bought the Adam's Mark in Indianapolis as part of an eight-hotel, $236 million deal with HBE Corp. of St. Louis. Pyramid will operate the Indianapolis hotel as a franchise of Hilton Hotels Corp., based in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Pyramid hired Bill Stanton, former general manager of The Westin Indianapolis, to position its hotel as a high-end option for business travelers in Downtown Indianapolis. Hilton Indianapolis will have less of an emphasis on booking business from major conventions than such hotels as the Marriott Downtown, The Westin and The Hyatt Regency.

Yet the new owners also want to avoid head-to-head competition with the pricey Conrad Hilton, a 243-room hotel being built at Illinois and Washington streets. Its developers predict room rates will cost $175 to $200 a night when it opens in 2006.

Those two Hilton products will join the Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in December, to bring the Hilton name back to Indianapolis. The city had Hiltons on Monument Circle and near Indianapolis International Airport until 1993. They were sold and converted to Ramada Inns.

The money spent on the Adam's Mark renovation is significant, particularly since the hotel opened just four years ago.

"I really didn't pay any attention to this hotel" after it opened in 2000, Stanton said. But now Stanton touts the Adam's Mark's 215 suites, 30 of which are spacious units with bedrooms and living rooms. "We're going to more aggressively pursue the corporate business traveler," he said.

The lobby will receive the lion's share of Pyramid's attention and money: roughly $5 million. Instead of an entrance that now opens right in front of Deco, a 250-seat restaurant, it will construct a corridor that leads directly to the check-in desk and gives the Hilton Indianapolis a "sense of arrival," Stanton said. Couches and chairs will provide a meeting point for guests, which the hotel now lacks.

Arched glass windows on either side will look into the hotel's two restaurants. The hotel-operated restaurant, Deco, will shrink to 180 seats and offer foods indigenous to the Great Lakes region. A national chain restaurant and bar, along with a Starbucks Coffee store, will fill the corridor's left side.

Stanton joined Adam's Mark last month, after spending 6{1frac2} years at the helm of The Westin. He said he left because he no longer wanted to work for a large corporation. New York-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. owns the Westin Indianapolis.

The 573-room Westin became one of the city's three "headquarters" hotels that host a significant number of delegates during major conventions.

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:17 PM
I'm not really worried about the midfield terminal and the study that came out. It seems like the study is just a suggestion to the developers, politicians, and airport officials to figure ways to make the airport a profitable venture. The construction has begun and money has been spent, so the airport is a go, but in the future we will have to see what BAA (English Firm)Indianapolis does to make the airport area profitable.

Amazing Indy
Jun 9, 2004, 8:21 PM
The article on the Simon property at Capital Commons casts an even darker shadow on the project for me. They say that they exacerbated all other locations for a projects this size. I find that hard to believe. Indy heads and those have visted Indy can attest to the parking lots, open spaces, and the pockets seen in our skyline. I think Simon got their way and just used a threating technique to get the Indy to sell part of that property. I think the mayor did the right thing by keeping the jobs in Downtown and in the city of Indianapolis, I just wish he could have pressured the company a little more to let them know that the mayors office runs the city and not corporations. Just my two cents.

IndianaMike
Jun 9, 2004, 8:30 PM
With the Simon deal, what's wrong with any one of the surface parking lots downtown? Tearing up a park is not the right thing to do in this situation.

Go7SD
Jun 9, 2004, 9:27 PM
Simon: Simon should have some consideration for the people using the park. Let's hope it's not replaced by some cheap unimaginative bland looking box.

Midfield: I think by adding more flights would be more profitable but they would have to build more gates and a rail line in from downtown to get things started in the right direction.

Midwesterner
Jun 10, 2004, 2:48 AM
Chase merger will erase Bank One brand name

Goodbye, Bank One.

Hello, Chase.

Beginning in 2005, Bank One's familiar logo gradually will give way to the Chase brand for consumer and commercial banking clients in Indiana and 13 other states, Bank One spokeswoman Nancy Norris said Tuesday.

The name change is the latest fallout of a $58 billion merger of J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank One to create the nation's second- largest bank. Unlike earlier moves that are expected to claim more than 300 Indianapolis-area jobs, the change is strictly aesthetic.

"Customers don't have to do a thing," Norris said. "Their checks still work. The Web site's still running. Sometime next year, we don't know exactly when, the name will simply change."

Bank One is in the midst of a $65 million effort to retrofit thousands of branches nationwide -- including 93 in Central Indiana. Norris said the change will involve only signs, with other upgrades remaining mostly intact.

J.P. Morgan Chase shares just one state, Texas, with Bank One, which has retail operations there. But studies indicate the Chase brand is stronger across all parts of its consumer and commercial businesses, said William P. Harrison, chairman and chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan Chase.

The brand shift to Chase also will force landmark structures such as the 48-story Bank One Tower in Indianapolis to adopt a new name.

Bank One is not the only major Indianapolis-area bank about to change its name.

The proposed $5.9 billion merger of Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank and Memphis, Tenn.-based Union Planters Bank will result in 28 Union Planters branches in Indianapolis adopting the Regions name in early 2005, spokesman John Kinman said. Union Planters shareholders approved the merger Tuesday.

araman0
Jun 10, 2004, 3:16 AM
Hmmm, I wonder if that means the Bank One building in Lafayette will change it's sign. It's by far the most recognizable building in DT Lafayette.

ThreeOneFour
Jun 10, 2004, 4:22 AM
For the lack of better words, I'll just say the Simon plan SUCKS.

Downtown Indianapolis is vibrant and prosperous- and it's the envy of cities large and small. Even with all the activity- including rehabbed existing buildings and recent construction- there are still plenty of parking lots and open spaces of land in the city's core that would make an ideal site for the new Simon headquarters.

I haven't followed this development, so please correct me if I'm wrong. But it sounds like the mayor and project supporters are settling for less. Let me guess- are they saying that it's better to build at the park than in Carmel or Noblesville? Okay, maybe they aren't, but it sounds like the BS we're used to hearing in Saint Louis when politicians attempt to justify projects with no justification (see demolition of Century Building for an example).

Re: Bank mergers...I just got used to calling Saint Louis' old Magna Bank by the Union Planters name. Hell, I remember Magna when it was First National Bank of Belleville, Ill. And I figured BankOne would roll into our city sooner or later, since Fifth Third and National City are slowly rolling into our market thanks to recent acquisitions. Why do these places even bother to put up signs- whether it's on their corporate towers or their branches in the suburbs? What a waste...

Amazing Indy
Jun 10, 2004, 9:04 PM
Discount airlines have captured 41 percent of the traffic at Indianapolis International Airport and have forced established carriers to reduce or slash fares -- even to abandon some routes.

Perhaps the most dramatic fare reduction has been a nonstop route to Denver that United Airlines flew solo before scrappy Frontier Airlines came to Indianapolis in mid-2002. Two years before Frontier rolled its Boeing 737s up to Gate C6, United charged a premium fare that averaged as high as $227, one-way.

United cut that fare to $161 when Frontier arrived with tickets averaging $119. That spread held roughly the same through the end of last year, according to federal fare data.

"I fly because it's nonstop and, of course, the fare is right," said Hanna Akard of Indianapolis, who now prefers Frontier when she visits family in Denver.

Frontier "forced United into being competitive," said Patrick Dooley, airport director for BAA Indianapolis, which manages the airport. "This is just indicative of the trend in the industry. The legacy carriers are struggling hard to compete with these low-cost carriers."

Airport leaders consider their low-fare tenants to be Frontier, Southwest, America West and Indianapolis-based ATA, which also is the busiest carrier here with more than 21 percent of traffic.

Indianapolis gets another low-fare carrier on Aug. 15 when Independence Air plans to launch service to Washington Dulles International, which has been a United Airlines bastion.

The airport also is trying to draw JetBlue and AirTran to Indianapolis. New York-based JetBlue likely wouldn't land here until 2005 at the earliest, if it decides to come, Dooley said. That's when it plans to introduce Embraer regional jets seating 70-plus passengers into its fleet. The RJs are smaller than Airbus jets that serve it well in large East Coast cities and therefore would make smaller cities in the Midwest more viable.

"That's when we think Indianapolis fits into their business model fairly easily," said Dooley, whose team has been talking with JetBlue for more than two years.

Using regional jets also could allow JetBlue or other carriers to make money on point-to-point service between some secondary cities. If JetBlue came to Indianapolis today, however, passengers would likely only have cheap flights to one destination -- its hub. "You're going to have low fares -- to New York. Period," said industry analyst Michael Boyd, president of Evergreen, Colo.-based Boyd Group.

ATA strategy

Already, ATA said it plans to introduce smaller aircraft -- either Embraer regional jets or Boeing 717s, which are more fuel-efficient versions of DC-9/MD-80 airliners. Currently, many ATA flights out of Indianapolis are funneled through its Chicago Midway Airport hub.

Meanwhile, airport staff has also been courting Orlando-based AirTran. A number of Indiana businesses have said they want more and less-expensive flights to Atlanta, where AirTran has its hub. "We certainly think Indianapolis makes a lot of sense for AirTran," said Dooley.

So does Spirit Airlines, Dooley said. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based carrier serves Detroit, the East Coast and Florida and has routes to the West, including Los Angeles.

Airport managers also are trying to encourage Frontier to expand service here. It is considering adding a third daily flight out of Indianapolis, said Frontier station manager Kattie Ziara. More Denver-bound flights would be welcomed because that city is Frontier's hub and gateway to West Coast cities.

While passengers welcome low fares, service and amenities are sometimes sacrificed. Southwest Airlines' peanuts aplenty, perky flight attendants, and plethora of kids and families is a turn-off to some -- especially business passengers.

Short on amenities

Dooley conceded that low-fare carriers often lack the amenities, but noted that some are improving their onboard environment. Jet Blue has a hit with a seatback-mounted flight entertainment systems. Frontier also is adding DirecTV satellite TV to its new Airbus A318 and 319 aircraft.

Morphing most toward the amenities of legacy carriers is ATA, which earlier this year introduced gourmet food for sale. Business-class seating is being installed aboard its fleet this summer. "You also have to look at what ATA offers already -- brand new equipment" Dooley says of ATA's 737-800s. "They have a good seat pitch (spacing). Leather seats."

Passengers like Dave Hagan notice such details. The head of Panattoni Development's Denver office flies Frontier not only for lower fares than United on some routes but also because "their planes tend to be newer and cleaner. I'm paying for the flights out of my own pocket, and I look for better service."

Focus on main markets

But don't assume that the arrival of a low-cost carrier means that all of its flights will be bargains or that they'll take you where you want to go, said analyst Boyd. These airlines tend to focus on the most lucrative markets. "They are cherry pickers, if you will. They're not going to go to Fort Wayne." Sometimes discount carriers drive out a legacy carrier entirely on some routes. Delta last March pulled out of the Indianapolis-to-New York LaGuardia route, not long after ATA added more flights.

Sometimes discount carriers drive mainstream competitors out of an airport entirely -- possibly with negative consequences. Several years ago Boyd's firm helped the Jackson, Miss., airport land Southwest Airlines. Rival TWA finally pulled out entirely -- taking with it Jackson's only link to international routes offered by the former TWA.

"You never turn it (a discount carrier) down. (But) you know there's going to be a downside," Boyd said.

Amazing Indy
Jun 10, 2004, 9:08 PM
It would be great to see airtran and JetBlue, especially JetBlue at Indianapolis International. I think the higher number of low cost carriers will make Indy cheaper than it already is to fly in and out of. It'll force the big boys of United, American, US Airways to think of better business practices to become more profitable and patronized.

One idea I can think of is breaking the company into smaller companies that can run under an alliance. You have 2 or 3 companies (airlines) run by diffrent people and employ's a smaller employee base making negotions easier than dealing with a huge union.

Amazing Indy
Jun 10, 2004, 9:12 PM
Hooters Air begins flights to Gary airport


Associated Press
June 10, 2004


GARY, Ind. -- Hooters Air of America started service from Gary/Chicago International Airport to Myrtle Beach, S.C., today.

Hooters Air President Mark Peterson said Hooters decided to begin service to the Gary airport because it was so difficult for an airline to obtain gate space at Midway or O'Hare International airports in Chicago. So offering service out of Gary represents a logical step for an airline looking to expand its market share, he said.

Peterson is so confident of success from the Gary airport, he said another destination might be announced as early as July.

Two commercial airlines operating out of Gary with flights nearly every day provide the airport with momentum to grow, airport Administrator Paul Karas said.

Southeast Airlines now flies out of Gary to St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport six days a week and to Sanford International Airport near Orlando, Fla., five days a week.

Cynthia Pruitt, acting director of Indiana's Department of Commerce, said she believed the fact two airlines now serve Gary would advance the initiative to expand its primary runway and economic development opportunities in northwestern Indiana.

It just seems weird that a distinguished airline like Hooters Air would fly to Gary. I understand that Chicago is there, but it will be really wierd to hear "Charleston to Gary, now boarding"

IndianaMike
Jun 10, 2004, 10:27 PM
^ huge news for Gary. They have had so much trouble getting airlines there. They really shouldn't have such a hard time, but with the fuckers in Illinois wanting to build another airport in Peotone, difficulties arise.

Gary-Chicago airport should be Chicagoland's 3rd airport.

(sorry for going off topic)

Amazing Indy
Jun 12, 2004, 12:22 AM
To hear him talk, Wolfgang Puck considers Indianapolis his American hometown. During a recent visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Austrian-born chef recounted with vivid detail the long bus ride that brought him from New York City to Indianapolis for a job at La Tour.

Puck has gone on to bigger and better things since his stint at the long-gone eatery that occupied the top floor of the Indiana National Bank building.

But there were a few tsks heard among some museum donors when Puck's catering operation was chosen to run all the food operations on the IMA grounds. The low-level grumbling centered on the idea that local caterers could do the job just as well as the well-known Puck operation.

Perhaps that's why Puck went out of his way to focus on his Hoosier "root" and how happy he was to be back. He's promised regular visits to Puck's at the IMA.

Museum CEO Anthony Hirschel emphasized the training opportunities the restaurants and catering operation would offer to local employees. Both local and out-of-town companies were considered during the selection process, he said.

Amazing Indy
Jun 12, 2004, 12:24 AM
It's kinda cool to see a famous person like Wolfgang Puck calling Indianapolis its home. If no one else likes Indy at least we got Wolfgang.

I also went to his restauraunt in Vegas and it was pretty damn good and hes a really nice guy when he came out to talk to us about the food.:cool: ;) :D :laugh: :hilarious :sly

Broad&HighCMH
Jun 12, 2004, 3:48 AM
The future of the Indianapolis International Airport is looking very good, not only on the passenger side but on the cargo front as well.

Indianapolis has a nearly perfect set of low fare airlines, as mentioned in the article from the Star. The proverbial feather in the cap is ATA. The article mentions the the airline shuttles many Indianapolis passengers through its main hub at Chicago Midway, but neglects to mention that the airline offers over 20 daily flights nonstop from IND to a variety of destinations such as San Francisco and Sarasota, cities that otherwise most likely would not have nonstop service. And the best part is, the fares are low. What ATA needs to do now is open up more nonstop from IND to major East Coast business centers. ATA already offers 2 nonstops to LaGuardia, but could easily do the same to Washington National and Boston. Such an expansion would certainly lure even more of the lucrative business passengers ATA and other low fare carriers are in search of, especially with the introduction of business class seating on their aircraft.

As for other low fare carriers coming into IND, jetBlue is probably a sure-thing once the EMB-190s arrive. The Star made an egregious error in calling them "regional jets" though. JetBlue has stated over and over again that while Embraer is primarily an RJ aircraft manufacturer, the new 100-seat EMB-190s are NOT regional jets, and will feature all the amenities currently offered on their A320 aircraft.

What I find surprising is Delta Air Lines' recent reduction of service in Indianapolis. The airline recently discontinued their flights to Orlando, Tampa, and New York LaGuardia, while downgrading all their Cincinnati flights to regional jets sans a morning MD-88 departure. The reduction, however, should have a minimal effect if any on Indy air travel, as all the above routes are served by other carriers, plus the routes to MCO, TPA, and LGA were on 50-seat RJs.

Probably IND's greatest advantage though is the massive FedEx cargo hub, second in size only to their main base in Memphis. FedEx also has a lucrative agreement with the USPS, with a majority of their traffic being funneled through IND. With the runway expansions and other infrastructure improvements occuring their, FedEx will likely only continue to improve and grow their operations at IND, further strengthening the economic boone they provide to the local economy.

Go7SD
Jun 12, 2004, 4:04 AM
Broad&HighCMH, yes, it would be nice to see an increase of ATA non stop flights from Indy especially with the new expansion.


Here's an aerial rendering of the Midfield Terminal I dug up. The new control tower is now clearly visible from I-465.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815ind_aerial_01.jpg

Broad&HighCMH
Jun 12, 2004, 4:30 AM
Yeah, I've seen the midfield terminal plans for IND. It will truly be a world-class facility upon completion. The number of gates, however, won't be much more than what the current terminal has. I wouldn't expect to see a rush of new service once the new facility is complete, especially since the current terminal has space available, notably in Concourse D. The market and ATA's profit margin will ultimately decide whether they increase service locally, though the completion of the new terminal can only help in their decision.

Amazing Indy
Jun 12, 2004, 5:07 PM
Indiana posted another month of modest job gains in May, but continued to lag behind national employment growth, figures released Friday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development show.

Manufacturing, closely watched for signs some well-paying jobs will spring back, saw its job gains rate rise, though at a pace slower than the nation.

The state gained 1,600 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, up 0.05 percent from an upward-revised 2,910,300 in April. The gain was for the fifth month in a row, based on year-over-year comparisons, state officials said, and two sectors -- government and business services -- showed strength.

"It's early to call it a pattern, but we're getting consistent growth," said Workforce Commissioner Al Degner.

National City chief economist Richard DeKaser said the news should be viewed positively, considering the severity with which Indiana was hit by the recession.

"These latest results clearly substantiate the employment rebound the state of Indiana is on," DeKaser said. "It will take longer to get back to the peak, but the good news is that at least it's moving in the right direction."

Compared to May 2003, total employment was up 0.6 percent. The two categories showing big increases from a year ago were construction and professional and business services -- jobs in the legal, architecture and engineering fields -- rising 4.9 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.

The state report gave details of job creation, but did not cover the jobless rate or hours worked.

From April to May, jobs were added in education, health services and trade, transportation and utilities.

Yet by many measures, Indiana performed below national levels.

When comparing U.S. job growth to Indiana's, the nation grew three times faster since April and twice as fast since February, when the nation suddenly began creating about 300,000 jobs a month.

Indiana has added jobs at about two-thirds the rate of the nation since last May.

Looking back to peak nonfarm employment, the state's total number of jobs is down 3.5 percent since May 2000 and manufacturing employment is off 15.1 percent since February 2000.

National employment, by contrast, is down 1.1 percent from March 2001 and in manufacturing, is down about 17 percent.

At 895,800 workers, the Indianapolis area was virtually unchanged from a year earlier.

The region added jobs in construction and financial activities but lost positions in manufacturing, and education and health.

The metro areas of Elkhart-Goshen, Kokomo, Lafayette, South Bend and Terre Haute gained jobs from May 2003; Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary-Hammond, Muncie lost. Unlike statewide figures, metro data is not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

Amazing Indy
Jun 12, 2004, 5:09 PM
It's good to see for the most part that the state is doing well, too often we hear about Indianapolis being the center of Indiana (whicch it is), but it is good to see that the rest of the state isn't suffering and in some cases is doing well. We need large cities in Indiana, just as long as they ar e not bigger than Indianapolis.

City-of-Chicago
Jun 12, 2004, 7:08 PM
Do you guys think Indianapolis International Airport will break the 10 million mark for passengers after the new terminal is in operation? Are there any future projections as to how much passenger traffic is predicted for Indianapolis?

Amazing Indy
Jun 12, 2004, 7:25 PM
It is hard to say if they will break the new barrier of 10 million in a year. There are a lot of variables. We cannot perdict the way the economy will be once the terminal is open, which could have an adverse effect on flying. We cannot perdict any terrorist attacks, which could adversley effect the airline industry. It also depends on the airport attracting low cost carriers rather than the big airlines. If we could get JetBlue and Airtran to invest in Indianapolis and the new airport I think reaching the 10 million passenger mark would not be that difficult. I just don't think the construction of the building will bring alone 10 million passengers, it will take a while after its created, but the chances are good that it could be happening.

It also dosent hurt that Indianapolis is continuously growing and the airport will have more and more people to service. It will be interesting to see.

Amazing Indy
Jun 13, 2004, 2:22 AM
GO7SD or Snowbird, I can't remember who had the pics, but if you could could you post the road construction and control tower construction pics you took, just so people can take a look at the construction currently underway. Thanks.

Go7SD
Jun 13, 2004, 5:11 AM
Amazing, I have some on file. I'll have them posted later.

Amazing Indy
Jun 13, 2004, 3:26 PM
Thanks^

Amazing Indy
Jun 13, 2004, 9:23 PM
Until GO7SD can post those pictures he took a while ago I found an interesting website that had some interesting info on the new project. The airport is the biggest project Indianapolis has going for it since the news about the Market Square Condos were introduced.

Amazing Indy
Jun 13, 2004, 9:25 PM
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why are you calling this project “The New Indianapolis Airport”? Isn’t this just an expansion project?

A. From a passenger’s perspective, this project really will be a new airport. The terminal will be entirely new and in an entirely new location. The parking lot and garage will be new. Access to the terminal will be new, via a new interchange on I-70 west of I-465.

Q. Why do we need a new terminal?

A. The existing terminal is old, with parts dating back almost 50 years. The modern requirements for security, parking, baggage handling, communications and other systems are difficult to satisfy in the building. Also, it’s in the wrong place. The new terminal’s location between the two main runways will reduce noise and pollution and save taxiing time and fuel.

Q. When will the project be completed?

A. The new highway interchange will be completed by the end of this year. Construction on the new air traffic control tower will be completed this fall and it will be operational in mid-2005. Construction of the terminal should begin in 2005 and it should open in late 2008.

Q. How much will this cost and who will pay for it?

A. The entire project has a budget of just under $1 billion. Airport revenues will pay most of the cost from the airlines, retailers, parking and the like. The federal government will contribute some funds for aviation purposes, such as the new control tower. The Indianapolis Airport Authority gets no state or local tax dollars for this project.

Q. I have heard that the airport is putting in a third runway south of I-70. Is that true?

A. There is no new runway construction in the current project. The airport’s Master Plan allows for a third main runway sometime in the future, and the I-70 project now under way will lower the highway to permit an eventual taxiway over the interstate, but that runway is not part of the current project.

Q. What will happen to the existing passenger terminal?

A. That decision has not yet been made. We do know that all passenger flights, including international arrivals, will come to the new terminal.

Q. Will there be more direct flights to and from Indianapolis at the new terminal?

A. That’s a decision that the airlines will make. It is our hope that the new terminal’s space, design and location will encourage air travel to Indianapolis and persuade airlines that direct flights to more destinations will pay off for them.

Amazing Indy
Jun 13, 2004, 9:27 PM
The New Indianapolis International Airport
The existing Indianapolis International Airport terminal opened in 1957. It has served the community well through many renovations, expansions and years. However, studies show that its capacity to expand and adapt to the needs of 21st Century air travel is limited.

Planning for a new Indianapolis Airport began in 1975 when the Indianapolis Airport Authority adopted a master plan for airport development. The plan called for layout of two parallel runways with a non-intersecting crosswind runway while leaving room for a new "midfield terminal" complex between those runways and new highway access from Interstate 70. Over the past 28 years, these plans have been developed, reviewed, modified and updated.

Terminal Building

The new Indianapolis Airport will feature a modern terminal built in the "midfield" area of the present airport, between the two main runways. The heart of the terminal building is a civic plaza, a central gathering point whose circular shape recalls the shape of the City's central public space, Monument Circle. Although the plaza will serve the necessary functions of both security and concessions, the room is designed to incorporate artwork, provide public event space and enable visitors to sample the character of Indianapolis and the region. The form of the terminal roof is shaped to create a symbolic threshold to the city and state, emanating from the civic plaza. The form is generated by joining the sheltering, centralized shape of an arch with the rise and fall of the building from check-in to departure. Encompassing high glass walls, the building rises over the plaza to reveal a view of the aircraft apron and the city skyline. The terminal is designed as a dynamic, changing form that reveals its purpose as destination, gateway and powerful symbol of the city.

Terminal Site

The midfield terminal site is on unencumbered "greenfield" site that has been reserved for the airport's expansion since 1975. The site is nearly a mile wide, over two miles in length, and has ample space for landside and airside development.

Landside Development


Landside development of the new airport will provide roadway access, utilities distribution, vehicle parking, support facilities and commercial development areas for the terminal area complex.


Airside Development


The airside development of the new airport will provide the aircraft parking, access to the runways, and aviation support facilities. The midfield layout will facilitate the efficient movement of aircraft. Connector taxiways will align with existing exit taxiways to provide the shortest and most direct route to aircraft gates, thereby reducing taxiing time.


Surface Transportation Access


The new airport terminal and concourse will be served primarily by a free-flowing, multi-lane, dedicated central parkway from I-70. The roadway median could also accommodate future light rail development. A surface road system will provide access to airport support facilities.


Master Designer


The Indianapolis Airport Authority has selected St. Louis-based Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK), an internationally known architecture, engineering and construction planning firm, as Master Designer for the new Indianapolis Airport. As Master Designer, HOK will provide a comprehensive design solution for the entire development.


Environmental Management


Construction of the new Indianapolis Airport will provide unique opportunities to develop environmentally friendly buildings and sites. The midfield terminal will incorporate the latest green practices that are considered hallmarks of sustainable development. Operational efficiencies will be gained by incorporating energy-efficient architectural designs and energy management systems.

Project Cost

The $974 million cost of the new Indianapolis Airport will be financed through a combination of federal grants, passenger facility charges, airline facility rents and aircraft landing fees. No state or local tax money will be used to finance construction of the new airport or to repay construction bonds.


Construction


Construction of the new terminal building is slated to begin in 2005

Midwesterner
Jun 14, 2004, 12:30 AM
GO7SD or Snowbird, I can't remember who had the pics, but if you could could you post the road construction and control tower construction pics you took, just so people can take a look at the construction currently underway. Thanks.
Found this:
http://images.fotopic.net/?id=4649355&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

If the pic doesn't work: http://images.fotopic.net/?id=4649355&outx=600&noresize=1&nostamp=1

Amazing Indy
Jun 14, 2004, 12:36 AM
^Thats one of the pics i remember of the control tower, but there was the one of the road construction outside of the airport area that I remember someone having pictures of. We are going to have to keep people posted about the airport with the actual terminal construction beginning in '05 and the constrction of the Market Square Towers

Midwesterner
Jun 14, 2004, 2:35 AM
The Hilton is u/c right now, I'll get some pics of it next time I go downtown.

Go7SD
Jun 14, 2004, 5:11 AM
Here's a rendering of the MSA towers. I'll post the airport construction photos later today.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815msa.jpg

KM1410
Jun 14, 2004, 8:43 AM
Hoteliers reach a crossroads
Inns fear Convention Center expansion needs could spur overcapacity

A consulting firm's call for a massive hotel in Downtown Indianapolis to support an expansion of the Indiana Convention Center is evoking an "amen" from city tourism officials and some hoteliers.

Such a hotel, they say, would allow Indianapolis to compete for and win bigger and better events, such as a national political convention. Indianapolis lost a bid for the 2000 GOP convention to Philadelphia, in part because it didn't have enough top-notch hotel rooms.

But other Downtown hoteliers -- mainly those not located next door to the Convention Center -- worry that another major hotel would hurt their business by filling Downtown with too many rooms. And even the most rabid supporters of the convention-expansion-plus-hotel-mansion combination acknowledge that the Downtown market would need several years to grow into it.

"It becomes the classic (case of) building a new church just for Easter Sunday," said Bill Stanton, managing director of the Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites Downtown. The question is how to keep the place filled during the rest of the year, he said.

The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, was issued in March. It urged the city to build an 800- to 1,000-room hotel or to add about 600 rooms to one of Downtown's major hotels -- the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, The Westin or the Hyatt Regency -- to create a 1,200-room facility.

City officials will pursue the second option first, said Fred Glass, chairman of the Capital Improvement Board, the city-controlled landlord of the Convention Center. If that option fails to pan out, they'll look for a new hotel. Talks about an expansion have already begun with some of the city's major hotels, he said.

The city needs another so-called "headquarters" hotel because large conventions like to congregate most of their attendees in one place, said Bob Bedell, president of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, which is in part funded by the city. Such a hotel could boost tourism business by housing guests while the Convention Center overlaps two or three conventions on its schedule.

"If our Convention Center is almost doubled in size, then we're going after business that is bigger than most of the business that we currently have. We would need to have a bigger hotel than what we currently have," Bedell said. Indianapolis ranked second-to-last among 13 peer cities in terms of the size of its largest hotel, according to the Pricewaterhouse study. The 615-room Marriott is the city's largest.

Bedell predicted that a new hotel could come online in three to six years. But that timing, of course, depends on a Convention Center expansion. Glass has said he wants to be prepared to break ground in the summer of 2005.

Convention dollars at stake

At stake in this debate is $372 million in economic impact that the Convention Center brings to the city, according to the Pricewaterhouse study. Tourists -- many of whom come for conventions -- are the reason Downtown has so many restaurants and retail venues. For example, more than 50 percent of customers walking through Circle Centre mall come from out of town.

As a result, Mayor Bart Peterson has committed himself to expanding the Convention Center. The Capital Improvement Board has identified two possible sites: One to the northwest of the current facility and one to the south of it. The city has also asked the federal government for $20 million to help fund the street changes related to the project.

The issue is urgent to Peterson because some of the largest shows that come to Indianapolis are beginning to leave in search of more space. The annual show of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association will move its 20,000 attendees to Denver from 2006 to 2008, Bedell said. But the organizations leaders have said they'll return to Indianapolis if the Convention Center expands.

Bedell also expects the 39,000-attendee Performance Racing Industry to move its annual convention out of Indianapolis, but give city leaders a commitment to return once the Convention Center expands.

"We are going to lose customers if we don't expand," said Mark Prince, general manager of the Marriott Downtown. "If you build the (Convention Center) space and don't build the new hotel, the customers won't come."

Critics have pointed to the struggles that Baltimore and Chicago have seen recently in filling their convention centers. Others say that makes Chicago, Baltimore and other major cities more hungry for convention business and could fire up competition for Indianapolis' most coveted shows.

Time for recovery

In spite of those concerns, John Livengood supports a Convention Center expansion. But the president of the Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association wants to give Downtown hotels a chance to recover from three years of losses -- sustained during the recession of 2001 and a steep drop-off in business travel after Sept. 11, 2001 -- before new rooms flood into Downtown.

"To me, it's a little too early to talk about a new 1,000-room hotel," he said. "We're starting to come back, but it's not going to happen overnight."

Bedell, who has championed the cause of another major hotel even before the Pricewaterhouse study, echoes that thought.

"The longer it takes," he said, "the better off all of the existing hotels Downtown will be."

The city's hotels are beginning to recover, along with the rest of the country. A study by the Hospitality Group of PKF Consulting predicts that national occupancy rate in the nation's top 52 markets will rise this year nearly 3 percentage points to 64.5 percent. The price of rooms should also climb nearly 3 percent to $96.93.

Downtown Indianapolis performed better last year than the national average of 61.7 percent. In 2003, occupancy among Downtown hotels was 65.9 percent, down from 67.1 percent in 2002, according to Nashville, Tenn.-based Smith Travel Research. Room rates in 2003 were $118.34. Across the country, 2003 occupancy was 59.2 percent, according to Smith Travel. The average room rate was $83.12.

Suburban hotels

Livengood is also concerned about hotels outside of Downtown. They largely have been cut out from convention visitors as more hotels went up Downtown, he said, and that could be exacerbated by yet another Downtown facility. At the same time, a raft of suburban hotel construction in the late-1990s has pinched business at suburban hotels.

The 2003 occupancy of the Indianapolis metro area was 55 percent -- more than six percentage points below the national average, according to Smith Travel. The average room rate was $75.22.

"Short-term, the (suburban) hotels will feel it. It would take awhile for the demand to catch up to the additional rooms," said Brent Myrick, general manager at the Marriott Center near 21st Street and Shadeland Avenue. "But long-term, the growth of the Convention Center, it's important for the success of the city."

Stanton, at the Adam's Mark, isn't so sure.

Downtown already has new hotel capacity to absorb. The 180-room Hilton Garden Inn opened near Monument Circle in December. And 243 more rooms are coming in 2006 when the Conrad Hilton opens at Washington and Illinois streets.

That's one reason Stanton intends to focus his hotel more on business travelers and less on convention business when the hotel changes to the Hilton brand in August. Stanton used a similar strategy while general manager at The Westin, which helped him survive Marriott's opening next door in 2001. Adding as much as 1,000 rooms to the mix would funnel more business to the Downtown area and less to the outlying hotels, Stanton said. Even some Downtown hotels could suffer.

"When conventions don't need huge blocks of rooms, I'll hear the sucking sound," Stanton said. "But in my case, it will just make me more keen on not being so dependent on conventions."


The 10 largest Downtown hotels

A study commissioned by the city says that Downtown Indianapolis needs a hotel with 800 to 1,200 rooms to accommodate extra business that could flow if the city expands the Indiana Convention Center. That recommendation could be met by either expanding an existing hotel or building a new one of "headquarters" size. But some Downtown hoteliers worry that adding so many rooms would further harm their businesses, which have suffered during the recent recession.
http://www.indystar.com/images/graphics/2004/0614_hotels.jpg

Hotel Rooms
1. Indianapolis Marriott Downtown 615
2. Westin Indianapolis 573
3. Hyatt Regency Downtown 497
4. Omni Severin 424
5. Radisson Hotel City Centre 374
6. Embassy Suites Indianapolis Downtown 360
7. Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites Downtown 332
8. University Place Conference Center 278
9. Crowne Plaza Hotel at Union Station 275
10. Courtyard Indianapolis Downtown 233

KM1410
Jun 14, 2004, 8:46 AM
Hyatt may fill Simon space
Hotel expansion possible when developer moves out

By Tammy Lieber
IBJ Reporter

When Simon Property Group Inc. makes its planned move into a new headquarters building in 2006, it will leave behind 172,000 square feet of office space in National City Center.
One option for owners: Converting at least some of Simon’s space into hotel rooms to accommodate a proposed expansion of the Indiana Convention Center.
The likely contender to do that is Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, which occupies half of the building on the square block bordered by Maryland, Illinois and Washington streets, and Capitol Avenue. The other half, which is the office space occupied by Simon and several others, is owned by Virginia-based Harbor Group International LLC.
“If the convention center were to expand and we could work it out, we would be interested in expanding,” said David Jacobs, the Hyatt’s manager. Talks, though, haven’t moved beyond general, informal discussions, he added.
Steve Schneider, general manager of National City Center for Harbor Group, said Hyatt has not approached Harbor with an offer to discuss a purchase for a hotel expansion.
“That’s not the option we’re currently pursuing,” Schneider said. “If Hyatt’s interested and they step forward, we’ll talk to them, and it may not go any further than that. But that hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t know when or if it will.”
Bob Bedell, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, said he has had “a conversation or two” with Jacobs about expansion. ICVA, supported by a consultant’s study, has said an 800- to 1,000-room “convention headquarters” hotel will be necessary when, and if, the convention center expands.
But Bedell said he isn’t ready to weigh in on a Hyatt expansion.
“As for questions of whether a specific expansion would work, I can’t tell you until a whole bunch of questions have been answered,” Bedell said.
Those questions include how many rooms the hotel would have, whether there is adequate parking, and how much meeting and ballroom space inside the hotel could be added, he said.
Expanding the Hyatt, however, “certainly should be looked at.”
Building a new hotel from the ground up on a separate site also is a possibility, he said.
With their proximity to the convention center, Hyatt, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown and Westin Indianapolis would all make good candidates for expansion, Bedell said.
Expanding, rather than building a new hotel, could make more economic sense and put less pressure on hoteliers to fill rooms. Expanding into an existing building could be even less expensive.
“The city could get a 1,000-room hotel and it would cost a lot less to convert than to build a new one,” said Mike Wells, president of locally based REI Investments Inc. and one of the developers of the Marriott Downtown.
At 497 rooms, the Hyatt is the city’s fourth-largest hotel, occupying a 20-story tower on the north half of the building it shares with the 16-story National City Center. Simon’s space is on the top floors of the south and east towers of the building. Bedell said the amount of space that might be converted to hotel rooms hasn’t been fully discussed, but local office experts said converting one of the office towers would make sense.
The layout of the building—hotel rooms and offices surrounding an open atrium—would be well-suited for more hotel rooms, they said.
The Marion County Capital Improvement Board is said to be close to a decision on whether to expand the convention center and where the expansion should be located. A consultant’s study completed earlier this year suggested the center could accommodate a 275,000-squarefoot addition to the current 400,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The downtown Marriott, the state’s largest hotel at 615 rooms, was completed in 2001. A 243-room Conrad Hotel is under construction at the corner of Washington and Illinois streets, but its relatively small size, with room prices nearing $200 a night, won’t make the hotel particularly convention-friendly.
New owners of the 332-room Adam’s Mark Hotel and Suites Downtown are planning to enhance the hotel’s attractiveness to convention-goers with a rebranding as a Hilton Hotel and a $6.5 million upgrade of the guest rooms and lobby. But the improvements won’t include additional rooms.
If part of National City Center is converted to hotel rooms, it would have an added benefit of keeping an additional 172,000 square feet of vacant office space off the market. During all of 2003, about 141,000 square feet of office space was absorbed in the downtown market, and experts don’t expect the office market to improve significantly by 2006, when Simon’s lease expires.
Based on that trend, it could take two or three years to fill the space left behind by Simon. National City Center’s proximity to the Statehouse makes it a natural choice for state agencies, several of which already have offices in the building.
“To me, that’s kind of a natural,” said Nick Arterburn, first vice president of the local office of CB Richard Ellis, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate brokerage. If Hyatt does expand, “whatever leftover office space doesn’t get converted might get backfilled with a lot of state uses.”

KM1410
Jun 14, 2004, 8:52 AM
Jazz Fest pre-show goal short
Break even point is 20,000 for renewed 3-day event

By Peter Schnitzler pschnitzler@ibj.com




Despite its best efforts, the American Pianists Association is $400,000 short.
Even so, APA Executive Director Helen Small isn’t worried.
As organizer of the 2004 Indy Jazz Fest, APA is returning the event to its original three-day format. Through grants and corporate sponsorships, Small had hoped to raise all $1.1 million of the festival’s budgeted expenses before a single artist took the stage.
So far, Small said, APA has raised $700,000. As long as at least 20,000 people turn out June 18-20 to see the likes of Patti LaBelle, Isaac Hayes and Buddy Guy, she said, Indy Jazz Fest should break even. And if crowds approach anything like their typical 35,000-to-55,000 levels, the profit will roll in.
“We’ve fallen short of the total goal. But for the first time having this objective, that’s not bad,” Small said. “We are insured for bad weather and hope that we get a great crowd, which I’m confident that we will because the lineup is so great. I think we’re going to come out just fine.”
First organized in 1999, Indy Jazz Fest was a fan favorite. But a rainout in 2000 washed away its profit, and left the next two years’ festivals saddled with debt. By last year, Jazz Fest was barely afloat.
Enter the APA. A timely pardon from the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank and a cents-on-the-dollar agreement with 18 creditors put Indy Jazz Fest back on an even financial keel.
But protracted negotiations left Small with little time to organize last fall’s abridged “Taste of Indy Jazz Fest.” Although just 2,200 attended, it eked out a $90,000 profit.
Grants from the Lilly Endowment and more than 20 sponsorships gave Small the $700,000 foundation for this year’s Indy Jazz Fest. But until APA stages a successful multi-day festival, Small must confront an unfortunate Catch-22.
“We are facing a wait-and-see attitude from some corporations, which of course is self-defeating,” she said. “If everybody holds their money back and waits to see if it does well, sure enough, it won’t do as well as if we had the money.”
But momentum can roll in both directions. Small has created a three-year strategic plan for the festival. Any profits booked this year will be spent on next year’s talent—the higher the attendance, the bigger the names. In turn, those artists should attract still larger crowds each year.
At the same time, Small envisions a potential network of North American jazz festivals. Indy Jazz Fest could showcase inexpensive up-and-coming talent from New Orleans or Monterey, Calif., while in exchange it would share local prodigies, such as the APA’s Cole Porter Jazz Fellow.
As Indy Jazz Fest gains recognition, sponsors should be increasingly eager to sign on. With luck, Small said, APA may raise the budget for next year’s festival entirely in advance.
“What we’re trying to do is buck a nationwide trend. In Indianapolis, our community really values our cultural assets,” Small said. “It’s going to take more than one year, obviously, but I think the corporate community can be convinced that the way to make sure this event is long-lasting is to fund it up front.”
But first, Small must handle the here-andnow. More than 800 people have volunteered to help operate Indy Jazz Fest on the days of show—so many that Small is turning latecomers away. An advertising campaign that includes billboards, radio, print and television publicity has also begun.
So far, ticket sales have reached only about $20,000. But Small isn’t fazed. She expects most folks to buy within a few days of the show.
“People are just now focusing on what’s coming up. Our ad campaign has just started. I’m not concerned,” she said. “I think most people wait until the last minute to part with their money.”
Concept Prints, which has produced Indy Jazz Fest’s T-shirts, hats and posters since 2002, expects a robust turnout. Account representative Shiron Miller said the firm has printed several thousand Indy Jazz Fest branded items, ranging in price from $15 to $20. If they move quickly on the first day, she said, Concept Prints will churn out more on Saturday to satisfy demand.
“It’s gone back a little bit more to the true roots of jazz. That’s going to be the big difference,” she said. “Jazz enthusiasts will be excited.”
Keira Amstutz, assistant deputy mayor for public affairs and administrator of the city’s cultural tourism initiative, said she’s “thrilled” with the job Small and the APA have done reorganizing Indy Jazz Fest.
“It’s a special event. It has a special meaning to a lot of people here, and I’m pleased it’s returning in its multi-day format,” she said. “We have a great tradition of wonderful festivals in the city, and a great tradition of jazz. It’s important to have signature events like this to bring people to our community and to bring our community together.”

http://tampa.ibj.com/Repository/getimage.dll?path=IBJ/2004/06/14/3/Img/Pc0030500.jpg

KM1410
Jun 14, 2004, 8:54 AM
State’s high-speed rail lags neighbors
Political courage and cold cash needed to bring decade-old multistate initiative to fruition

By Anthony Schoettle aschoettle@ibj.com




In Dennis Hodges’ mind, Indiana’s track to solving future transportation challenges first must be lined with green—as in money. Then it will take plenty of intestinal fortitude—as in political courage.
Right now, the way Hodges’ Indiana High Speed Rail Association sees it, the Hoosier state lacks both.
As the IHSRA approaches its 10th anniversary June 15, Hodges notes Illinois has allocated $100 million for the study and implementation of high-speed railroad corridors, while Wisconsin and Michigan have come up with $50 million each.
I n I n d i a n a ? The General Assembly in 2003 authorized spending $2.6 million in federally allocated transportation planning funds to study high-speed rail’s impact over the next two years. But the Indiana Department of Transportation has yet to come up with the 10 percent state match needed to put the funding in play.
Hodges admits IHSRA needs to turn up the lobbying heat and beef up the marketing muscle.
“We must make it clear that this is a project that would make new economies for Indiana communities,” said Hodges, IHSRA cofounder. “We see this as an absolute economic development issue. Maybe we haven’t been boisterous about that. Going forward, that will be our message.”
Hodges’ organization has enjoyed support from Gov. Joe Kernan and his predecessor, Gov. Frank O’Bannon. Many in the General Assembly and the state’s congressional delegation also say they favor the idea of dedicated rail lines for trains connecting Indianapolis to Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati at speeds of 110 mph to 125 mph.
But until now, Hodges said, state and local politicians have offered only lip service.
“We can’t be viewed as just rail fans any more,” Hodges said. “Advocates of this effort are serious-minded economic developers, business owners and community leaders who want to see this happen for very strategic reasons.”
Membership in the association has grown from 100 to 225 in the last three years, Hodges said.
Tom Beck, INDOT rail section manager, expects a $260,000 state match to be found and preliminary impact studies to begin by late this year. That should lead to a “purpose and needs statement” and public input sessions, both critical steps. The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, a coalition of transportation officials from nine area states, including Indiana, also plans to have a final business plan for the highspeed system within 60 days.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is calling for more swift action from Indiana’s Washington delegation and state lawmakers.
“We realize there are a lot of competing projects for these dollars,” said state chamber President Kevin Brinegar. “But we think there needs to be more attention and funding to this issue, and we intend to keep stating our case. High-speed rail creates another transportation opportunity to keep this state growing, and we think it will have a direct impact on tourism and job opportunities here.”
Richard Streeter, a Barnes & Thornburg attorney and Washington, D.C., transportation lobbyist, is one of the IHSRA’s newest allies. Streeter hopes to make inroads with Indiana and Illinois congressional delegates.
“I’ve been in transportation law for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen few issues that are as pressing as this one,” said Streeter, who has offered to do work pro bono for Hodges’ group. “With fuel costs, air-quality issues, challenges facing air travel [and] congestion on highways, I’m convinced this issue confronts hundreds of thousands of people in Indianapolis and Chicago each year.
“I think if this initiative is fully realized,” he added, “it can be an economic boon for Indianapolis and Chicago. Cities like New York and Philadelphia have discovered this.”
The IHSRA has successfully lobbied for legislation identifying corridors in the state dedicated to high-speed rail. Those corridors link Chicago to Louisville and Cincinnati through Indianapolis.
Despite the need to upgrade existing lines, Hodges points out estimates that high-speed rail costs about $2 million per mile, considerably less than the $18 million to $30 million the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates it costs to build a four-lane highway.
Tickets for a round-trip ride to neighboring cities from Indianapolis likely would cost $125 on high-speed rail. It would take about two hours to get to Chicago. It takes 45 minutes to fly the same route, but that doesn’t include the time it takes to navigate both airports. A car trip to Chicago takes more than three hours.
“High-speed rail clearly represents the best way to get from the center of Indianapolis to the center of Chicago,” Streeter said. “This is absolutely the longterm solution to so many issues facing this region. But taking it from theory to reality takes money, and the question remains: Where is the money going to come from?”
It would cost $900 million in federal funding and $180 million from state coffers to implement the 520 miles of highspeed rail on designated corridors in Indiana, Hodges said.
“We have to step up and show politicians and community leaders that highspeed rail is worth a piece of the pie,” Hodges said. “Our next critical step is to work for federally earmarked money and specific state matches.”

http://tampa.ibj.com/Repository/getimage.dll?path=IBJ/2004/06/14/42/Img/Pc0420200.jpg

Amazing Indy
Jun 14, 2004, 10:14 PM
That article on the possibility of a new downtown hotel is an intresting issue. I'm one of those who believe that a new Convention Center is a wise investment with the past success and bookings of Conventions and with the building of a new airport. The problem is with the other hotels. I think Indianapolis has a great core of hotels downtown and I'd rather see them expand or build another building next to their original location. It seems as though that won't happen because of the lack of space to add on and the hotels proximity to the Convention Center. I think the only hotel that could really consider an expansion is the Hyatt Regency. It will certainly be interesting to see the descions the city and the local hotels will make. Who knows we could have another skyscraper to talk about besides the Market Square Towers. Stay tuned.

IndianaMike
Jun 14, 2004, 11:43 PM
^ doesn't Indianapolis already own something like 18 acres south of the RCA Dome? If so, tear down the dome, expand the convention center, and build the new stadium on the 18 acres. And whatever land is left sell it to Marriott or Crown Plaza or someone and let them expand their hotel.

Go7SD
Jun 15, 2004, 5:38 AM
Here are the photos as promised.

Indianapolis Int'l. Airport expansion

The new ramps that will connect the new I-70 to the Midfield Terminal.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_2835.jpg

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_2836.jpg

These two were taken today.

View of the new ramps from a distance. I know it's blurry but I almost hit this girl right in the ass while taken this shot. That would have been embarrasing. :no:
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3226.jpg
Finally, the new tower takes center stage.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3230.jpg

Indiana Convention Center

Fighting Irish, yes, the lot south of the dome is owned by the city. I agree, I think they should tear down the dome. I believe the problem would be solved if they would just build a 1,000 room hotel highrise in place of the dome as part of the expansion.

View of the RCA Dome and ICC from the Eagle's Nest last summer
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_2606.jpg

Future site of the new Simon Headquarters at Capital Commons.
I would hate to see the park go but what can you do in the name of progress.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_2602.jpg

Speaking of progress a few shots of the Indiana State Museum. Beautiful isn't she?
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3200.jpg

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3199.jpg

Amazing Indy
Jun 15, 2004, 8:05 PM
Thanks Go7SD. You didn't have to sacrifice one for the team by going out and taking pictures of it, but thanks for the updated photo. Can't wait to see the actual construction of the building (terminal). I have been to the Indiana State Museum and in terms of museum architecture, it is one of the best. As for the land owned by the city by the RCA Dome, I was unaware that the city owned it (duh), but that would certainly be a good idea or as Go said put the hotel where the dome was. I just think there would be a better chance for development on the RCA Dome site, so building the hotel across from the dome could open the land to other development. I'd like to see two areas be developed rather than one, but oh well I'm greedy.

Amazing Indy
Jun 15, 2004, 8:15 PM
Indianapolis, June 15 - A mock disaster drill under the early morning sun used the Castleton Square Mall as a backdrop.

There were reports of an explosion and then mass casualties with first responders rushing to the mall's north side loading dock.

Lawrence Township Fire Department's James King says, "Something like this, when there's a lot of people involved, the potential for a lot of casualties, it gives us a chance, you know, to practice our skills."

The mall joined Lawrence and Washington townships and the town of Fishers to practice the local response to a major disaster.

Twenty-four mock victims were treated at the nearby Community hospitals. Hospital Spokesperson Lynda de Widt explains, "What this is is a test to see if our employees can respond to an actual disaster and emergency. They ran smoothly today. We really didn't have any problems."

The mock drill, planned months in advance, comes one day after the Midwest was rocked with the news that two men, Nuradin Abdi and Iyman Faris, were plotting a terror attack in Ohio.

"It is alleged that Abdi, along with admitted al-Qaida operative Faris and other co-conspirators, initiated a plot to blow up a Columbus area shopping mall," said US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Both men are in custody after federal officials foiled their plot.

For mall walker Joan Paulin, the idea of terror striking close to home proves drills like these are invaluable. "I was kind of scared when I drove up and saw all of this equipment. I think it's great. I think it's great. I just heard what happened in Columbus, Ohio and that's scary."

It is a scenario, admittedly scary, being practiced across the country.

Mock drills like these are conducted several times a year. This one was planned months in advance and happened to coincide with Monday's news from Columbus, Ohio.

__________________________________________________
It's an all to reall possibility of something like that happening, maybe not at this mall, maybe not in Indianapolis, Maybe not in Indiana, but after the scare in Columbus it is deffinetly worth it to practice for the worst. Glad to see that Indianapolis invested time and money to do this. Money I think well spent.

Amazing Indy
Jun 15, 2004, 8:18 PM
The feeling is a familiar one to clubgoers and sports fans -- after leaving the bar or dance floor, or after walking out of the third overtime of a Downtown Indianapolis sporting event, you find your stomach trying to communicate with you in a strange language.

It's obvious that you're hungry. What isn't always so obvious is what to do about it. There are plenty of things to do after hours here, but where do you eat afterwards?

Recent college graduate Katie Beyer summed up her sentiments about Downtown with few words.

"If I'm going to be out late, I'd be in Broad Ripple," she said.

Ben and Sandy Garcia of Freemont, Calif., visiting for their daughter's wedding, said Indy's early-bird nature took a little getting used to.

"Why does everything close so early?" Ben Garcia said.

Sandy reasoned that Indianapolis' Downtown area might not be big enough to sustain a lot of after-hours places. "San Francisco is so much more wide open, so you're going to find things open late."

Joe Ochoa, manager of the Red Eye Café, said the restaurant business is a sink or swim affair.

"There's so many variables," he said.

When the Red Eye opened April 2, Ochoa and the owners had a "soft opening," meaning they opened the restaurant but didn't advertise. This was so they could work out the bugs in the equipment, the computers and the staff without inconveniencing too many people.

Ochoa said the 24-hour business cycle makes the already fickle food-service business that much harder. The staff has to work together to keep themselves and customers happy.

"We have a small crew that has held together and is doing very well," he said.

Most Downtown Indianapolis restaurants and bar kitchens close at or before 11. A few, however, stay open till midnight or later, catching people either before they head to the clubs or right after they get out of an evening event.



The beginning of the late shift

The Abbey, 771 Massachusetts Ave.

The Abbey, an award-winning coffeehouse at the corner of St. Clair Street and Massachusetts and College avenues, stays open until midnight or 1 a.m. depending on the crowd. The Abbey serves all manner of sandwiches and soups as well as many different kinds of coffee drinks. Its iced chai is a cool summertime favorite.

The shop has a free-spirited and eclectic atmosphere, with a blue sky painted on the ceiling and menu items bearing the names of employees and favored customers. Nathaniel's Miracle Quesadilla and Lorena's Bagel sandwich are two favorites.

Night manager John Daubenspeck said the Abbey is also a popular study hall, in part because of the free wireless Internet access it provides.

"During the school year, you'll see tons of people with their faces in a book," he said.

The Abbey is also popular with teenagers who need a late-night hangout but aren't old enough to go to bars.

During the day, the Abbey hosts a number of formal and informal meetings. Mark Holcomb, a church youth pastor, regularly meets other youth pastors there.

"The coffee's cheaper than Starbucks," he said.

The Scholars Inn Gourmet Café and Wine Bar, 725 Massachusetts Ave.

The people at the Scholars Inn want you to think the restaurant is as trendy and fresh as a hip Manhattan restaurant.

Manager Todd Rainer said that was the vision of owners Lyle and Carrie Feigenbaum. Lyle, formerly an actor in New York City, wanted to bring the feel of metropolitan New York back home to Indiana.

The blue-tinged modern art décor and brushed aluminum menus complete the tone nicely.

"To build something quaint wasn't what we were trying to do," Rainer said.

Rainer said all the menu items are made from scratch, and the breads come from the Scholars Inn Bakehouse, with locations in Broad Ripple and Bloomington. The menu (entrees $14-$35) runs the gamut from seafood to vegetarian to a specialty hot dog. Entrees are served until 11 throughout the week. On weekends, when the restaurant is open until 1 a.m., appetizers are served until 12:30 a.m.

Buffalo Wild Wings, 15 E. Maryland St.

Manager Brian DeWeese says of the typical late-night dining experience: "Don't expect to eat healthy at 1 in the morning."

Buffalo Wild Wings offers wings, fries and pretty much anything else that can be deep-fried until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on the weekends. Earlier in the day, patrons can get salads, burgers, and other classic sports bar goodies. Regular customer Brenda Phillips said she picks up her family's dinner there once a week.

"Just so we don't have to cook," she said. "I try to get the healthy stuff, but my husband likes the fried."

Apart from some fast-food chains, DeWeese said there is a lack of selection for late-night food.

"We get complaints from people who come in at 2 in the morning and want food," he said.

After 1 a.m., however, customers can still content themselves with the largest beer selection of any Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in the country.



Staying out later?

English Ivy's, 944 N. Alabama St.

English Ivy's draws a mix of people.

"In the evenings we cater to more of a gay crowd," owner Tim Riley said. "But since the neighborhood has grown up, there's more families now."

Open until 2:30 a.m., the late-night menu is more extensive than most bars would have, and it may be the only place in town with fried dill pickles. The under-21 crowd and minors are served in the separate dining area, though the crowd may not be too welcoming to any 10-year-olds who might be out on the town past 9.

The Slippery Noodle Inn, 372 S. Meridian St.

Considering the kinds of music acts that swing through the Slippery Noodle, you may find yourself already there when hunger strikes. If not, the Noodle's late-night menu is roughly half of its extensive full menu, and open for choosing until 3 a.m.

The Noodle also has a lot of history. First built in 1850, the current owner's father, Hal Yeagy Sr., named the bar the Slippery Noodle in 1963. Before it was a bar, the Noodle also served as a way station on the Underground Railroad, a prohibition-era whiskey factory and a hangout for the Dillinger gang.

Now the bar is a virtual shrine to the blues. In 2003, it was named the Blues Foundation's blues club of the year.

"To the blues community, that's the equivalent of a Grammy," Yeagy Jr. said.

The combination of good food and good blues keeps the Noodle full of different kinds of people, day in and day out.

"We're about as nondenominational as you can get," Yeagy Jr. said.



Open all night

Red Eye Café, 250 S. Meridian St.; International House of Pancakes, 1549 N. Meridian St.; Steak N Shake, 101 W. Maryland St.; White Castle, 55 W. South St.

Typically, there are four area chain restaurants that stay open past the wee hours of the morning: Steak N Shake; Denny's; the International House of Pancakes; and White Castle. Until recently, White Castle and Steak N Shake were the only 24-hour options Downtown within walking distance of most major events. Wayne Hill, manager of Luna Music on Massachusetts Avenue, said though it's unhealthy, fast food often hits that late-night spot.

"Sometimes greasy spoon is good," he said. "Six White Castles and some onion chips? I'm there!"

The International House of Pancakes at 16th and Meridian serves up steaks, omelets, burgers and all kinds of pancake varieties. It's a short drive from major Downtown venues such as Conseco Fieldhouse and the theater district. The closest Denny's is at least five miles in any direction.

Enter the Red Eye Café on south Meridian. Its owners, Matt Haughey, Rich Bucheri and Don Poynter, claim that the new Red Eye is the only non-chain restaurant in Indianapolis that's open 24 hours.

Ochoa, the manager, said it took a lot of gumption to get the Red Eye started.

"It's very challenging and demanding," he said. "For three owners to take on a 24-hour restaurant operation without ever owning one before, it took a lot of cojones."

That nerve is even more necessary to open up a restaurant Downtown.

"We have good food," Ochoa said. "To be downtown, you have to. People expect it."

The Red Eye's outward appearance belies its true nature. With all of the "Welcome Race Fans" banners and neon beer signs, the Red Eye fits right in with the rest of the south Meridian bars. Inside, however, is a full menu, including breakfast, a wine list and a coffee bar. It even has free wireless Internet access for the laptop users out late.

"That was the goal," Haughey said. "This is everything we wanted in a place that wasn't around."

Haughey and his partners' goal is a lofty one. Hill, a veteran traveler, said Indianapolis hasn't reached 24-hour-cool status yet.

"This city doesn't have the 24-hour vibe," he said. "Only your bigger cities can carry one."


___________________________________________________

If you are a visitor to the city or a citizen, this list and article is for you. I must admit that restauraunts close all to early, but its glad tosee that the ones that stay up late are getting this attention and maybe it will force more to do the same. I usually eat out with friends very late so the Red Eye Cafe is def. something I will go to.

Amazing Indy
Jun 17, 2004, 11:51 PM
Speaking of the Airport:

Indianapolis airport officials this morning approved a lease agreement with Illinois-based AAR Corp. that would put a tenant in part of the abandoned United Airlines maintenance base.

New maintenance operations could create 800 jobs by 2009, airport officials said.

The lease is for 10 years with an option for 10 more, AAR said in a news release.

Operations are scheduled to begin this fall and AAR will use two of the 12 hangar bays. The company may eventually use as many as 10 hangar bays, the news release said.

Additional terms of the deal are expected to be released later today at a news conference.

The Airport Authority board voted unanimously to approve the lease. One of the six board members was absent and did not vote.

The Indianapolis Star reported in April that officials were in serious discussions with AAR, after looking at more than 80 firms over 18 months to occupy all or a portion of one of the world's largest and most sophisticated airline overhaul facilities. AAR's only heavy maintenance aircraft facility is in Oklahoma City, where leaders for months have been concerned that work might be shifted to Indianapolis.

United closed the base in 2003, eliminating jobs for more than 1,200 mechanics and about 300 other salaried workers.

The base was built in the early 1990s with more than $300 million in state and local incentives, but at its peak, it employed only about half of the 6,300 workers once planned. United never expanded its fleet as expected, and overhaul work was outsourced to nonunion, private contractors.

The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, along with a slow economy that dashed business travel, hit United especially hard and forced it into bankruptcy reorganization.

AAR officials declined to comment about setting up operations in Indianapolis but confirmed that the company is in need of room to expand its heavy maintenance division, based in Oklahoma City.

"At times we find ourselves at capacity," said AAR spokesman Chris Mason.

Oklahoma officials have been working feverishly to find more hangar space for AAR at Will Rogers World Airport, where AAR now employs 650 people.

Oklahoma state Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, said officials have been concerned for months that AAR might move work to Indianapolis. She said AAR recently landed a major contract to repair aircraft for Alaska Airlines.

"They needed an additional hangar," she said.

Alaska Airlines' vice president of maintenance and engineering is Fred L. Mohr, previously the general manager of the Indianapolis United base.

There's another United connection: Among AAR's directors is James E. Goodwin, former chairman and chief executive officer of United and its parent company, UAL.

AAR employs 2,800 people at 40 facilities worldwide, ranging from aircraft-parts manufacturing to sales and leasing of aircraft.

Under terms of bonds floated to construct the Indianapolis facility, the base must continue to be used for aircraft repair. The 1.7 million square-foot facility, with 12 hangar bays, also has dozens of shops used to manufacture aircraft components, including flooring.

It was unclear Wednesday what incentives local and state officials might offer AAR or other tenants. The $12 million that the city recovered from United two years ago, in penalties for not reaching the job levels projected under United's initial incentive package, was spent by the city on public safety and economic development, said Mayor Bart Peterson.

There remains several million dollars in unused bond proceeds used to construct the base in the 1990s that could be tapped for incentives, which could take on the form of upgrades to the base.

Hundreds of former United workers remain in the Indianapolis area and could be considered for the AAR jobs. Peterson, who declined to comment on AAR, said the base eventually might house multiple tenants and provide more job opportunities.

"Actually, I've been waiting and hoping they'd reopen the facility. It's a career I enjoy," said Barry Andersch, of Indianapolis, a former United mechanic. Since the base closed he has earned a degree in business management, which he'd like to use in management or specialized aircraft repair work.

His father -- now retired -- was one of the first 100 mechanics at the Indianapolis base. His sister worked as a storekeeper supervisor, and her husband was a United worker. "It's a United family," Andersch said.

Other former United workers, while fond of the industry, aren't sure they want to return to jobs that are prone to layoffs.

"I kind of got a sour taste in my mouth. I'm a little gun-shy," said Brad Burns, who used to work at the base and previously for Boeing, Lockheed and Rockwell. He transferred his skills to the materials handling industry.

____________________________________________________Good to see that with the construction of the new airport wont hurt the other entities of the airport.

Amazing Indy
Jun 17, 2004, 11:52 PM
Conseco Inc. informed its full-time employees at its Carmel headquarters today that 200 of their comrades would lose their jobs.

In addition, the insurance company will let another 100 temporary workers and contractors go.

The cuts are designed to save costs and simplify its business structure, according to a memo sent to Conseco's 2,400 Carmel employees by Mike Hone, chief operating officer of Conseco Insurance Group, the organizational unit for all Conseco's insurance companies based in Carmel.

The cuts represent about 8 percent of the company's Carmel workforce. Conseco employs 4,300 workers nationwide.

"We committed to our investors that we would operate as a profitable insurance company. To accomplish this, we must improve our financial position by operating more efficiently, reducing complexity and costs," Hone wrote. "If we delay, we risk losing all that we've accomplished so far."

Conseco has been trying to recover after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in September 2003.

Hone's implication that Conseco could fail to be profitable comes after the company has posted two straight profitable quarters, but lowered its profit forecast for the full fiscal year.

That revelation sent Conseco's stock downward. It closed today at $19.14, up 21 cents.

Conseco did get a boost earlier this year when two debt ratings firms raised their grades on Conseco's debt, a key measure for insurance companies. But A.M. Best, often perceived as the premier authority on insurance debt, has not raised its rating of Conseco's debt.

"I'm not sure that they're out of the woods yet," said Mark Foster, chief investment officer at Kirr Marbach & Co. in Columbus, Ind.

Amazing Indy
Jun 17, 2004, 11:53 PM
Gov. Joe Kernan announced this morning a series of new policies designed to help small businesses in Indiana prosper.

The proposals, Kernan said, will encourage more Indiana businesses to work with and buy from each other; cut red tape for small businesses and give them access to capital; and increase training opportunities for small businesses.

The program -- some of which he will accomplish by executive order and some of which will take legislative action -- will cost about $9.45 million, Kernan said. The money would be redirected from existing sources, he said.

Kernan, a Democrat seeking his first full term in office in the Nov. 2 election, unveiled the initiatives in a speech this morning to the Indiana Health Industry Forum meeting at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

His Republican opponent, former White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels, addressed the forum later in the morning.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Daniels called the proposals "way too little, and eight years too late" from a governor who had been Indiana's lieutenant governor for seven years, a job that includes heading the state's Department of Commerce.

Kernan's decision to create a small business advocate, Daniels said, is "trivial.''

"We have very large problems, and this administration shoots BBs,'' he said.

And he said that the need to boost small business is one he's talked about since beginning his campaign a year ago.

"All these problems are ones that we have pointed out. The failure to buy in the state of Indiana. The inattention to small business. The overregulation that has cost us so many jobs,'' Daniels said. "All these problems have been visible and getting worse for all these years. The folks who created this problem are probably not the folks to clean it up.

Kernan said Indiana's economic picture is improving, but more work needs to be done.

"We begin with Hoosier small business, the heart of our state's economy,'' he said. "I believe that state government's responsibilities to 'get the best deal' for our customers and to spur economic development and job growth are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they go hand-in-hand.''

The proposals include:

-- A Buy Indiana Website through the Indiana Department of Administration, which will begin in July to connect Indiana business. To be listed on the site, a business must meet any of three criteria: its headquarters are here; over half of its revenue comes from here; or over half of its employees are located in Indiana.

-- An Office of Small Business Advocacy, housed in the Indiana Department of Commerce, to reduce unnecessary regulations; help small businesses access capital, and develop a health care resource center for small business.

-- A review of every state government regulation to see if it unfairly burdens small business. Kernan said any new regulation developed by a state agency must meet a small business fiscal impact statement. And he is proposing that the legislature change Indiana law to waive any state fine or penalty on a small business if the business takes corrective action for whatever problem they have incurred in 30 days.

More money will be available for small businesses, including $2 million that will go to an existing loan program for minority-owned businesses, and $3 million in existing Indiana Development Finance Authority for matching funds for loans for companies with high growth potential.

A small business worker training rebate will be created that will give companies with 50 or fewer employees from $50 to $100 per employee, up to a total of 20 employees, depending on the level of job training the worker is certified as completing.

In his speech to the health forum, Daniels highlighted his former position as a top executive with Eli Lilly and Co. In that role, he said, he would traverse the United States and as far away as Asia and Europe to search for new science and potential medical breakthroughs. Companies, he said, should not have to search so far from their home state for such innovations, he said, when Indiana has so many assets here that could be optimized.

If elected governor, he promised to be a leading advocate to boost the life sciences industry in Indiana.

About 600 people are attending the health conference -- though far fewer attended Kernan's early morning speech. The forum is the third annual conference of the group, which is intended to bring together the state's growing life sciences industry to exchange ideas and network.

Go7SD
Jun 18, 2004, 12:23 AM
Thanks Go7SD. You didn't have to sacrifice one for the team by going out and taking pictures of it, but thanks for the updated photo. Can't wait to see the actual construction of the building (terminal). I have been to the Indiana State Museum and in terms of museum architecture, it is one of the best. As for the land owned by the city by the RCA Dome, I was unaware that the city owned it (duh), but that would certainly be a good idea or as Go said put the hotel where the dome was. I just think there would be a better chance for development on the RCA Dome site, so building the hotel across from the dome could open the land to other development. I'd like to see two areas be developed rather than one, but oh well I'm greedy.


I don't mind since I need to use my camera more often anyway. I plan on taking more photos so if there is something you want me shoot just holler. Since I work near the airport everyday I'm within striking distance. As for the airport hanger, it's good to see it in good use again. This will also help airport in the long run.

My wife and I go downtown often. I did notice the grand opening of the new 24 hour Red Eye Cafe. This will help keep South Meridian alive into the wee hours of the night. Hopefully, this will encourage more 24 places to open. I also want to add that directly across the street from Julians is a completed renovated building that has been converted into condo and apartment lofts right in the heart of the Wholesale District. This should add more residents to the downtown population. I will have to get the website address as I don't have information on the number of units in the building. I think due to all of these projects coming together I say by sometime next year we should see the downtown population hit well above the 20,000 mark and more in the future after the MSA towers are completed.

IndianaMike
Jun 24, 2004, 1:52 AM
Dick's to buy Galyans in $362 million deal
Possible store closings unclear

By Ted Evanoff
ted.evanoff@indystar.com
June 22, 2004


Pittsburgh-based Dick's Sporting Goods, the nation's No. 2 sporting goods retailer, opened its first stores in metro Indianapolis on March 24 and launched a price war -- even as behind the scenes it almost immediately opened negotiations to buy Galyans Sports & Outdoor, its smaller hometown rival.

On Monday afternoon, Galyans said it would be acquired for $362 million by Dick's, surprising some shoppers and community officials in Plainfield, who earlier this year financed a new $7 million headquarters for Galyans in that town.

The price Dick's offered is $16.75 per share, almost 51 percent higher than Galyans' $11.10 closing price in regular trading Monday. In June 2002, Galyans' stock traded as high as $24 a share. Both firms' executives disclosed the proposed merger after stock markets closed.

Dick's executives expect the Galyans names will come off its 47 stores by mid-2005, months after the merger's expected completion in October. It wasn't clear Monday how many stores would be closed where the two retailers compete in close proximity, as they do in three Indianapolis-area communities, or how many jobs will be eliminated.

Galyans' Plainfield distribution center will stay open, but the 100,000-square-foot headquarters will be closed at an undisclosed date after key personnel are offered new positions in stores and in the Pittsburgh head office, said Mike Hines, Dick's chief financial officer.

Dick's, rushing to catch up with No. 1 The Sports Authority, is looking for ways to increase its size and buying power. So it sought a deal two months ago with Galyans, Hines said.

"A deal like this requires a willing buyer and a willing seller," he said. "Galyans was willing to listen to us."

The combined 2004 revenue of Galyans and Dick's ($2.16 billion) trumped that of The Sports Authority, which had $1.76 billion in revenue for 2004.

Both Dick's and Galyans emerged as small stores that became regional chains by offering quality sporting goods. While Dick's mid-priced stores expanded along the Eastern seaboard, the more upscale Galyans struggled against larger rivals. In the quarter that ended May 1, the Plainfield-based chain lost $4.5 million.

Galyans, which opened in 1946 as an Indianapolis grocer, employs 5,517 workers in the United States, including 1,077 in metropolitan Indianapolis. The firm has 582 store employees in the Indianapolis area, 300 in the head office and 195 at the distribution center, said Galyans spokeswoman Myra Borshoff Cook.

The deal, which would mark the sixth buyout of a high-profile Indiana company this decade, was a merger worked out in New York.

Retail giant Limited Brands Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, bought Galyans in 1995 and four years later sold a controlling stake to the investment firm Freeman Spogli & Co. of New York.

Freeman took Galyans public in 2001, selling off a major slice of the shares on the open market but retaining about 32 percent for itself. Limited Brands controls another 22 percent.

On Monday, Freeman and Limited agreed to sell their Galyans shares to Dick's. Those shares equal 44.3 percent of Galyans' outstanding stock on a fully diluted basis, Cook said. Fully diluted takes into account executive compensation and other matters.

Galyans workers flooded the company's internal computer network with buyout questions.

Galyans customers reacted with surprise to the announcement, coming on the heels of Dick's entry into Indianapolis and a price war and advertising battle between the two. The Pittsburgh retailer opened three Indianapolis-area stores in March and is building two more this fall.

"Dick's came to town saying, 'Now we have a choice.' Since they bought them out, I guess our choices are gone again," said Terry Vliek, of Avon, shopping late Monday at the Galyans store in Greenwood. "Dick's has good prices, but it seems like more of a department store. Galyans is an experience."

The proposed buyout comes less than two months after Galyans occupied its new headquarters, a building Plainfield financed for its high-profile company.

Plainfield town attorney Mel Daniel said the 38-page agreement involving the town, Premier Properties USA and Galyans contains so-called "clawback provisions" in which either the company or the developer repays the town if the deal collapses. He said town lawyers will begin today to study the repayment and penalty provisions.

The town sold bonds totaling nearly $9 million early this year, with $7 million of it to pay for the Galyans building.

The office project was regarded in Plainfield as the most generous attempt by the Town Council to keep a major employer in the community. At the time, Galyans executives threatened to move the head office to Indianapolis.

"It was a shock. Obviously, we don't feel good about it," Plainfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kent McPhail said about the merger proposal. "Apparently we're going to lose the corporate office and the jobs. It will be our challenge to find someone else for that building."

It's not clear how many of Galyans senior executives will make the move to Dick's headquarters staff, though Dick's officials said they would like to keep as much talent as possible.

In a conference call with stock analysts and investors, Dick's Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said the merger would give Dick's larger order volumes and drive down prices paid to merchandise manufacturers. Dick's intends to weed out Galyans lifestyle items, such as sun dresses, but keep the Galyans rock-climbing walls as it focuses on sporting goods, he said.

Their combination began to develop two months ago, when Dick's approached Galyans officials, said Dick's CFO Hines. At the time, both companies were winding down from the Christmas holiday sales rush and had an interlude before the fall shopping season to focus on corporate strategy.

Dick's will begin a formal tender offer Monday, Cook said, referring to the process in which the remaining shareholders will be asked to vote in favor of the buyout. A 51 percent majority of the shares is necessary for a deal to take place.

Calls to Galyans executives Monday were referred to Cook, a principal in the Indianapolis-area public relations firm Borshoff Johnson Matthews.

Star reporters Bruce C. Smith and Cory Schouten contributed to this story.

Call Star reporter Ted Evanoff at (317) 444-6019.



what does this mean for Indy? could this be the start of major job losses?

Midwesterner
Jun 24, 2004, 12:00 PM
That's shit, I'm pissed at Galayan's for being afraid to compete with Dick's. I know almost everyone in Plainfield is mad because Galyan's owes them 7 million dollars. I know that the store in Plainfield will be closing, and some people (my brother included) will be out of a job. :mad:

Amazing Indy
Jun 29, 2004, 12:19 AM
Indianapolis, June 28 - Even before Monday morning's commute, IndyGo riders, like Karen Reffitt, noticed a difference. "I'm a member of the Eagledale Baptist church and 15 Riverside could get me there just in time for Sunday school. But now when I go on the bus I'll have to just go to church and skip Sunday school."

A $4 million budget shortfall led IndyGo officials to take drastic measures with bus service, posted clearly for riders to see, but still difficult for them to take.

Vernnita Minor says, "Some buses just don't come in the neighborhood in order for you to get to work."

This weekend, after months of talk and planning, some city bus routes officially changed.

The IndyGo changes affect more than two dozen routes throughout the city, 15 are modified and 10 routes, like the one at Morris and Kentucky, are discontinued altogether.

Although IndyGo gave fair warning, about six months ahead, and offers substitute routes and flex schedules, those who rely on public transportation feel they're getting taken for a ride.

"I volunteer at the VA, then I go places to visit my friends," explains Reffitt. "A lot of that has been changed."

Minor adds, "It's a big problem if that's what I have to use to get to work."

Reffitt wants wishes, "they'd change it back."

More than 30 bus drivers lost their jobs as part of the cuts.

While it's possible more changes are on the way, at least for IndyGo riders, it's not likely, for now, they'll be for the better.

A loan from the city is expected to help offset some of the budget shortfall.

___________________________________________________

Sad to see them cutting routes especially when you hear about rail transit as an option. Not if the city cant even support Busses and people around this area dont use public transportation. It'll be interesting to see if IndyGo will even exist in the next 5-10 years and if we will have rail transit.

IndianaMike
Jun 29, 2004, 1:25 AM
Indy (and all of central Indiana) needs to have a regional transit system, with a regional tax paying for it.

Amazing Indy
Jun 29, 2004, 5:59 PM
The city would borrow $20 million to buy and develop a Downtown block for mall giant Simon's new headquarters under a plan approved by a City-County Council committee Monday.

A Simon executive, meanwhile, outlined design features that could ease the building's impact on the urban park it will occupy -- including a three-story lobby that would let pedestrians see through the building from the north and south.

The Democrats on the committee argued the move will keep Simon's 800 jobs Downtown. The proposal was approved by the Metropolitan Development Committee on a party-line vote with one Republican abstaining.

"Bottom line: This is about jobs, and this is about economic development," said Democratic Councilman Ron Gibson.

But for about a dozen members of the public, the issue was about giving up parkland and handing over $23 million in incentives to a company that brought in $584 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2004.

"This is corporate welfare at its very worst -- no new jobs, just a move across the street," said Jack Miller, a coordinator with the Indiana Alliance for Democracy. "We need to be spending public money on the public."

The four-acre park, across Washington Street from the Statehouse, is a popular lunch hangout. The city will purchase the area, known as Capitol Commons, from the city's Capital Improvement Board, a semi-governmental agency that owns the RCA Dome.

The Simon project could open in 2006 and would occupy the site's northern third.

Simon Executive Vice President John Rulli said the 14-story building could include a three-story, glass lobby to ensure that north-south views would be maintained.

That idea, he said, could extend the building's height.

Though Rulli said the building has not been fully designed, it could include reflective facades and angles that also would accentuate the park.

"Even from the sky, the building will appear to have been designed into its surroundings," he promised. "We want to build a building that we're proud of, that the city's proud of and that meets the needs of the community."

Simon, North America's largest owner of shopping malls, has leased offices for nearly 25 years across the street from the park in National City Center.

Under the financing deal, the proposals would allow the city to borrow $60 million, but about $40 million would be used to refinance old debt for other Downtown development projects.

____________________________________________________



All I can really say is that Simon is going to have to be there for Indy when we need them. We are giving alot up to keep them here (i.e. a portion of a park and money) I understand why they are doing it, but it still makes me think that we are giving in to corporations at our own expense without it going the other way around. There needs to be accountability for corporations and politicians who agree to such terms.

KM1410
Jun 29, 2004, 7:06 PM
Stadium might not hinge on Colts
Convention center expansion talks include new sports venue

By Andrea Muirragui Davis adavis@ibj.com

There’s little doubt high-level talks aimed at keeping the Indianapolis Colts in town have complicated planning for a convention center expansion, as city leaders factor in the possibility of adding a new stadium to the project.

But the lack of a football deal won’t necessarily prevent progress on the field.

“I have personally concluded that we may very well … expand the convention center and build a new [sports] venue regardless of where we are with the Colts,” said Fred Glass, president of the Capital Improvement Board, which owns and manages public property, including the Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome. “I believe that’s worth pursuing.”

Convention planners have been clamoring for more space for years, and the city is scrambling to figure out how to accommodate them since the center is essentially landlocked.

An increasingly likely option would be to tear down the 20-year-old dome, expand the convention center into that space, and build an athletic facility on nearby land the CIB already owns.

A new stadium also would help with a third issue the city is facing: keeping the NCAA based in Indianapolis and interested in its hometown as a regular venue for its college basketball tournaments. Its leaders have said the RCA Dome must be improved or replaced to make that a reality.

“There’s a real possibility we can find a win-win-win solution here,” Glass said. “I think the stars and the moons and the planets are lining up pretty well.”

The situation is increasingly dire, given news this month that one of the city’s largest trade shows will move on in 2005. It could return if an expansion is complete by 2010.

Still, Glass insists the CIB hasn’t settled on a specific plan for the convention center project. Members are working out cost estimates and financing options for two possibilities before making a decision, he said. But they’re not operating in a vacuum.

Despite an oft-cited desire to keep the issues separate, the final proposal—and financing plan—will include the stadium project and the addition or expansion of a convention hotel, Glass said.

“It’s the only responsible thing to do as the stewards of this kind of infrastructure,” he said. “We’ve got to consider everything.”

“Right now we’re looking at one development,” confirmed Steve Campbell, spokesman for Mayor Bart Peterson. “If we do it piecemeal, as soon as we get one thing built, someone will say, ‘You should have put a road there.’ It makes sense to look at all the issues at the same time.”

Details should be worked out this year, Glass said, in time to pitch the plan before the General Assembly convenes in January. State and local lawmakers would have to approve public funding mechanisms, including likely tax hikes.

The expense will be staggering. Expanding the convention center could surpass $100 million, and recent NFL stadium projects have cost at least three times that amount. Any hotel development likely will get a public subsidy, too.

Even so, the case for a convention center expansion appears strong, Glass said, given its potential impact. Adding 275,000 square feet of exhibit space could generate $165 million in visitor spending and $11.1 million in state and local taxes each year, according to a study by global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

And PWC’s report didn’t factor in the business that could be lost if space isn’t added.

A handful of the city’s biggest convention customers are bursting at the seams of the existing center, including one that said this month it will leave next year for roomier digs in Orlando.

About 40,000 people attend the Performance Racing Industry’s annual trade show here each fall, spending $26.7 million. Laguna Beach, Calif.-based PRI outgrew the Indianapolis facility three years ago but stayed in hopes that an expansion was coming.

“It was a hard, hard decision, but we had to listen to our exhibitors,” said trade show manager Karin Davidson. “We’ve had a waiting list for a couple years now.”

But all is not lost.

PRI has agreed to return to Indianapolis if an expansion is complete no later than 2010, and city convention planners hope to entice the Indianapolis-based Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association to bring its annual expo home the same year.

CEDIA already announced plans to move the show to Denver in 2006 because of space limitations here. Its board members were to entertain a proposal to come back at their June 25 meeting.

“Getting these organizations committed to return is a very, very important step for Indianapolis,” said Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association President Bob Bedell, even if organizers of other massive events are holding tight for now. “Our objective has been to keep customers here until we expand. If we can’t do that, we have to get them back.”

And Indianapolis has gone to great lengths to accommodate space-strapped customers.

In February, for example, the city will close a portion of Maryland Street in front of the convention center so ICVA can erect temporary structures for the Powersports Dealer Expo—an event that draws 17,000 attendees who spend $11.6 million each year.

Dealer Expo has been crunched for years, using every available inch of public space at the convention center and spilling over into the ballroom at the Westin Hotel.

“Everyone is bending over backwards to keep us there, and that’s probably why we still are there,” said Operations Manager Tracy Harris, who has met with Bedell, Glass and Peterson to discuss the expansion.

She said she appreciates city leaders’ honesty about the obstacles and opportunities. As a result, organizers plan to stay put for the immediate future and likely through the inevitable upheaval construction will bring.

“I think some really good, positive progress is being made,” she said. “I feel good about that.”

If all goes well with the General Assembly this winter, Glass said he expects construction to begin in the spring. Even so, no one expects the space crunch to ease right away.

“This is going to take time,” said industry veteran John Livengood, president and CEO of the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and a registered lobbyist for the Promote Indiana Coalition. “You’re dealing with some big issues.”

And the stadium issue extends that timeline, since a new facility would have to be complete before convention center construction can begin. But he expects everything will be done by the 2010 deadline.

Then attention can turn to the next challenge.

“I asked whether the new stadium would block the next expansion and was told no,” he said. “They’re thinking ahead.”

http://tampa.ibj.com/Repository/getimage.dll?path=IBJ/2004/06/28/41/Img/Pc0410500.jpg

KM1410
Jun 29, 2004, 7:09 PM
U.S. Grand Prix reverses its attendance slide
Economic model for race starting to look sustainable

By Anthony Schoettle aschoettle@ibj.com

Skeptics weren’t difficult to find in December 1998, when Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George announced he would host a Formula One race starting in 2000 at the famed Brickyard.

On the heels of the fifth U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis, skepticism is dissipating as George has forged a unique relationship with the European-based racing circuit and its czar, Bernie Ecclestone.

George and Ecclestone agreed this month to a two-year extension of the original fiveyear deal to hold the USGP at Indianapolis, and IMS officials confirmed the two are discussing a much longer-term deal.

“Bernie Ecclestone is known as a ruthless businessman and for ripping races away from places, especially when they’re not profitable for F1,” said Zak Brown, a former racer on the European circuit’s lower echelon and president of Just Marketing, a local motorsports marketing consultancy.

“Bernie has to be making money here, because he’s very money-motivated,” Brown added. “But he doesn’t play games with Tony. He obviously has a lot of respect for him.”

With the date change from September to June, IMS officials are reporting a slight attendance increase from last year. That reverses a three-year slide, which saw attendance drop from more than 200,000 at the inaugural race to an estimated crowd of just below 120,000 last year.

Fans aren’t the only ones showing more interest. Brown said he’s hearing from more corporate clients interested in F1 sponsorships.

Oddly, George resisted Ecclestone’s desire for a June date back in 1998. But cold, wet weather along with the start of the school year, the end of the travel season and competition with the Indianapolis Colts season caused IMS officials to reverse field.

Picture-perfect weather this year brought strong walk-up ticket sales, IMS officials said, pushing the crowd beyond last year’s. Qualifications and other pre-race events also saw stronger attendance this year, Speedway officials said.

Attendance figures are key because ticket sales provide the main revenue stream, along with concession and parking revenue. F1 gets most sponsorship revenue and all the television income, while the IMS covers most costs.

The annual cost to put on the race is likely declining, given that many of the costs are fixed. Industry insiders said the Speedway needed to bring in about $25 million annually during the early years of the USGP to pay for the expense of track construction, F1 garages and other infrastructure to support the road race.

The IMS is also strapped with a licensing fee estimated at between $6 million and $10 million annually.

Neither Ecclestone nor George will comment on terms of the deal.

By contrast, industry sources estimated it costs about $10 million each year to hold the Brickyard 400. With attendance in excess of 255,000, the race brings in close to $20 million in ticket sales alone. If the USGP hits 120,000 in ticket sales, it would bring in nearly $9 million.

“The economic picture is changing with respect to this [USGP] race and I think so, too, is the fortune of this event,” said Tim Frost, president of Frost Motorsports, a Chicago-based financial advisory firm specializing in the motorsports industry. “I think now they have a realistic economic model in place. It’s not automatic, but I think it’s a goal they can achieve.”

IMS officials appear to have found several key elements in building a fan base for the country’s only F1 race. They’ve made drivers and crew members more accessible and let race fans see the high-tech equipment up-close during a walk-about the last two years. The walk-about, said Joie Chitwood, IMS director of business operations, drew thousands of fans the first year and more this year.

About 30,000 seats were added in turns 6 and 10 this year, and those seats were sold out. IMS officials also allowed ticket-holders who renewed their order the day after the race to take a lap around the 2.6-mile road course.

Chitwood said IMS’ gates had to be opened for ticket renewals an hour earlier than planned this year due to traffic backups on 16th Street.

“We have to work to make this not only a race, but a unique event differentiated from the others,” Chitwood said. “And that’s where our focus will be as we ramp up our sales and marketing effort.”

KM1410
Jun 29, 2004, 7:11 PM
INDOT seeks additional public comment on I-69
Changes made to access-point plan, more could come

By Anthony Schoettle aschoettle@ibj.com

With the second phase of the Interstate 69 extension from Indianapolis to Evansville under way, state transportation officials said public input remains important.

Indiana Department of Transportation officials promise the public will be heard regarding issues about precise I-69 alignment, access points and environmental concerns—and that nothing is yet set in stone.

Despite INDOT’s pledge of heightened communication, some local developers said they haven’t heard from the agency or its contractors.

“It would be nice if INDOT would contact some of the property owners instead of hearing this information from a news reporter,” said Donald Tharp, president of Tharp Investments Inc., which owns land and developments along State Road 37 in Johnson County. “Some of these plans for access make our property untenable.”

INDOT announced June 21 it had opened six district offices along the planned route, which will run roughly where State Road 37 is located south of Interstate 465 to Martinsville, then south along a new terrain route to Evansville.

During the first phase, a 2,000-foot-wide corridor for the new highway was determined, and during the second phase, that will be narrowed to an exact path between 200 feet and 500 feet wide. The second phase will set the stage for property acquisition, design work and construction.

“We will have engineers and planners at the office at all times, so residents can stop by and speak to someone knowledgeable about the project,” said Tim Miller, I-69 project manager in the Indianapolis office of Kansas City-based HNTB, the firm handling the section that includes Marion and Johnson counties.

There will be an open house at the district office July 1 for the public to see displays and talk to project officials. The office is at 7550 S. Meridian St., Suite B, and the phone number is 881-6408.

“These district offices are indicative of our commitment to take this project to the people,” said INDOT Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol. “This is an important phase, no question. We want this to be a public process.”

Developer Tharp said INDOT’s I-69 project quashed a plan for a Super Wal-Mart on one of his parcels along the corridor at Fairview Road.

“I agree that as a state we have to be committed to growth,” Tharp said. “I always like to take things in context. But many of the developments here are on semi-permanent hold. You’re not going to get a client to bite with the ambiguity of this project.”

Already there have been major adjustments to the I-69 plan since the project’s first phase ended in early 2003. Many transportation officials expect the new I-69 to be laid over what is now State Road 37, which has a daily vehicle count ranging from 40,000 to 70,000 in the area. That makes interchanges and overpasses for east-west roads critically important to area residents, land owners and business operators.

Among the biggest adjustments has been a planned interchange at the burgeoning Southport Road intersection. In initial plans, there was no interchange or overpass planned at this major artery. Overpasses are now planned for Epler Avenue and Banta Road in Marion County where there were none planned a year ago. There is also an overpass planned for Wicker Road, which connects to Bluff Road to the east.

In Johnson County, concerns over access remain. County Line Road, Smith Valley Road and State Road 144 have planned interchanges. Plans for an overpass were added at Stones Crossing Road near Center Grove to go along with an already-planned overpass at Fairview Road, another growing area. No interchange or overpass is currently planned for Olive Branch Road, yet another potential growth area.

Decisions on interstate interchanges and overpasses are not considered lightly. They’re the most expensive part of a highway project. While interstate construction generally costs about $10 million per mile, a single interchange costs between $25 million and $150 million.

Though the current phase is on an aggressive 18- to 36-month timeline, Kent Ahrenholtz, I-69 project manager for the Evansville-based contractor Bernard Lochmueller and Associates Inc., said public input will not be compromised. His firm is overseeing the entire 142-mile, Indianapolis-to-Evansville project for INDOT.

If the aggressive timeline is followed, vehicles could be traveling down the new I-69 in about five years, assuming adequate state and federal funding can be secured.

“This phase will show us what the road will look like in much greater detail,” Ahrenholtz said. “This stage is critical to determine the impact on the natural and human environment of the alignment.”

http://tampa.ibj.com/Repository/getimage.dll?path=IBJ/2004/06/28/10/Img/Pc0100500.jpg

Amazing Indy
Jun 29, 2004, 8:00 PM
The news of the convention center is very encouraging, will have to wait and find out soon what happens. Exciting times in Indy.

ppassafi
Jun 29, 2004, 8:17 PM
Did I see something about Indy being afraid to lose the Colts? It seems like they have good attendance...maybe I did not read the article above correctly.

KM1410
Jun 29, 2004, 9:09 PM
Did I see something about Indy being afraid to lose the Colts? It seems like they have good attendance...maybe I did not read the article above correctly.

no, the colts dont have very good attendance. They failed to sellout the dome every game even though the RCA Dome is the smallest in the NFL and they had one of the best records.

Amazing Indy
Jun 30, 2004, 2:26 PM
For its General Conference beginning today, the African Methodist Episcopal Church will bring some 40,000 people to Downtown Indianapolis. They are expected to spend more than $15 million on hotels, restaurants and, last but not least, souvenirs, according to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

Delegates to conventions spend an average of $25 at stores in the area, according to a 2000 study commissioned by the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. But the spending can be varied depending on the size of a delegate's family and his or her own interests.

"Some people spend $5 for a shot glass, and some people come in and buy a leather jacket and all kinds of stuff with it and spend five, six, seven hundred dollars just on retail," said Sarah Baird, sales and marketing manager at Hard Rock Cafe.

From T-shirts to insulated single-serve beverage holders to earrings, the convention-goers will see souvenirs emblazoned with city's well-known checkered flags. In addition to racing specialty shops at Circle Centre mall, including Thunder Alley Racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway store, card shops carry shot glasses, T-shirts and magnets bearing Indianapolis logos with the Downtown skyline, the state bird -- and depictions of a racetrack.

It can be difficult, in fact, to find merchandise without the racing symbols, shoppers and Baird said. "People tell us, 'Thank God, there's a place we can purchase something that just says Indianapolis,' " Baird added.

Yet only a few items at Hard Rock -- the best-selling 2-oz. shot glass, available for $4.99, among others -- lack the racing flags. Even the restaurant's most popular T-shirt, priced at $21.99 and designed specifically for Indianapolis, carries two flags: the Stars and Stripes and the checkered flag.

Other stores do offer some alternatives to racing gear. At the WHSmith gift shops at two Downtown hotels, visitors can purchase teddy bears embroidered with cardinals -- the state bird, city skyline coffee mugs and magnets filled with genuine Indiana dirt. And the Indiana War Memorial gift shop offers polo shirts, visors and books focused on the state's contributions to U.S. military history.

Despite these offerings, it's no surprise that racing dominates Indy's souvenir market, said James Oakley, an assistant professor of marketing at Purdue University. The city is known for its racing, he said, and that's what convention-goers want in an item to take home.

"They're not looking for a Banana Republic shirt from Circle Centre mall," Oakley said of visitors. "They want something that is quintessentially Indiana."

While printed with Indianapolis images and logos, however, city souvenirs come from both across oceans and just a few miles away.

"All our pins are from China," said Hard Rock employee Cari Weis, who has worked at the restaurant for five months. And the Indianapolis city T-shirt? Made in Mexico, Weis said.

T-shirts at many other Downtown gift shops are, however, made right in the racing city. Main Gate Inc., 1175 Western Drive, manufactures thousands of T-shirts for city shops each year, in addition to hats, key chains, coffee mugs and other apparel such as jackets and polo shirts to be sold to Indiana customers, said Tom Brazill, chief executive officer. The Indianapolis-focused merchandise, including items for the U.S. Grand Prix, Brickyard 400 and a host of events at Indianapolis Raceway Park, as well as the Indiana State Fair, represents about $3 million in sales, or 25 percent of Main Gate's total business, he said.

It's hard to isolate one shirt or event as a bestseller, but the weeks before and after the Indianapolis 500 generally bring a spike in business, Brazill said.

"Our business probably increases 10 percent in May," he said. The company adds additional shifts to produce merchandise for the race and also the 500 Festival and its Mini-Marathon.

T-shirts are a big seller at Thunder Alley Racing at the Circle Centre mall, but so are smaller items such as earrings and key chains -- anything visitors can fit into their luggage, said Don "Dallas" Parker, district manager. Customers tell him, "I love the jacket, but I gotta throw it in the suitcase," he said.

"We get a lot of people in this store that just want Indianapolis or Indiana" on a souvenir, Parker said.

At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway store upstairs, Manager Bill Gander said he sells merchandise to two kinds of customers: convention-goers, who want anything with the IMS logo, and race-goers, who want something to mark the date.

Outside the store, convention-goer Jonsye Bailey, 40, from Fort Smith, Ark., said she had returned to the store for a third consecutive year to purchase racing gifts, including an ashtray and drink holder, for relatives and friends. It's become a tradition for Bailey, who attends a conference of sporting goods storeowners each year in Indianapolis.

It was at the WHSmith store, however, Bailey said she found something she had trouble getting elsewhere: an Indianapolis-specific item for her husband without any racing symbols, for just $4.99.

"They were frosted (shot glasses) with the skyline on them," Bailey said. "My husband collects 'em."

Amazing Indy
Jun 30, 2004, 2:28 PM
The state of Indiana likely cannot afford to help Indianapolis in its efforts to keep the Colts, Republican candidate for governor Mitch Daniels said Tuesday.

In a sign of the difficult task facing Mayor Bart Peterson in trying to craft a new Colts stadium deal, Daniels said the city's National Football League franchise does not benefit enough Hoosiers to justify state financial aid.

"I think a straight answer is it's a pretty dubious proposition at least any time in the near term," Daniels said during a meeting with Indianapolis Star editors and reporters. "I would have to see a very strong case that I don't presently see, especially given all the other needs we have."

If elected governor, Daniels said, it is much more likely he would support a city or Central Indiana plan to raise local taxes to help pay for a stadium. That, he said, is "where most of the benefits (of the Colts), however big they are, will accrue."

Daniels said he wasn't closing the door on the idea of state help but said, "This is probably the most difficult time to ask state taxpayers to take on this burden." Indiana faces a $1 billion budget deficit next year.

City officials on Tuesday said a request to increase local taxes could come as early as next year if the city can reach a long-term stadium deal to keep the Colts in Indianapolis. That deal also likely will include a Convention Center expansion.

Daniels' comments came as the city continues its negotiations with the team. Peterson has expressed confidence that a deal can be worked out this year.

The crucial question is how to pay for that deal.

Gov. Joe Kernan, like Peterson a Democrat, is not pledging to help the mayor. A spokeswoman, Tina Noel, said: "It is premature to speculate what if any role the state may play. And of course the state's tight budget situation would have to be factored into those discussions."

The Colts' lease runs through the 2013 season but includes an escape clause that could kick in after the 2006 season campaign if certain conditions aren't met. A Colts spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

City officials understand the state's financial difficulties, said Fred Glass, head of the city's Capital Improvement Board, which operates city-owned sports facilities such as the RCA Dome.

"We are not assuming or including in our thinking the state writing a big check for this project," said Glass, one of the city's lead negotiators.

But, he added, the state could be asked for a "modest" contribution, possibly in the form of improvements in streets and utilities around a new stadium. Moreover, "the General Assembly has to give the city and county the tools to raise the revenues we need."

It will all be part of what Glass said would be a "creative" financing package. He pointed to a range of potential financial contributors -- local, state and federal taxpayers, private companies and the Lilly Endowment, as well as the Colts and the NFL.

Chief Deputy Mayor Michael O'Connor said property taxes have been ruled out as a potential funding source. Although other taxes remain on the table, the city has been focusing on so-called entertainment taxes, such as those tacked on restaurant, bar and hotel bills.

As Indianapolis negotiates, the NFL has gone through a stadium-building boom in recent years.

According to the Minnesota Vikings, six of the league's 32 teams will play this year in stadiums more than 12 years old. The Colts moved into what is now the RCA Dome in 1984, and team owner Jim Irsay has called the facility, the smallest in the NFL, "obsolete."

As new stadiums have emerged, the cost of building them has often fallen on taxpayers. According to the Vikings, a team that has lobbied for a new stadium for years, the public has funded about $200 million of each recently built stadium.

Cities and counties have paid much of that. But in many cases, states also have kicked in.

According to Seattle Seahawks spokesman Brian Surratt, about $100 million of Washington state lottery proceeds are helping to pay for that team's recently renamed Qwest Field.

In New England, Patriots owner Robert Kraft built his own $325 million stadium, which opened in 2002. But the state of Massachusetts provided $70 million in the form of infrastructure improvements around the stadium.

And in Indianapolis, up to $50 million in state sales and income taxes was designated to help pay for the $183 million Conseco Fieldhouse Downtown.

"It varies from state to state," said Cleveland State University sports economist Mark Rosentraub.

In Indianapolis, talk of building a stadium with tax dollars has drawn substantial criticism. But in recent months, the stadium plan has become part of a larger -- and possibly more politically palatable -- effort to expand the convention center and accommodate high-profile NCAA basketball tournament games.

O'Connor, the chief deputy mayor, said support for a plan will likely grow once details have been worked out.

"It will mean a lot more when it's a substantive black and white proposal that will resolve the future of the organization," he said.

But on Tuesday, Daniels, who called himself an "avid" Colts fan, was doubtful of the financial benefits of a new stadium to the entire state or the likelihood of state assistance.

"I just note a lot of skepticism that this would make a list of top state priorities," he said.

Amazing Indy
Jun 30, 2004, 2:42 PM
The midfield airport terminal will shrink in size by 11 percent, a significant nip-and-tuck needed to cover higher costs for security without adding to the $974 million total budget.

The biggest change: Lopping off the fifth-floor administrative office so that the new terminal now will rise only four stories high.

Airport officials said the downsizing could provide savings of more than $30 million -- enough to cover higher costs of building larger security screening areas.

The new terminal building scheduled to open in 2008 is estimated to cost $285 million -- with the rest of the funds going for such uses as roads, utility infrastructure and design costs for the state's largest capital project this decade.

Eliminating 150,000 square feet from the initial plan for a 1.35 million square foot terminal should be virtually transparent to passengers, airport officials said.

"We continue to try to look at the costs of the facility and, as appropriate, make adjustments that will reduce the cost but not the overall experience that the users of the airport will have, nor the quality of the airport that we're building," said Patrick Callahan, vice president of the Indianapolis Airport Authority board.

Among the changes:

• Eliminating a fifth floor that was to house administrative offices. "We're saving about $5 million by taking the offices off the fifth floor and putting them elsewhere," said John Kish, midfield project director for the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

• Reducing the spacing of support columns in the ticket hall to 58 feet from 60 feet. That way, the horizontal trusses they support overhead need not be as massive -- or expensive.

• Eliminating some fancier finish materials, such as wood flooring that is costlier to install and maintain.

• Possibly knocking off 10 feet from a 210-foot diameter skylight in the civic plaza, which will house retail and food concessions.

"That's the difficult part -- finding ways to reduce costs without compromising design," said Kish.

Though airport officials are reluctant to detail changes being made for security, they say the checkpoint areas will grow by 50,000 square feet beyond what was originally planned. In exchange, they reduced space in some other areas, such as lopping off the fifth floor.

"We sure as heck really don't want to spend money on conference rooms for management" yet compromise passenger amenities, said Mike Wells, a member of the airport board and president of commercial real estate developer REI Investments.

Also, "we're trying to be as sensitive as we can to their economic situation as possible," Wells said of airlines, which will foot a large share of the project through rents and landing fees they pay.

In the development world, design changes are known as value engineering.

"It's cost-cutting. That (value engineering) is the fancy term for it," said Jim McQuiston, an Indianapolis architect whose work includes the renovation of the Indiana governor's mansion.

Reducing the size of a space can bring corresponding reductions in the cost of lighting, plumbing and heating and cooling budgets, for example, McQuiston said.

Potential disadvantages, at least from an aesthetic standpoint, include the use of cheaper materials -- perhaps sheetrock instead of stainless steel, McQuiston said. And he wonders if funds devoted to sculptures and other works of art might be cut, too.

"We have all heard this touted so many times as a world-class facility. I think we all expect that."

Kish said the art budget of about $1 million is intact, and officials are looking for additional funding sources to supplement that.

He acknowledges that some materials may be changed -- scratching out wood flooring in some areas, for example, but "nothing we thought would be objectionable."

Architect McQuiston hopes the changes aren't for the worse. Massive public structures such as airport terminals may have a useful life of 30 or perhaps 50 years or more.

"You don't get to do over some of these buildings. . . .We're not building a warehouse out here."

Snowbird
Jun 30, 2004, 4:34 PM
Did I see something about Indy being afraid to lose the Colts? It seems like they have good attendance...maybe I did not read the article above correctly.

They sold out every game for four consecutive years. Then after Colt's owner Jim Irsay threatened to leave Indy unless he got a new stadium and a ton of cash, the populace became a little irritated with his highness. So this year the first home game came up a few hundred shy of a sell-out because of the backlash. Then the pathetic sheep in central Indiana became entranced by the Colts good season and sold out all of the remaining games.

So yes the central Indiana area has very good fans. A little too good, if you ask me. If your boss says he's going to fire you unless you start paying him to work there, you don't wash and wax his Bentley for him.

Of course this doesn't apply to me since I attended every Colts game last year. But then again, I'm just there to see an NFL game. Since I'm not an Indianapolis native, I don't have a personal stake in the matter.

KM1410
Jul 1, 2004, 12:44 PM
Buyer interested in Eastgate Mall
Center scheduled to close Wednesday will remain open at potential owner's request.

Eastgate Consumer Mall will remain open today as its owner negotiates with a potential buyer who plans to turn it into a family- and senior-oriented shopping and entertainment center.

The deteriorating mall was scheduled to close Wednesday, but Beverly Miller, of Michigan City, told the mall's manager Tuesday to keep the facility open after she and her investors reached a "verbal agreement" with Whichard Real Estate, the mall's owner.

Miller, an owner of 3 Rings Co., which sells gifts via catalogs, is working with private investors to purchase the 298,000-square-foot facility and make it a family- and senior-oriented center, Miller said Wednesday. She declined to name her investors or disclose the purchase price.

"When all these papers are drawn up, they'll be signed," she said.

Clay Morgan, asset manager at Whichard, confirmed that the Raleigh, N.C.-based company has been talking with Miller for about two months. Recently, Miller and Whichard's chief, Haywood Whichard, began to put purchase terms to paper.

"Nothing is signed," Morgan said.

Whichard has talked with 20 to 30 potential buyers since it bought the property in 2002 from Simon Property Group, Morgan said. Most were deemed unsuitable financially, he said.

If Miller's group does purchase the mall, it could invigorate a property that long has been in decline. She said she wants to fill the mall with "any stores that would like to apply," including furniture, sports, nostalgia, collectibles and music stores.

Miller said she would like to build a roller or ice-skating rink and have a rental space for parties and other functions.

Before those things can be done, however, the mall needs to be renovated. Miller will try to raise money to cover those costs by asking local residents to buy shares in the mall for $1 apiece and by soliciting donations.

"People would really like this," Miller said, noting how many people walk at the mall and how many feel nostalgic toward it.

Eastgate was the city's first major mall when it opened in 1957, featuring such retailers as J.C. Penney, Sears and H.P. Wasson. But Washington Square Mall opened down the road in 1974, forcing Eastgate to adopt a discount strategy.

The mall continued to slide as more and more discount stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target, came to Indianapolis.

Whichard bought the mall with no intention to redevelop it, Morgan said, but simply to maintain it while it looked for a buyer. Tenants trickled away and, after Burlington Coat Factory moved out in March, Whichard announced the mall would close.

"It's just not viable with the rents we had," Morgan said.

Sharon Tabard, president of the Eastside Neighborhood Association, is excited that the mall might remain open, she said, particularly if it offers activities for children and continues to give seniors a place to walk. But she also is concerned how Miller could bring in the necessary revenue to keep it operating.

"It's a wonderful idea, and it's sorely needed. I just hope she has some ideas to bring in revenue," Tabard said. "I've heard over the years so many promises, so many things, that I'm real skeptical until it happens."

http://www.indystar.com/articles/1/159053-6381-031.html

Go7SD
Jul 7, 2004, 4:33 AM
Buyer interested in Eastgate Mall
Center scheduled to close Wednesday will remain open at potential owner's request.

Eastgate Consumer Mall will remain open today as its owner negotiates with a potential buyer who plans to turn it into a family- and senior-oriented shopping and entertainment center.

The deteriorating mall was scheduled to close Wednesday, but Beverly Miller, of Michigan City, told the mall's manager Tuesday to keep the facility open after she and her investors reached a "verbal agreement" with Whichard Real Estate, the mall's owner.

Miller, an owner of 3 Rings Co., which sells gifts via catalogs, is working with private investors to purchase the 298,000-square-foot facility and make it a family- and senior-oriented center, Miller said Wednesday. She declined to name her investors or disclose the purchase price.

"When all these papers are drawn up, they'll be signed," she said.

Clay Morgan, asset manager at Whichard, confirmed that the Raleigh, N.C.-based company has been talking with Miller for about two months. Recently, Miller and Whichard's chief, Haywood Whichard, began to put purchase terms to paper.

"Nothing is signed," Morgan said.

Whichard has talked with 20 to 30 potential buyers since it bought the property in 2002 from Simon Property Group, Morgan said. Most were deemed unsuitable financially, he said.

If Miller's group does purchase the mall, it could invigorate a property that long has been in decline. She said she wants to fill the mall with "any stores that would like to apply," including furniture, sports, nostalgia, collectibles and music stores.

Miller said she would like to build a roller or ice-skating rink and have a rental space for parties and other functions.

Before those things can be done, however, the mall needs to be renovated. Miller will try to raise money to cover those costs by asking local residents to buy shares in the mall for $1 apiece and by soliciting donations.

"People would really like this," Miller said, noting how many people walk at the mall and how many feel nostalgic toward it.

Eastgate was the city's first major mall when it opened in 1957, featuring such retailers as J.C. Penney, Sears and H.P. Wasson. But Washington Square Mall opened down the road in 1974, forcing Eastgate to adopt a discount strategy.

The mall continued to slide as more and more discount stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target, came to Indianapolis.

Whichard bought the mall with no intention to redevelop it, Morgan said, but simply to maintain it while it looked for a buyer. Tenants trickled away and, after Burlington Coat Factory moved out in March, Whichard announced the mall would close.

"It's just not viable with the rents we had," Morgan said.

Sharon Tabard, president of the Eastside Neighborhood Association, is excited that the mall might remain open, she said, particularly if it offers activities for children and continues to give seniors a place to walk. But she also is concerned how Miller could bring in the necessary revenue to keep it operating.

"It's a wonderful idea, and it's sorely needed. I just hope she has some ideas to bring in revenue," Tabard said. "I've heard over the years so many promises, so many things, that I'm real skeptical until it happens."

http://www.indystar.com/articles/1/159053-6381-031.html

Let it die

The midfield airport terminal will shrink in size by 11 percent, a significant nip-and-tuck needed to cover higher costs for security without adding to the $974 million total budget.

The biggest change: Lopping off the fifth-floor administrative office so that the new terminal now will rise only four stories high.

Airport officials said the downsizing could provide savings of more than $30 million -- enough to cover higher costs of building larger security screening areas.

The new terminal building scheduled to open in 2008 is estimated to cost $285 million -- with the rest of the funds going for such uses as roads, utility infrastructure and design costs for the state's largest capital project this decade.

Eliminating 150,000 square feet from the initial plan for a 1.35 million square foot terminal should be virtually transparent to passengers, airport officials said.

"We continue to try to look at the costs of the facility and, as appropriate, make adjustments that will reduce the cost but not the overall experience that the users of the airport will have, nor the quality of the airport that we're building," said Patrick Callahan, vice president of the Indianapolis Airport Authority board.

Among the changes:

• Eliminating a fifth floor that was to house administrative offices. "We're saving about $5 million by taking the offices off the fifth floor and putting them elsewhere," said John Kish, midfield project director for the Indianapolis Airport Authority.

• Reducing the spacing of support columns in the ticket hall to 58 feet from 60 feet. That way, the horizontal trusses they support overhead need not be as massive -- or expensive.

• Eliminating some fancier finish materials, such as wood flooring that is costlier to install and maintain.

• Possibly knocking off 10 feet from a 210-foot diameter skylight in the civic plaza, which will house retail and food concessions.

"That's the difficult part -- finding ways to reduce costs without compromising design," said Kish.

Though airport officials are reluctant to detail changes being made for security, they say the checkpoint areas will grow by 50,000 square feet beyond what was originally planned. In exchange, they reduced space in some other areas, such as lopping off the fifth floor.

"We sure as heck really don't want to spend money on conference rooms for management" yet compromise passenger amenities, said Mike Wells, a member of the airport board and president of commercial real estate developer REI Investments.

Also, "we're trying to be as sensitive as we can to their economic situation as possible," Wells said of airlines, which will foot a large share of the project through rents and landing fees they pay.

In the development world, design changes are known as value engineering.

"It's cost-cutting. That (value engineering) is the fancy term for it," said Jim McQuiston, an Indianapolis architect whose work includes the renovation of the Indiana governor's mansion.

Reducing the size of a space can bring corresponding reductions in the cost of lighting, plumbing and heating and cooling budgets, for example, McQuiston said.

Potential disadvantages, at least from an aesthetic standpoint, include the use of cheaper materials -- perhaps sheetrock instead of stainless steel, McQuiston said. And he wonders if funds devoted to sculptures and other works of art might be cut, too.

"We have all heard this touted so many times as a world-class facility. I think we all expect that."

Kish said the art budget of about $1 million is intact, and officials are looking for additional funding sources to supplement that.

He acknowledges that some materials may be changed -- scratching out wood flooring in some areas, for example, but "nothing we thought would be objectionable."

Architect McQuiston hopes the changes aren't for the worse. Massive public structures such as airport terminals may have a useful life of 30 or perhaps 50 years or more.

"You don't get to do over some of these buildings. . . .We're not building a warehouse out here."

Well, there goes quality....you get what you pay for. :no:

The state of Indiana likely cannot afford to help Indianapolis in its efforts to keep the Colts, Republican candidate for governor Mitch Daniels said Tuesday.

In a sign of the difficult task facing Mayor Bart Peterson in trying to craft a new Colts stadium deal, Daniels said the city's National Football League franchise does not benefit enough Hoosiers to justify state financial aid.

"I think a straight answer is it's a pretty dubious proposition at least any time in the near term," Daniels said during a meeting with Indianapolis Star editors and reporters. "I would have to see a very strong case that I don't presently see, especially given all the other needs we have."

If elected governor, Daniels said, it is much more likely he would support a city or Central Indiana plan to raise local taxes to help pay for a stadium. That, he said, is "where most of the benefits (of the Colts), however big they are, will accrue."

Daniels said he wasn't closing the door on the idea of state help but said, "This is probably the most difficult time to ask state taxpayers to take on this burden." Indiana faces a $1 billion budget deficit next year.

City officials on Tuesday said a request to increase local taxes could come as early as next year if the city can reach a long-term stadium deal to keep the Colts in Indianapolis. That deal also likely will include a Convention Center expansion.

Daniels' comments came as the city continues its negotiations with the team. Peterson has expressed confidence that a deal can be worked out this year.

The crucial question is how to pay for that deal.

Gov. Joe Kernan, like Peterson a Democrat, is not pledging to help the mayor. A spokeswoman, Tina Noel, said: "It is premature to speculate what if any role the state may play. And of course the state's tight budget situation would have to be factored into those discussions."

The Colts' lease runs through the 2013 season but includes an escape clause that could kick in after the 2006 season campaign if certain conditions aren't met. A Colts spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

City officials understand the state's financial difficulties, said Fred Glass, head of the city's Capital Improvement Board, which operates city-owned sports facilities such as the RCA Dome.

"We are not assuming or including in our thinking the state writing a big check for this project," said Glass, one of the city's lead negotiators.

But, he added, the state could be asked for a "modest" contribution, possibly in the form of improvements in streets and utilities around a new stadium. Moreover, "the General Assembly has to give the city and county the tools to raise the revenues we need."

It will all be part of what Glass said would be a "creative" financing package. He pointed to a range of potential financial contributors -- local, state and federal taxpayers, private companies and the Lilly Endowment, as well as the Colts and the NFL.

Chief Deputy Mayor Michael O'Connor said property taxes have been ruled out as a potential funding source. Although other taxes remain on the table, the city has been focusing on so-called entertainment taxes, such as those tacked on restaurant, bar and hotel bills.

As Indianapolis negotiates, the NFL has gone through a stadium-building boom in recent years.

According to the Minnesota Vikings, six of the league's 32 teams will play this year in stadiums more than 12 years old. The Colts moved into what is now the RCA Dome in 1984, and team owner Jim Irsay has called the facility, the smallest in the NFL, "obsolete."

As new stadiums have emerged, the cost of building them has often fallen on taxpayers. According to the Vikings, a team that has lobbied for a new stadium for years, the public has funded about $200 million of each recently built stadium.

Cities and counties have paid much of that. But in many cases, states also have kicked in.

According to Seattle Seahawks spokesman Brian Surratt, about $100 million of Washington state lottery proceeds are helping to pay for that team's recently renamed Qwest Field.

In New England, Patriots owner Robert Kraft built his own $325 million stadium, which opened in 2002. But the state of Massachusetts provided $70 million in the form of infrastructure improvements around the stadium.

And in Indianapolis, up to $50 million in state sales and income taxes was designated to help pay for the $183 million Conseco Fieldhouse Downtown.

"It varies from state to state," said Cleveland State University sports economist Mark Rosentraub.

In Indianapolis, talk of building a stadium with tax dollars has drawn substantial criticism. But in recent months, the stadium plan has become part of a larger -- and possibly more politically palatable -- effort to expand the convention center and accommodate high-profile NCAA basketball tournament games.

O'Connor, the chief deputy mayor, said support for a plan will likely grow once details have been worked out.

"It will mean a lot more when it's a substantive black and white proposal that will resolve the future of the organization," he said.

But on Tuesday, Daniels, who called himself an "avid" Colts fan, was doubtful of the financial benefits of a new stadium to the entire state or the likelihood of state assistance.

"I just note a lot of skepticism that this would make a list of top state priorities," he said.

Let's hope Indy learns from Cincy's mistake by not building another stadium with tax money that would put the mass rapid transit plan in jeopardy.

City-of-Chicago
Jul 7, 2004, 4:58 AM
I am definately not a firm supporter of the I-69 extension. I think the money could be used for something better, but maybe I am wrong.

Go7SD
Jul 8, 2004, 3:52 PM
^agreed

I-69 is a waste of money that detracts from other urban projects.

KM1410
Jul 8, 2004, 5:27 PM
^agreed

I-69 is a waste of money that detracts from other urban projects.

how does I-69 detract from urban projects? The money spent on I-69 is money that must be spent on highway projects.

Amazing Indy
Jul 8, 2004, 11:52 PM
At least 1,000 applicants jammed the former United Airlines maintenance base by mid-morning, hoping to land a job with new tenant AAR Corp.

So many people arrived at one point that a line stretched several hundred feet from the front doors, into the facility's mostly-filled parking lots.

"The first person showed up at 6:20 a.m.," said Mary Dieter, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Private Industry Council, which coordinated the job fair for Chicago-based aircraft parts and maintenance firm AAR.

AAR plans initially to occupy two hangars by November and employ about 200 people within six months. It has an option to occupy a total of 10 hangars and expects to employ at least 800 people by 2009.

Among those submitting applications was Tim Nungester, who was seeking information about a job in quality assurance. He was laid off from a manufacturing plant in Indianapolis.

"I've been unemployed since January. I'm looking for a job. My unemployment runs out this month," said Nungester, who has previously worked 12 years in quality assurance.

The diverse crowd ranged from former United mechanics to those working elsewhere and hoping to step up to a better job. Some wore T-shirts. Others were clad in business suits.

Aircraft mechanic Noel Rivera was hit by a previous round of layoffs at the base in 2002 but hasn't soured entirely on the industry. "I love what I do," he said, clutching a leather-bound binder containing his job history.

AAR has not disclosed wages, but they're likely to be less than what United paid its mechanic workforce. Increasingly, cash-strapped airlines--including United -- are outsourcing aircraft repairs to third party companies such as AAR, which are not represented by labor unions.

The upside, said Mayor Bart Peterson, is that "the path employees here are on, they're on the front of a trend -- the outsourcing trend" rather than working for an airline cutting repair jobs.

Peterson said the many experienced mechanics who remained in the city, along with the modern design of the base, were key in luring AAR to Indianapolis.

Bankrupt United laid off more than 1,200 workers in mid-2003, closing the decade-old facility it once promised would employ 6,300 by 2004

Go7SD
Jul 9, 2004, 1:26 AM
^agreed

I-69 is a waste of money that detracts from other urban projects.

how does I-69 detract from urban projects? The money spent on I-69 is money that must be spent on highway projects.

The only problem I have with it is if it cuts into mass rapid transit or high speed rail funding. The state should take other projects into consideration. Indianapolis residents need options to road travel not sprawl caused by more highways. We need to control sprawl by creating more density and rapid transit is the best approach for that.

WhoDey
Jul 9, 2004, 3:26 AM
^ That's never been absolutely proven. Rapid transit has been shown to cause sprawl, especially in situations where it is installed in an already sprawly city, a la Indy.

Go7SD
Jul 10, 2004, 4:18 AM
^ WhoDey, the difference though is that roads carry a sea of big surface parking lots that take up so much land where as rapid transit station don't do that kind of damage. Rapid transit stations and line are more pedestrian compatible. Cars and pedestrian just don't mix. Sure rapid transit can sprawl but doesn't creating many parking lot sprawl developments like highways do. Rapid transit can promote dense urban areas by eliminating parking lots caused by highways. The more cars sprawling out in the city you create more parking lot infested development that take up much more land. Just remember rapid transit promotes more pedestrian growth while highways promote more parking lot infested retail boxes like Wal Mart and cars on the road.

Amazing Indy
Jul 10, 2004, 5:41 PM
Passenger airlines would pay less to use the airport next year, under proposed rates and charges to be presented July 23 to the Indianapolis Airport Authority board.

The board will propose a 10 percent reduction in airline costs per boarding passenger -- to $6.89 from $7.68. That would have saved financially struggling ATA Airlines about $307,000 in the first five months of this year, based on its traffic volume for the period.

The airport is proposing the reduction because it soon will retire bond debt floated in 1998 for terminal improvements. It aims to pass its savings on debt service along to passenger airlines.

ATA, the busiest airline company at the airport, lost more than $64.7 million in the first quarter and anticipates a second-quarter loss, blaming higher jet fuel costs and declining military charter revenue.

About 388,600 passengers boarded ATA and its Chicago Express unit at Indianapolis International Airport through May 31. Airline officials were not available for comment.

"The passenger carriers should be quite happy," said Dennis Rosebrough, spokesman for airport management firm BAA Indianapolis. "We want to be conscious of their costs."

But cargo carriers, including FedEx, would pay more in 2005 under the proposed rate ordinance, which is to be considered by the municipal authority late this month and is subject to two subsequent public hearings.

Cargo carriers pay only landing fees, which would rise 33 percent under the proposal. Passenger carriers also pay landing fees, but the increase in that fee was offset by reductions in two others: a proposed 73 percent cut in apron rental and 4 percent cut in terminal rent.

With lower terminal rents because of the retired bond debt, the authority's debt service costs would be reduced by about $15 million.

FedEx operates its second-largest U.S. air cargo hub in Indianapolis. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

The increase in landing fees could be mitigated, however. A consulting firm hired by BAA reported that cargo landed weights in 2005 are projected to be 10.4 percent lower than in 2004.

The authority held the line on landing fees in 2003 and 2004 by crediting airlines $35 million over the two years. But now, with that pot of money no longer in the bank, "the ratings agencies are looking to us to generate a higher level of cash flows," said Marsha Stone, finance director for BAA Indianapolis.

Stone said BAA found 10 comparable airports charged a landing fee in 2002 equivalent to what Indianapolis airport managers are recommending for 2005.

BAA is projecting total airline revenue next year will grow 4 percent over 2004. At the same time, nonairline revenue is forecast to grow 15 percent, thanks partly to 9 percent increase in parking revenue and a 5 percent jump in retail revenue.

But airport managers say other income, such as that paid to the airport by rental car companies, could fall. Rental cars tend to be used more by business passengers, whose numbers are falling relative to leisure passengers. The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association anticipates a "slight dip" in convention business next year, the airport authority board was told Friday.

Amazing Indy
Jul 10, 2004, 5:43 PM
Just remember rapid transit promotes more pedestrian growth while highways promote more parking lot infested retail boxes like Wal Mart and cars on the road.

Well put!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :)

Amazing Indy
Jul 13, 2004, 12:05 AM
Visitors to the Canal Walk may cruise by a couple of boat rental businesses, food stands and vacant office space.

But city officials say their long-term plans are for the canal to bustle with activity from retail operations -- a vision they say has been made viable by the number of pedestrians who traipse along the 1.47-mile waterway that stretches from 11th Street to the White River.

"Retail's on the horizon -- there's no doubt about that," said Justin Ohlemiller, public information officer for the Department of Metropolitan Development.

He said the Canal Walk was designed to be a mixed-use neighborhood: a cultural and tourism destination and a residential area. But it didn't start out that way.

The Central Canal was originally conceived in the 1830s as part of a transportation system connecting the Wabash and Erie Canal with the Ohio River. The state's bankruptcy in 1839 prevented its completion.

Major redevelopment began in the 1970s. The final phase of the Canal Walk was completed in 2001, transforming the area into a haven for walkers, runners and bicyclists.

Total visits to the canal range from 652,000 to 924,000 per year, according to a May study by IUPUI graduate students who studied canal usage. A majority of users are exercising or participating in leisure activities.

Businesses also have cropped up along the canal, including two hotels, 10 professional offices and three museums.

Since 1984, more than $800 million has been invested in projects and renovations along the canal, according to Indianapolis Downtown Inc. The canal's three museums -- the Eiteljorg Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions and headquarters and the Indiana State Museum -- account for $185 million.

Other prominent developments along the canal include the Indiana Government Center -- $264 million -- and five apartment complexes -- $66.6 million.

The next step is to bring more retail and dining options to attract more visitors, Ohlemiller said.

The $1.3 million renovation of the historic Buggs Temple will accomplish some of those goals. Located near 11th Street, it will include a full-service restaurant, coffeehouse, pub, Ritter's Frozen Custard and public restrooms.

The building is scheduled to open in fall 2005.

Dining opportunities along the canal are limited now. The Stardust Terrace Cafe in the Indiana History Center is open until 3 p.m. at the latest. The other food options are at the Indiana State Museum and at the Indiana Government Center.

The growing number of offices planned for the canal makes this a prime time to bring in more retail, said Terry Sweeney, vice president of real estate development for Downtown Indianapolis Inc.

The developments that are expected to bring in more foot traffic include a new Indiana University School of Medicine information sciences building, which will include 2,000 square feet of retail space, and a Clarian Health Partners Clinical Lab, both on the canal's north end.

"That momentum has made it more economically feasible for retail-oriented businesses to locate there," he said.

Sweeney said that it's been difficult to introduce retail options in the past. The economic climate of the 1980s provided little opportunity for retail expansion. Then as the market became more viable, Downtown development focused more on Circle Centre mall, he said.

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study says visitors and canal stakeholders, including building owners and neighborhood associations, are interested in adding more retail and dining to the recreational activities already available.

Many of those interviewed for the study said they would like to see a sidewalk cafe, live entertainment and an ice cream shop. Some said they wanted boutiques or a convenience store, but not any chain stores.

Three recreational businesses are already stationed at the canal: gondola rides, pedal boat rentals and bike rentals. Ohlemiller said the businesses located there because they match the activities visitors enjoy.

"Obviously the canal is used a lot for exercise, and people come in with families," he said. "We wanted activities that were family friendly."

Wheel Fun Bike Rentals is in its sixth season, offering visitors a chance to cruise around the canal and White River State Park in bikes, ranging from single bikes to four-wheeled carriages that can seat up to 8 people. Prices range from $7 to $24 per hour.

Rob Reynolds, owner of Wheel Fun Rentals, operates the bike shop, located between the IMAX Theater and the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the pedal boat rental. Reynolds took over operations for the boat rentals in the Ohio Street Basin this year. For this season, the company imported new boats, some with canopies, from Montreal.

"Obviously, we've had very good success with Downtown Indianapolis, and we felt the boat rental would be a good complement to our bike shop," Reynolds said. "This is a prime destination for visitors coming into the city of Indianapolis

Midwesterner
Jul 13, 2004, 11:01 PM
That's great news, the Canal needs retail and office space. It will obviously bring more people to the canal and downtown.

Amazing Indy
Jul 20, 2004, 7:08 PM
Northwest Airlines today announced a major expansion of its Indianapolis schedule that will more than double the number of departures it offers by adding new nonstop service to Boston, Ft. Myers, Fla.; Hartford, Conn.; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, N.C. and Washington, D.C.

All 19 of the new flights begin October 31.

When combined with its existing schedule of 17 daily flights to its three domestic hubs of Detroit, Memphis and Minneapolis/St. Paul, the airline will offer an all-jet schedule from Indianapolis International Airport totaling up to 36 flights a day to 13 destinations, more jet aircraft departures than what's offered by any other airline.

"Northwest is proud to be the leading choice of travelers in America's Heartland," said Fay Beauchine, vice president of sales and customer relations, in a prepared statement. "Our Indianapolis expansion builds on successful schedule enhancements we have made in other key Midwestern markets for Northwest such as Milwaukee and Grand Rapids."

Northwest's new flights to Hartford and Raleigh/Durham will be the only nonstops offered to those destinations from Indianapolis.

Northwest will offer daily flights from Indianapolis to Ft. Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando.

Amazing Indy
Jul 21, 2004, 1:07 AM
Come on Indy people! We need more pics on this thread. I hate computers and they hate me. If you guys have photos, please, please post them. Rep. Indy!

Snowbird
Jul 21, 2004, 4:49 AM
I wouldn't exactly consider the massive Northwest Airlines expansion a good thing. In the predatory world of the airline industry, there is only one reason for them to do this - to crush ATA while it's down.

Northwest's European minority owners are throwing a few extra dollars their way so that they can rid the US of that pesky ATA. I wish that I had thirty or forty million dollars to give to ATA so that they could increase service out of Detroit and Minneapolis.

Go7SD
Jul 21, 2004, 5:45 AM
Come on Indy people! We need more pics on this thread. I hate computers and they hate me. If you guys have photos, please, please post them. Rep. Indy!

Ok, here my contribution. These were shot recently. I will start a thread for Conrad that will be updated with photos showing it's progress.

Conrad Hotel
Before: At the northeast corner of Illinois and Washington street you can see what was once a park or common area that marked the site of where the Conrad will rise.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_2621.jpg

After: recent photos showing the construction in progress.

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3249.jpg

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3250.jpg

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3252.jpg

http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3251.jpg

The recent renovation of the Blocks Building now occupied by residents. As you walk along W. Market street towards Capital you'll find new businesses that have just opened.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3253.jpg

Go7SD
Jul 21, 2004, 5:49 AM
Snowbird, since you've inquired about this area earlier here is the photo. I have no clue what they are building here because there were no signs posted about the project.
http://skyscraperpage.com/gallery/data/500/2815img_3191.jpg

Midwesterner
Jul 21, 2004, 4:18 PM
Not really Indy, but hey:

Trump beats out Bird for last Indiana casino

FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- Celebrity-businessman Donald Trump landed his second Indiana casino Tuesday, beating basketball legend Larry Bird and an Indianapolis partnership for a license in Orange County.

The Indiana Gaming Commission voted 4-2 to award the contract to operate the French Lick casino -- the state's 11th and final casino -- to Trump Indiana after nearly an hour of debate, mostly over Trump's financial problems.

Commission members Marya M. Rose, of Indianapolis, and Dr. I. Maurice Ndukwu, of Chesterton, voted against Trump. However, both said later they think the company's finances will improve and that it will be able to deliver what it promised to the residents of the Springs Valley, about 120 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Trump's $108 million proposal includes payments of $10 million to help renovate the area's two historic hotels, $5 million to local government to make needed infrastructure improvements, such as a sewer plant expansion, and annual payments of at least $1.25 million to a local economic development fund.

The casino, which would open in January 2006, is expected to employ 640 people and take in an estimated $85.3 million in gambling revenue its first year.

But it was as much Trump's reputation -- enhanced by his Emmy-nominated performance on "The Apprentice" -- as his money that appeared to help sell locals.

The vote came about two hours after the local Historic Hotel Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend Trump's plan for the casino, to be built next to the French Lick Springs Resort hotel.

Moments after the vote, a polka band struck up "Happy Days Are Here Again" in a ballroom adjacent to the commission meeting. Hotel officials laid out a spread of hors d'oeuvres and pizza.

Commission member Rose said she was being conservative because plans to improve the finances of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts are not final, although company officials said a reorganization would give it a strong balance sheet this year. When the refinancing is completed, Trump will no longer be majority owner of the company but will remain as chairman of the board and a powerful figurehead, said Robert Pickus, executive vice president of Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts.

"Trump did the extra work. They got out in the community and talked to the people that are going to be impacted," said commission member Ndukwu.

Trump's other Indiana casino is in Gary. Trump Indiana is a unit of New York-based Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company is negotiating a plan that would result in an affiliate of Credit Suisse First Boston investing $400 million in Trump Hotels, which has $1.8 billion in debt. In its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March, Trump warned of several "risks and uncertainties," including the completion of the plan.

Robert Boykins, chief executive of Boykins Lodging, which has owned the French Lick Springs Resort since 1998, called it "a great day." He said a casino was the only possible savior for his facility and the nearby West Baden Springs Hotel, both of which flourished in the first half of the 20th century -- because of illegal gambling.

"This area died when Las Vegas legalized gambling in 1949, so it is kind of cool that it has finally come back around to this," Boykins said.

Orange County Development, the group associated with Indiana Pacers President Bird, did not make the commission's cut to the final two. Bird was not actively involved in the project but had pledged money for the Orange County Community Foundation. Commissioners gave the group low marks for its unwillingness to meet the panel halfway on some demands.

Voting in favor of Trump were Donald Raymond Vowels, of Evansville; Ann Marie Bochnowski, of Munster; Thomas F. Milcarek, of LaPorte County; and Robert Barlow, of Madison. Dale Gettelfinger, of Floyds Knobs, recused himself because he has indirect business connections with an individual tied to the Trump group.

The other losing applicant was Lost River Development, a partnership of Indianapolis-based Lauth Property Group and Merit Management. Lost River impressed commissioners but lacked the marketing prowess of Trump's casino network.

Both losing groups left without commenting.

Pickus said ground-breaking would be in the fall, with Trump turning the first shovel of dirt.

Amazing Indy
Jul 21, 2004, 4:41 PM
Thanks GO! Thats what im talking anout. I havent had much of a chance to go downtown or any of the other construction sites that matter. This is def. a wonderful addition to this thread. Thanks. By the way is their any prep work going down at the Market Square building site?

IndianaMike
Jul 21, 2004, 7:49 PM
Trump sure is making a name for himself in Indiana.

Is he possibly planning a condo tower in downtown Indy? Wouldn't that be sweet.

IndianaMike
Jul 21, 2004, 8:37 PM
Simon's plan calls for less parkland
Under new proposal, Downtown headquarters would occupy one-fifth of Capitol Commons.

By Sara Scavongelli
sara.scavongelli@indystar.com
July 21, 2004


Simon Property Group plans to take up less park space than originally forecast for its new Downtown Indianapolis headquarters.

Executive Vice President John Rulli said Simon scaled back plans and moved the building so it will occupy about one-fifth of Capitol Commons, instead of one-third as originally estimated. He said the building will occupy about 27,000 square feet of the park -- roughly half the size of a football field.

"I know when we do this building, the way we position and design it is going to result in a very harmonious feel with green space and open views," he said.

Simon officials revealed other details about the project Tuesday.

Construction is slated to begin in late September. The headquarters will be on the northeast corner of Capitol Commons -- land between the Indiana Convention Center and the Statehouse.

The interior space of Simon's new headquarters, expected to rise 14 stories, will be 300,000 square feet.

"We plan to take about 20 to 22 months to build the building," Rulli said. The time frame gives the company several months' leeway to move its 800-plus employees from the current headquarters at the National City Center before the lease there expires in September 2006.

Rulli said the company had hoped to have design plans finalized two weeks ago, but concerns about the building's facade caused delays. Officials hope to finish designs within the next two weeks. The building will include limestone, glass and granite.

At least 10 percent of the construction project will be handled by minority-owned businesses and at least 2 percent by female-owned businesses, Rulli said.

At Monday's City-County Council meeting, members approved issuing up to $20 million in bonds and notes to purchase Capitol Commons and redevelop an existing parking garage.

Melina Kennedy, director of economic development in Mayor Bart Peterson's office, pegged the cost of that work at $15.5 million.

She said the bonds and notes will go to rebuilding the garage and buying it from the Capital Improvement Board, a semigovernmental agency. The board, which also owns the park, will transfer the park to the city, Kennedy said.

"People tend to think we have $15 million we could have used on anything else -- it's not that way," she said. "(Simon) alone is putting in $50 million to build this building. New tax revenue will be generated from this investment."

That revenue can be used only for Downtown development, she said.

Simon and city officials have been criticized over the plan to build on parkland.

"There was clearly an intent to maintain that space as an open vista to connect the Statehouse with the Convention Center," said Clarke Kahlo, president of Protect Our Rivers Now, a Marion County environmental advocacy group. "It's very much an urban jewel."

The Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations opposes the project for financial and environmental reasons, said President Cathy Burton.

"We're accommodating the fat cats around here," said Norman Pace, the alliance's land-use chairman. "We've got to be smarter than that." He added that the view from the Convention Center is a "clear, beautiful vision" that should stay that way.

Rulli said Simon tried "to minimize the amount of green space used on the park and to maximize the open views and open vistas."

"We've been very sensitive about that," he added.

A three-story lobby with a glass central section will preserve open views, he said.

Call Star reporter Sara Scavongelli at (317) 444-6031.

Amazing Indy
Jul 21, 2004, 8:59 PM
There we go Simon corp., they actaully thought about the people and in a way answered our prayers. I feel more comfortatble allowing a building to take up a 1/5 of the park rather than the 1/3, although building on a surface parking lot would have been best, this paln certainly is better than before and more palpable to me. I'm also intrigued to find out what the design will look like. The mixed use of limestone, granite, and glass sounds very interesting. Especially when we have pics from the midwest construction boom thread showing other cities that use similar materials. I'm certainly anticipating the drawings and cant wait to see this thing built.

Amazing Indy
Jul 21, 2004, 9:05 PM
I posted a thread earlier on NWA's new flights to and from Indianapolis and how that can be a good thing and a bad thing for Indianapolis. This article shows that even though NWA is trying to hit ATA while they are down, but that it was important to have this regardless of ATA's status. NWA's expansion allows more people to reach Indianapolis directly and faster. The article on WTHR.com shows just one case how it is possible that direct flights provided from NWA can also help Indy's economy.

Amazing Indy
Jul 21, 2004, 9:07 PM
Indianapolis, July 20 - Randy Horne, a sales rep from Boston, gets frustrated when he travels to Indianapolis. He says there just aren't enough non-stop flights. "You have to route through Cincinnati or Pittsburgh or Chicago."

Horne will soon have more options.

Starting October 31, Northwest Airlines adds 19 new nonstop flights from Indianapolis to ten cities, including for the first time non-stop flights to Raleigh Durham and Hartford, Connecticut.

Horne calls it, "a lot more convenient to fly direct, absolutely. I love it."

"To say this is huge is an understatement." Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson calls it another big boost for the city's convention and tourism business, already one of the top convention sites in the country. "And we can take it to another level with help provided by Northwest."

Kirk Lovell with the airport says, "The fares stimulate the market further by bringing in more passengers and customers to the city."

The expansion also means 14 new jobs and an extra $2.5 million each year for the airport.

But it's the Ray Hornes and other frequent flyers who stand to benefit most.

"In my business it's very important to get to places quick and to get back quick."

"Not going through another airport and connecting, there just aren't enough hours in the day."

"It saves more time and money because every couple hours I'm of the road is costly because I work in sales"

Amazing Indy
Jul 22, 2004, 2:50 AM
Leaders from across the Indianapolis area targeted the ever-worsening traffic problems around Fishers and Noblesville as they moved the region closer toward its first rapid-transit system today.

With a unanimous vote, mayors and other Central Indiana leaders decided to narrow their immediate rapid-transit studies to a broad swath of land stretching from Downtown Indianapolis to northeastern Hamilton County.

With a potential price tag of $850 million and several more hurdles to clear, such a system is still at least seven years away. The leaders -- part of the Indianapolis Regional Transportation Council -- stressed crucial funding and engineering questions remain.

But with today's vote, the leaders ordered staffers to study specific routes and modes of transportation, including buses with reserved lanes and light-rail. They could select a specific plan to pursue by early next year.

Mike Dearing, head of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, pointed to the widespread support for today's move. With the endorsement of officials from Greenwood to Indianapolis to Carmel, Dearing called the vote, "probably the best indication that the region has committed to a viable regional transit system."

The vote was important for many reasons. It kept the project on track for potential federal funding and served as a public display of support for rapid transit, while also temporarily setting aside other transit proposals. The northeast corridor was selected over routes to northwestside and to the Indianapolis International Airport.

Philip Roth, a senior planner with the Metropolitan Planning Organization, said workers will now study various routes and systems, with the goal of taking it to leaders by March. If one plan is selected, years of environmental studies, federal funding requests and design studies will follow.

But federal funding is expected to top out at $425 million, meaning an equal amount could have to come from local taxpayers. No decisions have been made. Carmel Mayor James Brainard said a gasoline tax makes the most sense.

Read tomorrow's Indianapolis Star for more details about this story.

Amazing Indy
Jul 22, 2004, 2:53 AM
This is where Abbott and Costello wrote "Who's on First." John Lange isn't a name dropper. "Bob Hope and Bing Crosby used to play golf on the hill."

He's a man who appreciates history and, as general manager of the French Lick Springs Resort, he's surrounded by it. "This was a hot spot when gambling was illegal."

What made the hotel, and French Lick, famous during the days of John Barrymore may be just what brings it back to life in the era of Donald Trump, only this time it is legal.

Tuesday the Indiana Gaming Commission awarded the state's last riverboat contract to Trump Casinos and Resorts.

Resident Betty Quinn thinks, "he's got the money. He'll do it. He'll do us the best job."

Trump's $108.5 million plan, the one that won over the commission and Orange County residents, is to market not just the casino, but all of French Lick as a resort destination.

"The casino's just the tip of the iceberg." State Representative Jerry Denbo says more attractions are already in the works. "We're working on a country music hall and theater. Maybe more than one."

Denbo calls the plans "A combination of Gatlinburg and Branson, a magnet for tourists."

Tourists like Chris Wilson and his family. "We all probably wouldn't mind visiting."

And what has Lange heard? "The conservative number I heard was one million new people coming to French Lick on an annual basis."

While there are no easy or fast roads to French Lick, many believe the strength of the Trump name will pave the way for new development.

"It's just going to grow into something magnificent for the area and for the state of Indiana," says Denbo.

Finally, a promising future for a place so rich in history

ppassafi
Jul 22, 2004, 5:27 AM
So its a done deal and Indy will DEFINITELY get mass transit? This sounds suspicious to me...come on guys Indy is NOT that big. Additionally, how many of the simple minded midwestern types are going to divorce themselves from their cars to use light rail? Designated freeway lanes for buses I can see, but hopes for anything else seems a little off the wall for a metro of only 1.65 million especially considering there are hardly any cities of comparable size that have such a system. I have a couple friends who live by Broad Ripple and tried to compare some things about Indy (broad ripple to lincoln avenue, downtown indy to downtown chicago) to Chicago. I told them to take their visions of grandeur elsewhere...lol.

Snowbird
Jul 22, 2004, 4:08 PM
Meow! Why the hatred sparky? Did one of those Indy friends steal your girlfriend or something?:laugh:

Midwesterner
Jul 22, 2004, 4:11 PM
2012, is a long way away and who know what downtown Indy/metro area will be like by then. The plans that they are making now could be ruined by the future unless the act quickly.

ppassafi
Jul 23, 2004, 12:14 AM
no hatred...it is just funny to hear ppl try to compare a mid sized city to a city like chicago with 10 times the population and importance economically, politically, socially, culturally, etc.

As for the light rail, I hope it goes through as I hope it does for every metro above 1 million. It would make Indy even more progressive and "21st century" thinking. Will it happen? I HIGHLY doubt it. In fact, based on things I have read, there are about 5 other cities in the midwest/south region that would use it more than Indy based on current public transportation usage. But that is not saying these other cities would support it either. Mid sized midwestern and southern cities have still stamped a scarlet letter on public transportation.

IndianaMike
Jul 23, 2004, 2:14 AM
^ 5 cities. Really? Name them.

Midwesterner
Jul 23, 2004, 1:07 PM
no hatred...it is just funny to hear ppl try to compare a mid sized city to a city like chicago with 10 times the population and importance economically, politically, socially, culturally, etc.

As for the light rail, I hope it goes through as I hope it does for every metro above 1 million. It would make Indy even more progressive and "21st century" thinking. Will it happen? I HIGHLY doubt it. In fact, based on things I have read, there are about 5 other cities in the midwest/south region that would use it more than Indy based on current public transportation usage. But that is not saying these other cities would support it either. Mid sized midwestern and southern cities have still stamped a scarlet letter on public transportation.
I really doubt that new light rail markets like Charlotte are going to use their light rail.

Amazing Indy
Jul 24, 2004, 12:14 AM
With Indianapolis at risk of losing millions in convention business, tourism officials say the sooner the convention center expands the better, with plans for a new sports venue an added bonus.

Bob Schultz with the Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau says, "Having these two together is not only fiscally responsible, but perhaps visionary for the future of Indy."

Still others see no reason to cheer tearing down the RCA Dome and building anew.

"It sounds like this is almost a done deal."

Scott Schneider and other Republican city-county councilors say they had no idea the Capital Improvement Board paid three architectural firms $35,000 each for design concepts. "The issue I have is secret meetings taking place."

Another concern, the cost, with a new venue rivaling Houston's Reliant Stadium projected to run $450 million.

Councilman Jim Bradford (R) asks, "We're cutting back on public safety and yet here we're going with a development. Where's the money coming from?"

But Mayor Bart Peterson says, "Right now we don't know because we don't know what we're trying to finance, because there's no decision."

The mayor calls plans very preliminary. "There's going to be plenty of opportunity for public comment and comment from elected officials. We're very early in the process."

But that hasn't kept Bud Fuller from suddenly wanting to keep close tabs on things.

Fuller, who owns a business just south of the dome, knows the city might need more land, and he wants to stay put. "You're in a one sport for this many years and you acquire a lot of customers who know where you're at."

Amazing Indy
Jul 24, 2004, 12:16 AM
City officials are reviewing designs for a new Indianapolis Colts stadium drafted by three architectural firms hired earlier this year to help determine whether a new Downtown arena is feasible.

Computer designs, 3-D models and cost estimates for a 70,000-seat stadium have been in the works for months, but officials in Mayor Bart Peterson's administration refused to make the designs public.

The Capital Improvement Board, the city body overseeing the RCA Dome, requested the designs in March and paid three firms $35,000 each for their work -- even as city officials insist they have not decided whether to replace the 20-year-old dome.

"We were really looking to get ideas and feedback as part of the feasibility assessment," said Fred Glass, president of the quasi-governmental board and one of the city's top negotiators in talks with the Colts.

"It truly is an assessment piece, not an implementation piece."

Talk of a new stadium, kept under wraps for months by city and Colts officials, is now directly linked to developing plans to expand the Indiana Convention Center -- a necessary move, the city has said, to stay competitive in the convention industry.

In a March 25 letter, the board asked four firms to submit design proposals by May. The letter asked those firms to keep several assumptions in mind, such as:

• A new stadium would have a capacity of 63,000 -- adjustable to up to 70,000 -- with 120 suites and 7,500 club seats. That compares with the RCA Dome's 57,890 seats and 104 suites.

• The arena would have a fixed roof instead of a retractable roof -- like the kind in use at Houston's Reliant Stadium. The letter, however, suggests designers should provide a retractable-roof alternative.

• The building would be located on 25 acres south of the Indiana Convention Center, which could be expanded by 200,000 to 275,000 square feet into an area now occupied by the RCA Dome.

Three firms responded to the letter: Ellerbe Becket, of Kansas City, Mo., which designed the Arizona Diamondbacks' Bank One Ballpark; HOK Sport, also of Kansas City, which designed Reliant Stadium; and Dallas-based HKS Architects.

A fourth company, Kansas City-based HNTB Corp., which designed the original RCA Dome, did not respond, Glass said.

None of the design companies returned phone calls seeking comment.

Glass refused to disclose cost estimates produced by the firms but said the board has been working on an assumption that a fixed-roof stadium would cost roughly $450 million.

The Colts and the city have been in negotiations for a new long-term contract since late 2002. The team's lease runs through the 2013 season. But the contract includes an escape clause that could kick in after the 2006 season if the team's revenue doesn't consistently match the National Football League's median income.

Last year, Mayor Bart Peterson said it was reasonable to assume the two sides would sign a new lease this year. Weeks later, Colts owner Jim Irsay said such a deal would likely include "something that would lead to a new stadium."

Peterson refused to comment on the letter Thursday. His chief deputy, Michael O'Connor, said the need to expand the Convention Center is currently a bigger factor than the Colts lease, in terms of stadium planning.

"We're going to have to plan for a new venue" if the Convention Center is built into the current RCA Dome space, O'Connor said. "We've been very clear that we're going to expand the Convention Center."

City and Colts officials would not comment on what impact the designs have had on contract talks with the team.

Reached Thursday, Colts Senior Executive Vice President Pete Ward refused to comment on the designs.

The two sides met last week in a negotiating session that both Irsay and Peterson attended, O'Connor said. He said the designs were not directly discussed at the meeting.

The request for those designs was not approved by the Capital Improvement Board. That would have made the issue public. Instead, a "building task force" created by the board authorized the request, Glass said. The letter is marked confidential and asks firms not to share its contents.

On Thursday, The Star filed a formal request for the stadium designs under the state's open-records law.

Asked why the letter was kept secret and why designs would not be released to the public, O'Connor said there was nothing wrong with commissioning the work in private.

He added that the public would have a chance to weigh in on designs later.

"None of these are proposals," O'Connor said. "They are conceptual models."

At least one sports expert said it makes sense to work out conceptual designs before sealing a deal with a team. That way, officials know what they're getting into.

Cleveland State University sports economist Mark Rosentraub added that Indianapolis' positioning was not uncommon in other cities.

"If you're going to do a deal with a team, you have to be sure of your goals and objectives," Rosentraub said. "It sounds like Indianapolis is taking a step in the right direction."


Officials asked architectural firms to make the following assumptions while crafting possible stadium designs:
• Up to 70,000 seats, compared with 57,890 seats at the RCA Dome.
• 120 suites, compared with 104 at the dome.
• Located on 25 acres south of the RCA Dome.
• Estimated cost of $450 million.

What's next
The city expects a decision on a new Colts contract, and possibly a new stadium, by the end of this year.

Amazing Indy
Jul 24, 2004, 12:18 AM
Indianapolis city officials today released a new map, showing existing bicycle routes and trails and proposed trail but planners concede that city still has a ways to go to embrace bicycling as alternative transportation.

The city and Carmel both received an honorable mention last fall from the League of American Bicyclists for the Monon Trail. However, the bicycling association qualified its praise for the two Indiana cities saying, "A single trail or trail system does not make an entire community bicycle-friendly."

Mike Dearing, manager of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which prepared the latest map, agrees.

"We do have a way to go."

Dearing said the new map, which replaces the first map issued three years ago, shows connections outside of Marion County. The 380 miles outlined on the map include protected greenway paths such as the Monon and Fall Creek Trails. It also shows streets that planners have identified as safer streets.

Copies of the map will be distributed to bicycling groups, local businesses, libraries and parks. People can obtain a copy by calling Catherine Kostyn 327-5142 or e-mailing her at ckostyn@indygov.org . The map also can be accessed online at http://www.indygov.org/indympo.

Dearing said the next goal is to work with the Department of Public Works and other agencies in getting additional signage installed.

The planning organization would also like to get bicycle lanes established on key corridors.

One such corridor might be the New York and Michigan Street corridors connecting Downtown with the city's Eastside, Dearing said.

While the simplest bike lanes are merely a strip of paint on existing pavement, along with signage alerting drivers about the bicycle lane, Dearing said he would prefer to have bicycle lanes separated by a barrier from traffic wherever possible.

An ordinance was changed a couple of years ago to allow bicyclists to use city sidewalks, he said.

Go7SD
Jul 25, 2004, 2:03 PM
So its a done deal and Indy will DEFINITELY get mass transit? This sounds suspicious to me...come on guys Indy is NOT that big.

Neither is Salt Lake City but they have one


As for a new stadium, I hope not just look at what happen to the LRT plan in Cincinnati. I say put tax money into rapid transit first then build a new stadium.