Inside Indiana Business: Indy airport opens door for 'high-end' hotel
Inside INdiana Business

Inside Indiana Business: Indy airport opens door for 'high-end' hotel

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Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says "if there's a time to build a hotel, this is it." The authority recently released a Request for Expression of Interest for developers of a potential "first class, full-service" hotel adjacent to the Indianapolis International Airport. Rodriguez says the property would accommodate a hotel well.

Vectren, Texas company detail merger plans: A Texas-based energy company with operations in six states has announced a $6 billion merger with Evansville-based Vectren. Under terms approved by both CenterPoint Energy's and Vectren's boards of directors, Vectren shareholders will receive $72 per share and CenterPoint will assume the Hoosier company's debt. Vectren CEO Carl Chapman says the combined company's natural gas utility operations will be headquartered in Evansville.

'Supercar' assembly operation planned for Purdue: The England-based manufacturer of a car billed as the fastest street-legal vehicle on the road has selected the Discovery Park District at Purdue University for a showroom and assembly facility. Keating Supercars will produce its first model to be sold in the U.S., the Viperia Berus coupe, which is capable of reaching speeds greater than 230 miles per hour.

Burgeoning cooking oil maker reaching statewide audience: A sixth-generation Indiana farm family is finding success through diversification. Healthy Hoosier Oil, part of Boyer Farms in Converse, produces cold-pressed sunflower and canola oils. Owner Mark Boyer says the commodity crop farmers wanted to branch out, and research guided them to the chemical-free method of extracting oils from seeds and demand is on the rise. In an interview on "Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick," Boyer credited the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and its Indiana Grown initiative for the lion's share of Healthy Hoosier Oil's success in retail.

Production at aquaculture facility moving forward: An indoor fish farm in Albany is one step closer to resuming production. Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies, which acquired Bell Fish Co. last year, says it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to raise salmon at the Albany facility.

$8M fift to boost Purdue pharmacy dndowment: An $8 million gift from a Purdue University alumna and her husband has given a major boost to an endowment supporting the university's College of Pharmacy. The gift from JeanAnne and James Chaney will support student scholarships and a potential new facility for the college.

Rice recommends remedies for 'sad state': The chair of an outside commission has detailed a series of recommendations designed to help clean up NCAA men's basketball. Last week in Indianapolis, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice summarized a report that focused on four elements the commission said need to be addressed to right long-term issues that have led to high-profile federal investigations into fraud and corruption allegations. Specific targets include ending the "one-and-done" era, where top athletes play one year in college before skipping to the professional level. Rice characterized college basketball as being in a "sad state."

New name, first contract for defense tech institute: Indiana Innovation Institute, formerly known as the Applied Research Institute, is kicking off a rebranding with the announcement of its first contract. The $2.3 million trusted microelectronics collaboration with Purdue University also includes researchers and personnel from the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, IN3 Chief Executive Officer Gene Renuart said the new brand puts the state at the forefront.

Old National details earnings, branch sales, closings: Evansville-based Old National Bancorp is reporting first quarter net income of $48 million, compared to $36 million during the same period a year earlier. The banking company also says it will consolidate 10 branches over the next two quarters and sell 10 others to Marine Credit Union of Wisconsin, a deal that is expected to close in the third quarter.

Hotel, conference center opens in Noblesville: A $30 million hotel has opened in Hamilton County. The Embassy Suites by Hilton Noblesville Indianapolis Conference Center, owned and managed by Indianapolis-based Sun Development and Management, includes 198 rooms and an on-site restaurant called The Local Kitchen and Tap.

Battery systems manufacturer expanding in Kokomo: Kokomo-based Green Cubes Technology has announced plans to expand its Howard County operations. The company, which manufactures advanced battery power systems, will invest $1.8 million to build a new global headquarters and create more than 70 jobs by the end of 2021.

Nelbud grows footprint with acquisition: Indianapolis-based Nelbud Services Group has acquired the kitchen hood cleaning division of Fire Pros in Michigan. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, however Nelbud says the acquired assets will rebranded under the Nelbud name.

Groundbreaking set for Bloomington's Switchyard Park: Years of planning and preparation are coming to fruition in Bloomington as a groundbreaking ceremony has been scheduled for Switchyard Park in May. After CSX phased out services at the McDoel Switchyard, planning began for the 58-acre brownfield in 2012.

Pacers gaming preps for run: The NBA's official NBA2K esports league debuts next week and Indiana Pacers Gaming players are honing their skills and strategies. Pacers Gaming Director of Esports and Head Coach Cody Parrent, an Evansville native who has experience coaching basketball and soccer, says the training and teamwork involved in the digital world are the same. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Parrent said his scouting process began six months ago and involved interviewing all 102 players eligible to be drafted by one of the 17 NBA-sponsored teams. Parrent explained the desired skills he was looking for in his six selections.

Lilly beats expectations, raises guidance: Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly is reporting first quarter net income of $1.2 billion, compared to a loss of $110.8 million during the same period the previous year. The company has also raised its full-year earnings per share and revenue expectations, driven in part by new products, including Trulicity, Taltz and Cyramza.

Manufacturer adding production in Daviess County: Florida-based ISOFlex Packaging has opened its third production line at its facility in Daviess County. The company, which produces specialty plastic films and bags, will add a small number of jobs as a result.

Zink acquires Terre Haute distributor: Indianapolis-based Zink Distributing Co. has acquired another distributor in Terre Haute. Financial terms of the deal for Dever Distributing Co. were not disclosed, though Zink says the acquisition will widen its footprint to include eight additional Indiana counties.

More student apartments planned near IUK campus: The city of Kokomo has announced plans for a student housing development near the Indiana University Kokomo campus. Construction on the proposed 125-bed University Park complex is expected to begin in June and take around a year to complete.

New women's network starts up in Fort Wayne: Greater Fort Wayne has launched an effort to drive connections among northeast Indiana organizations, networks and individuals supporting and empowering women. The GFW Women's Network will support career enrichment and professional development initiatives, as well as host events and programs focused on embracing diversity and boosting quality of life. Director of Investor Services and Programs Jami Thomas says it's the right time to establish the program. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, she explained the Women's Network's vision.

Spencer County tourist sites invest in upgrades: The Spencer County Visitors Bureau says tourism businesses have invested more than $8 million in upgrades ahead of the 2018 summer season. Lincoln Amphitheatre, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari and the new Mistletoe Manor are among those making improvements.

UE unveils institute for public health: The University of Evansville has launched the Institute for Public Health. The university says the institute will provide hands-on experiences to students while addressing community public health needs.

State approves ISU renovation projects: Two high-priority capital projects at Indiana State University are moving forward. The State Budget Committee has unanimously approved the projects, which include the $15 million renovation of the Fine Arts and Commerce Building on the Terre Haute campus.

New group fans the flame of entrepreneurial docs: The founders of a new Indiana organization say healthcare is a hot bed of potential entrepreneurs, but many medical professionals lack the business expertise to move their ideas to the marketplace. Central Indiana health and life sciences professionals are creating an Indiana chapter of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, a national nonprofit and clinical innovation network. Indiana University Kelley School of Business Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Todd Saxton says physicians are likely even more frustrated with healthcare than patients.

Indiana-made bird feeders on national TV: Carmel-based Mr. Canary Co. is hitting the Home Shopping Network for the first time next month. The company makes bird feeders it describes as "virtually maintenance-free" and partners with The Arc of Greater Boone County on sourcing, assembly, packaging and shipping.

SF Motors continues pattern of growth: A globally focused electric vehicle company with a manufacturing hub in Mishawaka is expanding its footprint. California-based SF Motors has announced a new research and development facility in its home state, which will also provide "low-volume" manufacturing when it begins operations by the end of the year.

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