Inside Indiana Business: Master plan lays out $1B Purdue Discovery Park District
Inside INdiana Business

Inside Indiana Business: Master plan lays out $1B Purdue Discovery Park District


The Purdue Research Foundation and its private development partner, Indianapolis-based Browning Investments, have unveiled the 30-year master plan for the massive Discovery Park District in West Lafayette. The mixed-use property is expected to include some $1 billion in projects and opportunities for on-campus private investment that Purdue University says will create "a mixed-use gateway for intellectual discourse and commercial partnerships."

Officials also detailed the next major component of the development: Convergence, a 145,000-square-foot office building that will serve as a bridge between the university and industry. Foundation Chief Entrepreneurial Officer Dan Hasler told Inside INdiana Business the development is a unique "front porch" for the world and the state to enter Purdue and the region.

Jeffersonville call center could bring over 600 jobs: Ohio-based United Collection Bureau has announced plans for a new southeast Indiana call center that could employ up to 621 over the next four years. The company intends to pump $2.4 million into improvements and equipment at a leased facility on the River Ridge Commerce Center campus in Jeffersonville.

East Central Indiana school plugs into telehealth tech: Northview Elementary School in Gas City has become the most recent location for a telehealth clinic through the statewide Indiana Rural School Clinic Network. Mississinewa Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Lezlie Winter says the technology brings Marion General Hospital expertise into the rural school and "levels the playing field" for students and parents who face health care access challenges. The program, which is funded through a grant administered by the Linton-based Indiana Rural Health Association, was launched as a pilot in the Elwood Community School Corp. in 2016. Winter says the program is ripe for expansion in her district and beyond.

Purdue, Daniels agree on extension: The Purdue University Board of Trustees has indefinitely extended President Mitch Daniels' contract. The school says the deal will run "until such time either party gives one year's notice." The former two-term Indiana governor first signed on to lead Purdue in December of 2012. His initial contract was re-upped for two years in 2015.

Anticipation grows for Indy-to-Paris flight: The chief economic development officer for the Indy Chamber says excitement for Indiana's first transatlantic nonstop flight is building on both sides of the pond. Maureen Donohue Krauss said the Delta Airlines flight from Indianapolis International Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, set to begin May 24, is resonating with businesses in Indiana and throughout Europe. She said having a direct connection and quicker access to the Indy market is drawing great interest. Speaking to Inside INdiana Business from an economic development trip in France, Krauss said the focus right now is on sustaining and growing the Paris flight.

Entrepreneurs, women in recovery create 'perfect marriage': A new collaboration in Terre Haute is helping women recovering from addiction gain work experience and develop soft skills through two student-run startups. The partnership connects the women with volunteer shifts at Milky Way, a cereal bar, and The Edge, a coffee shop, which are housed at Meeting Grounds, a gathering space run by Next Step Foundation. Launch Terre Haute Executive Director Shelley Klingerman said her coworking organization helped connect the young entrepreneurs behind the businesses with Next Step. Additional collaborations of this nature, Klingerman told Inside INdiana Business, could bloom in the future.

State OKs more I-69 maintenance, travel lane additions: The Indiana Department of Transportation has awarded $79 million for road construction and maintenance that will continue the repair and widening of Interstate 69. The contracts with Walsh Construction Group, which has a regional office in Crown Point, and Goshen-based Rieth-Riley Construction Co. involve interchanges, bridges and pavement near Pendleton and Daleville.

State boosts broadband focus: In an effort to ramp up its focus on broadband access, the state has launched a search for a director of broadband opportunities. The newly created position will create a single point of contact to deal with the federal government, industry, academia and other stakeholders connected to broadband topics and issues. A key area of focus is boosting access in rural Indiana, which Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch calls the state's "next great economic development frontier." In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Crouch said the new position and the broadband focus are about extending the same opportunities to Hoosiers in communities of all sizes.

Pike County partners unveil master plan for massive acreage: A long-term strategic plan focused on developing 4,000 acres off of Interstate 69 in southwest Indiana has been released. The Pike County I-69 Interchange master plan is designed to boost retail, commercial, residential and industrial investment opportunities near Petersburg. Properties involved in the initiative, which was launched last year, include a portion of the massive Southwest Indiana Megasite.

Six finalists vying for 'Stellar' designation: Six regions have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Stellar Communities Program. The initiative, which is taking a regional approach this year for the first time, involves support from the state to help boost strategic planning efforts in participating communities.

Saint Joe fundraising event to support renovation: Saint Joseph's College is looking to raise money to support the renovation of one of the residence halls on the Rensselaer campus. The school, which suspended campus activities last year due to financial troubles, says it has full intentions of returning to the campus "in the foreseeable future."

Central State site attracts more investment: More redevelopment is slated for the property that used to house Central State Hospital in Indianapolis. Ohio-based M/I Homes is planning a $15 million housing community to be called 58/Bahr at Central State that will include 20 townhomes and 30 single-family homes. The builder said it also intends to develop an additional 27 acres of the site, which could involve 200 more homes.

Old GM site developer envisions '20 minute neighborhood': Developers of the former General Motors Stamping Plant site near downtown Indianapolis say the 103-acre property is unlike any in the world. Ambrose Property Group Senior Vice President Andrew Greenwood says the uniqueness of the site offers a blank canvas to create a major, urban mixed-use development that will be a first-class destination. "We looked internationally, we looked nationally, we looked at Indiana and there's nothing that compares," Greenwood said. "Nowhere else in the world can you find 100 acres right next to the river that's in a major metropolitan city." In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Greenwood talked about creating a "20-minute neighborhood" on the site.

New Albany Brewery among country's fastest-growing: An Indiana beer maker is on a list of the fastest-growing breweries in the country. The Colorado-based Brewers Association's inaugural ranking, which includes Donum Dei Brewery in New Albany, considered production totals reported in its annual survey.

Downtown mall branching out: As Circle Centre Mall in downtown Indianapolis continues its transformation, the high-profile property is announcing several new businesses and the relocation of Purdue Polytechnic High School. General Manager Audrie Thompson said the announcement, which follows word in February that the nearly 25-year-old landmark was receiving a multi-million dollar facelift, fits with the changing landscape and demographics downtown. Purdue Polytechnic opened in August at The Union 525 on the city's near south side as a temporary location until its permanent space at the former PR Mallory industrial complex is complete. Thompson says the new tenants will help create an environment unlike anything else.

Rose Acre Farms issues egg recall: Rose Acre Farms in Seymour issued a voluntary recall on more than 200 million eggs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the eggs, which have reached consumers in nine states, have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.

Evansville casino parent to be acquired: The Tropicana Evansville casino will soon be under new ownership. Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts has announced plans to acquire Tropicana Entertainment in a $1.85 billion deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

Spot Freight expands in Charlotte: Indianapolis-based Spot Freight is growing its presence in North Carolina. The Charlotte office, which opened three years ago and currently employs 10, could add about 50 jobs by year's end. In an interview a year ago on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, President Andrew Elsener discussed the company's growth plans in Indianapolis, which include 260 new Hoosier jobs by 2023.

Construction to start on tech park hotel: Groundbreaking on the first hotel at WestGate@Crane Technology Park was Friday in Odon. Officials said the $7 million Sleep Inn and Mainstay-branded hotel will employ more than 20.

Levementum scores funding, sells off product: Arizona-based Levementum, which has a growing presence in Indianapolis, said it has raised an additional $4 million in funding, led by Inoca Capital Partners. Chief Executive Officer Doug Guilbeau also said the company has sold its SugarCRM practice to focus on its Salesforce products and becoming "the top digital consultancy focused on consumer engagement." Levementum said the funding from the private equity firm will help support rapid nationwide growth. Senior Vice President Michael Burton said the company is continuing to pivot its focus to digital marketing, e-commerce and servicing consumer requests.

State fair bringing the circus to town: The Indiana State Fair is adding to its multitude of attractions this summer as part of this year's theme, "STEP RIGHT UP!" Organizers said fairgoers will have the opportunity to experience the new Big Top Circus, which will feature three shows daily during this year's event.

LaGrange County EDC taps next leader: The LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. has named Bill Bradley its next chief executive officer. He has served as executive director of the Jay County Development Corp. for the last 11 years.

USI announces next president: The board of trustees of the University of Southern Indiana has appointed Ronald Rochon the university's fourth president. Rochon, who has served as provost for USI since 2010, was chosen following a national search that included more than 90 candidates.

Holcomb's international journeys to continue: Governor Eric Holcomb will next month lead delegations on two international trade missions to boost global economic development opportunities for the state. The trips to Israel and Europe will be capped off by the governor taking the inaugural nonstop flight from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Indianapolis.

Pete Dye Golf Trail returns: The Indiana Department of Tourism Development has relaunched the statewide Pete Dye Golf Trail. The initiative, which is a salute to Carmel resident and world-renowned golf course designer Pete Dye, involves seven courses in Indianapolis, West Lafayette, Culver and French Lick.


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