Annual Report: Business and Industry
A look at news and people in business and industry over the past year.
Business & Industry Annual Report for Madison County | March 31, 2013 Section 1 of 2 A look at news and people in business and industry over the past year. Real estate sales saw steady rise in 2012 | See Page 3 Local auto dealers saw positive changes in 2012 | See Page 12 Farmers look for good season after drought in 2012 | See Page 8 2 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin E-ons wind turbines multiplied in 2012 with phase two set to begin. A ‘phenomenal’ year for jobs growth By Baylee Pulliam The Herald Bulletin At a glance Building permits filed in Madison County in 2012. Total permits filed: 346 Residential permits: 115 Total additions: 38 New homes: 26 Modular homes: 4 Swimming pools: 12 SOURCE: Madison County Planning Commission Flagship Enterprise Center business park in July, promising to bring 325 new jobs. That facility opened in January of this year. Other commitments came from companies already in Anderson, such as Nestle USA, which promised to expand on its current facilities — a $166,270,000 capital ANDERSON — Anderson’s dusting off its “Help Wanted” sign. Last year, it secured commitments from big companies looking to add an estimated 1,110 new local jobs and spend a total of $217,078,350 for development. “I think this represents a reversal of trends in Anderson and Madison County,” said Mayor Kevin Smith. “It shows we can market ourselves, that we have marketable qualities.” Many of the commitments came from manufacturers, such as Green Tire Reclamation, Echo Drive and major Honda plastic components supplier Greenville Technology, Inc., which broke ground on its 150,000-square-foot facility — a $21,500,000 capital investment — in the investment, on top of an added 104 jobs. While some jobs would be transferred from the companies’ current facilities, some said they’d give locals first priority. In March, Hy-Pro filtrations operations manager Aaron Hoeg promised to give locals first crack at the 107 jobs it plans to bring to Anderson. The surge of jobs announcements has a lot to do with hard work and the city’s “great team” of economic developers, said city economic development head Greg Winkler. But luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. “Luck favors those who are prepared,” he said. “We were prepared.” When a company wants to move in, the city asks how much of an investment — jobs, property, capital — it intends to make. The city grades its incentives package accordingly, such as the $3,250,000 in tax increment financing funds allocated for GTI. All told, the city approved $21,426,421 in incentives last year. If the company falls dramatically short of its projections, the city will seek reimbursement, Winkler said. But as far as he’s concerned, “2012 was a great year, really phenomenal. I know we’re all really hoping and praying we can repeat that in 2013.” Not only did Anderson add jobs, but “we kept the ones we had,” Smith said — 1,152 of them, in fact. “There’s loyalty to the city and Madison County,” he said. “It shows they think we have potential. There’s a future here.” Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook, @ BayleeNPulliam on Twitter or call 6484250. Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin 3 Real estate sales saw steady rise in 2012 By Emma Bowen Meyer For The Herald Bulletin Housing In 2012, Madison County saw large gains in both the number of home sales and median sales price. The number of Madison County’s 2012 closed home sales hit 1,331, up over 26 percent from 2011. That clocks in far above the statewide number, which, at 66,516, only represents a 14.7 percent gain. The same can be said for Madison County’s 2012 median home sale price, which, at $79,250, is up over 10 percent from 2011. That’s more than double the state’s increase of only 4.5 percent. CLOSED SALES 2011: 1,055 2012: 1,331 +26.2% increase MEDIAN PRICE 2011: $72,000 2012: $79,250 +10.1% increase SOURCE: Anderson-Madison County REALTORs ANDERSON — Economic factors in recent years have hit the real estate market hard, but agents noticed sales steadily start to rise in 2012. And, while they can’t place their finger on the exact reason, they are seeing a significant increase in sales already in 2013. “Houses are moving all over the board,” said John Rhodes, owner of Rhodes Realty. “It seems like there is more excitement out there and more first time home buyers than ever. We are seeing numbers like we did in 2008 and we are off to a great start this year.” In 2011, the average sale price of a home in Madison County was $76,384. An increase of 21 percent brought that figure up to $82,402 in 2012. Average prices may be down for the start of this year, but a hefty percentage more houses have sold in 2013 than they had at this time last year. “Our listings are down in a good way,” said Sharon Baker Carpenter, real estate agent. “A lot of the foreclosures are not on the market anymore. Homes will slowly start moving up in value.” In addition to the real estate troubles faced by the nation, Madison County has suffered due to General Motors leaving Anderson. Real estate agents are finding that commuters make up a good por tion of today’s home buyers. “A lot of people are commuting and want to be close to the I-69 corridor,” said Rhodes. “People are making that extra commute to buy more. Most are young buyers — and many have grown up around this area.” “A lot of times I see one spouse working in Muncie and another working in Indianapolis,” said Carpenter. “This is a great in-between place. Buyers seem to be young couples that are tired of renting or older couples that are looking to downsize.” In 2012, 142 homes were sold from Januar y 1 to March 7 with an average sales price of $71,004. During the same time period in 2013, 206 homes were sold with an average sales price of $69,013. Sale prices are affected by repossessions, but as those leave the market, home values are expected to rise. Another factor noticed by professionals in 2012 was the difficulty in moving property above a cer tain price point. Rhodes reported that he is not finding that to be true so far in 2013. “The market was ver y sluggish in 2012 for a home that was above the $150,000 mark,” he said. “That is not the case anymore. Ever ything is moving. Houses are at a good value. But if you have a house to buy, doing it before April 1 is a good idea. The FHA is raising their premiums on April 1.” Carpenter is glad the Anderson annexation plan fell through. Annexation “will raise taxes for those townships and will hurt home sales in those areas.” Without annexation, “people will use their extra money to put into great houses.” John P. Cleary / The Herald Bulletin Workers for Arbor Homes put up siding on a new home under construction in the Paramount Springs addition on east 67th St. Commercial sales market is soft but very slowly.” “In general, things were better in 2012 than 2011, but the market ANDERSON — While home is still soft,” said Tom Seal, owner sales are on the rise, commercial of F.C.Tucker/O.C. Clark and building sales remain sluggish. realtor for 40 years. “It’s not As owners are updating the because it’s Anderson. Most of facades to entice the reason is buyers, the that financing “We are seeing people on commercial banks continue to be a stumbuy older properties and property is very bling block for difficult. Federrenovating them. It gives al guidelines entrepreneurs. “The numand federal a new look and a new bers are tough,” requirements energy to Anderson.” John said are much more Rhodes, owner stringent than Sharon Baker of Rhodes Realthey used to be. Carpenter real estate agent ty. “Banks have The amount of really tightened activity is better up. Someone brand new to busi- than it has been in the last three ness is being asked for an incred- or four years and I look for things ible amount of money down and to get better.” people just don’t have it. Com“Commercial property has mercial businesses are moving, dropped in pricing but some By Emma Bowen Meyer For The Herald Bulletin good things are happening,” said Sharon Baker, Carpenter real estate agent. “We are seeing people buy older properties and renovating them. It gives a new look and a new energy to Anderson.” Carl Chambers, an agent with F.C. Tucker/O.C.Clark, reported that new people with new ideas are moving to the area – and bringing businesses with them. “Commercial sales aren’t as good as they were a few years ago, but they are picking up,” he said. “The Federal Credit Union sold a couple of buildings because they were expanding and we go a new gun shop in one and are leasing the other to a business that was also expanding. I think things are changing. People have more confidence in what’s going on in Anderson and Madison County.” 4 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin John P. Cleary / The Herald Bulletin Shot of I-69 exit 214 at Indiana 13 showing the area on the north side of the interstate that was in the proposed annexation area. Just north of the exit ramp is a state highway garage and next to that, to the north, is Newco Metals Inc. Surrounding towns mull annexation options after Anderson proposal fails By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — The idea of annexation in Anderson has been tabled for the time being. The proposal, part of Mayor Kevin Smith’s Anderson Fast Forward plan, was recommended as a way to stabilize Anderson’s population and tax base and create a strong economic corridor to the west along I-69. The idea was panned by residents of the proposed areas and subsequently voted down by the City Council in a meeting on March 14. The plan died before gaining any momentum. But the land is still out there, and the way surrounding towns and cities have been growing, it’s land someone is bound to acquire, Smith said. “The plan is logical if we want to compete with the job market and the population market of other communities like Noblesville, Fishers, Pendleton,” Smith said. “It’s all about being able to compete.” With the deterioration of economic influence in Anderson over recent decades, the population and business market had migrated south along the interstate, which has developed into an open and fertile ground for expansion. With neighboring Lapel and Pendleton and even Hamilton County cities growing and encroaching along the corridor, Smith was hopeful to stretch the city’s presence all the way to Exit 214 to the southwest. Department of Economic Development Director Greg Winkler agreed. “Exit 214 makes us relevant again,” Winkler said. “You’re going to be in great shape if that’s your southwest boundary. If you can’t get there, you’re less of a player. We hear this on a regular basis.” Winkler said the town or city that grabs the valuable land near the metropolitan loop of I-465 is in a position to be globally competitive as a job market for the next 50 years. He also said he was concerned with the city’s viability as a county seat if it can’t expand and stabilize. “Our concern is that the budget won’t get better moving forward,” Winkler said. “We have firemen and police to pay, roads to pave, and we don’t think we have the money to cover a shortfall.” So who will make a move? Pendleton Town Council President Don Henderson said his town council is satisfied with Pendleton’s current configuration and wants to maintain a small-town atmosphere. Expansion would be counterproductive to that end. Lapel Town Council President Gary Shuck didn’t deny annexation ambitions for his town, but said the economy needs to turn around before that happens. Lapel is moving forward with a recently submitted super-voluntary annexation of about 10 properties within the area Anderson was proposing, effectively blocking out some of the land in play. Shuck said the town is pleased with the move and he will continue to promote the south side of the town as an area for growth. Otherwise, he said Lapel will watch and wait to see what happens. “No matter what happens, there’s always something coming up next,” Shuck said. Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin 5 Pendleton committed to staying a town By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin At a glance Businesses along I-69 corridor from Exit 214 to 222 Tractor Supply Versa Cold Logistics Dodd Technologies Remy International BL Brown Construction and Excavation Nestle Carter Express Precision Strip Alliance One JP Kane and Co. MetLife Altair Nano Midwest POS Solutions Purdue University Flagship Center Anderson University PENDLETON — Thomas Pendleton moved to Madison County in 1825 and five years later he was helping lay out plans for a town that would be named after him. It was a small town then, and Town Council President Don Henderson said he’d like to keep it a small town in the future. A recently shelved proposed annexation by Anderson along the I-69 corridor has led to rumblings in surrounding communities about whether or not to grab land that appears to be in high demand. Henderson said he can’t speak for the Town Council and that the idea hasn’t been discussed much yet, but he wants to work around Pendleton’s historic core and not expand farther for now. The 14-year Town Council President said the historical and small-town identity of Pendleton is what has made it a great community up until now, and residents haven’t voiced the desire to change that. He said expansion would mean allocating resources and capital away from the center of town. “If we did move west, it would be almost all the way to Hamilton County, and it would take everything we have and we’d have to devote energy out there. It would be at the expense of being an historic town,” Henderson said. Town Manager Doug McGee agreed with Henderson. He said expanding a community is expen- Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin Pendleton’s downtown commercial district covers roughly 12 blocks centered around the intersection of State Street and Pendleton Avenue. sive, and the town wants to stay devoted to enhancing what’s already there. “It’s imperative that we maintain a good quality of life for our residents. There’s a park in the downtown historic district. We’ve put lots of money into improving our trails. We’re working on bringing the first roundabout to Madison County. 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Cab 53,076 Miles s .................$26,806 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited 6,582 Miles s ..................................$28,445 8 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin Farmers look for good season after drought in 2012 By Emma Bowen Meyer For The Herald Bulletin At a glance Agriculture numbers in Indiana and Madison County ANDERSON — While the drought of 2012 will long be remembered, the lack of rain was not as severe in Madison County as in other areas of the state and country. Heavy rains in the spring and fall ensured that some crops fared well. “In the middle of the summer we really struggled, but the early spring crops did very well,” said David Robb, farm manager for Harvest Land Farm in connection with Aspire. “We had a really good fall for vegetable farming. Even though there was a severe dip, we did just fine.” Robb has been with the Harvest Land Farm for six years. The business sells to multiple outlets, farmer’s markets, and restaurants. In addition, some community members purchase a share in the spring and glean a basket of produce every week. “We have a set of crops that we grow every year,” he said. “From last year we learned we need to put irrigation out early. We also need to plant a lot more. We have more demand than supply.” Robb reports he has plans to double if not triple production this year by opening up some acres with cover crops. With a total of 25 acres, the farm usually has 12 to 15 acres under production. “The demand is high because people are beginning to realize that local organic vegetables taste really good and are good for you,” he added. “These are fresh and haven’t been shipped hundreds of miles.” Farmers of large tracts of corn found themselves hit pretty hard by the drought, but many were able to collect from their crop insurance, which lessened the blow significantly. “A lot of the guys have insurance anymore and so some were just as well off this year,” said Matt Edwards, assistant grain merchandiser for Harvest Land Co-Op. “Income was lower in the big scheme of things. Crop insurance has been available for quite a while but farmers haven’t collected in recent years because yields have been good.” Beans fared better than corn due to the late rains. By the time the heavy fall rain fell, it was too late for the corn to recover. “The corn was pretty much burnt up earlier in the year and 14,700 Acreage in farms *2011 Indiana total 237 acres Average farm size *2011 Indiana $8.4 billion *2011 value of Indiana crops $3.3 billion *2011 value of Indiana livestock & products 96,500 *2012 planted acres of corn Madison County 119.9 *2012 corn yield per acre 13 *2012 state ranking corn Photos by John P. Cleary / THB Above: Neese Farms harvests beans south of Elwood along Indiana 128 and County Road 900 West in this Sept. 24 THB file photo. At left: Dried out crops during last summer’s drought. 91.400 *2012 planted acres of soybeans 48.2 *2012 soybean yield per acre 8 *2012 state ranking soybeans *Latest year for which statistics are available. Source: Indiana Field Office of National Agricultural Statistics Service didn’t get much benefit from the late rain,” said Edwards. “Since the ethanol plants have been buying corn, it has skyrocketed. Farmers are planting more corn than beans.” Although 2012 was full of troubling times for farmers, Edwards thinks last year’s yields will have little effect on 2013 plans for planting. “We haven’t had it that bad since 1988,” he said. “I don’t think it will influence what farmers do for this year.” With expenses and risk on the rise, more small farmers are leaving the business. “Larger farms are getting bigger,” added Edwards. “It’s the price of land and the competition. Everything is pretty expensive and the smaller guys are having a hard time competing.’ Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin 9 POET found corn in drought By Emma Bowen Meyer For The Herald Bulletin ALEXANDRIA — Last year’s drought did not dampen the local Alexandria POET Biorefining plant from purchasing the needed 20 million bushels of corn to manufacture ethanol. Even with the difficult weather conditions, local farmers were able to meet the demands of the large corporation. “The drought conditions caused a lot of problems but it wasn’t total and complete across the U.S.,” said Dave Hudak, general manager. “Some rain was spotty and the yield depended on when the corn was planted. In our area we had a little better weather than some other parts of Indiana.” Seven counties supply corn to POET. During a year of true shortage, the company would have to look to outside farmers to meet their demand or reduce production of ethanol. Alexandria’s plant manufactures an average of 65-70 million gallons of ethanol per year. Alexandria was chosen as a perfect location in 2008 due to the proximity to raw materials and access to utilities – including water, electricity and the rails. Established in 1986, POET operates 27 plants in seven states. With a production of 1.6 billion gallons of ethanol, nine billion pounds of high protein animal feed and thousands of pounds of bio-based oils and lubricants, this innovative company fills the needs of a variety of customers. “Our farmer base has been very good to us,” said Hudak. “Fortunately we have not had to look outside our draw area. Our 2013 expectations come from looking at USDA reports that indicate adequate planting. We don’t know the weather, which really impacts yield. But we plan to operate at the correct production rate.” John P. Cleary / The Herald Bulletin GTI held its grand opening on Jan. 18 for its new 150,000 square-foot parts manufacturing facility built in the Flagship. Auto manufacturing shifts into high gear By Baylee Pulliam The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — The engine on Madison County’s auto industry has been cool for years. But in 2012, it was revving, with solid sales, expansions and big commitments from new companies promising nearly 350 new jobs in Anderson alone. The auto industry is “absolutely making a comeback in Anderson,” said Mayor Kevin Smith. He points to the biggest and most recent auto manufacturing commitment, which came from major Honda plastic components supplier, Greenville Technology, Inc., which broke ground on its new $21.4 million plant in the Flagship Enterprise Center business park in July. Then, “all of this was just an ordinary Indiana farm field,” said Jon Adams, general manager of GTI’s Anderson plant. Only six months later, it held its grand opening with a message: “Manufacturing never left Indiana,” former Governor Mike Pence said at the January celebration. “But a major manufacturing economy is back in Indiana, and it will continue to grow from this day.” And Madison County is reaping the benefits, Smith said. “Anderson’s been able to carve out a niche in manufacturing,” he said, due to its location along Interstate 69 and a skilled labor force lingering from the area’s automotive past. “In general, I think Hoosiers manufacturing,” understand Smith said. “We know how to build things and put them together.” That’s one reason Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Echo Drive, which is in the battery and electric vehicle technology business, formally announced in November it had relocated to Anderson. At that time, it had 12 local employees and plans to hire 10 more by March 2013. Echo recycled both the facilities and some employees from Bright Automotive, which closed shop in the Flagship Enterprise Center, 2701 Enterprise Drive, when it failed to receive a federal funding to develop its business. Commitments from companies like GTI and Echo mark not only the return of auto manufacturing jobs, but highly-skilled engineering jobs, Smith said. “We’ve been able to capture that skill set,” he said. “We can train people,” adding he hopes the trend continues in years to come. Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook, @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter or call 648-4250. At a glance Madison County’s manufacturing employment and wages data from 2011, the latest date for which data was available. 3,952 Total employment 7.7% Percent distribution in the county 15.5% Percent distribution in county $79,408 Average earnings per job SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 10 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin Banks provide assistance for local businesses By Kayley Frank For The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — It’s not easy to be a business owner right now. We all hear about declining consumer spending, higher tax rates for small businesses and legislation that’s aimed at making the cost of doing business less extreme. Fortunately for local businesses, some Madison County banks have been able to help business owners navigate the waters of business best practices in order to help them stay competitive in today’s slower economy. “Today’s business environment can be difficult,” said Old National Bancorp Region President Jeff Howe. “Our goal is to be a trusted partner so our clients can spend more time doing business instead of worrying about business.” In 2012, Old National loaned more than $11 million to Madison County businesses, and they’ve seen continued increases in commercial lending activity. “Overcoming the perception that banks are not lending, which is simply not true at Old National, is a challenge,” said Howe. “We have never stopped lending.” Additionally, Old National has been able to help businesses by working directly with owners to find creative solutions for their business needs. “We work to build relationships with local business owners to help them keep pace with the changing environment and find solutions including creating cash flow and protecting their locations by purchasing instead of leasing,” said Mellissa Hicklin, who handles marketing for Old National. In one case, Old National was able to provide working capital to a business by establishing an additional line of credit. They’ve also worked with business owners to establish cash management services, which can help make paperwork more efficient. In the same way, First Merchants Bank has worked with directly with businesses to establish good working relationships and provide resources at a local level. Because First Merchants Bank is headquartered in Muncie, they’re able to provide a more “local flavor” for business owners and offer them direct access to decision makers. “We provide support and expertise here locally; in most cases, our decision makers are people Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin The PNC location on Nichol Avenue in Anderson. Ideas for people who are starting a business ◆ Get in the know. Knowing how to manage a business is crucial. Do what it takes to figure it out! Take a business course, start researching or find successful professionals to talk to. ◆ Find the right people. Figure out how you’re going to handle the financial and legal aspects of your business. Consider hiring an attorney or an accountant. ◆ Ask for help. Seek out local resources like the Indiana Small Business Development Center or the Service Corps of Retired Executives Association. These organizations can assist prospective owners in creating business plans. who live and work in our communities,” said Kirk Klabunde, market president for First Merchants Bank in the North Central region. “People can take comfort knowing that their neighbors are making the decisions that service our commercial banking customers.” Last year, First Merchants Bank made approximately 100 loans to small businesses in Madison County. MainSource Bank also works with prospective business owners to review their business plans and offer assistance in making adjustments. “While looking at the options, we will review the entire picture and make recommendations which are in the best interest of the client.” said Doug Loy, MainSource Bank market president. “ In addition, First Merchants Bank, MainSource Bank and Old National all offer business owners and individuals alike access to financial planning resources, investment and wealth management services and insurance. “Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for financial needs on a commercial and personal level,” said Klabunde. According to Klabunde, one of the biggest challenges business owners face is building a strong business plan, which he believes can be best done by having a network of people to bounce ideas off of. “Find someone that can give you honest feedback and help you flesh out your ideas,” he said. “The folks we deal with that are the most successful get together with other professionals and share their best practices.” “We provide support and expertise here locally; in most cases, our decision makers are people who live and work in our communities. People can take comfort knowing that their neighbors are making the decisions that service our commercial banking customers.” Kirk Klabunde market president for First Merchants Bank in the North Central region Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin 11 Anderson saw creation of 1,000 jobs in 2012 By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin MADISON COUNTY INCOME LEVELS AVERAGE Income and Poverty Number Rank in State % of State Average Indiana ANDERSON — “In my opinion, 2012 was a sucPer Capita Personal Income (annual) in 2011 $30,421 73 85.2% 35,689 cessful year,” said Greg Median Household Income in 2011 41,766 71 90.0% $46,410 Winkler, Anderson’s Economic Development direcPoverty Rate in 2011 18.9% 13 119.6% 15.8% tor, on bringing jobs MadiPoverty Rate among Children under 18 29.4% 8 130.1% 22.6% son County. “Now the question is, can we do it Welfare (TANF) Monthly Average Families in 2010 626 9 2.0% 30,864 again?” Food Stamp Recipients in 2010 19,134 7 2.3% 829,907 In 2012, Anderson saw Free and Reduced Fee Lunch Recipients p in 2011 10,527 7 2.2% 488,964 the announcement of over 1,000 jobs, including six Sources: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. Census Bureau; new companies and eight Indiana Family Social Services Administration; Indiana Department of Education expansions. There was a “full specLabor Force, 2011 Number Rank in State % of State Indiana trum” of jobs from manufacturing to aerospace to Total Resident Labor Force 61,156 13 1.9% 3,158,063 plastic molding to the serEmployed 54,724 13 1.9% 2,874,722 vice industry, as Winkler put it. Unemployed 6,432 10 2.3% 283,341 He noted a big part of Annual Unemployment Rate 10.5 15 116.7% 9.0 the success was having strong relationships develDecember 2012 Unemployment Rate 10.2 1 121.4% 8.4 oped. For the biggest Source: STATS Indiana, using data from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Top of Form announcement of the year, with the promise of 325 jobs by 2016, officials had mean here in the U.S. but in ing stores because of lack- force, show what it has of son County, Winkler said. ties with Greenville Techluster holiday sales. value because “companies And, in the process, pay nology Inc.’s broker. If not the world. An area has to be able to The closure eliminated look at the big picture,” he taxes to the city and county for that relationship, the to help areas like infracity would’ve never known compete globally. And over- about 75 jobs, and at the said. It’s something multiple structure improve. about GTI’s search for a seas companies want Amer- time, Madison County Cor“The point is to help stanew Honda parts produc- ican partnerships in areas poration for Economic entities, like the CED, the like manufacturing to be Development (CED) Exec- city’s economic develop- bilize the local economy tion facility, Winkler said. It took team work and a able to offer parts and deliv- utive Director Rob Sparks ment office, the Flagship and lay the foundation for ery closer to customers, said losing the store would Enterprise Center and future growth,” Sparks lot of effort to accomWinkler said. put pressure on those Mayor Kevin Smith worked said. plish that deal, he remaining, along with add- on together for Anderson. Japan’s 2011 tsunaWhile 2013 started off said. All of the departmi changed the way ing the mall’s burden of “We don’t care where the strong, he said, there’s ment heads came in auto companies look finding a new retailer. opportunity comes from,” some concerns with the after hours on a Friat business, for exam“It just adds an additional Winkler said. “If it’s a good federal cuts. But Sparks is day and had everyple. They don’t want challenge to the retail are- opportunity and a good still optimistic. one ready to go to Winkler said it’s “too interruptions, they na,” he said in a past inter- company, we’re going to answer questions on want secure onshore view. aggressively seek it.” easy to say (there will be) Monday morning. Winkler parts production, he Sears has a long history But it has to be a good fit more of the same” in 2013, “The cooperativesaid. And they want in the city. It first opened in and provide a strong return but it’s something officials ness of the city government to pave the way, to be in market where they downtown Anderson in investment in the long run, are aiming for. He noted that there’s a remove impediments and can benefit from the for- 1928, moved to where he noted. Like Hy-Pro, that Anderson Public Library will be paying over $200,000 great interest in Chrysler cut the red tape was evident eign currency. GTI’s parent company is now stands in 1947 and a year in property taxes. that’s looking for different from the day we met the If officials “do it right markets and information mayor and his staff,” GTI Japan’s Moriroku Technol- then to Mounds Mall. The good news is that, people will be better for it,” technology with the power Executive Vice President ogy, Inc. Winkler said the city will the company announced a he said, and Anderson will of the Internet. William LaFramboise said Sparks also has high in a past interview with The really see a significant return this year, albeit in a “be a better place to live.” from 2012’s much smaller scale, with a And while officials want hopes for the proposed Herald Bulletin. “And that’s impact probably the intangible that announcements in three to Hometown store to open in these new companies to Mounds Lake Reservoir, or five years. April. offer jobs locally, Winkler “Project Oasis,” that he pushed us over the top.” And then, there was Sparks said there’s been said using Interstate 69 to believes could provide a Winkler noted Anderson “more and more pressure draw in people from over a “paradigm shift” in the went from “not being on 2012’s downfalls, too. Sears, an anchor of on every sector” and added 600,000 population area is a future. the radar” to signing the deal in less than two weeks. Mounds Mall since 1983, a community has to give good idea. With more jobs along the Find Dani Palmer on And when he’s talking announced its closure in businesses a reason to corridor, more people may Facebook and @DaniPalmabout the importance of January 2012 after Sears come to the area. It has to market itself, want to live closer and er_THB on Twitter, or call direct relationships with Holding Corp. shut down businesses, he doesn’t just around 100 under-perform- have an educated work- move to Anderson or Madi- 640-4847. Jobs seeker successful; others struggle By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — A lifelong resident of Anderson, Cynthia Motsinger had fears she would need to look elsewhere for work when it was announced in January 2012 that Sears at Mounds Mall was closing. The store locked its doors in April, shutting out about 75 employees. Motsinger, a single mother of four, had worked there for a year and been unemployed for two beforehand. But, she found a job at new company, TeleServices Direct, while she was still at Sears. A friend had told her about the opening and she landed the position right away. Then, shortly later, she got a better paying job at IBM - where she’s been for eight months now - and quit TeleServices. She said she got that position through a job fair, another “handy source” in addition to online search engines. “It has greatly improved my financial situation,” she said of IBM. “I was just in dire need of better employment.” While some Sears coworkers were transferred to other stores or found jobs at Roses department store that opened in October, other weren’t so lucky. Motsinger said those who’d been there for years were forced into retirement. Some are still unemployed. She has a friend who’s been unemployed for two years, unable to find a good job. She knows another who had a job at one of the Halloween stores, but hasn’t been able to find work since, even with the assistance of groups like WorkOne and the Impact Center. 12 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin File photo / The Herald Bulletin Autoworld President Mary Jamerson announced plans to move both Myers and Ford Autoworld to the former GM Plant 11 site on Scatterfield Road. Local auto dealers saw positive changes in 2012 By Dan Forst For The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — Times are good for Anderson’s new- car dealerships. Sales increases, aggressive expansion and a bullish attitude on the future are in abundance. “In 2012, we experienced about a 35 percent increase in sales revenue growth over 2011, and we’re projecting about another 20 percent over that in 2013,” said Myers and Ford Autoworld President Mary Jamerson. “Those figures are in line, or slightly ahead of, national sales figures and projections.” Last November, Autoworld announced it would move from its location on North Broadway and build a new 48,000 square-foot facility on the former General Motors Plant 11 site located just north of 38th Street on Scatterfield Road. At the same time, the dealership said it would donate its current facilities to Ivy Tech Community College for automotive training classes. “We’re just waiting for the weather to break so we can have a formal groundbreaking ceremony at the new location,” Jamerson said. “It’s a great location and somewhat sentimental for me since, like a lot of other people, I can remember when that area was bustling with all the factory activity.” Jamerson indicated that Ivy Tech would be able to accommodate around 200 students when it takes over Autoworld’s current location, a structure that was built in 1958. “It’s a timeless building and ever y employee we have is glad we’ll leave a legacy out there,” she said. “The fact we’re able to do this speaks volumes about our community and the revitalization of the entire area. Anderson is being rediscovered and our future is bright.” Last May, Ed Martin Chevrolet held a grand- File photo / The Herald Bulletin Several people turned out as Ed Martin held the grand opening for their new Chrysler dealership in Anderson last May. The facility sells and services Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles. At a glance Vehicle sales are on rise nationwide 14,439,684 new vehicles sold in US in 2012 12,734,424 in 2011 13.4 percent increase Indiana has 429 new-car dealerships Source: National Automobile Dealers Association opening celebration for its new facility that was built to add the Chrysler brand to its Anderson lineup. And over the summer, the company also completed work on a new 44,000-squarefoot facility to replace its aging building that housed the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. “The Chrysler brand has been given a very warm welcome here in Anderson,” said Brian Burke, general manager of the Ed Martin Chr ysler Dodge Jeep Ram operation. “There’s over 9,000 r egister ed Chr ysler owners in the Anderson area, and we’ve seen many come in and leave with a new vehicle.” Burke says sales are strong for all the Ed Martin dealerships in Anderson. “All of my counterparts enjoyed a strong 2012 and, in some cases, it was record-breaking,” he said. “The company has made a ver y big investment in Anderson the past few years because it’s a good place to do business and a great location. We expect 2013 will be just as good or better than last year.” The tsunami that devastated parts of Japan in 2011 created supply problems for many Honda dealers. According to Bill Richardson, dealer manager at Anderson’s Tom Wood Honda, 2012 saw huge increases in sales at the dealership once inventory returned to normal. “Our sales really picked up after we were able to provide our customers with a full range of products,” Richardson said. “And we’re seeing that surge continue so far in 2013.” Following the local trend, Richardson says Tom Wood Honda is actively pursuing expansion plans. “We’ve been looking at various parcels of land nearer to I-69 for a potential expansion and new facility,” he said. “Sometime this spring or summer, we’re looking to be in a position to make an announcement.” Small dealers are making inroads By Dan Forst For The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON — With optimistic news of expansions, expanded product lines, and expected growth dominating the local new car dealer landscape, Anderson used car dealer Dave Evans is along for the ride. Evans, along with wife Jo, started Sunshine Auto Sales at 3118 North Scatterfield Rd. in August, 2004. He says the success of the big dealerships is nothing but good news. “More power to the big guys because that just means more used cars in the market and more cars I can sell here,” said Evans. “Selling used cars can be a tricky business, but when overall car sales are good, then we generally do good.” Evans says Sunshine Auto Sales sold about 200 used vehicles last year and typically keeps about 30 cars and trucks on the lot. Getting to this point, how- “More power to the big guys because that just means more used cars in the market and more cars I can sell here. Selling used cars can be a tricky business, but when overall car sales are good, then we generally do good.” Dave Evans Sunshine Auto Sales ever, was a true learning experience. “I remember when we first started, we sold four cars in the very first week,” said Evans. “But then, we didn’t sell another car for over a month. I imagine we’ve overpaid for cars in the past, but like anything else, you live and learn.” Like many used car dealers, Evans obtains vehicles at auctions and also from private individuals. For the first few years of operation, he tried the “buy here, pay here” approach but soon gave that up and provides used car warranties instead. “We always like to help people as much as we can, but it got to the point where it made no sense for us to try to finance what we sold,” he said. “We’ll help people find a loan if we can, but we started doing our own warranties here and people can get a price with, our without that option.” As for the future, Evans likes what he sees. “I believe we’re seeing a bit more confidence in the economy with our customers and they don’t seem to be as afraid to buy as they have been,” he says. “Of course, right now is a good time because people are getting their tax refunds, but even in a bad economy, people have to drive, and a used car can be a good way to make ends meet.” Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin 13 . 14 Annual Report for Madison County: Business & Industry | The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON | MADISON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU From festivals, museums, music and theatre to shopping, racing and a casino, both Anderson and Madison County have something for everyone all year long. 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