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www.hamiltoncountybusiness.com Published six times per year by the Hamilton County Media Group PO Box 502, Noblesville, IN 46061 317-774-7747 EDITOR/PUBLISHER
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Meyer Najem Sunbeam Development
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Management Dr. Charles Waldo
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Letter from the Editor June • July 2017
This was our cover story just 3½ years ago. This could be Fishers! It was hard to believe because the town had grown (quickly) on a suburban scale. Wide streets, single story buildings, large fields with trees around the municipal center. This rendering didn’t look anything like that. But Fishers had unveiled a plan for downtown that was designed to make the area around Town Hall more walkable, urban and business-friendly. It’s a remarkable transformation, especially considering the time frame. In three short years the (now) city has seen amazing activity in the city core. 2013 October/November Hamilton County Business Magazine
Not everyone likes the change, and some question the public investment, but you have to admire the
ambition that’s gone into the dozen
Mike Corbett Editor and Publisher
or so buildings erected around the Municipal Center. They are creating a sense of place that was missing before, and luring residents and businesses that were nowhere to be found just a few years ago.
This was the view from the second floor of Town Hall then.
This the view today.
Nickel Plate One part of the plans for downtown Fishers includes a trail that would run on the right of way of the Nickel Plate Railroad, which runs north to Noblesville and south to downtown Indianapolis. Of course, turning it into a trail means the train tracks would likely have to come out. For the past 30 years or so, the Indiana Transportation Museum has run a Fair Train on those tracks from Fishers to the Indiana State Fair in the Summer. All those fields around the Town Hall served as convenient parking lots for tens of thousands of people who enjoyed giving their kids a taste of railroading while avoiding parking hassles at the Fairgrounds. The Fair Train was cancelled last year over track safety issues raised by some within the ITM’s own ranks. It doesn’t look like it will run this year either. The Fair Train was the museum’s main revenue generator and the cancellation has strained its finances. We take a closer look at this unusual museum in this edition: what constitutes its “collection,” how it operates, and its prospects. It’s run a by a dedicated group of people who have created countless memories for families over the years. Here’s hoping the wheels of progress don’t claim one of Hamilton County’s most unique assets. And, while we’re on the subject of trains, let me direct your attention to the Northern Hamilton County chamber page, page 28. Most of it is devoted to promoting a new festival called Atlanta Express. It celebrates our railroad heritage and promises to be a great time for both young and old. Sounds like a great opportunity to head up to the northern part of the county. See you around the county,
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June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
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Can the Toyota Way Become Your Way? Following 14 principles can improve your business Does the name “Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker” ring a bell with you? Probably not. How about “Toyota Motors?” Just about everyone knows that name and you could be one of the millions of consumers driving one of its brands (Prius, Camry, Lexus, and so on). Dr. Liker’s “claim to fame” is as one of the world’s foremost researchers, writers, and consultants on The Toyota Way—the philosophies, culture, and practices that have led Toyota to its position as a premier, mass automobile designer, producer, and seller. In 1982 Dr. Liker joined the University of Michigan’s business school as a junior professor, just when the U.S. automobile industry was in serious turmoil in the midst of a national recession. U.S. automakers pointed their fingers at “Japan, Inc.” as a major cause of their troubles. Dr. Liker was invited to join a team of UM profs beginning to study the relationship between Japanese car makers’ very high quality, especially at Toyota and Honda, and their sales successes. He has been at it ever since, authoring or co-authoring eight books on how—and why—Toyota does things, beginning with The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World’s Greatest Manufacturer, published in 2004, which is what this article briefly looks at. “But, whoa,” you might say. “My organization is not a manufacturer, we don’t do automobiles or auto parts, we’re less than twenty-five employees, and we’re certainly not Japanese. We’re not anything at all like Toyota. Why should I spend time on this article, much less on the full book?” Valid questions. But the truth is The Toyota Way can be universally applied since it deals with universal principles of human and organizational life. Many organizations, just as varied as yours, have 8
already done just that. These are management “best practices,” period. They can help make any organization better.
What is The Toyota Way? Briefly, The Toyota Way is an integrated business system that has high respect for people; focuses on eliminating waste in time, materials, and processes; builds quality into its products and workplace
at the expense of short-term financial goals. Work, grow, and align the whole organization toward a common purpose that is bigger than making money. Generate value for the customer, society, and the economy—it is your starting point. Evaluate every function in the organization in terms of its ability to produce Value. Principle 2: Create continuous “process flow” to bring problems to the surface. Create “flow” to move material and information fast. Strive to cut back to zero the amount of time that any work project is waiting for someone to work on it. “Flow” is the key to a true, continuous improvement process and to developing people. Principle 3: Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction and extra inventory. Minimize work in process and warehousing of inventory by stocking only small amounts of each product and frequently restocking based on actual customer usage.
systems; uses only proven technologies; and constantly seeks improvement throughout the organization. The following, highly abbreviated “14 Management Principles” provide an overview of The Toyota Way. I have a hunch you will spot at least one Principle that, if applied correctly, can help improve you and/or your organization in a short time. And isn’t improvement the name of the game? To get a fuller understanding of that Principle (and the other thirteen), get a copy of the book, dig into it, perhaps start a voluntary “reading circle” of interested employees, and explore ways to test and apply it. Take your time but keep at it. Then tackle another Principle and see where that takes you. One step at a time. Principle 1: Base all your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even
Principle 4: Level out the workload of all processes as an alternative to the stop/ start approach of working on projects in batches that is typical of most companies. Eliminate overburden and unevenness to people and equipment. Principle 5: Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time, and enhance productivity over the long haul. Quality for the customer (internal or external) drives your value proposition. Build in support systems to quickly solve problems and put countermeasures in place. Principle 6: Standardizing tasks is the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment. Use stable, repeatable methods everywhere to maintain the predictability, regular timing, and regular output of your processes. Standardization is the foundation of “flow and pull.”
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
Principle 7: Use visual controls so no problems are hidden. Use simple visual indicators at worksites to help employees determine immediately whether they are in a standard condition or deviating from it. Correct deviations at once. Principle 8: Use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology. Conduct many tests under simulated actual conditions before changing processes or adopting new technologies. Train on usage before putting into operation.
Principle 11: Respect your extended network of suppliers, customers, and advisors (your partners) by challenging them to improve. Then help them. Principle 12: Go see for yourself to thoroughly understand a problem situation. Think and make decisions based on personally verified data. Even high level
These are management “best practices,” and can help make any organization better.
Principle 9: Rather than “buy” personnel from the outside, grow your own leaders who thoroughly understand the work in great detail, live the philosophy, and teach it to others. Leaders at all levels must be great role models.
Principle 10: Develop exceptional people and teams who follow your organization’s philosophy. Train, train, train in classrooms but mainly on the job. Use both departmental and cross-functional teams to tackle more complex problems.
executives and managers should go see problems for themselves, thus avoiding superficial understandings. Principle 13: Make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering all options; implement rapidly. Keep an open mind and do not necessarily revert to the “tried and true.” Try to get input from all those who will be affected before the decision is made. Listen carefully to all ideas.
Principle 14: Become a learning organization through relentless reflection and continuous improvement (kaizen). Protect the organizational knowledge and culture bases by developing stable personnel, promoting slowly, and using careful succession systems. Standardize best practices rather than re-inventing the wheel with each new project or manager. Thoroughly review/evaluate/reflect in detail how a project went and institute changes that can improve things even more the next time.”
Winding Up Did you find at least one Principle worthy of further exploration and consideration for possible application? I certainly hope so. I’d be interested in hearing from you as you begin your journey on The Toyota Way. As always, good luck. HCBM
Charles Waldo, Ph.D., is Professor of Marketing (ret.) in Anderson University’s Falls School of Business. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Marketing Susan Young
Sorting Out Social Media Which sites are right for your business? You may have started to or wanted to jump on the social media bandwagon, but are still unsure of whether you’re making the right decisions. The good news is that you don’t have to participate in all social media sites to make an impact. You just need to find the right social media sites to reach your target market. Here is an overview of your main options.
help build a following. Since people on LinkedIn are interested in advancing their careers, this social media site is great for job postings and HR-related activities.
Twitter: Breaking News, National & IndustryFocused
Twitter is a great way to reach a national or even international audience for your LinkedIn: Great for product or service. It is a very fast-movB2B, Hiring ing, breaking news-style social media site, mixed with a bit of business and personal LinkedIn is known to be the posts. Though the short, 140-character social media site for the business-tolimit on posts leaves little room to be business (B2B) audience. It is like an online resume, where individuals can post creative with your message, Twitter now their career profiles (essentially an online allows you to add photos, videos, polls and GIFs, which don’t count against the resume), and talk about their personal character limit. brand and career goals. The value of a LinkedIn profile is that it’s searchable for companies looking to connect, hire or do business with that person. The more connections you have, the more business opportunities.
ing to gain more followers. You can use Twitter to promote your own blog posts, as well as link to your website and landing pages for online ad campaigns. Twitter is great for targeting all age levels, but it skews toward the younger to middle-aged audience range.
Facebook: The Most “Social” of all Networks Of all the social media sites, Facebook has more of a social aspect than any of the other networks. Think high school reunion mixed with local neighbors and friends, connecting online. Facebook users keep in touch with each other by looking, sharing and commenting on status posts. The best business categories to use Facebook include restaurants, retail stores, and business-to-consumer service businesses. In terms of an audience reach, Facebook is great for those targeting the Generation X to Boomer markets.
You need to find the right
Start with building your own profile and adding connections from clients, colleagues, and others you know. If you have sales people, they need to be active on LinkedIn if they sell to other businesses. Individuals can share business-related or industry news and information. They can recommend or ask for recommendations from others, which serve as good reviews for your business. People can also use second-degree connections to get introductions into previously unknown companies or prospects. You can create a business page and build up a following. Individuals can create custom content articles or blog posts to share on their newsfeed, which is seen by all their connections. Advertising options can 10
social media sites to reach your target market. An easy way to get started on Twitter is to find and follow industry thought leaders, as well as businesses and individuals that you know. If you don’t follow people first, they won’t follow you back, so if you have trouble gaining a Twitter following, it’s probably because you’re not following other pages. Start posting content relevant to your industry or business, and be sure to also share others’ content. Don’t forget to allow enough characters for others to share your posts as well, because a re-tweet counts against your character limit. You may also use Twitter advertis-
Facebook is good for communityfocused businesses. If you want to reach a local audience, then advertising on Facebook is a good option because you can tailor the demographics based on your unique target audience. Businessto-business companies will find it harder to communicate and grow a fan base on Facebook. Start by getting customers to become Facebook fans. Then supplement your efforts with some Facebook advertising to increase your fan base, using Facebook’s extensive targeting tools. Offer valuable content and share and comment on other related pages to boost your presence. Facebook rewards business pages that engage their audience, so make sure to encourage likes, comments and shares to see your page status soar.
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
Instagram: Visuallyfocused Snapshots Instagram is considered a visual representation of your brand on social media. The type of content typically shared on Instagram includes snapshots of a product or brands, showcasing your product in action, or showing individuals using your product. This social media site is more commonly used by Millennials and Gen-Xers. Ideal businesses for Instagram include very visual companies such as interior designers, photographers, lawn/landscape companies, event or wedding planners, and catering companies. Think “a day in the life of your business” photos, scenes from a trade show, or community philanthropy events. Although you can add a caption to your photos on Instagram, your visual will usually tell the story and do the marketing for you. Linking to your site is harder on Instagram, as currently you can only link to your website via your profile page, making it harder to convert ROI on this social media site.
Pinterest: Virtual Bulletin Board of Ideas
personality. However, Snapchat is a short-lived way to reach your audience, as the information only stays online for 24 hours (unless you have recorded it externally). Many individuals and celebrities use Snapchat to communicate with fans, so if you have a business where an individual is your major brand, such as a book author or spokesperson, Snapchat might be a good social media option for you to expand your popularity and reach.
YouTube: Boosting SEO with Video While some may not consider YouTube a social media outlet, it remains one of the most popular ways to communicate online. YouTube is a great social media site for your business if you need to show your product in action. As a consultant, you can offer periodic tips to your subscribers via your videos, and you can also use tags and video descriptions strategically to boost your SEO efforts. Videos can also be a great way to add unique content to your website. When you embed YouTube videos into your website, you give each page of your website staying power, keeping your web visitors engaged longer.
Much like Instagram, Pinterest is very visual as a social media site. It allows businesses to show their design expertise or creativity. You can create a business or an individual account and pin your favorite blog post as an image, and it is saved within a category-specific board with a link back to the original source (website or blog post). Ideal companies for Pinterest include wedding planners and photographers, event planners, fashion or retail companies, food bloggers or restaurants. Pinterest is great for reaching a female target audience, particularly from the Gen-X and Millennial generations, and for reaching mom bloggers and other bloggers.
Which Social Media Sites Should I Choose? In the end, it is a personal business decision which social media sites on which you decide to focus your time and energy. Consider each site in terms of the audience that it will reach and your specific marketing message. Start with one or two sites, and build fans and engagement before moving on to others. Keep your content posts 80 percent entertaining or educational, and the rest promotional, to keep from alienating your fans. Follow the industry leaders in your social media category and emulate their best practices. In time, you may find some of your best social media followers are also your most loyal customers. HCBM
Susan Young is founder and president of AimFire Marketing, specializing in digital content, public relations and Internet marketing. More at www.aimfiremarketing.com.
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Snapchat: Live Video Promotion Snapchat is very popular in the millennial audience. It is not often thought of as a business social media tool, although that is changing. On Snapchat, businesses can post short, live videos (like Facebook’s recent live video feature). This allows a business to offer exclusive content to followers, to get a behind-thescenes look at a business, or to give companies a way to express their brand June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
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Downtown is unrecognizable from just a few years ago By Ann Craig-Cinnamon
o say that downtown Fishers has changed a lot in the last five years would be a huge understatement. There have been no fewer than 13 buildings that are either finished, in some stage of construction or that have broken ground. These include the Depot, the Switch, the Edge, Four Day Ray, and, a little further east, IKEA. Many of these buildings have multiple tenants. Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, one of the primary architects of the change, jokes that for the past three to five years there has been a constant hum of construction noise outside his office window. He admits that the speed of growth has surprised even him. “Every time I thought I had a timeline mapped out of how things were going to go, we surpassed it and we surpassed it by years not months,” he says. Fadness says when the amphitheater and trails were built, the hope was that if programming is offered maybe in six to ten years people might start being drawn to the city center and then maybe real estate development would follow. “It’s been rewarding to see it happen so quickly and it’s been complicated. Every decision has implications on other decisions down the road,” says Fadness who adds that it’s Braden Business Systems 12
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
great seeing so many people downtown now. “That is really fun to see the residents enjoying their city center which before I don’t think they did,” he says. Was it all necessary? The Republican mayor says that it was necessary for long term sustainability, “We had to create an identity. We had to create a sense of place. And I think the urban core is one component of that. Downtown Fishers is not the end-all, be-all to Fishers. It’s one component of a dynamic city. It was one component we were missing,” says Fadness.
Who’s Responsible? Calling the city’s development a team effort, Fadness credits the City Council for getting behind the vision, and the city’s department heads, which he calls the best anywhere, for executing everything well. He says the discussion got started when he was Town Manager and a group of private sector business leaders approached him because they felt Fishers was being left behind. Fadness lists off a dozen businesses and business leaders that have been important in the transformation, including Kurt Meyer, of commercial real estate company Baseline; Mark Kosiarek of VAI Logic; John McDonald of Clear Object/CloudOne; Steve Hershberger of SteadyServ; Anderson Shoenrock of Memory Ventures and Dave Braden of Braden Business Systems, a longtime Fishers resident who has an office building going up in the heart of the city.
several years later, Najem is very happy about that decision. “I think Fishers is creating an environment that is unique and others are following. So it’s become sort of a destination for communities that surround it. It’s neat what’s going on and I’m excited about the future of Fishers and I think they have the opportunity to continue to be one of the top places to live in the country,” says Najem who adds that his employees love the environment.
Najem says his only concern is traffic. “With this massive development you just have to work it out. It’s not a negative. I think they do have a plan to correct the congestion issues that we have currently,” he says.
Sense of Excitement One person who has been in the middle of all the change is attorney Jeanette Kassebaum who converted a house at 11614
How did it all get funded?
But if he had to point to one thing that jumpstarted it all, it would be Launch Kassebaum Law Office Fishers, the co-work space for enMaple Street in downtown Fishers into trepreneurs which Fadness co-founded her law office in 1996. She says it has been with serial entrepreneur John Wechsler. challenging over the past few years with “Launch Fishers was critical. Erase all all the construction and street closures but that and what would we be? We would be she prepared for it and is glad she stayed. a collection of homes that are starting to age and people are starting to think that Kassebaum says, like many people, she Fishers is no longer the shiny new object, has mixed emotions about the changes. and let’s go somewhere else. And you start “Redevelopment of the downtown area that slow decline into urban decay,” he was necessary to some extent, but my says. Fadness also believes that Wechsler vision was for smaller scale projects and deserves more credit for what he has done more focus on infrastructure improvefor the community as a whole, in identify- ments.” She adds, “On a positive note, more ing it with something. people are experiencing local businesses Anthony Najem, the CEO of construction management company Meyer Najem is another person that Fadness says has been critical in helping to build momentum, by being the first company to build a new headquarters in downtown Fishers. Now,
Four Day Ray Brewing, a production brewery and gastropub, opened in the heart of Fishers in October of 2016. Owner Brian Graham says the City of Fishers and Mayor Fadness had a clear vision for downtown and they saw Four Day Ray as an integral part of that. He says Fishers needed to reinvent itself and has. “As a community I think Fishers has really established itself as world class. I think the City of Fishers has done a great job of creating a plan that is well thought out and serves the community well. They have embraced the tech industry and made it “cool” to locate a business in downtown Fishers. If people can work and live and get the feel of urbanism in a suburb that is a win in my book,” says Graham.
which helps the local economy. We have safer sidewalks, lighting, more parking, and an improved drainage system for our business properties. There is also a sense of excitement about the downtown area that was needed.”
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
Graham says Fishers offered tax incentives for him to build and that is one of the most criticized aspects of Fishers’ explosive growth. The city uses Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for many of its projects. “Yes, we use incentives. We use them strategically and we balance those incentives with what we get in return and I think, today, the return on investment has been sound. And we will continue to evaluate that on a case by case basis,” says Mayor Fadness. Attorney and former Democratic candidate for Fishers City Council Greg Purvis says Fishers is over-utilizing TIFs. “About 80% of commercially-zoned real estate in Fishers is in a TIF district. That is a sure guarantee that we cannot effectively grow the commercial tax base. Originally intended for redevelopment of blighted areas, it is now a slush fund with minimal transparency as the borrowing is mostly done by a Redevelopment Commission 13
that most people don’t even know exists, not the City Council. TIF Districts, once utilized, seldom disappear, meaning that those properties stay out of the main tax base indefinitely,” he says, and adds that rising debt, which he says has grown by $300 million in the last decade, is a big concern for the future, as are infrastructure and traffic.
New Buildings and Businesses in Downtown Fishers THE DEPOT • Brixx • Flamme Burger • Dottie Couture Boutique • Salon7
The Future Ask him what’s next for Fishers and Mayor Fadness responds that he gets that question a lot. “I’m ready to double down and don’t see any reason to slow down,” he says, but adds that the growth and change will be different moving forward. “I want people to understand that we’re not myopic. Downtown’s great. I love it. It will always be something I’m proud of that we were engaged in and we’ll continue to fill it up. But that’s not all Fishers is. So you’ll see us engaged in other corners of our community making sure that they stay as vibrant as possible,” he says adding that this year will be a very busy year with regard to that. “You’ll see some big, big ideas, big projects come out in the near future about other corners of our community.” Fadness emphasizes that all the growth has been very intentional, purposeful and headed toward a specific vision. “I hope people are excited about the direction,” he says. HCBM
THE SWITCH • LouVino wine bar • Another Broken Egg (coming soon) • Clear Object (formerly Cloud One) • Citizens State Bank • Purdue College of Pharmacy’s Center for Medication Safety Advancement BRADEN (Summer 2017) RQAW (Winter 2017) NORTH OF NORTH (Fall 2018) MEYER NAJEM • Meyer Najem offices • 12 Stars Media • Emplify • QuadMed FOUR DAY RAY • FDR Brewery/Restaurant • SteadyServ Technologies THE EDGE • The Well Coffeehouse • Community Health Network • The Escape Room • Lilly & Sparrow Boutique • Progressive Eyecare • Radiate60 Salon BLAZE PIZZA/ATI PHYSICAL THERAPY (Summer 2017) 4 PUBLIC PARKING GARAGES NEW POLICE HQ AND POLICE GARAGE (Spring 2018) TOP GOLF (Fall 2017) PORTILLOS (Fall 2017) IKEA (Fall 2017)
4 Day Ray Brewery
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
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June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
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Meyer Najem anchors new development By Jennifer A. Beikes he change to the landscape of downtown Fishers, known as the Nickel Plate District, includes the construction of new headquarters for longtime Fishers construction company, Meyer Najem Corporation. Located on Lantern Road, near the intersection with Commercial Drive, the construction firm was founded in 1987 by Karl Meyer and Anthony Najem. Originally located on Binford Boulevard in Indianapolis, it moved to Fishers in 1997, to 131st Street east of Ind. 37.
Destination Downtown The new headquarters anchors the northeast part of the downtown area, across the railroad tracks from the Fishers branch of Hamilton East Public Library and the municipal complex. It’s an area that’s been under construction for several years, as Fishers has refined its vision for a downtown that’s not only a place to live and work, but a destination.
Meyer Najem headquarters
Anthony Najem, co-founder and CEO of Meyer Najem, says the company’s first project in Fishers was its own office space. “A good friend of ours had developed an office park in Fishers, and since it was a Meyer Najem fast-growing community, we felt that it would be a good investment and a great place to live and raise a family,” Najem said. Anthony Najem, CEO
The result was a 42,000-square-foot office flex warehouse building in the Parkside complex that Meyer Najem shared with other companies. As the years passed, the firm felt the squeeze that comes from rapid growth, and outgrew their space. “Mayor (Scott) Fadness approached us with building a new headquarters in downtown Fishers,” explained Najem. “Also, Fishers needed additional space for the Launch 2.0 tech initiative for companies that were growing, so we developed a 40,000-square-foot office building to accommodate both needs.” The building includes a bicycle garage, shower facility and an outdoor patio that backs up to pedestrian and bike trails. The lobby is open to the Nickel Plate artists to display their works, and is part of the Nickel Plate Arts Trail that runs from Tipton to Fishers.
High Tech Fishers subleases the space to innovative tech companies. Current tenants include Emplify, 12 Stars Media, a video production company, and QuadMed, which provides primary health care and wellness programs for City of Fishers employees. 16
Parking garage going up south of Meyer Najem building.
The new headquarters was constructed using sustainable building practices. “The Nickel Plate Office Building has an Energy Star rating and was designed using locally manufactured and harvested materials,” Najem said. Meyer Najem has 98 employees. Current projects near the Nickel Plate District include an addition and renovation to DeVeau’s School of Gymnastics on Technology Drive, and the new Kroger at 116th St. and Allisonville Road, on the site of the recently demolished Marsh. Further east, the company is renovating Cumberland Road Elementary School and the Hamilton Southeastern Schools administration building. HCBM June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
Sunbeam Development invested early and often By Jennifer A. Beikes chance investment in the mid1960s led Miami-based Sunbeam Television to become a major player in the development of Fishers. Founder Sidney Ansin purchased 640 acres in Indianapolis in 1967, just north of Castleton to the Marion-Hamilton counties border, along Allisonville Road. As the area developed, Sunbeam Television launched Sunbeam Development Corporation, and turned its attention to the next big thing. “That’s what got them into the Indianapolis market,” said Ken Kern, director of properties for Sunbeam Development Corporation. “The next obvious place after developing the Castleton area was Fishers.”
surrounding area would be more valuable,” Kern said. Kern remembers how crowds packed the tiny former town hall, across 116th Street from the current municipal complex, in 1988 to hear how developers hoped to create something of value in the wideopen fields. “We went to the town (Fishers) and said “We like this area, it looks like a good place. We think you want to grow,” Kern recalled. “The town council gave us a flexible zoning package.” Sunbeam thought it would be mutually beneficial to have options when it came to development, especially since their entry to the Fishers market came so
Kern said. Sunbeam has the luxury of waiting out the fluctuations of trends and the economy because they own their properties outright. “Our vision for the property has changed over the years. We have no debt, so the slowdown of 2008 did not affect us. When times get tough, we wait it out,” Kern said. As the market grew, the government involvement in development changed along with it. Last year, city officials told Sunbeam that their zoning designation would change, giving Fishers more control over how the property along I-69 could be developed.
Flexible Zoning Sunbeam found the seller of a choice location in the small town. The company initially purchased 400 acres from the Reynolds family east of I-69, from south of 106th Street to north of 116th Street. USA Funds, at the time headquartered in IndiaExit 205 1998 napolis, approached Sunbeam about the property. Then 300 more acres became available, and USA Funds (now Navient) was built and its headquarters moved to Fishers, in 1988. Forum Credit Union soon followed, and Sunbeam bought almost-400 more acres. “The IKEA location has always been the gem of our properties,” Kern explained, of the high-profile property south of 116th Street. While Sunbeam retains ownership of most of their holdings, working with IKEA was a different story. “The IKEAs of the world don’t want to lease, they want to buy. In this case, we thought that selling the site to them, the
Exit 205 2016
early in what would become an explosion of growth. “When it’s a small community like that, we’ve got this great land, what do we want to do with it?” Kern said. “It was just kind of a moving target; we’ll just have to see.”
Changing Vision Predicting the future wasn’t easy. “We thought corporate campuses were going to be a big thing, but it didn’t turn out that way for Fishers,” Kern explained. “Then it was flex spaces, such as call centers. That lasted a couple of years and then that dried up.”
“For years and years, we kind of dealt with that (flexible) zoning. With the change from town to city, our zoning is changing. The city wants more control,” Kern said. However, “We think it’ll all work out just fine.” Entertainment venue Top Golf is building on the north side of 116th Street, while Chicago-area restaurant Portillo’s is in planning stages. More restaurants are expected to follow. HCBM
“The most challenging part for the last 27 years was figuring out that market,”
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
ITM is an unconventional museum By Susan Hoskins Miller
nlike most museums where you visit a building and walk through looking at exhibits, the Indiana Transportation Museum’s main “building” has always been the Nickel Plate railroad track. Exhibits are the historic trains that visitors ride, like the Indiana State Fair Train and the Polar Bear Express. The Museum seeks to give its visitors the experience of public transportation in the 20th century, linking central Indiana destinations and cultural experiences. An added benefit for Hamilton County is the museum’s role as a tourist attraction. In a 2015 survey, museum visitors reported directly spending more than $678,000 with local businesses. 6 in 10 visitors live outside Hamilton County and 1 in 5 live outside the metro area or out of state. Much of the museum’s work that isn’t readily visible is the historic preservation work volunteers do on the locomo-
tives and rail cars in its collection. The work is done inside the buildings in Forest Park. Visitors can watch when the museum is open.
32,000 Visitors The museum’s collection includes diesel and electric engines, trolleys, streetcars, interurban cars, passenger cars and freight cars, all of which were in use during the 1930’s to 1950’s. Arguably the most famous item in the museum’s collection is the Nickel Plate steam locomotive number 587 that is on the National Historic Register. The engine was built in 1918 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. A detailed history of the 587, including a year-by-year account of the progress of its latest milliondollar restoration, can be found on its website at this address: http://itm.org/museum/restoration/nickel-plate-road-587. Another storied car lives in one of the museum’s buildings—The Florida East
Coast Car #90, nicknamed The Flagler Car. On loan from the Hulman Family Foundation, it is exhibited on special occasions so visitors can enjoy its craftsmanship. The car was originally the private railroad car of Henry Flagler, a Florida developer, and was built in 1898. Tony Hulman, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, gave the car to his wife as a gift in 1969. The majority of the museum’s income is earned through the sale of train tickets, supplemented with grants and donations. It receives no operating support from taxpayers.
Flagler Car interior
The museum’s board and its volunteers are local professionals. They are not so much railroad or history enthusiasts as people motivated to build a distinctive institution for Hamilton County and central Indiana.
“It is unfortunate, and a disservice to the citizens of Hamilton County, that the HHPA leadership has chosen to attach credibility to the self-serving and malicious opinions of certain individuals The museum’s business model calls for re- and to demonstrate so little interest in cruiting an executive director, adding key understanding the reality of the situation within ITM. The HHPA’s actions also show paid staff and expanding to year-round disrespect for the independent evaluation operation. Up to a dozen part-timers are of the Federal Railroad Administration,” hired for the busiest events each season. During the Fair Train and Christmas Polar Kehler’s letter states. That evaluation cleared the Museum of any violation of Bear Express seasons, there can be as many as 200 unpaid volunteers working. federal rules. Kehler’s letter stated the museum has This staff serves about 32,000 visitors every year for various excursions running worked closely with the FRA since the on the 37-mile track between Indianapolis Fair Train program began in 1983 and has always received “safe” designations. and Tipton. Gross income for operations Museum officials are keenly aware that in 2015 was $705,000, board secretary Federal rules hold individuals as well as Craig Presler said. Board President Jeff Kehler said it was their best revenue year organizations personally liable for violaever and permitted the museum to retire tions of rules. outstanding debt, with money in the bank to start 2016. The museum also received a gift of more than $450,000 from the estate of ITM member Oliver B. Daugherty. The bequest was used to establish an endowment managed by the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
One recent long-term maintenance study by an independent consultant to the Port Authority estimated needed repairs at $5 million. That number has been disputed by ITM officials and even Port Authority board member Glen Schwartz, who told an audience that estimate could be brought down to $55,000 if the trains ran Track Safety at lower speeds. $1.5 million of the $5 milShortly after the stellar financial year end- lion figure included installing a connection to the Norfolk Southern at Tipton—a ed, some members of the team respondesired but unnecessary item for railroad sible for rail operations publicly accused operations. museum management of poor business practices in March 2016. Presler says the “The 2016 ITM budget called for spending real issue was opposition to the board’s ef- $165,000 on the track from Fishers to the forts to professionalize the institution. Fairgrounds in preparation for the State Fair.” Presler said. “Some of the income We attempted to reach team members who raised the issue but were not successful. “There is no truth at all to the allegations,” Presler said, “but the Port Authority took them at face value. They didn’t look into them before acting.”
from Fair Train was then to be used on the track from Fishers to Noblesville so the Polar Bear Express could expand.
Request for Proposals Museum officials were further confounded in February when officials from Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County jointly announced their plans to rip out the railroad and convert it to a recreational trail. That would leave the ITM permanently without its “exhibition space” and without its primary source of income —sales of train tickets. Presler said there actually has been no official operating agreement between the museum and the Port Authority since 2006. He said when the 1996 to 2006 agreement expired, the Port Authority held off renewing because it looked likely the rail line might be used for mass transit. That didn’t happen. With no agreement, Museum officials found it difficult to raise money. Presler says track materials are costly and have lifespans of 30 years or more. The museum wants the term of an agreement to match the lifespan of the improvements. Rhonda Klopfenstein, executive director of the Port Authority, said, “The ITM has been operating under a policy of use, no risk.” She said the Port Authority’s responsibility is to preserve the Nickel Plate corridor as a single parcel for however the owners decide to use it.
The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, the agency created to oversee the railroad by the owners—Hamilton County, Fishers and Noblesville—responded by suspending the ITM from using the tracks. Board chair Jeff Kehler wrote a letter dated April 24 to the Hamilton County Commissioners refuting the allegations and the Port Authority’s response.
The Flagler Car
Historic steam engine 587 under construction
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
On April 19, the agency issued a Request for Proposals for a new operator for either all or part of the Nickel Plate tracks. The proposals are due June 13. Presler says ITM will submit a proposal. A decision on who the operator will be and what it will do is expected by July or August. HCBM 19
A Summary of Recent Retail Activity
By Samantha Hyde
ton Crossing Boulevard, recently acquired Chicago-based data analytics company CarCo Technologies.
Blackhawk Winery north of Sheridan is growing and adding a new building to its campus at 28153 W. Ditch Road. Dandy Breeze Creamery is up and running on the Waitt farm at 2317 N 1100 E. southwest of Sheridan.
CARMEL Fusion Alliance has relocated its headquarters from Indy to 301 S. Pennsylvania Parkway. Browning Investments has plans for a 14-building office park, which would include several restaurants and a hotel, on the 30-acre site northeast of Pennsylvania and 111th streets. Integrative Medicine Laser Aesthetics is opening this spring at 3965 W. 106th Street. Pastime Tournaments is building a new office in the Village of West Clay at 12740 Meeting House Road.
The former Regions Bank at 11550 N. Meridian Street is being converted to a Busey Bank branch. Carmel’s new coworking space, Platform 24, opened in April at 12400 N. Meridian Street. Verde Flavors of Mexico will open the doors of its new restaurant at 12990 Old Meridian Street in late July. KAR Auction Services, headquartered at 13085 Hamil20
FISHERS MyNetWire is moving its offices a short distance to 9731 Crosspoint Boulevard. The Hilton Garden Inn at I-69 and 96th Street is adding 48 rooms to its inventory with a 14,000 SF addition. Hot Box Pizza is moving into the former Hibachi Grill location at 8938 E. 96th Street.
NORTHERN HAMILTON COUNTY
venture, Capital City Kitchen, is now operating out of Carmel.
Pedego Electric Bikes
A new Pedego Electric Bikes store is now open at 254 1st Avenue SW. AAA and Classic Cleaners are joining other businesses at the Meridian and Main development at 1438 W. Main Street. Indy-based Schiller Law Offices has plans to build and relocate to a new office at 210 E. Main Street. The City of Carmel is renovating the Palladium to create additional office space and relocate the gift shop. The new ice rink under construction next door in the Center Green will be ready for use by next winter. Professional cuddling has come to Carmel with the opening of Holding Space in the Kirby building at 1033 3rd Avenue SW. Uplift Intimate Apparel is joining the Fashion District at Carmel City Center. Commercial interior architectural design firm Mitsch Design is expanding its headquarters in the Indiana Design Center. Titus Dentistry is opening a new office at 40 Executive Drive. Specified Lighting Systems is expanding into Carmel with a new office at 101 E. Carmel Drive. A new Erbert & Gerbert’s restaurant is coming to 102 E. Carmel Drive.
Nonprofit group Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) is planning to relocate its headquarters from Indianapolis to a new facility southeast of 106th Street and Kincaid Drive. Hickey’s Shaved Ice is moving into 118 Shadowlawn Drive. Three local Jack in the Box restaurants have closed, including the one at Allisonville Road and 116th Street. Hamilton East Public Library on Municipal Drive has begun the 2-year reconfiguration of its lower level into an arts-focused space that will include a recording studio, 3D printers, and arts & crafts classrooms. The Town of Fishers is planning to build a new 50,000 SF police headquarters and 81,000 SF parking garage on Municipal Drive. The Fishers Target at 11750 Commercial Drive is undergoing a remodel. Corporate training firm Russell Martin & Associates, located at 9084 Technology Drive, has been acquired by Indy-based Moser Consulting.
A new Mini Storage Depot location totaling 81,000 SF is under construction at 13900 Britton Park Road. Ben and Ari’s has closed after an 18-year run at 13875 Trade Center Drive. O’Reilly Auto Parts Merchants Square has welcomed a new is building a new store at 14067 Trade furniture and décor store, Homenclature, Center Drive. to 2150 E. 116th Street. Regal Cinemas is REMAX Complete opened in April at completely renovating its Carmel Village 13578 E. 131st Street. Also in April, CenPark 11 movie theater at 222 E. 146th tral Indiana Orthopedics broke ground Street. The Stride Rite shoe store at Clay on the 37-acre MedTech Park just east of Terrace has closed. St. Vincent Hospital. In May, Sprouts Cooking School opened Greenfield brewery Wooden Bear Brewat 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway specializing ing has opened a satellite location near in kids cooking classes. A new catering June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
building, is under construction at 10400 Pleasant Street.
Geist Reservoir at 10150 Brooks School Road, where pizza restaurant Apezza had been before its recent closure.
STAR Financial is building a new branch at 9510 E. 146th Street. Noblesville Assisted Living Group, operated by Illinois developer Steve Horve, has plans for a new 105,000 SF senior living facility at 9600 E. 146th Street.
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WESTFIELD NSpire Church is building a new 13,000 SF facility at 1189 E. 181st Street. The Osborne Trails mixed-use development, which is planned for a large parcel of land northwest of Grand Park along 191st Street, will include 32 acres of commercial development.
Pho VN Vietnamese Cuisine recently opened at 9773 E. 116th Street. Texasbased Nutex Health Inc. has plans for a new 18,000 SF boutique emergency facility just southeast of Hoosier Road and 116th Street. A new 3-suite medical office building is slated for construction at 12242 Fields Artisan Brewing is due to open early next year on the southeast corner E. 116th Street. of Main and Cherry streets. ICC Paint & B Present Studio fitness center is openDécor is expanding its footprint at 3245 ing this spring at 11398 Olio Road. CelebE. Main Street. rity Style Salon is moving into 11691 Rainbow Child Care Center, a new Olio Road. The Exercise Coach is also 11,000 SF daycare, is under construction opening a new location at 116th Street just south of 161st Street on Spring Mill and Olio Road. Road. HCBM
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Chapala Mexican Restaurant recently opened at 5855 E. 211th Street (corner of Carrigan and Little Chicago Roads). Sidener Engineering, headquartered at 17450 Bataan Court, has been acquired by Michigan-based Exotic Automation &
Supply. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is renovating and expanding its building at 444 S. Harbour Drive. Bowl 32 at 845 Westfield Road is adding 7,800 SF to its building for new laser tag and gaming areas. The 6.5-acre park Federal Hill Commons, located just west of downtown Noblesville, opened to the public in May. A new 273,000 SF apartment complex dubbed 32 Union is slated for construction at US 32 and Union Chapel Road. Midland Building 1, an 18,000 SF office June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
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The Hamilton County Leadership Academy is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 class. The ten-month program will begin in August 2017 and run through June, 2018. Applications are due June 30, 2017. Learn more at www.HCLA.net. The Town of Cicero was awarded a $50,000 grant through the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to build a pier on Morse Reservoir in Red Bridge Park. Westfield’s Grand Park was named among the “Top Multi-Use Sports Facilities” by SportsEvents Magazine.
CountryMark named former OneZone board chair Jo Biggers vice president of finance and administration. Jo Biggers
Tom Kilian, Jr.
Allegion Americas will expand its regional headquarters in Carmel. Subsidiary Schlage Lock Company LLC, purchased a building on the southeast corner of Pennsylvania Street and College Drive, just south of its current offices.
8415 Allison Pointe Blvd, Suite 415 Castleton, IN 46250 Office 877-798-9957 Cell 317-374-1021
Tom Kilian, Jr. was named president of Legacy Fund, the Hamilton County community foundation.
MJ Insurance will move its Indianapolis headquarters from the Precedent Office Park to a new building to be built in Carmel’s Midtown District.
HEALTH + PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING FOR EXECUTIVES AND
Southern Indiana native Holly Davidson was appointed manager of the new IKEA store in Fishers, which opens this Fall.
BorgWarner plans to consolidate its existing technical centers in Anderson and Pendleton into one location in Noblesville.
Call your local representative Stanley Gurka for an appointment.
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Chaucie’s Place named Melissa Peregrin Director of Operations and Lifelines® Program Director.
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Peterson’s celebrates 18 years By Chris Bavender hen Joseph Peterson decided to open a restaurant in 1999 he had plenty of experience in the corporate world running the family business, Crown Technology, but zero experience in the world of fine dining beyond entertaining clients at high end restaurants over the years. “I thought by providing the same type of products, service, pricing, etc., that we did at Crown, it would be successful,” Peterson said. “We wanted to be a ‘one of a kind’ destination place in the Indianapolis area.” Peterson opted to open the eatery, aptly named Peterson’s, in Fishers—which was on the verge of expanding at the time.
continues as they walk into the warmth of the dining area with its high end dark wood, dim lighting and country club atmosphere. Bar seating, two private dining areas and out of the way tables for a romantic evening are also available. “We want customers to feel relaxed and somewhat casual, but still high quality,” Peterson said. “We also want the customers to leave with even greater impressions so they come back.” Menu favorites are wide ranging—from Lobster Fingers, Prime Rib Egg Rolls, Crab Cakes or Lobster Bisque to start the meal; to Filet, Rib Eye and NY Strip for the main entree. Popular sides include Au Gratin (a family recipe) and Brussels Sprouts. And, don’t forget dessert to cap
“Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant was available and we visualized that great things could happen at this location,” he said. His goals then and now remain the same —not only to provide the best steaks and seafood in the area, but offer “unbelievable service and ambiance.” “I wanted customers in the Indianapolis/Fishers area to have a top of the line restaurant to come to and be sure they would always have expectations of ‘Only the Best.’” Peterson said.
First Impressions That experience starts when customers first walk in the door and are greeted by a “Director of First Impressions.” It
for Dummies and Bryan Huff from Banfi Imports—one of the largest importers of Italian Wine in the U. S.
Loyal Customers Peterson isn’t in the restaurant on a daily business but does check on all operations, sales and customer comments with help from his management staff—daughter Carrie Benko, Jeff Buckner, General Manager Bradley Phelps and Chef Foegley. While Peterson always expected the restaurant would still be going strong after all these years, it hasn’t always been easy. He credits his clientele for continued success.
Left to right: Michelle Wallpe, Hostess; Lea Elliot, Hostess; Bradley Phelps, General Manager & Beverage Director; Julie Miller, Assistant General Manager & Beverage Director
off the evening—Peterson’s Sugar Cream Pie is a bit hit, according to Peterson, as well as the Cheesecake and Chocolate Cake. Executive Chef Dave Foegley changes the menu in the Spring and Fall with features and specials changed about every two weeks. The Chef also takes advantage of locally grown and supplied items, Peterson said. Then, there’s the extensive wine list— about 450 different selections with a featured wine program with Robert Mondavi. “We have a continuous education of the staff and guests using a monthly wine dinner program,” Peterson said. In May Peterson’s hosted an Italian dinner with one of the editors from Wine
“Our clientele appreciate great food and service and don’t mind paying a reasonable price for it,” he said. “We all take pride in satisfying them and having them come back over and over. Without their loyalty, we could not have made it this long.” Don’t expect to see Peterson’s franchised though—Peterson said it’s not something he’s interested in because he wouldn’t be able to ensure the same great food, service and ambiance. As for the future, Peterson hopes to add private parties, and corporate dinner meetings to grow the customer base. “We think as Fishers grows, so will Peterson’s. If we can serve at least 50,000 or more customers per year, we will feel blessed,” Peterson said. “When you have your name on the restaurant, you don’t want to disappoint anybody. A simple “attaboy” is good for me.” HCBM
For more information, or to register for any Chamber event please visit us at: www.noblevillechamber.com or call 317-773-0086. Most events are open to the public with advance registration.
JUNE 2017 NETWORKING & NACHOS YOUNG PROFESSIONALS MEET UP Thursday, June 1st 5:30pm – 7:30pm Chuy's NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION Wednesday, June 7th 8:30am – 9:30am Chamber Office MEMBER BUSINESS LUNCHEON Wednesday, June 28th 11:30am – 1:00pm Mustard Seed Gardens
JULY 2017 ALL COUNTY LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON CEOs for Cities Wednesday, July 12th 11:30am – 1:00pm FORUM, Fishers MARKETING MEETUP Friday, July 14th 11:30am – 1:00pm Aspen Creek, Noblesville
Save the Date Young Professionals — 2ND ANNUAL —
Sample the Square One Night Five Stops TUESDAY, AUGUST 8 5:30PM - 7:30PM
— NEW MEMBERS — Christine Merchent Art, LLC 12160 E. 216th Street Noblesville, IN 46062 317-223-4132 www.christinemerchentart.com CARKEEPERS 7092 Summer Oak Drive Noblesville, IN 46062 317-776-1227 www.carkeepers.com Dana Dillard 262 Ashbourne Drive Noblesville, IN 46060 ONPOINTE LAND MATTERS, LLC 9905 Adventure Pass Noblesville, IN 46060 317-696-9254 SECRET FAMILIES CHRISTMAS CHARITY OF HAMILTON COUNTY 759 West 1000 North Fortville, IN 46040 317-363-8431 www.secretfamilieshc.org LEAP MANAGED IT 1515 Kilgore Ave Muncie, IN 47304 765-702-9172 www.leapmanagedit.com TAPSNAP 1181 PHOTO BOOTH RENTAL Ronda Thompson 7684 Pacific Summit Noblesville, IN 46062 317-316-7778 VERIZON AUTHORIZED RETAILER/TCC 17535 Terry Lee Crossing Noblesville, IN 46060 317-773-2202 www.tccrocks.com
Save the Date Birdies and Brews II
GOLF OUTING Thursday, September 21st
Join the Chamber's Young Professionals for a fun night around the Square. Savor our local chefs’ favorite appetizers and sample their best libations…and even learn a little bit of Noblesville history while we visit five different establishments around the square. Tickets are very limited so book your space today. This event is appropriate for folks aged 21 to 39.
— EVENTS —
UPCOMING EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Take a day to reconnect with area business leaders in support of your community, your chamber, and your company. Our golf outing planning team is brewing up a great day of B2B networking, challenging (friendly competition) golf, and savory sampling of Indiana craft beers.
Noblesville Chamber P.O. Box 2015 Noblesville, IN 46061 317-773-0086 Follow Us:
— L E G AC Y PA R T N E R S —
As our largest fundraising event of the year, your participation is the main ingredient in our own ‘brew of success’. • Hoosier Hospitality on Every Hole • Great Golf on a Championship Course • Fun Day of Fundraising • Meet Local Craft Brewmasters
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
NORTHERN HAMILTON COUNTY 28
UPCOMING EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Saturday, June 17, 2017 • Downtown Atlanta, IN 3:00PM - 9:00PM • Activities for All Ages Adult Activities: 3PM - 9PM
Kid Activities: 3PM - 7PM
High Rail Truck
Pinewood Derby Races
Trackless Train Rides
Radio Controlled Airplane & Drone Demo (3PM to 5PM)
High Rail Truck
Model Train Display & Sales (until 9PM) Raffle Corn Hole Contests Food Vendors *Bring Your Lawn Chairs
Model Train Displays Railroad Memorabilia Storytellers Rail/Train History Balloons
Great time for dad on Father’s day weekend!!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.northernhamiltoncountychamber.com Chamber Office: 70 North Byron Street PO Box 466 Cicero, IN 46034 317-984-4079
— NEW MEMBERS — Ace Construction & Handyman Service Frank_mckeon@comcast.net 2646 E 236th St., Cicero (765) 714-0963
Secret Families Christmas Charity of Hamilton County email@example.com 749 West 1000 North, Fortville (317) 363-8431
Pizza House jayd.milbank@ pizzahouse.com 11 N. Main St., Cicero (317) 984-4399 pizzahouseinc.com
Thursday, June 8 CHAMBER LUNCHEON Mr. Muffins Trains, Atlanta
Thursday, July 13 CHAMBER LUNCHEON State of Our Towns, Location TBA
June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
UPCOMING EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
July 2017 All County Luncheon Thursday, July 12 11:30am – 1:00pm Forum Conference Center, Fishers Member Luncheon Thursday, July 20 11:00am – 1:00pm The Bridgewater Club 3535 E. 161st Street, Carmel
Breakfast Events June 2017 Coffee with the Chamber Tuesday, June 13 8:00am – 9:00am CrossRoads Church at Westfield
July 2017 Coffee with the Chamber Tuesday, July 11 8:00am – 9:00am CrossRoads Church at Westfield
Other Chamber Events June 2017 Chamber Classic Golf Outing Monday, June 12 10:00am – 7:00pm The Bridgewater Club 3535 E. 161st Street, Carmel Member Orientation Breakfast Tuesday, July 25 7:30am – 9:00am The Bridgewater Club 3535 E. 161st Street, Carmel Business After Hours Thursday, July 27 7:30am – 9:00am Huston Electric 1105 E. 181st Street Westfield, IN 46074
The Bridgewater Club 3535 E. 161st Street Carmel
NEW MEMBERS Sarah Matthews Community Health Network 7250 Clearvista Drive, Suite 200 Indianapolis, IN 46256
Rob Knight RK Digital Media 17005 Westfield Park Road Westfield, IN 46074
Tom Doehrman Doehrman Buba 600 E. 96th Street, Suite 450 Indianapolis, IN 46240
Robert Craig Methodist Sports Medicine 201 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 100 Indianapolis, IN 46280
Staci Henderson Westport Homes 9210 N. Meridian Street Indianapolis, IN 46260
Tom Flanagan Secret Families of Hamilton County 759 West 1000 North Fortville, IN 46040
Jennifer Gebhard CIRTA 201 E. Washington Street, Room 202 Indianapolis, IN 46204
Christine Brinkoetter Kintrex Energy 129 E. Market Street, Suite 100 Indianapolis, IN 46227 317-313-3814
Marcus Fehman Energy Impact 201 N. Illinois Street, Suite 1000 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Brian Egler Holladay Construction Group 5715 Decatur Boulevard Indianapolis, IN 46241
Patrick Downey Downey Public Risk 11595 N. Meridian Street Carmel, IN 46032 765.252.3001
Westfield Chamber of Commerce 130 Penn St. Westfield, IN 46074 317.804.3030
For details and online registration, please visit: www.westfield-chamber.org or call 317.804.3030 June • July 2017 • Hamilton County Business Magazine
Hamilton County History David Heighway
Hamilton County’s first railroad ith all of the recent discussion about the north-south railroad line through Hamilton County, it might be good to look at another time when people were excited about it—the first arrival in Noblesville. The railroad was incorporated January 19, 1846 as the Peru and Indianapolis Rail Road since its purpose was to connect the capital city with the Wabash and Erie Canal at Peru, which it did in 1854. The line was first constructed with what was called “flat bar rail” or “strap rail” or “slab track”. While modern-style “T” rail was available, it was extremely expensive. (The best stuff was English and had to be imported.) So, the alternative was to secure wooden timbers along the ties and nail a heavy strip of Iron to the top. This was a horrible solution as the iron rails started to curl after a few trains ran over them. The part jutting up was called a “snakehead” and could punch a hole in an oncoming train. By the end of the 1850’s, the strap rail along this line had been replaced with “T” rail.
The First Train All of the engines and cars used on the line at first were borrowed from the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad. The engines for the M&IRR came to Indiana in the mid-1840’s and had quite a journey to get here. They were built in Philadelphia, shipped around the coast to New Orleans, and then brought up the Mississippi River and Ohio River on barges. The first one ordered was lost at sea during a storm.
We have no pictures of equipment on the line earlier than about 1900, although the company used woodcut illustrations in their advertising that give us an idea of what they might have used. The small scale and low speed of these trains is rea-
son why the line was put down the middle of 8th (Polk) Street. There is a cute story about the railroad in John Haines’ 1915 history of Hamilton County. Rebecca Maker was in the midst of making maple sugar sometime around 1851. She was cooking a kettle of sap and left for a short time to do something else. Suddenly she heard a loud, strange sound which she thought was the kettle boiling over. She checked in alarm and found that it was peacefully simmering. The sound was the screaming of the first steam railroad whistle ever heard in Hamilton County. This venture was a catalyst for many things. Noblesville was incorporated as a town in January of 1851 and the railroad reached town in March. When a celebration was planned on March 11th for the completion, the Indiana State Sentinel newspaper headlined the announcement “Ho For Noblesville!” The first train ran from Indianapolis to Noblesville at 8:00 AM, and took about an hour and a half to get there. The train had open cars filled with all sorts of riders. We know the name of one of the original passengers was Sarah Summers. This
fact was mentioned in her obituary when she died in 1908 at the age of 93. In Noblesville, the streets were packed with people, with estimates of 5,000 being in town that day. Brass bands from Indianapolis and Noblesville were playing. At 11:00, former Indiana governor David Wallace gave a speech. There are several accounts of the event. The Sentinel said, “At every crossroad, crowds of anxious and astonished Hoosiers were waiting to get their first sight of the iron horse, and as he foamed and puffed along, we were greeted with cheering and waving of handkerchiefs.” Cary Harrison, a resident of Noblesville, said in a letter, “Old settlers that used to travel deer paths and heard the howl of wolves and the screams of panthers now can have the whistle of the locomotive, the roaring of the cars, and the tolling of the bells.” Indianapolis businessman Calvin Fletcher was pleased with the event, but pointed out, “Some of the young men of Indianapolis became intoxicated with liquor greatly to the grief of those who have regard to the character of the place.” Fletcher, Wallace, and several other important Indiana leaders spent part of the day at William Conner’s house in Noblesville. (It was on 8th Street where Heavenly Sweets is today.) The 74-year-old Conner had given land to the railroad to build a station in Noblesville. At 4:00, three trains returned to Indianapolis from Noblesville. However, so many people were in town that wasn’t enough room on the trains of all of them and many people had to spend the night in Noblesville.
About the Name Since the line began its life as the Peru and Indianapolis, you might wonder how it got the nickname of “Nickel Plate”. Actually, it had quite a few different names. In 1864, the line was reorganized as the Indianapolis, Peru and Chicago Railway with the goal of getting farther north. By consolidating with other railroads, it reached Michigan City in 1871. The town of Fishers was founded in 1872 because of the railroad crossing (HCBM January 2011). In 1881, the line was taken over by the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific, who ran it until they collapsed and it was then sold to the Lake Erie and Western in 1887. This was the same year that the gas
boom started, creating a great deal of prosperity in the county, particularly in Jackson Township. This section of the L.E.&W. was purchased in 1922 and consolidated with some other lines to create the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad—the “Nickel Plate Road”. (There’s a lot of folklore about where the nickname came from. Interestingly, it’s abbreviated as “NKP”.) The Nickel Plate lasted until 1964, when it was acquired by the Norfolk and Western, later called Norfolk
Southern. Finally the line was acquired by the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority from Norfolk Southern in 1995. HCBM David Heighway is the Hamilton County Historian.
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A bi-monthly review of business news and features in Hamilton County, Indiana, USA