economic development

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Last week, electronics and appliance retailer HHGregg announced it was shutting down all its stores, including one in Lafayette. It’s one of several large retailers leaving the area, and experts say filling those spaces could be difficult in a rapidly-changing retail climate.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

West Lafayette city councilors may be at odds with some of the city’s landlords on the issue of building several new high-rise apartment buildings in the city’s new downtown.

The latest development, a 16-story building slated for the top of West Lafayette’s Chauncey Hill, won’t be the tallest building in the community—that title still belongs to the county courthouse dome. However, it is tall enough to test Federal Aviation Administration rules for building height, because its roof will rise to a higher elevation than any other building.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s always frustrating when looking for a parking spot on a crowded street to notice that one more might have been available had another driver not taken up more than their fair share of space.

The City of Lafayette is trying to combat this road rage-inducing phenomenon with $20 fines for poor parkers. But the move, which is designed to make better use of Lafayette’s limited downtown parking, might have some unintended consequences.

City of Frankfort

Immigrants comprise a significant portion of Frankfort’s population – between a fifth and a quarter, according to the most recent census.

So on this “Day Without Immigrants,” is the city seeing an impact made by protests against the Donald Trump administration – and, by extension, against Mayor Chris McBarnes, who supported Trump in his election bid and said on WBAA that he thought his Latino constituents should vote for the real estate mogul?


Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The City of Crawfordsville has parted ways with an economic development group that Mayor Todd Barton has said wasn’t marketing the city effectively.

This comes after all the disparate economic development entities in the county were brought together to try to maximize efficiency.

This week on WBAA’s Ask The Mayor, we hear from Mayor Barton about what other changes might be in store for pitching Crawfordsville to potential investors.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jstephenconn/3051019997
J. Stephen Conn

Crawfordsville's mayor plans to create a more localized economic development board after nixing an agreement between the city and a group that had been tasked with promoting it.

City of West Lafayette

It’s no secret the city of West Lafayette aims to look significantly different in the next few years.

The State Street redesign gets underway in earnest this year, with a major portion of the road set to close this summer. But what about the buildings along the road?

City leaders have approved several new mixed-use developments – some of them so tall they may need special clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration before ground is broken.

 

Environmentalists around the state are gearing up for the 2017 legislative session, and some will make the case that greater environmental protection is crucial for economic development.

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, says one priority is to get increased funding for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Since 2007, state funding for IDEM has been cut by 25 percent. Kharbanda says that means less money for the agency to enforce regulations, monitor pollution or hire personnel.

A northern Indiana RV-maker will add more than 400 new jobs in LaGrange County in the next two years, as the region’s mainstay industry continues to rebound.

Forest River is one of northern Indiana’s leading recreational vehicle manufacturers, employing 11,000 Hoosiers in Elkhart and LaGrange counties.

It now plans to repurpose several empty factories in the small town of LaGrange and add 425 jobs. It’s receiving tax incentives from the town and state to do so.

Dan O'Connor / https://www.flickr.com/photos/doconnr/4152865395

A federal grant will let Indianapolis hire an economic recovery counselor to help put out-of-use industrial sites – and laid-off employees – back to work.

The city qualified for the $355,000 grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Agency after thousands of recent manufacturing layoffs – especially those at Navistar and, earlier this year, Carrier.

"We can't keep suffering these job losses and not try to mitigate it in the future,” says Indianapolis economic development administrator Brent Pierce.

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