May 27, 2018
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Tower of Strength

Building at 420 Main St. receives new owners and name with new look to follow
With a new name and plans for a new look, the 420 Main Building has been renamed City Tower at 420 Main.

The 420 Main Building has been the home of Chapman Injury Lawyers since 2008 when Neil Chapman opened the firm. When Chapman started filming commercials from the building’s rooftops, he often would get the same question: “Where did you shoot that commercial?”

“This building was like a well-kept secret,” says Chapman, who has occupied offices on the ninth, 17th, and now 12th floor. “In some ways, the building was hiding in plain sight.”

Soon, the building will be difficult to miss.

The city’s tallest building at 420 Main St. has a new name and new owners, F.C. Tucker Commercial announced in early February. Renamed City Tower at 420 Main, the building will receive a makeover, including roof, elevator, and HVAC improvements this year. Major construction to transform floors 12 through 18 into luxury condominiums will take place in 2018, while floors one through 11 will be mixed use and restaurants, says F.C. Tucker Commercial President Ken Newcomb. The project is expected to cost $25 million.

Newcomb says the building’s concrete fins will be removed.

“Those date the building,” he says. “Completely encasing it in glass will give it a brand-new-building look. For all practical purposes, it will be a brand-new building.”

The building was Old National Bank’s headquarters from 1970 until 2004. The private Petroleum Club occupied the building’s 17th and 18th floors from 1970 until it disbanded in 2006. Attorney Alan Shovers of Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn was chairman of the Petroleum Club’s board and recalls the finest dining — first-class chefs, multiple-course meals followed by flaming desserts, and maître d’ service — and vast views of the city from the top two floors.

“Many special occasions took place there, so the building has a history of some of the best events of Evansville for a 30- or 40-year period,” says Shovers. “Those condominiums will have the most breathtaking views in our city, and there’s a certain specialness that will go with those views. Many people had highlights of their life take place there.”

Newcomb believes the tower’s renovations are a symbol of Evansville’s momentum.

“In years to come when they drive down the Lloyd Expressway and see the new glass and the new LED lighting on the building, people in Evansville will be proud of their skyline,” says Newcomb, adding other cities are known for iconic and recognizable skylines. “We’re going to have that. I think everybody will be proud of not just this building, but all the activity happening Downtown.”

For more information about City Tower at 420 Main, call 812-473-6677 or visit fctuckercommercial.com.

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Wheels Up

Evansville Regional Airport plans for terminal renovations
Many changes are expected to happen outside and inside the airport, with the biggest plans set for the inside.

In the last few months, it’s been difficult for Evansville residents to turn on the local news or scroll through social media without seeing an announcement on a new business project or renovation in the city.

While Downtown bustles with activity, Jacobsville to the north is seeing the progress of street projects. The East Side along North Burkhardt Road and the Interstate 69 interchange continues to see development, as well as the West Side along the Lloyd Expressway.

However, all of these projects are just the beginning.

Plans that are a part of the Regional Cities Initiative are to kick off in 2017, setting off a new wave of development in Evansville and the Tri-State. Leading the charge are the planned terminal renovations to the Evansville Regional Airport (EVV).

Evansville Regional will receive $5 million from the $42 million the Regional Cities Initiative has awarded the Southwest Indiana region. The complete renovation project will total around $12.36 million, says Nate Hahn, director of operations and maintenance at Evansville Regional, with the rest of the funding coming from a combination of sources.

“The $5 million allows us to make sure we are making good financial decisions for the community, which then keeps our rates and charges low for the airlines and makes them happy,” he adds. “A happy airline is an airline that increases service.”

From start to finish, the project will change the overall look of the Evansville Regional Airport, giving in-bound and out-bound passengers an enhanced experience they would expect from bigger airports.

Outside, passengers will see new pavement on roads and parking lots, as well as new landscaping and better walkways. Hahn says the stairs in front of the terminal will be removed for easier access from the parking lot. Covered walkways also will be installed from the building to the parking and rental car lots.

But the biggest changes are going to be inside, says Hahn. New flooring, skylights, and seating, as well as upgrades to ticket counters and the addition of more charging and work stations are planned. The greatest change will come in the form of a centralized security checkpoint. Currently the airport has two separate security checks, with only one open at a time. Plans are to pull them into one, allowing a continuous security operation.

“It allows us to get the most up-to-date security equipment, including the stand-up body imagers,” says Hahn. “It also allows us to have two lanes, with one of those lanes dedicated to travelers who are registered with TSA Pre-Check.”

The central-security point also means repositioning the airport’s restaurant to offer a post-security option, allowing passengers to purchase food and drinks they can then take on the aircraft. Other renovations include restrooms, a mother’s room, and a service animal relief area.

A call for bids on the project is expected in April with construction beginning in the summer.

“The general public is going to see a refurbishment,” says Hahn. “Everything is going to look cleaner, nicer.”

This is not the first round of changes for the airport. Built in 1989, EVV installed jet bridges from the terminal to aircrafts in 2012 and completed work on its primary runway in 2014 to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. “This new project with Regional Cities is all about the passengers,” says Hahn. “This is the opportunity to come back inside the building.”

“We consider the airport an integral part of economic development in the Tri-State,” adds Doug Joest, executive director of the airport.

Airport officials already were planning renovations to the terminal before Regional Cities was announced, says Hahn. After the 2012 jet bridges additions, officials realized updates would need to be made to the interior. When Joest became part of the conversation about Regional Cities, it made sense to consider including the airport.

“The airport is one of the ‘front doors’ or gateways to our region,” says Joest. “It’s important we have a modern, passenger-friendly facility to welcome visitors here and help our residents get where they want and need to go.”

In December 2015, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s Strategic Review Committee announced the distribution of funds from the Regional Cities Initiative to three recipient regions. One of those was the Southwest Region, which encompasses the Evansville metropolitan area. In the April/May 2016 story “On the Move,” Evansville Business detailed the proposed projects of the “Great Life, Great Community, Great Environment, Great People” plan, which would split the $42 million from Regional Cities among 12 projects.

Spearheaded by the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana (EDCSI), projects fall under two different categories — city center and gateway. These developments and renovations are expected to invest more than $926 million in public and private funding into the area.

“Lots of communities do plans. In many cases, like it or not, a lot of really great ideas and plans sit on someone’s shelf,” Greg Wathen, president and CEO of EDCSI, told Evansville Business last year. “This will not and we will do it in less than five years.”

Joest was a member of the committee that worked on the proposal submitted to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. The team met on several occasions, he says, to prepare for the presentation in Indianapolis in 2015.

“It was rewarding in the sense we all got to work together as a team on a project that will have a great impact on our region,” he says. “We were all pulling for a common goal and ultimately achieved it.”

Currently, Evansville Regional Airport offers flights with all three remaining legacy carriers — American, Delta, and United. These airlines fly to five top-rated hubs — Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Dallas; and Detroit — which offer opportunities for passengers to go anywhere in the world. The recently added Allegiant service that flies non-stop to Orlando-Sanford has performed well, says Leslie Fella, director of marketing and air service development.

“According to Allegiant, we’re performing as a mature market, instead of as the start-up market that we are,” says Fella. “Most of the time in the industry, airlines don’t see that as soon as they get started.”

The success of the airport also recently prompted American Airlines to upgrade its Dallas service with the larger CRJ-900 aircraft, which offers nine first-class seats and 76 total seats.

These successes combined with the new renovations are expected to open new doors — and flights — for the airport and its passengers.

“This project is our attempt at giving back to our passengers and community and making this a world-class airport,” says Hahn. “You don’t have to be an international airport to be world-class.” 

For more information about the Evansville Regional Airport, call 812-421-4401 or visit flyevv.com.

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Kyle Fields

Hometown: Evansville, Indiana

Job: Vice President and General Manager of Evansville Operations, SS&C Technologies

Resume: Senior Financial Analyst, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, 2008-2010; Assurance, PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2005-2008.

Family: Wife Kristin and daughters Kinsley, 4, and Tatum, 2. Kyle Fields is a big fan of hard work. An Evansville native and graduate of Reitz Memorial High School and the University of Southern Indiana, he has a favorite saying: “You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room; you just have to outwork the smartest person in the room.”

“If you can outwork the smartest person and outwork them consistently, you usually get ahead,” he adds. “That’s something I continue to live by.”

It’s a work ethic that has helped grow SS&C’s Evansville office from a handful of employees in a small space in Innovation Point to 220 staff members housed in the former Sterling Brewery building on Fulton Avenue. 

“We have a very strong team that has gotten us to where we are now, and we are poised to continue to grow. An example is our first hire in Evansville, Nick Gilliam, who started back in April 2011 and now is a director and continues to take on more responsibility” he says.

What is the most exciting thing happening in Evansville right now?
I think the Indiana University School of Medicine campus coming Downtown coupled with the confidence level we’re seeing in Evansville natives is exciting. We’re seeing change and it’s the right change. We’re seeing growth and it’s the right growth.

We’re happy to be a part of it at SS&C and contribute as much as we can. One of the things we like about our space is the visibility from the Lloyd Expressway, but also the development buzz that’s going on at Franklin Street and Downtown.

How would you describe SS&C?
A global provider of financial software and services. We have two business units — technology and outsourcing solutions. SS&C owns its own accounting technology used by clients as well as our employees supporting hedge and private equity funds.

We have a presence for both business units in Evansville, with headquarters in Windsor, Connecticut, and other offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

What motivates you each day?
My daughters. My wife, family, and friends as well, but the girls are certainly motivators for me. They put things into perspective. Whether you have a long day or a short day, it doesn’t matter. You go home and they don’t know about it. They just come with open arms.

And they are the bosses, especially our oldest, Kinsley. I go home and I get bossed around.

Why do you think it’s important to have a company like SS&C in Evansville?
I think for Evansville to continue on the trajectory we are on — which is a great one — we have to recruit more companies that are going to hire and retain folks here, as opposed to our graduates going to Nashville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Louisville, Kentucky, etc.

I think it’s key the city continues to recruit companies that may not necessarily have a large presence already in Evansville, like an SS&C, that brings a unique perspective. We bring a taste of Wall Street to Main Street. Our clients have hedge and private equity funds. They are Wall Street folks and Ivy League grads who we are servicing right here in Evansville. We have had some real success here and I’m sure there are other industries and businesses that can follow suit.

What is something you enjoy doing after work hours or on weekends?
Hanging out with the kids, that’s a big one. We go to Donut Bank almost every Saturday morning if we’re in town. When they wake up, that’s something they always look forward to. 

Issue CoverEvansvill Business February / March 2017 Issue Cover
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Downtown Upswing

Revival. Renaissance. Reawakening. Renewal. Yeah ... our Downtown is doing all that right now.
View the full feature in the December/January 2017 issue of Evansville Business. Owen Block photo by Jordan Barclay.

The complaints of residents saying there is nothing to do and nowhere to go have all but gone away. The almost audible groans of business owners under the weight of former administrations’ development decisions are but a murmur. The sound of shoppers’ exodus out of Downtown is no more. Instead, if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of progress.

“Downtown is growing so quickly, you might be able to hear it,” says Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) Executive Director Kelley Coures, adding the area currently has about $380 million in renovations simultaneously occurring — an unprecedented amount even for modern times.

Evansville’s Downtown certainly is booming, with renovations and new construction happening nearly everywhere you look. Coures says 24 new businesses have opened in the heart of the city, bringing a momentum and leading the way for new ventures and entrepreneurs.

“We’ve got the beginning of a small business retail renaissance,” says Coures. “What you see is the rebirth of retail. Retail follows progress and rooftops.”

Coures’s boss Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says while the city has done its part to revive Downtown, he is most proud of the private investors getting involved.

“It tells me developers believe our Downtown is on the move, that they can make a return on their investment, which is a great sign of confidence in our city,” he says, adding that the growth Downtown is having an effect in other parts of Evansville. “When downtowns thrive, other parts of the city grow as well and become vibrant.

Owen Block   121-127 Chestnut St.  

The City of Evansville, Architectural Renovators LLC, and Indiana Landmarks teamed up to take this building from rundown to revived. While the city issued a raze order on the 19th-century rowhouse built in 1882, the Winnecke administration and DMD pledged $100,000 toward Owen Block’s stabilization. With additional funds raised by Indiana Landmarks, Architectural Renovators transformed the building into 15 one-bedroom apartments. The community gathered Aug. 5, 2016, for the ribbon-cutting and tours of the property.

Arazu on Main   415 Main St.  

In the summer of 2015, Penny Nejad, owner of Café Arazu in Newburgh, Indiana, purchased the former The Jungle restaurant. Plans were to create a second location similar to the café in Newburgh, but with different menu options. Arazu on Main opened its doors to the public in November 2016. Both the exterior and interior of the historic building received extensive renovations, including a new neon sign outside the building, paying homage to The Jungle.

BRU Burger Bar & Grill   222 Sycamore St.  

The iconic 1938 art moderne Greyhound Bus Station houses BRU Burger Bar & Grill, operated by Indianapolis-based restaurant developer The Cunningham Group. Architectural Renovators LLC restored the exterior of the former terminal, while Empire Contractors was the general contractor for the inside restoration. The building — owned by Indiana Landmarks — can seat 180 diners. The restaurant opened Nov. 21, 2016, and serves lunch and dinner options seven days a week.

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel   601 Walnut St.  

After a few stumbling blocks, the $71.4- million DoubleTree Hilton Hotel — located adjacent to The Ford Center — broke ground in March 2014 with plans to open the structure by January 2017. The Downtown hotel features 241 guest rooms and a full-service restaurant and lounge, and is being built by lead contractor Hunt Construction. The DoubleTree also provides 12,000 square feet of event space to help attract convention-goers back to Evansville, which has been without a true convention hotel.

YMCA Residential Facility   203 N.W. Fifth St.  

When YMCA of Southwestern Indiana received a $5-million share of the city’s Regional Cities Initiative award, it marked the beginning of big changes for the Downtown YMCA campus. The organization is planning construction of a new health and wellness facility on the parking lot facing Court Street. The former YMCA residential building is to be converted into one- and two-bedroom, income-based housing units. Private developer AP Development is to provide $15 million for the renovations, while the YMCA will raise another $5 million to be used with Regional Cities Initiative funds to create the new health and wellness facility.

Riverhouse Hotel   20 Walnut St.  

A few years and many plans culminated with the demolition of the annex and skywalk of the former Riverhouse Hotel along Walnut Street. The order from the city came in June 2016 to have the structures razed, which was completed in late August. The fate of the main hotel building still remains in limbo. According to Coures, property owner George Yerolemou says he has a signed franchise agreement with a large hotel chain, but hasn’t yet disclosed specifics.

Gangnam Korean Cuisine   518-520 Main St.  

The building at 518-520 Main St. has seen more than a few restaurants occupy its space over the years. Now, it may be set to welcome a Korean eatery. Formerly the Uptown Event Restaurant, the property was sold in August 2016 to Joseph Kim, who previously was involved with Ninki’s Japanese Bistro in Newburgh, Indiana. Plans were to convert the space into Gangnam Korean Cuisine restaurant. He has not set an official opening date. Before Uptown Event operated in the building, Main Gate Bar and Grill called the space home.

Cambridge Arms Apartments   202 S.E. First St.  

In October 2016, work began on the Cambridge Arms apartment building, converting it into 32 new one-bedroom apartments and a penthouse suite, funded by private developers. The exterior of the structure features an art deco-style popular in the 1920s and 30s. Architectural Renovators LLC is working as the lead contractor on the project, beginning with the interior of the historic building. Construction is expected to wrap up fall 2017.

ETFCU Plaza   1 S.E. Ninth St.  

The Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Plaza makes up one-third of the city and county government campus Downtown. In 2015, Scott Danks and the group Professional Plaza LLC developed the property from a vacant school corporation building. The property contains two floors and a lower level, as well as its own parking lot. Currently Danks & Danks law office and a branch of Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union have office spaces in the building. The rest of the units are available for tenants to build out.

Cadick Apartments   118 S.E. First St.  

This building was designed by architect W.E. Russ and completed in 1917, about the same time the McCurdy Hotel was finished. According to Coures, brothers Robert and Steve Barber plan to renovate the Cadick into six luxury apartments. Construction is currently underway with completion set for spring 2017.

The Dapper Pig   1112 Parrett St.  

Started by Lamasco Bar and Grill owner Amy Word-Smith, The Dapper Pig has resided in the historic Bromm Manor in the Haynie’s Corner Art District since fall 2015. The city purchased the property along with 5961 Adams Ave. in 2009 for $190,000; Word-Smith paid $15,000 for the home in April 2015.

Party Central   120 N.W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  

When Skip Seaman and Dillip Patel looked at the former Daughters of Isabella building on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Vine Street, they saw a chance to bring an event-rental facility to Downtown. The 3,915-square-foot, completely remodeled space opened in late 2015 and can house up to 279 guests. It also includes a warming kitchen, taproom machine, and an outdoor patio.

Evansville Multi-Institutional Academic Health Science Education and Research Campus
Property at Locust Street between Fifth and Sixth streets  

Set to be the new home of the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville program, the Evansville Multi-Institutional Academic Health Science Education and Research Campus will cover roughly 140,000 square feet of Downtown. Contractor Skanska USA Civil broke ground on the $61-million facility Oct. 23, 2015, with completion set for 2018. The building also will house programs from IU School of Dentistry, the University of Evansville, and the University of Southern Indiana.

McCurdy Hotel   101 S.E. First St.  

Odyssey Construction is making progress on the $12-million renovation of the former McCurdy Hotel building, owned by the Kunkel Group. Odyssey Construction has restored original ornamental features and brought the former hotel into the 21st century. While commercial spaces will occupy the ground floor, more than 100 modern one- and two-bedroom apartments — starting at $725 — should be available to rent in February 2017.

Evansville-Vanderburgh Levee Authority   220 S. Fulton 

Danco Construction Inc. oversaw building of the Evansville Levee Authority’s newest facility, which houses the city’s 1,600 linear feet of floodwall and provides a location for maintenance of vehicles. The city sold its former storage building located on Riverside Drive to make way for Tropicana’s new land-based casino. The Levee Authority will retain its main building at 1300 Waterworks Road.

Siegel’s Department Store   101-105 S.E. Fourth St.  

The former Siegel’s Department Store building was one of 17 properties statewide to receive a Historic Renovation Grant, a competitive program designed to preserve and rehabilitate historic properties to further incentivize cities’ downtown economic development. Warren Investment Group owns the property and plans to use the $73,100 award for retail space on the ground floor and apartments in upper floors.

Ridgway Building   313 Main St.  

Enjolé Interiors now calls this historic building its home. Known as the Ridgway Building, it was constructed in 1860 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Landmark Design & Engineering as well as JPM Contractors transformed the 16,000-square foot space of Berger & Berger’s former law office into Enjolé’s new retail space on the first two floors and storage on the third and fourth floors.

Washington House/Cooper House   228-230 Main St.  

This building at the corner of Third and Main streets soon will be home to the Comfort by Cross-Eyed Cricket restaurant, a spinoff of the popular local eatery Cross-Eyed Cricket at 2101 W. Pennsylvania St. Historically known as the Washington House for the hotel originally built there, the site also was home to The Farmer’s Daughter restaurant and Evansville Commercial College.

O’Donnell Building   22 N.W. Sixth St.  

Like the Siegel’s Department Store, the O’Donnell Building’s Historic Renovation Grant will be used to create retail space on the ground floor and apartments upstairs. The building’s owner Carl Arnheiter received $39,087 that can be used on renovations such as roof replacement, masonry restoration, repair and replacement of windows, façade renovation, painting, storefront upgrades, and rear-entry improvements.

Hyatt Place   202 S.E. Second St.  

This vacant parking lot is set to become a 139-room Hyatt Place hotel, with construction to begin in spring 2017 and completed spring 2018. Construction will cost $18 million — none of which will come from taxpayer funds. Across the street, the Scottish Rite at 203 Chestnut St. will be razed to become the hotel’s parking lot.

Tropicana Evansville   Riverside Drive  

Tropicana Evansville was the first Hoosier casino to announce plans to move inland after Indiana legislators approved a bill in 2015 allowing casinos to be land-based. Properties between Le Merigot and Tropicana hotels were purchased to make way for the $50-million construction project, which began in July 2016. The 75,000-square foot casino will house restaurants, bars, lounges, and games; it is set to open late 2017 and will replace the riverboat casino.

Walton’s International Comfort Food   956 Parrett St.  

The eclectic eatery Walton’s International Comfort Food has had much success since opening in January 2016. Renovations to the building were made possible with a $50,000 grant from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program. Recently, the upstairs space of Walton’s became Fidel’s Bourbon Bar and Cigar Lounge. The bar serves premium bourbon, Prohibition-era cocktails, and soon cigars at its location in the Haynie’s Corner Arts District.

Montrose and Maybelle Apartments   1011 Parrett St.  

The Montrose Apartments were built in 1923, while the Maybelle Apartments were built at the back of the Montrose in 1924. DMD purchased the long-vacant building in 2012 and signed a development agreement with local developer Michael Martin of Architectural Renovators LLC in 2014 to bring new life to the building. Martin renovated 12 units — six in each complex — and converted the Montrose’s basement into two additional units. Tenants were able to move in to the 14 units October 2015. 

No-Ruz Grotto   911 S.E. Second St.  

In August 2016 after announcing plans to renovate, Warren Investment Group opened the doors of the former No-Ruz Grotto to the public for a peek inside the historic building. Built in 1868 by attorney and Army general James Shackelford, it most recently was the gathering place of social club No-Ruz Grotto. The building has been vacant for many years. Exterior updates will take place first, while the inside will offer a variety of commercial spaces.

Evansville Brewhouse   56 Adams Ave.  

The Evansville Brewhouse nano pub opened for business July 2016 in the former McBride’s Master Cleaners & Tailors. Located next to the Alahambra Theater in the heart of the Haynie’s Corner Arts District, the small craft brewery serves its own recipe as well as other beers, hard ciders, bourbons, and wines. Public records reveal the property is owned by the city’s Brownfields Corp.

Jimmy John’s   330 Main St.  

The former headquarters of Roger’s Jewelers soon will become home of anchor tenant, Jimmy John’s sandwich shop. A cellphone repair store and another tenant (yet to be confirmed) also will occupy the corner of Main and N.W. Fourth streets. Renovations began this spring, transforming the dated façade with fresh paint and walls of windows. Jimmy John’s is on course to open this winter.

Old Post Office   100 N.W. Second St.  

The Old Post Office Event Center may cater some of Evansville’s finest parties and gatherings by night, but by day this facility holds hearings for Social Security’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review (ODAR). ODAR outgrew its space in the Federal Building, 101 N.W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and moved to its second- and third-floor spaces in 2015 — four years after renovations began.

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“Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed”

(Joe Walsh, “Life’s Been Good”)

“Pete” — Evansville’s own man of mystery. Since 1990, Pete has offered up the spirit of the holiday season with the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center selected as the recipient of his generosity. This gentleman (who chooses to remain anonymous) has, I like to believe, enjoyed himself immensely by giving without expectation and from his heart. He now has donated nearly $90,000, with all of the money going to help and serve kids.

I know I have long been fascinated by the way the gifts are given — usually preceded by a phone call and followed by a search for the gift on the Rehabilitation Center’s grounds. I do believe no one knows who Pete really is. And like many others, I have racked my brain over my desire to know who he is, but think I would be disappointed if the mystery were taken away. It would never be the same.

“Pete,” whomever you are, I think I speak for many when I simply say, “May God bless you, sir.”

In our feature, “Downtown Upswing” beginning on page 22, we document some, not all, of the amazing things going on in Evansville’s Downtown. To provide a bit of insight, this story came out of so many happenings occurring at once that I simply could not mentally (insert joke here) keep track, and it’s a short oval.

I also was surprised by the amount of well-informed people apparently unaware of what was underway in their backyards due to the sheer volume of the projects. I hope you enjoy being a part of our mission here: to inform and entertain. I know everyone here at Tucker Publishing Group was glad to be brought “up to speed” and maybe even learned something. Nah.

I can hear some of you now: “Ok, Tucker. One photo of you is bad enough. What’s up with all of these?”
Well, I despise having my picture taken (and name badges, but that’s for another time). This proves a bit problematic for someone with a publisher’s letter six times a year. Hey, we all have our quirks, right Talcum Powder Guy?

My mother-in-law would make us pose for shots on holidays and other get-togethers. While a wonderful lady and mother-in-law, it drove me and my two brothers-in-law crazy. Part of why I go to tremendous lengths to avoid the process. My dog Jed recently took his turn being featured in a publisher’s photo. A lady’s hand throwing a drink in my face and other ideas keep things creative. But no amount of incessant nagging — er, “friendly reminders” — seem to help either.

So I let our staff pull some oldies out of the archives in lieu of having another portrait shot. I don’t know what the thought process was for judging some of these, but I would guess none.

As for the title of this column — sorry for dragging you into my column, Joe, but you were awesome in Louisville, Kentucky, a few months back.

May everyone enjoy their best holiday season…well, ever. 

Todd A. Tucker
Publisher

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Gaining Momentum

Construction at The Promenade paves the way for progress
Provided by The Martin Group

Evansville’s newest mixed-use development is gaining momentum as construction begins on new roads, restaurants, retail stores, and sidewalks.

The Promenade Development — located on 215 acres bordered by Columbia Street, Burkhardt and Oak Grove roads, and Interstate 69 — is set to become a lifestyle development that will attract people who want to live, work, and play in one space, according to Andy Martin, The Martin Group’s vice president of development.

Currently, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Zaxby’s, and Old National Bank are tenants. Burger King will break ground to the north of Zaxby’s by the time this issue goes to print, with Fresh Thyme grocery store not far behind, according to public records.

Evansville Business featured The Promenade in the story “Point of Sale” in the June/July 2014 issue. At that time, only Academy was under construction. Since then, The Martin Group President Steve Martin and his team have steadily been working to negotiate leases with new tenants. Because of confidentiality agreements within contracts, Martin cannot disclose its newest negotiations, but says there are “some very exciting things coming for Evansville.”

“We are developing the east side and west side of this development first, and the middle will be the last thing we’ll develop,” says Steve Martin.

The Martin Group used private funds to re-reroute streets and put in wide sidewalks to make traffic safer and more streamlined in and around the development, designed for its walkability. The streets along Burkhardt Road will begin within the next couple weeks, with others starting in the spring.

“Once those streets are in, there will be a lot of activity,” says Steve Martin, noting his company, as the developer, sells the land to businesses that must adhere to high standards of architecture.

“We have enough activity right now that if everybody took action that wanted to, we would fill every lot along Burkhardt,” says Chris Stuard, director of real estate services for The Martin Group.

“It’s a great time to see this happen because the economy seems to be vibrant right now,” says Steve Martin. “I think by next Christmas, you will see a significant change out there.” 

For more information about The Promenade, call 812-491-3333 or visit promenade-evansville.com.

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Retail Therapy

Downtown historic building is transformed into interior design showroom
Enjolé Interiors store offers home décor and gift items in addition to design services.

When Sharon Lemond and Tammy Stallings began dreaming of opening Enjolé Interiors more than two years ago, they originally planned a new build that looked old and had European influences. When those plans fell through, they expanded the search to include existing buildings.

In July 2016, Stallings drove past 313 Main St., the former Berger & Berger law office.

“It was just exactly what our vision was,” says Stallings, director of retail and design. “I could already see it finished.”

Lemond, owner of Enjolé, says although the building had been vacant for more than two years, it was full of life.

“It didn’t smell old. It had this warmth about it,” she says. “It embraced us as much as we embraced it.”

Lemond purchased the property Aug. 1 and construction began Aug. 10. Renovations included moving stairs; removing layers of drywall, wallpaper, and plaster to reveal original brick; taking out drop ceilings; and creating new brick archways. The angled entrance also was reconstructed to be flush with the facade.

Enjolé opened for business Nov. 5, a mere 12-week transformation from a law office to multi-level store with an open concept. Keeping true to its name — Enjolé is a Cajun-French word meaning enchanting or enticing — the retail store attracts passersby to come in and explore. The building boasts 16,000 square feet, including 3,700 square feet of retail space on the first and second floors. The second floor also houses the design resource center for freelancers, an art gallery, and offices.

Stallings says while many elements in the space are new, it was important to retain integrity of the old building, which was constructed in 1860 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. They recycled as many materials as possible including doors, cabinetry, and lumber.

“It was important we try to protect and preserve this historic building as much as we could,” says Stallings.

Charlie Berger, whose family firm had occupied the building since 1979, is amazed by the transformation.

“The fact that it’s a whole new look and it’s not an office setup allows the building to have a more dynamic presentation than something old and used and tired,” says Berger. “This is another progression of moving forward to keep the building vital and alive. It brings it a lot of beauty and life.”

For more information about Enjolé Interiors, call 812-706-9906 or visit enjoleinteriors.com.

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A New Adventure

Crouch discusses Evansville and new role as lieutenant governor
Lt. Governor-Elect Suzanne Crouch

Many know State Auditor and Lt. Governor-elect Suzanne Crouch hails from Evansville. But did you know she used to work as an auction manager for WNIN? Or that, at one time, real estate was her profession? It may be news to you that she began her political career as the coordinator for Sen. Richard Lugar’s campaign phone bank in 1982. She’s also a Rolling Stones fan.

“I think what led me to public service was just my upbringing and the way I was raised,” says Crouch, who earned a political science degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. “To have a strong sense of personal responsibility but to also readily accept I had a responsibility to help others who were less fortunate.”

On Nov. 8, 2016, Crouch and her running mate incumbent Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb defeated Democrats John Gregg and Christina Hale in the general election, and are set to be sworn in Jan. 9, 2017. It’s a job the Mater Dei High School alumna says she’s prepared for.

“I saw it as an opportunity to serve Hoosiers in a different capacity,” says Crouch. “Here I am, getting ready to embark on a new adventure.”

How would you describe Evansville?

I love Evansville, I’ve always loved Evansville. It’s always been home. It’s where my family is, it’s where my roots are. It is such a special place, I think because as a community, we are very caring, connected, and collaborative. We recognize challenges, then we go ahead and address them, solve them, and move on.

What convinced you to pursue politics?

When I look back on my life and my involvement in public service and government, I think it really goes back to the phrase “being raised that way.” You take care of yourself and you have a responsibility to take care of other people.

To me, that’s the role of government — to make life better for other people. We can do that by creating jobs for people, by making our education system the best in the country, by strengthening our communities. And then we can continue to deliver good government at a great taxpayer value, which is what we have been doing consistently here in Indiana for the last decade.

What was your first thought when you found out you and Governor-elect Holcomb had won the election?

My first thought was, “It’s time now to get to work.”

The voters spoke in this election and they said, “We like the direction Indiana is going, we want you to take it to the next level.” And it’s incumbent on us to do that. We must be bold in how we do that.

For more information about Suzanne Crouch, visit in.gov/auditor/2343.htm.

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New BRU on the Block

Architectural Renovators were the first contractors on the scene for the Indiana Landmarks renovation of the Greyhound. Work was completed in 2015. Cost for the exterior renovation was $900,000.

In 2015 when Indiana Landmarks finished its restoration of the former Greyhound bus station at 102 N.W. Third St., speculation abounded as city residents wondered who would be the new tenant of the iconic, Art Moderne-style building Downtown. Soon a team including Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis; Southwest Field Office Director Stewart Sebree; honorary chairman and former Evansville resident Randall Shepard; and Evansville board members North Park Shopping Center owner Gene Warren, Vectren’s Director of Federal Government Affairs Christine Keck, and Tucker Publishing Group Editor Kristen K. Tucker recruited Mike Cunningham, president of Cunningham Restaurant Group in Indianapolis, to lease the space.

In November, BRU Burger Bar & Grill opened to the public and recorded one of the most successful first weeks of any restaurant in the Cunningham group.

“There were so many local people who helped put this building together,” says Steve James, director of operations for the Cunningham Restaurant Group. “They really did a fantastic job.”

Cunningham Restaurant Group owns and operates 20 restaurants throughout Indianapolis; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. Work on the building was completed in two phases — phase one was the exterior of the building headed up by Architectural Renovators, while phase two focused on the interior and was led by Empire Contractors.

“Evansville is looking up and we’re proud to be a part of the work with this project,” says Davis.

And the List Goes On …
Architectural Sales
Fulton Interior Systems
G.A.M.I.
Hoffman Plumbing
Kight Home Center
Midwest Roofing – Sheet Metal
Multi Products, Inc.
Norman Painting Inc.
Rasure Floor Covering Inc.
Tri State Fire Protection, Inc.
Southern Indiana Tool and Machine Inc.

Empire Contractors served as general contractor for the interior build. Their work included restoration of the original banisters along the staircases and upper floor of the building. 

Architectural Renovators were the first contractors on the scene for the Indiana Landmarks renovation of the Greyhound. Work was completed in 2015. Cost for the exterior renovation was $900,000.
▲ Not all aspects of BRU Burger’s interior are new. This original tile still covers a portion of the upper floor. Other nostalgic touches include framed schedules and artifacts found during construction.
▲ Seating, tables, and booths that dot the restaurant’s two floors were purchased from Table Logix.
▲ Several pieces of decorative work from Fulton Tile and Stone can be seen in the restaurant — from the backsplash behind the bar and the tile work on the front of it to the wood tile floors. The company did much more, however, including framing walls, drywall finishing, and working on the ceiling, which includes glimpses of original wood.

▲ Honoring the legacy of the building, a stained-glass window featuring the iconic Greyhound logo was crafted by Sunburst Stained Glass of Newburgh, Indiana.

 

▲ HVAC work was done by Schiffer Air & Heating of Evansville. Premiere Electric helped outfit the electrical needs of the new restaurant, including the various lighting fixtures that give BRU Burger a modern feel.