Make your home page

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A veteran teacher in Hendricks County has launched a new business to help ensure arts are part of a student’s well-rounded education. Marie Kirkeiner, who spent decades in music classrooms and teaching private vocal lessons, is the first franchisee in Indiana for Children’s Art Classes. The private art studio in Brownsburg offers a curriculum of painting, drawing, sculpture, among other skills, to children ages 3-18.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Kirkeiner explained there are very few opportunities outside of school to receive specialized instruction in art.

“The arts kids do not have enough opportunities outside of school. We have plenty of music, plenty of sports. If you look around where are the studio art facilities? They’re extremely rare. Very rare,” said Kirkeiner.

The lack of access to supervised arts training was heightened by the pandemic. Kirkeiner says over the past two and half years, as COVID swept the nation and kept schools closed, many students lost out on their ability to express their creativity in an art class.

“There were a handful of kids who did things remotely, but there’s nothing that can replace doing things in person. Doing things in person absolutely is the best thing,” said Kirkeiner.

But even after schools reopened, sometimes teachers who were not school district employees had limited access. That is another reason Kirkeiner said she started examining other options, including investing in her own brick-and-mortar location.

“So that I owned, I controlled my institution. No one would be telling me, ‘Oh, no, we’re not letting you in our school or our YMCA anymore.’ I’m going to keep building my own space,” said Kirkeiner with determination in her voice.

Kirkeiner says she investigated at last 20 different franchise models but narrowed the list down to four arts-focused businesses.

“I looked at a fair amount of different variety of businesses, franchises, and the ones that resonated with me the most were the ones that had to do with the arts,” said Kirkeiner. “It’s just so engrained in me, my love of arts.”

Tony Doster, who helps entrepreneurs explore franchise opportunities in the Indianapolis area, says one of the biggest challenges for people considering a franchise, or any business, is self-doubt.

“Common notions which challenge individuals are, ‘I could never get funding’, ‘I have never managed a business,’” said Doster.

He says often the uncertainty is revealed to be a much smaller concern than individuals ever imagined. However, taking the franchise path is not without risks. But unlike starting your own business, a franchisee has the support of the parent organization on issues, such as marketing, pricing, and supply chain.

“The franchisor has a team of individuals in each of these areas, and perhaps hundreds of “eyes” in the field to get early warnings of any challenges,” explained Doster. “How can a lone business compare to this depth and breadth of resources?”

While operating the franchise business, Kirkeiner remains active teaching private music education. It is not part of the Children’s Art Classes curriculum, but she included space in the new arts studio for vocal lessons.

Kirkeiner says arts are essential as they can teach students valuable lessons beyond the sketch pad, paint brush or mound of clay.

”There’s something empowering about color, and light, and just losing time and space and getting deeply focused on creating something artistic. Then a child steps back and said ‘I did that. I did that.’ And it’s empowering.”

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Brownsburg’s town manager says the planned 47-acre Commerce Park at Brownsburg Raceway project announced today is part of a concerted effort to boost economic development in the Hendricks County town. Terre Haute-based Garmong Development detailed plans for the park, located near Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, which will have a focus on promoting R&D and manufacturing in the motorsports industry. “To be able to support our companies, it just grows our base that we’ve had here,” said Debbie Cook. “It’s been in our plans for years, but it’s really great to see it come to fruition.”

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cook and Brownsburg Town Council President Travis Tschaenn said collaboration has been key.

“This is huge,” Cook said. “We are growing the tax base. It’s been the priority of the council and this wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for the support of the council and it takes a whole team to get them over the finish line.”

The Commerce Park project is the latest in a string of major projects announced for Brownsburg in recent months.

In November, town officials broke ground on the Ronald Reagan Logistics Center. Being built over two phases, the project will include up to five buildings totaling nearly 4 million square feet of logistics space.

The following month, France-based biotechnology company Orano Med LLC said it would invest $15 million to establish its second U.S. manufacturing facility in Brownsburg and create about a dozen jobs.

Last month, Indianapolis-based Acorn Distributors Inc. detailed plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Brownsburg with a new, 125,000-square-foot facility.

Tschaenn says the current town council shifted its focus a few years ago.

“Our focus is economic growth and economic development to help balance our tax base here in our community and Deb’s just done a phenomenal job of bringing organizations to the table and we’ve helped bring them to the finish line,” said Tschaenn. “What we’ve done on the Ronald Reagan Parkway is going to be a huge driver of economic development for our community, not just currently but in the years to come.”

Tschaenn says Brownsburg and the surrounding communities have a workforce that is attractive to businesses. He says the town’s schools and other quality of life benefits have also been key for companies looking to come to Brownsburg.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Garmong Development is detailing plans for what it calls a signature project in Brownsburg. The Commerce Park at Brownsburg Raceway is being developed on 47 acres near Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and is designed to promote research & development and manufacturing for the autosports industry.

Garmong says it expects the project to attract more than $100 million in new economic development and capital investment. Vice President Dan Zuerner says cost of construction for the project has not yet been determined.

Brownsburg Town Manager Deb Cook says the project has the formal support of the Brownsburg Town Council and supports the town’s formal comprehensive and economic development plans.

“The time is right to build this,” Cook said in a news release. “This powerfully advances Brownsburg’s high-profile commitment to growing and supporting the autosports industry and will help attract new companies.”

As part of the project, the National Hot Rod Association, which owns and operates Lucas Oil Raceway, has agreed to move the track’s main entrance to the west side. Construction on that effort is expected to begin soon and be complete by the end of the year.

“This project has been under consideration for years, but with the completion of the Ronald Reagan Parkway and the major investment of Garmong, this project has become reality under Deb Cook’s leadership,” said Kasey Coler, VP of Track Management and Operations for the NHRA. “This new ‘front door’ will provide easier access into the raceway park, but equally important is that the new entrance is expected to provide a higher degree of safety.”

Garmong did not provide an estimated timeline for construction.

We’ll have more on the impact of the project and other recent developments in Brownsburg from Deb Cook in this afternoon’s INside Edge e-newsletter.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Acorn Distributors Inc. has announced plans to relocate the company’s corporate headquarters to Brownsburg. The janitorial and foodservice distributor says it needed to grow its warehouse facility but was unable to find suitable land near its current location on the west side of Indianapolis. The company says the new facility will be 125,000-square feet and will be taller than its existing facility, allowing Acorn to more effectively use its vertical space.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Acorn Distributors Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Rosenberg said the company needs additional space to keep up with demand.

“We are looking forward to utilizing the new space to continue to grow our business and serve our many valued customers in new and even more efficient ways,” said Rosenberg. “We looked for an existing distribution center, and they’re just not out there. There is a big demand for distribution centers today.”

Acorn Distributors is a supplier of janitorial materials, such as paper products and cleaners. It also serves the foodservice industry, offering a variety of food delivery items such as cutlery, glassware, disposable containers and other kitchenware for restaurants.

Rosenberg says the company has felt the impact of the supply chain disruption.

“When COVID first hit, the janitorial side of our industry was where most of the supply chain challenges [existed] for us… the demand with the disinfectants and the sanitizers,” said Rosenberg.

Rosenberg says the janitorial industry has stabilized and it is able to source products for Acorn’s customers. However, she says the food service of the business continues to deal with disruptions.

“Nobody could forecast what was going to happen during COVID. And when the world opened up, it opened up so quickly. Nobody was prepared for that. We cannot keep up with the demand right now,” said Rosenberg.

She says Acorn is now sourcing material from more manufacturers than ever before.

The company says it plans to break ground this spring and move into the facility in 2023. In addition to its new facility, Rosenberg says the developer is also planning to construct a speculative building next door.

In addition to its Indiana location, Acorn also operates a facility in Columbus, Ohio. The company distributes products throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, northern Kentucky and southern Michigan.

Founded in 1976, Acorn Distributors is a family-owned and certified Women’s Business Enterprise. The company has a staff of 77 in Indiana and is looking to hire more workers because of the new construction. It acquired Cottingham Paper of Columbus, Ohio in 2007 where it currently employs 43 workers.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A biotechnology company headquartered in France has chosen central Indiana for its second U.S.-based manufacturing facility. Orano Med LLC plans to initially invest more than $15 million to acquire and equip the former Mainstay building in Brownsburg and create nearly a dozen jobs.

The company says the facility will be used to manufacture and distribute radiopharmaceuticals to treat cancer. The therapies will be delivered to hospitals throughout the country.

“This new facility is a major step of our development. It demonstrates our commitment to offer innovative 212Pb-based cancer therapies to patients in North America,” Julien Dodet, chief executive officer of Orano Med, said in a news release. “Brownsburg was an obvious choice for us, and we look forward to continuing our work with the city.”

Debbie Cook, interim co-town manager and economic development director for Brownsburg, tells Inside INdiana Business the company plans to add 10 jobs in 2022 with an average wage of $45 per hour. The company also anticipates adding more jobs in a few years.

Orano Med did not provide a timeline for the facility’s opening. The company’s first U.S. facility is located in Plano, Texas.

Inside INdiana Business has reached out for additional details on the project, but has not yet received a response.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — Firefighters and paramedics in Brownsburg are adding bulletproof vests and helmets to their list of equipment. The department’s Facebook post announcing the new gear cites an uptick in violent crime as one of the reasons behind the upgrade.

Firefighters and paramedics often find themselves in the middle of dangerous situations, and that goes beyond fires and crashes.

“Firefighters have been in situations, firefighters have been targeted and so we wanted to get ahead of this,” Brownsburg Fire Territory Battalion Chief Ryan Miller said.

Pointing an increase in violent crime, Miller spearheaded a program over the summer to get all of his crews outfitted in ballistic equipment including bullet proof vests and helmets.

“We have reported shootings, stabbings, any SWAT situation which we would be standing by for, reported explosions, obviously an active shooter event,” Miller said. “Those are the types of runs that our policy is going to say we need to make sure we have this equipment on for.”

Aaron Ateherton is one of the firefighters who will be wearing this gear. He is also an Air Force veteran who is familiar with this style of equipment.

“When we were deployed, sometimes everyday, so pretty common,” Ateherton said.

He told News 8 he did not expect to ever wear that type of equipment again.

The department purchased 30 sets of the ballistic equipment, enough for every person on shift to have a vest and helmet.

“You never know what you are going to get,” Ateherton said. “You could have somebody show up with a knife, you could have a neighbor show up with a gun. “I mean, sometimes when people come back from being unconscious they can be kind of violent.”

Miller says his department has been fortunate to have never had an incident where a ballistic vest was needed. But if that day should come, he wants to make sure his crew is protected,

“We try to be prepared for everything. We have water rescue suits. We’ve obviously got the protective equipment for firefighting. We have got all the equipment we would need for vehicle and machinery extrication so this is just another tool that we have that we can use to protect ourselves to try to give the best care that we can for the community,” Miller said.

All of the other career departments in Hendricks County have started the process of implementing a similar program.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Officials broke ground Tuesday on what is billed as Brownsburg’s largest commercial development to date, which will include several distribution centers and retail space. Construction crews have already begun working on the Ronald Reagan Logistics Center, located near I-74 and Ronald Reagan Parkway.

Indianapolis-based Scannell Properties says construction on the 125-acre parcel will occur in two phases.

The first phase includes four buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet of logistics space and parking for nearly 300 trailers and nearly 800 cars. Pepper Construction of Indiana is the general contractor for one of the buildings, which is expected to be complete by next fall.

“Brownsburg is a perfect location for a logistics center like this. The huge growth of e-commerce is likely to continue, and consumers want to receive their products fast. From Brownsburg, goods can reach nearly 60% of the U.S. in one day,” said Shaun Cofer, development manager at Scannell Properties.

The Peterson Company is the general contractor for the other three buildings, one of which will be complete in June and the last two will be complete by next fall.

“Ronald Reagan Logistics Center is just the sort of development the Ronald Reagan Parkway was built to serve. We are so excited to welcome this development to Brownsburg and believe this park will be a catalyst for future industrial and commercial development for our community,” said Travis Tschaenn, Brownsburg Town Council president.

Next fall, phase two of the development will get underway. Brownsburg officials say it may include five facilities totaling more than 2.4 million square feet of warehouse space, along with several retail opportunities.

Brownsburg economic development officials say 2021 has been “a very good year” and the Reagan Logistics Center illustrates continuing growth in the Hendricks County town.

“In 2020 Brownsburg saw commitment of over $20 million in capital investment and nearly 300 jobs. By June 2021, the six-month commitment of capital investment was over $71 million and 600 jobs. By the end of October those numbers rose to over $132 in capital investment and 900 jobs paying an average of over $25 per hour,” said Debbie Cook, who serves as economic development director and interim co-town manager.

Cook says with more projects in the pipeline, Brownsburg will see a 3% tax base growth which she says it a top priority for the town council.

A site map of the Ronald Reagan Logistics Center. (Image Provided/Town of Brownsburg)

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Pennsylvania-based Radial Inc. says it is looking to fill more than 2,500 seasonal jobs at its fulfillment center in Brownsburg. The e-commerce facility fulfills orders for a variety of brands. The company says entry-level workers are responsible for picking, sorting, packing and shipping a variety of products during the upcoming holiday season.

“Peak is a crucial time for our clients; year-over-year, the demands on e-commerce increase, making the jobs we are looking to fill absolutely essential,” said Sabrina Wnorowski, Radial vice president human resources.

Radial says recent consumer research shows 65% of shoppers plan to either increase or spend the same on online purchases during the holidays this year compared to 2020. The company operates 25 fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Interested applicants can get more information online. They can also take part in an in-person hiring event next month in Brownsburg. Staffing agency Adecco is helping Radial fill jobs and will have staff at the event to answer questions.

Radial/Adecco Hiring Event:

October 19, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
65 E. Garner Road, Brownsburg
Click here for more information

Other fulfillment centers and warehouses are looking for seasonal help as well, including GEODIS Inc. The company announced last week it is looking to fill more than 500 positions for its Indianapolis-area facilities.

BROWNSBURG (Inside INdiana Business) — A company that uses laser technology to remove old paint, oxides, and oily residue from items, instead of using corrosive chemicals, says it will invest $1.3 million to open its headquarters in Brownsburg. The company says the move will create 35 jobs by the end of 2024.

SurClean Inc. says it uses “years of laser industry expertise to solve coating removal challenges,” for a variety of industries, including the U.S. Department of Defense. The company is a spin-off of American Laser Enterprises Inc.

“Our laser system replaces current methods of chemical, abrasive, and water blasting. Laser ablation, also known as laser surface prep, is an emerging technology offering a very precise, safe, energy-efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to maintain large assets,” said SurClean President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Sprentall.

Sprentall says she is relocating the woman-owned company from Michigan to Indiana, and Brownsburg specifically, because of its proximity to major universities, the Indianapolis International Airport and Department of Defense research centers.

“With our strong manufacturing sector and full range of defense assets, Indiana is the perfect place for SurClean to call home,” said Interim Indiana Secretary of Commerce Jim Staton. “Not only is SurClean’s innovative technology strengthening Indiana’s economy, it’s also providing Hoosiers with the jobs of tomorrow.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered SurClean up to $350,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.

The town of Brownsburg says it has offered up to $15,000 in lease assistance through its unique Tenant Lease Assistance Incentive program.

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Indianapolis-based Cunningham Restaurant Group has opened its 13th BRU Burger Bar location in the Green Street Depot Development in Brownsburg. The family-friendly restaurant serves lunch and dinner with seating for more than 110 guests.

“We are excited to open our 13th BRU Burger Bar location on the West side of Indianapolis,” said Mike Cunningham, president of Cunningham Restaurant Group. “Our Brownsburg location will offer one additional option for Hendricks County diners. We look forward to welcoming guests with our award-winning menu and service that many have come to love.”

BRU’s menu features burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers, as well as several vegetarian options. In addition to supporting local breweries, BRU says it supports local farms for its menu offerings.

The original BRU Burger Bar is located on Mass Ave in downtown Indianapolis. In addition to the BRU Burger Bar, Cunningham operates 34 locations in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Cunningham opened its 12th BRU location in South Bend in August.