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It is official and it sounds like the Governors race could of hurt our chances along with a lack of Pro Sports. This would have been a nice pick up for the city.

Medco chooses Indy over Louisville for expansion
By Lesley Stedman Weidenbener
[email protected]
The Courier-Journal


INDIANAPOLIS — Medco Health Solutions (Latest price: MHS) has chosen Central Indiana over Louisville for its new advanced automated pharmacy, the company’s president announced today.

The company plans to employ about 1,300 earning between $40,000 and $100,0000. It has narrowed potential sites in Indiana to three, all located in suburban Indianapolis counties.

Medco President and Chief Operating Officer Kenneth Klepper said the company plans to choose one of those locations within 30 days.

Indiana beat Louisville in part because of the heavy involvement of Gov. Mitch Daniels and because the state’s economic development agency had an entrepreneurial spirit that appealed to the company, Klepper said.

Indianapolis offers professional sports teams and other amenities that would be beneficial for entertaining customers, he said. The area’s work force, transportation infrastructure, overall costs and regulator environment were also factors, he said.

Still, Klepper complimented the city of Louisville and Kentucky officials and said the area may be considered for future Medco operations.

Construction of the plan is expected to begin in 2008 and an opening is projected for 2009.
 

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That does suck, Louisville could really use a pro sports team but I don't see it happening for another ten years or so. With the new arena we could have had an NBA team but UofL pretty much made sure that would'nt happen.
 

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The pro sports thing is probably a red herring. If you look at the articles out of Indiana, and strip away the obligatory glad-handing of the governor, it would appear that the key factor that tipped the project in Indy's favor was labor supply. There's a huge pharmacist shortage nationwide, and Indy has two large regional pharmacy schools, Purdue and Butler. That's something Louisville simply could not overcome. I'd probably also re-iterate Indy's superior reputation as a distribution and logistics hub, and the fact that its sites are all in low tax suburban jurisdictions.

I'd like to point out that this also shows a hint of Louisville's future. Note again that all of the sites under consideration are in the collar counties of Indianapolis. Louisville is still in the enviable position that virtually all new commercial development continues to take place inside Jefferson County. (There is some residential and retail in southern Indiana, but that is not bigtime competition). If you look at Cincinnati and Indy what you see is collar county suburban booms that have largely sent the central county into a slow decline, at least in a relative sense. There is nothing in Louisville analogous to Hamilton County, Indiana (where Carmel has 80,000 mostly upscale residents and 6 million square feet of office space - more than the St. Matthews and Hurstborne/Shelbyville submarkets combined) or Plainfield (with 25 million square feet of industrial space - equal to the entire Airport/Southside submarket, Louisville's largest by far). Indianapolis itself isn't even on the radar for most of these announcements.

Louisville has, I believe, a window of opportunity of about 10-15 years to get it right before collar county booms start dealing a serious challenge to Jefferson County. I've argued before that one reason city-county merger worked this time around was that county residents now know they are central-city dwellers too, as residential growth really spreads into the collar counties. Fortunately, the city seems eager to sieze the moment, with all of the exciting downtown development, city of parks, etc. These should play a huge role in keeping Jefferson County competitive over the longer term.
 

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It will also be interesting to see what effect gas prices have on the development of these "collar counties" in Louisville, as well as the new condo trend and urban redevelopment trend that has taken this country by storm. With all the projects going on downtown I see Louisville getting increasingly denser which will pull back sprawl, atleast a little bit. I see it being atleast 15-20 years before any collar counties in Kentucky can even begin to compete with anything past residential, retail, and perhaps some distribution and industrial companies. And the only reason for that is because Jefferson is running out of land along I-65, which seems to be a hotspot because of the UPS Hubb, for instance Bullitt seems to be building a lot of warehouses along I-65.

With that in mind Southern Indiana may have a decent chance to compete a little bit sooner just because they are closer to the core. This will especially be the case with residential and retail development. As for office space considering Southern Indiana's proximity to downtown, and cheaper land, they may be able to capitalize on that opprotunity. As long as Jefferson County can offer a more favorable business environment and with the current trends in urban living still much in their infancy, I see Jefferson County maintaining its position for the much of the foreseeable future.
 

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If you look at Cincinnati and Indy what you see is collar county suburban booms that have largely sent the central county into a slow decline, at least in a relative sense.
Same story for the Dayton area. Core county is Montgomery, but it has seen a drop in population as of last census, and nearly all major retail developement is happening across the county line to the east, in Greene County. A lot of new office development too.

As Aaron said, Jefferson doesn't have much competition just yet. Its a good question which collar county will be the one to kick this off. That East End bridge might help southern indiana take off, but also I can see more log/warehouse/industry stuff in Bullit.
 

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Same story for the Dayton area. Core county is Montgomery, but it has seen a drop in population as of last census, and nearly all major retail developement is happening across the county line to the east, in Greene County. A lot of new office development too.

As Aaron said, Jefferson doesn't have much competition just yet. Its a good question which collar county will be the one to kick this off. That East End bridge might help southern indiana take off, but also I can see more log/warehouse/industry stuff in Bullit.
it seems louisvilles outlying counties have plenty of development with three countie sin the 100k range but yeah its nothing like cincy! anyways, i heard from a friend who lives at the henry clay that construction will start next summer on a hotel indigo at 4th and chestnut. i know some ppl were asking about the henryc clay hotel http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/in/1/en/home
 

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'8664' hearing is tomorrow

I think I made my idea on the 8664 proposal clear earlier, if not, I can repeat it in another post. I do not favor the 8664 proposal 100%, however, I am in support of the Interstate 64 viaduct removal.

(Please ignore the stupid comment regarding Louisville becoming "Detroit South" in the article's comment section.)

'8664' hearing is tomorrow
Council plans to examine alternative I-64 proposal
By Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, November 18, 2007

A Louisville Metro Council hearing will be held tomorrow on a grass-roots push to remove Interstate 64 downtown and add just one new Ohio River bridge.

The proposal is being touted as an alternative to a federal plan to build two bridges and expand the Spaghetti Junction interchange.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will start at 5 p.m. in council chambers on the third floor of City Hall at Sixth and Jefferson streets.

Council member Robin Engel, vice chairman of the ad hoc transportation committee, said he hopes it will give a higher profile to local transportation issues, but he stressed that he still favors the $4.1 billion plan to build two bridges.

"I'm looking for this issue to stay front and center as we move into the General Assembly next year because our bridges and our transportation infrastructure are so important," said Engel, R-22nd District.

Engel said he doesn't expect the committee to make a recommendation on removing I-64 downtown, although the committee's chairwoman, Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9th, has said the panel will address whether it can work.

Ward-Pugh did not return several calls seeking comment.

The proposal to get rid of I-64 downtown, dubbed "8664," takes its name from the slang term "86," meaning to "get rid of." It is being promoted by Louisville businessmen Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites.

The 8664 plan would reroute westbound I-64 traffic that's entering the Louisville area onto the Snyder Freeway and across a new East End bridge onto Interstate 265 in Indiana, then connect with I-64 west of New Albany.

Drivers heading west into downtown would follow a parkway along what is now I-64, and they would take surface streets to reconnect with the interstate in western Louisville and cross into Indiana. The Spaghetti Junction interchange also would be revised.

Allen and Stites said they will release a feasibility study of their plan this month.

The 8664 idea has been spread primarily through the Internet, but it has met with opposition from supporters of the two-bridge plan, including Mayor Jerry Abramson and a group of businesses and local governments.

Kentucky and Indiana already have signed off on the two-bridge project, and they sent the U.S. government a financing plan last month. The plan must be approved before construction can begin, possibly by early next year.
 

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Love that banner. Will look even better with Museum Plaza :)

Here's more on the Medco decision, for those who missed the article. It sounds like they want to be able to verify scripts remotely from another state. That's interesting to me since supposedly Medco was going to hire all these local pharmacists. It could be some sort of load balancing thing I guess.

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071117/NEWS01/711170440/1008

1,300 jobs lost after Ky. inaction
Indiana lands pharmacy center

By Patrick Howington
[email protected]
The Courier-Journal

Louisville may have lost 1,300 new high-paying jobs because state regulators didn't move quickly enough to accommodate mail-order pharmacy giant Medco Health Solutions, Louisville and state economic development officials said.

The company announced Monday it had chosen central Indiana over Louisville for a $150 million automated mail-order pharmacy, despite $30 million in tax incentives that a Kentucky agency approved last month. Indiana offered about $18.5 million.


A key factor in that decision, according to economic-development officials, was the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy's failure to more quickly approve a regulation that would allow Medco pharmacists working in other states to review prescriptions shipped through Louisville.

"It was a deal breaker," said Eileen Pickett, a senior vice president of Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce. "They can do business in Indiana today, and they can't in Kentucky, and that was a big part of the decision."

Economic-development officials and Medco representatives appeared at three consecutive meetings of the Kentucky pharmacy board, at which the board discussed the proposed regulation change but put off action.

A few weeks after the third meeting, New Jersey-based Medco said it had chosen Indiana and cited the state's entrepreneurial spirit and business-friendly environment.

"We needed the (pharmacy) board to act in a positive manner in order to land Medco," said John Hindman, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

The executive director of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy said revising the state regulation was a complicated task and the board wasn't aware of how quickly Medco wanted to act.

Yesterday, the board again considered a regulation change to accommodate automated pharmacy operations such as Medco's. But it deferred action until February to allow time to broaden the measure to include hospital pharmacies and other providers.

Indiana's pharmacy board also met yesterday to consider a similar measure, and adopted it. While the rule wasn't in place when Medco made its decision, Indiana regulators had been moving toward the change.

Medco said its 300,000-square-foot center will be "the world's largest and most advanced automated pharmacy." The company has two similar centers in New Jersey and Nevada, which together dispense 2 million prescriptions a week.

Jobs at the new center, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, will pay an average of $53,000 a year. Wages are expected to range from $12 to $45 an hour, according to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which approved tax incentives for Medco on Oct. 25.

"Those are the kind of jobs that cities and states salivate over," said Mayor Jerry Abramson, who was involved in talks with Medco. "We certainly put a very aggressive financial package on the table, but came up short in terms of our need for amending our regulatory structure," he said.

In announcing Medco's choice of Indiana, company president Kenneth Klepper cited factors including a skilled labor force, good transportation, proximity to pharmacy colleges, and Indianapolis' professional sports teams.

Medco also cited the heavy personal involvement of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher was regularly briefed on the Medco recruitment and was "engaged," said Hindman, the economic development secretary. But he said that to his knowledge, the governor didn't have personal talks with Medco. Fletcher's office referred questions about Medco to Hindman.

Louisville officials acknowledged they aren't certain the pharmacy board's slow pace was the decisive factor. But they said Medco, eager to pick a site and start building, had given Kentucky time beyond its original deadline to see whether the board would come through.

Mike Burleson, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, said the board has been working to fashion a regulation that would meet Medco's needs and not conflict with Kentucky law.

He said the board didn't realize how fast Medco needed the board to act. But city and state economic-development officials said they stressed the urgency in talks with pharmacy board members and with Burleson, who accompanied development officials on a visit to a Medco center in New Jersey.

The regulatory problem, Burleson said, is that state law says a pharmacist licensed in Kentucky must be involved in any prescription filled in the state.

But Medco's model is for pharmacists at prescription-processing centers in various states to review prescriptions for accuracy and safety -- then send the information to a center where pharmacists dispense medications and an automated system ships them to patients.

To comply with Kentucky law, Medco out-of-state pharmacists who forwarded prescription data to Louisville would have needed Kentucky licenses, an expensive and potentially cumbersome requirement.

Burleson said the board wants to protect the safety of patients. But Hindman said safety isn't really an issue because Medco's two existing automated pharmacies already ship prescriptions to patients around the nation, including Kentucky.

In effect, Kentucky pharmacy law hasn't caught up with modern distribution methods such as Medco's automated centers.

In Indiana, the state pharmacy board has been studying the issue of bar-code-based automated centers for about a year, said Marty Allain, director of the Indiana State Board of Pharmacy. So the board was well-versed in the issues when the Medco competition heated up this summer.

Allain said he believes Medco's method of operation is legal under existing Indiana law. But when the company sought a regulation clarifying that, the board moved quickly to draft one -- and not just for Medco's sake.

"The state of Indiana needed this rule. These things are popping up everywhere," Allain said of automated pharmacies.

Kentucky economic-development officials still want a regulation passed soon because it could help them woo other companies. Louisville also wants the change because it hopes to win the next automated center Medco builds, Abramson said.
 

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I have a solution that will please both the 8664 people and the additional downtown bridge people. Keep 64 downtown, but put it below street level like Cincinnati has 71 going through their downtown. That gets the expressway out of the skyline. If you put some pedestrian bridges across 64, it then reconnects our downtown with the waterfront. It allows for another downtown bridge to alleviate traffic. However SOMETHING has to be done still to spaghetti junction.
 

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I have a solution that will please both the 8664 people and the additional downtown bridge people. Keep 64 downtown, but put it below street level like Cincinnati has 71 going through their downtown. That gets the expressway out of the skyline. If you put some pedestrian bridges across 64, it then reconnects our downtown with the waterfront. It allows for another downtown bridge to alleviate traffic. However SOMETHING has to be done still to spaghetti junction.
I'd personally like to see them build a tunnel for I-64 from around 22nd street to Spaghetti Junction, but I know that will not happen.
 

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I'd personally like to see them build a tunnel for I-64 from around 22nd street to Spaghetti Junction, but I know that will not happen.
I mentioned that possibility to Rebecca Jackson while she was running for Governor in 2003 and she acted like I was stupid. She said, "Have you ever heard of a little thing called a water table? Duh!" Is there anyone with some engineering knowledge on here that can comment on whether this tunnel idea would be possible (financial impracticality, notwithstanding).
 

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I would think if you can build a tunnel under the English Channel, you could build one by the Ohio River... While the one under the channel is a train tunnel, I don't see why it would be so different. I know there is a large aquifer under the part of Jefferson County, so while it would not be easy and very expensive, I would say that it is possible.
 

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Building a tunnel would be prohibitively expensive. A cheaper alternative would be to construct the East End Bridge and sign the northern half of Interstate 265 as Interstate 64. As it stands, Interstate 265 was designed for six-lane expansion. Bridges feature piers but no caps, and an additional lane and full-width shoulder with jersey barrier can be accommodated easily in the median.

Another problem with the tunnel idea, is that Interstate 64 cannot be widened through Cherokee Park and the tunnels cannot be modified nor enlarged.
 

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This is a bit off from the current conversation but I had to say/ask this lol. Has anyone seen E.ON US lately? They have finally changed the colors, but IMO I think it looks really, really odd. The front of the building is still green, but the crown is now like a lilac pinkish purple. It does not go with the green at all, it would if it was the same color as the lights on the 2nd st. bridge tho. I saw it a few days ago so maybe they have changed the green, maybe not. If you've seen it what do you think of it? When I saw it on the way DT I was happy, then I saw the front and thought WTF were they thinking?:bash:
 

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I haven't seen it at night in a while. Maybe the pink is suppose to somehow be a red color? Then it would go along with the Christmas theme. But then again it's like they've tried everything on that building. I remember when it was a light blueish color, I liked it the most then.
 

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My favorite scheme that they used to dress it up in was blue on the first setback, green on the second, and white on the inside of the crown. The front of the building was lit up in a softer white. I've got it on video tape from Thunder over Louisville 2004 but I don't have any pictures.
Edit: found a pic of what I'm talking about on the web:
And here are some of the other schemes they've used in the past. None of these are mine, I just google searched. I've also seen E.ON dressed completely in blood red, but I can't find any pics of that.





I wish they would change Aegon's lights like that, the only time they actually change the colors is around Christmas time. If the scheme on E.ON is supposed to be red and green, like Aegon will be shortly, they better work on getting those lights on top red instead of that really light purple lol. I'll probably go DT tuesday so I'll make sure I get a picture of it to post on here later.
 
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