You shouldn't necessarily care about the Emmis HQ. But I personally find it to be a telling reflection on the philosophy of the founder, in the kind of work environment he desired to create, and the way he views "his" people...in setting up and designing a building that makes for a work environment highly conducive to both productivity, and a "humanistic," vibrant, and stimulating atmosphere. The building was built nearly 15 years ago. Yet it feels like "new" inside, still. And for "modern" architecture (which I usually hate), it's really quite brilliant, and uplifting, in its design ethos. And it is kept up with pride. It's in a beautiful area of Indianapolis, on Circle Center. Whether or not it helps with long term value generation, I'll allow you to debate that...but part of value creation is having a decent corporate culture...and I think the "openness" of the floor plan of the building really quite mesmerizingly pays a certain respect and tribute to an open corporate culture that I DO find quite evident at Emmis. It's a culture that should be successsful over time, even if Emmis has had a lot of difficultly, the last few years, from overleverage, and the secular and cyclical decline in radio and publishing. (I guess the question is: what was the success of the company in creating value, prior to, say, 4-5 years ago, when the bottom fell out, for much of the industry players that were overleveraged.)
I actually do care about their HQ. I care that it sounds like wasteful spending and that makes me nervous as a long. There's something to be said for taking care of employees and creating a positive corporate culture but not to excess and not on a sinking ship.