Stories for December 1999

Monday, December 27

Retailers at Former Crystal Court Look to Next Year

The holiday shopping season is well under way at shopping malls throughout the county, but the Christmas cheer is muted at the former Crystal Court section of South Coast Plaza.

Entering a New Millennium at Hyper-Speed

From a business standpoint, Orange County closes 1999 in an almost giddy mood: Companies are thriving; virtually everyone who wants to or who can is working (the jobless rate hit an all-time low of 2.3% in November, and finding qualified help has become t

Irvine-Sponsored Poll Says Execs Don't Favor Airport Plan

Nearly 60% of business executives said they believe quality of life is more important than a proposed commercial airport at El Toro, according to the first-ever random poll of business executives on the controversial issue.

Points of Light

Edison International was named an education partner by Chapman University in recognition of its $50,000 pledge to support the school's scholarship fundraising and educational outreach efforts in the coming year.

Doner Will Take Mazda Campaign Down Under

The Newport Beach offices of Doner, together with Clemenger Harvie, Melbourne, bested three other ad shops last week in a shootout for Mazda Australia's estimated $20 million advertising account.

SRS Hopes to Wow Consumers With Web Offering

SRS Labs Inc. is plunging head first into the Internet with plans to license its sound processing technology to web site operators and cash in on the escalating popularity of online multimedia, moves that appear to be music to investors' ears.

People

Stan Braden, president and principal of architectural and planning firm KTGY Group, Irvine, was elected president of the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association.

Sares-Regis Picks Financial Executive

Irvine-based Sares-Regis Group has hired a veteran real estate financial executive as its new chief accounting officer.

SURVEY SAYS...

Despite an average increase in net worth of 33% since 1993, the biggest worry of 72% of affluent baby boomers is still that the next generation will have a more difficult time financially than their own generation. Their second-greatest concern, expressed

Boom Times

unemployment is at an all-time low, OC home prices are at an all-time high. The area is finally gaining national and worldwide recognition as a distinct center for technology and innovation. And anyone who can locate OC on a map (the number is growing) al

No More Defense Work

Santa Ana-based Comarco Inc., once a defense industry stalwart, soon will be out of defense altogether. It is selling three of its units,including its former core military business,to focus on its wireless technology products.

Letters

In your Nov. 22 issue a letter from Art Pedroza Jr. criticizes the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce for, as he writes, "its support for light rail on the cover of the latest edition of its newspaper, the CityLine."

U.S. Bancorp Building Presence in State With Acquisitions

Piece by piece, U.S. Bancorp is moving into Southern California in an effort to become a major banking force in the state. While it still has a long way to go to seriously challenge California's two giants, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, the Minnea

Cox Sells Irvine Complex to Collins, Will Move 75 Jobs

A headquarters move by one of Orange County's longtime commercial real estate brokerage houses to Irvine has put Cox Communications in the hunt for new offices for its advertising and marketing department.

MBK Sells Senior-Living Operation for $100 Million

MBK Real Estate of Irvine has sold its 12 senior-living communities and related operations to Senior Housing 1 LP of Atlanta for more than $100 million.

Kudos

A.G. Edwards, which has an Irvine office, ranked No. 1 in a national survey of full-service brokerage firms by Kiplinger's Magazine.

THIS WEEK'S COMPANIES

Acacia Construction Inc. 33

Earnings

CKE Restaurants Inc., Anaheim, reported third quarter earnings of $3 million on revenue of $415.5 million for the 12-week period ended Nov. 1 compared to earnings of $18.8 million on sales of $418.4 million the previous year. For the nine-month period end

Rancho Santa Margarita: Sold Out

Earlier this year, the last undeveloped commercial parcels of Aliso Viejo were snatched off the market.

Panic Step Down? You've Got to be Kidding

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. founder and Chairman Milan Panic has marked two anniversaries,his 70th and his company's 40th,by announcing a plan to expand the company's R & D; operations in Costa Mesa, and by telling his Wall Street critics to take a hike.

Chips on Their Shoulders: Broadcom, Conexant Spar

The kid gloves are coming off in the hometown rivalry between communication chip makers Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc., if recent press is any indication. The two companies, which have barely acknowledged the other's existence up to now, are get

CALENDAR DECEMBER 21 - JANUARY 3

Humor in the Workplace (National Human Resources Association, Orange County Chapter) Irvine 7-9 a.m. $30/$37 (714) 228-5450 IRS Audits The Revenue Agents' Perspective and Recent Hot Audit Topics (Orange County Chapter of Enrolled Agents) Anaheim 6 p.m

Hot Properties: Hotel Managers in Demand

With new properties opening up, the market for experienced hotel managers has tightened considerably in Orange County.

Real Estate Deals

Turner Development sold a 62,970-square-foot leased industrial building in the city of Industry to 1210 N. Tustin Partners LLC. Jedd Zaun, a senior vice president at the Newport Beach office of Lee & Associates, represented the buyer in the $3.9 million t

Epoch, BMC May Take Former Unocal Space

Two heavily courted high-tech companies looking for new offices in Orange County may end up moving in together.

Upcoming lists:

Hotel Meeting Rooms Jan. 24

Why Sares-Regis Bought Into Koll's Industry Project

You might have read elsewhere that Sares-Regis Group has purchased the remaining four buildings totaling 841,000 square feet in Koll Development's Plantation industrial park in the city of Industry in a deal valued at $47 million.

Executive Briefcase

My editor thought it would be a hoot for me, being a blonde just like Barbie, to review this book. Ha ha. Press a button and Barbie's little sister Skipper chirps, "It's fun to be a reporter." She never worked for my editor. Barbie and Ken take off (push

UCI Rarity: Cataract Surgery on Infant

Dr. Kenneth Wright, a pediatric ophthalmologist at UCI Medical Center (who joined the hospital in July) recently performed cataract surgery on a 2 1/2-week-old infant,the youngest patient to get such surgery in the hospital's history, officials say.

Coast College Board Rejects Chapman's Offer for KOCE

Jaguar Cars of North America has found a buyer for the long-delayed South Coast Motorcars, its planned swank dealership in Newport Beach and Mission Viejo, Susan Deemer is told; identity not revealed, except that it's a big U.K. dealer The board of Coas

So Long '99

WINNERS LOSERS

University Center Looks for Boost

The ailing 50-store University Center across from UC Irvine may find relief with the addition of Trader Joe's and 24 Hour Fitness, part of an effort by landlord The Irvine Company to revitalize the center.

Chefs of the Decade: Pascal Olhats and Alan Greeley

This article has been mulling around in my mind for the past two years. I periodically jotted notes on my yellow pad about the really, really important occurrences in Orange County's restaurant industry throughout the last decade. A surprising thing happe

REAL ESTATE WATCH

The North/Central Market Area typically offers lower asking prices than the southern half of the county. The price differential in lease rates between the northern and southern parts of the county has helped fuel demand in North and Central Orange County.

Development Deals Set for A.J. West Ranch

Less than a year after buying 50 acres and announcing plans for a $100 million-plus mixed-use commercial park in South Orange County, Turner Development is close to signing its first set of deals.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Buy.com, Aliso Viejo, said it hopes to raise up to $168 million in an IPO, which would impute a value of about $1.5 billion to the company (see related story, page 20) ICI Development, Santa Ana, said it will buy the 54-acre former Chevron office comple