Stories for November 1999

Monday, November 29

DOD Contract Could Be Worth $13.5M to Rainbow

Rainbow Technologies, Irvine, could be $13.5 million richer in the coming months, thanks to a Department of Defense contract for phone-privacy devices.

Real Estate Watch

The OC office market consists of single- and multi-tenant buildings and parks of 30,000 square feet or larger, but excluding government, medical and flex buildings. Rental rates are full-service gross. Availability is for direct lease space only and does

Entrepreneur Thinks His Dot-Com Idea Will Deliver

Prakash Upadghyaya is one of the few people who sounds unimpressed with UPS's record $5.47 billion IPO this month, or for that matter, Federal Express' perpetual stranglehold on the overnight delivery business.

Good Works and the Bottom Line

A recent article in The Economist poses the question whether DuPont, the world's biggest chemical firm, can embrace "greenery" and thrive at the same time. There are plenty of profound questions to be asked when confronting the future of the planet, and s

Stadium Crossings: Finished and Fully Leased

A project in Anaheim that has received a lot of press over the past several years quietly reached a new high-water mark recently with the completion of the four-story Stadium Crossings office building.

Job Shop Employs Dot-Com Strategy

After six years of helping customers attract workers for retail and sales jobs, American Recruitment will be looking for a few dozen employees of its own as it metamorphoses into Orange County's newest dot-com venture.

Soka University Taking Shape in Aliso Viejo

The 103-acre Soka University in Aliso Viejo is a year ahead of schedule, as planned.

Burns Security Says Business Up 54%

Burns International Security Services has seen business pick up sharply this year after a downturn in 1998, says OC branch manager David Huenergardt.

Deep Thoughts From Dr. Mike

n At Starbucks I overheard two employees talking about taking a break. Can you take a coffee break from coffee?

Strausbaugh Moves From Ritz-Carlton to Trilogy's Kitchen

There are some impressive new things going on at Trilogy in Irvine, including a cool-weather menu and a couple of neoteric chefs with impeccable credentials.

PEOPLE

Eric Sand has been named controller of the Earle M. Jorgensen Co., Brea, one of the five largest steel distributors in the nation and the fourth-largest private company in Orange County, according to this year's Business Journal list.

Emaildirect Launches Site for Holiday Greetings

Orange County is officially in the throes of the holidays and those unmistakable signs of the season are everywhere: the crisp November air, malls packed with shoppers, and of course, winter-themed electronic greeting cards from Emaildirect Inc.

As Citron Slept, 'Mr. Wells Would Ask a Lot of Questions'

Much of the court record about the county bankruptcy has been sealed, including all of former assistant county treasurer Ray Wells' direct testimony. But a few depositions have been made public. A review shows glimpses of Wells trying to maintain control,

New York's CDB Buys Local PR Shop, Lands Allergan

New York-based Creamer Dickson Basford recently purchased CSP Communications in Corona and has installed CSP co-owners Christopher Perez and Scott Smith to oversee management of the agency's Southern California offices.

Five Years Later: The OC Bankruptcy

In April 1993, the staff of the Orange County treasurer gathered for an elegant party at Elizabeth Howard's Curtain Call Dinner Theater in Tustin. The party was for the gentlemanly, soft-spoken Raymond L. Wells. After more than 30 years as a public servan

Those Wacky W's

but have expressed support for light rail. Thus, they oppose a forward-looking project that would do much to address the county's air transportation needs, but they support a backward-looking project that would do next to nothing to address the county's g

Searles Returns to Roots for Two South County Projects

Before flex tech was all the rage, Bob Searles was busy creating low-rise office campuses in an Orange County market dominated by high-rises.

A Faded Memory, Already

It was five years ago next Monday that Orange County filed the bankruptcy heard 'round the world. Treasurer Bob Citron's gamble on interest rates had gone terribly awry, and after jittery brokerage houses dumped its collateral, the county's investment poo

Out 5 Years, Mazda Re-entering SUV Market

Mazda will reenter the SUV market next year, with the introduction of the Tribute, a four-door SUV that will debut at the LA Auto Show on Jan. 3.

Tech Coast Needs More Capital and a Little Respect

Despite reports that VC funding here is on the rise, angel investor Tom Tucker (JenStar Capital) doesn't see it, at least from local sources: "With Enterprise (Partners) leaving, we see very little VC activity here. We're doing a deal now, and the VC fund

Union-County El Toro Deal Opposed by Contractors

Contractors are beginning to sound the alarm about an agreement that is being negotiated between Orange County government officials and organized labor. Such an agreement could mean labor's support for a commercial airport at El Toro, but the contractors

Pacific Industrial Partners Looks to Increase OC Activity

For the past 12 years, Pacific Industrial Partners has been taking its time, slowly assembling a commercial and industrial portfolio of more than 5 million square feet as well as 3,000 apartment units.

LETTERS

Our county has grown to such an extent that John Wayne Airport cannot accommodate the air traffic needed. Consequently, passenger and commercial revenue and jobs are lost by our county.

Why Anti-Tax Group Opposes Light Rail Plan

The Orange County Taxpayers Association often favors transportation projects. For example, we supported the Measure M campaign for a half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements in 1990. OCTax believed then, and believes now, that Measure M general

St. Clair Wins Raytheon Site

The St. Clair Company LLC, which has been focusing on residential development since forming nearly three years ago, last week purchased the Raytheon Co.'s 415,000-square-foot office and industrial complex at 500 Superior Ave. for $23 million.

Off Track, Part II

ridiculous. Just like that, OCTA's staff has proposed lopping off most of the 28-mile system, taking populous Santa Ana and Anaheim out of the picture and reducing the project to an 11-mile stub that connects Irvine to Costa Mesa.

Business Committee for Arts Honors Register, Ballet Troupe

The Orange County Business Committee for the Arts presented 15 awards to businesses for their support of the arts at its 18th annual awards ceremony held Nov. 21.

Should OC Have Declared Bankruptcy?

That's the question Peter Brennan put to many of the players in the bankruptcy, and to a few prominent observers. Opinion was almost evenly divided; many people gave reflective, qualified answers. We think you'll find their responses fascinating. We prese

Local Grubb & Ellis Office Brokers Azusa Acquisition

Bruce Furniss of Grubb & Ellis' Anaheim office has brokered the nearly $2.2 million purchase of a 44-unit apartment complex in Azusa by a private investor.

Slow Going at CSC

California Service Center staffers are overworked and under-trained, say some local immigration attorneys. The result, they say, is that Orange County businesses attempting to import employees have a long, long wait.

They Say

The managing editor of Fortune magazine, John Huey, all but dismissed Los Angeles as a major technology center during a dinner speech in Beverly Hills. In town for a promotional event for the magazine, Huey pointed out that most big cities these days have

SURVEY SAYS...

Nationwide survey of 803 people ages 50 to 75 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates

SBA Joins Real Estate Rush, Driving Up Loan Volume

The number of SBA loans originated in Orange County dropped this year, but the average loan shot up 30% to more than $320,000, increasing the total loaned by nearly $20 million to $137 million.

NeoTherapeutics Solidifies Tie to UCI Research Team

NeoTherapeutics Inc. of Irvine has formed a subsidiary called NeoGene Technologies Inc., which will work with UCI Medical Center's research team to develop drugs that could eventually treat obesity, cardiovascular disease, stress-related health problems a

Hunter Wise Joins Global Network, Opening Offices

Fred Jager is expanding his eight-month-old Newport Beach investment banking firm, Hunter Wise Financial Group LLC, across the country and the globe.

Real Estate Deals

Thomas Roberts and Kenneth Hoffman, owners of Fashion Craft Flooring Company, purchased a 20,324-square-foot building in Anaheim. Clifford Holdings Inc. sold the property for a value of $1.56 million. Doug Himes and Jim Oliver of Lee & Associates of Orang

Monday, November 15

TALES FROM A TIGHT LABOR MARKE

Orange County's booming economy has drained the area's pool of available talent--OC's unemployment in September was 2.6%, one of the lowest figures in the nation--spurring increasingly creative efforts by local firms to attract and keep employees as it cr

ATTITUDES OF UNINSURED ABOUT H

Sixty-eight percent of non-poor uninsured (those with incomes above $33,000 for a family of four) believe the price of health insurance to be greater than the actual cost of plans available where they live. Though only 10% are eligible for health coverage

OC Stocks Even Outshining Nasd

While many are talking about the fabulous Nasdaq, which recently topped 3,000 and is up 48.4% for the year, the Billion-Dollar Club has done even better--it's up a champagne-popping 58.4% year-to-date.

Executive Summary

Advantica Restaurant Group Inc. said it will sell its Irvine-based El Pollo Loco unit to American Securities Capital Partners, New York, for $114 million; terms of the deal include an investment by El Pollo Loco president Nelson Marchioli, and four other

FCB's Ericsson Campaign Remind

Ericsson's CyberGenie PC Cordless Phone System hasn't hit the stores yet, but the company is already getting orders for the virtual office assistant from customers who saw FCB Worldwide's store window displays in New York last month.

OC Tourism Industry on Odyssey

Purists may argue over whether the millennium will begin in 2000 or 2001, but for the Orange County tourism industry, it's 2001.

Printronix Inc. Consolidates F

Printronix Inc., an Irvine company that makes network-connected printers for industrial applications, is finally pulling its operations under one roof with a new 186,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing center.

Market Cap Madness

Orange County has a new group of market cap leaders. None of the top five in market cap on the OC Business Journal's list in March have stayed in the same ranking.

PEOPLE

Husband and wife team Johnny and Barbara Cox were appointed vice president, ethics/values integration and assistant vice president, ethics/values integration, respectively, by St. Joseph Health System, Orange. Johnny Cox was most recently vice president,

BUSY BROKERS

Despite dropping workers' compensation rates the past five years, the top 20 commercial insurance brokers in Orange County increased their total revenue 6% this year, and most industry folks attribute it to the economic growth in the county.

OC's OK to Vcers

We're in the money, and according to some who've seen recent venture capital activity, Orange County's got a lot of what it takes to get along in the technology arena.

DEEP THOUGHTS FROM DR. MIKE

Johnny So was named general manager of the Disneyland Pacific Hotel in Anaheim. So, who was most recently vice president of hotel operations for the Desert Inn Resort in Las Vegas, replaces Tony Bruno, who was recently named GM for Disney's new Grand Cali

Numbers Game: Times, Register

The cold war between newspaper titans The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register has taken an unusual new direction. They have agreed upon a common enemy--the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Downtown S.A.

In the second sentence of his Aug. 30 cover story on office rents, Murray Coleman states that Orange County has "no traditional downtown."

Handshake.com Seeks Foothold i

It might not be obvious looking at the hockey puck dents in the walls, war toys scattered around the office or the bamboo beads that serve as an office door, but for the 25-person crew at Handshake.com, e-commerce is serious business.

Going Overseas for Talent

There's hope for businesses desperately seeking high-tech employees. It's called an immigration attorney.

The Shows Go on at Miller Free

Darrell Denny sits in his Laguna Beach office, his right arm still in a sling six weeks after he dislocated it in a fall from a mountain bike.

Earnings

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., Anaheim, reported earnings of $12.3 million on revenue of $124 million for the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with earnings of $8.1 million on revenue of $91.8 million in the previous third quarter. For th

THE NEW WORKPLACE

Q & A;: Co-Director of Anderson Forecast Assesses Effects of Technology, Tight Labor Market

Real Estate Deals

Bank Union sold a 28,313-square-foot building to Irvine Old Town LLC for $3.5 million. The office building, known as the Historic Warehouse, is in North Irvine's Old Town Irvine complex. Gene Shook of ITC Real Estate Group represented Bank Union.

Microsoft Mockery

Just three months after launching its newest ad campaign with the tag "It's Amazing What Grows in Los Angeles," the New Los Angeles Marketing Partnership is having growth problems of its own.

Bashing Bad Bills

Concerns over hazardous waste on the site of the proposed Belmont Learning Center has become the chief rallying cry of the project's critics. The concerns have jeopardized the completion of the half-finished school, plunged the Los Angeles Unified School

Trilogy Wine Dinner to Feature

One of America's premier female winemakers, Dawnine Dyer of Domaine Chandon, will be on hand to share with us (yes, I'm going to be there) the story of her 23 years with the winery at an exceptional dinner at Trilogy in Irvine on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p

Revamped Shops at Mission Viej

With the recent revamping of the Shops at Mission Viejo, surrounding real estate values are bound to go up.

Cigna Puts Part or All of Koll

One of Orange County's largest office complexes, Koll Center Irvine, is up for sale.

The LIST - APPAREL MAKERS

The Orange County Business Journal's List of O.C.'s Top Apparel Makers

OC Dentists Put Gum Surgery in

Premier Works Convention for Orders; PacifiCare Unimpressed by United HealthCare Plan

Back in the Game: Howlett Retu

Mark Howlett thought he was retiring in 1997 when he left DataWorks Corp., the company he co-founded and helped build into a $200 million-per-year, 1,350-employee software maker. Since the departure, the company has merged with Platinum Software, the once

Seagate Trys to Boost an Indus

It's been two years in the making, but officials with Seagate Technology Inc. say their efforts to create a new generation of super-fast, high-capacity tape storage devices are finally paying off, with a line of new products being introduced this week.

NO PROBLEM

Sitting in front of a wall of windows at their Costa Mesa office, Thomas McCarthy and Edward Cook can see workers tending rows of crops.

Off Track

YOU'D THINK PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO RECENTLY WENT THROUGH AN EMBARRASSING county bankruptcy would be able to spot another boondoggle when they see it coming down the tracks.