Stories for March 2000

Monday, March 27

Pacific Genesis to Promote Berne

Laguna Hills-based Pacific Genesis was selected by the Berne Economic Development Agency in Switzerland to be its West Coast representative. Pacific Genesis will promote economic development for the canton (the Swiss equivalent of a U.S. state) of Berne i

FESTIVAL -- Laguna Businesses Missing in Action in Festival Fight

El Toro may be the most burning issue elsewhere in Orange County, but in Laguna Beach the question is "Should they stay or should they go?"

TECH -- AGENCIES ARE STREAMING TO CONVERGENCE

Bundling, convergence, streaming, channels, "one-to-one" marketing, "online initiatives," "media neutral," and that "P" word, partnering.

CALENDAR

OC Society for Internet Advancement (NineDots Corp.) Newport Beach 6:30-9 p.m. Free (949) 718-0187 The Truth About Your 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuity (Edward Jones) Huntington Beach 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free (714) 377-9790 Inexpensive Marketing Techniques (S

ENTERTAINMENT -- Edwards Theatres Shops Eight OC Properties

As part of its effort to divest itself of older cinemas, Edwards Theatres Circuit Inc. is looking to shutter or sublease eight of its Orange County locations.

LA's Digital Coast Pumps Funds into Two OC Startups

An Orange County-based company that sells home-automation products online is $6 million fatter thanks to help from a Los Angeles merchant bank.

Real Estate Watch

Together, the North and Central areas of Orange County account for nearly 32% of the county's office base. With the exclusion of the first quarter of 1999, the vacancy rate for North and Central Orange County has remained greater than 12% for the past fiv

PEOPLE

The Newport Beach office of Kaufman Meeks + Partners hired Michael J. Fowler as project architect. Most recently, he was team leader and project manager for the residential division of Mulvanny Architects Inc., Irvine.

EMULEX -- QLogic, Emulex Make OC the Fibre-Channel Hotspot

The wide-open spaces and mostly silent halls of QLogic's new headquarters, an elegantly Spartan building of ivory, silver and glass that overlooks the spring-green hills of Aliso Viejo, seem to defy the chaotic activity of the industry they serve.

AUTOMOTIVE -- Hyundai Readies New Sedan Model

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America said it will expand its car line in September with the introduction of a new, four-door sedan, the XG300, which will be priced in the low to mid-$20,000 range. The XG300 will be larger than Hyundai's current Son

KOLL -- Why Ortwein, Laidlaw Left Koll

Richard Ortwein and Victor Laidlaw, two senior executives with the Koll organization, have left their posts with that firm to launch Focus Real Estate LP, which will concentrate on developing and managing projects for the burgeoning high-tech industry.

SEISMIC -- SEISMIC SHIFT ON THE GROUND FLOOR

Last summer, Ajay Shah and three of his friends went about shopping their idea for an Internet company to various venture capitalists. Shah was confident of the efficacy of the idea, but being 23 years old, he didn't know what kind of response he would ge

INSIGHT -- Ex-Apria Prez at Work on Another Healthcare Rollup

The head of InSight Health Services says it's a great time to be in the diagnostic imaging services field.

Advertising

Advertising

Direct-Marketing Franchisor Acquired by ADVO Unit

Both Bob Philpott, and his Laguna Hills business, Yellow Jacket Franchise Corp., were acquired by Super Coups, a direct-mail coupon company based in Avon, Mass.

Yates Gets TRO Against R.E. Chaix

Santa Ana-based Yates & Associates Insurance Services said it obtained a temporary restraining order against R.E. Chaix & Associates in OC Superior Court.

LETTERS -- El Toro Continued

Being a good loser is the sign of a winner. Your March 20 editorial outlining how the pros and cons might get together on resolving the El Toro airport issue is an important first step!

BOSSES -- Political Boss Ladies

When Mission Viejo Mayor Sherri Butterfield goes with her husband Marion to an event, there is sometimes confusion.

Mitsubishi Posts Record Feb. Sales

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc., Cypress, reported record February sales of 26,069 vehicles, a 57.2% increase from the previous February. The company's previous best February was in 1991 when it sold 22,889 cars.

Points of Light

The Handicapped Law Compliance Office honored Knott's Berry Farm for outstanding compliance with state and federal handicapped accessibility laws and for demonstrating extraordinary courtesy for persons with disabilities.

AND THE WINNERS ARE ...

Here are the award winners from the OC AdClub's 2000 AdAwards ceremony held Saturday. Each agency is listed with the client and title of its winning entry.

LANI.com Adds Exec-Placement Unit

LANI.com (Loan Administration Network Inc.) of Irvine said it has formed an executive-placement division. The new division will fill mid- to senior level management positions in the commercial banking, mortgage lending and consumer finance industries. Lan

SUPPLIES -- Hoarders Beware: DispenseSource Has Your Number

Office-supply hoarding,phenomenon so common it has become a recurring theme in "Dilbert",may take a high-tech hit thanks to an Orange County entrepreneur who wants to push e-commerce beyond the computer screens and into supply cabinets.

THE NEW BIG THREE

Recent Arrivals Young & Rubicam and Doner Join FCB to Dominate OC's Ad Landscape

Kudos

Israel Claustro-Hernandez of Pomona and Wahid Guirguis of Diamond Bar, law students at Western State University College of Law, received $4,000 Scott McCune Memorial Scholarships. Mindy Kennedy of Covina, a third-year law student at Western, also received

KAWAMA -- Kawama.com Brings Efficiencies to Education

As a former executive at Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo, Jeff Goh is the first to admit he's Corporate America to the bone. So when the 36-year-old Irvine entrepreneur sat in a Santa Ana school library last year listening to teachers and administrators brai

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Irvine-based subprime lender First Alliance Corp., citing lawsuits and pending legislation to cap loan fees, filed for bankruptcy and said it will liquidate its assets; it laid off 325 employees, including 250 in Irvine; trading of the firm's shares was h

AIRLINES BYPASS LA FOR LAS VEGAS

Less than two years after non-stop airline service was launched from Tokyo to Las Vegas, LA officials are concerned that the move is hurting the local tourism industry.

LEGAL TRENDS -- Current Developments in Equity Financing for High Tech Start-up Companies

In January 1999 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) enacted wide sweeping changes to the way that many smaller technology companies had raised capital through most of the 1990s. Previousl

Best of Argus

n The Associated Press reported that 342 Major League baseball players will earn $1 million or more in salary during the 2000 season. This is highly disruptive. Every time the phone in the bullpen rings, it's Al Gore.

OC Insider

Let's start this week's column with a few good quotes "April first didn't seem like a good time to start a venture": Dick Ortwein, on why he and fellow departing Koll exec Vic Laidlaw picked April 3 as the launch date for Focus Real Estate LP (see Nida

Edwards Lifesciences Names Execs

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., the cardiovascular company set to spin off from Baxter International on April 3, has appointed a new chief financial officer and a general counsel.

AGENCIES -- NEW ECONOMY IS GOLDEN FOR OC AD AGENCIES

Advertising agencies on this year's Business Journal list made substantial gains, both in billings and in employees.

Murray, We Hardly Knew Ye ...

This is my last column at the Business Journal. My stay here was too short , six days shy of 10 months. The real estate reporter I replaced, Matt Padilla, was here only 10 months.

HOSPITALITY -- Ayres Completing Hotel, Breaking Ground on Two

Costa Mesa hotel developer Ayres Group has broken ground on a 140-suite property in Laguna Woods and last week began grading for another 140-suite hotel on the 2-acre former site of LA Fitness at the 57 Freeway and Katella Ave. in Anaheim.

DOT-COM STRATEGIES: BIG, SMALL AND IN-HOUSE

It's got a vision, the management, the know-how, a web site, partners,and $23 million for marketing.

Collectors Universe Claims Record Sale

Newport Beach-based Collectors Universe said its Lyn Knight Currency Auctions sold a rare note for what it believes is a record price for the sale of a collectible on the Internet. In a multi-venue auction, the $1,000 1882 gold certificate sold for $264,0

AVIATION -- Inland Empire Sees Itself Benefiting from Measure F

The passage of Measure F on March 7 may have angered those in OC and Los Angeles who favor increased airport capacity for the region, but it could help San Bernardino and Riverside counties lure new businesses to Ontario International Airport and former m

Krause's E-Efforts Attract Investor Interest

Get this: Major venture players, including firms Thomas H. Lee, Putnam Internet Partners and GE Equity, have sunk a combined $19 million into Krause's to fund its e-commerce initiatives.

FutureLink Riding High on Promise of ASP Model

Shares in FutureLink Corp. have seesawed in recent weeks in a volatile tech market, but that's not dissuading true believers in the research community who say the application service provider model is a long way from peaking.

WORKER'S COMP -- Workers' Comp Bill, Round II

The state Legislature is once again working its way through a bill on workers' comp that opponents have said could dramatically increase premiums.

Real Estate Deals

Wohl Investment Co., Irvine, purchased Katella Plaza, a 63,00-square-foot retail center in Orange, from the Carpenters Pension Trust of Southern California and National Operating LP for $3.1 million. The center, which is 62% occupied, will be remodeled wi

Earnings

Wet Seal Inc., Foothill Ranch, posted earnings of $3.4 million on sales of $143.2 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, compared with earnings of $12.2 million on revenue of $145.9 million in the previous fourth quarter. For the fiscal year

EDITORIAL -- Run for Cover

LAST WEEK LOOKED LIKE A MOP-UP CAMPAIGN FOR THE ANTI-EL TORO- airport forces. In the wake of Measure F's resounding election triumph, they pursued the decimated pro-airport side with a vengeance.

GOLF -- Charge It and They Will Still Come

Despite the booming economy, the hype and Tiger Woods, the sport of golf isn't seeing a net increase in new golfers. Nonetheless, high-end golf in OC is getting a little more high-end.

DINING -- Mardi Gras Party Spurs Plans for Southern Travels

This week, I put away the strings of colorful beads that had hung for over a month on my stairway banister, a reminder of all the fun going on without me in the Big Easy, the place where Mardi Gras festivities continue for a month. This, and a really impr

To Banner or Not to Banner

"Catch the Monkey" the banner ad says as the rascally monkey slides from side to side. Who can resist?

Slaying (Barely) the Prop 26 Dragon

By now, most people are tired of the campaigns and post-election analysis. But one measure on the March 7 ballot deserves a little closer look before we close the book on it.

BIOMEDICAL -- Edwards Lifesciences Names Execs

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., the cardiovascular company set to spin off from Baxter International on April 3, has appointed a new chief financial officer and a general counsel.

HEALTHCARE -- UCI Team Eyes Spinal-Cord Repair at Molecular Level

Researchers at the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at UCI's College of Medicine believe they are heading in a new direction of spinal cord research. They have discovered that finger-like protrusions in nerve cells called "growth cones" contain tiny molecular

Producers Agree to Meld Hotrod Shows

The Specialty Equipment Market Association, Diamond Bar, and two of its affiliates have formed an alliance with Laguna Coast Publishing, Laguna Beach, to jointly sponsor the Hotrod & Performance Trade Show set for March 1-3, 2001, in Louisville, Ky.

Monday, March 20

American Immuno Tech Will Use Contract Proceeds for R

American Immuno Tech, a small start-up biomedical company based in Costa Mesa, just signed a multi-million dollar deal with Stryker Corp. of Kalamazoo, Mich., to sell the rights to its Neptune Waste Management System, which collects and disposes of bio-ha

Local Dockworkers Don't Share Labor's Anti-China Fervor

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, traditionally at the forefront in protesting social injustice, is noticeably silent as Congress considers granting permanent normal trade relations with China.

No News for OC Staff about Times-Trib Deal

Unsettling, shocked, anxious and, "It's a hell of an expensive way to get rid of Mark Willes," are some of the sentiments expressed last week by Times OCnewsroom staffers.

ECONOMY CONTINUES TO BOOST OC BANKS

Spurred by a continued strong economy and an increase in investor interest in OC, deposits of the top 25 banks in Orange County grew by 5% last year to almost $20 billion, while their number of employees remained flat, according to the Business Journal li

Rules for Net Firms Different, Changing

There's a different set of rules for taking Internet companies public, as opposed to traditional firms.

TAX-LAW CHANGES AFFECT BUSINESSES

Several provisions of the much-publicized Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 have been modified for the 1999 filing season by a law signed by President Clinton in December.

REAL ESTATE

South Orange County contains approximately 17% of the net rentable area in the OC office market. For the fourth quarter, the South Orange County market experienced more than 250,000 square feet of positive net absorption, which pushed total absorption for

LoansDirect Links With MyBankUSA.com

LoansDirect Inc., Huntington Beach, said it had entered into a partnership agreement with MyBankUSA.com to make its online mortgage loans and services available through the MyBank web site.

Koll Starts Building NorCal Industrial Park on Spec

Newport Beach-based Koll Development Co. has begun speculative development of more than 200,000 square feet of new space at Willowbrook Business Center in Union City.

LETTERS--Measure F: We Told You So

"Rick, I could not believe your meek and mild response to the passage of Measure F. Where is the strut, the boosterism? You teased your readers with a promise of your own proposal. Please don't offer some version of "Why can't we all get along?"

Legal Insight

In only a few short years, bulletin board services ("BBS"), chat rooms, and message boards on the Internet have launched a communications revolution. Private individuals, through Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") such as Yahoo! and America OnLine, have

CardLogix Goes to the Movies

It's showtime for Irvine smartcard maker CardLogix: under deals with North American Cinemas and AOL's Moviefone service the companies hope make phone and online ticket sales easier.

Measure F Turns Up the Heat on Other SoCal Airports

With prospects dimming for a new airport in Orange County after voter approval of Measure F this month, millions of future passengers could be forced to look to LA-area airfields.

TAVA Buys 56 Lots in Inland Empire

TAVA Development of Irvine has purchased the last remaining non-estate-type lots at Sycamore Highlands for $1.8 million from Wells Fargo Bank.

Mueller\Shields Takes More Space as Client List Grows

During the past year, readers of this column have been inundated with news of high-tech firms buying up real estate or leasing new space. But often, those of us who follow more bricks-and-mortar sectors forget how big of an impact dot-com growth is having

PEOPLE

Perigon Medical Distribution Corp., a Laguna Hills-based medical and surgical equipment supplier, appointed Tony Domenico of Laguna Hills chief operating officer, a position created to allow Frank Schyving, Perigon's president and CEO, to concentrate on s

Memory Rebound:Viking Adding 180 Jobs, More Space

Snapping back from a year most memory makers would rather forget, Viking Components Inc. is enjoying a market turnaround as it gears up to hire 180 people and expand into a leased overflow facility near its Rancho Santa Margarita headquarters.

McFarland Joins Opus Board

Former Irvine Co. exec William H. McFarland has been named to the board of directors of Phoenix-based Opus West Corp., a unit of the Opus Group of Companies.

Porter Signs Two More High-Tech Clients

Porter Creative Group signed two new SoCal high-tech clients, San Diego-based Wireless Knowledge and Irvine-based Capita Technologies.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Times Mirror Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, agreed to be acquired by the Tribune Co. for $6.46 billion (related story, page 8) ... Ford Motor Co. said it will acquire Land Rover from BMW Group and move its North American HQ to Irvine ... TRW Inc. s

TECHNOLOGY--China Open'Windows' for Security System Makers

They're half a world away, but Orange County's Rainbow Technologies Inc. and Litronic Inc. are two of the many companies breathing a sigh of relief at China's recent approval of the encryption included in Microsoft's Windows 2000.

San Diego Builder Takes 20 Acres at A.J. West Ranch

A San Diego-based developer interested in building a $60 million office campus has reached agreement to buy nearly 20 acres in South Orange County.

THE QUESTION FOR VC'ERS: WHEN TO CASH OUT?

When venture capitalists invest in an upstart with lots of potential, they generally have two exit strategies in mind: selling out or going public.

Saving El Toro

Well, it looks like our no-brainer airport needs brain surgery. The people have spoken. Through their endorsement of Measure F they have registered a loud "no" to the commercial airport at El Toro,at least as it has been proposed, planned and presented.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Brea Butler LLC purchased 2.85 acres at 1260 Lambert Road in Brea for $1.35 million. Jim deRegt of Cushman & Wakefield's Irvine office represented Brea Butler. The sellers, Ross and Marylyne Mehl, represented themselves.

Parks' 2000 Theme: Hire, Hire, Hire

If you think hiring a few good men (and women) is tough in today's tight job market, try hiring 7,000.

Roy's of Newport Beach Makes Quick Menu Improvements

There's no denying that the thoroughly modern place with a slight Hawaiian feel called Roy's of Newport Beach is a hot restaurant. Since it opened in July, it has been reeling in the trendy crowd, the curious crowd, and the foodie crowd that migrates arou

Bringing Fantasies to Life

The folks at Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo like designing fantasy, high-end resorts and far-out getaways.

Touchy Issues for the Board

When a management-led group makes a bid for a public company, it raises treacherous conflict-of-interest issues for the board, especially a board with management directors.

It's showtime for Irvine smartcard maker CardLogix: under deals with North American Cinemas and AOL's Moviefone service the companies hope make phone and online

It's showtime for Irvine smartcard maker CardLogix: under deals with North American Cinemas and AOL's Moviefone service the companies hope make phone and online ticket sales easier.

Market Shifting From Real Estate Opportunity Funds

Institutional investors, who over the past five years have plowed billions of dollars into real estate opportunity funds, might be starting to get their fill.

Koll Center Irvine Off the Local Market

One of Orange County's largest office complexes, Koll Center Irvine, has been temporarily pulled off the market by owner Cigna Investments, according to local investors once bidding for the site.

Western Digital Poised for Profit as Hard-Drive Sector Rebounds

Hard times and hard-drives have become almost synonymous over the past few years, but the worst might be over for Irvine's Western Digital Corp., whose share price has gained nearly 70% since mid-February amid new signs of life in the segment. The stock r

Steinbergs Sponsoring Newport Film Fest

Celebrity sports agent Leigh Steinberg and his wife Lucy have donated $50,000 and signed on as title sponsors of the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival. The new name,at least for this year,will be the Newport Beach Film Festival presented by Lucy and Le

Despite Setback, Quest Still Way Ahead

Although shares of Irvine-based Quest Software Inc. took a beating last week along with the rest of its sector, losing about 18% by late in the week, that still left the stock at about twice its February price.

Argyros Still in Airport Fight; New Majority Unbowed

Answering the big questions in the wake of the primaries: Will George Argyros continue the fight for an El Toro airport given the overwhelming passage of the anti-airport Measure F? The Insider is assured, yes Who was the biggest winner in the local el

WAT & G; Partner Plans Paradise for Quincy Jones

Jerry Allison, who calls himself a romantic and a traditionalist, was the architect Jones chose to design his 20,000-square-foot spirit-soothing Bel-Air home.

EARNINGS

SM & A; Corp., Newport Beach, posted a net loss of $1.3 million on revenue of $28.1 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with earnings of $1.9 million on revenue of $24.6 million in the fourth quarter of 1998. For the year, the company repo

TAKING THEIR MARBLES AND GOING HOME

More Non-Tech Public Companies, Feeling Undervalued, Are Looking at Going Private

March Madness: Not Hoops, the Wild Market

As a group, the stocks of Orange County's public companies had a terrific run in recent weeks, outpacing the major market indices. But many of those stocks came crashing down to earth in the past week.

Web Site Targets Small to Mid-Size Bond Traders

Tradebonds.com is less than a year old and has only eight employees, but the Newport Beach-based Internet startup is getting attention for its efforts to crack the huge bond market.

Nonprofit Leaders Gather to Look at New Economy

Leaders of Orange County nonprofit organizations are gathering this week to brainstorm on how they can share in and benefit from the good times being enjoyed by many local residents and businesses.

Hiring En Masse

The Walt Disney Co. is, of course, no stranger to mass hiring. But its first overseas venture, EuroDisney, presented some unique challenges: the French didn't have the same familiarity with Disney that Americans have, and Disney needed 12,500 people to st

Sunday, March 19

FCB adds Taco Bell's merchandising account, in the Marketing & Media column

FCB Southern California's Costa Mesa office recently wrapped its arms around another chunk of business from Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp.

Monday, March 13

Cantoni Opens Irvine Showroom

Texas-based Cantoni, a contemporary furniture store, opened its first OC showroom in Irvine at 8659 Research Drive.

CALENDAR MARCH 14 - MARCH 20

Basic Payroll Tax Seminar (Employment Development Department) Tustin 9 a.m.-Noon Free (714) 288-2619 RSVP Flexible Marketing (Direct Marketing Association) Costa Mesa 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $35/$55 (800) 273-8703 Just-In-Time (Cal State Fullerton, Unive

Digital Tempest Lands VC Funds

Digital Tempest, an Irvine company that provides e-commerce payment services to online merchants, has secured $5.7 million in first-round venture capital funding from Angel Investors LP of Palo Alto and several individuals.

HOTELS: TARSADIA MAKES TOP TWO DEALS

Costa Mesa-based Tarsadia Hotels solidified its position as a power player in Orange County's hotel market with the top two hotel deals in the county last year, based on sale price: the purchases of the Anaheim Marriott and the Hyatt Regency Alicante in G

EARNINGS

ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., Costa Mesa, reported earnings of $38.4 million on revenue of $212.5 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a net loss of $223.3 million (including a $235.3 million special charge related to the government seiz

The Next Debates: e-Government, e-Regs

When I first opened the Capitol office of the American Electronics Association a decade ago, state legislators and constitutional officers had little interest in technology issues.

PROPERTY MANAGERS: CB RETOOLS AFTER REIT RETREAT

With a slowdown in real estate investment trust spending in 1999, many large REITs decided to utilize in-house management resources rather than contract to third-party property firms.

... And the Mail Still Must Go Through

The growth of overnight delivery services, coupled with the growing acceptance of e-commerce and e-mail, are having their predictable effects, although Postal Service officials insist that there will always be a place for first-class mail.

RESIDENTIAL BROKERS: COTE HAS BEST AVERAGE, KERR TOPS IN VOLUME

William Cote has been in the real estate business for more than three decades. But last year was his best.

KUDOS

Ronna Shipman, vice president of community relations for the Orange County Register, received the Salvation Army Spirit of Giving award. The award is given to individuals and organizations that help the Salvation Army care for the needs of disadvantaged p

Homeowners DebateTurning Lido Isle Into Gated Community

OC isn't quite done with this election cycle. There's a heated vote taking place on increasingly upscale Lido Isle: Some of the close to 900 homeowners are pushing to have the enclave turned into a gated community, and others are pushing just as hard to p

Consolidation Wave Seen for Internet Sector

That was one of the predictions made at last week's Tech Coast Incubator Showcase in Costa Mesa, which featured 19 Southern California tech "incubators," the organizations designed to help fledgling companies by providing a package of real estate, profess

FCB Consolidating SoCal Offices, Looking for Space

FCB Worldwide is reorganizing its Southern California presence and needs a new home for its three Orange County offices and their 200 employees. Also, its Los Angeles office, with 100 employees, is looking for new space.

OFFICE LEASES: AIRTOUCH FINDS PLACE TO CALL HOME

After a 2 1/2- year search, AirTouch Communications finally settled last year on its new site to consolidate more than 2,000 employees in Orange County.

Real Estate Deals

F & F; Park Monaco LLC purchased a 13,907-square-foot office building at 32392 S. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach for $2.3 million. Garrett Scholer of Marcus & Millichap represented both F & F; and the sellers, Dr. David and Linda Marrow, and Gary Grant of Marcus

INDUSTRIAL LEASES: FREEMAN COS. TAKES FORMER HITACHI SPACE

A downsizing of Hitachi's operations in Orange County resulted in a Dallas-based trade-show company, The Freeman Cos., signing a 10-year lease deal in Anaheim for 330,000 square feet of industrial space.

Sound Idea: SRS Execs' Contacts Led to Microsoft Deal

Tom Yuen's SRS Labs Inc. might be a bit player in the quickly burgeoning market for Internet-based multimedia, but it's getting a boost from one of the biggest names in the business.

No Profits+Hot Stocks = Biotech

OC's biotech industry,strictly defined as those companies involved in manufacturing drugs through bio-engineering,are generating meager revenue, little or nothing in profit, and are not impressing some observers. But what the heck, the Street is enchanted

RETAIL: EZRALOW THINKS BIG IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

Irvine-based Ezralow Retail Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Bryan Ezralow's Calabasas-based The Ezralow Company, spent big bucks to purchase the Huntington Beach Mall from MaceRich Huntington LP last year.

COMMERCIAL BROKERS: IT'S GOOD TO BE CB

After merging its Laguna Hills office with one in Newport Beach, CB Richard Ellis' South Orange County operations reported another banner year with more than $1.6 billion in deals.

Legislators Looking at E-Commerce Sales Tax Collections

A battle is brewing in California, and elsewhere, over whether and how the state should tax sales on the Internet. In this state, attention is focusing on a bill to tighten up on sales tax collections from e-retailers.

Business Support Is Winning Proposition on Election Day

California businesses got a pretty good return on their investment when it came to ballot measures in last week's primary election.

DEALS, DEALS, DEALS: WHAT A YEAR IT WAS

All forms of real estate activity, whether sales or leases, continued a four-year surge in Orange County.

APARTMENTS: NEW OWNER GIVING OAKWOOD NEWPORT A MAKEOVER

Palo Alto-based Essex Property Trust outbid industry heavyweights such as Irvine Apartment Communities for Orange County's largest apartment community, the 1,447-unit Oakwood Newport Apartments.

REAL ESTATE WATCH

The Greater Airport Area contains almost half of the 57 million-square-foot office base in Orange County. By year-end 1999, the average asking lease rate for office space in the Airport Area reached yet another high of $2.51 per square foot per month. Thi

E-Commerce Study: Many Sites Lack Planning, Focus

A just-released study of a sampling of Southern California e-commerce companies found that many of them didn't have a business or marketing plan in place when they launched their web sites.

Flashcom Moving to Still-Hot Airport Area

A little more than a month after signing Caltrans for a major expansion, Park Place Office Campus has inked rapidly growing Internet service provider Flashcom Inc. to take around 125,000 square feet.

POINTS OF LIGHT

Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace was shown at select Edwards Theatres locations, with all box-office proceeds benefiting local charities. Donations were made to Childhelp USA and Big Brothers and Sisters to assist underprivileged children. In addit

OFFICE SALES: SHUWA SHEDS 1M SQUARE FEET

Layton-Belling & Associates, Newport Beach, partnered with Boston pension-fund advisor AEW Capital Management to pay around $160 million for more than 1 million square feet of office space, including the Taco Bell headquarters building in Irvine.

BDS Lands Account of Supermarket Chain

Irvine-based BDS Marketing beat out more than 30 advertising and marketing agencies throughout the U.S. to secure the Giant Food Stores agency-of-record contract. The contract is for three years and worth at least $1.2 million.

INDUSTRIAL SALES: IT'S COX, CANCILLA AND ICI

After a near doubling in its Orange County staff during a two-year period, Cox Communications consolidated its local operations by moving last year into a huge new facility in South County.

Abbey Co. Remodeling San Diego Retail Center

Garden Grove-based The Abbey Company has begun work on a $500,000 remodeling effort at its La Mesa Village Center in suburban San Diego.

Mitchell Heading Up Revamped Irvine Co. Marketing-PR Team

The Irvine Company has placed a longtime marketing executive in charge of a new, integrated marketing and communications group, which it is staffing in part with outside recruits.

Multi-Fineline Expands in Anaheim With Two Leases

The Anaheim-based maker of flexible printed circuits has signed two leases to expand by 152,732 square feet.

Atairgin Set to Begin Trial of Ovarian-Cancer Test

Clinical trials of Atairgin Technologies' lysophosphatidic (LPA) blood test for ovarian cancer is set to begin in April. A study of a similar test for breast cancer is expected to start later this year.

Vision Solutions Looks Past Flap to Networking Future

Vision Solutions Inc. barely registers a blip on Orange County's technology radar, but its recent acquisition by South Africa-based Idion Technology Co. is stirring controversy in that country about whether its $62.5 million price was too high.

New CEO Says He Likes Ingram's Chances in 'New Economy'

Kent Foster's new business cards list his official titles as Ingram Micro's president and chief executive officer, but as far as the 56-year-old former telecom executive is concerned, they should probably add "Corporate Huckster."

Sunday, March 12

Local economists are becoming more cautious about 2001

In the fourth quarter, Southern California economists came out with bullish forecasts for the U.S. economy in 2001and predicted Orange County and the rest of the Golden State yet again would outpace the nation.

Guthrie breaks ground on an Anaheim business park, in the Real Estate column

Guthrie Development Co. has begun construction on the Lakeview Business Center in Anaheim, a six-building, 165,000-square-foot complex due to be completed in June.

The biggest office sales and leases, industrial sales and leases, hotel sales and apartment sales

Laguna Hills-based Birtcher Real Estate Group and the Pradium Funds of New York joined forces in acquiring Brookhollow Office Park in Santa Ana for $41 million, the largest office deal by square footage in Orange County in 2000.

Monday, March 6

CALENDAR MARCH 7 - 13

Practical Tools for Helping People Change (USC) Irvine 7-9 a.m. $35 (949) 752-5505 Financing and Capital Start-Up (City of Anaheim's Small Business Assistance Center) Anaheim 6-9 p.m. Free/$20 (714) 765-4133 Computerized Bookkeeping and Financial Stat

EARNINGS

HomeBase Inc., Irvine, reported a net loss of $2.0 million on sales of $327.1 million for the fourth fiscal quarter ended Jan. 29, compared with earnings of $414,000 on sales of $308.7 million for the previous fourth quarter. For the fiscal year, the comp

Entrepreneur Leclair Buys Casa Laguna Inn for $2.4M

The Casa Laguna Inn, once known as a hideaway to Hollywood stars, is about to get a major face lift.

Bergen Continues Slide Amid CEO Search

Bergen Brunswig Corp., a $22 billion (annual revenue) medical products distributor that is struggling in a difficult sector, has been without a CEO since early November. That has given rise to both concerns and speculation on Wall Street.

Election Recap

Measure F wins: A wakeup call for the pro-El Toro forces. Orange County's air transportation needs are too important to be decided by this no-growth initiative, and they won't be. But now the momentum is clearly with the airport foes. Coming soon: Yours t

CR Technology Adds Value the Easy Way Selling Out

CR Technology chief Richard Amtower is living testimony that one of the most important parts of making Plan A work is staying open to Plan B.

Genomes, Dot-Com 'Overload' Rekindles

About six months ago, J. David Tholen noticed that his phone was starting to ring more. Investment bankers were inquiring about Tholen's company, Hycor Biomedical Inc., a Garden Grove-based maker of diagnostic products for auto-immune testing and urinalys

BEST OF ARGUS

n The GOP debate was held in the Los Angeles Times building. John McCain appeared via satellite from St. Louis. After losing the last three primaries, he decided to stop by Mark McGwire's locker for some of that home run powder.

Next Pharmaceuticals Readies Extracts for Pill Makers

If Robert Garrison and Charles Kosmont have their way, consumers will look to plants for answers to common ailments.

LETTERS -- Money Is There, Buy the Textbooks

California's commitment to improving education has never been greater. In fact, Gov. Gray Davis has staked his political future on the improvement of public education and has vowed not to seek office next term if there hasn't been a major overhaul in Cali

Real Estate Deals

Gary Cramer purchased a 240-unit mini-storage complex at 58 and 86 Commerce Drive in Mammoth. The value of the transaction was $1.3 million. Stephen Grossman of the Irvine office of Sperry Van Ness represented both Cramer and the seller, Mammoth Mini Ltd.

Riordan, Lewis & Haden a VC Firm That Shuns Dot-Coms

Internet firms are all the rage, but venture-capital company Riordan, Lewis & Haden wouldn't touch a dot-com with a 10-foot pole.

Wells Fargo Starts Second E-Commerce Unit

Wells Fargo Bank has launched a program, eStore Business Solutions, to set up e-commerce services for middle-market companies.

Baccarat ... the style of giving

Baccarat is pleased to introduce our "Refined Elegance" collection for Spring 2000. An assortment of eight new vases and a magnificent centerpiece bowl provides a fresh and elegant way to commemorate a valued employee's service, express appreciation to a

Marsh Risk Debuts Web Product, Looks at Insuring IPOs

Marsh Risk has unveiled a new product to take advantage of the booming Internet economy and is working on another product aimed at the flurry of companies going public.

Last-Minute Voter Guide

BEEN TOO PREOCCUPIED FOLLOWING THE BOUNCING NASDAQ AND DOW TO pay attention to what's on the ballot? Well, allow yours truly to provide some last-minute advice on some of the holes to punch:

PIMCO'S NEW FRONTIERS

It was a hot Sunday afternoon last April when the top executives of Newport Beach-based PIMCO Advisors Holdings LP, one of the world's best-known money management companies, boarded the Curlew, a 65-foot schooner. The host was CEO William Cvengros. Also o

SURVEY SAYS...

Survey of 4,000 hospitality industry professionals by Arthur Andersen and New York University

Executive Briefcase

Operating system by Microsoft. About $149-$319, depending on current operating system.

SM & A; Wins $6.75M NASA Subcontract

SM & A; Corp., Newport Beach, was awarded a five-year $6.75 million subcontract for IT services by Science Systems and Applications Inc.

OC'S ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS

From waters off Huntington Beach to the hills behind Foothill Ranch, OC has natural areas that are affected by,or in the path of,the county's urbanization. Here is a list of groups, some more strident than others, that in various ways are trying to preser

Master Development Plans Four Buildings in Ontario

A Newport Beach-based real estate and construction firm has purchased 20 acres in Ontario to develop a new $19 million industrial project.

Fujitsu Sells Anaheim Plant, Seeks New Site

Fujitsu Business Communication Systems, which makes phones and related products in Orange County, has sold its Anaheim assembly plant and is looking for a new production site in the area.

Fieldstone Communities Gets New President

The Fieldstone Group, a Newport Beach-based homebuilding company with $160 million in 1999 revenue, named Frank Foster of Irvine president of Fieldstone Communities Inc. and Fieldstone Homes Utah. Keith Johnson, who was previously president and CEO, will

Prop. 13, the 2000 Version: Largest Water Bond Ever

Some voters might do a double-take next week when they see Proposition 13 on the ballot. But it's not the same one that sparked a nationwide tax revolt in 1978.

Regional Airports Called on to Pick Up LAX's Overload

With air cargo in the LA area expected to triple in the next 20 years, the big question is what happens to the overload?

REAL ESTATE WATCH

Approximately 51 million square feet of the Orange County industrial base is research and development space. The largest portion of existing R & D; space (45%) is in the Airport Area, which also is the scene of most of the new R & D; construction activity under

UCI Lures Noted Yale Brain Researcher

That's the memory association UCI recently bolstered with the addition of one of the nation's top neuroscientists, Dr. Thomas Carew, as the university's third Donald Bren Fellow.

Environmental Consultants Ride Building Surge

Orange County environmental firms enjoyed a strong 1999, with billings up among all but a handful of the 30 largest companies and 16% higher overall, according to the Business Journal's list.

KUDOS

The Milton M. Hill Quality Award was presented to Alexander's Moving & Storage, Tustin, an agency of Atlas Van Lines. The award recognizes agencies that display the highest level of performance within the Atlas organization.

Air Cargo Demand Rising Sharply, Could Strain LAX

Globalization is driving air cargo volume to record heights, turning Los Angeles International Airport into an economic juggernaut. But it's also raising concerns that the airport may soon be overwhelmed by growth, a concern exacerbated by last week's pas

Crevier BMW named No. 1 dealer again and again and again...

Crevier BMW has earned top honors once again by being named the "No. 1 Selling Dealership for the Western Region" of BMW of North America for 1999.

MTI Positions Itself in Quickly Growing Market

Tom Raimondi never thought he'd see his company's logo on something so low-tech as a promotional hunting vest, but as he admires the camouflage and mesh garment, the MTI Technology Corp. chief executive finds a way to justify the expense.

OhGolly.com Expands in Small-Business Web Market

The 1950s is as far removed from the early 21st century as tail-finned station wagons are from lightweight electric cars, sock hops from techno raves or full-service gas stations from ATM self-serve islands.

Caliber Collision Opens Chino Valley Shop

Irvine-based Caliber Collision Centers, a collision repair facility operator, has opened a new Chino Valley location as part of its ongoing expansion.

Baxter Moves Up Sheduled Edwards Rollout to April 3

The date of Baxter International Inc.'s much-anticipated spinoff of its Irvine-based cardiovascular unit, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., has been moved up from mid-year to April 3.

PEOPLE

Andrea Caillier joined Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder, Newport Beach, as account coordinator. She will work on advertising and marketing activities on behalf of agency clients including Henry Roofing Products, Fatburger, Renkus-Heinz Speakers, and Second Harvest

Deep Thoughts From Dr. Mike

n Mimi and I recently visited our daughter, Jennifer, in D.C. While shopping in a Georgetown kitchen store they ran into Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who they observed buying an olive oil sprayer and six other small items. My two said they spent

LETTERS -- He Likes Argus

Argus is great! Thanks for adding him to the OCBJ. I read his piece religiously in every issue. The one-liners are brilliant, and much-needed humor in the course of an insanely busy business life. I still read Editor RR's column first and editorial second

Liberty Mutual Consolidating Offices

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. is consolidating operations in Orange County at two offices near the Block at Orange.

24 Hour Fitness Clubs provide keys to success

24 Hour Fitness holds the "keys to success" for helping employees of Orange County businesses improve their health and achieve their fitness goals. Through the "24/5" program, 24 Hour Fitness offers individualized plans and a positive personal touch that

They're On Their Own, and Loving It

Here's yet another case of a group of guys who say they're flourishing since breaking away from the big company they used to work for.

Crowell & Moring Adds Four Lawyers

The Irvine-based firm of Crowell & Moring LLP has added four attorneys, bringing the total number in the Orange County office to 16.

Newport Corp. Loses CFO, Adds Two VPs

Newport Corp., the high-flying Irvine technology-manufacturing equipment maker, is doing the executive shuffle, adding on two new vice presidents and saying goodbye to its chief financial officer.

Amici Trattoria Adds a Take-Out and Gourmet Shop

There's a new facet to Amici Trattoria, the warm Italian restaurant on Anton Boulevard near the Performing Arts Center. Chef and owner Massimo Navarretta plans to make a gourmet meal at home quick and accessible with the debut of Amici Caff & #233;. Every mornin

Koll Gets Denver-Area Office Project Under Way

Koll Development Co. and joint venture partner Land Securities Investors have started development of a 69,978-square-foot office facility within Jefferson Corporate Center, an 85-acre mixed-use project in Colorado.

Disney's Fastpass Taking Ride Management to Next Level

When Disneyland's FASTPASS ticketing system debuted in November, it foreshadowed the end a tradition at the 45-year-old park: long waits for the most popular rides.

Jailed Hill Williams Says Colton Innocent; Fraud Victims Scoff

Convicted swindler Donald Hill Williams Jr. has written a letter from his Nevada prison cell exonerating former business associate David Colton of knowingly taking part in one of Orange County's biggest Ponzi schemes.

Onyx Prices Securities Offering

Onyx Acceptance Corp., Foothill Ranch, announced the pricing of a $430 million offering of securities backed by its automobile-loan receivables.

Plums: a Small, Neighborhood Eatery With Juice

A friend who eats an average of nine meals a week in restaurants asked, what really makes the day for a restaurant writer? I may speak for others as well as myself in saying that finding a restaurant I can't wait to get back to does it for me. Double the

BDO Seidman Picks SoCal Practice Head

Philip J. Garcia has been named director of the business valuations practice in Southern California for accounting and consulting firm BDO Seidman LLP, a position that has been vacant for about a year.

Lowe Scraps Spectrum Hotel; Check Out This Power Trip

Brentwood-based Lowe Enterprises has scrapped a plan to build a hotel and conference center next to the AirTouch Cellular headquarters it is building in the Irvine Spectrum, Sandi Cain hears. It's getting increasingly tough to finance hotels, industry pla

LETTERS -- Costa Mesa Needs Directional Change

While Costa Mesa has done a pretty good job over the years of attracting some quality businesses, primarily retail, to the city, and even though much of this has been due to the accident of geography that put vast tracts of vacant land right where the San

phobo.com expands network of interactive websites

Phobo.com, a network of interactive websites dedicated to bringing unique product offerings to the online shopper, continues to expand with the launch of boatersworld.com and outerbanksoutfitters.com. The two sites join phobo.com's flagship site, ritzcame

Doner Picks Up $20M RealAge.com Account

The Newport Beach offices of Southfield, Mich.,-based Doner have landed a new account with San Diego-based RealAge.com estimated to reach $20 million in ad spending this year.

Fife Waterfield Strikes Gold With STV Communications Play

The sale of Santa Monica-based STV Communications for $66 million has provided Irvine-based Fife Waterfield & Co. with a hefty return on its investment in the streaming-technology firm.

Enviro

Enviro

Growing An Internet Startup

The Internet revolution could soon arrive in a new and unlikely industry,at least that's the hope of the men behind an ambitious young Irvine firm.

SCE Offers Rebates for Efficient Upgrades

Southern California Edison is offering its small business customers rebates of up to $100 under a new program that rewards energy-efficient equipment upgrades, according to a company press release.

Irvine Sensors Gets Funding for 'Digital Film' Unit

Silicon Film Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Irvine Sensors Corp. that is developing a digital imaging technology that works with old-fashioned 35mm cameras, has garnered $5.86 million in private funding brokered through OffRoad Capital Corp.

LETTERS

The El Toro Airport is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We get the base free, and after that, all expenditures apply only to its development. El Toro is 10 times the size of JWA, and already has four runways, all bigger than JWA's. It is protected by an

Leighton Forms Division for Non-Residential Work

Irvine-based Leighton and Associates, a geotechnical firm, has formed a new division to handle its non-residential projects. The new division,Public Works, Commercial, Industrial,will be headed by Ross Khiabani, principal in charge and new vice president

Employers, Students Try to Match Ex

During last week's E-Week,that's "E" for "engineering",at UC Irvine, about 40 employers paid $300 each to set up booths during the College of Engineering's career fair.

Richmond American Pulls Plug on Inland Empire Unit

Five months after opening a new division to target Inland Empire sales, Richmond American has scuttled its plans.

Campaign Reform Draws Business, Labor Opposition

It's not often that state business and labor interests agree to oppose something, but both are against Proposition 25, the latest campaign-finance reform initiative.

PM Realty Targets $450M in Acquisitions This Year

A growing Newport Beach-based pension fund management firm has closed more than $80 million in new real estate purchases in the Midwest for its clients.

Sunday, March 5

Buena Park is content to take advantage of the spillover from Anaheim

Knott's Berry Farm officials have long said they know they can't be Disneyland. Now Buena Park officials admit they can't be Anaheim, either, when it comes to drawing tourists. "Our assessment is we'll always be a secondary market," said Greg Beaubien, Bu