Stories for December 2000

Monday, December 18

Preview 2001: Freeway expansions and the light-rail push will continue

Within the next 25 years, there will be about 553,000 more people, 536,000 more jobs and about 140,000 more homes in Orange County, according to growth projections from the California State University, Fullerton, Center for Demographic Research.

MBK is looking outside OC for opportunities, in the Real Estate column

Irvine-based MBK Real Estate is looking to build roughly 1.5 million square feet of retail space next year, but don't look for too much activity in the competitive Orange County market.

New LA Times publisher John Puerner talks about his initial impressions

Since becoming publisher of the Los Angeles Times for the Tribune Co., John Puerner has taken aim at boosting circulation and staff morale in the post-Chandler era.

Preview 2001: More new banks and finance-sector consolidations

This calendar year saw a lot of activity in Orange County's financial services sector that stands to spill over into 2001.

RiechesBaird adds Return Exchange, in the Marketing & Media column

RiechesBaird Advertising in Irvine has landed an additional $3.5 million in billings.

TDK will close its Irvine plant and lay off 200

Japan's TDK Electronics Corp. plans to close its Irvine plant in April, lay off 200 people and relocate up to 150 others to Anaheim.

Preview 2001: The big issues will center on the coast

Orange County's 42-mile coastline will continue to draw most of the attention in 2001, whether it's because of bacteria-caused beach closures, faulty sewage systems or residential developments. And the 30-year debate surrounding plans to develop Bolsa Chi

Washington Mutual is taking more space in Irvine

Washington Mutual Inc. has signed a lease for an additional 47,088 square feet of office space next to its regional headquarters in Irvine.

Exploring the tastes of Italy in OC

Call this my Italian column. It's about a trio of restaurants, all doing something different. Just opened in Rancho Santa Margarita is Mione's Old World Delicatessen & Market. It's proof that for some being in the food world rules the heart. Owner John Mi

Sybron Dental debuts with a market cap of $500 million-plus

Floyd Pickrell, Chief Executive of Orange-based Sybron Dental Specialties Inc., rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange last week, marking the ceremonial debut of Orange County's newest public company.

OC is a top cybercity, an Editorial

annual "Cybercities" report ranked Orange County as the nation's No. 10 cybercity among 60 U.S. cybercities in terms of high-tech employment, based on 1998 numbers.

Boston-based Audax Group opens a Newport Center office

Boston-based venture capital and investment firm Audax Group has opened an office in Newport Beach.

Preview 2001: Strong export growth is seen

Orange County exporters had a buoyant 2000, with an anticipated 15.1% increase to $14 billion in exports this year and slower but still strong growth projected for 2001, according to California State University, Fullerton.


Ernst & Young promoted Sarah J. (Sally) Anderson to managing partner at its Irvine office. Anderson was most recently a managing partner of the firm's Riverside office.

Preview 2001: No slowdown is seen here

Things haven't been this good for the Orange County real estate industry since the late 1980s.

Preview 2001: Bush's win could be a tonic for HMOs and drug makers

Healthcare was one of the more dynamic and most talked-about segments of business in Orange County in 2000. Expect nothing less in 2001.

Executive Summary

Eldorado Bancshares Inc., Laguna Hills, announced plans to be acquired by Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation for $190 million ... Lee D. Roberts, president and CEO of FileNET Corp., Costa Mesa, added the title of chairman, replacing founder Ted Smi

Poem for the holidays, in Letters

No matter the gifts, there's always another on the list with a greater perceived need.

The Insider says those who would succeed Chris Cox in the House will have a wait

Missed in the publicity over Dick Sim's ascension to the new post of chairman of the investment properties group was the real power shift underway at The Irvine Company,toward Mike McKee and Clarence Barker (see page 35) George W. Bush has been declared

The South OC market continued strong in the third quarter

The office market in South Orange County has grown to 311 properties totaling 14.9 million square feet. Strong performance continued through the third quarter as more than 848,000 square feet were absorbed in the South County market, pushing the vacancy r

Preview 2001: Tightening consumer spending will sharpen competition

After a big year of mall expansions, Orange County retailers are hoping for record sales in 2001. Trouble is, shoppers seem to be tightening their purse strings.

Preview 2001: A tough year looms in several sectors

Orange County's technology sector is looking at a potentially tough year for some of the current big stars, but there are some bright spots.

Preview 2001: Two big projects will come on line and boost the industry

Orange County has endured several years of freeway expansion and construction of new visitor attractions that along with weakness in the number of international visitors have played havoc with the local tourism industry. But within the next six weeks, the

California Adventure is Disney's new opportunity and challenge

Ever since the Gold Rush days, California has been the place where people flock for a fresh start in life, to get rich or to fulfill their dreams. Walt Disney Co. is banking on that popular notion to draw people to its new California Adventure theme park

Preview 2001: A downshift is coming in OC

2001 promises an almost inevitable growth slowdown,or even a contraction,in Orange County's manufacturing sector. But industry officials and observers say they aren't ready to concede that nearly a decade of good times is over.

Preview 2001: The energy crisis will absorb the Legislature

Forget the traditional business concerns in the state government about tax cuts, deregulation or workers' comp. The energy crisis is expected to push all else aside, at least in the opening months of 2001.

Nexa Securities unveils Chinese language trading software

Nexa Securities, a Newport Beach brokerage and software developer, has introduced software that allows traders direct access to securities markets in both English and Chinese.

TherOx lands a $30 million round

Freshly armed with a $30 million private financing infusion, TherOx Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, is moving ahead with plans to boost manufacturing, conduct clinical studies and seek federal approval of its therapeutic oxygen system.

Ed Carpenter builds banks

In Ed Carpenter's Irvine office is a voodoo doll, a Buddha statue and a football signed by the 1979 Los Angeles Rams,not exactly the trappings you'd expect of an investment banker.

Western Digital begins its move from Irvine, in the Technology column

The end is nearing for Western Digital Corp.'s move from the Irvine Spectrum to its new headquarters, located seven miles away in Lake Forest. The company began moving last month and is expected to complete the relocation by the end of January.

Homegrocer is switching to the Webvan brand and cutting back in OC

A year ago, HomeGrocer made a big push into Orange County with a slew of catchy ads and the opening of distribution centers in Irvine and Fullerton. The goal: tapping OC's potentially lucrative market for online grocery delivery service.

OC may be reaching its saturation point for entertainment centers

During the height of the strong economy the past two years, a slew of eye-popping new entertainment-based shopping centers were rolled out in Orange County to much fanfare.


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GolfGear International is looking for an attorney to tee off on copycat clubs

Don Anderson started his company 11 years ago as a chance to make money at what he loves best: golf.

Cisco is looking for more space in OC

Cisco Systems Inc. is in the early stages of expanding its Orange County operations, according to the company and real estate sources.

PacifiCare is hit with shareholder suits, in the Healthcare column

What goes up often goes down on Wall Street. And when it gets there, there often are shareholder lawsuits waiting.

Monday, December 11

Endymion Systems opens an OC office with plans to employ 60

Endymion Systems Inc. of Oakland, a provider of business e-commerce services, has opened an office in Irvine and plans to employ 60 people by early next year.

Stellcom expects to double its OC presence

San Diego-based Stellcom Inc. opened its Irvine office in June 1999 and has grown to 30 employees since then. The growth won't stop there, according to Ron Weber, the general manager for the Irvine office.

OC's largest employers saw 1% job growth in the past year

With a run-up in hiring for an expanded Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney Co. reclaimed its spot as Orange County's largest employer this year after finishing in a dead heat last year with Boeing Co. In the past year, Disney reported an 11% increase to 15,35

Courting airport opponents, an Editorial

Oh, wait, my mistake. The above thought was for an editorial about presidential politics. What I will talk about here is El Toro.

Talbert Medical dodged a bullet in refusing to go with KPC Medical Management

Dr. Keith Wilson isn't one to gloat. But a business decision he made nearly 18 months ago looks pretty savvy today.

Toni Alexander specializes in 'branding dirt,'

In 1974, Toni Alexander faced her first major crossroads. She was a 26-year-old account executive for public relations firm Burson-Marsteller in Los Angeles, and a singer on the side. She'd just finished recording an album.

Real Estate Deals

RPM Investments Inc. purchased the 12-unit Chestnut Apartments at 709 E. Chestnut Ave. in Santa Ana from Mihran and Tilda Sabunjian for $0.5 million. Mark Tarlov of Merona Enterprises represented RPM. Rick Applebaum and Jay Skenderian of Morgan Skenderian

They're baaaack talking El Toro, in Letters

Your Nov. 20 editorial supported new proposals offered by developer George Argyros for a "friendly neighborly airport" of about 14 MAP with curfew restrictions similar to John Wayne Airport.

Horizon Medical leases an Irvine warehouse

Horizon Medical Outsourcing Inc., a Santa Ana-based contract device manufacturer, recently signed a lease for new industrial space on Von Karman Avenue in Irvine.

Dynocomm Productions has brought surfing to the inland masses

Armed with a 16mm camera and a wetsuit, Alan Gibby has helped bring surfing to Middle America.

Global Crossing will put a data center at the former Parker Aerospace site

GlobalCenter Inc., a Global Crossing Ltd. unit that's being acquired by Santa Clara-based Exodus Communications Inc., plans to set up a 232,000-square-foot data center at Parker Hannifin Corp.'s aerospace group campus in Irvine.

Online retailers are facing a make-or-break fourth quarter

The inevitable holiday parking lot horrors, pushy salespeople and crowded stores at shopping malls are enough to put any shopper in the online mood for the holidays,at least that's what Internet retailers are hoping, some desperately.

IMC Networks is doing fine in the fiber-optic space

Foothill Ranch-based IMC Networks Corp. has been in Orange County for more than a decade, but not many in the local business community know about the maker of optical networking components.

PriVest Bank names Brian Riley president

Brian Riley has joined PriVest Bank as president of the Costa Mesa-based bank. Riley, who has spent his entire 16-year career with community-based banks, was previously CFO of Provident Bank in Riverside.


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The Register and Times end their circulation-audit program, in the Marketing & Media column

The Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times have decided to stop using independent auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, to track circulation on a quarterly basis.

Meet Ernest and his friends

We like our Comment section to be a place not only for serious opinion, but for generous helpings of humor. That's why we regularly feature the jokes of topical comic Argus Hamilton and the work of syndicated cartoonists John Spencer, Mike Peters and Jim

The Shops at Mission Viejo is ready to battle for shoppers this holiday season

The battle for the prized high-end shopping dollar this holiday season is a three-way fight, with the renovated Shops at Mission Viejo entering the fray in full force for the first time against the tony Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza.

A pair of OC firms find venture funds in their stockings

Christmas came early for two Orange County companies that have received venture capital funding: Irvine-based Alsius Corp. and Newport Beach-based Winfire Inc.

La Vie en Rose embodies the holiday season

Let me tantalize you by beginning with this: the Christmas d & #233;cor at La Vie en Rose in Brea is absolutely breathtaking. A 16-foot Oregon tree greets you in the lobby, and from the roaring fireplace to the lavishly decorated dining rooms, the restaurant is

STM sees a Bolivia deal as its Latin American beachhead

STM Wireless Inc., an Irvine broadband and satellite telephone systems provider, has signed a contract with Entel Bolivia to introduce broadband Internet service to that country.

Access 360 gets new venture funding

Access360, an Irvine maker of network access software, has received $41.5 million in new venture funding, including investments from Oracle Corp. and Verisign Inc.

ICN adds another former prime minister, in the Healthcare column

Kim Campbell, a former prime minister of Canada, has joined the board of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., Costa Mesa. Campbell, a member of the Progressive Conservative party, was Canada's first female prime minister and 19th overall, taking office in 1993.

Toes on the Nose will put mini-CDs on its clothing tags

For surfwear makers, those little hanging tags on their clothing are a way to catch the eye of brand-conscious consumers. Toes on the Nose is looking to get even more mileage out of them.

The office market in the Airport Area continued strong in the third quarter

The Greater Airport Area, which consists of 593 buildings, remains the largest office market in Orange County. Traditionally also the tightest market, the Airport Area ended the third quarter with a 7.9% vacancy rate, as more than 1 million square feet we

Executive Summary

Emulex Corp., Costa Mesa, announced plans to acquire Concord, Mass.-based Giganet Inc. for $645 million ... The state Supreme Court ruled in a case involving Newport Beach-based William Lyon Co. that homeowners cannot bring construction-defect suits unles

Rays Apparel picks up a license and expands its space

Costa Mesa-based Rays Apparel Inc., an apparel maker for brands such as Ocean Pacific and Jimmy Z, has picked up a new licensing agreement to design and produce a children's line for outdoor clothing maker Woolrich Inc.

The Inside hears Mark Chapin Johnson has his eye on Chris Cox's House seat

Talk about some of the best deals being the ones you don't make: Commercial real estate legend Bob Voit has been itching to relocate his personal office to a bayfront location near his Balboa Peninsula home. To that end, he recently had his people check o

Toshiba moves to create continuity, in the Technology column

The executive suites at many Japanese companies here seem to have revolving doors with officials coming and going from Japan every few years or so. Amid the flow, Irvine-based Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. is looking to create some continuity

The Irvine Co goes full-speed ahead on North Park

The Irvine Company last week received initial approval for its plans for North Park Square, the final, 156-acre phase of its sprawling North Park development in Irvine and Tustin.


Creative Works appointed Lynda Orban vice president of its public relations practice. The firm also hired Jayme Williams as account services coordinator. Orban will oversee business-to-business and technology accounts; both will work from the firm's publi

The OC Y & R; office adds $90 million in billings

Young & Rubicam Inc.'s Irvine office just got about $90 million more in billings, having recently received two big Sony Electronics Inc. accounts valued at $80 million from other Y & R; offices and won a $10 million chunk of business from Mattel Inc. leases space for a return center in the Spectrum, in the Real Estate column

Internet retailer Inc. recently leased an office-warehouse facility in the heart of The Irvine Spectrum and began operating a return center in the building last week.

Monday, December 4

Johnny Rockets' new agency launches a holiday promotion, in the Marketing & Media column

Irvine-based Johnny Rockets recently awarded its creative account to an outside agency for the first time in its 14-year history.

The Kaleidoscope shopping center is in escrow

The owner of the struggling Kaleidoscope shopping center,in the shadow of the newly renovated Shops at Mission Viejo,is in escrow to sell the 2-year-old mall, according to sources close to the company.

A Korean-oriented bank is in organization in OC

William Im is looking to form a Buena Park bank to serve the Korean community and is tapping his golf buddies as the co-founders and main investors.

A new motto: count early and often, Editorials

Some people are worried that operating El Toro's recreational facilities could cost taxpayers as much as $4 million a year.

Broadcom's share-price tumble could affect its acquisition strategy

Will Broadcom Corp.'s reversal of fortune on Wall Street crimp the chip maker's two-year buying binge?

StrataCare releases its new worker's-comp bill-review software

Newport Beach-based StrataCare, a provider of software used in reviewing workers' compensation medical claims, released a new Windows and Internet-based software package.

Plans were more generous than providers in 2000, in the Healthcare column

As Christmas approaches, healthcare industry employees who draw their paychecks from health plans may have a little more jingle in their holiday shopping pockets. That's because a new study from William M. Mercer Inc., which has an office in Orange, shows

Sunwest Bank names a new president

Chris Walsh has joined Sunwest Bank as president of its offices in Tustin, Newport Beach and Orange. Walsh, who lives with his wife and three children in Laguna Niguel, replaces Jim LeSieur, who will continue as the bank's CEO.

Varco acquires Quality Tubing Inc.

Orange-based Varco International Inc. signed an agreement to acquire Houston-based Quality Tubing Inc., a manufacturer of coiled tubing used in drilling oil and gas wells, from the Beacon Group, New York, and Quality's management.

Beacon Properties buys an Irvine industrial building for $130 per square foot

The telecom-driven run-up in the price of industrial property near fiber-optic loops reached a new high last month with a record purchase in the Irvine Business Complex.

Corbin & Wertz buys Nichols & Assoc.

Irvine-based accounting firm Corbin & Wertz has acquired Newport Beach-based Nichols & Associates.

Taco Bell is looking to move within OC, in the Real Estate column

Anyone notice the ad on the back page of the Orange County Business Journal last week?

Awards luncheon is a family gathering

Family-owned businesses are a hardy and wide-ranging lot, filling many of the niches and doing much of the heavy lifting in Orange County's economy.

The Insider says watch for a Broadcom brain drain

At long last: Peter Brennan hears that the county supes this week plan to name OC Biz Council chief and former Orange County Transportation Authority head Stan Oftelie as the El Toro planning czar. Oftelie's name has been mentioned for that assignment or

Disney's attention to detail is on parade, a Briefcase

Disneyland Park, daily through Jan. 1; Fri. and Sat. at 4:45 and 8 p.m.; Sun. at 4 and 7 p.m., Mon. at 6 p.m. and Tues.-Thurs. at 4:30 p.m.

Triconix moves to larger quarters in the Spectrum

Triconex Corp., an Irvine-based supplier of industrial automation and control systems that's part of Britain's Invensys PLC, has moved to a larger building within the Irvine Spectrum.

At The Bungalow, the beef is prime and so is the ambience

The bewitching hour at The Bungalow in Corona del Mar is 5 p.m. every night of the week. That's when the bar,a legendary place to have a martini,and the restaurant open for business. The way this craftsman-style building is structured, you have to walk th

OC's chip firms grew employment in the past year, but can it last?

Shares of Broadcom Corp. and other semiconductor companies are in a tailspin on Wall Street, but over the past year chip makers have been a key driver of Orange County's economy. reportedly has a deal for a new South County headquarters

Internet retailer Inc.,looking to relocate from its four-story headquarters at The Summit Office Campus in Aliso Viejo to a bigger, single-story location,has the parameters of a deal for a new location in place, sources say, but can't pull the tri

Businesses have to decide what to do about sharply rising healthcare premiums

Facing double-digit increases in health insurance premiums next year, businesses across the county are weighing whether to absorb the hikes or pass all or part of them on to workers. Smaller employers might even be considering dropping coverage altogether

Freedom Communications' four generations

R. David Threshie remembers a time when families ran media companies, particularly newspapers. These days, those memories are a little more distant than they used to be.

FileNET begins moving into new space in Costa Mesa

FileNET Corp. has begun expanding into an additional 70,000 square feet of space at Harbor Gateway South in Costa Mesa and plans to add 120 or more jobs.


A 23-year industry veteran, Scott Fagerstrom, joined Hill and Knowlton as a managing director in the media relations practice. Fagerstrom comes to the firm from the San Diego Union-Tribune, where he was business editor. He will be based in the agency's Ir

Village Green Foods buys an Irvine building

Village Green Foods, an Irvine restaurant owner and manufacturer of soups, sauces and salad dressings, will move its headquarters and food processing operation to a newly purchased building less than a mile from its original location of 31 years.

Principal Technical Services does $11 million in business from founders' home

What started out as a way to earn a little extra cash has grew into $11 million sales this year for the Stein family. has laid off staff and is reevaluating its space needs

Like other Internet hopefuls, has sought to take an old, established industry online in hopes of hitting e-commerce pay dirt.

Claim Jumper Restaurants began as a father-son effort

Claim Jumper Restaurants Started as a Father-Son Venture, Now Employs 4,500

Diedrich Coffee chairman John Martin was a no-show at its annual meeting

With Chairman John Martin vacationing in the warm Hawaiian sun, newly installed Diedrich Coffee Inc. Chief Executive Mike Jenkins took the heat for the company's recent performance at last week's annual meeting.

FileNET links ancient England to high-tech age, in the Technology column

The future King of England has put his blessing on Costa Mesa-based FileNET Corp.'s bid to bring part of Britain's past into the digital era.

OC's R & D; market remained very active in the third quarter

The Orange County Research and Development market consists of 1,001 buildings totaling more than 40 million square feet, approximately 17% of the existing industrial space in Orange County. The largest concentration of R & D; space is in the Airport Area and

K+D Graphics, Printing & Packaging has grown from a garage to 72,000 square feet

Just about every home has a family room. For the Chews, that room was the garage.

Executive Summary

Judge S. James Otero ruled the anti-El Toro airport Measure F invalid in its entirety, and OC Supervisor Cynthia Coad invited South County airport opponents to talks with county officials on the future of the former base ... Broadcom Corp., Irvine, plans


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A UCI team develops a new way to make high-performance plastics

UC Irvine organic chemists have developed a method to synthesize high-performance plastics.

Herb Reisman brought people together, a tribute

Herb Reisman, my dad, died Nov. 20 in Rockland County, N.Y., where he had been a community leader for nearly a half century. At 75, he was completing his 15th year as the supervisor of Ramapo. No one else had served so long as the town's full-time, electe

Mitsubishi and Hyundai are posting strong sales years

OC-based automakers Mitsubishi Motors Sales of America and Hyundai Motors America are posting strong sales years and profits, completing turnarounds from money-losing years in 1997 and 1998.