Stories for January 1999

Monday, January 25


Unless we light a firecracker and place it under your chair, the best way we can motivate you to keep track of where your small or new business' money goes is to scare you. So here goes. If you don't track where all your money goes, over time, the follo

Baja Fresh

No french fries or secret sauce. Nothing that comes in a bun or a bucket. Just good low-fat food served with lots of fresh veggies.


Many business owners and managers today express concerns with their company's banking relationship. These concerns are legitimate.


There are many ways to handle business bookkeeping - from do-it-yourself software packages to having accounting professionals on staff. One way that is becoming increasingly popular is outsourcing. Companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to outso


Michael Holmes has operated Chandler Studios for 10 years, putting on about five productions a year at the 33-seat playhouse. Sometimes, if the play gets critical mention, he can fill the house, but there have also been times when no one shows up at all.


The San Fernando Valley posted a whopping $4 billion in residential real estate sales in 1998, the region's best year of the decade, according to industry officials.


The Glendale-based owner/operator of airports has hired investment bank Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette to handle the sale, and bids are due by the end of February, said Patrick Cowell, AGI's chief executive.

RE Column

Class-B office properties, which until now have not garnered as much attention as the prime class-A spaces, may be the next beneficiaries of the real estate recovery in the San Fernando Valley.


Larry Calemine works for an obscure government agency called the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) in a no-frills, backwater of an office at the County Hall of Administration.


One of the few miseries of my life as a consultant is the demand for extensive travel.

Fast Track

Avi Cohen didn't hesitate when a friend suggested they start a bed linens business.


The date is Dec. 31, 1999 just a few minutes before midnight. John owns a small business that manufactures the hot toys of this holiday season.


Origins: Originally called Owensmouth due to its proximity to the Owens River Aqueduct, the community was established in 1912 by Janss Investment Co. and a land syndicate called the Suburban Homes Co. In 1917, Owensmouth was annexed by the city of Los Ang

The List

A recent acquisition helped give American Express Tax & Business Services a slight edge over Miller Kaplan Arase & Co. LLP to become the largest accounting firm in the San Fernando Valley, according to this week's list.


Rick Caruso, developer of the Commons at Calabasas, incurred the wrath of Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson recently when he failed to show up at a City Council meeting to discuss the Chatsworth Reservoir.


Start-up, under capitalized and rapid growth companies, often find that their cash flow does not keep up with their expanding customer orders and other business opportunities. This often results in a serious "cash crunch".


Summerfield Horner has been named media buyer at Inter/Media Advertising. He will be responsible for placing direct-response spots on national cable and local broadcast markets. Horner served as traffic manager for the agency since 1996.


Stan Lee, prolific creator of such comic-book icons as Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, has at the age of 76 decided to tackle the Internet.


The breakneck pace of real estate deals that characterized most of 1998 in the San Fernando Valley cooled in the final quarter of the year, stymied by events on Wall Street and in the capital markets.


The trouble Valley VOTE had in obtaining signatures for a study of secession may end up seeming like a petty hassle compared to the Herculean task of breaking up one of the nation's largest cities.

Monday, January 11


California's economy is expected to cool somewhat in 1999 as a result of declining corporate profits and shaky world financial markets. However, projections have underestimated the strength of the economy in recent quarters. The San Fernando Valley Busine


His investments start in millions, his spending is in thousands, he arrives and departs by his own jet, and he has more money invested in wine than most people have in their 401(k) plan. He is also a tough guy with a big heart.


I'm optimistic about the new year because I feel our business, the temporary staffing business, will continue to grow because it's frequently project-driven. The companies will still hire temporary personnel to complete their projects. I don't think there


Origins: The King of Spain awarded Adolfo Camarillo a land grant of 15,000 acres in the late 1700s. The Camarillo Ranch raised cattle and farmed the land. In 1964, the 6,000 or so community members got together and incorporated Camarillo as a charter city


Twelve San Fernando Valley chambers of commerce got a rude surprise a few weeks ago when a health care plan the group had been negotiating for was pulled at the 11th hour.


A plan by redevelopment officials to create an urban village in North Hollywood featuring artist's lofts, restaurants and stores has sparked the interest of a dozen developers, including a large Atlanta-based real estate investment trust.

Fast Track

Goal: To be the leader in providing test drivers and related support to customers requiring automotive reliability and durability testing


AutoNation USA has opened a used-car superstore in Oxnard as part of a push into Southern California that is expected to bring nine new stores to L.A. County by the end of the year.


The square footage on a lease deal between the Internext Group and Media Center North in Burbank was misstated in the issue of Nov. 16. The company leased 25,550 square feet of space at the office complex.

The List

Three new multiplex cinemas make their debut on the San Fernando Valley Business Journal's ranking of movie theater complexes, as developers cash in on the popularity of plush theaters with all the bells and whistles.


California's economy is expected to cool somewhat this year, with job growth slowing from better than 3 percent to about 2 percent.


Keeping track of your products is important. This often entails what is known as product rationalization, which is best handled as an ongoing exercise of good housekeeping and product management.


Winning approval for development projects in Calabasas has never been easy, but L.A.-based developer Continental Communities is facing a particularly uphill battle.

Valley Talk

Michael G. Lushing only recently joined Madison Partners, but already he's got a long list of contacts.


That's because the senior vice president of the Voit Cos., the Woodland Hills-based real estate developer that built The Plant in Panorama City, spends a lot of time looking for a place to put his next project. And like many other developers and brokers a


A local developer has started construction on the first speculative industrial facilities to be built in Palmdale in more than a decade.


Calabasas-based Countrywide Home Loans Inc. has promoted three employees in its consumer markets division. Glen Cooper has been named senior vice president and will be responsible for budget and forecasting efforts, as well as analyzing business processes


1998 finished with a bang for office vacancy rates, which decreased notably during the last quarter.