familian/16 inches/1stjc/mark2nd By DANIEL TAUB Staff Reporter Familian Corp. has announced it will relocate its longtime Van Nuys headquarters to Pomona by early next year, saying the San Fernando Valley isn’t a central enough location to support its growing distribution operations, . The move that will cost Van Nuys 120 jobs but save the company more than $100,000 annually in business license taxes. Familian, which operates 23 Familian Pipe and Supply showrooms throughout Southern California and has annual sales of more than $500 million, will locate a new “super-hub” distribution center at the former Chesebrough-Pond’s USA Co. facility in Pomona. Familian bought the facility for more than $11 million, according to Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services, which brokered the deal. The 300,000-square-foot facility will employ 200 workers, 120 of whom will be transferred from Van Nuys, where the company has been based for more than 30 years. Familian will vacate its three-building, 28,000-square-foot administrative and corporate offices on Saticoy Street, but will maintain its 40,000-square-foot showroom there. Company officials say they wanted to locate the new distribution center in the San Gabriel Valley because it is a more central location, and closer to the growing Inland Empire and Orange County. “It was just a matter of finding a suitable building as well as a good location,” said Len Gross, Familian’s chief financial officer. Unlike other companies that have left L.A. city limits in recent years for Glendale, Burbank, Agoura Hills and other neighboring locales, Familian’s move was not based on L.A.’s business tax structure, Gross said. “This is a new type of operation. We didn’t distribute in this manner when we were here in the (San Fernando) Valley,” Gross said. “It’s a whole new method of distribution and that’s why we wanted to be there instead of here.” Nevertheless, Familian did hire Kosmont & Associates Inc. which puts out an annual “Cost of Doing Business Survey” for Southern California to broker the company the best deal in the San Gabriel Valley. Kosmont said the company will cut its business license taxes by upwards of $100,000 annually by moving to Pomona, which does not tax businesses based on gross receipts. “We looked at a variety of cities,” Kosmont said, adding that Ontario, Industry and Diamond Bar were among the cities considered before Familian chose Pomona. “The economic incentives from the city really made a difference,” he said. Kosmont and Gross declined to say what incentives Pomona offered Familian, but Kosmont said they involved help in acquiring and developing the property. “The city of Pomona was very supportive and aggressive in getting Familian to make a decision to move to Pomona,” Kosmont said. “Had they not gotten the economic incentive package from Pomona, they would have gone elsewhere.” L.A. Assistant Deputy Mayor Rocky Delgadillo, who oversees L.A.’s Business Team, said that the team had not worked extensively with Familian, since it was committed to moving to the San Gabriel Valley. “Pomona’s been real aggressive. They’ve been a viable competitor with us,” Delgadillo said. Familian, owned by British corporation Wolseley LLP, sells piping, plumbing supplies, heating and air conditioning systems, appliances, and other supplies through its 101 Familian Pipe and Supply warehouses in the Western United States. Familian’s primary customers are contractors. Among the 120 employees who will make the move to Pomona are accounting, data processing, marketing, human resources, tax services, credit and sales workers.