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Thursday, Sep 21, 2023

Valley Edit

VALLEY EDIT/jc/dt1st PRODUCTION _ note bullets HED: Our One-Year Anniversary One year ago, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal was launched in the firm belief that this community was hungry for business news. We set out to tell the stories that weren’t being told elsewhere from the personalities behind Valley companies to economic forces at work in this increasingly vibrant and diverse area. There’s been no shortage of topics. In fact, the timing for launching a new business publication could not have been better. From the booming entertainment industry to an uptick in home prices, from the battle over expanding the Burbank Airport to the return of speculative real estate development, the Valley has been especially newsworthy over the past 12 months. Consider this quick recap: – Development: The DreamWorks SKG animation headquarters got underway in Glendale, the Porter Ranch commercial project was downsized, tenants were lined up to occupy the former GM site in Van Nuys and Newhall Land and Farming Co. unveiled its ambitious Newhall Ranch project. – Entertainment: The hot film and television industry put Valley sound stages on overload. Disney expanded into Glendale, buying the 100-acre Grand Central Business Centre. And Universal Studios proposed a massive expansion that would turn its property into a destination resort, with new hotels and attractions. – Economics: Valley bankruptcies kept rising, but in many areas home prices started picking up especially in upscale areas near the movie studios in Burbank and Universal City. And the spate of new office and retail projects being proposed held the prospect of reviving the construction industry. – Transportation: Those two perennial Valley issues the expansion of Burbank Airport and the building of an east-west rail line were critical topics of discussion once again. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s move to delay Valley rail construction until 2011 was met with vociferous objections from the community, while the city of Burbank was fighting to reduce the size of the planned new Burbank Airport terminal. – Retailing: Bloomingdale’s came to the San Fernando Valley, and Valley malls were reinventing themselves as homes for multiplex theaters with shopping almost a side attraction. Even Cal State Northridge wanted to get into the retailing action by developing the $25 million University MarketCenter project on the site of Devonshire Downs. – Health Care: Four Valley-based health maintenance organizations threatened to leave the city of Los Angeles over its gross receipts tax, saying they were being unfairly assessed for revenues for which they served as an intermediary. The city blinked and agreed to change the tax. One of the HMOs, CareAmerica Health Plans, subsequently agreed to move into a new business center within L.A. city limits in West Hills. – Aerospace: Lockheed began a hiring spree in the Antelope Valley, giving that region’s long-suffering economy a cause for hope. – Politics: The Valley secession movement was blocked by the state Legislature, but the sense of unity created over the issue raised the Valley’s political consciousness in a big way. The wide variety of issues affecting businesses here is convincing evidence that the Valley needs a forum for news told from a business perspective. We’re here to do just that.

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