Azusa Townhouse Development:

Construction began on a 14-townhouse project by Trademark Development Co. LLC. The 30,000-square-foot project is located in a space previously occupied by a vacant car lot, a single-family residence on Foothill Boulevard and a small four-unit complex on Sunset Avenue. The townhouses are scheduled to be completed in early 2007.

El Monte
Industrial Sales: Grubb & Ellis Co. announced that its San Gabriel Valley office completed the sale of three industrial buildings, the combined value of which was approximately $6 million. TMT Home LLC purchased a 23,475-square-foot industrial building at 9830 Baldwin Place in El Monte for $3.2 million. Sunset Account purchased a 13,960-square-foot industrial building at 1608 Yeager in La Verne for $1.9 million. The company also purchased a 6,361-square-foot industrial condo at 12033 Jack Benny Drive in Rancho Cucamonga for $922,000.

Sierra Madre
Development Restrictions: Sierra Madre Residents for Responsible Development, a grass roots community group that formed to fight the passage of the city's Downtown Specific Plan, has announced plans to launch an initiative, known as 2-30-13. The initiative would restrict the maximum number of floors, height and density for all developments to those agreed upon in the 1996 General Plan. Any changes would have to be approved by a vote. The group needs signatures of 10 percent of all registered voters in the city to get their initiative on the March ballot.

Cleanup Project: Tetra Tech Inc., a Pasadena-based consulting and engineering company, announced Wednesday it won a $20 million contract with the Army Corps of Engineers for the remediation of a contaminated site in Tennessee. Cleanup of the former Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant in Chattanooga will take up to 10 years. The plant was used by the Army to manufacture TNT beginning in World War II. The project will be conducted along with a groundwater study. Tetra Tech is conducting similar cleanup operations at two other ammunition plants.

Chemical Contract: Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineerings Group Inc. received a contract from Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals Inc. for an undisclosed value. As part of the contract, Jacobs will provide preliminary and detail engineering, subcontract administration and construction management for a new active pharmaceutical ingredient facility at the company's Petersburg, Va., site.

Los Angeles
Construction Showcase: The first California Construction Expo took place on Aug. 17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. During the event, public agencies seeking contractors, designers and workers detailed over $100 billion in upcoming construction projects. Los Angeles Community College District, Los Angeles Unified School District and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California organized the event.
Travel Funds: The California Transportation Commission approved $380 million in funding for 134 projects in California. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority received $26.5 million to purchase 50 light rail vehicles for system-wide usage, including the Pasadena Gold Line and the Metro Eastside Extension.

Condo Conversion: Amir LLC has received a permit to convert a 16-story structure at 1010 Wilshire Blvd. into 227 lofts. The lofts will measure from 800 to 1,200 square feet and will include a 15 percent affordable housing component.

El Segundo
Coffee Competition: Starbucks Coffee Co. is scheduled to open a location at 310 E. Grand Ave. next month, bringing competition to the area's mostly independently owned coffee shops and restaurants. The development site will also feature a new sushi restaurant, Fantastic Sam's Barbershop, Wells Fargo Bank and nine apartments.

Space Travel: NASA announced on Aug 18 that is has selected El Segundo-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), along with Oklahoma City-based Rocketplane Kistler, to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the International Space Station. The two companies will receive approximately $500 million over a five-year period from NASA to complete the project. SpaceX will execute three flights of its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon Spaceship in late 2008 or 2009.

Indian Casino: The Gabrielino-Tongva, a Native-American tribe that claims greater Los Angeles as aboriginal land, is backing a bill to establish an Indian casino at the Hollywood Park racetrack. The bill, proposed by attorney Jonathan Stein and Assemblyman Tom Umberg, will face legal obstacles because the federal government does not recognize the tribe a requirement for conducting gambling operations.

Signal Hill
Storage Space: U.S. Self Storage opened a 150,000-square-foot public storage facility on California Avenue between the 405 freeway and a Target store. The site will also include recreational vehicle storage facilities.

Santa Clarita
Citizen's Coalition: The City of Santa Clarita announced the formation of a new Citizen's Coalition, comprised of more than 7,400 residents, business and municipalities, to battle a proposal for a 69 million-ton mine proposed by Cemex Mining Co. The goal of the coalition is to reduce the project to historical levels of 300,000 tons per year instead of the 5 million tons per year proposed by Cemex.

Van Nuys
International Agreement: Cherokee Inc., a Van Nuys-based apparel branding and licensing company, announced that one of its clients, Camp Beverly Hills, has won a licensing agreement with Dutch clothing manufacturer and distributor Ruppert BV. The deal covers the Benelux countries, Germany and the United Kingdom. Camp Beverly Hills began in 1977 as a retail store in its namesake city. The line is available in department stores and specialty stores.

Technology Alliance: PracticeXpert Inc., company specializing in medical office management technology, has partnered with Utek Corp., a specialty finance company based in Tampa, Fla., with expertise in technology transfer. "Identifying and acquiring new technologies that improve work flow in a physician's office should allow us to continually improve our products and services," said Michael Manahan, chief executive of PracticeXpert. "We are enthused by the potential opportunities this strategic alliance with Utek Corp. is expected to generate."

Universal City
Hollywood Shrimp: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. will open at CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood on Aug 26. The 9,500-square-foot restaurant, the chain's 22nd eatery, will have a seating capacity of 300 inside and 90 on the patio and will open daily at 11 a.m.

Remodeling Progress: Duckett-Wilson Development Co. has begun construction on Phase I of the 300,000-square-foot Paddison Square Shopping Center redevelopment and expansion project. Phase I includes an exterior remodel, site redevelopment and the construction of 13,000 square feet of retail space. Phase II adds 15,000 square feet of retail space. The project, located at the northwest corner of Imperial Highway and Norwalk Boulevard, includes a Payless ShoeSource Store and an Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill.

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