Tag: ca

California, a Chameleon that Stands Out

The Golden State has a proven ability to adapt. The difference is that California tends to change before its background, causing the state to stand out and lead rather than follow unnoticed.

Inland Empire, California

Metro Spotlight

California Corporate Moves

Quallion Lithium Battery Plant Boosts Green Jobs

Quallion has announced plans to expand its lithium ion battery manufacturing facilities in Sylmar, CA, creating hundreds of green jobs in Southern California. "Now, more than ever, America understands the need to invest in home-grown clean energy technologies for automobiles and heavy-duty trucks that reduce gasoline consumption and decrease CO2 emissions," said Paul Beach, Quallion President. "Lithium ion batteries manufactured in Quallion's new facility will deliver a real and immediate clean energy solution that will also greatly improve our country's energy independence and deliver jobs when Americans need them most." If its application for U.S. Department of Energy funding is accepted, the construction of Quallion's facility will create more than 500 construction and manufacturing jobs, the company said. Once completed, the facility has the potential to create up to 2,350 long-term jobs in Southern California and across the country, supporting the production and installation of advanced lithium ion battery technology for heavy duty trucks. The facility, which will be fully operational by 2012, could produce more than 20,000 lithium ion batteries each year. DOE funding will allow Quallion to build on its experience manufacturing large-format lithium ion batteries for military vehicles and leverage the benefits of mass production by setting up a right-sized production facility, which will allow it to implement many of its proprietary technologies. Quallion's Zero-Volt™ battery technology allows the charge in high-voltage batteries to be completely removed while they are handled by technicians. The initial focus for Quallion's new facility will be the production of zero-emission advanced lithium ion batteries designed to replace engine idling as a power source for stationary trucks. With the DOE funds, Quallion says it will be able to deliver a "shovel ready" clean energy solution that enables the 1 million heavy trucks on U.S. roads to comply with the growing number of anti-idling laws. Quallion currently produces high volume medical and military batteries as well as custom-designed aerospace batteries.Quallion LLC was founded in 1998 by biotechnology and aerospace entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann and lithium ion battery specialist Dr. Hisashi Tsukamoto. The company also develops new battery chemistries for the military, aerospace, medical and automotive industries.

$100-Million Bleach Plant To Open in Pittsburg, CA

A $100-million bleach manufacturing plant will be built and operated by K2 Pure Solutions at Dow Chemical Co.'s Pittsburg, CA site. K2 will put up the plant on 15 acres leased from Dow on its 513-acre east Contra Costa County site. Dow will supply raw materials. The new plant, expected to be operational at the end of next year, will be a supplier of bleach to municipal water treatment plants in Northern California. The plant will need to acquire city and regulatory agency approvals before it becomes operational. K2 also will lease to Dow an additional separate facility K2 will operate to make chlorine and caustic soda for Dow's agricultural markets. The agreement will create 200 direct and indirect construction jobs and 40 permanent operations jobs. Midland, MI-based Dow is closing its Pittsburg latex operation, which has been shuttered since August. Dow has 500 employees at its remaining nine production units in Pittsburg. Dow operated a major chlorine production plant in Pittsburg for 50 years, before closing it in 1992. Dow officials said the K2 plant will provide an onsite, low-cost raw material supply and integration at Pittsburg. K2 is based in Toronto, Ontario, with U.S. headquarters in Uniontown, OH. It has 15 employees and, besides Pittsburg, plans to open bleach plants in Vernon in Southern California and Chicago, IL. K2 makes bleach using only salt, water and electricity as the inputs. It plans to reduce the need to transport chlorine for water treatment by setting up a network of regional plants using its safer method of bleach production. Many people equate chlorine with bleach, but chlorine is a deadly gas that currently is shipped by rail, primarily from the Gulf Coast. Shipping chlorine by rail has been prohibited in Europe and Asia, and if current trends in environmental regulations continue, U.S. rail shipment of chlorine also may be curtailed. K2 CEO Howard Brodie and David Cynamon, K2's executive chairman, founded KIK Custom Products in Concord, Ontario in 1997. KIK eventually became the largest North American manufacturer of household bleach, with 25 plants. Brodie and Cynamon sold KIK in 2007 to New York-based CI Capital Partners LLC, and went on to found K2. Bleach works by the process of oxidation, the introduction of oxygen, which breaks down molecules into smaller elements so that dirt and stains are separated from fabrics. Bleach also disinfects by breaking down germs and rendering them harmless by the introduction of oxygen. In industry, different forms of bleach are used to whiten materials such as paper and wood, though most bleach is used to launder textiles.

California Corporate Moves

Moving Toward a Better Place

Palo Alto-based startup company, Better Place, aims to bring an electric-car infrastructure system to the Bay Area. Its business model will provide the public with stations to charge vehicles and swap out leased batteries. California hopes to reinvigorate the state and region's competitive advantage in innovative technology through public-private investments in electric vehicles and other elements of green frameworks. The state's move toward a sustainable mobility model of electric vehicles fueled by renewable energy will ideally function as an economic and environmental stimulus blueprint for the entire country. The Bay Area will serve as the first region of California to make the switch from carbon-based transportation to sustainable mobility. According to early results of a study by Venture Lab at the University of California at Berkeley, widespread usage of electric vehicles over the course of two decades would save consumers $175 billion in fuel costs and bring a $120-billion boom for battery makers. "California is already a world leader in fighting global warming and promoting renewable energy," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "This type of public-private partnership is exactly what I envisioned when we created the first ever low carbon fuel standard and when the state enacted the zero emissions vehicle program. This partnership is proof that by working together, we can achieve our goals of creating a healthier planet while boosting our economy at the same time." Once the system is fully deployed, this move from greenhouse gas-emitting cars that run on fossil fuel, to clean, electric cars fueled by renewable energy, will be an estimated $1-billion network investment in the Bay Area. The Better Place model is an open network model built on industry standards, allowing for fixed battery and battery exchange electric vehicles to operate on the network. Better Place's founder and CEO, Shai Agassi, hopes to wrap up permitting in the Bay Area by the end of 2009, roll out the infrastructure in 2010 and fine-tune its technology during the next several years as more electric cars come to market. "We hope that by the time we deploy, we'll see Renault, Nissan [and] the three U.S. manufacturers developing cars that have a plug, and have the ability to drive around the city and charge as they go." California is estimated to generate upwards of $2.5 billion in jobs building this new infrastructure, with billions more in car and battery sales to consumers. "The green technology industry is going to boom, and it is our job to ensure it booms here, in the Bay Area and California," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. "We have the venture capital, we have the research universities and we have management talent."

"Green" Shopping Comes to San Fernando Valley

City officials, representatives from the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) and real estate developer, Primestor Development Inc., broke ground on Plaza Pacoima, a $78-million project that economists hope will revitalize the San Fernando Valley community. Located on the former Price Pfister, a plumbing fixtures manufacturing site that closed in 1997, Pacoima's new "green" shopping center will incorporate many aspects of sustainable design and construction. In addition to restaurant and office space, the 209,000-square-foot project will feature a Costco store and gas station, a Best Buy and a nearby Lowe's. Slated to open next year, Plaza Pacoima is expected to create 438 construction jobs and 354 permanent positions. In compliance with CRA/LA's first source and local hire programs, 30% of the jobs will be reserved for residents who live within three miles of the shopping center plaza. Plaza Pacoima will seek a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating and include energy efficient lighting and HVAC, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, the use of recycled and locally produced building materials, and day lighting systems. The 17.5-acre site will be designed in a contemporary architectural style and the 898-space parking lot will be landscaped as a grove with more than 500 trees and shaded pedestrian routes. Other sustainable features include on-site storm water detention and lush perimeter landscaping. It will be among the first projects permitted under the new City of Los Angeles Green Building Program. One of the lowest-income areas in Los Angeles with one of the highest unemployment rates, the Plaza Pacoima project energized the Pacoima community with an advisory coalition of more than 24 organizations that met weekly for most of 2007. "We are breaking ground on more than just a new Costco. We are bringing new jobs, economic investment, and green development to the heart of the San Fernando Valley," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Officials anticipate Plaza Pacoima will bring $153 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years and hope the center will encourage other national retailers to move to Pacoima.

Zero Emissions, Hundreds of Jobs at Balqon plant

Balqon Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of heavy-duty electric vehicles and electric propulsion systems, opened a new production facility in Harbor City, CA. The event celebrated a significant step towards cleaner air and more "green-collar" jobs in the local community. "Today we start to see the payoff of our investment in cultivating new environmental technology," said Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. "The trucks that roll off the Balqon assembly line in the months and years ahead will help green our ports and clean our air, while also creating green-collar jobs and pumping millions of dollars into our regional economy." Designed specifically for short-haul operations, one vehicle produced will be the Nautilus E-20, a zero-emission electric tractor that can carry loads up to 60,000 lbs. at 25mph, with 40-mile range on a single charge. Saving over 70% in fuel and 60% in maintenance costs, these trucks will serve as a zero-emissions alternative to fossil fuel-powered yard tractors. Balwinder Samra, CEO of Balqon Corporation, said the new facility is the result of a public-private partnership and stated, "The support and collaboration we received from the port and city of Los Angeles enabled us to develop, test and move into production in less than two years' time." Balqon will pay royalties to both AQMD and Port of Los Angeles, with over $1 million in royalty payments expected in the first three years. According to Samra, "the company has received increased interest in its products in global markets and expects that this year over 40% of the revenues will be generated by international customers, while creating hundreds of jobs in the local community."
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California Corporate Moves

Moving Toward a Better Place

Palo Alto-based startup company, Better Place, aims to bring an electric-car infrastructure system to the Bay Area. Its business model will provide the public with stations to charge vehicles and swap out leased batteries. California hopes to reinvigorate the state and region's competitive advantage in innovative technology through public-private investments in electric vehicles and other elements of green frameworks. The state's move toward a sustainable mobility model of electric vehicles fueled by renewable energy will ideally function as an economic and environmental stimulus blueprint for the entire country. The Bay Area will serve as the first region of California to make the switch from carbon-based transportation to sustainable mobility. According to early results of a study by Venture Lab at the University of California at Berkeley, widespread usage of electric vehicles over the course of two decades would save consumers $175 billion in fuel costs and bring a $120-billion boom for battery makers. "California is already a world leader in fighting global warming and promoting renewable energy," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "This type of public-private partnership is exactly what I envisioned when we created the first ever low carbon fuel standard and when the state enacted the zero emissions vehicle program. This partnership is proof that by working together, we can achieve our goals of creating a healthier planet while boosting our economy at the same time." Once the system is fully deployed, this move from greenhouse gas-emitting cars that run on fossil fuel, to clean, electric cars fueled by renewable energy, will be an estimated $1-billion network investment in the Bay Area. The Better Place model is an open network model built on industry standards, allowing for fixed battery and battery exchange electric vehicles to operate on the network. Better Place's founder and CEO, Shai Agassi, hopes to wrap up permitting in the Bay Area by the end of 2009, roll out the infrastructure in 2010 and fine-tune its technology during the next several years as more electric cars come to market. "We hope that by the time we deploy, we'll see Renault, Nissan [and] the three U.S. manufacturers developing cars that have a plug, and have the ability to drive around the city and charge as they go." California is estimated to generate upwards of $2.5 billion in jobs building this new infrastructure, with billions more in car and battery sales to consumers. "The green technology industry is going to boom, and it is our job to ensure it booms here, in the Bay Area and California," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council. "We have the venture capital, we have the research universities and we have management talent."

"Green" Shopping Comes to San Fernando Valley

City officials, representatives from the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA) and real estate developer, Primestor Development Inc., broke ground on Plaza Pacoima, a $78-million project that economists hope will revitalize the San Fernando Valley community. Located on the former Price Pfister, a plumbing fixtures manufacturing site that closed in 1997, Pacoima's new "green" shopping center will incorporate many aspects of sustainable design and construction. In addition to restaurant and office space, the 209,000-square-foot project will feature a Costco store and gas station, a Best Buy and a nearby Lowe's. Slated to open next year, Plaza Pacoima is expected to create 438 construction jobs and 354 permanent positions. In compliance with CRA/LA's first source and local hire programs, 30% of the jobs will be reserved for residents who live within three miles of the shopping center plaza. Plaza Pacoima will seek a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating and include energy efficient lighting and HVAC, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, the use of recycled and locally produced building materials, and day lighting systems. The 17.5-acre site will be designed in a contemporary architectural style and the 898-space parking lot will be landscaped as a grove with more than 500 trees and shaded pedestrian routes. Other sustainable features include on-site storm water detention and lush perimeter landscaping. It will be among the first projects permitted under the new City of Los Angeles Green Building Program. One of the lowest-income areas in Los Angeles with one of the highest unemployment rates, the Plaza Pacoima project energized the Pacoima community with an advisory coalition of more than 24 organizations that met weekly for most of 2007. "We are breaking ground on more than just a new Costco. We are bringing new jobs, economic investment, and green development to the heart of the San Fernando Valley," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Officials anticipate Plaza Pacoima will bring $153 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years and hope the center will encourage other national retailers to move to Pacoima.

Zero Emissions, Hundreds of Jobs at Balqon plant

Balqon Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of heavy-duty electric vehicles and electric propulsion systems, opened a new production facility in Harbor City, CA. The event celebrated a significant step towards cleaner air and more "green-collar" jobs in the local community. "Today we start to see the payoff of our investment in cultivating new environmental technology," said Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. "The trucks that roll off the Balqon assembly line in the months and years ahead will help green our ports and clean our air, while also creating green-collar jobs and pumping millions of dollars into our regional economy." Designed specifically for short-haul operations, one vehicle produced will be the Nautilus E-20, a zero-emission electric tractor that can carry loads up to 60,000 lbs. at 25mph, with 40-mile range on a single charge. Saving over 70% in fuel and 60% in maintenance costs, these trucks will serve as a zero-emissions alternative to fossil fuel-powered yard tractors. Balwinder Samra, CEO of Balqon Corporation, said the new facility is the result of a public-private partnership and stated, "The support and collaboration we received from the port and city of Los Angeles enabled us to develop, test and move into production in less than two years' time." Balqon will pay royalties to both AQMD and Port of Los Angeles, with over $1 million in royalty payments expected in the first three years. According to Samra, "the company has received increased interest in its products in global markets and expects that this year over 40% of the revenues will be generated by international customers, while creating hundreds of jobs in the local community."

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California: Boundless Business on the West Coast

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Metro Spotlight: Inland Empire, CA

California Expands Its Inland Economic Empire

The Inland Empire combines the majority of Riverside and San Bernardino counties, encompassing more than 50 cities, into the largest region of Southern California. Stretching 50 miles wide and 60 miles from north to south, the sprawling empire is surrounded by hills, valleys, and the Santa Ana and Santa Rosa mountain ranges. Its patchwork of small- and medium-sized cities, unincorporated communities, and suburban neighborhoods makes it the United States' 14th largest metropolitan area. While its cities vary in size and income, economic growth within the entire empire is palpable, particularly in the financial services and retail industries.
RANCHO'S BUSINESS BUZZ
Rancho Cucamonga is abuzz with business activity. Corporations from various industries operate within the city, but Rancho has been especially attractive to companies specializing in R&D, health care, financial services, retail, and the insurance industry.
Twenty-seven major office operations relocated or expanded in Rancho Cucamonga from 1994 to 2007, adding 3,619 employees to the city's workforce. Some recent moves to Rancho include:
• Co-Op Financial Services added 200   jobs in 2007. • Computek International created 20   jobs in 2006. • PFF Bank & Trust relocated its   headquarters and back office   operations in 2006. • Kiwanis International Western District   Office brought 50 jobs in 2005. • Ameriquest Mortgage added 250 jobs   in 2004.

Rancho Cucamonga: A Range of Sites for a Range of Companies

Rancho Cucamonga offers a wide range of leasable office space, which allows a variety of businesses to find the right site from which to base or expand their operations. Empire Corporate Plaza offers 400,000 square feet, including five two-story buildings varying in size from 75,636 square feet to 84,604 square feet. This project is currently leasing space. Vintner's Grove is a 138,000-square-foot, master-planned office and medical campus, including a 100,000-square-foot Class "A" office building, as well as smaller buildings ranging in size from 4,276 to 4,690 square feet in a campus-style environment. Vintner's is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2008. One Town Square is a four-story, 90,673-square-foot Class "A" office building. This mixed-use project features upscale apartment homes and work-live units, as well as restaurants. Each floor includes a 22,668-square-foot workspace. This complex is also scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2008.

Cucamonga's Question: Cash, Check, or Credit?

Taxable retail sales in Rancho Cucamonga reached a record $2.6 billion in 2007. Over the years, Rancho Cucamonga's Redevelopment Agency has encouraged growth of the retail industry, and national retailers have targeted the city's affluent and upwardly mobile population. This initiative resulted in Rancho Cucamonga's taxable sales setting records for more than a decade, even while Southern California was in a recession (1991 to 1993, and 2001 to 2003). The most recent surge in taxable retail sales came about with the opening and expansion of the Victoria Gardens Regional Town Center, a 150-acre, open-air lifestyle center. This mixed-use development began with 70 merchants and has grown into more than 150 upscale retailers (Banana Republic, Coach), restaurants (P.F. Chang's China Bistro, The Cheesecake Factory), and numerous office tenants. A highlight of the town center is the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center, opened in 2006, which encompasses the Lewis Family Playhouse, a 536-seat performing arts theatre; the Paul A. Biane Library, a second branch of the city's public library system; and the 4,500-square-foot Celebration Hall, a meeting and event facility that can accommodate up to 450 people.

Fontana's Fast Growth and Future Fortunes

Set in the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains and 50 miles east of Los Angeles, the city of Fontana, CA has a diverse economic base which includes a variety of manufacturing, retail, service, and distribution companies including Mercedes-Benz, Cliffstar (producer of Kirkland Juices), NAPA Auto Parts, and the Home Shopping Network. Consumer expenditures in the city have soared to more than $2 billion, but many sectors, such as full-service restaurants, are under-served. This allows an opportunity for entrepreneurs and restaurateurs looking to expand their businesses to fill Fontana's food service void. Fontana's population swelled to more than 188,000 people in 2008. Much of this growth is due to the city's continuing annexation of unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, which has made Fontana one of the fastest-growing communities in the Inland Empire. In fact, it is the third largest city in the region behind Riverside and San Bernardino. Rapid population growth, coupled with economic incentive offers, available land, and the completion of the 210 freeway, has led to significant retail, hotel, medical, and office development in the Fontana community. The city, committed to social and economic investment, has embarked upon an aggressive, multi-year, $235-million capital improvement program focused on improving roadways, utilities, and other infrastructure to support current and future growth. Fontana already is considered a major transportation hub with easy access to Interstates 10 and 15, in addition to the upgraded 210 freeway. Rail service is available from the Union Pacific Railroad, and Metro-Link runs through the center of town to the greater Los Angeles area. For air connections, Fontana is 10 minutes away from LA/Ontario International Airport. Fontana was Southern California's major producer of steel from the 1940's until 1984, when its primary steel mill closed shop.

A Glance at Corona, CA

  • Corona encompasses 39.2 square miles in Riverside County.
  • Corona has more than 30 million square feet of industrial space and more than 3 million square feet of office space, of which 1.4 million square feet is planned or under construction.
  • Corona's industrial development has played an important role in the growth of the city and its employee base. More than 83,000 people are employed there.
  • Corona has created approximately 53,000 jobs in the last 15 years.
  • The top five employment sectors in Corona are retail, construction, business services, warehouse and distribution, and manufacturing.
  • The city hosts three major highways and two nearby toll roads, providing easy access for the movement of goods to three commercial airports, two deep water ports, and two railways.

A Tale of Retail in Corona

The Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos is Corona's lifestyle hub, offering a mix of dining and shopping. The center offers more than 60 upscale retailers and restaurants including Coach, White House Black Market, and Anthropologie. Citrus City Grille, a casual, contemporary restaurant with American and European influences, opened at The Promenade Shops at Dos Lagos in March. The Corona facility is Citrus City Grille's third location in Southern California and the region's only restaurant with a lakeside putting green. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant features an exhibition kitchen, a corporate meeting room with audiovisual equipment, and a lakeside patio with a fire pit. It hosts private parties and local artists perform live music throughout the week.

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