Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Restaurant to Open on Myrtle

It looks like there will be a new tenant in the former Teri & Yaki site at 106 S. Myrtle Avenue, an 1,800 square foot site that has been vacant since the beginning of the year. 

According to the sign below, which recently sprouted up, an "Upscale Indian Restaurant" will be "Coming Soon." It's hard to tell just how soon that will be, but when they do open, it will add to the already international repertoire of Old Town eateries, including Chang Thai Bistro, London's Gastropub, Pho Lemon, Rudy's Mexican Restaurant, and french restaurant, Cafe Massila.

An upscale Indian restaurant will be opening at 106 S. Myrtle,
according this sign spotted on Aug. 30.                                       

Monday, August 29, 2011

Energy Wise: Edison Offers Rebates to Businesses

Southern California Edison is targeting homeowners and businesses that are considering driving Plug-In Vehicles. In a presentation to the City's Green Team last week, Edison officials said they will be working with the Southern California Association of Governments in an effort to develop a regional plan for how cities, businesses and homes would use Plug-In Vehicles. 

According to this article in the New York Times, the latest technology of Plug-In Vehicles is gaining more and more traction.

                                                 Photo from the New York Times
The Nissan Volt is among the newest versions of electric cars.
The promotion of these Plug-In Vehicles is part of Edison's overarching campaign of becoming more green, whether that's by offering rebates, incentives or grants. Businesses can learn more about these resources by clicking here.

In Monrovia, the greening of businesses is a priority, as identified in our Environmental Accords and in our Business Recycling Program.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Building Department Cranks Out Permits in July

The Building Division started the fiscal year with all guns blazing. According to the City Manager's Weekly Report, in the first month of the fiscal year, permits were issued for:

  • Tenant improvements for a new PetSmart store at the former Circuit City site on W. Huntington Drive,
  • Expansion of a pharmacy waiting room located inside Vons Pavilion on the 100 block of West Foothill Boulevard
  • A remodel for a new dental office on the 400 block of West Huntington Drive, and 
  • Several permits for single-family additions and remodels have been issued.

Moving forward, the Building Division anticipates issuing permits for:
  • The new construction of the Santa Teresita assisted living project ($2.2 million) in the 1200 block of Royal Oaks Drive
  • Nine new townhomes ($1.5 million) on the 700 block of West Duarte Road, and
  • A new Chase Bank ($1 million) on the 600 block of West Huntington Drive.
The former Spires' building was demolished, and now
construction crews are paving the way for a future Chase
Bank on W. Huntington Drive.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Businesses Do You Want?

At the Monrovia Area Partnership Walnut Avenue block party on Aug. 20, the Redevelopment/Economic Development (R/ED) Team asked attendees what types of businesses they want to see in town.

Of the 30 people who voted:

6 want a Bookstore
5 want a Beauty and Make-up Store, such as Bath and Body Works or Aveda
4 want a Housewares Store, such as Cost Plus or Pier One
2 want a Gaming Store, such as EB Gamestore
2 want a National Clothing Store, such as Forever 21 or Urban Outfitters
1 wants a Wine Store, and
10 people wrote in a specific business, which included:
  • Whole Foods
  • Bob's Big Boy
  • See's Candy
  • Wal-Mart
Other write-ins included things such as "job producing businesses," "aerospace manufacturing" and an "aquatic center."

Community members ate hot dogs, played a water balloon toss
and visited booths at the Aug. 20 Walnut Avenue block party.

Have more ideas? Contact our R/ED Team at jmclain@ci.monrovia.ca.us

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Business Tip of the Week: Advertising Do's and Dont's

Now that you have your business open, how will you advertise? You may have a business marketing strategy that includes:
Another approach is distributing flyers and avertisements door to door, an action that is allowed under your Monrovia business license. However, you can't put them just anywhere. TIP: Don't put flyers on businesses or homes that have a "No Solicitation" sign posted, and do not put them on cars.

To learn more about how to obtain a business license, click here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Henry's Market Merges with Sprouts Farmers Market

Monrovia's newest grocer will soon be operating under a new name. Henry's Farmers Market, which opened at 400 W. Huntington Drive in 2009, will be changing its name to Sprouts Farmers Market. The merge is part of the company's master plan to switch over the more than 100 stores located in Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas in 10 weeks, starting July 18.

The switch for Monrovia is set to occur this week, according to the company's website. In a release on the website, it states:
 "The merger of Sprouts Farmers Market and Henry’s Farmers Market/Sun Harvest Farmers Market is underway – reuniting two companies that were founded years apart by the Boney Family of San Diego. Together, we now have over 7,000 employees and are operating more than 100 stores throughout Arizona, California, Colorado and Texas under the Sprouts, Henry’s and Sun Harvest banners.  In the coming months, we will come together under the Sprouts Farmers Market name, combining the best that both companies have to offer."
So how will this affect shoppers? Well, in addition to a new sign, this merger may also result in an increased variety, decreased prices and an overall improved efficiency, according to the website. The website also indicated that they would do all they can to minimize any disruptions. Happy shopping!

The current sign hangs on Aug. 22 as the blue sign
on the bottom mentions the new merge.

This banner was spotted under the Henry's Farmers Market
sign on Aug. 22.

Inside Scoop: Candy Connection and Sena on Myrtle Give Us a Peek

Sena on Myrtle and Candy Connection are among our newest businesses on Myrtle Avenue. Here's the latest version of City Beat, filmed by KGEM.

New Resturants on Myrtle Ave. from KGEM-TV on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flame Broiler to Open in Monrovia

Spaces at Henry's Market Shopping Center keep filling up.

In December, we saw the addition of Great Clips, at 452 W. Huntington Drive. Other tenants are Jersey Mikes, which specializes in things like cheesesteaks, at 444 W. Huntington Drive, and of, course, Henry's Market, which has now been operating for more than a year. Henry's Market is a great source for fresh produce, artisan cheeses, and a fully stocked deli.

Now, it looks like the newest addition will be Flame Broiler, a fast food restaurant that serves up healthy alternatives like grilled chicken teriyaki bowls. It isn't open yet, but the sign on the window promises that it is coming soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Business Tip of the Week: Befriend Your Planner

This tip comes from the Community Development Department: "Planners are your friends."

Whether you have your sites set on a potential location and want to determine if it is zoned for your future business, or you want to upgrade the building, planners can talk you through the process. To learn more about the Planning Department, visit them on their website.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How Do You Start Your Workday?

Like many of us, it looks like Mark Twain starts his day off by reading the paper. He was spotted Thursday morning taking in the daily news after someone figured he was tired of his book.

This iconic statue was added in 2003 to Library Park in Monrovia. 

This statue was the impetus of the City's Arts in Public Places Program, which was started back in 2004. Developers with projects of more than $1 million pay 1 percent of their total project into this fund, which has paid for the Old Town arch, the Train Stop at Paragon, and the painting of the electrical boxes in Old Town. 

The program has been received positively by reisdents and the business community. Businesses benefit because it creates a more inviting community, and the murals and the painting of electrical boxes has proven to deter graffiti.

To learn more about the program, check out this video on KGEM about Arts in Public Places that appeared on City Beat.

Transplants:Established Businesses Find New Home in Monrovia

A new trend is emerging amongst some Old Town businesses - businesses have been relocating from other cities to call Monrovia their home. 

Among them is Candy Connection, a sweets store that had operated in Covina for 20 years before moving to their new location at 521 S. Myrtle Avenue. They serve up hand made chocolates - including the chocolate covered potato chips - gourmet apples and party platters.

Another transplant is Lavish Shoes at 517 S. Myrtle Avenue. They have been open for nearly a year after relocating from Covina. Then there's I Got Next, at 107 Foothill Boulevard, a video gaming store that moved from El Monte. I Got Next opened in December 2010.

We're so happy you're home!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Business Tip of the Week: Business Licenses

All Monrovia businesses are required to get a business license through the City, and it is often the last step before you finally open your doors. There is a base fee of $145, an application fee of $25, and a fee of $11 per employee. Here's the application, and here's the web site that describes the entitlement process.

TIP: Most business licenses can be obtained the same day or within 24 hours.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reeling Them In: Filming in Monrovia

Businesses get a boost when filming productions select sites close to them, according to this report prepared by the California Film Commission.

In Monrovia, we have seen a number of filming permits being pulled recently, and many times these production crews make stops at our local gas stations, visit our stores and stop in to our local coffee houses. In July, Monrovia's Office of Filming handled permits for:
  • Harley Davidson commercial was filmed in Old Town at 407 S. Myrtle Avenue
  • "Hostage Do or Die" was filmed at the former Super A Foods Supermarket at 935 W. Duarte Road
  • A Wells Fargo commercial was filmed at Monrovia Area Medical Center at 1128 S. Myrtle Avenue
August filming was kicked off by the Nature Conservancy, which shot a Public Service Announcement this morning on Myrtle Avenue in Old Town.

                                                               Photo by Aaron Smith
The Harley Davidson film crew turned this vacant building at 407 S. Myrtle Avenue
into a pet store as it advertised its motorcycles in July.                    

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wine, Cheese, Games and Photos

The famed Route 66 is lined with Craftsmen homes, historic buildings and unique businesses. This video highlights California Wine and Cheese, owned by husband and wife Janet and Tom Dugan. Tom, a former FBI agent, shares his story and passion for his second career.

We also meet Rick Keshishi, owner of Photoworks by Rick, and get acquainted with the new items for sale at I Got Next, a gaming store that opened earlier this year.

Monrovia City Beat - Dec '10 - Spotlight on Foothill/Mytle Shops from KGEM-TV on Vimeo.