Friday, September 30, 2011

Farmers Market to Host Business Showcase Tonight

The Friday Night Family Festival will welcome some new faces tonight. The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce will present its seasonal Business Showcase tonight from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 700 block of Myrtle Avenue in Old Town, across from the Paragon Luxury Apartments.

Attendees will include Chamber members - including the City of Monrovia's Redevelopment and Economic Development Team (R/ED Team). Be sure to stop by the R/ED Team's booth to meet the staff, learn more about the Online Business Resource Center and to get up to speed with upcoming projects.

Here's a video promotion - which aired on KGEM - from the last Business Showcase, which was held in May.
May - Chamber Showcase 1 from KGEM-TV on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Business Tip of the Week: Visit Vacant Sites Online

Are you looking to move your business to Monrovia but are in need of a site? If so, the Online Business Resource Center has a link to LoopNet, a free commercial listing service available online.

All you need to do is click on the link and navigate through the available properties that are for lease or for sale. Often times, the broker's information is located right there on the website. Happy hunting!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Resource for Seniors Opens on Myrtle

Last week, Old Town Monrovia welcomed an organization dedicated to empowering seniors and providing their families with answers to health care dilemmas.

About Senior Solutions staff and supporters celebrated its grand opening with an open house held at the new office building, located in Suite 208 at 525 S. Myrtle Avenue, next to Wells Fargo.

The business re-located from Pasadena, according to Founder Mary Winners, whose background includes acute care hospitalization, Gero-psychiatric issues, Alzheimer's and dementia care, hospice, assisted living and other senior care options.

According to the brochure, About Senior Solutions is a senior resource, evaluation, placement and advocacy organization dedicated to serving the needs of aging seniors and their family members.

The service is designed to help those caring for seniors and who have concerns such as:

  • I may not be doing what my mom wants.
  • My grandmother could have dementia, what should I do?
  • I am not sure if Dad should be left alone.
  • I am worried that my mom's health is declining because she is the primary caregiver for my father.
More information can be found at, by visiting the blog, or by calling (888)736-5864.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Home Accessory Store Opens in Old Town

Old Town has a new addition along Myrtle Avenue. Charlie's House, a business that specializes in selling home decor, opened earlier this month at 430 S. Myrtle Avenue.

Located in the heart of Old Town, Charlie's House sells such items as furniture, plants and seasonal decorations. Owner Kristin Miller, a longtime Monrovia-area resident, said it has been compared to a scaled down version of the "Pottery Barn" - minus the bedding and the plates. Miller said she handpicks everything in the store in an effort to keep the merchandise unique and the prices low.

Store hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To visit their website, go to   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shipping Office for Oregon Winery to Open in Monrovia

Over the past six years, Pyrenees Vineyard and Winery located in Oregon's Umpqua Valley has produced 35 award-winning wines. Now, the Southern Oregon winery will be expanding its operations in the next few weeks to Southern California - with its shipping office to be located right here in Monrovia, at 1212 S. Fifth Avenue.

The operators - who live in Glendora - will begin wholesaling their wines to Southern California restaurants, bars, hotels and "anywhere they sell wine," Chief Financial Officer Vince Wile said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monrovia is a Finalist for the Most Business Friendly City Award

Los Angeles County’s leading advocate for economic development announced Tuesday that Monrovia is among the five finalists in its category for the 2011 “Most Business Friendly City” Award.

Monrovia is competing against Commerce, Duarte, Gardena and La Mirada in the category of cities with a population of 60,000 or less for the award presented by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. For populations 60,000 and higher, the finalists are Burbank, Carson, Glendale, Torrance, West Covina and Whittier, according to the LAEDC Press Release.

“We are pleased to be named as a finalist for this award. Certainly our business community believes we are the most business friendly,” Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz said. “It is gratifying to see the judges concur.”

This is the third time that Monrovia has been nominated for the annual award. Monrovia was a finalist in 2010 and 2008. City officials and members of the business community are hoping that “this is the year,” especially considering the recent advancements in Monrovia’s economic and redevelopment strategies. Read more.

Staff members attribute the Online Business Resource Center and Economic
Development Action Plan as possible reasons for the recent nomination.      

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monrovia to Get Second Jack in the Box

The Planning Commission last week approved a Conditional Use Permit for the construction of a Jack in the Box at 248 W. Huntington Drive, where the Pottery Ranch and six residential homes are located. These will be demolished and the lots consolidated to make way for the fast food restaurant, which will include a drive-through service and 24-hour operation. Here's the staff report.

According to the City Manager's report, the request was approved after discussion about the drive-through configuration and concerns regarding the newly constructed Bowden Homes to the south. One component of the plan - the widening of an alleyway - will still have to go to the City Council.

This will be Monrovia's second Jack in the Box location. The other is at 100 W. Duarte Road.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bowden Completes Construction of New Homes

Monrovia-based Bowden Development on Sept. 14 celebrated the completion of seven single-family homes on Cypress and Magnolia, just west of Baja Ranch Market and behind the Pottery Ranch.

The 1,500-square-foot homes start at $499,000, and each have four-bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Bowden was founded in Monrovia in 1971. The company builds primarily custom designed homes, and has a portfolio of more than 500 projects.

This is among one of the seven single family homes recently
completed by Bowden Development.                                          

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz presented the Bowden      
Development Construction team with a Certificate of             
Appreciation at the grand opening on Sept. 14.                        .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Business Tip of the Week: Get a Permit

Eager to do that expansion on your business, but don't know where to start?

Well, first things first: Before you knock out a wall or add a bathroom, know that a building permit is required when you physically change your property, including adding square footage or a mechanical system. According tothe Building and Planning Division, a permit is required when, for example:

You add bathrooms, modify the electrical, construct load bearing walls, add additional floor area, add a mezzanine or alter your building exiting.
In legal terms, no building or structure shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a permit has first been obtained from the Building Division.
The best thing to do before starting any project is to call the Building Division.
In summary: Don't build without a permit. Not sure if what you are doing requires one? Then visit this website, or give Building Division staff a call at 626-932-5565.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Filming Roundup: Jackie Chan Shoots Commercial in Monrovia

Monrovia got a visit from an international martial artist and movie star last month.

Jackie Chan - who appeared in such movies as Rush Hour and The Karate Kid remake - was spotted running full speed towards a parked car in a white jumpsuit during a filming of a V8 commercial two weeks ago. The commercial was shot in the lot outside of the vacant Super A Foods Supermarket at 935 W. Duarte Road on Aug. 22.

The crew returned on Aug. 25, but without Jackie. Instead, it was his stunt double that was spotted doing flips on a car, with a help of crane (see below). 

A crew member helps Jackie Chan's stunt double flip on a car during the
fiming of a V8 commercial on Aug. 25.

An empty Super A lot was the set of a V8 Commercial on Aug. 25 in Monrovia.

In the month of August, Monrovia's Office of Filming processed this permit in addition to the Public Service Announcement on Myrtle Avenue in Old Town for the Nature Conservancy.

Be on the look out for our wrap up of September's filming activities at the end of the month.