Monday, October 31, 2011

Local Businesses Support Halloween Giveaways Tonight

The Monrovia Department of Community Services will be hosting the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee tonight from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Library Park.

The event, which will include a costume contest and candy giveaways, is sponsored by several Monrovia businesses, including Athens Services, Bank of America, London Gastropub, Sierra Autocars and Dr. Kevin Mercado of Launch Sports Rehabilitation.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Business Tip: Get into the Zone

So, you're looking to open your business in Monrovia? Wonderful. Step 2 is to determine where to open your business.

TIP: As you look for potential sites, familiarize yourself with the City's zoning map. Zones are broken down into categories such as neighborhood commercial, retail and manufacturing. These zones provide a framework for what is an acceptable use for a designated area. Be sure to contact the Building and Planning Department before you sign a lease to be sure that the building is compatible with your future plans. Plus, that will give  you a chance to learn about other requirements, such as parking and fire cods.

To learn more, click here or contact the Building and Planning Department at (626) 932-5565.

This is an example of the City's Zoning

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Business Newsmakers

Several Monrovia-based businesses have received positive media attention over the past week:
  • The Los Angeles Times featured Monrovia-based Sierra Auto President Peter Hoffman in this article for his decision to train his sales team at Disneyland so that they can pick up a few pointers on customer service. This is part of a GM-led campaign to increase Chevrolet sales in Southern California.
  • STAAR Surgical, a Monrovia-based developer, manufacturer and marketer of minimally invasive implantable contacts and other eye products, reported a 16 percent jump in revenue in the third quarter. Read more.
  • Prolacta Bioscience, a Monrovia-based company and the first and only company to offer human milk fortifier made from 100 percent human breast milk for critically ill, premature infants, has donated $100,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure since October 2010.
  • Miyachi Unitek, the Monrovia-based manufacturer of welding equipment and laser processing systems, introduced its powerful material weldability mobile application for smart phones, according to this article. This app can detect material weldability using either laser welding technology or resistance.
From the Los Angeles Times

According to a Los Angeles Times article, Sierra Chevrolet in
Monrovia is among the brand's dealerships undergoing          
remodeling in an effort to boost sales in Southern California.    

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's a Sign...from PetSmart

Progress continues to be made at the future PetSmart site on W. Huntington Drive. Their sign popped up late last week, replacing the former Circuit City sign that stood over the entrance for the past few years.

Back in August, the City approved the necessary tenant improvements for the store, according to this post.

The doors remained boarded up as construction continues on
Tuesday, Oct. 20 in preparation for the opening of PetSmart
at 745 W. Huntington Dr.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michelle's Upscale Resale Boutique Opens on Olive Avenue

Paragon dwellers and downtown aficionados have another stop to add to their Old Town Monrovia shopping destinations. Michelle's Upscale Resale Boutique, located at 113 E. Olive Ave., is operating at what used to be Suburban Martini. They pulled their business license back in the Spring.

According to their Facebook page, Michelle's specializes in "one of a kind, new and gently worn designer items handpicked for style and quality."

Michelle's is located at 113 E. Olive Ave.,
across from the Paragon Luxury Apartments. 

The store specializes in reused and gently worn
designer garments and accessories.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monrovia Modern Dentistry Comes to Huntington Plaza

It looks like Monrovia Modern Dentistry will be the newest tenant to join the businesses already at Huntington Plaza. The scheduled opening date is Nov. 15, according to their answering machine. 

The dentist office joins Great Clips, Jersey Mike's Subs, and Sprouts. Other upcoming businesses at the center are the Flame Broiler and Chef Chou, both of which have had "Coming Soon" signs for several weeks. 

Now, there are just two vacant spaces left to fill before Huntington Plaza is 100 percent leased. For more information on leasing one of these sites, contact Colliers International at (213) 532-3273, or Studley Real Estate at (213) 553-3800.

Monrovia Modern Dentistry is scheduled to open Nov. 15 at
460 W. Huntington Drive in the Huntington Plaza.

Chef Chou and Flame Broiler are coming in, too, according to
their banners.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monrovia Public Library Provides 'Steps to Employment'

The Monrovia Public Library is sponsoring this free event from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 aimed at helping job hunters find jobs, file online unemployment applications, and create eletronic resumes.

The event is part of a series of workshops aimed at providing Monrovians and nearby residents with career support. To learn more about the other adult services the library provides, click here.

UPS Store Opens at Paragon in Old Town

The Paragon Luxury Apartments has a new retail tenant. The UPS Store opened its doors at 730 S. Myrtle Avenue on Sept. 26.

According to their website, the store will just be here temporarily until their new location next door at 710 S. Myrtle is ready.

Its neighbor to the south is A Snail's Pace, which opened back in July. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

(Small) Business Tip of the Week: Small Business Saturday

While the holidays are still more than two months away, American Express has already begun promoting its Small Business Saturday campaign, intended to promote holiday shopping at local businesses on Nov. 26.

In short, American Express card holders will receive a $25 statement credit for purchasing at least $25 worth of merchandise at participating businesses as part of a national initiative to boost sales.

Although this is just the second year of the campaign, one article reports that there was a 29 percent rise in sales volumes for American Express' small business merchants versus the same day in 2009.

Facebook has also teamed up with American Express, and is offering free advertising of up to $100 to the first 10,000 businesses that sign up.

Merchants interested in participating can find mind information here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Filming Roundup: September Brings Farrelly Brothers, Among Others

Monrovia's Office of Film handled four permits in the month of September, two of which were shot in Old Town, one in a residential neighborhood, and one at Nano Cafe:

Sept. 15 - Miller Lite shot a commercial directed by the Farrelly Brothers, the same team responsible for such comedies as "Something About Mary," "Hall Pass," "Dumb and Dumber," and the 2007 remake "Heartbreak Kid." They filmed along Myrtle Avenue at E. Lime Avenue.

Sept. 19 - "Long Time Gone," a movie starring Eva Longoria, Aly Michalka, and Virgina Madsen, was filmed in a residential neighborhood on E. Colorado Avenue.

Sept. 24 - Short film "Super Fine" was shot at Nano Cafe, 441 W. Duarte Avenue at S. Mayflower Avenue.

Sept. 28 - A Public Service Announcement about texting while driving was filmed on Sept. 28 along S. Myrtle Avenue between Lime and Lemon avenues.

To learn more about how to pull a permit to film in Monrovia, visit the website at  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

California Redevelopment Association Highlights Old Town Monrovia that T.Phillips? Yes, it is. The California Redevelopment Association magazine featured Old Town Monrovia in its September issue as an example of the powerful role Redevelopment can have in a community. Specifically, it highlighted the Old Town Vision Plans, which have proven to be powerful guiding forces for downtown Monrovia.

Here's the article.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And the survey says...

Thanks to all who stopped by the Redevelopment/Economic Development (R/ED) Team booth on Friday at the Business Showcase, where nearly 30 businesses participated.

Photo from MCC Facebook
Hundreds stopped by the nearly 30  
exhibits at the Business Showcase.     

During the showcase, we highlighted upcoming projects, passed out information on the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency, and took a survey of the types of businesses you would like to see in town. The categories were previously selected based on what we've heard from the community on the types of businesses they would like to see in Monrovia.

Of the 24 people who took the survey, here's what they said they wanted:
  • One person said they want a wine shop
  • Five people asked for a bookstore
  • Two people voted for a beauty and makeup store, specifically Bath and Body Works
  • One person voted for a Dicks Sporting Goods 
  • One person voted for a Gamestop
  • One person voted for Urban Outfitters
  • Three people voted for a house ware store, such as Crate and Barrel or Williams-Sonoma.

And five people wrote in their own responses, which included a high end Seafood Restaurant, more mom and pop stores, a travel agency and a bowling alley or roller rink. We took the same survey on Aug. 20 at the Walnut Avenue block party - and a bookstore was the top vote getter, too.

Now what, you're wondering?  The R/ED Team will continue to reach out to these businesses in hopes that they want to be here as much as we want them here. Have an idea of your own? Email