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IMPROVED ECONOMY HAS BUSINESSES KNOCKING AT DOOR.



Byline: Jim Skeen Daily News Staff Writer

Two RV factories have opened in the last two years, an electronics factory is under construction, a high-tech, precision machining firm is negotiating with Palmdale for land, and a computer company is said to be shopping around.

Antelope antelope, name applied to a large number of hoofed, ruminant mammals of the cattle family (Bovidae), which also includes the sheep and goats. The North American pronghorn is sometimes called an antelope, but belongs to a separate, related family (Antilocapridae).  Valley's economic prospects, after a hard run in the early 1990s, appear to be looking up: Business executives are approaching valley officials to ask about moving in, following years of recruitment efforts by local leaders.

``There is a lot of interest. The need to solicit isn't as great,'' Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said. ``They are coming to us.''

An improving California economy and the creation in February of the Antelope Valley This article is about the Los Angeles County region. For the census-designated place in Wyoming, see Antelope Valley-Crestview, Wyoming.

The Antelope Valley
 enterprise zone are among the reasons for the upswing Upswing

An upward turn in a security's price after a period of falling prices.
, Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts Frank Roberts may refer to:
  • Frank Roberts (diplomat) (1907-1998), British diplomat
  • Frank Roberts (footballer) (born 1893), English footballer
  • Frank Crowther Roberts (1891-1982), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
See also
 believes.

The enterprise zone, which covers most of the commercial and industrial land in Palmdale and Lancaster, provides tax credits for businesses that expand.

``The enterprise zone is helping. It's attracting people,'' Roberts said.

The enterprise zone was cited as one of the major reasons Senior Systems Technology Inc. decided to build a $6.5 million assembly plant in Palmdale. The 130,000-square-foot building in Palmdale's Trade and Commerce Center will employ as many as 500 workers.

Much of the new interest is centered in Palmdale, where city officials are negotiating with B&B Manufacturing Co. for 19 acres in the city's Trade and Commerce Center. The Valencia machinist shop wants to build a 300,000-square-foot plant which would employ up to 300 people.

Palmdale is also in talks with an unidentified, out-of-state computer company that is seeking 80 acres.

Lancaster officials say they get inquiries from warehouse and distribution businesses.

The city's first big catch is a $16 million, 432,000-square-foot warehouse - that's nearly 10 acres - for the Michael's craft store chain. The giant building is going up at Avenue H and 35th Street West.

``The Michael's has attracted - like a magnet - the warehouse-type businesses,'' Roberts said.

The retail sector is also active. Developers of the Antelope Valley Mall The Antelope Valley Mall is an enclosed shopping mall in Palmdale, California.

Opened in September, 1990, its buildings take up around 1 million square feet (90,000 m²). Its physical main building, parking lots, and ring road businesses encompass an area a bit less than 0.
 are negotiating to build a 150,000-square-foot Dillard's department store, which would become the center's first two-story building.

Palmdale officials have agreed to reimburse re·im·burse  
tr.v. re·im·bursed, re·im·burs·ing, re·im·burs·es
1. To repay (money spent); refund.

2. To pay back or compensate (another party) for money spent or losses incurred.
 Dillard's up to $2 million for improvements made for the store. The money would come from sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government.  generated by the store.

In November, the Palmdale City Council agreed to give New Century Entertainment Inc., of San Marcos San Marcos (săn mär`kəs).

1 City (1990 pop. 38,974), San Diego co., S Calif., a northern suburb of San Diego; settled 1880s, inc. 1963.
, exclusive rights to negotiate to bring an entertainment center to Palmdale. The company has six months to bring back a proposal and line up tenants.

In Lancaster, Home Depot The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services.

Headquartered in Vinings, just outside Atlanta in unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia, Home Depot employs more than 355,000 people and operates 2,164 big-box
 announced plans to build a 105,700-square-foot store near 20th Street West and Avenue J. The project is expected to bring 200 jobs.

In a report prepared for the Antelope Valley's economic leaders, Alfred Gobar and Associates, a Placentia firm, said the availability of large tracts of affordable land and a skilled and diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s  work force are among the major attractions for new businesses coming to the High Desert.

``Antelope Valley's industrial market has been benefited by the capture of larger, nonaerospace companies, primarily manufacturing concerns,'' the report said. ``Antelope Valley's excellent proximity to major Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region,  markets combined with its extremely diverse work force, ample supply of competitively priced land, liberal zoning practices, competitive rental rates, and numerous public sector/private sector benefits were key factors in the capture of new companies to this region.''

Antelope Valley economic leaders say there is a shortage of buildings available for new companies. Leaders are hoping prospective developers will step forward and begin constructing buildings on speculation.

For now, the region must concentrate on companies that have the financial capability of building their own plants. It is a narrow band of companies, Ledford said, but they are out there and they are showing an interest in the Antelope Valley.

``The possibilities are exciting,'' Ledford said.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 8, 1997
Words:643
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