Bonds for Riverside County projects get “AA-” rating

   Several bonds that will be priced on Nov. 3 and fund projects across Riverside County — construction of an animal care facility, an 800 MHz public safety radio communication system, and the leasing of several buildings — were given an “AA-” rating on Thursday by Fitch Ratings.

   “The negative outlook reflects Fitch’s concern that the effect on the economy of the real-estate market and the real-estate market’s severe deterioration will stress Riverside County’s traditionally well-managed finances,” a news release states. “Continued credit strength will depend on the county’s ability to control spending and maintain its above-average reserves throughout the economic downturn. Further deterioration of the strong, currently well-diversified economy could also pressure the rating.”

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I.E. office market vacancy rate jumps to 17 percent in 3Q

   The office space vacancy rate in the Inland Empire rose to more than 17 percent in this year’s third quarter, according to a report recently published by Studley Inc., a New York-based commercial real-estate firm.

   That’s up from about 10 percent during the same quarter in 2007.

   Rental rates for office space continue to drop, too. The average was $23.81 per square foot in the third quarter, down from $24.55 at this time last year.

   About 50 buildings totalling 1.6 million square feet were finished over the last two quarters, “leaving 1.6 million square feet currently under construction,” the report says.

Three land deals made in High Desert and Low Desert

   Three large land deals were recently made in the High Desert and Low Desert communities.

   Irvine-based Whittlesey Doyle, a land brokerage and advisory firm, represented the buyer and seller in the sale of an 80-acre, gated property of 212 finished lots in Palm Desert, called Spanish Walk. The buyer was Aliso Viejo-based Highpointe Communities Inc, and the seller was Taylor Morrison Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz.

   Another buyer — San Francisco-based Capistrano Homes LLC / Capistrano Lots LLC — purchased 115 finished lots, called Capistrano At La Quinta, in La Quinta, from Corona-based Vineyard National Bancorp.

   Another buyer — an undisclosed investor — purchased 40 finished lots in Victorville, called Meadowbrook, from Corona-based Ryland Homes.

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Redlands estate attorney completes conference courses

   Redlands-based estate planning attorney Nathan McIntyre recently attended an educational conference in San Diego sponsored by the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys. 

   McIntyre completed course sessions covering recent developments in the estate planning industry, including topics such as funeral trusts, legacy wealth planning, trust administration, and family limited partnerships.

   McIntyre owns McIntyre Law Group in Redlands. He devotes his practice to estate planning matters and has helped thousands of families meet their long-term estate and financial goals. Information: (909) 798-5780 or

I.E. ranks No. 3 in foreclosure filings nationwide in third quarter

   The San Bernardino-Riverside area ranked No. 3 nationwide in foreclosure filings from July to September, according to a Thursday report by Irvine-based RealtyTrac, a real-estate data services company.

   A so-called “foreclosure filing” includes mortgage defaults, auction sales and bank reposessions.

   “California accounted for six of the top 10, and Stockton took the top spot, with 3.69 percent of its housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the (third) quarter,” states a news release.

   Bakersfield was No. 4, Sacramento was No. 7, Fresno was No. 9 and Oakland was No. 10.

   “Foreclosure filings were reported on 765,558 properties during the third quarter, up more than 3 percent from the second quarter and 71 percent from the third quarter of 2007,” the release states.

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Frito Lay’s Rancho Cucamonga facility recognized for environmental management

Frito-Lay’s Rancho Cucamonga facility has become the city’s first member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Performance Track Program by “demonstrating excellence in environmental management and committing to above-standard goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance,” according to a news release.
The EPA recognized Frito-Lay Rancho Cucamonga for this achievement at a flag raising ceremony on Wednesday.
The facility is one of only 41 California companies to receive Performance Track.

Sportsman’s Warehouse closes its Victorville location

   Sportsman’s Warehouse — a Bass Pro-type outdoors sporting store — has shuttered its doors in Victorville due to a battered economy, laying off 85 employees.

   The company has about 70 stores nationwide but has been closing other stores over the past year.

   The Victorville location had opened in June and closed on Oct. 15.

   “All they saw was slow sales getting slower,” said former employee, Mike Pacer, who was a sales clerk in the hunting department. “There was too much overhead. It was too expensive.”

Medina International twin-jet boat to South Carolina law enforcement

   Harbor Guard Boats, a subsidiary of San Bernardino-based Medina International Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: MIHI), completed delivery of its 2008 twin jet drive Defender 28′ with Harbor Guard Boats Patented 2000 GPM fire-suppression diverter system option on Sept. 22, to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Columbia, South Carolina.

   The boat was featured in a news story run by the local Richland, S.C.-based CBS television affiliate station, WLTX.  The story can be viewed at the following link:

   Medina produces commercial fire, rescue, police and patrol boats.

Emrise receives $1 million in orders for radio frequency systems for commercial marine application

Rancho Cucamonga-based Emrise Corp., a multi-national manufacturer of defense and aerospace electronic devices and communications equipment, announced Tuesday that it received $1 million in additional orders from a major international marine services provider for electronic systems for identifying and marking marine shipping channels and marine hazards. Deliveries against these orders are expected to begin in the first half of 2009 and are expected to continue into 2010.
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