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Small Business and Retail — Allen Group CEO Named R.E. Entrepreneur of Year

Barnes & Noble Opens

New Mira Mesa Store

Richard S. Allen, chief executive officer of the San Diego-based The Allen Group, was selected June 21 as the San Diego Real Estate Entrepreneur Of The Year by Milwaukee, Wis.-based Ernst and Young. The award honors individuals who have achieved outstanding business results through the application of effective leadership principles.

The program honors entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hard work and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures, according to Pauline Kopotic, spokeswoman for The Allen Group.

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Allen cited what it took to be named entrepreneur of the year.

“By earning our clients’ respect and trust, we have developed the kind of relationship that has enhanced our reputation and allowed us to grow,” Allen said.

Future success will depend on a number of factors, such as the state of the world economy. Any company hoping to be successful in the future must understand these major changes to succeed, and The Allen Group is committed to becoming a major presence in this dynamic industry, he said.

Allen was born into a family of entrepreneurs, watching his parents launch a number of successful business ventures. As he grew, he helped them take the family business, Imperial Cup Corp., from sales of $300,000 in 1971 to $90 million in 1989, when the company was sold to a Fortune 500 company, Kopotic said.

Allen then began investing the proceeds from the sale into real estate and founded The Allen Group in 1990. The company has grown into one of the Western United States’ premier development companies, Kopotic said.

The Allen Group has developed approximately 4.5 million square feet of commercial net leased properties for credit tenants. Allen Homes, the residential division of The Allen Group, is currently developing 19 different communities in California and Nevada and will develop more than 1,500 units in the next two years.

The Allen Group has offices in San Diego, El Centro, Sacramento, Visalia, and Shafter, Calif., and in Las Vegas.

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Books Is Big Biz: More than 1 million book titles have come to Mira Mesa, thanks to a new Barnes & Noble bookstore that opened June 28 along Mira Mesa Boulevard.

The 26,000-square-foot store, nestled next to the I-15 onramp, is home to 100,000 book titles in stock. The store can also ship 1 million titles within 24 hours, said Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Theresa Palmersheim.

The store will also offer more than 50,000 publisher imprints, including thousands of small independent publishers and university presses. Many titles are unique to each store, reflecting the local lifestyles and interests of its customers, Palmersheim said.

“Barnes & Noble is dedicated to providing the kinds of services our customers want in a relaxed and welcoming environment,” said Gayle Sicard, manager of the Mira Mesa store. “(We have) an ongoing calendar of exciting free events, including poetry readings, book discussion groups, author signings, and children’s story-telling hours.”

The store also carries 25,000 music video and DVD titles, and features a caf & #233; serving coffees, teas, soups and light snacks, Palmersheim said.

Making A Splash In Carlsbad: Carlsbad Company Stores is planning to unveil an elaborate water feature next week. The system was designed by Universal City, Calif.-based WET Designs, which also created the fountains at Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

The fountain uses fiber-optic cables and a sophisticated computer control system to entertain viewers with a series of choreographed sequences. Plumes of water will spring out of the fountain in explosions of color, said Anita Boeker, spokeswoman for Carlsbad Company Stores.

A limestone-tiled bench will allow people to get a close-up look, Boeker said.

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CV Center Teams With Scouts: The Chula Vista Center has teamed with the Boy Scouts to set up a fun-filled fundraiser to benefit the Boy Scouts in the South Bay.

The second annual “Southbay Getaway,” scheduled for 8:30 p.m. to midnight July 29, is a Hawaiian-themed event. Festivities will include food and drinks catered by El Torito Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, dancing, contests, a silent auction and live music.

Prizes at the silent auction include Legoland tickets, passes to the San Diego Zoo, gift certificates to local stores, and a Hornblower cruise.

Tickets are $10, or $15 at the door, and can be purchased from the customer service center in the mall.

Sponsors of the event are seeking additional auction items, cash contributions and sponsorships. To sign up, contact the Boy Scouts of America, Sweetwater District, 1207 Upas St., San Diego, CA 92103.

Send small business and retail news to Lee Zion at lzion@sdbj.com.

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