Compiled by Michael Flagg, Times staff writer

Tale of Three Cities: Developers love to name stuff.

The better the name--the folks down in marketing say--the better the chance of selling what the developer is building.

So that stretch of coastline between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach where the Irvine Co. is building houses and hotels is now the Newport Coast. The phalanx of office buildings around John Wayne Airport is the Irvine Business Complex.

And then there is one that has really caught on: the Inland Empire, which went from marketing concept to widely used shorthand for Riverside and San Bernardino counties.


Now some of the same folks who brought you the Irvine Business Complex have come up with a new name for the central Orange County cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim and Orange: Centraplex.

And this time the cities, too, have gotten into the act. Each recently put aside its differences and agreed to give $10,000 a year to Centraplex to help it lure new businesses.

The stream of new tenants to these older cities has slowed down. So office vacancy rates are high. A little more marketing, the Centraplex folks believe, certainly couldn’t hurt.