Montrose business group sees turnaround

The money keeps flowing in for the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., which for years had been plagued by revenue problems.

For 2013, the organization that promotes nearly 200 businesses near and along Honolulu Avenue is forecasting income of $460,000 — $100,000 more than originally forecasted for 2012, according to data released on Thursday.

By August, the organization had taken in $400,000, which is more than the $360,000 it had expected to make in 2012 when it presented a budget to the City Council last year.

“We’re showing that we’re really trying to turn things around,” said Andre Ordubegian, who was elected to the board of directors last year.

The turnaround can be partially attributed to strides made at the business group’s weekly farmer’s market, which in 2011 was the focus of a yearlong police investigation into alleged embezzlement, which led to a grand jury indictment of former Councilman John Drayman.

Prosecutors allege Drayman pocketed at least $304,000 from the market over seven years. Drayman, who maintains his innocence, is awaiting trial.

The Montrose Harvest Market has become one of the shopping park’s biggest revenue generators. For 2013, the group estimates the market will bring in about $163,000.

“The market’s been going well,” said Corey Grijalva, a board member who took office last year and heads the Harvest Market Committee.

At the same time, revenue generated by on-location film shoots has jumped to roughly $38,000 for the year, well above the $20,000 that was originally expected.

And in February, the market is planning a two-day centennial celebration. Although it is estimated to cost $60,000, the board expects to make that money back and more, pushing its projected 2013 reserves to about $67,000.

That money can be used for more promotions, which the board has already been doing. A cartoon map of the quaint shopping street is in the works and the board voted this week to buy even more banners.

Montrose Shopping Park Assn. President Ken Grayson said the reserves can also be used for new types of advertising.

“I’d like to see more of our promotions bringing more business to the park rather than just entertainment,” Grayson said. 

Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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