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Building Industry Southern California

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BUSINESS
June 10, 1992 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hundreds of men who put drywall in new homes all over Southern California have walked off the job, shutting down work at housing tracts from Los Angeles to the Mexican border. The men, most of them Latinos, say they are paid less now than 10 years ago, before home builders and their subcontractors broke the union during the last recession. Since then, the labor force for the Southern California drywall business has become overwhelmingly Latino.
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NEWS
February 11, 2001 | MARTHA L. WILLMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
California's energy crisis has its roots in varied quarters. But like many problems in America the trouble begins, in part, at home. Big homes. Homes with multiple computers and giant-screen TVs and restaurant-sized kitchen appliances. Then there are the little old homes with their leaking windows, outdated air conditioners and energy-guzzling water heaters.
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NEWS
August 1, 1992 | JODI WILGOREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Striking drywallers threw rocks at replacement workers on a freeway early Friday morning, the latest incident in a 2-month-old battle to form a union that has crippled the Southern California building industry. Authorities said one man was arrested during the morning incident and another suffered minor head injuries.
NEWS
August 18, 2000 | ROBIN FIELDS and JENNIFER MENA, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
As a stylish apartment complex takes shape in Irvine, three men pick their way through an unreinforced trench, between walls of unsecured dirt up to their ears. At a new cookie-cutter subdivision going up a few miles to the south, a man wearing neither safety harness nor hard hat traipses across a narrow wooden roof frame, 20 feet above the ground.
BUSINESS
July 5, 1992 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Four hundred years ago, buccaneers roamed the Spanish Main, plundering galleons heavy with silver spewed out by the mines of Mexico's Guanajuato state. But now Guanajuato exports something entirely different: men. Over the last three decades, hundreds of men from one small village alone--El Maguey--have taken the 1,300-mile road north from central Mexico. Nearly every one finds the same job: Nailing up drywall for Southern California's housing industry. Many of them are related.
BUSINESS
October 6, 1998 | BOB HOWARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To most observers, Southern California's growing need for housing should create an ample market for new condominiums. Rising land costs are pushing single-family homes out of the reach of many would-be buyers at the same time that low mortgage rates make mortgages affordable. At a similar point in the last real estate boom, many buyers opted for new condos. This time around, they don't have that option.
BUSINESS
March 18, 1992 | HARRY BERNSTEIN, TIMES LABOR COLUMNIST
Skilled workers in the construction industry were once referred to as the "aristocrats of labor," so it isn't surprising that in the early part of this century most of them successfully encouraged their children--almost always boys--to learn their trades. The pay was, and still is, relatively good, although the work is often interrupted by everything from bad weather to economic downturns. But construction work, while strenuous, often is more satisfying to people than routine office jobs.
NEWS
July 1, 1992 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nearly 400 drywall installers and their families marched at the county courthouse Tuesday to dramatize their walkout against Southern California's beleaguered building industry as the strike enters its second month. Under a hot midday sun, shouts of "Si, Se Puede!"--"Yes, It Can Be Done!"--echoed off the towering building in Santa Ana as office workers and lawyers in pin-striped suits stared curiously.
BUSINESS
September 29, 1992 | HARRY BERNSTEIN
Even President Bush admits that our free enterprise system isn't functioning very well in this miserable recession, but a look at one microcosm of the Southern California economy shows how ridiculously maladjusted it is. It's easy to understand the basic element of this relatively tiny example that centers on an unprecedented and costly four-month strike by more than 3,000 frustrated, mostly Latino immigrant construction workers in six Southern California counties.
BUSINESS
January 21, 1998 | MELINDA FULMER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Southland developers, who vastly overbuilt office space in the region during the cash-easy 1980s, are in danger of doing it again, a prominent real estate analyst warned. All the businesses from Ventura County to San Diego combined will only need 2 million square feet of newly built space per year for the next decade, said economist and demographer David Birch of Cambridge, Mass.-based Cognetics Inc. That's a fraction of the amount of office space planned or under construction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2000 | HUGO MARTIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
During the recession years of the 1990s, the state postponed a program that required local governments to plan for housing construction to meet California's future population growth. Now that the economy is thriving, the program is back and the tussle over how to divide up the responsibility for the housing is heating up again, particularly in Southern California.
NEWS
July 10, 1999 | KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Flush with equity--and confidence--from rising real estate values, Southland property owners are fueling a new boom in home improvement and remodeling projects they did without for much of the 1990s. In the San Fernando Valley, post-World War II-era houses are getting everything from added sun rooms to high-tech kitchens. In Huntington Beach, modest 1,300-square-foot homes are becoming 2,300-square-foot showplaces. In Newport Beach, they're spending $70,000 on kitchen cabinets alone.
BUSINESS
January 19, 1999 | BOB HOWARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
After decades in which business school classrooms were almost interchangeable, university leaders throughout the United States are scrambling to erect spectacular, high-tech buildings they say are necessary to attract top students.
BUSINESS
December 8, 1998 | JESUS SANCHEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The construction business was in such a deep slump a few years ago that contractor Ernie Ritchie was ready to abandon the industry and find a new way to make a living. But on a recent weekday, Ritchie was busy supervising his crew of seven plasterers at the site of a new movie theater in Pasadena while preparing to take on new jobs in Simi Valley and Dana Point. "It's like night and day," said Ritchie, 36, whose revenue is up 10% from last year. "There is a job on every corner you look at.
BUSINESS
November 3, 1998 | MELINDA FULMER
Despite some tightening in the capital markets, construction activity in California, as measured by building permit values, continued to increase in September, according to a report by the Construction Industry Research Board. Total construction volume for the state increased $3.44 billion in September, up 4% from August and up 18% from September 1997. Nonresidential building made up $1.35 billion of the $3.44 billion, down 3.8% from August, but up 11.4% from September 1997.
BUSINESS
October 6, 1998 | BOB HOWARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
To most observers, Southern California's growing need for housing should create an ample market for new condominiums. Rising land costs are pushing single-family homes out of the reach of many would-be buyers at the same time that low mortgage rates make mortgages affordable. At a similar point in the last real estate boom, many buyers opted for new condos. This time around, they don't have that option.
NEWS
September 7, 1992 | MICHAEL FLAGG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imagine for an instant that every Mexican immigrant in Orange County vanished one day. Half-finished housing tracts would stand silent; hotels would have to turn away tourists; dirty dishes would pile up in hundreds of restaurant kitchens; there would be nobody behind the counter at dozens of fast-food joints; assembly lines would clank to a stop. For better and worse, the county--and the rest of Southern California--is hooked on a fix of cheap immigrant labor.
BUSINESS
October 14, 1990 | JOHN O'DELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Home buyers are scarce as desert rain clouds, builders' financing sources are going the way of the passenger pigeon and the William Lyon Co. is planning for the future as zestfully as if it were entering the booming 1960s. Crazy? Well, a hallmark of Lyon's nearly 40 years in the residential construction business is that he has mostly been right. And Lyon, the nation's leading home builder last year in sales volume, seems to think this is a great time for a builder who is willing to stretch.
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