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Montrose group's revenue exceeds forecast

Montrose board cites income from film shoots and collections at Harvest Market.

August 02, 2012|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Walkers pass one of many shops on Honolulu Avenue during a Montrose Historical Walking Tour of the Montrose Shopping Park.
Walkers pass one of many shops on Honolulu Avenue during… (Times Community…)

The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. — which long struggled to make ends meet until clamping down on cash-reporting procedures — announced Thursday that the business group was on track to exceed income projections by 11%.

The shopping park has made about $400,000 so far, “and it's only August,” said Executive Director Dale Dawson at a board meeting Thursday.

And with expenditures remaining steady — originally projected at $360,000 — the shopping park board will be in the enviable position of deciding what to do with the extra money.

Also on Thursday, board members said they plan to create a committee to review their bylaws and close any loopholes after an embezzlement investigation involving former Glendale City Councilman John Drayman rocked the organization.

Drayman was indicted in May for allegedly embezzling at least $304,000 from the group's weekly farmers market from January 2004 to April 2011.

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Drayman was in charge of counting the money vendors paid to the shopping park until the board created a Harvest Market Oversight Committee last year and updated the money collection process.

Once that happened, revenues soared. That year, the farmers market was forecast to make $43,000, but after changing cash-reporting rules, it ended up bringing in roughly $141,000, prompting suspicions of embezzlement from the board.

So far this year, the market has brought in $158,000, the association reported.

“The Harvest Market is going well,” said Linda McMenamin, the association's promotional coordinator.

Revenues from filming have also increased, the association reported.

They expected to make $20,000 in filming revenue for the year, but so far they've brought in about $33,000.

“We've had some location managers come here and say ‘I can't believe what you have here,'” said Steve Pierce, the group's filming liaison.

The shopping park, with its quaint street and old-town feel, recently served as the site of NBC's “Awake” and HBO's “True Blood.”

Pierce asked the board at a recent meeting if the shopping park should advertise on a filming location marketing website, but some feared the shopping park would be deluged with requests.

The association has long had to balance a desire for lucrative film shoots with complaints from business owners who dislike closing parts of the street because it hurts their daily customer traffic.

The shopping park has final say over who can film in the area due to the impact filming has on local businesses. Pierce said with more options, the shopping park can select higher-end films.

“More inquiries are better if you can pick and choose,” said board member Danny Pranata.

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