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Plant Design Awards—Grand Prize: CDM Cleaners (Conclusion)

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Corona Del Mar (CDM) Cleaners belongs to a family-owned business that has been serving the community of Newport Beach, Calif., since 1989. Intent on conveying a message of excellence to customers not only through superior drycleaning and laundry services but through its image, CDM designed and constructed a new store here that is integrated seamlessly into the surrounding retail community.

This new plant, which officially opened in October at 1628 San Miguel, in the Harbor View Center, earned Grand Prize for Best Plant Design this year in American Drycleaner’s 53rd Annual Plant Design Awards.


Edmond and Silva Hacatoryan, owners of CDM Cleaners, called on Arthur Kajiwara Equipment Co. to install the brawn behind the beauty. The project had its challenges, says its namesake, Art Kajiwara, who’s installed several drycleaning plants for the Hacatoryan family over the years.

“We did the complete install, electrical, plumbing, the build-out,” he says. “We had to re-do the ceilings. Put one-hour separation from the next tenant, because it’s a hydrocarbon (drycleaning) machine. Brought in combustion air for the boiler room. And we put a shirt laundry as well as dry cleaning in that shop. It’s just a little over 1,500 square feet. Yes, it’s tight, but it’s workable.”

The design accommodates both drycleaning and shirt laundry components. Anchoring the production side is a 60-pound Frigosec hydrocarbon drycleaning machine made by Realstar, USA. Kajiwara says the machine features refrigerated solvent cooling, plus an automated filter system. “The filter cleans itself automatically and flushes the pump and the solvent lines every load during the drying cycle.”

Without that feature, about every 15 loads, CDM workers would have to set the equipment for cleaning. That could take as long as an hour to complete, and the machine couldn’t be used during that time. “You eliminate that chore and that wasted time every 15 loads,” he says.

Also, the project, which was originally planned to be completed over a three-month period, had to be finished in six weeks by the time the blueprints and permits were approved, Kajiwara says.

“When I did the design and the floor plan, every inch counted,” he says. “Any deviation [from that plan during construction] would have been inches. Nothing more.”

The CDM plant also utilizes UniMac laundry equipment, a Hi-Steam laundry finisher, Forenta spotting board, Forenta drycleaning presses (featuring Qualitex press pads), two conveyors from White Conveyors, and a boiler from Parker Boiler. The modern POS system and cameras are from Fabricom and Pricom, respectively.

Edmond Hacatoryan sees the project as an investment necessary to attract the customers his business needs.

“I spent more than $70,000 on that storefront, and I spent a huge amount of money on that back,” says Hacatoryan. “Real estate is so expensive in Newport (Beach), and our rent is outrageous. To get this to work for us, we need to make every square inch workable.”

United Fabricare fills CDM’s packaging needs. It was Vice President and General Manager Michael Fahar who alerted CDM Cleaners to the American Drycleaner contest and encouraged the Hacatoryans to enter their new plant.

“God line up everything for me and my family,” says Edmond Hacatoryan.

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Corona Del Mar (CDM) Cleaners, Newport Beach, Calif., received the Grand Prize in American Drycleaners 53rd Annual Plant Design Awards. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

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The plant’s spotting board and hydrocarbon drycleaning machine. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

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A look at the plant’s conveyor system. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

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A wide view of the pressing and finishing equipment. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].