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Plant Design Awards—Grand Prize: CDM Cleaners (Part 1)

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.


CDM Cleaners is owned by Edmond and Silva Hacatoryan, who immigrated to the United States from Istanbul, Turkey, in the early 1980s. Edmond partnered with his brother in the drycleaning business first before going into business for himself in 1992.

The Hacatoryans own three drycleaning businesses—CDM Cleaners, Newport North Cleaners and Newport Ridge Cleaners—and a tailor shop, Master Tailoring, all located within about a six-mile radius. “I live only a mile and a half from CDM Cleaners,” he says.

In each case, the Hacatoryans are tenants in a real estate development managed by The Irvine Company. “Irvine Company is a great partner with us, because they appreciate high quality.”

It’s this relationship with the mall management giant that created an opportunity for the Hacatoryans to build a new operation in the Newport Beach site that had previously been home to another dry cleaner. “They appreciated our other stores’ qualifications, our quality production, and we have a great staff.”

Having a large supermarket and drug store nearby helps to bring in a lot of traffic, says Arlene Hacatoryan, daughter of the owners. “We’re surrounded, predominantly, by neighborhoods,” she says. “The demographics are young families and senior citizens. It’s very much a ‘neighborhoody’ area, it’s not really a big-city feel at all.”

CDM’s goal is to give its customers an experience that is high-end, user-friendly and in tune with the environmentally conscious culture in Southern California. Besides the fact that it uses green technology in its cleaning process, it shows its love for the environment through its positive, clean, contemporary lobby design, created by Arlene, a recent graduate of the USC School of Architecture.

“What is typically needed in a reception space for a dry cleaner is a reception desk, which will house a computer or whatever system we’re using for itemizing,” she says. “But we wanted to add a flair to it, our own stamp on it.”

Residents of Newport Beach are accustomed to living “a lifestyle of luxury, so we really wanted to elevate their experiences at the dry cleaner, because it’s as much a part of everyone’s daily routine as going to the grocery store, getting their hair done, or going to the mall,” Hacatoryan says.

She came up with basic renderings, which were then fully developed into construction drawings under her direction by Tim Bundy and Ryan Walker of Bundy Finkel Architects.

Materials in the corner space are all-natural. A floor-to-ceiling glass entry exhibits a featured wall made of reclaimed poplar wood tiles and incorporating a mirror etched with the CDM Cleaners logo.

“Based on the geometries of that tile, we started tweaking the reception desk,” she says. “We kind of imitated the angularity of the wood tiles and designed it so that the positioning of the customer vs. the employee … works nicely.”

Meanwhile, a custom wall covering playfully celebrates garment care iconography. Even the CDM logo is a play on the garment care symbol for washing. “The funny thing is a lot of people think it looks like a crown, which is totally appropriate and kind of an intended pun, because Corona Del Mar means crown of the sea.”

Check back Tuesday for the conclusion!

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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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CDM Cleaners’ lobby features a geometric, contemporary aesthetic, designed by owners, Edmond and Silva Hacatoryan’s daughter, Arlene. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

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Edmond Hacatoryan (left) holds the ribbon for Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry during CDM Cleaners’ recent ribboncutting ceremony. Watching (from left) are Silva Hacatoryan, Arlene Hacatoryan and Tallene Hacatoryan. (Photo: CDM Cleaners)

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