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Developer Michael Marini has big ideas for small lots

LOS ANGELES - The gig: Michael Marini, 49, is chief executive of Planet Home Living, one of the leading developers of small-lot subdivisions - clusters of townhome-like single-family houses that are only inches apart from each other. The sleek, modern developments have proved extremely popular among Los Angeles homebuyers in recent years, particularly in high-demand neighborhoods, where there's little for-sale housing being built. Lists of those interested in the LA-area firm's projects are in the hundreds, Marini said. And he's currently under construction or about to start work on nine developments, eight of which are small lots. "Never been busier," he said.

Updated: Nov. 25, 2015 8:11 AM | Full Story

As volume expands, ways of receiving parcels evolving for consumers

PITTSBURGH - Allegheny City Market, tucked inconspicuously into Pittsburgh's Mexican War Streets neighborhood, has built a customer base with its tidy convenience store and deli featuring locally themed sandwiches like the Randyland Reuben, named for artist Randy Gilson's colorful residence a block away.

Updated: Nov. 25, 2015 8:11 AM | Full Story

Economic development chief is the force driving Rochester, Minn.'s $6B rebirth

A pair of tennis shoes tucked into her bag, a water bottle at the ready, Lisa Clarke steps into a meeting in a busy morning full of them and drops a well-worn line.

Updated: Nov. 24, 2015 8:11 AM | Full Story

Saladworks CEO working to freshen up stale brand

PHILADELPHIA - These days, chief executive Paul Steck, 53, is a happy guy, developing a new tahini salad dressing and bubbling over the future of Saladworks LLC, the franchise restaurant company that began in the Philadelphia area in 1986.

Updated: Nov. 24, 2015 8:06 AM | Full Story