Stories for March 2015
Tuesday, March 31
Aircraft parts supplier Align Aerospace Holding Inc. has been sold to a subsidiary of a Chinese importer and exporter of commercial aerospace products, the companies announced Tuesday.
In one of the county’s biggest hotel deals this year, New York real estate investment trust Carey Watermark Investors Inc. has bought the Westin Pasadena for $143 million.
Viking Cruises, best known for its river cruises, has taken delivery of its first ocean cruise ship, the Viking Star.
Monday, March 30
Natel Engineering Co. announced on Monday it would merge with OnCore Manufacturing LLC to create one of the largest microelectronic assembly firms in the United States.
Demonstrating investors’ continued appetite for well-located retail properties, two local shopping centers – one in Oxnard and one in Palmdale – have changed hands in separate transactions totaling nearly $27 million.
Luis Ma. R. Calingo, who abruptly resigned as president of Woodbury University, will become president of a Catholic university in the Philippines this fall, the Burbank school announced on Monday.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. scored big over the weekend with its latest release “Home” bringing in $54 million in domestic box office revenue.
Friday, March 27
An Encino shopping center will host the San Fernando Valley's first Dunkin’ Donuts outlet, the brokerage on the deal announced Thursday.
The Valley Economic Development Center has purchased a $5 million loan portfolio from a defunct for-profit community development corporation.
Thursday, March 26
A jury awarded a Chatsworth woman $28 million on Thursday after agreeing that Kaiser Permanente’s Woodland Hills facility bungled the treatment for what turned out to be a cancerous tumor, according to the woman’s law firm.
After a contentious, five-hour Wednesday evening hearing, developer Richard Weintraub won the right to demolish the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge event center in Studio City and replace it with a 97,800-square-foot, mixed-use development.
Technicolor USA Inc. is closing a digital media services facility in Burbank that it opened just last year with expectations that it would employ some 250 workers.
The Human Services Agency of Ventura County has leased 57,200 square feet at Younan Executive Center in Simi Valley, in what is said to be the largest single lease so far this year in Ventura County.
Wednesday, March 25
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared in Van Nuys on Wednesday to urge passage of an Assembly bill providing tax credits for landlords who retrofit apartments and condo complexes deemed especially vulnerable to collapse in earthquakes.
Los Angeles Valley College opened a $23 million Community Services Center for students and area residents this week as part of its campus expansion and modernization program.
Amgen seeks to halt sale of Neupogen copycat. Marcus & Millichap insiders sell $19 million more stock. PennyMac Mortgage Trust declares dividend.
Tuesday, March 24
Home furnishing retailer Ikea will begin demolition Thursday at the 22-acre Burbank site where the chain will construct its largest U.S. store.
A private New York real estate investment trust that invests exclusively in affordable housing announced on Tuesday that it is putting $20 million into California low-income housing, including issuing a mortgage for a Van Nuys senior housing complex.
A 154,000-square-foot industrial building in Chatsworth recently vacated by an adult-toy manufacturer has been acquired by Rexford Industrial Realty Inc.
Monday, March 23
San Fernando Valley home sales and prices increased sharply after a slow start in January, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report released on Monday.
Grocery chain Fresh & Easy is closing and selling 30 stores in Southern California, including five in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County
Haggen Food & Pharmacy Grocery store will open its first area location in Palmdale on Tuesday in a converted Albertsons.
Jim Scanlon still in charge after selling brokerage
Despite a $33 million buyout, Jim Scanlon is still at his desk selling policies.
Thomas Tull has built Legendary Entertainment into a major Hollywood player from his base in the Valley.
Thomas Tull’s mix of private equity savvy and Hollywood deal-making has made Legendary Entertainment.
Ever heard the old saying “you can’t step in the same river twice?” Probably, and for good reason.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
Former Pentagon official Jay Gibson has been named chief executive of XCOR Aerospace, developer of a space vehicle at the Mojave Air & Space Port. Gibson replaces Jeff Greason, a founder of XCOR, who will remain as chief technology officer and chairman.
DEVELOPMENT: Woodland Hills citizens’ committee asks for more revisions.
Plans for a luxury apartment complex at the site of the Woodland Hills post office have been sent back to the drawing board again – but not before the developer won over a few critics.
EDUCATION: Proposed bill would help pay loans of public service lawyers.
State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, the Valley’s newest representative in Sacramento, has a plan to solve dual problems in the legal profession.
REDEVELOPMENT: Regency completes $27 million first phase of center rehab.
The first phase of the Westlake Plaza facelift was completed this month as its owner seeks to keep pace with competing shopping centers in the affluent Westlake Village retail market.
ECOMMERCE: Dalia Hadari’s successful beauty supply firm has roots in her tough childhood.
Atypical Brands’ online marketing strategy delivers atypical growth.
Simi Valley Hospital offering ‘restaurant– quality’ bedside fare.
Simi Valley Hospital skips the cafeteria tray with its upscale meal plan.
Public spinoff picks Chatsworth for its headquarters.
Oil producer California Resources establishes its headquarters in Chatsworth.
Celebrity tattoo artist opens shop in district already doodle heavy.
Tattoo artist Romeo Lacoste opens his first parlor in trendy NoHo.
BEAUTY: Dr. Peter Grossman opens spa offering cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Peter Grossman opens a medical spa for non-surgical treatments.
AEROSPACE: GenCorp. eyeing Rocketdyne for restructuring.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s restructuring will have little impact in the Valley.
BIOTECH: Maker of chin-fat drug taking on male-pattern baldness.
From chin fat reduction to hair loss prevention, Kythera likes vanity drugs.
Friday, March 20
Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in February as the county added 25,000 jobs across almost every industry, according to state figures released Friday.
Insiders at Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. have sold 3.2 million shares of stock in a transaction that totaled more than $102 million, according to a regulatory filing.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report about last month’s collision between a Metrolink train and truck in Oxnard with details that are consistent with earlier reports by authorities and the statements of the truck driver.
Thomas Tull may not be well known outside Hollywood circles but his movies certainly are - “The Dark Knight,” “300,” and “The Hangover” among them. Yet the chief executive of Legendary Entertainment in Burbank is not the typical industry big shot – despite a net worth pegged at $870 million.
When his Woodland Hills company, SGB-NIA Insurance Brokers, was acquired for $33 million last year, chief executive Jim Scanlon decided to splurge: He and his wife finally replaced the bedroom set they got as a wedding gift in 1981. This summer, they’re planning their first European vacation.
Thursday, March 19
Hiking L.A.’s minimum wage would bring more benefits than costs to both Los Angeles and the region, according to a long-awaited and controversial study released Thursday afternoon.
A federal judge on Thursday denied Amgen Inc.’s bid to stop the sale of a biosimilar form of Neupogen, the company’s infection-fighting blockbuster drug for cancer patients
The owner of Pacific Construction was arrested Thursday on charges of felony workers’ compensation insurance fraud for allegedly not reporting an on-the-job injury that caused an employee's leg to be amputated.
Foreclosures in L.A. County fell 5 percent in February and are down nearly 15 percent from one year ago, according to a report released Thursday.
Interlink Electronics Inc. reports fourth-quarter earnings growth. Assets down at Mission Valley Bancorp.
Wednesday, March 18
Semiconductor manufacturer Microsemi Corp. has made an offer to acquire Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.in a deal valued at $389 million.
Jesus Lozano, who worked as an immigration attorney at a Van Nuys office, entered a no contest plea on Wednesday to charges that he didn’t have a license to practice law.
Tuesday, March 17
NAI Capital has named veteran broker Timothy P. Foutz as its chief executive officer, replacing predecessor Bob Scullin following a "philosophic difference" among the Encino brokerage's partners.
Private investment firm Apollo Global Management LCC is close to a deal to buy Digital First Media, owner of the Los Angeles Daily News and other newspapers in the region, according to media reports.
Monday, March 16
Jay Gibson has been named as the chief executive of XCOR Aerospace, developer of a small, sub-orbital space vehicle at the Mojave Air & Space Port.
Sun Valley bank cites historic change in banking habits for closure and plans to open smaller branch in future.
Mario Gabelli ups stake in wheel maker Superior. "Cinderella" glitters box office gold for the Burbank studio.
Friday, March 13
The Los Angeles City Clerk’s office confirmed that Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu – two business-backed candidates – received the most votes in the March 3 primary to fill the seat representing L.A. City Council District 4.
BNK posts wider loss. Mission Valley declares first-ever dividend. Sun Valley industrial building changes hands.
Thursday, March 12
The Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation has been put on the market just two weeks after being sold for $185 million to an Atlanta bank, but the studio has a 20-year lease on the property and will remain.
At its annual shareholder meeting, Walt Disney Co. announced a sequel to “Frozen,” the film which reinvigorated its animation business.
California should expect continued job growth and reduced unemployment figures over the next three years, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast released Thursday.
Wednesday, March 11
Amgen Inc. plans to lay off 300 workers at its recently acquired Onyx subsidiary in South San Francisco, and transfer others to its Thousand Oaks headquarters.
The YouTube networks of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will produce 200 hours of original programming for mobile streaming to customers of Verizon Communications, the companies announced Wednesday.
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced on Wednesday the pricing for its $125 million secondary offering as it anticipates FDA approval of its lead drug candidate, a treatment that dissolves fat in double chins.
Marcus & Millichap selling 4 million shares. Hughes ups stake in American Homes 4 Rent. Printing company moves to Valley.
Tuesday, March 10
GenCorp Inc. is making a 10 percent reduction in the staff of its Aerojet Rocketdyne division, which includes its Chatsworth rocket-engine development and manufacturing facility.
Profit down at Superior and Salem. Losses pile up at MRV.
Monday, March 9
California Resources Corp., the recent spinoff from Occidental Petroleum Corp., is moving its headquarters to Chatsworth from Westwood, the company announced on Monday.
Westfield Corp. announced on Monday that it has acquired the Sears store slated for closure at its Westfield Topanga mall and will redevelop the space into an entertainment complex to complement its Village at Topanga, which will open in September.
A Food and Drug Administration panel on Monday recommended approval of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc.’s novel treatment for chin fat.
Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport dipped nearly 2 percent in January - the second month in a row it has been off.
Duo wins Academy recognition for filming driving, crash scenes.
Stunt drivers build a better vehicle for filming fast action.
The bus system’s poor morning and weekend service, and iffy transfers, hurt employers and employees.
Valley needs better bus travel
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
The Moorpark City Council approved an extension through 2019 for permits connected with a $200 million sound-stage project.
TRANSACTIONS: Experts say lease, sales prices to rise after record set in 2014.
Signs are pointing to a positive year for the Ventura County commercial real estate markets, with rental rates and sales prices projected to increase due to a dearth of new construction.
VENTURE CAPITAL: Sanguine chief’s fundraising strategy uses high-low approach.
When Brian Neman needed growth financing for his clinical-studies patient-recruitment firm, he found it with a combination of old-fashioned door knocking and newfangled technology.
REAL ESTATE: Mall owner spends $7.1 million on gallery store set for closure.
Westfield Corp. has purchased the land beneath Macy’s Furniture Gallery at the Westfield Promenade mall – a move that will give the company more options as it seeks to reposition the struggling Woodland Hills mall.
FUNDRAISER: Annual event raises $264,000 for MEND and its Pacoima programs.
Workers at Meet Each Need with Dignity have a rewarding, yet equally tough job in the Valley providing food, medical and educational services – among other things – to the needy.
MARKETING: Vimby has drawn national ad clients with its granular approach to video.
When brands need video made in multiple cities, they call Vimby.
Couple wins contest on attracting youth to manufacturing jobs.
Two students explain how to train next-gen factory workers.
University fundraising helps volleyball team move from Malibu.
CSUN’s Matadors have a new logo, licensing deals and a sand volleyball team.
HOSPITALITY: Hip lodging set for far reaches of NoHo district.
A NoHo hotel tries to carve out space a block away from the arts district.
FINANCE: DreamWorks said to get soft price, great lease on campus.
The sale and leaseback of DreamWorks’ campus gives the studio $185 million.
ANIMATION: Disney, others deny collusion to hold down salaries.
Employee suit alleges Disney, DreamWorks and others conspired to keep down animator salaries.
Adam Levine’s father expanding M. Fredric chain
Having weathered the recession, apparel chain M. Fredric is ready to grow again.
Friday, March 6
Los Angeles County’s jobless rate dipped below 8 percent in January for the first time in nearly six years, according to state figures released Friday.
Amgen Inc. will face new competition after Novartis AG secured the first-ever FDA approval to sell a “biosimilar” drug – provided it can overcome a legal challenge by the Thousand Oaks company.
Adam Levine is lead vocalist for pop-rock band Maroon 5, coach on NBC’s “The Voice” and recent Academy Awards performer. But the popular singer’s father, Fred Levine, is the owner of M. Fredric – an Agoura Hills-based apparel chain that is on a major growth spurt.
Walt Disney Co. and DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will head to federal court later this month to seek dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that they and seven other companies conspired to keep down the salaries of animation artists who created some of Hollywood’s best-selling films and TV shows.
Valley Glen apartments breaks ground. Marcus & Millichap earnings deliver.
Thursday, March 5
Shares in Semtech Corp. dropped more than 10 percent Thursday the day after reporting poor earnings and a $45 million acquisition of a Texas manufacturer.
National Technical makes acquisition. American Homes declares dividend. Studio City apartments change hands.
Wednesday, March 4
The Tuesday primary winnowed the field down to two candidates who will face each other in a run-off election to fill the seat representing Los Angeles City Council District 4.
San Fernando Valley home sales started the year slower than expected and foreclosure rates rose year-over-year for the first time in more than three years, but median home prices climbed 8 percent, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Lexington apartment complex in Agoura Hills has sold for $53 million, a price representing $299,000 per unit.
AeroVironment beats income expectations, Ixia secures new credit line, Electro Rent loses a supplier and JMPR signs a new client.
Tuesday, March 3
The engineer of the Metrolink commuter train that collided last week with a vehicle on the tracks died early Tuesday.
Shares of DTS Inc. soared 12 percent Tuesday just a day after the company announced it will have to restate earnings for three quarters from last year.
Monday, March 2
Three high-profile Burbank buildings with tenants that include Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and MTV Networks have been put on the market for $90 million by their Beverly Hills owner.
With a legislative effort having failed to stop a proposed sand and gravel mine in Soledad Canyon, Cemex Corp. is moving ahead with efforts to start work at the Santa Clarita Valley site.
A state appeals court panel has issued a tentative opinion in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s effort to build a superstore in Burbank.
Amgen Inc. announced on Sunday results from a clinical trial showing that its newly acquired drug Kyprolis is more effective in combating multiple myeloma blood cancer than a conventional treatment.
College of the Canyons has named two new directors to its economic development division to work with startups, small businesses and manufacturers.