Stories for May 2015

Friday, May 29

Reseda Apartment Sells for $15.5 Million

A 100-unit apartment complex in Reseda has sold for $15.5 million to Lion Real Estate Group LLC of Los Angeles. The 74,500-square-foot Park Sienna Apartments is located on 1.7 acres at 6425 Reseda Blvd., at the corner of Reseda and Victory, directly across from Reseda Park.

Amgen, Merck Expand Cancer Research Pact

Amgen Inc. will expand its collaboration with Merck on research seeking a cure for a special type of head and neck cancer, the company announced Friday.

Issue Preview: Homegrown Roots

It was 1913 when William Mulholland, chief engineer of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, famously stood at the gateway to the San Fernando Valley and opened the floodgates. “There it is. Take it,” he declared, as water from the Owens River cascaded down the sluiceway into Sylmar.

Issue Preview: The Green Green Grass of Home

Home foreclosures and the drought wouldn’t appear to be the underpinnings of a good business, but don’t tell that to Kerri McCoy.

Thursday, May 28

Valley Home Prices Hit Post-Recession High

San Fernando Valley home and condominium sales were flat in April but the median, single-family home price registered its highest number since the recession ended, according to a report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors released Thursday.

Study: California Rebounds as Film Location

California rebounded as a filming location for live action and animated feature films released last year, a report Thursday from FilmL.A. shows.

College of the Canyons to Launch Career Programs

College of the Canyons has received a $5.5 million grant to create four career pathway programs for high school students, the school announced Thursday.

Farmers Approved to Sell Rideshare Insurance

A new Farmers Insurance product that fills a gap in coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers was approved Wednesday by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Briefs: Tutor Perini, Universal Studios

Tutor Perini shareholders vote against executive compensation package for fifth straight year; Universal Studios announced new attraction at Orlando park.

Wednesday, May 27

United Online Settles Classmates Suit

United Online Inc. subsidiary Classmates Inc. has agreed to pay part of an $11 million penalty to settle allegations of deceptive advertising.

Briefs: Semtech, Ceres

Semtech misses analyst expectations, Ceres secure a patent for soybean research.

Tuesday, May 26

Suicide Concerns Dissolve Amgen Drug Partnership

Amgen Inc. will end a partnership to develop a drug for psoriasis because it could face restrictive labeling due to concerns from regulatory agencies that it might lead to suicidal thoughts.

"Tomorrowland": Rare Disney Money Loser?

“Tomorrowland," the sci-fi action adventure movie from Walt Disney Co., was the highest grossing film over the Memorial Day weekend, but that may not mean much given the lackluster holiday box office take.

Friday, May 22

NoHo Commons Sells for $43 Million

The NoHo Commons retail center, a seminal North Hollywood development, has been acquired by an Orange County investment firm for $43 million, or about $681 a square foot, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.

L.A. Unemployment Holds Steady Amid Job Gains

L.A. County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 7.6 percent as the county fell just short of its all-time payroll jobs peak, according to state figures released Friday.

E.U. Panel Backs Amgen Cholesterol Drug

Amgen Inc. announced Friday that a European Union committee has recommended approval of its drug Repatha to treat high cholesterol.

Thursday, May 21

House Passes Commercial Space Liability Bill

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to promote the commercial space industry by limiting liability for operators and ensuring light oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Foreclosures Up as Banks Clear Inventory

Foreclosure filings rose in L.A. County and the state in April, mirroring a nationwide trend spurred by banks seeking to sell repossessed properties amid a rise in home prices, according to a report released Thursday.

Anthem Blue Cross Names President

Anthem Blue Cross announced on Thursday that J. Brian Ternan will become the company’s president and oversee commercial operations in California.

Valley Gets Second LAX Bus

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday approved a $76 million Fly Away contract that will add bus service to LAX from a second San Fernando Valley location.

Wednesday, May 20

Residential Developments Proposed for Van Nuys

Developers floated two proposals before the land-use committee of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council on Tuesday, including a subdivision that got the green light to move forward.

Valley Business Interests Rebuffed by Voters

Valley business interests didn't get the candidate they wanted when David Ryu topped Carolyn Ramsay in Tuesday’s District 4 L.A. City Council election.

Disney Opens Giant Shanghai Store

The biggest Walt Disney Co. store in the world opened Wednesday in Shanghai’s financial district.

Qualstar Corp. Names President

Qualstar Corp. promoted Daniel K. Jan to president after having served as executive vice president the past year, the company announced.

Tuesday, May 19

Cherokee Buys Everyday California

Cherokee Global Brands has acquired casual lifestyle brand Everyday California in an effort to expand its portfolio.

Sylmar Firm Buys Santa Clarita Building

A 44,500-square-foot warehouse in the Valencia Industrial Center has sold for $4.6 million to an expanding Sylmar logistics company.

Amgen Names General Counsel

Amgen Inc. announced the appointment of Jonathan Graham on Tuesday to the position of general counsel and corporate secretary.

TV Producers Rush for California Tax Credits

TV shows are lining up for expanded tax credits for filming in California.

BizFed Survey: Wage Hike Tempers Business Optimism

L.A.-area businesses are optimistic about business conditions this year and plan to sharply ramp up capital spending, but they are concerned about the prospect of a citywide hike in the minimum wage, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Business Federation.

Monday, May 18

Soccer Club Picks USC Over Valley

Despite efforts by San Fernando Valley business leaders to lure a new professional soccer team and stadium to the region, the new Los Angeles Football Club has announced it plans to build its new home at the site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena near USC.

Issue Preview: Can It Strike a Chord?

Gutiar Inc. is bucking the trend toward online musical instrument sales. The Westlake Village chain plans a brick-and-mortar expansion this year that includes beefing up its in-store services.

Issue Preview: The Real Deal

The list of clients that NAI Capital’s Tim Foutz has represented over his four decades as a commercial real estate broker reads like a “Who’s Who” of the San Fernando Valley business community. At 66, he should be heading into retirement. Instead, Foutz has been named chief executive officer of the Encino brokerage.

SPECIAL REPORT: Heady Growth Strategy Defines Life at Top Firm

The world has changed enormously since I joined the profession 24 years ago. Regulatory oversight has increased.

The Real Deal

Seasoned broker takes over NAI after internal dispute

Veteran broker Timothy Foutz takes over as chief executive at NAI Capital.

Valley Firm Leaving L.A.

MANUFACTURING: Superior move to Michigan called strategic.

Superior Industries decides to move its headquarters to Michigan.

Business Backs City Hall Vet

ELECTION: Ramsay racks up endorsements in Council race.

Business groups support City Hall insider Carolyn Ramsay in the District 4 Council race.

These Festivals Are Hopping

Suds are up at craft brew events held by former disc jockey.

The future looks foamy for Burbank-based California Beer Festival.

When a Four Letter Word Is Just Right

Cal State Northridge’s new logo embraces popular acronym.

Cal State Northridge launches a marketing campaign.

Spinning Tragic Tales Into Gold?

Parent of autistic child starts website focusing on uplifting content.

A website for positive stories has reason to be happy with a $1.8 million investment.

The Number

As foreclosures dwindle, so does the profitability of house flipping.

Can It Strike A Chord?

RETAIL: Guitar Center is blending ecommerce with aggressive brick-and-mortar expansion.

Guitar Center bucks the ecommerce trend by opening new brick-and-mortar stores.

Walmart Rolling Forward After Favorable Ruling

RETAIL: Burbank preparing for Superstore after court upholds building permit.

A court decision moves the Burbank Walmart project closer to opening.

Post Production Houses Green Light Joint Venture

FILM: Technicolor and Deluxe team up as digital revolution slows.

When Technicolor S.A. and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. announced last month they were forming a joint venture, on the surface it appeared a bit of a head scratcher.

Sharky’s Stores Taking Bigger Bite of Market

RESTAURANTS: Chain will open four more outlets, including stand-alone.

Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill is building its first free-standing restaurant in Northridge this year.

Neighborhood Prosecutors Tap Into Social Media

ENFORCEMENT: City program seeks to combat local nuisances block-by-block.

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer’s program for Neighborhood Prosecutors is receiving mixed reviews from Valley attorneys.

SPECIAL REPORT: Runner Has Track Record

Tax season means long hours for everyone, but a sense of camaraderie is built among the team and when it ends there is a great sense of accomplishment.

SPECIAL REPORT: Royalties Make Partner a King at New Firm

Vincent Leoni is the newest partner at Miller Kaplan Arase, the San Fernando Valley’s largest accounting firm as ranked by the number of local CPAs.

SPECIAL REPORT: San Fernando Valley Native Handles Taxing Job

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP is so tied to traditional tax work that Gregg Hutchins, a partner in the Westlake Village office, has a copy of the very first U.S. tax form from 1913 hanging on the wall of his office.

SPECIAL REPORT: Small Company Specialist Grows With Clients

We are a multi-disciplined, full-service firm that serves many small businesses and high net-worth individuals, but also specialize in providing a full suite of services to financial institutions.

SPECIAL REPORT: Author Spells It Out on Closely Held Companies

Over the years, our business has created the need to be uber compliance oriented and, with increased government oversight, we have to guard our role as business counselors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Master of All Trades Strategy Leads to Success

Andrew “Drew” Grey has worked as chief financial officer at a commercial lighting company, chief executive of a dietary supplement manufacturer and as top accountant at a real estate brokerage – all while partner at SRG LLC.

SPECIAL REPORT: Work Hard, Play Hard is Motto at Glendale Outfit

Technology has played a major role in the accounting field. I started my career with the very first desktop PC.

SPECIAL REPORT: Arthur Andersen Veteran Finds Success in Failure

I started my career at Arthur Andersen.

SPECIAL REPORT: Short Stature Belies Highly Competitive Nature

I’m the SoCal food, beverage, and agribusiness practice leader. I focus on manufacturing and consumer product companies with an emphasis in food, beverage and agribusiness.

SPECIAL REPORT: Leading Figures

Ten of the Valley’s top accountants share the quirks of the number-crunching trade.

Upgraded Warehouse Lures Overseas Buyer

INDUSTRIAL: Hong Kong firm spends $9.89 million on site once eyed for swap meet.

What’s a landlord to do with a vacant industrial building that’s no longer industrial? Take it back to its roots.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Lower fares are coming to commuters using the Antelope Valley Metrolink line this summer through a pilot program to help improve ridership.


Calendar of events

The Valley’s Ink Blot Economy

Let’s call the sudden departure of Superior Industries International Inc. the latest economic Rorschach test for worriers about the Valley’s and L.A.’s economic future.

L.A. Can Steer Clear of Urban Violence

A strong economy with good paying middle-class jobs is the best strategy to avoid being another Baltimore.

How L.A. can avoid becoming another Baltimore

A Plan for Rebuilding the Northeast Valley

Redefining the northeast Valley.

Westlake Village Firm Strikes Gusher

ENERGY: Startup creates software to improve oil-well efficiency.

A software firm for the oil well industry secures $20 million in venture capital.

Friday, May 15

Sun Valley Company Pays $15,500 Environmental Fine

A Sun Valley metal finishing factory has agreed to pay civil penalties for violation of waste and clean water laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced.

Business Groups Lambaste Proposal for Paid Time Off

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Friday issued a statement strongly condemning the possible inclusion of paid time off in the mayor's minimum wage ordinance, saying the idea had not previously been discussed.

Briefs: Tutor Perini, Unico American

Tutor Perini wins $123 million in contracts. Unico American reports quarterly loss.

Thursday, May 14

Daily News No Longer For Sale

Digital First Media, owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, has taken itself off the market and its chief executive is stepping down, according to a memo sent Thursday to employees.

Iger Sells Disney Shares Valued at $21.7 Million

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger gave himself a big pay day this week as he sold off 200,000 shares in the Burbank company.

Council Committee Approves Minimum Wage Hike

A Los Angeles City Council Committee on Wednesday voted to hike the citywide minimum wage to $15 an hour, but also to give more time for businesses to comply.

Wednesday, May 13

Health Net Shifts 2,000 Employees to Contractor

Development Department. They are required whenever a company plans to lay off at least 50 workers. The notice said the layoffs would take effect June 26.

Burbank Shopping Center Sells for $48.6 Million

A Burbank shopping center near the 5 freeway and Alameda Avenue has sold for $48.6 million, or about $650 a square foot.

Earnings: Trio-Tech, Interlink

Trio-Tech posts improved results, Interlink makes key hires.

Tuesday, May 12

Housing, Office Tower Proposed for Warner Center

A Van Nuys developer wants to put up a 369,000-square-foot, mixed-use project in Woodland Hills that would include 170 residential units and a 19-story office tower.

Boeckmann Trust Buys Car Storage Site

The trust connected to the family that owns the 10 Galpin auto dealerships has purchased a San Fernando warehouse for car storage.

Earnings Roundup: Signature Group, Talon

Signature reports first results since a major acquisition. Zipper maker Talon swings to a loss.

Monday, May 11

On Assignment Buys L.A. Firm for $570 Million

On Assignment Inc. said Monday it is acquiring a majority interest in Los Angeles specialty staffing firm Creative Circle LLC for $570 million in cash and equity – and an additional $30 million if performance benchmarks are met.

Apartment Sale Breaks Ventura County Record

A 164-unit Oxnard apartment complex has changed hands for $338,628 per unit, the highest price paid in Ventura County in at least a decade for a property with at least 100 apartments, according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.

High Speed Rail Authority Holding Community Meetings

The California High Speed Rail Authority has scheduled nine public meetings to give an update on the Palmdale to Burbank section of the project.

Friday, May 8

Interactive Nintendo Rides Coming to Universal Studios

Universal Parks & Resorts is partnering with Japanese video game company Nintendo Co. Ltd. to build interactive rides at its theme parks.

Hollywood Lighting Company Moving to Valley

Entertainment industry lighting manufacturer Mole-Richardson Co. is moving its headquarters and factory to Pacoima from Hollywood.

Disney Appoints Consumer Products Head

Company veteran Leslie Ferraro has been appointed president of the consumer products division of Walt Disney Co.

American Homes Gains on Strong Leasing

American Homes 4 Rent reported first-quarter funds from operations that met Wall Street expectations, as the company continued strong leasing activity and expansion of its housing portfolio.

Earnings Roundup: Marcus & Millichap, MannKind, Tutor Perini

Marcus & Millichap shares gain on profits. MannKind posts lower loss. Tutor Perini hurt by fewer higher-margin projects.

Thursday, May 7

Amgen Granted Novartis Injunction

An appeals court has blocked sales of Zarxio, a copycat version of Amgen Inc.’s blockbuster drug Neupogen.

Wesco Earnings Down, Halting Guidance

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. reported second-quarter earnings on Thursday that fell short of Wall Street expectations as production issues with commercial and military aircraft cut into organic growth.

PennyMac Companies Report Disappointing Earnings

PennyMac Financial Services earnings miss Wall Street estimates, while its REIT affiliate experienced lower-than-expected performance in its distressed loan portfolio.

Briefs: Property Sale, IPC, Tutor Perini

Burbank building has changed hands for $22.2 million. IPC Healthcare Inc. has acquired a Georgia practice. Tutor Perini Corp. received a $56.3 million tunnel contract.

Wednesday, May 6

Superior Industries Moving Headquarters to Michigan

Superior Industries International Inc., a publicly traded maker of aluminum wheels, is moving closer to its Detroit customers after receiving $900,000 in relocation assistance from the state of Michigan.

Ramsay Garners VICA PAC Endorsement

The political action committee of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association has endorsed Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19 race for City Council District 4 representative.

VEDC Secures $2 Million Microlending Grant

The Valley Economic Development Center has secured a $2 million grant from Sam’s Club that it plans to leverage into a $20 million national microlending fund.

Pierce College President Staying Put

Pierce College President Kathleen Burke will not be leaving the college to take an executive position with the Los Angeles Community College District.

Tuesday, May 5

Former Sherman Oaks Broker Admits to Bilking Customers

The former chief executive of a Sherman Oaks securities brokerage has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion for an investment scam that cost clients nearly $4 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.

Disney Earnings Not a Fantasy

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday beat Wall Street earnings forecasts for its fiscal second quarter as it benefited from strong advertising sales and the continuing popularity of merchandise from the film “Frozen.”

New Chamber Chief in Simi Valley

Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce announced on Tuesday that is has hired Gioia Goodrum as its new chief executive officer.

L.A. Attracts Record Visitors

Last year was a record-setter for L.A. tourism, breaking previous records for the number of visitors, visitor spending, hotel occupancy and number of rooms sold in the county, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board announced Tuesday.

Earnings Roundup: Reach Local, United Online, Mission Valley

ReachLocal reports wider loss. United Online cuts its loss. Mission Valley enjoys higher profits.

Monday, May 4

Issue Sneak Peek: So Long Solley's

Solley's Deli and Bakery, a San Fernando Valley landmark, is closing. It's the latest deli to shutter its doors due to demographics and changing tastes.

Restaurant Owners Propose Alternative Minimum Wage

As Los Angeles city officials consider hiking the minimum wage to as much as $15.25 an hour, local restaurant owners on Monday proposed a lower wage level for servers who receive tips.

Health Net Earnings Wow

Health Net Inc. reported adjusted first quarter net income on Monday that nearly doubled after gaining half a million policyholders.

Metrolink Cuts Antelope Valley Fares

Lower fares are coming to commuters using the Antelope Valley Metrolink line this summer through a pilot program to help improve ridership

Valley Factoring Firms Merge

Calabasas specialty finance firm Fast A/R Funding announced on Monday that it has acquired Continental Business Credit, a fellow specialty finance firm and asset-based lender in Woodland.

Universal Reaches Home-Video Royalties Settlement

Universal Pictures has reached a $26 million settlement in a class action lawsuit over underpayment of royalties to creative professionals who worked on home-video releases.

Lancaster Business Parks Acquired

Two Lancaster industrial parks on the market for just over five months have sold for $4.4 million.

Aviation Pioneer’s Next Frontier ... Model Planes

RETAIL: RutanRC to sell radio-controlled versions of X Prize-winning craft.

If flying an actual spaceship isn’t in your immediate future, RutanRC has the next best thing.

Joint Partner

Kenn Phillips brings an approach forged in the aerospace industry to his new role as chief of the Valley Economic Alliance.

After 16 years with Valley Economic Alliance, Kenn Phillips takes the helm.

Investor Flips Over Easton Sports Headquarters

OFFICES: Van Nuys building put back on market for $15 million after 18 months.

The Van Nuys building that served as the headquarters of Easton Sports and its successor companies for two decades is back on the market less than two years after it was sold for $12.3 million to a Los Angeles investor.

So Long Solley’s

Valley institution’s closure marks end of another deli.

The decline of Jewish delicatessens has caught up with Solley’s Deli.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The 36,000-square-foot Shops at Oak Creek, off the 101 freeway near Kanan Road, sold for $27.8 million, or about $768 a square foot.

Valley Light-Rail Proponents Refuse To Brake Campaign

Valley business groups want to turn the Orange Line into a rail line.


Calendar of events

Last Stop on the Orange Line

Valley residents shouldn’t take a back seat on the Orange Line conversion issue.

$800 Million Project Finally Moves Forward

DEVELOPMENT: Santa Clarita mixed-use set to start construction.

At 185 acres, Vista Canyon is the largest Santa Clarita project in years.

Diabetic Eye Screener Scans European Market

DEVICE: Eyenuk receives E.U. approval for software that detects retinopathy.

A software program that scans a human eye looking for retina problems may solve the growing imbalance between the diabetic population and the number of doctors.

Pacoima Teenagers Put Burgers on Back Burner

RESTAURANTS: Low-income kids learn about healthy eating, plan to start café.

Although organic food is standard fare these days in most hip L.A. restaurants, many teenagers still have diets of burgers, chips and soda – especially in low-income neighborhoods.

Can Female Superheroes Rescue Warner Bros.?

ENTERTAINMENT: Burbank studio, Mattel venture aims toy line at girls.

Warner Bros. and Mattel create a new line of female superheroes.

Cutting Edge Without The Knife

Cynvenio Biosystems’ ‘liquid biopsy’ system sold to research centers.

Cynvenio Biosystems makes a machine that finds cancer cells in the blood.

The Number

Golf rounds played in L.A. are on the rise, but prices remain stable.

What Chirps And Is High In Protein?

Crickets. A New Age food definitely not for the vegan crowd.

A cricket farm in Van Nuys could supply ingredients for your next meal.

When the Images Are Truly Moving

Pilot program to test if changing bus ads drive us to distraction.

With digital signs, Antelope Valley buses will become a marketing medium.

Startup Claims Fix for Terminal Boredom

MEDIA: ClearTV’s airport network aimed at travelers begins to take off.

Bored between flights? ClearTV’s airport programming network can help.

Friday, May 1

Asian Manufacturers in Antelope Valley Reach Milestones

Two Asian transportation companies that recently built manufacturing plants in the Antelope Valley reported major progress this week fulfilling orders from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Issue Preview: $800 Million Project Finally Moves Forward

When the $800 million Vista Canyon mixed-use project breaks ground this quarter in Santa Clarita, it will be the biggest development in the region since the recession.

Issue Preview: Startup Claims Fix for Terminal Boredom

As far as ClearTV Media Ltd. is concerned, waiting at the airport doesn’t need to be boring.

Earnings Roundup: Crown Media, Public Storage, LTC

Crown Media Holdings shines on higher advertising revenue. Public Storage benefits from higher rents. LTC Properties reports modest gains.

Briefs: Burbank Airport, Teledyne Technologies

Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport improved 5.2 percent in March. Teledyne Technologies subsidiary receives $67 million U.S. Army contract.