Stories for March 2018

Friday, March 30

Preview: Learning Strategist

As the new dean of the Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University-Northridge, Chandra Subramaniam is looking to build on the school’s strongest assets.

Chinese Real Estate Investment Nosedives

Chinese investment in U.S. real estate last year declined by more than half, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report.

Former Justice Armand Arabian Remembered by Local Community

Valley legal community leader and former California Supreme Court Justice Armand Arabian passed away Wednesday morning at his home, his family confirmed Friday.

Thursday, March 29

Formosa Group, Rethink Sign Leases at Hanhai Civic Plaza

Two new direct tenants, Formosa Group, and Rethink Leisure & Entertainment, have signed leases at Hanhai Civic Plaza in downtown Burbank, according to a Cushman & Wakefield release.

Amgen Drug Approved for Patients with High Risk of Leukemia Relapse

Amgen Inc.’s leukemia drug Blincyto has become the first drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in a subgroup of leukemia patients who are at a high risk of relapse following initial treatment.

Wednesday, March 28

Applebee’s Hires McDonald’s VP to Lead Insights and Analytics

McDonald’s senior executive Steve Levigne will join Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar as vice president of insights and analytics, Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands Global Inc. announced Tuesday.

Lamps Plus Partners with Dodgers Player

Chatsworth-based lighting firm Lamps Plus has entered into an endorsement partnership with L.A. Dodgers utility player Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez and his fiancee

Teledyne Gets Record Order from Kuwaiti Government

Teledyne ISCO, a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. in Thousand Oaks, has established a new contract with the Kuwait Ministry of Public Works that will see the company’s flow monitoring solutions integrated into the country’s wastewater reclamation system.

Tuesday, March 27

Lancaster Retail Property Sells for $1 Million

Calabasas-based Marcus & Millichap has announced the sale of Lancaster Village, a 13,463-square foot retail property located at 1137 West Avenue I in Lancaster.

Developer Buys Units at Universal Lofts

BLDG Partners has purchased 52 remaining live-work units at the Universal Lofts complex in Studio City in a $39 million acquisition, according to the Real Deal.

Chip Maker’s Jobs Go Down as Minimum Wages Go Up

Partly because of the rise in the minimum wage, Johanson Dielectrics Inc. is opening a new plant in Tijuana, Mexico and transferring jobs to it from the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County.

Monday, March 26

Post-Production Firm Moves to Burbank

In a 10-year lease transaction, Eikon Group, a London-headquartered post-production company which did technical creative work on such tentpoles as “Blade Runner 2049” and “Spider Man: Homecoming,” will occupy 20,000 square feet of flex and office space at Burbank Media District-North, Colliers International announced on Monday.

AeroVironment Improves Military Drone

AeroVironment Inc. announced Monday it was taking orders for the updated version of its Puma small unmanned aircraft system used by the military.

Friday, March 23

L.A. County Unemployment Unchanged at 4.5 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate in February was 4.5 percent, unchanged from January amid broad-based job gains for the month, according to state figures released Friday.

Glendale Man Sentenced for Illegal Music Sharing Website

A Glendale man who ran the music sharing site was sentenced to prison Thursday for criminal copyright infringement, the Justice Department has announced.

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Hires Chief Commercial Officer

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc., an aesthetic dermatological product company based in Westlake Village, has hired Allergan Inc. senior marketing manager Caroline Van Hove as its chief commercial officer.

ServiceTitan Raises $62 Million in Venture Capital

ServiceTitan, a Glendale-based software app for service professionals, announced $62 million in Series C funding.

Thursday, March 22

U.S. Nuclear Shares Jump on Tritium Monitor Sales

U.S. Nuclear Corp. has received orders totaling more than $400,000 for its new tritium monitors, the company announced Thursday.

Second Sight Recruits New CFO

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has named John Blake as its new chief financial officer.

MGA’s Larian Leads Crowdfunding Campaign to Buy Toys R Us

Isaac Larian, chief executive of Van Nuys toy manufacturer MGA Entertainment Inc., has along with unnamed investors pledged $200 million to an online public crowdfunding campaign he created to save Toy R Us as it files for bankruptcy.

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Wednesday, March 21

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Rehires CFO

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has hired John Smither as chief financial officer, returning him to a position he previously held.

Burbank Apartment Building Sells for $8.35 Million

A 26-unit multifamily property in Burbank has sold for $8.35 million, according to L.A.’s Re/Max Commercial & Investment Realty office.

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Disney Unveils New Marvel-Themed Park Attractions

Walt Disney Co. will introduce new theme park lands based on Marvel Studios characters at its parks in California, Paris and Honk Kong.

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Geolinks Acquires SoCal Broadband Provider

Geolinks has acquired fixed wireless broadband provider Vectus Inc., expanding its customer base to more than 3 million people throughout Orange, San Bernadino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties.

Tuesday, March 20

Bel Air Internet Acquires Telecom Provider

Bel Air Internet has acquired Woodland Hills-based commercial internet and telephone provider Polaris, the company announced Tuesday.

Santa Clarita Shopping Center Sells for $9.2 Million

A shopping center at 23460 Cinema Drive in Santa Clarita has sold for $9.2 million, or $284.45 a square foot, according to Calabasas brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

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Teledyne Subsidiary Moves Into Semiconductor Lithography

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. is partnering with a Dutch company to produce a membrane used to fabricate semiconductors.

Monday, March 19

‘Seasoned Bandit’ Sentenced for Santa Clarita Bank Robberies

For a 2017 string of bank robberies in the Santa Clarita Valley and elsewhere, the man called the “Seasoned Bandit” by law enforcement was sentenced March 15 for allegedly stealing a combined $39,424 from 11 banks.

Toluca Lake Apartment Complex Breaks Ground

The city of Los Angeles has approved L.A. developer Frost/Chaddock to build a five-story multifamily residential complex in Toluca Lake with a total 96 residential units, including eight very-low-income apartments.

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Northridge Health Workers Ratify Union Contract

Fifteen thousand workers in California – including more than 700 in Northridge – have ratified a new contract with Dignity Health, according to Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West.

Radio Stations Owned by Bankrupt iHeartMedia Dominate L.A. Airwaves

The March 14 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of iHeartMedia could have a major long-term impact on the Los Angeles radio market.

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Coverage Is Confusing for Non-English Speakers

Health CARE: NoHo firm helps plans communicate in culture.

NoHo company specializes in communications for non-English-speaking patients.

Change on the Menu

Different cuisine, new locations, social media – they’re part of the rebranding campaign at Applebee’s.

Glendale corporation changes more than its name under new leadership.

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Bad Quarter, Bumpy Drop for AeroVironment

AVIATION: Tax liability pushes defense manufacturer to a loss.

Analyst updates on Aerovironment.

Burger Spot Thinks Small

Franchising: Encino restaurateur believes fast-foodies want variety on a bun.

Sherman Oaks-based fast-food chain sets its sights on California’s burger market.

The Number

6,500 Acres of commercial land available in Antelope Valley

Golfers’ Talk Fills Slot on Radio Dial

Woodland Hills-based network airs show on sports, travel, lifestyle.

Three Valley golfers host a syndicated show.

LED Dimmer’s Bright Future

Northridge company intends to reconfigure fluorescent lighting with dimmers.

Conejo Conflict

Development: Pair of projects face pushback from residents.

Mixed-use projects in Calabasas and Agoura Hills stir up locals.

Even Uber Got Scammed by PAGA

Most Californians view on-demand rideshare platforms such as Uber as a helpful tool to simplify their commute.

Expanding Access to Higher Ed

It is fair to say that admissions policies in higher ranking universities and colleges have predominantly favored high-achieving applicants.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

CBRE: Outlook Up, but So Are Interest Rates

Research: New tax law will help real estate but higher rates may hurt.

Economist forecast anticipates impact from automated vehicles.

Brokers See Higher Rates in Disaster Aftermath

LIST: Cybercrime joins natural disasters as major cause for filing claims.

Insurance brokers identify industry trends for 2018.

High Prices Elsewhere Drive Investors to Valley

REAL ESTATE: Low vacancy for retail space forecast to push up rents this year.

New shops at Valencia Town Center.

Students Rethink Artificial Intelligence at AI Jam

INNOVATION: At month-long event, speaker tells ‘where the future is going.’

Students compete to address applications of artificial intelligence.

Bar Association Night Honors Best of the Bench

AWARDS: Judges take home trophies for hard work on growing caseloads.

Bar association honors the honorable at ‘Judges Night’ awards ceremony.

Insuring Success

Former ‘Dallas’ actress Danone Simpson finds purpose in helping people understand their insurance benefits.

Danone Simpson talks about her journey from TV actress to insurance executive.

Friday, March 16

Second Sight Names New Chairman

Sylmar medical device firm Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has appointed Gregg Williams, the company’s largest shareholder, as chairman of its board of directors.

Apartment Portfolio in Valley Sells for Nearly $23 Million

Universal Holdings in Century City has paid $22.7 million for a San Fernando Valley multifamily portfolio with a total of 123 units.

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Earnings: Qualstar, Interlink, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

Qualstar Corp. shares jump 25 percent after the company reports fourth-quarter revenue gains.

Tax Benefits Boost Salem Media's Income

Salem Media Group Inc. reported a decrease in revenue but an enormous jump in net income because of tax reform.

Preview: Burger Spot Thinks Small

Encino restaurateur believes fast-foodies want variety on a bun.

Preview: Change on the Menu

Different cuisine, new locations, social media – they're part of the rebranding campaign at Applebee's.

Thursday, March 15

New Dean at CSUN Business School

Chandra Subramaniam is the new dean of the Nazarian College of Business & Economics at California State University – Northridge.

SnapMD Software Snapped Up by University Telehealth Center

SnapMD has announced a partnership with the National Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center for use of the company’s proprietary software.

Semtech's Quarter Sends Up Share Price

The share price of Semtech Corp. leapt Thursday, a day after the company reported beating Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings and revenue.

MGA Entertainment Bids on Toys R Us Canada

MGA Entertainment Inc. and a group of affiliated investors have made a bid to acquire the operations of bankrupt Toys R Us in Canada.

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Wednesday, March 14

Santa Clarita Multifamily Sells for $21.7 Million

The 130-unit Stillmore Apartments in Santa Clarita has sold for $21.7 million, or $167,036 per unit, according to CoStar Group.

Teledyne Extends NASA Space Station Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received an extension of a contract with NASA to provide support services for the International Space Station.

Disney Restructures Consumer Products Operations

Walt Disney Co. has restructured its business units, including folding consumer products into its theme park business.

Tuesday, March 13

CSUN Names Mark Gottfried Men’s Basketball Coach

California State University – Northridge has hired Mark Gottfried as head coach of the Matador Men’s Basketball Team, the school announced Tuesday.

Bobrick Settles Bathroom Partition Lawsuit

Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. has settled a lawsuit with a competing bathroom manufacturer in a case over code compliant partitions.

BlackLine Falls After Stock Sale

The share price of BlackLine Inc. fell after the company announced the sale of more than 8 million shares of common stock at a price of $41.50.

Conejo Chamber CEO Jill Lederer Named Woman of the Year

California Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin has named Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Jill Lederer the 2018 Assembly District 44 Woman of the Year.

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Monday, March 12

Tejon Ranch Turns Profit in Fourth Quarter

Tejon Ranch Co. reported its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Monday, according to the company.

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Valley Residents Arrested in $17 Million Real Estate Scam

Five San Fernando Valley residents allegedly extorted more than $17 million from cash-strapped homeowners through a real estate scheme involving fraudulent deeds, according to federal authorities.

Chatsworth Builder Purchases Downtown Phoenix Property

Chatsworth builder Daniel Bernstein & Associates Inc. has paid $1.1 million for a downtown Phoenix property with plans for infill housing, according to Bisnow.

MannKind Reduces Debt With Equity Swaps

MannKind Corp. has restructured its debt, reducing its outstanding principal by $14.5 million through equity swaps, the company announced Monday.

Friday, March 9

Data Breach at Major Applebee’s Franchisee

Customer credit card data at nearly 170 locations of Applebee’s Bar & Grill may have been stolen by hackers, one of the restaurant chain’s largest franchisees has announced.

Burbank Speed Shop to Display ‘Black Panther’ Lexus at Car Show

West Coast Customs will feature the customized Lexus from the movie “Black Panther” at the DUB Custom Car Show in Los Angeles this weekend.

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L.A. County Unemployment Edges Higher

L.A. County’s unemployment rate edged back up to 4.5 percent in January from 4.4 percent in December as local employers shed holiday season workers.

Thursday, March 8

Earnings: Marcus & Millichap, Limoneira

Marcus & Millichap reports higher annual revenues, while Limoniera benefits from tax reform.

Disney Shareholders Reject Executive Compensation Plan

Walt Disney Co. shareholders rejected the compensation plan for Chief Executive Robert Iger and other executives at its annual meeting in Houston on Thursday.

PS Business Parks Divests Irvine Office Complex

PS Business Parks Inc. has sold the Corporate Pointe Business Park in Orange County.

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Disney's $100 Million Hospital Strategy

Walt Disney Co. is dedicating $100 million toward putting its brand in children’s hospitals through products, services and cash donations.

Wednesday, March 7

CSUN Parts Ways With Athletics Director, Basketball Coach

California State University – Northridge Athletics Director Brandon Martin was let go from his position on Wednesday, according to the school.

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Acquisitions Contribute to B. Riley Revenue Gains

Acquisitions set the stage for B. Riley Financial Inc. to deliver an 18 percent increase in the fourth quarter, the company announced Wednesday.

Disney Partners With Accenture on Entertainment Tech Lab

Walt Disney Co. has partnered with Accenture on a project to create new entertainment technology.

Tuesday, March 6

AeroVironment Narrows Losses, Secures $44.5 Million Contract

AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on revenue in the fiscal third quarter but fell short on earnings.

New CEO at Los Angeles Federal Credit Union

Richard Lie is the new president and chief executive of Los Angeles Federal Credit Union, the organization’s board announced Monday.

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Second Sight Eyes More Coverage for Prosthetic Product

The prosthetic visual system built by Second Sight Medical Products Inc. is now covered by Medicare in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, bringing the total number of states where the product and related surgical procedure are covered by the government-subsidized health insurance program to 31.

PennyMac Adds Insider to Board

PennyMac Financial Services Inc. has named Anne McCallion, the company’s chief enterprise operations officer, to its board of directors, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, March 5

Capstone Makes Big Sale

Capstone Turbine Corp. of Chatsworth received an order for 13 of its microturbines for use in an industrial park in western Russia.

Best Buy to Close Mobile Phone Store in Topanga Mall

Best Buy Co. plans to close all 257 of its stand-alone mobile phone stores in the United States, the company announced Wednesday.

Day Care Center Changes Hands

A Westlake Village retail building that his home to Rolling Oaks Child Development Center has sold for $3.3 million, or nearly $427 a square foot, in a deal closed Jan. 26, according to CoStar Group.

Van Nuys Icehouse Sells for $2.9 Million

A Van Nuys warehouse that is home to ice manufacturers has sold for $2.9 million (or $202 a square foot) in a deal closed Feb. 21, according to CoStar Group.

Healthy Pizza in the Freezer?

FOOD: Real Good brand on the shelves at 5,000 stores.

Real Good Foods Co. in Glendale serves up low-carb, high-protein frozen pizzas.

Time To Toss RecycLA?

REGULATION: Council weighs options amid complaints about franchise hauling system.

Los Angeles City Council weighs options about waste hauling system.

The Number

+32% Number of businesses sold in Los Angeles metro market

Hospitality By Degree at Cal Lutheran

California Lutheran University consults with area businesses to offer new degree in hospitality.

Chinese Money

Chinese firms find opportunities in Valley region real estate.

Electric Medicine

A clutch of companies in Santa Clarita make nerve stimulation devices to treat conditions from depression to multiple sclerosis.

Cluster of neuromodulation companies growing in Santa Clarita.

Infrastructure Plan a Mixed Bag

California Congressional Republicans have gotten themselves into a bit of a pickle.

Hard to Be Generous in Our State

Poor business people. They’re always in a dilemma.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Celebrating Glendale Office Market’s Upside

CONFERENCE: Speakers address how to adapt to Nestle exodus.

Glendale office market on an upswing.

New Regulations Make Work for Labor Lawyers

LIST: Firms hire more attorneys to handle expanding caseload.

Hiring: Hiring Labor Lawyers - Employment law brings more work and attorneys to Valley firms.

Kaiser Workers Stage Protest in Woodland Hills

LABOR: Call center closure prompts union to raise awareness statewide.

Kaiser workers stage protest over impending layoffs.

Solar Farm Growing Near Runway in Van Nuys

ENERGY: Aerolease install the first of many for the airport tenant.

First solar project underway at Van Nuys Airport.

Visual Detective

From columned mansions to wind-swept meadows, Rob Gibson finds the right setting to bring filmmakers’ dreams to life.

Q+A with location manager Rob Gibson.

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Riding Herd on Movies

Film ranches cater to directors’ evolving appetite for fresh locations in proximity to Hollywood.

Movie ranches in Valley region see an increase in film production.

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Tutor Perini Lands $1.4 Billion Airport Contract

CONSTRUCTION: Public design-build deal biggest in New Jersey history.

A Tutor Perini Corp. partnership to build a New Jersey airport has landed a $1.4-billion commitment from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and analysts of the Sylmar-based construction company are calling the contract “a material positive.”

Friday, March 2

Mustang Marketing Acquires Ventura Firm

Mustang Marketing in Thousand Oaks plans to acquire ZestNet Inc., a traditional and digital marketing firm based in Ventura.

Raymond James Names Former Disney, MGA Exec to Board

Former Walt Disney Co. executive Anne Gates will join the board of directors of Raymond James Financial, Inc., the financial services firm announced Friday.

B. Riley Names Head of Wealth Management Strategy

B. Riley Financial Inc. has named Chuck Hastings as director of wealth management strategic initiatives, the company announced Friday.

Preview: Healthy Pizza in the Freezer?

Real Good Foods' pies are on the shelves at 5,000 stores.

Preview: Riding Herd on Movies

Film ranches fill demand for scenery as productions return to California.

Thursday, March 1

Teledyne Subsidiary Expands Manufacturing

Teledyne Technologies Inc. in Thousand Oaks is expanding the manufacturing capacities of its subsidiary Teledyne DALSA Inc. to accommodate increased demand for its products.

AeroVironment Wins IP Lawsuit Against Former Employees

A Ventura County Superior Court jury awarded AeroVironment Inc. more than $2 million after finding three former employees engaged in fraud and breached patent and confidentiality agreements.

Warner Center Multifamily Complex Sells for $96.5 million

SPI Holdings has purchased the sprawling 324-unit Warner Villa apartment complex near the Warner Center for $96.5 million, according to The Real Deal.

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BYD Signs Union Contract for Lancaster Plant Workers

The first collective bargaining agreement in the U.S. electric bus industry was signed Thursday between BYD Coach & Bus and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union Local 105.