Stories for October 2014

Friday, October 31

Disney's Tokyo Theme Parks to Get $4.5 Billion Expansion

Walt Disney Co.’s two Tokyo theme parks are getting a $4.5 billion renovation and expansion over the next decade, the attractions’ Japanese owner announced on Friday.

VICA to Fight for Soccer Team

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association said Friday it would fight for the Valley to host the new Major League Soccer team.

Point 360 Voluntarily Delisting From Nasdaq

Point 360 will delist its shares from the Nasdaq Capital Market and will move trading to the over-the-counter but still provide full financial reports, the company announced on Friday.

Earnings Briefs: Public Storage, Bank of Santa Clarita

Public Storage beats estimates. Bank of Santa Clarita reports asset growth.

Thursday, October 30

MLS Announces New L.A. Franchise

Major League Soccer announced on Thursday the new ownership group for the failed Chivas USA franchise, and so far it doesn’t appear that there are any Valley ties.

Luxury Complex Sells for $126 Million

Chicago apartment developer Equity Residential has acquired The Hesby, a 308-unit upscale apartment building in North Hollywood, for $126 million.

Senators Hold CSUN Cleantech Hearing

Two state lawmakers led a hearing on Thursday at Cal State Northridge aimed at boosting the cleantech industry in the San Fernando Valley.

Wednesday, October 29

Valley Awaits Chivas Decision

The new ownership group for the failed Chivas USA franchise will be announced on Thursday and early reports don’t bode well for the Valley’s effort to have the team located here.

Media Heavyweights Launch ZAG Animation

A new joint venture among high-profile entertainment industry professionals will operate a studio in Glendale to produce animated and hybrid animated-live action feature films.

‘Dragon 2’ Helps DreamWorks Beat Estimates

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. posted solid numbers in the third quarter helped by the box office of summer release “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

Tuesday, October 28

Amgen Says No Split Up

Shares of Amgen Inc. rose on Tuesday after Chief Executive Robert Bradway rebuffed a call to break up the company and instead announced additional layoffs of up to 1,100 workers and other restructuring to boost profits.

Deerlake Developer to Build 314 Homes

A joint venture between two real estate investment firms has purchased land in the northwest San Fernando Valley to build an upscale residential development that could generate more than half a billion dollars in home sales.

Reports Show Valley Home Sales Slowing

San Fernando Valley home sales were slow in September, according to two separate reports released Tuesday.

Earnings: DineEquity, PS Business Parks, CU Bancorp

DineEquity and PS Business Parks both beat analyst forecasts, while CU Bancorp missed.

Monday, October 27

Cost-Cutting Helps Amgen Beat Estimates

Amgen posted third-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street estimates, as the company reported strong drug sales and benefited from cost-cutting once restructuring costs were excluded.

Business Groups' Stand on Propositions

Valley-area business groups have issued voting recommendations for the major propositions on the Nov. 4 ballot, including the water bond measure and two propositions related to the health-care industry.

Lancaster Installs Demand-Charge Station for Vehicles

Lancaster has partnered with a Santa Clara company to install an energy-storage system and electric-vehicle charging station as part of its plan to become the nation’s first city that produces as much power as it consumes.

Friday, October 24

Update: Avery Dennison Reports Third Quarter

Avery Dennison Corp. on Friday reported earnings, as the company was hit by raw material and restructuring costs.

Briefs: Americas United, Glendale Adventist, Sylmar Multifamily

Americas United Bank reports rising assets, Glendale Adventists sells a building and a Sylmar apartment complex trades hands.

Thursday, October 23

Amgen to Lay Off 274

Amgen Inc. will lay off 274 workers in the Seattle area on Dec. 31 and will exit Washington state by the end of next year, the company announced Thursday.

LegalZoom Reaches Sam’s Club Distribution Deal Inc. has joined with Sam’s Club in a strategic sales agreement that will broaden how the Glendale company sells its do-it-yourself legal documents and services.

Management Shakeup at Burbank Post-Production House

Post-production house Modern VideoFilm has been brought in executives for a new management team from a unit of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. that helps turn around troubled companies.

Briefs: Ryland, Teledyne, Interlink

Ryland Group and Teledyne reports earnings, Interlink announces sensor development deal.

Wednesday, October 22

CSUN Receives Largest Grant Ever

Cal State Northridge received on Wednesday a $22 million grant to promote diversity in the nation’s biomedical workforce – the largest single grant the school has received.

Board Seeks Brown's Help in Kinkisharyo Dispute

The governing board of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District is asking that Gov. Jerry Brown intervene in a dispute threatening Kinkiharyo International from opening a rail car factory in Palmdale.

Customs Service Returns to Van Nuys Airport

Van Nuys Airport announced Wednesday it will begin offering customs clearance and inspection services next year.

Dairy Costs Hurt Cheesecake

Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported net income on Wednesday that missed analyst estimates, blaming sharply rising dairy costs for cutting into profits.

Agoura Hills Firm Gets $13 Million

Tipalti, an Agoura Hills firm that offers automated cloud payout services, announced on Wednesday it has received $13 million in a funding round led by Wicklow Capital.

USC Makes Strategic Alliance for Glendale Clinic

USC’s medical system announced on Wednesday that it has formed a strategic alliance with Surgical Care Affiliates Inc. to manage surgery centers in the Los Angeles region, including one in Glendale.

Briefs: Minimum Wage, Fireman's Brew

City Council seeks study on minimum wage increase; Fireman's Brew announces private stock offering.

Tuesday, October 21

Amgen Rises on Investor Call for Breakup

Shares of Amgen Inc. jumped nearly 5 percent Tuesday on heavy volume as billionaire hedge fund manager Dan Loeb disclosed he had upped his stake in the company and called for its breakup.

TV Production Surges, Film Declines

On-location television production continued to show strong growth in the third quarter but feature film production continued to decline, according to figures released by FilmL.A. on Tuesday.

WB Creates Short-Form Production House

Warner Bros. Entertainment announced on Tuesday the formation of Blue Ribbon Content, a production unit for short-form, live-action content.

L.A. Times Relaunches 'California' Section

The Los Angeles Times is bringing back its California section after a five-year hiatus, the Times announced Monday.

Monday, October 20

Update: Kinkisharyo Delivers Rail Car Amid Dispute

Kinkisharyo International has delivered its first Los Angeles rail car amid calls for the governor to step in and resolve a dispute that has threatened the opening of a company factory in the Antelope Valley.

Hold Lifted on Adult Filming

A six-day hold on adult film production was lifted Monday after tests concluded the performer pool had not been infected with the HIV virus.

IPC Expands With Pennsylvania Acquisition

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. has purchased Comprehensive Health Solutions in suburban Philadelphia, the company announced on Monday.

Amgen Assisting in Ebola Treatment

Amgen Inc. is teaming with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a faster production method for Zmapp, an experimental ebola treatment, according to the company.

High Desert Market Reaches New Highs and Lows in Quarter

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets - Antelope Valley.

The Number

The Number: It’s not easy forecasting growth in the Valley, even for economist Bill Roberts.

Tricks And Treats

Retail: As Halloween becomes adult fun, costume stores are profiting year-round.

Retail: Halloween stores expand by becoming a year-round shopping destination for the costume crowd.

Project Gets Burbank OK

Development: Council likes Whole Foods mixed-use.

Development: With approval from Burbank, plans move forward for the 241-unit Talaria apartment project.

Could You Peel Me A Grape?

Personal assistants business a hit with not the usual suspects.

Personal Services: Run Around Betties wants to provide assistants to average folk.

The Valley’s Critical Water Needs

Proposition 1 provides key funding for cleaning the Valley’s polluted groundwater at a time of drought.

Op-Ed: Saving the Valley’s groundwater.

Boomers Breathe Life Into Insurance Products

Finance: New York Life expanding into larger Warner Center offices.

The San Fernando Valley office of New York Life Insurance Co. is making a big bet on growth.

Saving Water By Bytes And Bits

Wi-Fi weather reports control irrigation, dribbling out drops.

Innovation: The City of Calabasas installs a new smart irrigation system to cut water costs.

The New Shape Of Pasta

Upscale food supplier opens doors to public at San Fernando plant.

Wholesale: A restaurant supplier tries to enter the retail ravioli market.

Calendar of Events

calendar of events

Bank Employees Called Up to Help the Troops

Giving: Workers assemble toiletry kits, send letters to soldiers in field.

Feeling grateful?

The Diminishing Art of Collecting

Op-Ed: in praise of collecting.

Billboard Battle A War of Words

advertising: Santa Clarita being asked to approve sign take-down.

Advertising: Santa Clarita voters will decide the future of local billboards – with businesses on both sides of the issue.

Manufacturer Flies From Palmdale to Valencia

Manufacturing: Crissair Inc. takes 70,000 square feet to make room for growth.

This month Crissair Inc. completed the relocation of its operations to Valencia after having run out of room at a long-time facility in Palmdale.

Real Life Storage Wars

Small-time storage operators are finding challenges in a mature market in which big public REITs have access to cheap capital.

Industry: From multinational REITs to single-location entrepreneurs, the self-storage sector is going full blast.

Everyone Was Not On Board

Editor: A case study on Kinkisharyo.

Industry Giant Public Storage Flexing Muscles

Investment: Preferred shares fuel Glendale REIT’s aggressive growth strategy.

Focus: Public Storage is the biggest player in the industry, but plans to get even bigger.

Buried Treasure

Barry Hoeven has spent decades in the storage industry and has seen some pretty strange things in his day.

Q&A: Cancer, cops and real estate development – it’s all in the self-storage career of Barry Hoeven.

Valley Makes Big Comeback After Disheartening Second Quarter

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in San Fernando Valley-area submarkets.


Market Watch Summary

Stocks slumped during the two-week period ended Oct. 15 as the Ebola outbreak, mixed economic data and lower oil prices battered the market.

End of Line For Factory

Manufacturing: Kinkisharyo kills rail car plant after dispute.

Manufacturing: A labor dispute derails Kinkisharyo’s plan to make Metro rail cars in Palmdale.

Sister Cities Are Suddenly Attractive to Tenants Seeking Space

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets - Burbank and Glendale.

Last Frontier?

The High Desert Corridor could be the last big highway project built in the county. But it won’t be your father’s freeway.

Transportation: Viability questions persist for a proposed High Desert freeway.

Tease photo

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

Universal Studios is opening a theme park in suburban Beijing in 2019.

Ventura County Continues to Pull Migrants From L.A. Market

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets - Conejo Valley.

Lack of New Product Tempers Optimism Despite Improvement

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets - Santa Clarita Valley.

Friday, October 17

Valley Firms Receive VC Funding

Companies in greater Los Angeles raised $436 million in third-quarter venture capital funding, a 33 percent increase from the same period last year, according to the latest Money Tree Report.

Unemployment Drops as Teachers Return to School

L.A.’s unemployment rate dipped to 8 percent last month as the county gained 28,000 jobs, mostly from teachers returning to schools after summer vacation, according to state figures released Friday.

Phillips to Lead Valley Alliance

A long-time executive of the Valley Economic Alliance has been named as the group’s new chief.

Amgen Sues Over Cholesterol Drug Patent

Amgen Inc. announced on Friday it has filed a lawsuit against two pharmaceutical companies for patent infringement on an experimental anti-cholesterol drug.

Signature Acquires Recycling Business

Signature Group Holdings Inc. announced on Friday that it will acquire Global Recycling and Specification Alloys for $525 million.

Thursday, October 16

Former Simi Valley CEO Sentenced to 7 Years

The former owner of a Simi Valley-based battery distributor was sentenced this week to more than seven years in prison for fraudulently selling more than $2.6 million in knock-offs to the U.S. Defense Department.

BYD Showcases Articulated Bus Named Lancaster

After two years of development, BYD Motors Inc. has completed its first articulated electric bus and named it for the city in which it was made – Lancaster.

Briefs: Teledyne, Superior, Ralph's

Teledyne Technologies wins a Navy contract, Superior Industries announces share repurchase program and Ralph's closes a store.

Wednesday, October 15

Burbank Approves Talaria Project

The Burbank City Council voted 4-1 to approve the Talaria at Burbank mixed-used development in the Media District Tuesday night, following two weeks of lengthy meetings on the project.

WB to Cut Budget by $200 Million

Warner Bros. Entertainment will cut about $200 million from its budget, its chief executive said Wednesday to investors, according to media reports.

Adult Filming on Hold After Reported Infection

A three-day hold was put on adult film production Wednesday following a report of an exposure to HIV on an out-of-state movie set.

Tuesday, October 14

WB Forms Chinese Entertainment Partnership

Warner Bros. Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it is creating a partnership to make investments in Chinese and other international film and television content.

Real Estate Investor Guy Weddington McCreary Dies at 77

Guy Weddington McCreary, a member of the founding family of North Hollywood, died last weekend. He was 77.

Garcetti Unveils Water Reduction Plan

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday issued a directive that requires a reduction in city agencies’ fresh water use by 20 percent by 2017 and cuts in half the amount of water the Department of Water and Power can import by 2024.

Briefs: Legendary, My Eye Media

Legendary Entertainment has purchased a women-focused website; Burbank-based My Eye Media is opening an office in New York.

Monday, October 13

Labor Dispute Kills Kinkisharyo’s AV Plant

Kinkisharyo International LLC has scrapped plans to build a rail car manufacturing plant in Palmdale following a labor dispute and will instead look outside California to locate the facility.

Universal to Build Beijing Theme Park

Universal Studios announced Monday plans for a theme park in suburban Beijing that will open in 2019.

Saudi Prince Agrees to Euro Disney Refi

A Saudi Arabian prince, the second largest investor in Euro Disney, is backing a recapitalization plan for its struggling theme park outside Paris.

Home Sales Rise, Prices Stabilize

Southern California home sales inched to a five-year high for September as prices have begun to stabilize, according to a report released Monday.

Friday, October 10

Daily News Site Mixed-Use Project OK'd

The South Valley Area Planning Commission denied an objection Thursday night against a planned mixed-use project at the former Los Angeles Daily News headquarters site, paving the way for the first project under the area’s new specific plan.

Prime Acquires Six Hospitals

Despite union opposition, the Daughters of Charity Health System’s board approved on Friday the sale of its six California hospitals to Prime Healthcare Services, the operator of two San Fernando Valley facilities

Former Mission College Foundation Chairman Arrested

The former chairman of the Los Angeles Mission College Foundation has been arrested and charged with stealing nearly $10,000 from the charity.

Tarzana Medical Office Project Begins

Construction has begun on Ventana Medical Plaza, an 112,500-square-foot medical office project in Tarzana.

Teledyne Snags Ocean Ecosystem Contract

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has received a $10 million contract from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office to supply devices used to predict human influences on the ocean.

Briefs: Under Armour, IPC

Pacoima company settles trademark infringement suit against Under Armour. IPC hires general counsel.

Thursday, October 9

Neighborhood Council Seeks Changes to Sunkist Project

A Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council committee decided on Wednesday night not to approve in its current form a $100 million mixed-use project slated for the site of Sunkist’s headquarters.

Valley Councilman Proposes Urban Crop Plan

A San Fernando Valley councilman has proposed that Los Angeles offer property tax breaks to residents allowing their vacant land be used to grow food.

Mandalay Buys German App Search Engine

Mandalay Digital Group Inc. announced on Thursday the acquisition of technologies developed by a German firm that facilitate apps purchases by cell phone users.

Wednesday, October 8

Obama to Give Monument Status to San Gabriels

President Barack Obama plans to announce on Friday that he will designate roughly half of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument, bringing more federal protection to almost 350,000 acres of land in the Angeles National Forest.

Materials Recovery Facility Opening in Sun Valley

Athens Services is opening a $50 million recycling center in Sun Valley that will bring more than 100 jobs to the San Fernando Valley.

Amgen Gains on Biosimilar Trial Result

Amgen Inc. shares rose nearly 3 percent on Wednesday after the company released positive study results for a “biosimilar” drug that would compete against Humira, a blockbuster produced by a competitor.

Vote on Controversial Burbank Project Delayed

The Burbank City Council delayed a vote Tuesday night on the proposed Talaria at Burbank mixed-used development in the Media District following a lengthy evening meeting during which residents raised traffic concerns.

Forecast: L.A. County Job Growth to Lag

Los Angeles County will see job growth over the next five years but it will lag the rest of the state and the nation, according to a forecast issued on Wednesday.

Briefs: AeroVironment, Trio-Tech

AeroVironment receives military contract. Trio-Tech shares rise on earnings.

Tuesday, October 7

Council Votes to Draft Minimum Wage Ordinance

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to draft an ordinance raising the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, a hike proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Camarillo Semiconductor Maker Acquired

Physpeed Co. Ltd., in Camarillo, was acquired on Tuesday by semiconductor maker MaxLinear Inc. in a deal valued at $11 million.

DTS Inks Deal With LG

DTS Inc. announced on Tuesday that it is entering into an alliance with LG Electronics Inc. to supply its audio technology for the Korean company’s home-entertainment products.

Herbalife Expects to Survive FTC Inquiry

Senior executives at Herbalife are confident that the company will not be shut down by the Federal Trade Commission, but they do suspect there will be penalties, according to Fox Business sources.

Monday, October 6

Report: L.A. Has Most High-Tech Jobs

Los Angeles has more high-tech jobs than any other metro region in the country, including its northern neighbors in Silicon Valley, according to a report released Monday.

Euro Disney May Get $1.25 Billion Infusion

Walt Disney Co. announced Monday a proposed $1.25 billion investment in its struggling Euro Disney operation and the Disneyland Paris theme park.

Court Declines to Hear Superman Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court denied on Monday to hear an appeal by the heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Schuster in their legal battle with DC Comics over ownership of the superhero character.

Electro Rent Misses Estimates

Electro Rent Corp. fell short of analyst expectations for earnings in the fiscal first quarter, based on financial results announced Monday.

Cal Lutheran Offers Veterans Tuition-Free Study

California Lutheran University announced a program Monday that would allow veterans to attend the private school for free.

On Assignment Goes Off Track With Revenue Miss

Investments: Market displeased with growing Calabasas staffing firm.

Staffing: On Assignment has grown so fast investors have come to expect even more.

Mega Bank Has Advantage Over Smaller Rivals

Corporate: Bank of America’s international footprint helps clients enter the export business.

DineEquity CEO Gobbles Up Attention

Profile: Julia Stewart raises profile of IHOP with wacky menu items.

Profile: Julia Stewart, chief executive of DineEquity, talks about her favorite dishes.

Prognosis Uncertain for New Vivity Health Plan

Health Care & Biotech: System from Anthem seeks to mimic Kaiser Permanente model.

Vivity, a new integrated health system organized by Anthem Blue Cross, garnered headlines when it was announced last month.

Fear of Risk, Credit Standards Slow SBA Loans

Lending: Wary banks tighten purse strings following recession.

SBA: Entrepreneurs seeking a government guaranteed loan will need to shop around.

Power, Plant Dispute

Small Business: Edison evicting Moorpark nursery that rented utlility land for 28 years.

Small Business: A Moorpark nursery located under power lines receives a shocking eviction notice.

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

The family of comic book artist Jack Kirby and Marvel Entertainment has settled a lawsuit over ownership rights to some of Hollywood’s most popular superheroes.

The Number

The Number: Three reports look at the effects of raising wages for hotel workers.

small yields

Local banks are finding growth difficult in the highly regulated, low-interest-rate era after the financial crisis.

Local: Low interest rates and high regulatory hurdles make it tough for community banks.

Developer Pedals Old Dodge Site for Housing

Real Estate: Reseda project is near busway and features 287 bicycle spaces.

A local developer has plans to convert an old car dealership lot in Reseda into a $50 million mixed-use apartment building targeting mass transit users.

Making a Statement in the Valley

State of the Valley event held by Greater Valley Chamber draws all of the area’s councilmembers.

Op-Ed: Minimum wage woes.

Armor? How Yesterday. Link me up!

ODU keeps modern soldiers electronically connected in battle.

Innovation: ODU makes computer cables that can withstand battlefield conditions.


Calendar of Events

Jet Fighter Lands at Museum

Forget enemy fire. This F-18 grounded by Valley rigging firm.

Attractions: L.A. ProPoint installs historic fighter jet at California Science Center.

On the Menu: Games and More Games

Classics like Pac Man available by hundreds at Sherman Oaks eatery.

Restaurants: A new eatery lets customers play 400 classic arcade games for free.

Pumping Up the Political Muscle

Editor: Does the Valley have political muscle?

Simi Resort May Fly Off

Real Estate: Hummingbird Ranch site on the market.

Real Estate: Hummingbird Nest Ranch, the proposed site for a luxury resort in Simi Valley, is for sale.


Market Watch Summary

Stocks finished the two-week period ended Oct. 1 on a bumpy ride with economic data indicating uneven growth and the diagnosis of an Ebola virus patient in the U.S.

case study

Camarillo firm’s DVD packaging boosts dwindling sales.

RETAIL: Local companies have learned to make DVDs competitive with digital downloads.

Grumbling in the Trenches

Op-Ed: survey of Valley business owners.

Play Date for DreamWorks?

Entertainment: SoftBank’s $3.4 billion offer pumps stock.

Entertainment: Japanese investment firm SoftBank could buy DreamWorks Animation.

Friday, October 3

Improvements Proposed for Orange Line

Two San Fernando Valley councilmen introduced a motion to the Los Angeles City Council on Friday to develop short-term Orange Line busway improvements.

Higher Growth Forecast for Valley

The San Fernando Valley economy is projected to grow up to 4.5 percent this year, higher than the national average, according to a forecast issued on Friday.

Cool Planet Opens Camarillo Plant

Cool Planet Energy Systems has opened a plant in Camarillo to manufacture an additive to improve crop yields while using less water and fertilizer

Universal Shakes Up Home Entertainment Division

Universal Pictures is setting up separate operating companies for home-entertainment distribution in the U.S. and Canada, according to media reports on Friday

Thursday, October 2

DreamWorks Bidder Invests in Legendary

Legendary Pictures LLC received on Thursday a $250 million investment from SoftBank Corp., a Japanese telecom company that reportedly has bid $3.4 billion for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

Disney Board Extends Iger Contract

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger accepted on Thursday a two-year contract extension through June 2018.

Kinkisharyo Seeking to Resolve Palmdale Dispute

Kinkisharyo International LCC will continue to talk for another month with a group, backed by labor, that is opposed to its proposed light rail manufacturing plant in Palmdale.

EIR Released on $6 Billion Antelope Valley Highway

The proposed 63-mile High Desert Corridor linking Antelope Valley with Victorville moves forward with release of an 800-page plus draft report.

Briefs: PS Business Parks, Studio City Sale

PS Business Parks sells property. Studio City apartments sells for $9.5 million.

Wednesday, October 1

Hotels Fight Back on Wage Increase

The hotel industry is making good on its promise to fight the new Los Angeles minimum wage ordinance for workers at large hotels.

Ikea Construction Suit Dropped

A lawsuit that sought to halt construction of the country’s largest Ikea on grounds the project did not undergo sufficient review to assess its impact on global warming has been dropped.

NBCU Forms Lifestyle TV Group

NBCU Cable Entertainment has formed a new lifestyle network group combining four of its cable TV channels under the direction an 18-year company veteran.

Plastic Bag Ban Goes Statewide

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a ban on single-use plastic bags throughout the state by grocery stories, pharmacies, and liquor and convenient stores.

Briefs: DineEquity, LTC, Stratolaunch

DineEquity completes $1.4 billion refinancing, LTC Properties declares monthly dividends and Stratolaunch develops a new spacecraft.