Stories for March 2017

Friday, March 31

Economist Reports Strong Growth for Santa Clarita

Traffic in the Santa Clarita Valley has surpassed its prior peak levels of 2010 to 2012, presenting an easy-to-see demonstration of the region’s strong growth.

Woodland Hills Corporate Center Sold

The vast 231,000-square-foot Woodland Hills Corporate Center has sold to a New York real estate investment firm, according to CBRE Group Inc. in Los Angeles.

Preview: Special Report: Van Nuys Airport

Between 1992 and 2006, tenants at Van Nuys Airport were barred from building new facilities while planners mapped how to shape the airport’s future growth. Then, the nation’s economic downturn kept expansion plans grounded for another 10 years.

Preview: Insurers Balk at Amgen's Price

In a tale of two studies, health researchers report that Amgen Inc.’s cholesterol medication Repatha reduces the risk of heart disease, while another study finds that insurers balk at paying the steep price for the first-in-its-class drug.

Thursday, March 30

Great American to Help Liquidate Outdoor Stores

Valuation provider Great American Group in Woodland Hills, a subsidiary of L.A.-based B. Riley Financial Inc., announced Thursday that it will help liquidate 32 outdoor sporting goods stores operated by Gander Mountain Co. Inc.

Move to Combine Water Districts Gains Support

A bill to consolidate two water agencies in the Santa Clarita Valley received support this week from city and state representatives.

Wednesday, March 29

VEDC Gets New Chief

The Valley Economic Development Center, or VEDC, has appointed Quentin Strode as president and chief executive, effective immediately.

Santa Clarita Chamber Cuts CEO Position

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has eliminated the position of president and chief executive to cut costs.

Teledyne Completes Acquisition

Teledyne Technologies Inc. this week closed its acquisition of systems manufacturer E2v Technologies in a $789 million deal, including stock options and net debt.

Ground Broken for Drug Maker

Against the green hills of Thousand Oaks’ preserved open space, executives from Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. gathered Wednesday morning with developers, bankers, politicians and commercial real estate brokers to celebrate the groundbreaking of the drug maker’s new facility.

Tuesday, March 28

InviteManager Partners With Ticketmaster

Calabasas event ticket management firm InviteManager has entered into a partnership with Ticketmaster to use that company’s open platform for its clients to request and manage tickets to live events.

B. Riley Lends $20 Million to General Finance

A subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. has made a $20 million loan to General Finance Corp. in Pasadena, a provider of portable and modular storage space in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Monday, March 27

Report: Amgen to Relocate or Lay Off 500 Employees

As many as 500 Amgen Inc. employees in Thousand Oaks have been notified that they will either be relocated, reassigned or laid off, according to a report from Thousand Oaks Acorn.

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Hires CFO

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc., a Westlake-Village biotech working on novel laser hair removal and skin therapies, announced Friday the appointment of Chief Financial Officer Richard Peterson, effective immediately.

Second Sight Warrants Approved for Trading

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. announced Monday that warrants issued in connection with a recent rights offering have been approved for listing on Nasdaq and are scheduled to begin trading on March 29.

Friday, March 24

Despite Opposition, Commission Affirms Walnut Acres Project

An attempt by homeowners to overturn an approved plan for an assisted living and memory care facility on a parcel in Woodland Hills near a busy shopping area failed at a Thursday planning board hearing held at the Van Nuys City Hall.

Amgen Biosimilar Approved in Europe

Amgen Inc.’s biosimilar to the best-selling drug of all time has been approved for commercialization by the European Commission, the company announced Thursday.

Nonprofit SBA Lender Hires President

Miguel Angel Juárez has been named president and executive director of Golden State Certified Development Corp., the nonprofit announced Friday.

L.A. County Gains 33,000 Jobs

L.A. County’s economy chugged along at nearly full employment in February as the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent and employers added 33,000 jobs to their payrolls, state figures released Friday show.

Thursday, March 23

Homeowners Hear Westfield's Promenade Plan

It was standing room only in a small auditorium at Kaiser Permanente’s medical center in Woodland Hills Wednesday night for a presentation on a mixed-use project expected to transform the Warner Center area.

Disney Board Extends Iger Contract

Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors on Thursday extended for an additional year the contract with Chief Executive Robert Iger.

Amgen Opens Tampa Center

Amgen Inc. is opening a 136,000-square-foot facility in Tampa, Fla., the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 22

Sage Automotive Settles FTC Deceptive Ad Charge

A Los Angeles automobile dealership chain with locations in Universal City, Glendale, Valencia and North Hollywood as well Los Angeles has agreed to pay $3.6 million in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission relating to deceptive advertising charges, according to the commission.

American Homes Chairman to Invest $50 Million

American Homes 4 Rent announced Wednesday that Chairman B. Wayne Hughes will purchase $50 million of the company’s common shares in a private offering.

Precision Paint Expands Footprint

Precision Painting of Westlake Village has signed a lease to take more than double its current space in Newbury Park to accommodate growth, according to commercial real estate firm Westcord Commercial Real Estate Services of Westlake Village.

Tuesday, March 21

Xypro Technology Acquires Database Software Firm

Xypro Technology Corp., a Simi Valley provider of security software for computer servers, on Tuesday announced it had completed the acquisition of Merlon Software Corp.

Teledyne’s Jupiter Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $10 million contract from a French space agency to provide detectors and other electronics for a mission to Jupiter launching in 2022.

Carving Board to Open Franchise Locations

Local fast-casual chain Carving Board Sandwiches has announced plans to develop franchise locations of its restaurants.

Monday, March 20

Avery Dennison Selects Interim CFO

Avery Dennison Corp. in Glendale has named Gregory S. Lovins interim chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Machinima Names GM

Video game and comics fan website Machinima has named Russell Arons as general manager to replace the outgoing chief executive.

Ixia Releases Report on Big Security Breaches

Ixia has released a report detailing the biggest security breaches of last year and suggestions on how to avoid them in the future.

Opposite of ‘Boring’

Lenelle Duecker started selling insurance out of necessity, but to her surprise she found it fun.

Lenelle Duecker thought insurance was boring until she started a career selling it.

Firm’s Arguments Put Parody Case in the Bag

LITIGATION: L.A. tote maker prevails over Louis Vuitton in trademark dispute.

Boutique intellectual property firm Koppel Patrick Heybl & Philpott of Westlake Village successfully defended spoof tote bag maker My Other Bag against luxury designer Louis Vuitton, a brand notorious for filing trademark suits.

Legendary, Warner Bros. Join for One Last ‘Kong’

FILM: Monkey movie enjoys huge opening weekend with $146 million at box office.

Warner Bros. Studio is back in business with Legendary Entertainment, and while it’s just for a single movie, it’s a big one.

Wanted: Workers

Eight Valley-region manufacturers join apprentice program to train employees for skilled positions.

Apprenticeships return through a coalition of Goodwill, community colleges, government and businesses.

Talon Wins Record for World’s Longest Zipper

APPAREL: Fastener firm reaches potential buyers at LA Fashion Week opening.

Who else would make the world’s longest zipper? Talon zips up LA Fashion Week with its record product.

Politics Spur Land Reform

DEVELOPMENT: Measure S has jumpstarted conversations about planning L.A.’s future.

L.A. voters defeat Measure S but its more palatable aspects live on.

Investors Hop On Flip-Flop Shoe Trend

New owners plan retail expansion for Flojos brand.

Investors find a good fit in Thousand Oaks’ flip-flop maker Flojo.

N.Y.-Burbank Route Raises New Airline

All-you-can-fly deals start at $25,000 for annual membership.

Flying Burbank to New York? Jet Club offers a charter for that.

Music Makes Ditty Deals for App Firm

TMZ, RealNetworks sign up to use Zya’s singing software.

Cell phone ringbacks return with Zya’s new app.

Team Colors Change for JetHawks

Baseball club in Lancaster switches affiliation to Rockies.

Lancaster’s minor-league team the JetHawks takes off with new major-league affiliation.

For Avery Dennison, It’s a Promotional Wrap

TECHNOLOGY: Investment puts label maker in ad business.

Avery Dennison invests in customer of its vehicle wrap materials.

Attorneys Hear Migrant Fears

LAW: Trump talk sends workers, employers to seek counsel.

Fears of deportation boost business for local immigration lawyers.

Local Solutions for Global Problems

Discoveries at local universities could help fix greater problems.

The New Assault on Part-Time Jobs

Newly proposed AB 5 is no friend to businesses dependent on part-time workers.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Antelope Valley Hospital has named Colette Menzel as its new chief financial officer.

VALLEY RISING: Walkable Hub of the West Valley

If “transformation” comes to mind when you think about the Warner Center area of Woodland Hills and its bordering neighborhoods, then you’re in line with a lot of players in the local economy.

Wave of Consolidation Shrinks Insurance Sector

LIST: For both carriers and brokerages, it’s a season of big-eat-small.

Local insurance brokerages address industry’s M&A trend.

Can Marketers Calm DineEquity Upheaval?

RESTAURANTS: After losing top talent, company hires executive and ad agency.

Glendale restaurant group DineEquity Inc., parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants, has recruited a well-reputed advertising agency and a lead marketer from Applebee’s pre-Recession days to strategize a turnaround for the casual dining chain.

Friday, March 17

Glendale Woolworth Open After Remodel

The former F.W. Woolworth Co. store at 201 N. Brand Blvd. has three new tenants after a recently completed refurbishment updated the building's system, added new storefronts and gave the exterior a much-needed makeover.

Answer Financial Signs Lending Tree Deal

Insurance brokerage Answer Financial has formed a partnership with online loan company LendingTree to provide its insurance comparison platform.

Revenue Decline Pulls Qualstar Lower

Pricing pressure for its data storage equipment contributed to Qualstar Corp.’s declining revenue in the fourth quarter, which drop its share price more than 12 percent Friday.

Preview: Wanted: Workers

Eight Valley-region companies have signed up for a manufacturing apprentice program.

Preview: For Avery Dennison, It's a Promotional Wrap

Avery Dennison invests $3 million in Wrapify.

Thursday, March 16

MannKind Turns Profitable in Fourth Quarter

MannKind Corp. (MNKD) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter and full-year financial results, beating analysts’ expectations.

Refi to Fund Improvements at Sherman Oaks Offices

The refinancing of debt on a Sherman Oaks Class A office buildings will help improve and market the property once a major tenant leaves.

Wednesday, March 15

ServiceTitan Gets Titanic Funding

Glendale startup ServiceTitan, the maker of a management software for home service companies, has secured $80 million in funding.

Jetpack Maker Lands Partner

A Van Nuys company developing a vertical take-off and landing jetpack has signed an agreement with Georgia Tech to design and build the device for military use.

Tuesday, March 14

Real Industry Reports $80 Million Loss

Real Industry Inc. significantly widened its net loss in the fourth quarter compared to a year ago.

French Firm Buys Stake in H2Scan

French engineering services company Altran Technologies SA has taken a minority stake in H2Scan, a developer of hydrogen sensors.

SoCal Gas Exec Named 'Latina of Influence'

Southern California Gas Co. Public Affairs Manager Maria Ventura has been named a “Latina of Influence” by the nationally syndicated PBS program “Hispanic Lifestyle” in recognition of her public service and professional accomplishments.

Monday, March 13

Applebee's Hires Advertising Agency

DineEquity Inc. restaurant brand Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar has selected Grey Global Group as its advertising agency of record.

Glendale Banker Convicted of Money Laundering

The former manager of a Wells Fargo Bank in Glendale was convicted Friday of money laundering and false bank entry charges in connection with a trademark scam.

Public Storage Opens Biggest Facility in U.S.

Public Storage this week will open its largest facility in the United States.

Northeast Valley Health Names Chief Medical Officer

Northeast Valley Health Corp. on Monday announced the appointment of its new chief medical officer, Dr. Christine Park.

Friday, March 10

DineEquity Hires Applebee's President

DineEquity Inc. has hired former Applebee’s chief marketing officer John Cywinski to steer the brand’s turnaround, this time as its president.

Marcus & Millichap Partners With Prudential

Marcus & Millichap’s financing subsidiary Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. has broadened its network of lenders through a preferred correspondent agreement with PGIM Real Estate Finance, a unit of Prudential Financial Inc.

California Recycling Secures Torrance Contract

California Recycling Inc. has signed a multi-year contract to provide data shredding and destruction and recycling for the city of Torrance.

Conejo Boys & Girls Clubs Adds to Board

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley has added Barbara Impellizzeri to its board of governors.

Thursday, March 9

Salem Surpasses on Revenue, Misses on Net Income

Salem Media Group missed Wall Street expectations on earnings but surpassed on revenues for the final quarter of 2016.

Marcus & Millichap Report Better-Than-Expected Year

Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. (MMI) reported results for the fourth quarter and full year earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

Earnings: B. Riley, ImmunoCellular, Second Sight, MRV

Roundup of quarterly reports from Valley companies.

Wednesday, March 8

MannKind to Sponsor TV Series

MannKind Corp. on Wednesday announced it will be sponsoring the production of a documentary series directed at educating viewers about the effects of poorly managed diabetes.

Disney Shareholders Back Board

Walt Disney Co. shareholders on Wednesday re-elected all the company’s directors who were up to be returned to the board.

Voters Reject Measure S

Measure S, the hotly debated proposal that would have temporarily halted construction of projects larger, taller and denser than current limits allowed in the city of Los Angeles and its Valley neighborhoods failed to pass in Tuesday’s election.

Semtech Beats Analyst Expectations

Semtech Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on revenue and earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter.

CRC Drops 13 Percent on Lower Oil Prices

Shares of California Resources Corp. dropped nearly 13 percent Wednesday as oil prices fell.

Tuesday, March 7

Reports: Top Wells Fargo Execs Leave Bank

The two Wells Fargo regional presidents serving the greater San Fernando Valley area have left the bank, according to media reports.

Pasadena Shopping Center Sold for $30 Million

A fully leased Pasadena shopping center has sold for nearly $30 million, according to commercial real estate firm Savills Studley.

Wesco Extends Lockheed Contract

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc., a Valencia aerospace supply chain management company, has renewed a multi-year chemical management services contract with aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin.

Monday, March 6

Boston Scientific Renews Valencia Lease

Boston Scientific Corp. has renewed its current lease in Valencia and extended it for 10 years with plans to add employees, according to CBRE Group Inc.

Great American to Liquidate Bookstore Chain

Liquidation firm Great American Group, a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. in Woodland Hills, has announced its plan to shut down a chain of nonprofit Christian bookstores and sell all the inventory.

FDA Changes ImmunoCellular Study Calendar

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. on Monday announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an amendment to its registration trial for a drug, temporarily sending the company’s stock up 16 percent.

County Unemployment Falls in January

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped back below 5 percent in January despite the usual seasonal loss in payroll jobs, according to state figures released Friday.

Virtual Realtors

REX and a Hollywood production house partner on 3D marketing campaign for a $57.5 million Malibu beach house.

Online broker REX partners with virtual reality studio to market homes in the digital world.

New Autism Center to Conduct Brainwave Study

RESEARCH: Grant will fund test to determine viability of nonverbal communication.

California Lutheran University’s new Autism and Communication Center in Thousand Oaks just received its first major research grant, which will fund a study that could change the way nonverbal people speak.

SPECIAL REPORT: Michael Ciravolo

Michael Ciravolo, Schecter Guitar Research.

SPECIAL REPORT: Working on Six Strings

Whether they ply their craft in an old warehouse, garage or workshop, custom guitar manufacturers love to call the Valley region home.

Spotlight on the Valley’s custom guitar manufacturers.

Dr. Addiction

Howard C. Samuels understands substance abuse as a former addict and now chief executive at Hills Treatment Center.

Howard C. Samuels, once addict, describes running a recovery center.

Indy Supermarket Starts With Charity Donation

RETAIL: Grocery Outlet gives $1,000 in conjunction with its grand opening.

The Burbank location of Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has been open for less than a month, but it’s already clear that the store is committed to offering more to area residents than discounted groceries.

New Terminal Underway for Burbank Airport

CONSTRUCTION: Do travelers want stairs for boarding flights or modern jetway?

Hollywood Burbank Airport has started soil testing at the site of a proposed new terminal building.

B. Riley to Purchase East Coast Investment Bank

FINANCE: Proposed deal for $160 million will create national small-cap financier.

B. Riley Financial adds equity transaction services and national locations through purchase of East Coast brokerage.

Filling Nestle’s Big Footprint

OFFICE: Food giant’s exit will leave 15 floors empty in prime Glendale building.

Glendale’s potential up and downside from Nestle’s exit.

The Number

West Valley crime spree focuses on contractors’ white vans.

Shop Owner To Umpire World Series

Garth Sanders chosen for Little League softball championship.

Woodland Hills business owner to call softball World Series.

CSUN Builds Offices for R&D Teams

Professors, students to investigate health and materials science.

Grant motivates California State University-Northridge to build new facility.

Retro Retail Finds Home On Boulevard

Valley Country Mart mixes modern brands, mid-century aesthetic.

Developers aim for a high-end redesign of Woodland Hills strip mall.

Drill Deal Gives Hope for CRC

ENERGY: Increased production, higher oil prices on horizon.

Private equity will help California Resources Corp. drill again.

Biz School Targets Valley Grads

EDUCATION: Costs, benefits play into student recruitment.

How Cal Lutheran plans to sell its new MBA program to San Fernando Valley students.

ACA Reform Could Help Valley Firms

Reforming national health care.

Nestle’s Move Hard to Swallow

Nestle’s relocation could say a lot about the state; California needs to spend more on infrastructure.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The Lancaster City Council voted to give a $2.9 million contract to BYD Energy to transition the city’s streetlights to LEDs by the end of the year.

Finally, Vineyards at Porter Ranch Fully Ripe

DEVELOPMENT: $150 million project to include medical, hotel and apartments.

February was a banner month for a major retail, residential and commercial project with a long history in Porter Ranch.


Avi Shabat, Shabat Guitars


Mike Lipe, Lipe Guitars USA


Mike Pinter, Pinter Instruments

Friday, March 3

Preview: Home Sellers in 3D

Selling a Malibu mansion with an asking price of $57.5 million? Real estate company REX has a 3D marketing campaign for you.

Preview: Working on Six Strings

Before musicians take to the stage, they need an instrument to play. That’s where Tish Ciravolo and entrepreneurs like her come in.

Despite Reverse Split, MannKind’s Stock Drops

MannKind Corp.’s post-split stock had a difficult initial day of trading on the market Friday, closing down nearly 13 percent.

Boys & Girls Club Names Replacement for Sobel

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the West Valley has appointed a new president and chief executive, the Canoga Park nonprofit announced Friday.

Two Glendale Office Buildings Sell

The Glendale office market heated up this week with two significant transactions that totaled more than $260 million.

Avery Dennison Closes Deal for Hanita

Avery Dennison Corp. has completed the acquisition of pressure-sensitive materials manufacturer Hanita Coatings RCA Ltd.

Thursday, March 2

Report: Iger Considers Run for White House

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger is considering a run for the presidency, according to media reports.

Clay Lacy Secures Short-Term Airport Lease

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday approved a short-term lease for Clay Lacy Aviation Inc. to occupy a building at Van Nuys Airport while a new tenant is sought to redevelop the site.

AV Hospital Selects CFO

Antelope Valley Hospital has named Colette Menzel as its new chief financial officer, the hospital announced Wednesday.

Koppel IP Names New Partner

Westlake Village intellectual property law firm Koppel IP has named Corey Donaldson as its newest partner.

Wednesday, March 1

DineEquity Falls on Q4 Report, CFO Exit

The stock of DineEquity Inc. dove more than 11 percent Wednesday after the release of the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings and news that its chief financial officer would resign effective March 15.

Glendale Plaza Sells for $179 Million

A 25-story office tower in Glendale was sold on Tuesday for $179 million, according to a source familiar with the deal, a steep discount from its prior sale about a decade ago for $215 million.

Semtech Debuts Multiple Device Charger

Semtech Corp. unveiled an advanced version of its wireless charging product that can charge multiple mobile devices at the same time with just a single transmitter.