Stories for September 2018

Friday, September 28

Changes Coming for Fernando Awards

The winner of the prestigious Fernando Award won’t be the only one honored at the black-tie ceremony on Oct. 6.

Preview: One-Person Car Dealer

Jerry Kroll has a simple if daunting mission for his Canadian electric vehicle company – to close the last gas station.

Preview: Panavision Purchase Puts Focus on Production

Saban plans to capitalize on filming uptick.

L.A. Developers to Build Mixed-Use Project in Valley Village

A pair of Los Angeles developers are constructing a contemporarily packaged mixed-use building in Valley Village featuring 19 apartments and ground-floor retail, Urbanize.LA reported.

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Job Losses Result From Call Center Closure

United Language Group Inc. is closing its call center in Burbank, resulting in the loss of more than 70 jobs.

Thursday, September 27

UCLA Anderson Forecast Predicts Slowing Growth for State

California’s economy will continue to grow in the coming years but the pace is expected to slow alongside a slowing economy on the national level, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, which was released Wednesday.

Calabasas Developer Secures $10.6M to Build Simi Valley Senior Complex

Canyon Partners Real Estate has provided $10.6 million in preferred equity financing to Calabasas developer Griffin Fine Living to build a senior living community in Simi Valley, according to Multi-Housing News.

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Marketing Maven to Promote Crypto Summit

Camarillo public relations firm Marketing Maven has been selected to handle media relations for the Crypto Invest Summit at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Oct. 22 to 24.

BYD Opens Expansion Warehouse in Lancaster

BYD Motors Inc. has completed construction of a $5 million warehouse for its Lancaster manufacturing plant.

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Wednesday, September 26

Valencia Corporate Plaza Secures $34 Million Recapitalization

CBRE Group Inc. has arranged $34 million in bridge financing for the recapitalization of the Valencia Corporate Plaza office property, the real estate firm announced Wednesday.

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Firm Acquires Two Glendale Apartment Buildings for $14 Million

Champion Real Estate Co. has acquired two more Glendale multifamily properties for $14.1 million, according to The Real Deal.

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Avita Medical Receives Australian Tax Rebate

Avita Medical Ltd. has received a $1 million tax rebate from the Australian government, the biotechnology company announced Tuesday

JMPR Wins Red Line Synthetic Oil Account

JMPR Public Relations will represent motor oil and lubricant manufacturer Red Line Synthetic Oil, the Woodland Hills firm announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 25

Burbank's BluFocus Acquires Quality Control Firm

Entertainment industry electronic file quality control firm BluFocus has acquired Master QC Group LLC as a move to upgrade its service infrastructure.

Regulators Cite Idling Buses in Studio City

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has cited seven coach bus companies for idling at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.

Sherman Oaks Firm Pays $167 Million for Stevenson Ranch Complex

Real estate investment firm IMT Capital has purchased a 510-unit apartment building on 32 acres of land for $167 million, or $326,500 per unit.

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NewMark Merrill Hires HR Manager

NewMark Merrill Cos. has hired Lisa Polis as director of people operations, the Woodland Hills commercial real estate developer announced Tuesday.

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Monday, September 24

California Resources Gains 17 Percent on Rising Oil Prices

Shares of California Resources Corp. jumped more than 17 percent on Monday as crude oil hit $81 a barrel, its highest price in almost four years.

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Camarillo Adopts Economic Development Plan

A strategic economic development plan adopted by the city of Camarillo calls for maximizing the community’s finite real estate resources.

New Law Provides Utilities Some Relief from Wildfire Liability

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill granting shareholders of Southern California Edison and the state’s two other investor-owned utilities some relief from potentially billions of dollars in future wildfire damage claims, including those for last year's Thomas Fire.

Semtech Adds Expertise to Board

Semtech Corp. has expanded its board to 10 people and appointed two directors to fill the new seats, the company announced Monday.

Friday, September 21

Burbank Multifamily Portfolio Sold for $6.8 Million

Two multifamily properties in Burbank have sold for a combined $6.8 million.

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L.A. County Unemployment Steady in August

L.A. County’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent in August for the third straight month, even as the county recorded sizable job gains, according to state figures released Friday.

Mission Valley Bank to Open South Bay Loan Office

Mission Valley Bank plans to open a loan production office in Torrance and has hired a new executive to supervise the operation.

Avita Medical’s Burn Treatment Gets FDA Approval

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Avita Medical Ltd.’s Recell system for treating severe burns, the biotechnology company said Friday.

Thursday, September 20

Plastic Straw Ban Signed Into Law

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill prohibiting dine-in restaurants from automatically providing single-use plastic straws to customers.

Disney’s ESPN+ Reaches 1 Million Subscriber Milestone

Walt Disney Co. streaming service ESPN has surpassed 1 million paying subscribers in just over five months, the company announced Thursday.

High-Speed Rail Authority Proposes Palmdale-Burbank Tunnel

The California High Speed Rail Authority staff has recommended a route between Palmdale and Burbank that would follow the Antelope Valley Freeway and tunnel beneath the San Gabriel Mountains.

Amgen Partners with L.A. County on BioLA Project

Amgen Inc. has partnered with Los Angeles County to form a new organization aimed at advancing the region’s life sciences industry, the Thousand Oaks biotechnology company announced Thursday.

Wednesday, September 19

Van Nuys, Lancaster Airfields Receive Federal Funding

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $23.1 million in infrastructure grants for work at Van Nuys Airport and at Fox Airfield in Lancaster.

Toluca Lake Land Parcel Sells for $2 Million

A 9,683-square-foot development site in Toluca Lake has sold for $2 million, or $207 per square foot.

Stevenson Ranch La Quinta Inn’s $22 Million Sale Breaks Brand Record

La Quinta Inn & Suites Santa Clarita – Valencia has sold to a local private investor for $22 million, according to Atlas Hospitality Group, which arranged the deal.

$70 Million Renovation Begins at Westfield Topanga Mall

A $70 million renovation project is underway at the Westfield Topanga Mall in Woodland Hills, owner Westfield Corp. announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 18

VICA Responds to Sidewalk Vending Law

The signature of Gov. Jerry Brown on a law to decriminalize sidewalk vending prompted a response from the Valley Industry & Commerce Association on Monday.

SnapMD Secures $7.1 Million Investment

SnapMD Inc., a telemedicine company based in Glendale, announced it has raised $7.1 million in funding.

L’Oréal Takes 240,000 Square Feet at Tejon Ranch

L’Oréal USA will house the regional logistics operation of its SalonCentrics subsidiary at the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center in Kern County.

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Westcore Spends $13.8 Million on Moorpark Warehouse

Westcore Properties has acquired a 114,556-square-foot industrial building in Moorpark for $13.8 million from Ventura firm Marcus Adams Capital.

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Monday, September 17

Designs Revealed for CSUN-Adjacent Student Housing Project

West Los Angeles real estate company Symphony Development and the Los Angeles office of design firm Steinberg Hart have revealed renderings for an apartment building project to address the housing needs for students attending California State University – Northridge.

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UCLA Health Expands at Encino Location

The Regents of University of California – Los Angeles have signed a lease to assume approximately 27,215 square feet of medical office space for UCLA Health.

Sylmar Industrial Property Sells for $6.6 Million

Sun Valley-based Ratner Property Management has purchased a $6.56 million industrial property in Sylmar with an eye to renovate it and upgrade its functionality and market value, according to the brokerage CBRE Group Inc.

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AeroVironment Lands $6 million Contract With Portuguese Army

AeroVironment Inc. has secured a nearly $6 million contract to provide its Raven drones to the Portuguese army, the Monrovia unmanned aircraft manufacturer has announced.

The Number

Research sponsored by Princess Cruises in Valencia shows a growing number of U.S. workers don’t take their full complement of vacation time.

Wipes a New Defense for Firefighters hedhery

Exposure to dangerous chemicals on the job poses threat to health.

Rescue Wipes reduce carcinogens.


A strong and growing U.S. economy has created opportunities for small business lending.

The Nightmare on Spring Street

VICA LOCAL UPDATE: The Business Perspective on Valley Issues

Back to school sales. Pumpkin spice lattes. Harvest festivals. Grocery store aisles filled with Halloween candy. The signs are all pointing to one thing – autumn is here.

Shock’s Coming for Manufacturers

California’s manufacturers are still on the ropes. Yet the legislature seems intent on delivering the knockout smackeroo.

Glendale Doctors to Improve Care in Armenia

MEDICINE: Team of 60 personnel travel to work in two hospitals.

Mending Kids travels to Mozambique.

Audio Mixer Makes Sound Investment in Studio

technology: Six theaters at Burbank facility support digital screening.

Pixelogic upgrades Burbank sound studio.

‘Moneylady’ for CEOs

Connie Sparks helps money hunters.

Stable Oil, Less Debt Lift California Resources

ENERGY: Production firm’s stock gains 101 percent year to date.

California Resources posts 101 percent gain since the start of the year.

Fernando Finalists

NONPROFIT: Candidates described as ‘cream of the crop’ for Valley’s lifetime volunteerism award.

The 60th annual Fernando Award gala will be held Oct. 6 at the Warner Center Marriot in Woodland Hills.

Drug Deal Extends MannKind’s Life Expectancy

BIOTECH: Timely infusion of $45 million bolsters finances.

MannKind agreement with United Therapeutics gives company a financial shot in the arm.

Local Schools Build Corporate Career Pipelines

LIST: Programs provide internships, seminars and off-campus experience.

AEG, Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among the corporations that have established partnerships with Valley colleges and universities. Benefits for students range from ready-made career pipelines to a classroom at Staples Center.

IMT Hears Opportunity Calling in Music City

ACQuisition: Sherman Oaks investment firm lured by Nashville’s lower prices.

IMT Capital has acquired four apartment complexes in Nashville, Tenn. since the summer of last year. The Sherman Oaks developer and investment firm likes the Music City’s lower per-unit costs compared to L.A., principal David Tedesco said.

Residential Builder Adds Park to Portfolio

DEVELOPMENT: Firm creates open space as preface to 84-home Sylmar project.

Homebuilder opens park in Sylmar.

Kid-Friendly Retail

Mexican chain brings fresh approach to brick-and-mortar shopping with store opening at Glendale Galleria.

Mexican retailer with fun format to open in Glendale

Friday, September 14

Vicki Nussbaum to Leave Sherman Oaks Chamber

Vicki Nussbaum, chief executive of the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, will leave the chamber in October to head the Century City Business Improvement District.

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Preview: Drug Deal Extends MannKind's Life Expectancy

BIOTECH: Timely infusion of $45 million bolsters finances.

Former U.S. Trade Rep Joins Disney Board

The board of Walt Disney Co. has elected Michael Froman as a new director.

Saban Capital to Buy Panavision

Panavision Inc., Saban Capital Acquisition Corp. and Sim Video International Inc. have entered into a merger agreement to create a “global provider of end-to-end production and post-production services to the entertainment industry,” the companies announced Thursday.

Thursday, September 13

Cherokee Reports $9.1 Million Loss

Cherokee Inc. reported a quarterly net loss of $9.1 million on Thursday, a 90 percent increase compared to the same quarter last year.

Warner Bros. Creates ‘Experiences’ Division

Pam Lifford, president of consumer products at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., has been promoted to lead a new division that will oversee Warner Bros.’ brands, including its popular DC franchise.

Dole Headquarters Sold to Hilton Foundation for $50 Million

The headquarters of Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village has sold to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for $50 million, according to brokerage CBRE Group Inc.

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American Homes 4 Rent to Trade Preferred Shares

American Homes 4 Rent plans to sell 4 million shares of preferred stock and trade them on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker AMHPRH.

Wednesday, September 12

Royal Princess Coming to Port of L.A.

Princess Cruises plans to dock one of its new large ships, the Royal Princess, in Los Angeles starting in March.

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Pasadena Retail Corner Sells for $23 Million

Aegon USA Realty Advisors, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based limited liability company, has sold the two-story, 39,000-square-foot Walgreens building at 310 S. Lake Ave. in Pasadena for $23 million.

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B. Riley FBR Names Chief Administrative Officer

B. Riley FBR, an investment bank and subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. in Woodland Hills, has appointed Dawn Farrell as chief administrative officer of the firm’s investment banking unit.

Tuesday, September 11

Largest U.S. Ram Dealership Opens in Lancaster

HW Hunter Ram of the West Truck Center has opened its 40,000-square-foot facility in Lancaster, making it the largest Ram stand-alone dealership in the country by size.

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B. Riley Completes $100 Million Debt Offering

B. Riley Financial Inc. has closed a public offering of $100 million in senior notes, the Woodland Hills company announced Tuesday.

PS Business Park Hires CFO

PS Business Parks Inc. has appointed Jeffrey Hedges as chief financial officer and secretary effective Sept. 17, the company announced.

Canoga Park Apartments Sold for $3.7 Million

A 17-unit apartment building in Canoga Park has sold for $3.7 million, according to brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

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Monday, September 10

Limoneira Reports Quarterly Results, Progress on Housing Project

Limoneira Co. fell short of analyst expectations for quarterly earnings but made progress on its Harvest at Limoneira real estate project during the quarter, the company announced Monday.

VICA Calls New Electricity Law ‘Ridiculous’

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association announced disappointment that Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed SB 100, creating a law requiring 60 percent electricity in California be generated by renewable sources by 2030.

Avery Dennison Selects Tech Executive for Board

Avery Dennison Corp. has appointed Mark Barrenechea to its board, the company announced Monday.

Tix Shares Fall as MGM Takeover Talks End

Tix Corp.’s stock dropped nearly 10 percent Monday after the company disclosed that MGM Resorts International would not acquire the company.

Friday, September 7

Marcus & Millichap Buys Montreal Brokerage

Marcus & Millichap Inc. has expanded its presence in the Canadian market by acquiring McGill Commercial, a regional commercial real estate investment sales firm in Montreal, the company announced late Thursday.

NBCUniversal Puts Three Execs on Hulu Board

NBCUniversal has added three members to the board of directors of online streaming service Hulu, according to media reports.

City Files Criminal Charges Against 35 Pot Businesses in Valley

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday that his office has filed criminal cases against 35 commercial cannabis retailers, labs, grow sites or delivery services in the San Fernando Valley.

VICA Counts Victories as Legislative Session Ends

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association announced successes Friday as the California Legislature ended its session for the year.

Thursday, September 6

L.A. City Council Approves Electric Scooter Rules

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a one-year pilot program to regulate dockless electric scooters, paving the way for the introduction of potentially thousands of the vehicles to the San Fernando Valley.

Capstone Plans Investor Open House

Capstone Turbine Corp. is opening the doors of its San Fernando Valley headquarters and manufacturing facility to investors and analysts next month.

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AeroVironment Rises on Drone Insurance Deal

Shares of AeroVironment Inc. rose 14 percent after the company announced a partnership to offer insurance for its Quantix drone.

Sherman Oaks Medical Offices Sell for $20 Million

Two medical office buildings in Sherman Oaks sold to C.A. Development Operations, a Los Angeles-based investment company, for $20, according to brokerage CBRE Group Inc.

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Wednesday, September 5

AeroVironment Turns Profitable After Divesting Charger Business

AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue for the fiscal first quarter.

Glendale Insurance Agent Charged With Fraud

A licensed insurance agent in Glendale was arrested and charged with grand theft and insurance fraud after allegedly acting as a licensed insurance agent to steal $10,000 from a trusting client, according to the California Department of Insurance.

Amgen Veterans Launch $320 Million Life Science Venture Fund

Westlake Village BioPartners has launched its first $320 million venture fund to invest in life science and biotech companies.

Salem Sponsors 'Mid-Term Madness' Political Fantasy Game

Salem Media Group Inc.’s radio show host Hugh Hewitt will launch Mid-Term Madness, a fantasy game allowing listeners to select who they think will win key races in the Nov. 6 elections, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 4

Simi Valley Development Site Sells for $21 Million

The site for the Sycamore Drive Community Center apartment project in Simi Valley has sold to a public-private joint venture for $21 million, brokerage CBRE Group Inc. announced Tuesday.

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Research Deal Gives Cash Infusion to MannKind

Shares of MannKind Corp. jumped nearly 90 percent Tuesday after the Westlake Village biotech announced an agreement with United Therapeutics Corp. to develop an inhalable drug to treat a form of hypertension.

Second Sight Selects Manufacturing-Savvy COO

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has named Pat Ryan as its chief operating officer effective immediately.

VICA Praises Defeat of ‘Water Tax’ Bill

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association praised the defeat of SB 845, a bill in Sacramento that would have created a new statewide opt-out fund for safe drinking water programs.

Monday, September 3

DIY Protein Power

Consumers who want less sugar in a nutrition bar can make their own with a mix from Creation Nation.

Ready-made protein bar mix seeks shelves.

Anti-Tax Campaigner

From workers’ comp reform to the November election, consultant Joel Fox talks California politics.

Veteran political consultant talks business.

Final Interview With Bar Association’s Liz Post

NON PROFIT: Reflections on her quarter century with Valley lawyers and judges.

After nearly 25 years with the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Executive Director Liz Post will step down from her role and return to her home state of New York to lead the Nassau County Bar Association.

Health Systems’ Payrolls Expand Employment

LIST: Hospitals in hiring mode to fill out new buildings and networks.

Ranked by the number of Valley-area employees, companies on the Business Journal’s list of private-sector employers starting on page 13 cover an eclectic range of industries, from supermarkets to aerospace to entertainment.

Family Businesses Answer Succession Questions

LIST: Expectations about office and home impacts relationships, results.

Growing up with father who had started his own landscaping company in the early 1970s, Chris Angelo said it was never directly implied that he would join the family business.

Banks Turn Out for Housing Trust Fundraiser

RESIDENTIAL: Donors give $50,000 for foster care transition program.

Camarillo-based Ventura County Housing Trust Fund recently held its annual fundraiser in — where else? — Camarillo.

Tariffs Raise Input Prices for Valley Manufacturers

TRADE: Chief executive urges letter-writing to lawmakers for relief.

When it comes to the tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration, Richard Brent is not shy about expressing his opinion.

Franchise Court Battle

RESTAURANTS: Dine Brands’ lawsuit alleges $23 million owed in operating fees.

After Applebee’s second largest franchisee RMH Franchise Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in May, Applebee’s parent company, Glendale-based Dine Brands Global Inc., sued to prevent RMH from liquidating its restaurants.

Dessert Dreams

Raw cookie dough stars as the main dish at a Burbank sweet shop run by two sisters.

Cookie dough for dessert.

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Super Cold Cure

For athletes in rehab, nitrogen vapor offers to stimulate circulation and healing at -200 degrees.

Cryotherapy in Encino.

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Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley


Calendar of Events

The Terrible Truth About Tariffs

Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.”

City-owned Bank? It’s a Bad Idea

Think of the record of management by the city of Los Angeles.

Homeless Get Temp Addresses

REAL ESTATE: Valley businesses support shelters as solution.

Valley businesses support homeless shelters.

Partners to Sell Pot Sensors

TECHNOLOGY: Companies hope to crack growing market.

Two companies partner to sell pot sensors.

Industry Clean-Up

SERVICE: Reformers hope a new mandatory state registry will curb labor violations by janitorial contractors.

Janitorial contractors must register.

Space Glut Could Hurt Public Storage Shares

RENTALS: Analyst cites ‘elevated supply’ that will limit rate increases.

Public Storage shares hurt by oversupply.

Rapper Tries Retail With Big Pot Shop

B-Real opens Dr. Greenthumb branded location in Sylmar.

Rapper opens pot shop in Sylmar.

Double Duty for Video Show

Agency project attracts viewers, touts clients.

Agency touts clients on YouTube series.