Stories for July 2020

Friday, July 31

Cheesecake Factory Beats Estimates Despite Losses

Calabasas restaurant operator Cheesecake Factory outperformed analysts’ earnings expectations for its second financial quarter despite posting a loss.

Writers Guild Ratifies Pact with Producers

Members of the Writers Guild of America West and WGA East have ratified a new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, based in Sherman Oaks.

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Preview: Hospitals Wash With UV Light

UltraViolet Devices has found itself in the middle of an unintended growth spurt, propelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Preview: Industrial Real Estate in Short Supply

Since mid-March, the pandemic has proven problematic for commercial real estate across the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Thursday, July 30

MGA Partners with Nighthawk Interactive on Nintendo Game

San Fernando Valley toy company MGA Entertainment Inc. announced Thursday that it will be teaming up with videogame publisher Nighthawk Interactive on a game to support the launch of its fall line of the popular fashion doll brand, L.O.L. Surprise!

ASGN Beats Expectations on Quarter

Calabasas staffing company ASGN Inc. beat analysts’ expectations for its second financial quarter on earnings and revenue.

Mission Valley Grows With PPP Loans

The parent of Mission Valley Bank on Thursday reported second quarter net income of $1.2 million, down from $1.5 million in the same quarter last year.

Earthquake Rattles Valley With No Damage

A 4.2-magnitude earthquake rattled the East San Fernando Valley early Thursday morning, but reportedly caused no significant damage or injuries.

Rocket Laden With Valley Components Lifts Off

The Atlas V rocket with the newest Mars rover on board successfully took off Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch is of interest locally because of the many components created by Valley area companies.

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Wednesday, July 29

Tutor Perini Constructs Solid Quarter Despite Pandemic

Tutor Perini Corp. missed on Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings but beat on revenue for the second quarter, the company announced on Wednesday. The stock went up more than 3 percent.

Universal, AMC Shorten Theatrical Window

Universal Pictures has struck a historic deal with cinema exhibitor AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. that allows the production studio to make its films available for premium video-on-demand after just 17 days of play in U.S. theaters.

Dine Brands’ Stock Surges on Earnings News

Shares of Dine Brands Global Inc., the parent of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar and IHOP restaurants, on Wednesday surged more than 11 percent after beating analyst expectations for its second financial quarter, despite being hard-hit by the pandemic.

Tuesday, July 28

Cure Pharmaceutical to Buy Sera Labs for $20 Million

Cure Pharmaceutical on Tuesday announced it will acquire privately held Sera Labs in Sherman Oaks for $20 million.

Sherman Oaks Apartments Sell Despite 81 Percent Vacancy

A multifamily property at 14707-14715 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Sherman Oaks has sold for $3.5 million in an all-cash transaction – despite the fact that 13 of the 16 apartments were vacant.

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Amgen Grows Revenue in Pandemic

Amgen Inc. beat analyst expectations during the second quarter, despite the effects of the coronavirus on the health care industry.

Monday, July 27

33-unit Apartment Building Approved in Sherman Oaks

Los Angeles City Planning Commission has approved a proposed mixed-use apartment complex in Sherman Oaks.

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Avery Dennison Beats Earnings Estimates as Business Rebounds

Avery Dennison Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings for the second quarter and matched on revenue.

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Arcutis Hires Chief Medical Officer

Arcutis Biotherapeutics on Monday announced the appointment of Dr. Patrick Burnett as its chief medical officer effective Aug. 1.

Friday, July 24

ElyseWalker Store to Open in Calabasas

An ElyseWalker store is scheduled to open in Spring 2021 at The Commons at Calabasas shopping center.

Universal Studios Cancels Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights has been cancelled this year at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City due to the coronavirus outbreak.

City Charges Non-Mask Wearers Who Fought Security Guards

Following a physical altercation over wearing masks at a Van Nuys Target store, two brothers have been charged with battery and trespass.

Thursday, July 23

Encino Shopping Center Eyes 2021 Overhaul With New Anchors

ShopCore Properties has announced the overhaul of an Encino mall underway soon to include Target and Planet Fitness as prime anchors.

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HBO Max Reaches 4.1 Million Subscribers in First Month

In its first month, the new streaming service HBO Max has brought in 4.1 million overall subscribers, according to a conference call with executives of AT&T Inc., parent of Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank, which owns HBO Max.

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CSUN’s Consultant Program to Help Valley Businesses

Students at the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics at California State University – Northridge are forming teams to assist small businesses dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Wednesday, July 22

Teledyne Beats Earnings Estimates, Sees ‘Compounding’ Ahead

Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and nearly matched on revenue for the second quarter.

Peter C. Foy & Associates Acquires Four Brokerages

Peter C. Foy & Associates Insurance Services has acquired four brokerages in the last three months.

Storage Company to Relocate to 53,000-Square-Foot Site in Thousand Oaks

A local storage company has leased a 52,800-square-foot industrial facility in Thousand Oaks at 1467 Lawrence Drive.

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Longtime Valley Councilman Hal Bernson Dies

Former L.A. City Councilman Hal Bernson, who represented the 12th District in the San Fernando Valley from 1979 to 2003, has passed away.

Tuesday, July 21

200-Unit Second Phase Coming to Panorama Tower Development

Developer Izek Shomof is seeking entitlements to transform the parking lots surrounding Panorama Tower, his recently opened condominium project in Panorama City, into a major mixed-use complex.

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New Director at California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks

The nonprofit California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks, or CMATO, has hired Roya Alt as its director, replacing former director Tish Greenwood.

Amgen Foundation Renews Grant for Biology Education in Pandemic

Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. on Tuesday announced the renewal of a $3 million grant to Khan Academy.

Monday, July 20

Aerojet Fulfills NASA Engine Contract

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. has completed all of its propulsion systems for the first crewed flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft and for the Artemis II mission to the moon.

Medtronic Executive Moves to MannKind

Medtronic executive Alejandro Galindo will join MannKind Corp. as its chief commercial officer effective Aug. 4.

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B. Riley Relocates From Woodland Hills to Westlake Village

Financial services firm B. Riley Financial has signed a new 18,000-square-foot office lease in Westlake Village.

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Restaurants Rattled by Second-Round Shutdown

RETAIL: Regulatory ping-pong spells trouble for eateries.

Aron Celnick was relieved to see a “nice uptick” in revenue at his Canoga Park eatery Grandi Italiani last month after L.A. County regulators allowed restaurants to resume dine-in operations with limited capacity.

The City’s Shakedown Machine

The unfolding corruption scandal involving Los Angeles City Hall denizens and real estate developers is absolutely shocking. On the other hand, it’s not at all surprising. It’s almost to be expected.

Save Our Businesses. Wear a Mask

About a month ago, there was a glimmer of hope that things were getting better.



Apartments On Horizon Near CSUN

Multifamily with 51 units proposed for Northridge.

The influx of residential dwellings in Northridge continues as another developer intends to capitalize on the demand for student housing near the campus of California State University – Northridge.

Corporations’ Public Face

Communication gets complicated when a disease can make every marketing, employment and investment decision uncertain.

In mid-May, Velocity Financial Inc. announced steps taken to counter the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Product Exclusives at First Virtual Comic-Con

Valley vendors in online exhibit hall and web panels.

What would have been the 51st annual San Diego Comic-Con International was to take place later this week until the coronavirus pandemic caused its cancellation.

Quick Loans Help Funeral Industry Cope With Price-Shopping Trend

Sherman Oaks business offers end-of-life lending

Consumers are spending less money than ever on funerals and death processions, industry professionals in the Valley tell the Business Journal.

Tarzana Hospital CEO Moves to Jewish Home

Surowitz leaves top job at Providence after 23 years.

Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center’s Dale Surowitz will leave his post as chief executive — after roughly 23 years — to lead the Los Angeles Jewish Home during a time of rapid expansion.

‘Reimagining the Priorities’

NONPROFIT: Steve Nissen, new chairman of the L.A. County Economic Development Corp., says the Valley ‘will not be forgotten in our efforts.’

Steven Nissen was appointed chairman of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. on July 2.

Space Force: Palmdale in Race for HQ

AEROSPACE: City hopes established industry will attract new military branch.

Palmdale has applied to become the location of the headquarters for the U.S. Space Command.

Calavo’s Avocado Market Steady in Pandemic

FOOD: New management at Santa Paula grower.

Following a change of leadership months prior, Santa Paula’s Calavo Growers presented its first earnings report under new management at the beginning of June.

Project Roomkey

HOSPITALITY: Hotel owner deems state program to house the homeless during pandemic ‘a win-win.’

With Project Roomkey — an initiative to convert hotels into temporary housing for a virus-vulnerable segment of the homeless population — the state has simultaneously addressed the pandemic and California’s homeless problem by encouraging counties to lease up 15,000 hotel rooms.

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‘Audience Fatigue’ Expert


Reflecting on Work’s ‘Changing Nature’

Valley author’s book examines the evolution of employment.

Authors are supposed to write what they know, and with his fifth book, “The Changing Nature of Work,” Richard Kaumeyer has done just that.

App Makes WWI’s Stories High Tech

Burbank company puts military history on users’ phones.

A new app created by a Burbank company gives viewers a chance to learn about World War I and visit a memorial now under construction in Washington, D.C.

Sell-Off Gives LTC Fresh Cash

HEALTH CARE: Nursing home REIT waits for acquisitions.

Although its industry has plenty of virus-related risks, LTC Properties in Westlake Village has seen its stock steadily increase since mid-March when the pandemic ramped up in the U.S.

Friday, July 17

Coty Pays $200 Million for Stake in Kim Kardashian West's Beauty Firm

New York-based Coty Inc. has paid $200 million for a 20 percent stake in Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty Inc.

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Developers Collaborate on Westlake Village Coworking Office

In a sign that developers still believe in the collaborative office workspace, Majestic Workspaces — in a joint venture with Premier Workspaces — has opened a coworking site in Westlake Village.

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Preview: Restaurants Rattled by Second-Round Shutdown

Regulatory ping-pong spells trouble for eateries.

Thursday, July 16

BYD Offers Design Options to Make Buses Safer From Coronavirus

BYD Motors Inc. unveiled on Wednesday new options for its electric buses that will help transit agencies and coach operators keep buses clean and promote social distancing to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Former Disney Executive to Lead Virgin Galactic

A former Walt Disney Co. executive has been named as the new chief executive of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., the space company announced Wednesday.

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REIT Sells Simi Valley Office Campus for $25 Million

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT announced that it has sold a 273,241-square-foot Simi Valley office campus to an undisclosed investor for $24.5 million.

California Resources to Reorganize Under Chapter 11

Embattled oil and gas company California Resources Corp. has entered a restructuring agreement with creditors through a voluntary Chapter 11 filing.

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Wednesday, July 15

NewMark Merrill’s Allen Ginsborg Dies at 59

Woodland Hills-based real estate development firm NewMark Merrill Cos. Inc. has announced the passing of NewMark Merrill Mountain States Division Chairman and Co-Founder Allen Ginsborg. He was 59.

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Patxi’s Pizza Franchise to Enter Valley Market

Bay area franchise Patxi’s Pizza is entering the San Fernando Valley with a soon-to-open restaurant in Porter Ranch.

NBCUniversal Launches Peacock Streaming Service

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service officially rolls out nationwide Wednesday following a limited-access period that started April 15 for some customers of parent company Comcast Corp.

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Tuesday, July 14

Expansion of Valley's Small Business Relief Fund

L.A. City Council member John Lee announced Tuesday an expansion of his Small Business Relief Fund into Watts, San Pedro, South L.A., and the west San Fernando Valley.

United Chambers Refunds Membership Fees

The United Chambers of Commerce, an umbrella organization consisting of 19 local chambers, has returned all 2020 membership fees to its members due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Fisher Phillips Law Firm Opens Woodland Hills Office

National labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips has opened an office in Woodland Hills with Los Angeles Managing Partner Todd Scherwin serving in the same capacity at the new location.

Monday, July 13

Nursing Home Operator Pays $16.7 Million to Settle Medicare Fraud Allegations

A Los Angeles skilled nursing home operator will pay $16.7 million to settle allegations with the Department of Justice that it submitted false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that were unreasonable or unnecessary.

SK Management Divests Two Lines of Business

Real estate firm SK Management Co. in Encino has divested two of its core lines of business.

Amgen Invests Another $421 Million in Beigene

Amgen on Sunday announced an additional investment of $421 million in Chinese biotech Beigene, adjusting its stock ownership to 20.3 percent.

Friday, July 10

Van Nuys Apartments Sell for $680,000 a Unit

An eight-unit Van Nuys multifamily complex has sold for $5.6 million, or $681,250 per unit, according to brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

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Tutor Perini Secures Military Construction Contract Worth $34 Million

A subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp. has been awarded two contracts valued at about $34 million for work at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Medtronic Signs Cross-License Agreement on Diabetic Research

Medtronic has signed a patent cross-license agreement with San Diego-based Tandem Diabetes Care to avoid potential legal disagreements.

Thursday, July 9

Blackline Survey Finds Pandemic Accelerating Tech Adoption

A survey conducted by Woodland Hills accounting software company BlackLine Inc. found that the finance and accounting industry has prioritized technology adoption to avoid business interruptions in the coronavirus economy.

Semtech Invests in COVID Contact Tracing Firm

Semtech Corp. has invested in a company that uses its technology to track COVID-19 infections.

Four-Story Multifamily Development Proposed for Reseda

The Los Angeles City Council has approved plans for a residential development that will add 27 units to the housing inventory in Reseda.

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Wednesday, July 8

Palmdale Applies for Space Force Headquarters

Palmdale has applied to be the location of the headquarters for the U.S. Space Command.

Location Filming Drops 98 Percent

On-location film and television production dropped by 98 percent in the second quarter as the entertainment industry shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Signature Bank to Open Office in Warner Center

Signature Bank is expanding to Southern California with four new private client banking offices, including one in the Warner Center neighborhood of Woodland Hills.

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Multifamily Complex to Rise Near CSUN

A property located at 8940 N. Reseda Blvd. in Northridge will bring five stories of apartments to the market near California State University – Northridge.

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Tuesday, July 7

Ventura County Launches Business Resource Hub

The Ventura County Economic Development Collaborative has launched Business Forward, a website it hopes will serve as a one-stop virtual information hub for local business owners.

Chamber Coalition Advocates ‘Safe Reopening’ Plan

The California Coalition for Safe Reopening, a group made up of 33 chambers of commerce and other business organizations, has released a three-point recovery program for consideration by state and local governments before ordering any more business shutdowns.

Construction Complete at L’Oreal Offices in Encino

Design studio Ware Malcomb announced Tuesday that construction is complete at L’Oreal’s Pulp Riot offices, located at 16501 Ventura Blvd. in Encino.

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Surowitz Will Leave Providence Tarzana to Lead Jewish Home

Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center Chief Executive Dale Surowitz will leave his post to lead the Los Angeles Jewish Home during a time of rapid expansion.

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Monday, July 6

B. Riley’s Ready to Deal in a Disrupted Economy

FINANCE: Management sees investment opportunities in an ‘uncertain time.’

B. Riley Financial Inc. will continue pursuing an aggressive strategy of acquisitions and deal-making in the future, the company’s co-chief executive said in a conference call with analysts.

ImmunoCellular Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split

Shareholders of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics have voted to implement a reverse stock split at a ratio not less than 1-for-3 and not greater than 1-for-10.

Westlake Village Office Portfolio Fetches $55 Million

A massive multi-property office portfolio, totaling 256,602 square feet in Westlake Village, has traded for $55 million.

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Grocery Outlet Opens in Winnetka

Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has opened a new location in Winnetka. The store has created about 25 jobs, according to the company.

Women Weathering the Storm

The economic disruption of 2020 highlights the challenges faced by female-owned companies.

Women-owned businesses, and the organizations that represent them, have faced COVID-19 with strength, resilience and a determination to rebuild.

Seeking Suburbia

RESIDENTIAL: Brokers report the urban lifestyle has lost its appeal for millennial homebuyers.

The catchphrase “live/work/play” captures the strategy of real estate developers appealing to younger workers, often in the tech and entertainment industries, who want a walkable urban lifestyle near their employment

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Thursday, July 2

Steve Nissen Selected as LAEDC Chairman

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has selected longtime Valley executive Steve Nissen as its new chairman.

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Northridge Man Sentenced in Credit Card Scheme With ‘Collusive Merchants’

A Northridge man has received 21 years in federal prison for a scheme in which credit card and bank loan scheme that took money from banks, credit card comapnies, car dealerships and utility companies.

Chatsworth Hills Academy Sells Campus for $9 Million

A school campus belonging to Chatsworth Hills Academy has sold for $9 million.

Wednesday, July 1

Zillow Honors Local Economic Forecasters

Local economists Matthew Fienup and Dan Hamilton have been named recipients of the 2020 Crystal Ball Award for the Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, formerly known as the Case-Schiller Home Price Expectations Survey.

Aerial Film Companies Create Partnership

Van Nuys film industry companies XM2 and Pursuit Aviation, with aerial cinematographer Stephen Oh at the helm, on Tuesday announced a collaboration to come up with new ways to get a filmmaker’s perfect shot.

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Cinedigm to Launch Women’s Channel

Cinedigm Corp. this fall will launch a female-focused streaming channel.

L.A., Ventura Counties to Re-Close Dining Rooms

Los Angeles and Ventura county dining rooms have been mandated to shut down again, just weeks after receiving approval from regulators to serve customers on location.