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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Antelope Valley Lancaster Lancaster was named the most business-friendly city by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. at its annual Eddy Awards gala, dethroning Whittier. It is the third time Lancaster has been awarded the title, with other wins in 2007 and 2013. A panel of judges chose Lancaster based on its commitment to economic development, available business expansion and retention programs, low tax rates and high economic incentives. The community has long been supportive of commercial, industrial and residential development, as evidenced by the buildup of Lancaster Boulevard, the city’s busiest thoroughfare, with retail, hospitality and mixed-use projects over the last decade. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has ordered 130 electric buses from BYD Motors Ltd., the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer. The K7M buses will be made at the Lancaster plant of BYD Motors Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of BYD Motors Ltd. The 30-foot K7M has 22 seats, a range of up to 150 miles, and can be charged in 2.5 to 3 hours. The order will help the city achieve a goal of converting the entire department of transportation fleet to zero-emission buses by 2030. It is estimated the 130 buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,225 metric tons per year and by 98,700 metric tons over the buses’ 12-year life. “BYD buses will be an important component of the city’s efforts to meet its sustainability goals,” said BYD North America President Stella Li in a statement. “We are proud to partner with an agency that shares our green dream.” San Fernando Valley Panorama City USA Properties Fund Inc. has proposed to replace 2.2 acres of industrial facilities in Panorama City with 239 units of senior apartments. The proposal, which would raze the existing warehouses and auto repair hangars at 7700 N. Woodman Ave., would redevelop the space with senior affordable housing in the form of a 280,000-square-foot apartment complex. Panorama City has a lot of action when it comes to development of affordable housing. Domus Development will establish 49 units of low-income spaces at 9502 Van Nuys Blvd. while Clifford Beers Housing has proposed a 180-unit development at 14545 Lanark St. Valley Village IHP Capital Partners and Williams Homes have formed a joint venture to create 26 small-lot homes on a U-shaped site at the intersection of Hermitage Avenue and Weddington Street in Valley Village. WHA Architects has designed the unnamed development, which will feature three-story homes with 1,173 to 2,079 square feet and up to four bedrooms. The project site is Orange Line-adjacent. Sale prices are expected to start in the $800,000s after construction wraps up in 2021. Santa Clarita Valley Santa Clarita Blue Cross Laboratories in Santa Clarita has been acquired by Starco Group of Santa Monica. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1960 by David Mahler, Blue Cross makes household and personal care items including deodorants, detergents and over-the-counter pain-relieving creams. The company sells through its own value brands such as Supremo detergent and Cold & Hot relief patches, but also manufactures private label products for large retailers. The company, which is run by Darrell Mahler and his son Burke Mahler, has a 105,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 20950 Centre Pointe Parkway. Starco Group confirmed that Blue Cross will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its own facilities and operations. VALENCIA Avita Medical has named David McIntyre the company’s new chief financial officer. McIntyre’s role comprises overseeing global finance and investor relations from the regenerative medicine company’s Valencia office. The company’s former interim chief financial officer, Tim Rooney, will continue his role as chief administrative officer. The announcement comes a week after the company unveiled a $120 million institutional placement to fund clinical trials and continued U.S. commercial growth. Ventura County New York-based Coty Inc. will pay $600 million for a 51 percent share of Kylie Jenner’s beauty business, including Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin in Ventura County. The partnership values Kylie Cosmetics at nearly $1.2 billion. “This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse,” Jenner said in a statement. Since the launch of Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, Jenner has done the majority of product marketing on her social media pages. Kylie Cosmetics generated $177 million in revenues in the last 12 months, according to the release. The company is based in Oxnard, while Jenner lives in Calabasas. Simi Valley AeroVironment Inc. received a U.S. Army contract valued at up to $55 million to modify radio frequency communications for one of its unmanned aircraft systems. The initial base order for the modifications to the Raven drone is valued at $862,488, with options valued at up to $55 million. Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development for the drone manufacturer, said that as the developer of the Raven system, the company is best equipped to support field upgrades for the small, hand-launched aircraft, which provide soldiers in combat with data for situational awareness. The National Union of Healthcare Workers postponed a five-day strike at Kaiser Permanente locations in California following news of chief executive Bernard Tyson’s unexpected death earlier this month. A new date for the strike has not been set yet. Mental health workers with Kaiser planned to strike at more than 100 Kaiser clinics and medical facilities over pensions; Simi Valley workers had already participated in a local strike Oct. 28 and 29, in addition to the statewide work stoppage. “We offer our condolences to Bernard’s family, friends and colleagues,” said Sal Rosselli, NUHW president. “Our members dedicate their lives to helping people through tragedy and trauma, and they understood that a strike would not be appropriate during this period of mourning and reflection.” Tyson, 60, held the job since 2013. Kaiser’s board of directors has named Gregory Adams, executive vice president and group president, as interim chairman and chief executive. Thousand Oaks Amgen Inc. announced it will lay off a quarter of its workforce in Cambridge, Mass., in conjunction with its decision to end neuroscience research. According to a report from the Boston Business Journal, Amgen cut 149 workers from its Cambridge research facility. Some staff have been offered relocation to Amgen’s other North American sites. The Cambridge location will continue operations with a “process development presence” for pipeline drugs and next-gen technology. Amgen initially made the announcement about ending its neuroscience research division in its third-quarter earnings call Oct. 29 but made an exception for programs centered on neuro inflammation, which will be pursued by the company’s inflammation therapeutics branch. Amgen will consolidate its U.S.-based research to Thousand Oaks and San Francisco. Westlake Village L.A.-based Herbalife Nutrition and Proactive Sports Performance in Thousand Oaks announced they will open a sports center in Westlake Village by the end of next year. The 16,200-square foot facility will be located at 31425 Agoura Road, according to Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura, who transacted the deal. Termed a “comprehensive sports nutrition performance research facility,” the Westlake Village center aims to analyze every aspect of an athlete’s lifestyle to maximize results on the field, in training and in recovery, Herbalife said. It will have a basketball court, plunge pools for recovery after exercise, altitude chambers used for elite competitors, and a biomechanics testing lab. The gym will not be open to the general public, instead offering private training services by appointment only.

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