SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Machina Labs has closed a Series A financing round worth $14 million. The company that applies artificial intelligence and robotics to manufacturing will use the money to grow its team and to expand its research and development and manufacturing capacity to meet customer demand. Machina Labs has raised a total of $16.3 million in financing. Edward Mehr, chief executive and co-founder, said that manufacturing must be reinvented to keep pace with changes in a highly competitive market. The company said that its manufacturing platform combines advances in robotics and artificial intelligence to democratize access to rapid manufacturing so that anyone with an idea can make parts quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, Mehr said in a statement. “These software-defined, robotic facilities are the factories of the future, and we’re thrilled to have our investors on board to help us get there,” Mehr added. Innovation Endeavors in Palo Alto led the financing round, with contributions from Congruent Ventures in Oakland and Embark Ventures in Santa Monica. Founded in 2019, Machina Labs has done pilot programs with NASA and the U.S. Air Force and is now working on commercial engagements.
Valley Economic Alliance announced the receipt of a $20,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of the nonprofit’s 2021-2022 economic mobility initiatives. The grant money will be allocated toward the alliance’s general operations and to generate awareness for its Housing Creates Communities Program. The program is funded by the National Association of Realtors and supported by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. Housing Creates Communities underscores the availability of new housing opportunities with statistics from a recent survey of 600 San Fernando Valley residents commissioned by the alliance. The money will also support the alliance’s business assistance program in addition to a community revitalization initiative. “We’re elated to be selected as recipients of such a changemaking financial reward,” Sonya Blake, the alliance’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Now more than ever before, we are laser-focused on supporting business growth, strengthening our labor market and meeting the critical housing needs of our residents, so we plan to engage the community by promoting our programs and services to a wider audience.”
A developer plans to build a 145-unit assisted living facility. SRM Development is currently in escrow to purchase a 100,400-square-foot site at 11611 Ventura Blvd. for an undisclosed amount and has filed plans with the city of Los Angeles to create a residential site for seniors. The project, designed by Urbal Architecture, will be named Ventura & Colfax, as the 2.3-acre site stands at the northeast corner of Ventura Boulevard and Colfax Avenue. Spokane, Wash.-based SRM is seeking to raze the existing site – a few commercial buildings including an automotive business – to build the senior living complex, which will consist of 129 assisted living care units and 16 detached townhomes. The facility will have 25 guest rooms dedicated to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. The plan also includes 118 parking spaces and 42 bicycle stalls. This will be SRM’s second development in the San Fernando Valley. SRM has an eldercare facility project at 16151-16201 Ventura Blvd. in Encino. That development includes 107 assisted living units and 16 memory care apartments.
Capstone Green Energy Corp. received a follow-on order for one of its microturbine systems at a sewage treatment plant in Busan, South Korea. The alternative energy manufacturer is expected to commission the 800-kilowatt energy system expansion in September of next year at the Noksan Sewage Treatment Plant. The order was received through CY Tech, Capstone’s distributor in Korea. Ohjun Kwon, project manager of Busan Noksan Sewage Treatment Plant, said that the original Capstone energy system that was installed has been working so well, it was decided to invest in expanding its capacity. “We chose Capstone’s technology for its strong performance, reliability, low noise and minimal maintenance intervals, which have proven successful operation in several domestic sites,” Kwon said in a statement. The Noksan site, which is capable of processing sludge at 160,000 cubic meters per day, will use the biogas produced in the digestion process as fuel to provide on-site power for the 15-building treatment facility as well as the heat required for the digester, Capstone said in a release. Darren Jamison, chief executive of Capstone, said that wastewater treatment plants like the one in Busan have an opportunity to take advantage of their methane-rich biogas, which offers a free, renewable fuel source for producing heat and electricity. “Not only does it help reduce operational costs, but it also provides an important step forward in the fight against climate change by eliminating waste gas, which could otherwise be a global warming pollutant,” Jamison said in a statement.
A Burbank media production and office campus was purchased by Montana Avenue Capital Partners for $24 million. The property has six buildings at 2435-2449 N. Naomi St. with 60,177 square feet including creative suites, editing bays, production offices, soundproof recording studios and a large production or event space. The Los Angeles-based buyer will renovate the property to include new outdoor amenity spaces and rebrand it as The Foundry. Industry Partners’ Bryan Carnes represented Montana Avenue Capital Partners in the transaction and will act as the leasing agent for the property.
Entertainment accounting firm Cast & Crew Entertainment Services Inc. announced an agreement to acquire Team Cos., a production payroll and management company for the advertising, music and concert tours and live events industries. Financial terms of the deal between Cast & Crew and Team were not disclosed. John Berkley, chief executive of Cast & Crew, said that his company and Team make an incredible combination. “By joining forces, we are bringing together the talent, technology and expertise that will benefit each of our respective customers and enable the next generation of solutions for the next chapters of growth and transformation in our industry,” Berkley said in a statement. Team will operate as a distinct brand in the Cast & Crew portfolio. It will remain under the leadership of Greg Smith, who will transition from his role as chief operating officer to president of Team and report directly to Berkley. Cast & Crew will also hire Team Chief Executive Justin Kramer as a special advisor to the combined company focused on technology and product integration.
A 152,834-square-foot office building in Burbank has sold for $90.5 million. Granite Properties sold the 10-story building at 2600 W. Olive Ave. to Pacshore Partners, which plans to upgrade the tenant spaces. “We have been eagerly looking to invest in the Burbank Media District office market, and 2600 is a great start,” Philip Orosco, founder of Brentwood-based Pacshore Partners, said in a statement. “Granite has done a fantastic job of managing and modernizing the asset, and we look forward to continuing down that path.” Newmark Group Inc.’s Kevin Shannon, Ken White, Rob Hannan, Laura Stumm and Michael Kolcum represented Granite Properties in the transaction. The building is currently 97 percent leased.
Economic Development Collaborative and Regional Small Business Development Center Networks of California have released a commissioned study that investigated COVID-19’s impact on business in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The report was conducted by California Lutheran University Professor Jamshid Damooei and documents the level of vulnerability due to the pandemic in each of the 45 ZIP codes in the two counties. The report allows local organizations to understand where it’s most urgent to focus small business services. The 287-page report found that 44.6 percent of all Ventura County and Santa Barbara County residents live in communities with low employment, high rates of poverty, limited access to social and economic amenities and government and community services. “Recovery is especially slow for low-income workers and small businesses, with the barriers to recovery most acute for businesses with fewer than 20 employees, across all neighborhoods, regardless of economic conditions,” Bruce Stenslie, EDC’s chief executive, said in a statement. “This creates even greater urgency for pushing out small business services as a lifeline for recovery.”