Stories for January 2016

Friday, January 29

Thousand Oaks Apartments Sell for $127 Million

In the latest example of the hot apartment investment market, two Thousand Oaks apartment buildings totaling nearly 400 units have sold for nearly $127 million.

Cherokee Hires Video Game Exec

Cherokee Global Brands appointed a new executive vice president of business development to manage the company’s U.S. licensing base, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, January 28

Amgen Beats Estimates in Fourth Quarter

Amgen Inc. reported fourth-quarter financial results on Thursday that beat analyst estimates on earnings.

Westlake Village Inn Joins Cachet

Westlake Village Inn has entered a strategic partnership with Hong Kong-based Cachet Hotel Group, joining an international network of hotels and resorts.

Unique Garage Door Relocates to Chatsworth

Unique Garage Door Inc. has signed a lease for a new, larger space in Chatsworth than its current Canoga Park location, according to Van Nuys real estate broker Delphi Business Partners Inc.

Long Island Rail Road Awards Tutor Perini $742 Million Contract

Sylmar construction contractor Tutor Perini Corp. has won two contracts worth a combined value of up to $742 million to expand subway access to New York City from the outer boroughs.

Amgen Tour Route Announced

Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. announced on Thursday this year’s route for its Amgen Tour of California, with the second day’s finish line in Newhall.

Wednesday, January 27

Vivid, AHF Settle Condom Lawsuit

A settlement has been reached between Vivid Entertainment and AIDS Healthcare Foundation over a Los Angeles County law requiring mandatory use of condoms in adult films.

Hollywood Software Acquired

Hollywood Software has been acquired by Rentrak Corp. to give movie studios and exhibitors better data on the audience of feature films.

Investors Put $5.3 Million into SnapMD

Cloud-based telemedicine provider SnapMD Inc. has raised $5.3 million in Series A funding, the company announced Wednesday. Investors include Shea Ventures in Walnut, TYLT Labs in Santa Monica and Whittier Ventures in Pasadena.

Tutor Perini Wins Contracts Worth $490 Million

Sylmar construction contractor Tutor Perini Corp. announced its Redwood City building subsidiary, Rudolph and Sletten Inc., has won a combined $490 million in upcoming projects.

Pasadena Office Sells for $40 Million

Brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc. said it has negotiated the sale of the Gateway Metro Center, an 11-story office building in Pasadena, as well as a mixed use site, for more than $40 million.

Tuesday, January 26

Gas Leak Triggers Business Class Action Suit

Two Porter Ranch businesses filed a class-action lawsuit against SoCal Gas Co. and parent company Sempra Energy over the Aliso Canyon gas leak that has left thousands of residents displaced and the neighborhood in a state of economic disarray.

Report: MannKind Exploring Options, Sale

MannKind Corp. reportedly is exploring strategic options, including the possible sale of the company, according to Reuters.

FDA to Review Amgen’s Biosimilar of Humira

The Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review an application from Amgen Inc. for a biosimilar drug to compete withAbbieVie Inc.’s Humira.

Semtech Sponsors Local Startup Weekend

Semtech Corp. in Camarillo is the technology sponsor of Startup Weekend Ventura County, scheduled to take place March 11-13.

Monday, January 25

Simi Town Center Gets Capital Infusion

Simi Valley Town Center has received a new capital injection from a Boston-based real estate investment and advisory firm to continue its revitalization.

OPI to Relocate NoHo Plant

Beauty product company Coty Inc. confirmed Monday that it will relocate all manufacturing and distribution operations for its subsidiary OPI Products to North Carolina by the end of the year.

Newbury Park Walgreens Sells for $15.7 Million

A Newbury Park Walgreens location has changed hands for $15.7 million, brokerage Colliers International announced Monday.

Westco Renews Gulfstream Contract

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. renewed on Monday a supply chain service agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

Drilling Plan Hits Heavy Friction

Energy: Oil firm stunned by strong Porter Ranch opposition.

Energy: Termo Co. wants to pump more oil from its field in Aliso Canyon.

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Studio Drips With Success

FITNESS: Sweat Shoppe hopes to peddle heated spin classes at two new locations.

Sweat Shoppe expands on hot gym fad.

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A Season of Surprises in Health Care

Small businesses see health care costs rise, benefits drop from Affordable Care Act.

Stepping Out

Shoestores part of Cherokee’s move beyond brands

Cherokee makes acquisitions as Target contract nears end.

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Wheelchair Dance Studio Breakin’ Stereotypes

ARTS: Ten years after her accident, founder shares passion with the disabled.

The tragedy that led professional dancer Marisa Hamamoto to start her innovative nonprofit occurred while doing what she loved most.

Vet Exec Checks In to Nurse Hospital’s Recovery

HEALTH CARE: Another CEO steps in to stop bleeding at Antelope Valley facility.

Financially troubled Antelope Valley Hospital gets new leader.

The Number

Galpin Ford tops the world, again.

Snack Maker in Orbit About Apples

Van Nuys fruit bars accompany astronaut to Space Station.

Van Nuys fruit products head to outer space.

Special FX Shop Morphs into Storage

Former site of Rick Baker’s studio slated for construction.

Former site of Rick Baker’s studio joins self-storage trend.

Sweet Spot Attracts the Candy Crowd

Bakers, confectioners gather for second annual Cookie Con.

Burbank couple starts sweet trade show.

Plant Proposal Powers Down

ENERGY: Developer scales back plan for facility in Palmdale.

Palmdale and Summit Energy change plans for power plant project.

Contractor Win For Farm Team

INSURANCE: Workers’ comp case benefits self-insured firms.

Woodland Hills firm secures self-insurance for ag employers.

Business Groups Take Different Paths to Winning BIDs

NONPROFIT: Improvement districts work using variety of strategies.

Business Improvement Districts fill gaps in city spending.

Getting in Game

Brandon Martin hopes to score CSUN’s athletic department a reputation that puts school on par with USC, UCLA.

Brandon Martin, CSUN’s athletic director, wins contracts from local companies.

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Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Amgen Inc. is a new investor in San Francisco’s Alector, a biotech focused on developing immuno-modulatory therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Broker Sees ‘Creative’ Tag as Industrial Strength

SALE: Group of Burbank buildings could point way to new trend in market.

The popularity of creative office space is old news, but broker David Harding hopes a recently sold business park in Burbank will epitomize the next trend: creative industrial space.

Auto Supplier Upgrades With McLaren Models

FILM: NoHo company strives to provide rare cars to Hollywood productions.

North Hollywood’s Cinema Vehicle Services, which rents vehicles to entertainment productions, has formed a partnership with British sports car maker McLaren Automotive to get the luxury brand roles in feature films and TV shows.

Combined Firms Had Intellectual Property in Mind

MERGER: Christie Parker partner calls hookup with Lewis Roca a no-brainer.

Scale might not seem an issue in intellectual property law, but that’s the strategy behind the merger of Christie Parker & Hale in Glendale and Phoenix’s Lewis Roca Rothgerber.

Friday, January 22

Tutor Perini Stock Sinks on Missed Guidance

Tutor Perini Corp.’s stock tanked Friday after the company announced it expects to significantly miss its revenue and earnings guidance for last year.

County Unemployment Stable in December

L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent in December even as local employers added 26,000 payroll jobs across a broad spectrum of industries.

Ceres Secures Australian Patent for Productivity Gene

Ceres Inc. announced Friday that it has received an Australian patent for a gene that increases crop yields without increasing the need for fertilizer or other resources for growth.

Thursday, January 21

Move Renews Westlake Village Lease

Move Inc., operator of and a subsidiary of News Corp., has renewed its lease in Westlake Village, according to Boston tenant representative firm Cresa.

MannKind Signs Product Development Deal

MannKind Corp. announced Thursday that it has entered into a licensing agreement with newly formed pharmaceutical developer Receptor Life Sciences Inc. in Seattle to develop multiple inhaled therapeutic products for an array of conditions, including inflammatory disorders and neurological diseases.

Burbank Names Interim City Manager

The city of Burbank has reached a tentative agreement with Burbank Water and Power General Manager Ron Davis to serve as interim city manager until a permanent job-holder is selected.

Wednesday, January 20

SeaPort Cancels Burbank Airport Flights

SeaPort Airlines Inc. has stopped service from Burbank Bob Hope Airport, it was announced on Friday.

RLJ Entertainment Receives Nasdaq Notice

RLJ Entertainment has received notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market it is out of compliance due to its stock price trading below the $1 threshold.

Tuesday, January 19

Location Filming Increases as Shows Move to L.A.

The statistics track on-location filming of television series, feature films, commercials, web videos, music videos and student projects – but not work on studio lots or soundstages.

ApolloMed Appoints New Board Member

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has appointed Dr. Thomas Lam to its board, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, January 18

AeroVironment Names New President

Simi Valley drone maker AeroVironment Inc. has tapped Chief Operating Officer Wahid Nawabi as president, effective immediately, the company announced Friday.

Thousand Oaks Seed Company Gains Revenue in First Quarter, Expects Layoffs

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. reported revenue gains, a net loss and layoffs expected for this year in its first-quarter report last week.

NoHo Apartment Building Sells for Nearly $5 Million

Irvine developer and real estate investor Bernal Capital Group has bought a North Hollywood apartment building for $4.9 million, according to the company.

Uber to Ventura County

Uber Technologies Inc. is eyeing a new market for its rideshare services – senior citizens – and has chosen Ventura County’s seniors to test two new programs.

Friday, January 15

AdRev Acquired by Zealot Networks

Music rights management startup AdRev has been acquired by Zealot Networks, a company that monetizes and distributes digital content.

Walmart Closes Stores, But Not in Valley

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced Friday it will close 269 of its stores, 154 in the United States and 115 in global markets. At the same time, it plans to grow in the San Fernando Valley by the end of the year.

Santa Clarita Apartment Sold

IMT Valencia, a 208-unit apartment complex in Santa Clarita, has sold for an undisclosed price.

Thursday, January 14

Simulations Plus Reports Record Quarter

Simulations Plus Inc. reported a 108 percent increase in net income and record revenue for its first fiscal quarter, which it partially attributed to its acquisition of Cognigen Corp.

Van Nuys Airport Secures Major Tenant

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Thursday approved granting a lease to an East Coast aviation company for a fixed-base operation at Van Nuys Airport.

Northridge Apartments Sold for $31 Million

The Village at Granada Hills, a 152-unit apartment complex, has sold for nearly $31.2 million to a Beverly Hills investment firm.

Wednesday, January 13

Warner Plaza Sells for $76.3 Million

Warner Plaza, a shopping center with about 115,000 square feet of retail space, has sold in a non-cash deal worth $76.3 million.

ApolloMed Adds Strategic Board Member

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has appointed a top executive of a major strategic investor as a member of its board, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 12

Dalian Wanda Acquires Legendary Entertainment

Chinese investment firm Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. signed on Tuesday an agreement to acquire Legendary Entertainment in a deal valued at $3.5 billion.

Nike Chief Joins Disney Board

The board of Walt Disney Co. has elected Mark Parker, chief executive of Nike Inc., as a director.

Van Nuys Church Could Become Housing Tract

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Van Nuys has sold to a developer with plans to build homes on the site.

Monday, January 11

United Online Names Interim CEO

United Online Inc. has named an e-commerce industry veteran as its interim chief executive starting Monday.

MannKind Retracts CEO Job Offer

MannKind Corp. has retracted its offer to employ Duane M. DeSisto as the Valencia biotech’s new chief executive, the company announced Monday.

Glendale Project Serves Up New Restaurant Chain

FOOD: Shake Shack first of six tenants for development next to Masonic Temple.

Caruso Affiliated has officially signed the first of six new tenants to its street-retail project in Glendale – and it marks the entrance of a new restaurant chain to the L.A. market.


Porter Ranch businesses struggle with lack of customers as smell from Aliso Canyon gas leak lingers with no end in sight.

Porter Ranch businesses are in a slump as thousands of residents relocate due to Aliso Canyon gas leak.

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Positive On Progress

INVESTMENT: Guinness Atkinson Funds puts faith in, money on developing world.

Woodland Hills mutual fund has high hopes for global economy.

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Setting Stages

Management firm helps foreign stars shine in U.S.

NoHo showbiz management firm focuses on foreign entertainers.

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Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris’ law firm leads fight against well operator Southern California Gas Co.

R. Rex Parris elaborates on firms’ lawsuits against SoCal Gas.

Federal Budget Will Impact Valley

Federal budget deal will impact Valley businesses.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

John Rossfeld was named the new chief executive of Antelope Valley Hospital on Jan. 4.

Game on Fractions Looks to Round Up Students

INTERNET: Trying to make education fun a factor in Nuhubit’s mobile app.

Learning fractions isn’t meant to be fun but Alex Bozman wants to change that.

Drug Company to Test International Distribution

PHARMACEUTICAL: Amgen reacquires three products from GlaxoSmithKline.

Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen Inc. announced last month that it will reacquire the rights to three of its drugs – Prolia, XGEVA and Vectibix.

Calabasas Hopes to Wheel in New Car Dealership

AUTOMOTIVE: City officials unsure as to what factors drove off Acura 101 West.

Luxury car dealership exits Calabasas, leaving lot vacant and officials wondering what happened.

The Number

Slow job growth predicted for Ventura County.

Steamy Hot or Warm – You Decide

Mug controls coffee temperature based on customer’s preference.

Battery-powered mug allows customers to control drink temperature.

Glossy Read for the Posh Pot Crowd

Quarterly magazine combines food, drink and marijuana.

Got the munchies? Encino magazine combines food, drink and marijuana for connoisseurs.

Entrepreneur Offices Make Comeback

Westlake Village suites cater to small, flexible startup tenants.

Executive suites, a market that died in the Great Recession, returns in Westlake Village.

Tech Venture Sees Landlords as Key

REAL ESTATE: Domuso opens door for tenants’ online payments.

Tarzana tech company started by landlords finances renters’ move into apartments.

E-Sports Firm Nails Big Score

ONLINE: Azubu raises $60 million to take on sector’s bigger players.

Video game streaming network in Sherman Oaks receives $60 million investment.

Grocery Chain Bags Simi Store

RETAIL: Stater Bros. cracks new market with ex-Haggen site.

Haggen closure makes way for value player Stater Bros. to enter Simi Valley market.

Friday, January 8

Burbank Industrial Park Sells for $56 Million

Burbank Industrial Park, a 14-building industrial complex near the Burbank Bob Hope Airport, has sold for $56 million.

Amgen Invests in Alzheimer Drug Startup

Amgen Inc. is a new investor in San Francisco’s Alector, a biotech focused on developing immuno-modulatory therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Termo Postpones Drilling in Aliso Canyon

In light of the ongoing Aliso Canyon gas leak spurred by a damaged well at Southern California Gas Co.’s storage facility above Porter Ranch, a Long Beach gas and oil company has decided to postpone its proposed project to drill a dozen oil and gas wells.

Thursday, January 7

Cherokee Takes Tony Hawk to Europe

Cherokee Global Brands has launched the sale of signature Tony Hawk apparel and accessories at Sports Direct International stores throughout the U.K. and Europe, the company announced Thursday.

Medtronic, IBM Watson Debut Diabetes App

Medtronic and IBM have joined forces to create an app using IBM’s supercomputer Watson, the former 2011 Jeopardy! champion that beat out two of the show’s greatest contestants.

Wednesday, January 6

Feds Subpoena Chipotle About Simi Outbreak

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. received a subpoena in connection with a criminal investigation into an outbreak of norovirus at a Simi Valley restaurant.

Qualstar Receives Nasdaq Notice

Qualstar Corp. has received notification from the Nasdaq Capital Market that it was out of compliance for maintaining a minimum price on its shares.

DreamWorks Expands Netflix Deal

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has expanded its distribution deal with Netflix Inc. to include more original programming.

Tuesday, January 5

Chinese Investor Takes Stake in Legendary Entertainment

A Chinese media and real estate investment conglomerate has acquired a majority share in Legendary Entertainment, according to media reports.

MannKind Plunges With End of Sanofi Deal

MannKind Corp. announced Tuesday that Sanofi-Aventis U.S. has terminated its license and collaboration agreement to manufacture and market MannKind’s sole commercial product, Afrezza Inhalation Powder, a fast-acting inhalable insulin.

Warner Center Apartments Sell for $163 Million

The Millennium in Woodland Hills, a recently finished 395-unit apartment complex, has sold for $163 million.

Monday, January 4

Lancaster Hospital Names CEO

John Rossfeld was named the new chief executive of Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster on Monday.

Glendale Law Firm Merger

Christie Parker & Hale LLP in Glendale announced Monday that it has merged with Phoenix’s Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP to become Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP.

PSI Acquires Testing Firm

Professional testing firm PSI Services has acquired Applied Measurement Professionals, a competitor providing assessment services to government agencies, professional associations and private industry.