Stories for September 2016

Friday, September 30

Lancaster Wins Green Power Designation

The city of Lancaster has been named a Green Power Community by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the first city to receive that designation in Southern California.

Universal City Auto Dealer Faces FTC Charges

Sage Auto Group in Universal City faces FTC charges for unfair practices.

Preview: Will Politics Poison Valley Projects?

If you are one of the many Valley residents who think the cost to rent apartments or buy homes here is too high now, get ready to pay more – way more.

Preview: Sports Bar Schmoozes Rams Coach

The Westlake Village Inn has partnered with ESPN to broadcast a weekly show featuring Rams Coach Jeff Fisher live from Bogie’s Bar.

Thursday, September 29

Avita Opens Clinic in Tehran

Avita Medical Ltd. is opening a dedicated clinic for its regenerative skin treatments in Iran, the company announced Wednesday.

Tutor Perini to Build Montecito Resort

Tutor Perini Corp. in Sylmar said it has won a contract to build the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito in Santa Barbara County.

Lancaster Nurses End One-Day Strike

About 1,000 nurses at Antelope Valley Hospital on Thursday ended their 24-hour strike, which was the first of its kind in the hospital’s 61-year history.

Wednesday, September 28

Accountant’s Gift Boosts CSUN’s Business School

A $5 million gift from accounting leader Harvey Bookstein and his wife, Harriet – both California State University, Northridge alumni – has pushed CSUN over the top in its two-year campaign to raise $25 million for its business college, the school has announced.

L.A. Area’s Top Stock? Public Storage

The stock of self-storage company Public Storage (PSA), based in Glendale, has been ranked one of the top-performers in the state over a recent five-year period according to a report released Wednesday by financial technology firm SmartAsset.

Calabasas Firm Brokers Sale of DTLA Properties

Marcus & Millichap has arranged the sale of an assemblage of buildings and land parcels in the downtown Los Angeles industrial district for $38.4 million.

Pasadena Apartments Change Hands

Brad Management of Santa Clarita has bought two South Pasadena apartment buildings for $16 million with funding provided by L.A. portfolio lender Thorofare Capital.

Tuesday, September 27

Report: Blackline Preparing for IPO

Accounting software developer BlackLine is preparing for an initial public offering that could value it at more than $1 billion, according to media reports.

Santa Clarita Economic Group Wins Communications Award

The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award during the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference.

Auto Repair Software Firm Raises $6.3 Million

Auto repair estimation software developer Estify has raised $6.3 million in new financing from two private equity firms.

Monday, September 26

Report: Disney May Acquire Twitter

Walt Disney Co. is evaluating a possible bid to acquire social networking service Twitter Inc., according to media reports.

Glendale Self-Storage Sold for $13.8 Million

Glendale’s famous special effects house, Cinovation Studios Inc., has undergone its own transformation into a self-storage facility and has been sold to a new owner.

Construction Begins at Former L.A. Daily News Site

San Diego-based developer Fairfield Residential has broken ground on a mixed-use apartment complex planned on the former site of the Los Angeles Daily News headquarters near the intersection of Oxnard Street and Canoga Avenue, according to the newspaper.

Friday, September 23

Triton Media Wins Bloomberg Contract

Triton Digital has won a contract with Bloomberg Media to manage, measure and monetize its digital audio content.

Assisted Living Facility Breaks Ground

An assisted living and memory care facility has received more than $16 million in financing to break ground this month in Thousand Oaks.

MannKind Faces Delisting, Shares Slump

MannKind Corp. on Friday announced that it has received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq stock exchange, as the company has traded below $1 for more than 30 days.

FDA Approves Amgen's Humira Biosimilar

Amgen Inc.’s biosimilar to top-selling drug Humira was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

IHOP Names Culinary VP

DineEquity Inc.’s IHOP restaurants has named a new vice president to lead its culinary division, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, September 22

Valley Businesses Fear ‘Anti-Development’ Measure

The November ballot is crammed with issues, but businesspeople already are fretting about the following election. At least, the so-called Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which is to be on the March 7 ballot in Los Angeles, got a big share of the attention – and opposition to it got the most applause – at a chamber luncheon Thursday.

Investor Pays $37 Million for Thousand Oaks’ Largest Industrial Building

Thousand Oaks’ largest industrial building has sold for more than $37 million to a local investor.

North Hills Apartments Fetch $2.3 Million

A 16-unit apartment building in North Hills has sold for $2.3 million, or more than $184 per square foot.

BYD Wins Electric Bus Award

BYD Motors Inc. received the 2016 Electric Bus of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Sustainability Council.

Wednesday, September 21

Chatsworth Apartment Complex Sold for Nearly $73 Million

The nearly 350-unit Waterstone Apartment Homes in Chatsworth has been sold for $72.5 million to an undisclosed buyer.

Semtech, Partners Build New Zealand Network

Technology developed by Semtech Corp. has been used in a wide area network covering more than half the population of New Zealand.

Study Confirms Effectiveness of Amgen Osteoporosis Drug

Amgen Inc. and UCB Inc. have released results from their Phase III FRAME study of osteoporosis medication Romosozumab.

Tuesday, September 20

DTS Acquired for $850 Million

Audio technology developer DTS Inc. will be acquired by a Silicon Valley company in a deal valued at $850 million.

Buyer to Turn Tower at Sherman Oaks into Creative Offices

The Tower at Sherman Oaks has traded for nearly $57 million, with the new buyer saying it will turn the property into creative office space.

Monday, September 19

NoHo Apartment Sold for $10 Million

A 10-unit apartment building in North Hollywood has traded hands for $2.4 million, according to brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

Richard Leyner, Broker and Chamber Leader, Dies

J. Richard Leyner, executive vice president of Illi Commercial Real Estate in Encino and a longtime San Fernando Valley broker, passed away on Sept. 17, the Encino Chamber of Commerce announced Monday. He was 79.

MannKind Joins Hunt for EpiPen Replacement

BIOTECH: Price controversy could open market for year-old research project.

Amid fervor over spike in cost of insulin-based EpiPen, MannKind attracts shareholder attention for its own insulin inhaler.

SPECIAL REPORT: Private Bankers Like the Valleys

What’s in Westlake Village and the Valley that’s attracting private banking operations?

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Coach for Counsel

David Ackert borrows from his former acting career when teaching lawyers how to woo potential clients.

David Ackert, president of consulting firm Ackert Inc., switched from TV actor to entrepreneur.

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Game Change

Software morphs work routine with ‘gamification’

Changing its game: 10-year-old firm shifts focus and gamifies training and performance tracking for call/contact centers.

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The Number

Valley hosts worst commute – and one of the costliest – in the country.

Recycling Goes Organic

ENVIRONMENT: New rule on waste disposal creates opportunity for Ecco-Technologies.

Ecco-Technologies expects new food-waste recycling requirements to feed business.

CW Proves Superheroic in Adapting to TV Tastes

ENTERTAINMENT: Streaming video, millennial habits impact network’s evolution.

How superheroes and social media propelled the CW Network to success.

For Lawmakers in Sacramento, That’s a Wrap, Folks!

VICA’s victories and losses in Sacramento.

Thumbs Up for New Burbank Terminal

Voters will decide whether to update the airfield’s facilities to comply with security and technological advances.

Approving the proposed replacement terminal for Hollywood Burbank Airport would take it into the 21st century.

Traffic Is Not Like the Weather

L.A. needs to get mad about traffic congestion; why businesses like Proposition 54.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Semtech Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and revenue in its 2017 fiscal second quarter.

College Crowd Demands Upscale Apartments

DEVELOPMENT: Amcal sells 579-bed student housing complex for $68.5 million.

Agoura Hills affordable housing developer Amcal Multi-Housing Inc. has just sold its first student housing complex since diversifying into market-rate units.

SPECIAL REPORT: Mergers for Money

National Bank of California’s local branch shifts focus through merger with Commercial Bank of California

Pilot Program Studies Hospital-Doctor Handoff

MANAGEMENT: Clinics, Valley Presbyterian partner under three-year grant.

In 2014, Valley Presbyterian Hospital received more than $1 million in grant money to change the way hospitals communicate with primary care providers.

Restaurants Proliferate Across Valley Region

FOOD: Mainland Poke opens in Caruso’s new Glendale development.

The local restaurant industry is looking at some healthy expansion this fall, with new eateries cropping up around the Valley just in time for early holiday shoppers.

Robots Ready to Take on Warehouse Workload

AUTOMATION: Machine twins Grabit and Transit live up to their names.

An Agoura Hills company is changing how goods are moved in large warehouses with two robots it invented.

Hackathon Highlights Innovators

Event designed to put practical technology in Valley economy.

Valley Economic Alliance hosts problem-solving hackathon to prepare high school students for the next steps: college and jobs.

Listen Up, Fast Pitch Contenders

Valley entrepreneurs reach final round for investor presentations.

What will five minutes get you? Local finalists in Women Founders Network pitch competition hope it’s investors.

Galpin Auto to Trick Out Custom Truck

Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth vehicle on floor at North Hills speed shop.

North Hills’ Galpin Motors stands to gain by restoring pickup of custom car icon, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.

Regulators Kill A Hit Painkiller

RETAIL: Smoke shops huffing as stimulant kratom illegalized.

Now that popular supplement kratom will become illegal, what’s the next step for retailers?

Friday, September 16

Real Industry Names CFO

Real Industry Inc. has hired an insider as its new chief financial officer, the company has announced.

August Home Prices Reach Nine-Year High

Single-family homes in the San Fernando Valley sold in August for their highest monthly prices since 2007, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Inc.

Cal Lutheran Economists Honored for Accurate Predictions

Two Cal Lutheran economists are among the winners of the National Association for Business Economics’ annual Outlook Award competition, the university announced Friday.

Preview: Game Change

After nearly 10 years selling software that automated telemarketing calls, brothers Bobby and Nima Hakimi decided to change their game.

Preview: Regulators Kill a Hit Painkiller

What do you do when one of your hottest-selling products becomes contraband?

Thursday, September 15

DreamWorks to Lay Off 200

NBCUniversal will lay off 200 employees at the Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation, the media company said Thursday.

NetSol Shares Rise on Quarterly Report

NetSol Technologies Inc. beat Wall Street estimates for revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter.

Investment Firm Buys Second Tarzana Apartment Complex

A Tarzana apartment complex has traded for $11 million, according to KW Commercial in Encino.

PennyMac Opens Mortgage Call Center

Westlake Village mortgage lender PennyMac Financial Services Inc. (PFSI) said it has opened a new call center in Issaquah, Wash., a suburb of Seattle, to expand its direct lending to consumers.

Wednesday, September 14

Clay Lacy Merges With East Coast Aviation Firm

Clay Lacy Aviation of Van Nuys has merged with an aircraft management and charter company as the first part of a strategy to expand on the East Coast.

SoCalGas Reaches $4 Million Settlement

The Southern California Gas Company has pled no contest to a misdemeanor violation as part of a $4 million settlement with state prosecutors. The utility was charged with failing to alert authorities in a timely manner of a gas leak at its Aliso Canyon facility in October, which forced 8,000 Porter Ranch residents from their homes.

Tuesday, September 13

BYD Expands Lancaster Factory

BYD Motors Inc. broke ground Tuesday on the second phase of its manufacturing facility in Lancaster to meet rising demand for its electric vehicles.

Flip Flop Shops Unveils Growth Plan

Flip Flop Shops on Tuesday announced the launch of its ecommerce website, a new apparel line and a new “super kiosk” store format.

Applied Merchant Systems Merges With BlueSquare

Payment processing service Applied Merchant Systems has merged with BlueSquare Resolutions, an Arizona company operating in the same space.

Monday, September 12

Simulations Plus Posts Revenue Gains

Simulations Plus on Monday announced preliminary financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year.

Simi Industrial Park Breaks Ground

Overton Moore Properties has announced the groundbreaking of a new industrial development in Simi Valley.

Friday, September 9

CheapAir Offers Payment Plan for Tickets

Website has started offering monthly payments to purchase flights.

HFL Law Opens Century City Office

Litigation firm HFL Law Group of Encino is opening a new office in Century City.

Thursday, September 8

Economic Report Presents Mixed Picture

It’s all good news in terms of jobs, real estate and income levels for Los Angeles County – but for Ventura County, not so much.

Cherokee Beats Wall Street

Cherokee, Inc. (CHKE) on Thursday reported adjusted second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.

Santa Clarita Apartments Sold for $61 Million

The Townhomes at Lost Canyon, an apartment complex in Santa Clarita, has sold for $61 million, according to its buyer, Beverly Hills real estate investor Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc.

Simi Chamber Selects Leader

The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce has named Rana Ghadban its new president and chief executive, the Chamber announced Thursday.

Wednesday, September 7

Local ITT Campuses Shut Down

ITT Technical Institute in Sylmar and Oxnard have closed following an announcement Tuesday by parent company ITT Educational Services Inc. that all campuses nationwide cease operations.

Apartments in Sherman Oaks Sell for $1.3 million

A five-unit apartment building in Sherman Oaks has sold for $1.3 million, or $260,000 a unit, according to Calabasas real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

Mission Valley Bank Promotes Executives

Mission Valley Bank has promoted two executives to senior vice president positions, the financial institution announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 6

Australian Military Buys AeroVironment Drones

AeroVironment Inc. is providing its Wasp drone to Australia, the first of the company’s unmanned aircraft to be used by the Australian military, it was announced on Tuesday.

Capstone Names Manufacturing VP

Capstone Turbine Corp. has named Paul Chase as its new vice president of manufacturing, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, September 5

The 24/7 Extrovert

Louis Perry is a born people person, so it’s natural for him to promote Kadima Security at every chance.

Louis Perry markets himself first, and then his security firm.

Studies Question Benefits of Film Tax Incentives

PRODUCTION: Analysis finds bureaucracy, budget keep the credits alive.

Two recent studies by a USC professor cast doubts on the effectiveness of tax incentive programs for film and television production.

Record Payouts Point to Growth for Valley Office

LAW: Lawrance Bohm has won some of the largest employment verdicts ever.

Bohm Law Group has won some of the largest employment judgments in U..S. legal history.

Mystery Surrounds CEO Exit From Real Industry

MANAGEMENT: Leadership switch comes after major acquisition, Nasdaq listing.

There one day and gone the next: the quick departure of Real Industry’s CEO.

Prepping the Big Shows

ENTERTAINMENT: Facility upgrade at VER helps film crews test cameras and lighting.

Film rental business VER consolidates operations while upgrading and expanding services.

The Number

Box office sales this year are no blockbuster.

Is Car-Buying Better When Anonymous?

Website facilitates bids, negotiation while speeding up process.

Sherman Oaks entrepreneur adds anonymity to the car-buying process.

For Founders, Exit Strategy Gets Gamey

Valley author’s new book offers advice on selling a business.

Lawyer and author Matt Crowley’s new book outlines how to sell your business.

Consignment Shop Opens in Luxury

Village at Westfield Topanga welcomes a new type of tenant.

Step into the Westfield Topanga Mall’s first-ever consignment shop.

Bison Market Getting Beefier

FOOD: Antelope Valley rancher gets high price for low-fat meat.

Antelope Valley bison join the herd with new presence on menus.

‘Silicon Suburb’ Takes Shape in Santa Clarita Valley

TECHNOLOGY: Skilled workers, city incubator fuel startups.

What do tech companies know about Santa Clarita that other businesses don’t?

Undereducated at the Cash Register

Two recent developments in education should worry employers.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Simulations Plus Inc. launched its version 1.0 PKPlus software, which is used to analyze preclinical and clinical trial data.

Investor Pays $81 Million for Campus Address

PARTNERSHIP: Deal includes apartments, townhomes at CSU Channel Islands.

In one of the largest public-partnerships in the California State University system’s history, CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo closed on the $81 million sale last month of nearly 400 residential units on its campus to Beverly Hills real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson.

Buying Spree Bolsters Occupational Clinic Chain

ACQUISITION: Valencia’s U.S. HealthWorks adds 14 locations to portfolio.

U.S. HealthWorks Inc., a group of occupational and urgent care clinics, has made its largest acquisition ever by purchasing 14 Lakeside Occupational Medical Centers in Florida, more than doubling its presence there.

Hunger Program Breaks Bread in Antelope Valley

CHARITY: Restaurants serve dinners paid for by donors on organization’s website.

1Family 1Restaurant, a web-based program designed to provide food to impoverished families in the Antelope Valley through partnerships with local restaurants, celebrated Aug. 28 as “America Break Bread Day” with an event at the Lemon Leaf Cafe in Lancaster.

Friday, September 2

Acco Engineered Systems Buys Covina Company

Acco Engineered Systems has acquired a Covina plumbing company in a bid to strengthen its position as the largest mechanical contractor in the western United States.

First Restaurant Opens in Caruso's Glendale Project

Mainland Poke Shop opened Friday at 252 S. Brand in Glendale, the first of five restaurants that will occupy Caruso Affiliated’s latest street-front retail project by the end of the year.

Acquisition Expands BlackLine’s Offerings

Accounting software developer BlackLine has acquired Runbook, a European company providing similar financial software.

Santa Clarita Chamber Names CEO

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has appointed Lois Bauccio as chief executive, the organization announced Friday.

Preview: The 24/7 Extrovert

Louis Perry promotes himself along with his security firm.

Preview: Freaky Farm

National retailers continue demanding the highly-popular Pumpkinsteins from creator, Tony Dighera, but how has the Fillmore grower scaled up production to supply them?

Thursday, September 1

Agoura Hills Office Building Sells for $12 Million

Creekside Plaza, a multi-tenant office building in Agoura Hills, has sold for $12 million, according to commercial real estate brokerage Sperry Van Ness - Rich Investment Real Estate Partners in Woodland Hills.

Amgen Buys Myeloma Drug

Amgen Inc. has acquired worldwide development and commercial rights for a phase-1 multiple myeloma drug from German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, the companies announced Thursday.

Meetings Focus on High-Speed Rail Routes in Valley

The California High Speed Rail Authority will hold three meetings in the San Fernando and Antelope valleys this month to present updated route information on the rail section between Palmdale and Burbank.

Freaky Farm

Fillmore grower scales up Halloween produce

National retailers continue demanding the highly-popular Pumpkinsteins from creator, Tony Dighera, but how has the Fillmore grower scaled up production to supply them?