Andrea Alegria

Andrea covers banking and finance, biotech and accounting, real estate and technology.

Phone: 818-316-3124

Recent Stories

North Carolina Bank Now Ready to Make Valley Moves

FINANCE: Glendale, Encino branches part of growth plans aimed at small, mid-sized firms.

First Citizens Bank based in North Carolina is looking to grow in the greater Valley area.

NoHo Project Boosts Profile of Senior Housing Company

DEVELOP: Firm takes concept it introduced in Burbank to North Hollywood Arts District.

Housing: Innovative senior housing breaks ground in NoHo.

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New Succession Strategy Tried

PLANNING: Roll-up partnerships boost growth of firms.

A new model helps owners achieve a lucrative business exit

Zone Cuts Will Scuttle Firms

SPECIALISTS: Brown plans would hurt professional services.

The elimination of enterprise zones could have a devastating effect on businesses that specialize in the field.

VEDC Expands Reach Statewide

FINANCE: Chase agreement to expand lending capacity.

A $5 million Chase grant could be a gamechanger for the Valley Economic Development Center. The funds will help launch a statewide lending program.

Healthcare Niche is Keeping Construction Firm Busy

Build: Thousand Oaks firm Wesely Thomas wins another contract with local hospital.

Thousand Oaks management and construction company Wesely Thomas Enterprises has won yet another contract with Valley Presbyterian Hospital

The Cheesecake Factory Announces Global Expansion

RESTAURANTS: Despite its high-profile image, chain has relatively few outlets

PUBLIC COMPANIES: The Cheesecake Factory expands internationally

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MRV Announces New Partner in Canada

Chatsworth-based telecommunications company MRV Communications, Inc announced that Excel Group Inc. based in Canada will become a reseller of MRV’s entire product line.

Mobile Devices and Hi-Def Part of DTS Growth Plan

Tech: Calabasas company signs deal with French firm.

A deal with mobile phone manufacturer LG Electronics is a big growth step for Calabasas-based DTS.

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Work Begins on Long-Delayed Mixed-Use Project

DEVELOP: Demolition draws some complaints from residents.

Construction kicked off on the development of a mixed used project in Northridge.

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Liquidation Firm Branches Out With New Real Estate Division

VALUATION: Great American Group hires new advisors.

Woodland Hills-based liquidation company Great American Group continues to expand its business lines by joining up with Keen Realty Advisors.

Valley Law Firms Adjust Business Models for Growth

Change: New practice areas are considered because the old ways do not work anymore.

ABOUT THE LIST: The Valley’s largest law firms adjust to a shift in the legal marketplace. Includes the 2011 SFV'S TOP LAW FIRMS list for download (pdf)

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Essex Property Snaps Up Glendale Condo Community

MULTI-FAMILY: Site will be managed as rental units.

Essex Property trust adds Glendale condo community to its portfolio.

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New Mobile App Brings Foreclosure Listings to Buyers

TECH: Strategy helps real estate firm maneuver an increasingly competitive market.

Mobile application brings foreclosure listings to prospective buyers’ phones instantly.

Opportunity Ink

Planning for a poor economy is all part of Keith Ramirez’s plan for starting a new business, so he sells products people will always need.

Entrepreneur: Business owner tries to pick recession-proof endeavors.

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Bankruptcy Boom Fueling Growth in Legal Practices

LAW: Veteran and new attorneys turn to busy and complex field of specialty.

A rise in bankruptcies is attracting people into bankruptcy law and prompting existing law firms to get into an area they have not been in before.

Coveted Platinum for Building

GREEN: Citadel’s Glendale site only one of 60 in state.

Citadel Environmental Services in Glendale is now the first LEED Platinum certified space in the Los Angeles area.

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The New Nurses Hiring Dilemma

Experience: Resident nurses are taking the jobs of the new graduates.

New nursing graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in the current economy.

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Scrutinizing Owners’ Financial Soundness

Leases: More tenants are concerned about landlords’ viability in shaky office market.

Tenants scrutinize owners’ financial soundness before signing leases.

Alpert Stepping Down From DWP Board

San Fernando Valley attorney Lee Kanon Alpert announced he would be resigning as president of the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners by the end of the year.

Major NoHo Anchor Signed

DEVELOP: Action reinvigorates arts district after period of setbacks.

Redevelopment efforts making a comeback as empty storefronts get leased in Arts District.

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Amgen Looks at Additional $1 Billion In Annual Sales With Drug’s Approval

BIOTECH: Bright future seen for Thousand Oaks firm after flat years.

Amgen expected to see big increase in revenue when it enters new oncology market with drug XGEVA following approval by U.S. FDA.

New Dimensions

ENTREPRENEUR: ‘Digital laundromat’ provides server access by the hour

ENTREPRENEUR: Small company offers huge computing power to entertainment industry and others for 3D animation

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Hair-Raising Times at North Hollywood Hair Product Firm

BEAUTY: Brazilian Blowout under fire; salons in quandary.

Hair smoothing product Brazilian Blowout stirs debate in hair care industry over its process.

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Alliance Showing its Worth in Area Retail Market

Properties: Firms use creative thinking to bring new tenants to vacant space.

A new alliance between Marcus & Millichap and CBM is already paying off in a very difficult real estate market, especially in the retail sector.

Smart Phones, Social Media Boost Creative Marketing

Shopping: More retailers are posting deals, promotions on malls’ social media sites.

Mobile technology is turning smartphones into shopping guides

Facebook More Than a Friend

MARKETING: Local firms build serious networks as part of strategy.

Increasing Facebook “friends” is all the hype for businesses.

Firm Returns to List After Shifting Focus of Business

REAL ESTATE: NewMark Merrill’s flexibility helps it carve out niche in shopping centers.

Property management firm Newmark Merrill’s fast growth is the result of a major redirection

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Closure Opened An Opportunity

FINANCE: First California adds new link in its regional base.

Failed Western Commercial Bank represents a growth opportunity for First California Bank.

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SEO Companies Ride Trend Toward Internet Marketing C

TECH: Firms must stay ahead of the curve to remain relevant in fast-moving industry.

Search Engine Optimization, online marketing services, see spike in demand following a growing trend

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Scary World of New Businesses

IDEAS: With big dreams, two entrepreneurs take the plunge.

Despite difficult economy, entrepreneurs are betting on big ideas.

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Brothers Find Business Support in Aftermath of Fire

Aid: Long-time Valley firm plans to rebuild as other companies offer help.

Business owners regroup after a devastating fire at their political consulting agency.

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Social Media Networking Works for Valley Chamber

PUBLICITY: Executive surprised as appeal on several different sites boosts attendance.

Van Nuys Clean-Up Day draws record number of volunteers thanks to using more modern promotional tactics

A Tenant’s Market Drives Companies’ Move to Buy

Deals: Businesses look to own property versus leasing; condo conversions continue.

The REAL ESTATE Column by Andrea Alegria

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Trouble on the Home Front

RESIDENTIAL: Tough times for Valley real estate agents.

Real estate professionals struggle to stay afloat in difficult market.

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Angels Taking Wing

Southern California investment group broadens its borders with an international expansion.

INTERVIEW: Bill Barber leads angel investor fund Maverick Angels towards a global arena.

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The New Investor Playground: What They’re Looking At

FINANCE: Long-term leased properties in the best buildings with the best tenants are sought.

Investing in real estate can be a profitable venture these days. The Real Estate Column.

Biz to Brown: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

ELECTION: Businesspeople hope for best after election.

Businesses want new governor to focus on overregulation and job creation.

Franchising Becomes Safety Net for Some in Economy

SERVICES: Despite rules, support makes things easier.

BOOM: The franchise business sector is growing in a difficult economy.

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Chatsworth Companies Regroup After Devastating Fire

While the building that housed their direct mailing, printing and political consulting companies burned down the day after elections, brothers Fred and Garry Thomas said their three businesses are alive and well.

Does Corporate Governance Really Matter in the End?

PRACTICES: Not having strict frameworks in place can be devastating, executives say.

Does corporate governance have an impact on financial performance? Public company executives share their views

Blockbuster’s Ripple Effect

REAL ESTATE: Bankrupt chain has many stores that could go empty.

The video rental company’s bankruptcy could impact the local real estate market. Real Estate Column by Andrea Alegria

Fastclick’s Gross Has New Plan

INTERNET: Online ad firm uses social networking concepts.

START-UP: Founder of Fastclick is launching new online advertising venture in Camarillo.

New World of Financial Accounting Approaches for Firms

RULES: Reform, expected switch to international standards loom through next year.

Changes in accounting rules and standards that will impact all public companies

Report Indicates Worst May Be Over in Office Market

COMMERCIAL: Valley vacancies still at all-time high; rents continuing decline. Subhead

REAL ESTATE COLUMN: It may appear that the office market is finally closing in on the bottom.

Men of Steel

Family Firms Caught Up in Construction Industry Woes

Bellis Steel, a family owned business in Northridge, bought the assets of competitor Canoga Rebar in Chatsworth – also a family-owned business with a long history.

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To Greener Pastures

Canoga Park-Based American Heritage Landscape Branches Out to New Divisions

ENTREPRENEUR: American Heritage Landscape branches out.

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Owner Comes Full Circle

TECH: Four years after buyout, firm breaks away from Intuit.

Deborah Sweeney buys back MyCorporation, from Intuit claiming the financial services giant didn’t grow to its full potential.

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SBA Loans Spur Industrial Action

COMMERCIAL: U.S. assistance may make or break today’s deals.

SBA loans are spurring commercial real estate transactions and with President Obama’s signing of the Small Business Jobs Act these transactions are expected to increase.

Growing Biotech Firm Adding Space in Warner Center

OFFICE: One Lambda will move part of operations as its niche in industry keeps evolving.

Biotech company One Lambda purchases a building in Woodland Hills.

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