BYD Motors Inc. unveiled the first of 11 delivery trucks it is building for San Francisco Goodwill, a nonprofit chain of thrift stores. The unveiling took place at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach on May 1. BYD, the U.S. subsidiary of Chinese electric vehicle and battery maker BYD Motors Ltd, makes the trucks at its Lancaster production facility that employs more than 700 workers. The zero-emissions electric truck will be used by SFGoodwill to collect and transport donated goods in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. “We are eager to deliver the first electric delivery truck for SFGoodwill, an organization that creates thousands of jobs,” Stella Li, president of BYD Motors, said in a statement. “Our reliable zero-emissions technology will be a great addition to their operations.” The new BYD T7 truck is battery-powered and measures more than 20 feet long. It has an estimated range of 124 miles.
Santa Clarita Valley
A Valencia industrial building offering a combined 173,056 square feet of distribution and manufacturing space has sold for $20.7 million, according to listing agency NAI Capital Inc. Executive Managing Director Chris Jackson and Executive Vice President Todd Lorber, both with NAI Capital’s Investment Services Group, completed the sale. Jackson and Lorber represented the seller, a private investor, as well as the Chicago-based buyer, First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. The single-story building, located at 28545 Livingston Ave. in the Valencia Commerce Center, was vacant at the time of the sale. Built in 1999, the industrial venue has 22 dock high doors, four ground-level loading doors, and 4,000 amps of power. It also includes 14,320 square feet of office space. The NAI Capital brokers, who are also currently marketing the property for lease on behalf of the new owner, envision the facility as perfect for filming, soundstage or prop warehousing, tapping into the Hollywood synergy in the Santa Clarita Valley, where about a dozen movie ranches are located.
San Fernando Valley
Burbank’s city-operated bus line started a new route on May 14 to serve a new Metrolink station near the Hollywood Burbank Airport. The BurbankBus Golden State Circulator route replaces the Empire-Downtown route that ceased service on May 11. The circulator operates every 15 minutes between 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. weekdays to serve the Burbank Airport-North Metrolink Station, Empire Center, and business and residential areas. Adam Emmer, transportation services manager for the city, said the new bus route is the result of planning that started in December 2016 when the Burbank City Council approved an agreement with Metrolink, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Los Angeles to operate the Burbank Airport-North Metrolink station, which opens May 14.
Nestlé S.A. has agreed to pay $7.15 billion to sell coffee with the Starbucks brand, according to Bloomberg. The third-largest acquisition in Nestlé’s 152-year history constitutes upfront payment for marketing licenses and does not include any physical assets. The Swiss food giant, which has its U.S. headquarters in Glendale, is banking on Starbucks’ brand recognition promoted by 28,000 outlets globally to fill the gap created by its own flagging java products, namely Nespresso and Dolce Gusto. “Nestlé needed a big brand, and they needed one fast,” said Alain Oberhuber, analyst at MainFirst Bank in Zurich. “Starbucks is the only strong brand in roast-and-ground. It’s a rather defensive move -- a bit late -- but nevertheless, a strategically absolutely vital step.” Starbucks, worth $44 billion and ranked the second-most-valuable brand in fast food in BrandZ’s Global 2017 report, intends to use the proceeds for stock buybacks. Nestlé has announced it is moving its U.S. headquarters to Virginia and plans to complete the move by July 6.
California State University – Northridge will confer an honorary doctorate on Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist Younes Nazarian during this year’s commencement ceremony. Nazarian will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics on May 19. The college is named for Nazarian’s son, who graduated from CSUN and founded the investment firm Nimes Capital. Before immigrating to the U.S. from Iran in the wake of the Iranian Revolution, Nazarian owned one of the country’s largest construction equipment businesses. Upon arriving in the U.S., he became co-owner of aerospace manufacturer Stadco and served on the board of directors of San Diego-based wireless telecommunications company Qualcomm. CSUN’s performing art center, the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts, was named for the businessman and his wife after they made a major donation to the center. “The Nazarians’ generosity is unlike any CSUN has ever experienced,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison in a statement. “Beyond the enormous benefit of their financial support, the Nazarians’ investment provides a powerful statement in support of CSUN’s important role in Los Angeles.”
Tutor Perini Corp. has made low bids for three new civil projects that will total approximately $1 billion. The Sylmar construction company announced May 7 that Lunda Construction, a wholly owned subsidiary, will be the managing partner in a joint venture for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project in Minneapolis, with its low bid of about $800 million. This regional transportation project, to consist of a 14.5-mile extension of the Metro Green Line, will involve the construction of a new light rail infrastructure encompassing 44 bridges, two cut-and-cover tunnels and 15 new stations. Frontier-Kemper Constructors, another of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, proved to be the low bidder for an approximately $109 million tunnel project for Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Also, Tutor Perini has under-bid for the rehabilitation of the Harlem River-spanning Broadway Bridge in New York City, a project worth $93 million. All three contracts are expected to be awarded to Tutor Perini within 60 days, with the projects commencing immediately thereafter, according to the company. Recent high-profile Tutor Perini projects have included Los Angeles Metro’s $1.4-billion Purple Line extension, Fresno’s $1.3-billion California High-Speed Rail project, and Los Angeles’ $783-billion Alameda Corridor. On the commercial side, the firm’s contracts include Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, a $2.3-billion hotel complex.
Salem Media Group Inc. has hired former Radio One general manager Gary Spurgeon as senior vice president of special projects for the broadcast division. Spurgeon was previously general manager for Radio One stations in Dallas and Houston. “Gary brings a fresh perspective to Salem and I’m confident we will see the benefits of new thinking,” said President David Santrella in a statement. Salem Media Group is based in Camarillo and specializes in Christian and conservative content for radio, digital media and print publishing. It operates 121 radio stations across the country.
Semtech Corp. has acquired substantially all the assets of IC Interconnect Inc., a private provider of services to the silicon chip manufacturing industry from its facilities in Colorado Springs, Colo. Semtech in Camarillo paid $7 million in cash plus the assumption of unspecified obligations. Semtech funded the purchase from its cash funds and the company does not expect the deal to have a material impact on its finances. IC Interconnect provides chip-scale packaging and related services to semiconductor manufacturers. With the acquisition, Semtech’s payroll will grow by 42 employees, who will remain in Colorado Springs.
The former corporate headquarters for athletic footwear-maker K-Swiss in Westlake Village has sold for $11 million, according to Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura. Lee Principal Joe Jusko represented seller K-Swiss on the property while Lee President Mike Tingus and Managing Director Grant Fulkerson worked on behalf of the buyer, an entity of Selleck Development Group. The two-story, 53,133-square-foot office building at 31248 Oak Crest Drive had been occupied by K-Swiss from 1999 until the company’s move to downtown Los Angeles in 2017. Selleck, based in Westlake Village, aims to refurbish the common areas and parking lot and replace landscaping and existing solar panels to create a cost-effective, modern office building.