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Friday, May 24, 2024

Around the Valleys

Antelope Valley Lancaster A groundbreaking on June 14 officially started construction in Lancaster for Kensington Campus, a facility to provide shelter and services for the homeless. InSite Development LLC in Woodland Hills partnered with nonprofit The People Concern and Los Angeles County on the project expected to be completed next year on an empty plot on Avenue I. The project’s budget is about $21 million. L.A. County will pick up about $7 million for support services through Measure H, a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2016 to raise money to help homeless people transition into housing. Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said that Kensington Campus lays the foundation for a permanent solution to homelessness.“We are grateful to have the support of so many outstanding organizations to help make Lancaster a better place for those in need of housing and a fresh start in life, as well as creating a replicable model for other municipalities to alleviate homelessness,” Parris said in a statement. Kensington campus is designed to mimic an Italian village with buildings surrounding a courtyard. When completed, it will have 102 units of permanent supportive housing, bridge housing for 156 individuals, 20,000 square feet of support service space and a 12,000-square-foot enterprise job creation building. The People Concern, in Santa Monica, will provide the social services and resident support. According to the most recent homeless count, the Antelope Valley has a population of 3,203 people without permanent homes, an 18 percent decline from the 3,825 people counted last year. Palmdale Valuerock Investments Partners LLC has purchased a 54,942-square-foot retail property in Palmdale from HFC/PRP Palmdale LLC for nearly $10.2 million, or about $185 per square foot. Faris Lee Investments’ Jeff Conover and Christopher DePierro represented both the buyer and the seller. The single-story retail property at 40022 10th St. W., established in 2017, is currently occupied by national retailer Hobby Lobby, which has signed a lease through 2032. The greater retail site is anchored by Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Conejo Valley Agoura Hills Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled against the city of Agoura Hills, suspending the progress of developer Doron Gelfand’s Cornerstone, a proposed 8.2-acre retail, office and residential project at Cornell and Agoura roads that promises to become Agoura Village’s first major development. “We’re very disappointed with the judge’s ruling,” Fred Gaines, a partner at Gaines & Stacey LLP, the Encino-based law firm that defended Gelfand’s project in court, told the Business Journal. “This is a project that meets all of the specific plan adopted by the city of Agoura Hills and that was based on an environmental impact report consistent with that plan.” A triumvirate of local grassroots organizations – Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll, California Native Plant Society and Protectors and Residents in the Santa Monica Mountains – have waged a 16-month battle opposing Gelfand’s proposed 116,000-square-foot complex of seven buildings because they believe the plan would endanger local fauna and flora, and encroach on sites rich with Native American relics. Among the endangered plant species plant society believes would be in jeopardy: spring wildflowers, Lyon’s pentachaeta and Ojai navarretia. The organization also expressed concern over the removal of half of the area’s oak trees, in direct violation of the city’s Oak Tree Ordinance, which caps oak tree removal at 10 percent. The May 23 Superior Court decision by Judge Mary Strobel identified inadequate environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, a violation of the City’s Oak Tree Ordinance and the potential for irreparable impact to prehistoric archaeological areas. The written decision also cited the city’s failure to adequately contact local tribes regarding the Chumash ruins, as required by CEQA. San Fernando Valley Calabasas Shareholders of NetSol Technologies Inc. elected two new members to the board of directors at the company’s annual meeting on June 12. Shareholders of the Calabasas software developer for the vehicle and equipment leasing markets also re-elected five current board members and passed a non-binding advisory measure on compensation for the executive officers with 62 percent of the vote. The two new board members are Malea Farsai, the company counsel for nearly 20 years who served on the team that took the company public in 1999; and Henry Tolentino, an executive with 30 years in the auto finance industry before joining NetSol’s advisory board in September to provide strategic advice to senior management. Each received more than 90 percent shareholder approval. Chief Executive Najeeb Ghauri, one of the five re-elected board members, said the results were a strong vote of confidence in the company’s recent success as well as its long-term vision. “With Henry’s and Malea’s confirmations to our board of directors, we have not only given a refresh to the board’s makeup, we’ve also added a greater breadth and diversity of experience,” Ghauri said in a statement. Thousand Oaks A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $79.6 million contract to design and build target missiles used for testing and evaluation. Teledyne Brown Engineering will begin the Tactical Range Air Defense Missile program immediately and it could extend through April 2025. Teledyne Brown is owned by Teledyne Technologies in Thousand Oaks. The contract calls for the company to develop realistic-threat ballistic target missiles, known as “zombie” targets, for use in testing advanced missile defense systems. Teledyne Brown President Jan Hess said the company was proud to provide these systems that will help support the defense of the United States and its allies. “A great deal of our company’s legacy is built upon leading and supporting missile defense programs, including target and countermeasures development, and the test and evaluation of complex systems,” Hess said in a statement. Woodland Hills Farmers Insurance has promoted Rob Howard to the position of chief claims officer. Howard joined the Woodland Hills-based insurer in 1987 as a claims representative in St. Louis, Mo. He relocated to Southern California in 2000. Since 2014, he has worked as head of claims shared services. “Rob has a deep knowledge of claims, driving positive results for the company throughout his decades of service with Farmers,” Chief Executive Jeff Dailey said in a statement. Farmers Insurance has more than 19 million active individual policies nationally, sold and managed through the efforts of more than 48,000 agents and 21,000 employees. Santa Clarita Valley Santa Clarita BioSolar Inc. has signed a joint development agreement with a Spanish subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC to develop and market silicon anode materials for use in lithium ion batteries. The Santa Clarita alternative energy manufacturer, which has created technology for improving the storage capacity and extending the life of lithium ion batteries, said that Silicio Ferrosolar SLU is a natural fit as a development partner as it can incorporate BioSolar’s silicon additive technology into its own raw silicon materials. BioSolar Chief Executive David Lee said that Ferroglobe, in London, has a proven track record of supplying silicon materials to the global market. “We are confident that this partnership and its subsequent results will continue to demonstrate not only higher performance but also better price points, strengthening BioSolar’s commercial viability and market potential,” Lee said in a statement. Ventura County Santa Paula Higher lemon prices propelled Limoneira Co. to higher net income and revenue during the company’s fiscal second quarter. The Santa Paula citrus packer reported net income of $6.47 million (44 cents a share) in the quarter ended April 30, compared to net income of $3.39 million (24 cents) in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue grew 17 percent to $43.1 million. The company sold about 1.16 million cartons of fresh lemons during the quarter at an average price of $23.42, compared to 958,000 cartons sold at a $21.50 during the second quarter last year. Analysts on average expected net income of 42 cents a share on revenue of $43.6 million, according to Thomson Financial Network. “Record lemon sales combined with strong orange sales and leverage from our packing house drove a 50 percent increase in operating income,” Chief Executive Harold Edwards said in a statement.

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