Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Preferred Outcome

Marketing Programs Behind Growth of Service Provider for Independent HotelsPreferred Hotel Group’s 1,600-point hotel inspection is intense.

By Kari Hamanaka February 15, 2014 midnight   $$ Share

Will Vizio’s Garden Grow Smart Sprinkler Startup?

Irvine-Based Brand Kicks In Seed Money, Office Space, Taiwan Connection

A startup launched by two of Skype’s earliest employees with the backing of Vizio Inc. hopes to make its mark in the “Internet of Things” market with the debut of a smart lawn sprinkler at next month’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Early Indicators Point to Strength, Staying Power for OC’s Economy

Is the outlook for business in Orange County hot or strong?

Olen Adds Atlanta Apartments, Stays Patient on Deals Here

REAL ESTATE: Latest OC-based investor to buy into Georgia capital

A nationwide apartment push by Olen Properties has seen the Newport Beach-based real estate owner and investor make its first acquisition in the Atlanta area while ramping up development in other markets outside Orange County.

Bankers See Trend of Global Growth for OC Clients in 2015

FINANCE: Exports pegged to rise 8%, reach $28B in 2015

Many of the biggest commercial banks with operations in Orange County are poised to gain from international markets as the local business landscape becomes more global in character.

Smart Home for the Holidays

Irvine-Based ‘Internet of Things’ Pioneer Adds Wal-Mart to Distribution

Insteon isn’t a household name, even though its technology powers millions of home-automation devices around the world.

Go-To Gift Guys

Logomark Complements Private-Label Lineup With Watch Brand Worn by President Obama

There’s a good chance the pen you used to sign that last document was made by Logomark Inc.

HK Buyer Adds Hotel at Gate of Disneyland Resort to OC Portfolio

REAL ESTATE: Renovation seen for 300-room Anaheim Plaza

A 300-room hotel across the street from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is expected to see a major renovation following its sale to a Hong Kong-based investor.

2014 in Review: Big Deals, Doings

My, how you’ve grown. What else to say about Orange County’s business landscape over the past year?

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Ensign Expands San Diego Presence With Acquisitions

Hospice Care Added To Other Facilities in County

Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator Ensign Group Inc. is making moves to the south.

Brand Consultant Celebrates 3 Decades With Book

Images in Tome Are A Retrospective on Its Work

InterCommunications Inc., a brand consulting company that specializes in the real estate and hospitality industries, recently published a coffee table book, “Imaging Places”—a 288-page portfolio of projects the Newport Beach firm has taken on over its 30 years in business.

Fisker Automotive Works on New Grand Plans

Costa Mesa Car Maker In Tests for Karma Relaunch

The deep pockets funding Costa Mesa-based Fisker Automotive and Technologies Group LLC’s revival have led the automaker to test several technologies and features as it prepares to relaunch its luxury hybrid Karma.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Manufacturing, Warehouse Vacancies Down in Q3

Third-quarter vacancy rates in Orange County’s manufacturing and warehouse sector dropped to 2.2%, down 21% from a year earlier.

CT Realty to Riverside for $25M Industrial Project

5-Building Project Part Of $120M JV With Prudential

CT Realty is moving ahead on a $25 million industrial project in Riverside in the first deal the Aliso Viejo-based developer has made with a large institutional investor it recently partnered with.

New Yorker’s OC Junket Puts Jannard in YouTube Picture

Much of this week’s issue is dedicated to a look back at 2014, which has proved to be a remarkable year in many respects for the community of business in Orange County (see overview, page 1; coverage by industry, pages 5 through 18).

Brandman U. to Offer ‘Competency-Based’ Degree

EDUCATION: Online-only program now in test phase

Brandman University in Irvine is testing an online-only bachelor’s degree in business administration based on a “direct assessment” of student knowledge rather than a traditional university system of units per course.

Bixby Seeks Creative Gem at Jewelry Brand’s Old HQ

REAL ESTATE: Plan for Tustin office continues trend

Bixby Land Co. is set to undertake its largest creative-office redevelopment project in Orange County to date at an industrial building in Tustin.

VidCon Back to Anaheim for 2015

VidCon will return to the Anaheim Convention Center for its 2015 edition, with a three-day run scheduled to start on July 23, according to the show’s website.

2014 Year in Review: Healthcare

We picked the veteran chief executive of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. as a the person to watch for a number of reasons, including the expectation of new products and his pick of a clear No. 2 executive in Douglas Ingram, Allergan’s president.

2014 Year in Review: Real Estate

Orange County’s biggest landlord grabbed more than its share of headlines this year, confirming our choice of Doug Holte, who heads the office properties division for Irvine Company, as 2014’s person to watch for real estate.

2014 Year in Review: Finance

Gross made the biggest people-on-the-move news in the finance industry this year, leaving Pacific Investment Management Co. for much-smaller rival Janus Capital Group.

2014 Year in Review: Technology

The Business Journal’s choice of Sailesh Chittipeddi, chief executive of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc., hit the target.

2014 Year in Review: Hospitality

Our prediction of a healthy year for local hotels proved accurate. Our person to watch was Ralph Grippo, president of Irvine Company Resort Properties.

2014 Year in Review: Media & Marketing

Andrew Leisner, publisher of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group in Irvine, appeared on the Business Journal’s radar after a swap of six surf and skateboard publications for nine motorcycle titles from San Clemente-based TEN: Action/Outdoor Group.

2014 Year in Review: Retail

The Quiksilver Inc. boss continued to reshape the operations of the brand, which once again struggled despite its heritage as a pioneer of the surfwear sector.

2014 Year in Review: Restaurants

We said to keep an eye on Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. Chief Executive Greg Creed as he began overseeing the brand worldwide in January.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 50

Coastal Communities Boast Solid $10M+ Sales Year

2014 Appears To Eclipse Luxury Sales Last Year

Orange County’s coastal region is as renowned for its sophisticated yet laid-back vibe as it is for its captivating scenery.

El Sol Neighbor Goes Global for Local Girls

Kylie Schuyler decided to create a mentoring program for girls in grades five through eight in which accomplished college-age women would serve as mentors.

Premium Cut on Irvine Ranch

Why Some Builders Share Profits, Even If Wall Street Wonders

Orange County’s high-end housing market is proving to be a big source of business for The New Home Co.—even if it’s been a source of confusion to some Wall Street investors and analysts who follow the homebuilder.

El Sol’s Sunny Mission

Plenty of Business Backers for Santa Ana School’s Focus on Arts, Academics, Dual Immersion

The idea of charter schools was little-known concept in Orange County in 1999, recalls Susan Mas.

Fisker Seeks Revival for Luxury Hybrid Brand in Costa Mesa

AUTOS: China-based owner hires 100 engineers with eye on relaunch

The new Costa Mesa headquarters of Fisker Automotive and Technologies Group LLC is buzzing with optimism under a new management team that has a track record of successful turnarounds to go with financial backing from one of China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

Toastmasters Takes on Speakers’ Fears From Historic Home in OC

Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. adult population—74% to be exact—fears the idea of speaking in public, according to a 2013 National Institutes of Health survey.

OCBJ Calendar

Dec. 8-17, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

OC Efforts Spur Japanese Device Regulation Changes

New Law Loosens Process US Firms Have Criticized

Efforts over the past decade by several of Orange County’s better-known medical device executives to change Japanese laws are bearing fruit.

Agency Bakes Up Videos Featuring Pretzel Mascot

O’Leary Produces Five Pieces Starring Tiny Baker

O’Leary and Partners, in its latest assignment for Wetzel Pretzels LLC, has brought the Pasadena-based chain’s blue baker mascot to life.