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

All In On Aluminum

Laguna Hills Nonprofit Gets Body Shops Ready for Ford’s New Truck

The all-aluminum Ford F-150 trucks are set to roll off dealer lots next month—and you can bet that some will wind up in body shops before the new-car scent wears off.

BlizzCon’s Math: 3 New Games, 14 Languages

MEDIA: Crowd of 25,000 hears about 1st new franchise in 17 years

Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s latest game in development marks another milestone for the Irvine-based company as it continues to offer new types of games in an ambitious schedule of product releases.

Another 180,000-SF Flip in South Coast?

REAL ESTATE: Would be 6th trade in 7 years for Costa Mesa office

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The distinctive Costa Mesa office that once held the headquarters of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. and later Valeant Pharmaceuticals International could soon have a change in ownership.

New Allergan Suitor Puts Friendly Face on Takeover Talk

HEALTHCARE: Could arrive at special meeting with two offers

A new bidder has brought a decidedly different tone to talks on a takeover of Irvine-based Allergan Inc.

TRI Pointe in Full-Service Push for 2015 Sales Growth

REAL ESTATE: Adds mortgage, title services in wake of Weyerhaeuser deal

TRI Pointe Homes Inc. continues to build the foundation of an ambitious growth plan in 2015, despite some lingering questions over the health of the national homebuilding industry.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bankers to discuss their and their clients’ thoughts on how to manage operations in a changing interest rate environment, where rates are expected to rise. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Banks Post Biggest Jump in Assets Since Predownturn

23 Together See 35% Rise To $18.5 Billion In Year

Orange County-based commercial banks have notched the biggest year-over-year asset growth in the ongoing economic recovery and even since the few years prior to the recession.

Biggest Credit Unions Account for Bulk of Growth

Group’s Assets to $16.9B, Despite Declines for Most

Orange County’s credit unions built assets at a faster clip over the past year, when the biggest of the group pulled most of the gains.

Hope for Hangars? South Coast Redux; Act II for Churm?

Are the powers that be rethinking the fate of the two hangars on the former Marine base in Tustin now that Google has signed a 60-year lease worth $1.2 billion for a similar structure and several others on surrounding grounds in the Silicon Valley?

Habit Looks to Trade on ‘Better-Burger’ Standing in IPO

RESTAURANTS: Recent growth, timing of offering look favorable

The Habit Restaurants Inc. in Irvine appears to have a number of factors working in its favor for an initial public offering that’s expected sometime this week, including some that reflect its strong run of recent years and others that indicate the chain is well-positioned for the future.

Software Deal Points to Resumption of Fisker Production

TECHNOLOGY: Pact with Quantum could bring stake in IP

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.’s new deal to supply key vehicle operations software for the relaunch of the Fisker Karma and potentially other models rekindles a relationship that had soured before the luxury automaker crashed two years ago.

Retail ‘Boot Camp’ Ahead of NAMM

HOSPITALITY: Show also hosts media on day before opening

The National Association of Music Merchants plans a “Retail Boot Camp” for music retailers on the day before its Jan. 22-25 show at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Small Restaurants Seek Big League Through Franchises

RESTAURANTS: Approach allows fast growth at limited cost

Small local restaurant companies plan to expand by franchise in 2015.

Vocational School Bucks One Trend, Taps Another

EDUCATION: Placements, demand for training strong

Caleb Everett said he has put $1 million into Career College of California and taken no salary since his Fortuna Education LLC bought it in 2010.

It’s Official: Broadcom HQ At Great Park

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. made its long-rumored move to Great Park Neighborhoods official, agreeing to buy land to build a 1.1-million-square-foot corporate headquarters. A price wasn’t disclosed.

Cosmetics Firm Could Go Up for Sale

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC in Irvine “is exploring a sale that could value it at several hundred millions of dollars,” according to Reuters.

Aliso Viejo Device Maker Raises $15M

Aliso Viejo-based device maker OrthAlign Inc. completed a $15 million round of funding. The company makes devices used in orthopedic procedures.

Quiksilver Sells Online Retailer to Rival

Quiksilver Inc. sold online retailer Surfdome.com in the United Kingdom to Australia-based rival SurfStitch for $16 million.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 46

Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park will introduce a 4-D interactive ride next year in its Boardwalk section. Voyage to the Iron Reef riders will play the role of trying to rescue the park from mechanical sea creatures attempting to destroy it.

Some Real Estate Experts Say 2014 Brings Normalcy

Post-Downturn Burst Has Cooled to Stable Market

Consumers, after watching the crash of the housing market in 2008, are wary of another “bubble.”

Senator Visits CHOC to Publicize Patient-Safety Effort

Preventable Patient Deaths ‘Makes You Choke Up’

A major supporter of the patient safety movement led by Irvine-based Masimo Corp.’s Chief Executive Joe Kiani stopped by Orange County this month.

Students Try to Live Más Football With Taco Bell

Tickets to College Playoff Games Part Of Giveaway

Taco Bell Corp. has teamed up with ESPN Inc. to give college students a chance to cheer on their teams at this season’s College Football Playoff games from the Live Más Student Section.

OCBJ Calendar

Nov. 17-26, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Robust Activity Continues in Mid-Counties Market

The third quarter in the Mid-Counties industrial market continued where it left off at the end of the second quarter, whose strong demand pushed levels of supply to their lowest in six years.

Greenwave Systems Does Design Work For Verizon

Adds to List of Customers That Includes DirecTV

Irvine-based smart technology provider Greenwave Systems has developed a router for Verizon Communications Inc.

Real Estate Deals

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

The Higgins Trust sold an office and residential building in Orange to a local investor for $2.3 million.

AT&T Again: Telecom’s Anaheim Campus For Sale

18-Acre Canyon Property Could Be Redeveloped

Another big property of AT&T Inc. in Anaheim is up for sale.

Stifel Steps Up in Newport Center

REAL ESTATE: Takes full floor at Irvine Company’s newest office

Bill Gross might have the highest profile among the first batch of tenants at Irvine Company’s newest office building in Newport Center, but Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. can claim the highest perch at the 21-story building.

Greenlaw Near Deal on BofA’s Brea Campus

An investment group that includes Irvine-based real estate investor and developer Greenlaw Partners is nearing a deal to buy the massive Bank of America office campus in Brea.

Will This Shoe Fit?

China-Based 361° Aims for U.S. Share From Irvine HQ

361° International Ltd.’s recent arrival to the U.S. market is another step toward the China-based footwear and apparel company’s ultimate goal: becoming a top five global sports brand in a short period of time.

Therapy Vets Can Embrace

Laguna Hills Nonprofit Taps Business on Mission to Heal

U.S. Marine Sgt. Chris Merkle was one of 20 infantrymen crowded into the back of an unarmored 7-ton truck as it sped along an unmarked dirt road one moonless night headed toward Baghdad.

Working Wardrobes’ Transition Plan

James Toth was living with his parents and working odd jobs for cash that offered little security and no future.

Plenty in Play Around South Coast Metro; Don’t Forget the Vet

A trot around the South Coast Metro district that covers corners of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana reveals several sizeable chunks of property in a state of flux.

Investors Adapt to Changes in Post-Recession Market

‘Opportunistic’ Real Estate Scarce, Competition Stiff

Opportunity is still knocking for many of Orange County’s most active commercial real estate investors of the past five years, but it has required a decided shift in strategy.

Office Market’s Occupancy Levels Improve

The office market continues to experience positive momentum, pushing toward a full recovery. Occupancy levels are steadily improving due to constant demand, moving the market to near prerecession conditions.

Industrial Market Records Busy Q3

Orange County’s industrial market continued to record healthy levels of activity in the third quarter, ending with 2.8 million square feet of gross activity and resulting in 208,021 square feet of positive net absorption.

Toshiba Digital Displays in Staples Center Lineup

MARKETING: Electronics outfit in Irvine lands sponsorship

Diversified electronics maker Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. is supplying digital displays for LA Interactive, a new section of the Staples Center that opened over the weekend.