Orange County Business Journal


OC Tech on Target; Sage Hill’s Science Scholar; Early Picks

Anyone who doubts that science and technology are all over the place—or that Orange County is all over tech—can check our Chris Casacchia’s front-page piece on the CES show in Las Vegas.

Hilton Irvine Sold to Investor in San Jose

HOTELS: $53M estimate for 302-room property near JWA

The Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport has been sold to a San Jose-based investor.

Call Center Operator Set to Double on $275M Deal

SERVICES: Alorica grows list of industries, geographic reach

Alorica Inc. has purchased some units of Omaha, Neb.-based West Corp. for $275 million.

Joint Venture for Anton & Chia

Newport Beach-based accounting firm Anton & Chia LLP has entered into a joint venture with Morine & Co. Chartered Accountants LLP in Vancouver.

Hoag Irvine Expansion Plan Aims to Deliver ‘Healthcare Village’

HEALTHCARE: 3-building center expected to open in 2016

Put Irvine and Hoag down as a good match.

For-Profit University Posts Big Gains, Seeks More in Anaheim

EDUCATION: Draws from ethnic communities here, overseas

A for-profit school in a modest office park in the shadow of Angel Stadium in Anaheim has quietly grown sixfold in three years—and it has its sights on more.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great?

Wet Seal Closes Two-Thirds of Stores

Wet Seal Inc. said it is closing 338 stores and will lay off 3,695 full- and part-time employees “after assessing its overall financial condition” and failing to “successfully negotiate meaningful concessions from its landlords.”

Habit Chain Signs First Overseas Deal

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. signed its first international expansion deal, an agreement with an area franchiser in the Middle East to develop 50 restaurants in six countries over the next 10 years.

Clean Energy Sells Dallas Facility Stake

Newport Beach-based alternative fuel developer and supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp. sold its majority stake in a biomethane production facility in Dallas to a minority owner for $40.6 million.

CashCall Mortgage Arm to Be Bought

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. agreed to acquire the mortgage operations of CashCall Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

Irvine Hotel Seeks Food Ideas for Chain

The Irvine Marriott will be one of the hotel chain’s first sites to cultivate food and beverage business ideas under a new program for chef-entrepreneurs by Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International Inc.

Newport Beach Promoted in London

The destination marketing organization for Newport Beach is using images gathered by a drone to promote the city at U.S. trade shows and in London.


More than 700 Pacific Investment Management Co. employee volunteers, friends and family members gathered at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa on Dec. 6 to pack 16,000 boxes with a holiday meal for needy families in Southern California.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 2

Wet Seal Inc. hired restructuring lawyers and may file for bankruptcy as early as next week, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

OCBJ Calendar

Jan. 12-21, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Low-Rise Office Market Continues Upward Trend

Activity in the low-rise office sector continued its positive momentum in the third quarter, generating 145,774 square feet of positive net absorption.

HB Startup Olloclip to Pursue $7.5M From Investors

Aims to Increase Brand Awareness, Sales Efforts

Huntington Beach startup olloclip has hired Irvine-based Moss Adams LLP to help the company attract institutional investors.

KBS, LBA Sign $248M Deal for Emeryville Offices

Three-Building Campus Last Sold for Reported $130M

LBA Realty and KBS Realty Advisors, two of Orange County’s most active commercial property investors through much of 2014, wrapped up the year with a blockbuster transaction in Northern California.

Real Estate Deals

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

Shabani Investments LLC sold an industrial building in Tustin for $3.6 million, or $197.22 per square foot, to Subaru Research and Development Inc.

2015 Preview: MEDIA & MARKETING

Advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to increase 2.7% in 2015 to $169.5 billion, according to the Magna Global research firm in New York, which reported a 4% hike this year.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Pyott's Premium

$68B Deal Puts Allergan Boss in First Position

David Pyott expected 2014 to be a year of hunting for deals.

Obamacare Provides Lift for Central OC

REAL ESTATE: Provider, insurers snap up former subprime turf

Obamacare was a boon to the health of Central Orange County’s office market in 2014.

Patient Safety Push Addresses Employers

HEALTHCARE: Clinton expected at Masimo-backed summit in Irvine

The new leader of an Orange County-based patient safety movement is calling for more employer involvement as participants get ready for an annual conference slated to take place in Irvine this month.

Telogis Leads OC’s Rookie Lineup at CES

TECHNOLOGY: Hitches ride with GM for debut at tech’s big show

More than 100 Orange County companies will be in Las Vegas this week for the world’s largest technology convention.

Allergan Effect: Healthcare Hotter Than Ever Here

Healthcare remains integral and then some to OC’s economy, even as Irvine-based drugmaker Allergan Inc. gets ready to exit the stage as the largest publicly traded company based here

Edwards In $50M Round for NorCal Device Maker

HEALTHCARE: Gets option to buy Menlo Park-based startup

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has dipped its toe into the investment waters of the medical device business.

Olen Flips Santa Ana Business Park for $31.7M

REAL ESTATE: Sheds odd fit, uses some of profit in Atlanta

Newport Beach-based Olen Properties has sold one of its local holdings, a business park in Santa Ana that it owned for less than three years.

RJI Acquires IE Accounting Firm

Irvine-based RJI Ramirez Jimenez International CPAs has acquired an accounting firm in the Inland Empire on undisclosed terms.

Hospitality: Richard ‘Dick’ Pickup

Longtime Equities Investor Puts $65 Million Into Family Ties

Dick Pickup sips an Arnold Palmer and wonders why all the attention.

Real Estate: Emile Haddad

Great Park Developer Lands Broadcom for Commercial Anchor

Emile Haddad caught the big fish in Orange County’s office market last year.

Restaurants: Steve Sather

Market Cap Near $800M After El Pollo Loco Leaves ‘No Stone Unturned’

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. President and Chief Executive Steve Sather is our Business Person of the Year for restaurants—but it took nearly a decade to pull it off.

Technology: Palmer Luckey

Virtual Reality Gets Real

Catching up with Palmer Luckey is a lot more difficult these days.

Finance: Mordy Rothberg

Busy Buyer Builds Regional Insurance Brands With Latino Focus

Confie Seguros Insurance Services is getting big with a lot of small moves.

Ode to Local Pioneer; New Twists in Familiar Places

Larry Cano Left Stamp On Ever-Dynamic Food Scene

We recently lost Larry Cano, a true icon not only in Orange County dining but a major player in introducing America to sit-down Mexican dining and cuisine at a sophistication level way above the familiar taco genre.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 1

Orange-based First Security Business Bank was acquired by San Diego Private Bank on undisclosed terms.