OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION
TECHNOLOGY: Plans pivot to business, education PC market
Toshiba Corp.’s U.S. electronics unit, headquartered in Irvine, has exited the consumer PC business in a major strategic shift that underscores the changing habits of end-users and lingering challenges facing legacy manufacturers in Japan and across the world.
TECHNOLOGY: Skyworks banks on region as power source
Skyworks Solutions Inc.’s new chief executive, Liam Griffin, will run the chipmaker from Irvine, swinging the pendulum of corporate influence from Woburn, Mass., in the Boston metro area to Orange County.
Howard and Roberta Ahmanson wrapped several pleasant surprises into the salon they hosted recently at Fieldstead & Co. Inc. It’s their family office, which looks after a fortune that started with Howard Ahmanson Sr., the late founder of Home Savings of America and a giant in the development of Southern California as a powerhouse fueled by a middle class that had room to grow in nearly every sense of the word in the decades after World War II.
REAL ESTATE: Roughly $35M sale of 135-home portion of site
A portion of a former industrial facility in Costa Mesa’s Westside that’s slated for an infill housing project has sold in one of the larger land deals in the city in recent years.
REAL ESTATE: PRES Cos. buys South OC complex
The Lake Forest headquarters of healthcare provider Apria Healthcare Group Inc. has been sold to a local real estate investor for $19 million.
HEALTHCARE: Advantmed grows beyond records collection
Santa Ana-based Advantmed LLC aims to help doctors get paid in the wake of reform-fueled changes in payment processes.
RESTAURANTS: Started with Boston, targets 20 more
San Clemente-based fish taco restaurant chain Pedro’s Tacos will franchise and plans to open new stores on the East Coast within the next three years.
RETAIL: Kaleidoscope seeks ‘experiential’ stores for bare spots
A recent visit to Kaleidoscope in Mission Viejo felt like showing up to a party two days early.
Slow Growth Comes As Biggest Tweak Leadership
A lot can happen in a year, and the past 12 months were no exception for the 53 largest apparel companies based in Orange County. The top three on this week’s Business Journal list are under new leadership, one emerged from bankruptcy, and several others have traded hands. A few firms also notched significant local staffing changes, the metric the list is based on.
Disneyland visitation was up 9% last year, when 18.2 million people walked through the Anaheim park’s gates, according to Burbank-based Themed Entertainment Association.
16% of Luxury Sales Last Year, All-Cash Sales Up
Orange County, with its 42 miles of beaches, average year-round temperature of 70, and ready access to a wide range of recreational activities, is a perennial vacation destination. The California Travel and Tourism Commission says 47.4 million people visited here last year, up 2.6% over 2014. International travelers are the fastest-growing segment of visitors, reaching 13.8 million last year, according to the commission.
Unit Wins in Court As Valves Get Good Results
Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has scored wins in the trial court and clinical trial arenas.
Hires Real Estate Firm To Rustle Up the Right Mix
Lynwood-based M+D Properties, developer of the Source at Beach in Buena Park, hired the Los Angeles office of Madison Marquette real estate investment management firm to help identify additional tenants for its 428,000-square-foot shopping center.
Class-Action Deal Comes As It Battles Another Case
The $2.3 million settlement Irvine-based Vizio Inc. recently reached to stave off a proposed class-action lawsuit regarding false advertising carried an interesting payment mechanism.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
The vacancy rate in Orange County’s manufacturing and warehouse market dropped from 1.8% to 1.7% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. Year-over-year, the vacancy has dropped 22.7% in the sector.
SF-Based Investor Pays $216/SF for 10-Acre Site
The Santa Ana headquarters of Abbott Medical Optics has been sold to a San Francisco-based investor.
Parcel Pending Handles Online Delivery Surge
A startup that provides digital “smart” lockers to apartment complexes to absorb the surge of packages from online shopping just received a $15 million investment from an undisclosed investor.
Bennett Washabaugh and Mike Zei launched their commercial real estate startup, TenantBase, with Irvine Company in mind as an innovator that leases space to startups around the country.
Globetrotting Exec Wants to Redefine Mazda
Masahiro Moro—or Moro-san as employees at Mazda North American Operations call him—reclined at his office in Irvine, where a picture of a red RX-Vision concept sports car Mazda Motor Corp. introduced in October at the Tokyo Motor Show hung on the wall directly across from his desk.
TECHNOLOGY: Computer science, law, engineering schools drive effort
University of California-Irvine is in the early stages of establishing a cybersecurity research institute that will become the first of its kind in the state with a national scope and profile.
REAL ESTATE: $1B CMBS offering could precede some big property buys
A new billion-dollar funding deal involving a portion of Irvine Company’s apartment portfolio raises the prospect that Orange County’s dominant real estate company could soon be on the lookout for acquisitions.
Destination Marketers, Others Hunt for Ways to Stand Out
More local cities, marketing groups and hotel companies are using data to decide how to reel in new business.
Orange County is known for drawing visitors from across California and the rest of the country—and from many points around the world. Less attention goes to day-trippers, or those who come to Orange County without staying overnight, yet make a significant contribution to the tourism industry. The Business Journal’s Paul Hughes asked some local tourism and hotel executives about the value of what turns out to be a big segment of their business, and how they work to attract day-trippers to the county. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:
HOSPITALITY: Great Wolf raises top 50 to 21,508 rooms
There have been a few changes on a list that rarely sees them.
Reports from the Lincoln Club’s recent annual dinner at the Island Hotel indicate Al Frink captured the mood of many of the assembled GOP stalwarts with a turn as a prop comic.
REAL ESTATE: $300M spree follows bond deal in Israel
A real estate investment trust run by Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors, fresh off a $250 million bond offering in Israel, has made plans to spend nearly $300 million on an office property in downtown San Francisco and a portfolio of business parks in the Seattle suburbs.
HEALTHCARE: Combo to make both more competitive
It’s not yet clear how Abbott Laboratories’ pending $25 billion buy of St. Jude Medical Inc. will impact the latter’s Orange County operations.
Dallas-based Cerebain Biotech Corp. has moved its corporate headquarters from Dallas to Costa Mesa.
Pacific Hospitality Walks Line Between Resorts and Chains
This week’s opening of Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach marks the seventh high-end property out of 10 in owner-operator Pacific Hospitality Group’s stable.
Transplant Startup from Ariz. Sees Breath Tool as Innovator
A startup company that recently relocated to Aliso Viejo is aiming to introduce breath analysis as a tool for weight management.
Apex Parks Group LLC in Aliso Viejo bought Martin’s Fantasy Island theme park in Grand Island, N.Y., on undisclosed terms.
Anaheim-based artificial intelligence developer Cogitai received a strategic investment on undisclosed terms from Sony Corp., the multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
Samantha Dunn was named editor of Coast magazine, according to the Southern California News Group, which oversees 11 daily newspapers, several magazines and other entities in Southern California, including the Orange County Register.
American Capital Ltd. sold PHC Sharp Holdings Inc. to Beverly Hills-based investment manager Levine Lechtman Capital Partners on undisclosed terms.
Philanthropy for May 23, 2016
Addendum for May 23, 2016