Orange County Business Journal


Toshiba Electronics Unit Abandons Segment That Helped Get It Off Ground

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.

Third Biggest Chipmaker in OC Now Led from Irvine

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.

Ahmansons’ Eclectic Salon; Moorlach Is No Mr. Big Shot

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.

Meritage Homes Buys West CM Infill Site

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.

Apria Healthcare’s Lake Forest HQ Sells for $19M

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.

Medical Business Services Firm Aspires

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.

Mexican Chain Plans to Take ‘Tasty’ Tacos Bicoastal

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.

Mission Viejo Mall Makeover Stirs Flurry of Activity

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.

Apparel Makers Inch Up Local Employment By 1%

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.

Vacation Home Sales Second Highest in Decade-Plus

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.

Edwards Talks up Victories in and out of Test Lab

Unit Wins in Court As Valves Get Good Results

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has scored wins in the trial court and clinical trial arenas.

Source at Beach Enlists Help to Fill Shopping Center

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.

Vizio Settles Lawsuit With Incentive to Watch More TV

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.

Real Estate Deals

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

Manufacturing, Warehouse Sector Tightens in Q1

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.

Abbott Medical Optics’ Santa Ana HQ Sells for $37M

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.

Package Locker Company Gets $15M for Expansion

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.

Irvine Co. Provides Free Space to Incubator - Which Provides Free Space to Startups

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.

Moro-San’s Mission

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.

UCI Hopes Campus Collaboration Leads To Cybersecurity Institute

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.

Deal Signal of Irvine Co. Shopping Spree?

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.

Cities, Hoteliers Dig Data When It Comes to Business

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:

New Hotel, a Few Room Tweaks, Shuffle Ranks

HOSPITALITY: Great Wolf raises top 50 to 21,508 rooms

There have been a few changes on a list that rarely sees them.

Split Decision on Trump Smell Test; Doti Goes Solo

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.

KBS Lands SF Tower, Redmond Business Parks

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.

Details of Pending Abbott-St. Jude Merger Unclear

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 Biotech to Costa Mesa

Dallas-based Cerebain Biotech Corp. has moved its corporate headquarters from Dallas to Costa Mesa.

HB Luxury Hotel Adds to Developer’s High-End Tilt

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.

Device Maker Plans Summer Intro of Weight-Loss Aid

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.

Theme Park Company Buys NY Property

Apex Parks Group LLC in Aliso Viejo bought Martin’s Fantasy Island theme park in Grand Island, N.Y., on undisclosed terms.

AI Developer Secures Sony Investment

Anaheim-based artificial intelligence developer Cogitai received a strategic investment on undisclosed terms from Sony Corp., the multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Coast Magazine Names Top Editor

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.

Knife Maker Sold to Beverly Hills Firm

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