Orange County Business Journal


McLarand’s 2-Way Street

Architect Worked China During Recession, Carves Niche as Guide for US Projects

Carl McLarand went to China to find a way through the Great Recession.

Some Irvine Co. Offices To Go ‘Behind the Meter’

REAL ESTATE: ‘Biggest deal ever’ to use grid-feeding batteries

The Irvine Co. has signed on to a cutting-edge energy storage project that will transform nearly two dozen of its highest profile offices in the Irvine Spectrum and John Wayne Airport area into hybrid electric buildings over the next year.

OC Execs Maintain Tempered View of Q4

ECONOMY: Slight gain after Q3 dropoff for CSUF Index

Orange County business owners and executives have trimmed their outlooks for the local economy entering the fourth quarter, with mixed expectations that add up to a slight gain after a dropoff registered for the prior period, according to the latest quarterly index by California State University-Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Will Hyundai Add Truck to Lineup?

AUTOS: Fountain Valley HQ hopes for OK from South Korea

This week’s Orange County International Auto Show might mark the final appearance of the Hyundai Santa Cruz as a concept vehicle and raise the curtain on a new era for the brand’s Fountain Valley-based U.S. operations.

Big Data Becomes Big Initiative at Local Campuses

Programs, Research Added to Meet Increased Demand

Orange County colleges and universities are launching and expanding programs in big data to train students to capture and analyze the reams of information that’s become available in an age when data storage capacity has ballooned.

Grant, Dolls and Gaming Link Commerce, Creativity

Schools Teach Students To Turn Inspiration Into Work

Chapman University plans to open a business incubator for arts and culture-based enterprises at the end of a two-year, $200,000 grant the European Union awarded the school last month.

MBA Programs’ Numbers Down in Strong Economy

Specialization, Speed Enhance Schools’ Efforts

Numbers are down in the Business Journal’s annual survey of MBA programs that serve Orange County—and that’s a good thing.

Name Game at Montage; Gillman Shows for Cove

Can’t blame anyone for doing a double take on the lineup for the Oct. 19-21 run of the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference at the Montage, where Apple CEO Tim Cook gets top billing and a star-studded undercard includes Tony Hsieh and Chris Cox.

Condos Now Proposed for Fashion Island Carwash

REAL ESTATE: 49 units would be latest for-sale project

Land in Newport Center that holds a carwash and that was once eyed for a boutique hotel now is being considered for a condominium project.

Incubator to Back, Build Female-Led Startups

ECONOMY: Chapman-based group led by serial entrepreneur

Orange-based incubator and start-up accelerator Chicklabs Inc. has considerable goals: launch female-led and owned businesses, make a name for itself in the niche market of consumer products, and mentor Chapman student-entrepreneurs in the process.

Moshayedi Scores on Retail Rebound in IE

REAL ESTATE: $147M price for Chino Hills center up 55%

A bet on the Inland Empire retail market in 2010 has paid off well for MX3 Ventures, a Newport Beach real estate investor with ties to former Santa Ana-based storage device maker STEC Inc.

Strathspey Crown Pegs Pensions As Next Offering to Doctors

HEALTHCARE: Irvine parent taps banking vets for NY office

Newport Beach-based private equity fund Strathspey Crown Holdings LLC is keeping its focus on healthcare even as it plans to get into the financial management arena through a new subsidiary.

New Spectrum-Area Event Facility Puts on the Glitz

ECONOMY: Gensler-designed center to have capacity for 1,000

A longtime area special-events producer is pulling out all the stops for a meeting and events venue that’s being built in the Irvine Spectrum.

Hurley Founder Retires, Nike Vet in Spot

Hurley International LLC Chief Executive and Founder Bob Hurley is retiring, according to parent company Nike Inc.

Thomas Returns to Tilly’s As Chief Exec

Tilly’s Inc. in Irvine appointed Edmond Thomas, former chief executive of Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal LLC, president and chief executive, effective Monday.

St. Joseph Hoag, Cigna Offer Health Plans

Irvine-based St. Joseph Hoag Health said that in January it will introduce health plans developed with insurer Cigna Corp.

ICU Medical Acquires NJ Device Maker

San Clemente-based ICU Medical Inc. said it’s buying Excelsior Medical Corp. in Neptune, N.J. for $59.5 million.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 41

Disneyland raised prices for annual passes for the second time in less than a year.

‘Pocket’ Listings on Rise in OC’s Luxury Market

Non-MLS Sales Thrive in Hot Market, Afford Privacy

Real estate experts say “pocket listings”—private, off-market listings that don’t appear on the local Multiple Listing Service—are surging in the luxury market.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct.12-21, 2015; Nov. 5, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Unisplendour WD Deal Sets OC-China Benchmark

$3.8B Minority Stake Could Be Biggest Ever

Unisplendour Corp. Ltd.’s $3.8 billion minority stake in Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. is believed to be the largest single investment a China-based company has made in a local company but still trails some other blockbuster deals initiated by foreign investors.

Real Estate Deals

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

Milk Barn Ventures sold an office building in Orange to Ball Road Corp. for $3.1 million, or about $80 per square foot. The 39,329-square-foot building is at 1085-1095 N. Main St. The two-story property, Coronado Plaza, is 90% occupied, according to real estate brokerage firm Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. Allen Buchanan and David Newton of Lee & Associates represented the seller and buyer.

Boston Scientific Likes Innovation Institute Number

Device Maker’s Head Says It Likes Multiple Partners

The Innovation Institute LLC’s “multiple constituents” were a major factor in Boston Scientific Corp.’s move to be its inaugural medical technology partner, according to a company executive.

Kia Sets Up for Touchdown With New Sorento Ads

Spots Take Advantage Of Biggest Primetime View

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine is promoting its 2016 Sorento crossover in a new marketing campaign that’s airing during “NBC Sunday Night Football” broadcasts.

Inland Empire Market Gains in Q3

The Inland Empire industrial market continued to flourish in the third quarter with activity and tenant demand strong in almost every size range.

Rare Commercial Deal in Pricey Corona del Mar

2-Building Office-Retail Space Nabs $734 PSF

A pair of office and retail buildings on East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar has traded hands at what’s been described as a record price for the area.

Wang’s Way

Business Failure Led Vizio Co-founder to ‘Innovate Myself Out of This Situation’

William Wang owes as much to his failures as his successes.

Status Update on Irvine Company Retail

Fashion Island Sidles Up to South Coast Plaza; A+ for Irvine Spectrum

The Irvine Company’s efforts to ensure its retail properties remain relevant to today’s click-happy shoppers have gotten noticed—and not only by the locals who descend en masse to the Irvine Spectrum Center on weekends or the well-heeled tourists flocking to Fashion Island.

CalAtlantic Goes With Irvine Over Westlake Village

REAL ESTATE: Expects to set up similar corporate hub on East Coast

Irvine has gotten the nod over Westlake Village in the merger of Standard Pacific Corp. and Ryland Group Inc.

Emulex Campus Next in Line for Creative Office Makeover

REAL ESTATE: Upgrade, possible addition to 3-building campus

The new owner of Emulex Corp.’s headquarters in Costa Mesa is planning a creative-office redevelopment of the existing three-building campus, with additional ground-up development on excess land at the property a possibility.


Consolidation among insurance brokerages continues at a pace that had a recent Deloitte report identifying “serial acquisitions” as the “core driver of brokerage growth.” The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked Orange County brokerage executives to share their thoughts about the consolidation trend. They discuss some key factors that are contributing to the mergers and acquisitions activity, such as low interest rates and increasingly complex regulations, as well as risks that come with the changes. Here are edited excerpts of their responses.

Insurance Brokers Continue Revenue Gains for 5th Year

Biggest Firms Combine For $570M, Up 13%

Orange County’s insurance brokers grew for the fifth straight year, notching a 13% increase in combined revenue last year.

WD Stake Pushes OC-China Ties to New Level

TECHNOLOGY: $3.8B deal catches Wall Street by surprise

China continued to make waves in Orange County last week with a $3.8 billion deal that will give Unisplendour Corp. Ltd. a 15% stake in Irvine-based Western Digital Corp.

Innovation Institute Adds Device Maker to Roster

HEALTHCARE: Collaboration to include Boston Scientific

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute LLC has landed another collaborator in its quest to foster the development of medical products and services intended to reduce costs and promote quality of care.

Sunstone Gets $26.5M for Purchasing Portal

An affiliate of Aliso Viejo-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. got $26.5 million on the sale of the hotel REIT’s online purchasing portal for hospitality products and services to Avendra LLC in Rockville, Md.

Frost’s Full House

Campus Approach, 24 Startups in San Juan Capistrano

Defining Frost Data Capital isn’t easy, says Stuart Frost, a serial entrepreneur who founded the San Juan Capistrano-based company to invest in startups focused on “big data.”

Simply Simon

‘Real Success Is Achieving What Others Believe to Be Impossible’

Ronald Simon started small.