OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Blind Brothers Start Clothing Company

Brothers Bryan and Bradford Manning were each 7 years old when they were separately diagnosed with a disease that would eventually make them blind.

Synoptek’s Technology Offerings in Overdrive

SERVICES: $100M now; CEO Britt seeks more

Synoptek LLC looks poised to become Orange County’s next tech company with sales topping $100 million this year.

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NB Bayview Marriott Sells for $78M

HOSPITALITY: Local buyer Clearview plans upgrades

The Newport Beach Marriott Bayview has been sold to a local investor, in the priciest hotel transaction seen in Orange County in nearly a year.

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OCBJ Insider

Burritos, Not Botox

Bill Ackman’s latest investment in an OC company is going much more smoothly than its predecessor.

Irvine Creative Office Development Proposed

REAL ESTATE: Gemdale’s first local project; 272,000 SF

A Pasadena-based real estate investor with financial backing from China has proposed building a pair of creative offices along Barranca Parkway in Irvine, across the street from the Tustin Legacy development.

E-Bike Industry Gets Dedicated Publication

MEDIA: 5th offering under motorcycle unit

The smell of tacos drifted in the air as a handful of people cruised around the parking lot at media company Bonnier Motorcycle Group’s Spectrum-area headquarters to test out various electric bikes.

Nékter Adds Catering, Grocery Sites

FOOD: Juice bar near $100M sales, 150 units

People may not always want to eat their fruits and veggies, but they’re increasingly drinking them.

William Lyon Homes Launches Financial Services Arm

HOMEBUILDING: Former Stearns CEO in charge

Newport Beach-based William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) has launched a title insurance, settlement and mortgage agency in part through the acquisition of Irvine’s South Pacific Financial Corp.

$97M Surf City Sale Includes Office Tower, Retail

REAL ESTATE: Ocean Plaza first in OC for Onni

Huntington Beach’s Ocean Plaza office and retail center has traded hands for $97.3 million, the second-largest commercial property sale of the year in Surf City.

Philanthropy

The inaugural Siksha Foundation Celebration Dinner held on May 15 raised more than $600,000 for the Siksha Foundation.

Bruxie Bids to Restart Growth

RESTAURANTS: Looking to double in size

A danger of doing well at one thing is doing well at one thing.

Power Foods

Chipotle, Gains, Newbies Spark Restaurant Surge

Orange County-based restaurants saw its best-ever year for cumulative sales in 2018, thanks to improving same-store sales, expansions, and one very high-profile relocation here.

$1B-Valued Axonics On Growth Push

MEDICAL DEVICES: New lease doubles OC space

Medical device maker Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc., Orange County’s latest public company to reach $1 billion in valuation, isn’t just growing by stock price.

Veritone Gets New Radio Station User

AI Keeps Track Of Ad Spending

Costa Mesa-based Veritone Inc. says that Cox Media Group isn’t the only big-name broadcaster interested in the company’s artificial intelligence applications.

Epson’s OC Move Comes With Growth Plans

Will Be No. 2 Employer in Los Alamitos

Printer and scanner manufacturer Epson America Inc. says it’s making room for a hefty increase in growth and employee numbers when the company’s headquarters moves from Long Beach to Orange County a year from now.

No Junk, No Jerks Allowed at Swappa

Gently-Used Tech Marketplace Opens

Swappa LLC, a Kansas City-based online marketplace for “gently used technology,” recently set up one of its first local shops outside its hometown, boasting a “no junk policy” to protect consumers.

SchoolsFirst Gets OK for New Tustin HQ

Land Sale Complete; Will Hold 750 Workers

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California, has been given the go-ahead to build a new corporate headquarters facility in Tustin, and expects a big hiring push as a result.

Bixby Land Buys Outside State

857,000 SF of Industrial In Georgia, Texas

Newport Beach-based Bixby Land Co. is bulking up its industrial portfolio outside of California.

KBS Plans Second Singapore Listing

3.4M SF of US Offices Back REIT

Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Partners expects to place an 11-property collection of offices into a new real estate investment trust whose shares will be traded on Singapore’s stock exchange.

Prentiss Foundation Funds $1 Million for Psych Study

UCI 5-Year Research To Examine Lithium Use

The Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Foundation has donated $1 million to University of California-Irvine for a specific salivary lithium study in psychiatry.

UCI Child Neurologist Given $15 Million Grant

Studying How Parental Signals Affect Infants Later in Life

The National Institute of Mental Health has granted a $15 million Silvio Conte Center Grant to Dr. Tallie Baram, a professor of pediatrics, neurology, and anatomy and neurobiology at the University of California-Irvine, for her research in early childhood psychiatric screening.

KushCo Seeks Nasdaq Listing

Reports Q3 Revenue More Than Triples to $41.5 Million

Cannabis paraphernalia supplier KushCo Holdings Inc., which supplies the containers, hardware, mouthpieces, bottles and cartridges used by companies in the marijuana business, is aiming to be on the big exchanges.

Game’s Not Over for Blizzard-Uniqlo Partnership

WoW, Overwatch Shirts for Sale

Irvine-based video game giant Blizzard Entertainment Inc. is heading back to the retail aisles with a familiar partner.

Water and Loan Work for Blue C

Long Beach Site Tapped for Smartwater

Blue C Advertising in Costa Mesa has been keeping busy in varied ways—helping more than 550 people stay hydrated, while also refreshing the look of a 20-year-old software company.

OC United Way Taps Cloud For Corporate Efforts

Links Employees To Volunteer Opportunities

Orange County United Way is tapping into the cloud to help corporations promote philanthropic efforts among its employees.

OCTANe Accelerates Its Own Startup

OES Connects Companies With Capital Sources

Aliso Viejo-based OCTANe, best known for its role as a business accelerator for area technology and life science companies, has laid the groundwork for a new company—OCTANe Enterprise Solutions.

Beta Bionics Raises $63M

Series B Brings Total Funds to $137M

Beta Bionics, a medical device startup with substantial operations in Irvine that is looking to develop the world’s first autonomous bionic pancreas for those suffering from diabetes-related issues, closed its $63 million Series B round of funding.

OCBJ Calendar

July 22-31 2019; Aug. 15, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Sales of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

PKPG Investment Holdings LLC purchased a warehouse building from Scott I. Ravenhorst Commercial Property Trust for $2.6 million, or $214 per square foot.

OC LEADER BOARD

How We Built Pick Up Stix

Editor’s Note: 64-year-old Charlie Zhang and his wife, Ling, founded Pick Up Stix, which grew to a chain of 85 restaurants by the time it was sold in 2001 to TGI Friday’s.

Stearns Bankruptcy Kicks Off Brawl

FINANCE: PIMCO, Blackstone at odds

Stearns Holdings LLC, a one-time Santa Ana-based mortgage powerhouse, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

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WeWork Goes Big In Irvine Spectrum

COWORKING: Full-office lease at new development

WeWork Companies Inc. has struck a deal to lease all of a just-built office in the Irvine Spectrum, and will operate one of the largest coworking spots in the U.S. at the location.

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Setting Sail

SPORTS: Moshayedi, Madden, Bissell and other OC execs see parallels in sailing, business endeavors

More than a dozen sailing teams from local yacht clubs and several prominent Orange County-based business executives are heading to Hawaii this week.

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Christ Cathedral Wraps Up Renovations

DESIGN: From Crystal Cathedral to Catholic home

Orange County’s most iconic house of worship has designs on becoming one of the most famous structures in the Roman Catholic Church.

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Office Is Where the Design Is

How WATG Draws Its Own Space

Dentists get cavities, developers buy houses; how do designers execute on their own plans—and spend their money?

A Leap Got Them Second Looks

Designing Couple on Restaurants, $23M Westin Long Beach Redraw

Conventional wisdom says “look before you leap.”

TI Firms’ Gangbuster Growth Curve Continues

$1.3B Billings; 11% Sales Jump; 26M SF of Work

There appears to be no shortage of work for Orange County’s tenant-improvement contractors. The local market heated up last year after a slower 2017.

OCBJ INSIDER

Blessings, and Jams

Glenn Stearns is an optimist—a fact made clear during an interview with our Peter J. Brennan—coming after his namesake mortgage lender filed for bankruptcy, an event that involves another notable OC finance firm, PIMCO (see his front-page story).

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