OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Econolite Sees Green With Stoplights Connected to Cars

ENGINEERING: Says AI cars to speed commute

The next time you’re sitting in traffic waiting for the light to turn green, think of Econolite.

Visions for a Multi-Mixed-Use Project

ARCHITECTURE: New hotel, food hall, shark tank

“There’s nothing like this in Orange County,” said Tom Bergerson.

Chapman School of Engineering Debuts

5 Years in Making; Focus On Computing, High Pay

Five years in the works, Chapman University’s new engineering school is ready for its close-up.

New No. 1 Among Local Architects in Strong Year

17 Firms See Double Digit Growth; List Tops 8% Up

A strong year for architecture firms may or may not presage more development and construction in the not-too-distant future, but it definitely altered the upper echelons of the Business Journal’s list of top local shops ranked according to OC office billings for 12 months ended June 30.

Two Public Engineering Firms: Triple-Digit Growth

Big Firms Hit High Notes; Salas O’Brien Up 311%

Engineering firms with operations in OC posted 13% growth to $1.2 billion in local annual billings—and only about a third of that expansion came from the perennial big three.

OC LEADER BOARD

In my most recent OC Leader Board article, I showed that year-to-year changes in job growth had declined rather steadily from 1.91% growth in January of this year to 1.49% in July. Last Friday, Sept. 6, it was reported that job growth slid to 1.39%. This drop-in job growth continues a trend that will push job growth ominously close to 1%, as shown in Chart 1.

Cloudvirga’s HQ Move Will Lead to More Jobs

New CEO Says 50 Hires Likely

Dan Sogorka, the new chief executive of Cloudvirga Inc., said the fast-growing mortgage software company will probably add 50 more Orange County employees over the next 12 months.

Vizio Aims to Improve Cinematic Experience

TV’s ‘Filmmaker Mode’ Has Scorsese’s Backing

Irvine-based smart TV maker Vizio Inc. is joining an industry move to make sure you can watch movies and TV shows at home the way the director intended.

WD Offers Gamers A Helping Hand

Products Avoid Fave Game ‘Sacrifice’

Memory products maker Western Digital Corp. (Nasdaq: WDC) has come to the rescue of gamers running out of storage space.

Prologis Buys 12-Acre Site in Anaheim

Fry’s Electronics Store In Line for Reworking

With empty land scarce for industrial developers in Southern California, San Francisco-based Prologis Inc. is taking a new approach: converting sites now used by retailers into warehouses.

KBS Assets Hitting Market

Six Properties Include LA Tower

Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors plans to sell the remaining office portfolio of KBS REIT II, one of the firm’s nontraded investment trusts.

Surf City Industrial Project Moves Ahead

Trio of Buildings Will Run 610K SF

Sares Regis Group has started ground-up construction on Huntington Gateway Business Park, the largest new industrial project currently on the books in the county.

Medtronic Exec Swap Felt Locally

Irvine Unit Chief Wall Gets Big Promotion

Medical device maker Medtronic’s hiring of a new chief executive will have ripple effects in Orange County.

KushCo Secures $50M For Expansion Plans

Chicago Lender Entering ‘Hyper-Growth Industry’

KushCo Holdings Inc., a supplier of cannabis packaging products, is starting to create believers on Wall Street.

Urovant CEO Cites Progress of New Drug

Katkin Still Unhappy With Stock Price

Irvine-based Urovant Sciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: UROV) is making a market comeback with some positive feedback regarding its new drug Vibegron, which it believes can treat overactive bladder symptoms, among other uses.

STARTUPS & INNOVATIONS

Irvine-based Huckleberry Labs Inc. is incorporating artificial intelligence into its baby tracker app, which helps parents maintain and improve their child’s sleep patterns.

‘Duffy Home’ Sets Newport Harbor Record

$35M Sale For Custom Mansion

A sprawling Newport Harbor estate that garnered its share of local and international attention in the past year sold late last month for $35 million.

Hot Summer

$126M in Luxe Newport Beach Sales Since June

August brought a flurry of high-end home sales in Newport Beach.

OCBJ Calendar

Sept. 10-18; Sept. 25, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Sales of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

The Lamplighter, an apartment complex in Huntington Beach, was purchased by an affiliate of A&M Properties for $20 million, or $317,460 per unit.

Richer Poorer Sets New Course After Turmoil

APPAREL: First store, elevating basics, $100M goal

Apparel company Richer Poorer has a pair of matching goals—corporate stability and ambitious sales growth—after a roller-coaster ride over the past five years that included multiple company sales, a change in product focus, and a near brush with bankruptcy.

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Pacific Mercantile Gets New CEO

BANKING: Replacement has deep roots in OC

For three years, Tom Vertin made a long commute to his job at Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank.

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Tilly’s Enters Holiday Season on Stronger Footing

RETAIL: Retailer’s riding high after strong Q2

The key holiday selling season’s looking cheerier for retailer Tilly’s Inc.

Eitan Makes Deal For Infusion Pumps

DEVICES: Michigan firm handling maintenance in US

Eitan Group, a developer of infusion therapy medical devices and related technologies that set up its North American base in Aliso Viejo a few months ago, has inked a deal with a Michigan firm that promises to help get one of its core drug delivery products to hospitals and pharmacies in the U.S. and Canada faster and more reliably.

Angels In Action

Pujols Combat Human Trafficking

Where to begin? That’s one thing Deidre Pujols didn’t know when she first encountered human trafficking: how to help the tens of millions of people, often children, violated in terrifyingly intimate ways, daily and worldwide.

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Chapman Looks to Expand Irvine Science Campus

EDUCATION: Student count from 500 to 906

Chapman University is moving ahead with a sizeable expansion plan at the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus, the Orange-based school’s graduate health science campus in the Irvine Spectrum.

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Look North for OC’s Fastest-Growing City

ECONOMY: 22 cities see population drop

Orange County’s new hot spot is Brea, when looking at population growth in the Business Journal’s annual ranking of cities by population.

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Evolus Flagship Drug Grabs Botox Business

DRUGMAKERS: Allergan trade secrets disputed

The initial release of Evolus Inc.’s first product appears to have gotten the attention of doctors and patients looking for an alternative to Botox.

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OCBJ INSIDER

Adding Security

This week’s edition is bookended by a pair of notable charitable endeavors, a cover feature on Deidre Pujols and her family’s efforts to combat human trafficking, among other causes, and a Leader Board from Squar Milner’s Deborah Harrington on the rich tradition of the Boy Scouts in OC, much of it running along Jamboree Road.

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Top Price for Newport Heights Medical Campus

REAL ESTATE: 60K-SF complex fetches $840 PSF

A newly built medical office complex in Newport Beach has traded hands at one of the highest per square foot prices ever seen for a non-hotel property in Orange County.

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Edwards Gets OK For Low-Risk Work

HEALTHCARE: FDA recall on some valves

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., the most highly valued publicly traded company based in Orange County, in recent weeks reported good news—including a significant milestone—and some not-so-good news.

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Core Values, Good Things, $7.5M

Big Gifts Back Hometown Boy’s Local Youth Efforts

It’s hard not to be changed by Robert Santana.

Oakley Scores With NFL Partnership

SPORTS: Tinted visors; $200 glasses for fans

Oakley Inc. was able to do what New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown couldn’t this offseason: get the National Football League to revise its stringent rules on the types of helmet-related gear its players can wear.

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Driving Home Vet Support Message

Semper Fi Jeep Makes Rounds

You’re tooling around OC and you see this jeep.

OC Epilepsy Chapter Opens

NONPROFITS: 38,000 to help in county

A new player walked on the local nonprofit scene with late July’s debut of Epilepsy Foundation’s chapter in Orange.

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A Recall’s Stock Impact

Recall notices have caused huge shifts in other device makers’ stocks.

PacLife New No. 1 for Local Corporate Giving

Also Up: Edwards, Angels, Broadcom, Sunwest

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Foundation, affiliated with the largest private company headquartered in OC, Pacific Life Insurance Co. with $10.7 billion in annual revenue, is the biggest cash giver locally, at $4.7 million.