Music Swap: F.Y.E., a music store chain owned by Trans World, opened a store at a former Tower Record's site at 22135 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance. Tower Records stores closed nationwide in December in a liquidation. F.Y.E did some minor refurbishments on the 12,000-square-foot Tower store but for the most part it remains the same. Trans World has F.Y.E. stores in more than a dozen locations around Southern California, including Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and Montebello Town Center. Trans World opened F.Y.E. stores vacated by Tower in Philadelphia and Nashville as well.
Office Purchase: Jamison Services Inc. acquired a two-building, 81,770-square-foot office complex at 1970 and 1990 E. Grand Ave. in El Segundo for $13.4 million. Arden Realty was the seller. The office building near LAX was 99 percent leased at the time of sale. L.A. based Jamison Services is taking title as Grand Avenue Plaza Properties LLC.
Shoe Struggles: Sketchers USA Inc. denied all claims in a suit filed by Asics alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution and false advertising. Asics alleged that several Sketchers shoes had a stripe design similar to the Asics stripe design. A press release issued by Manhattan Beach-based Sketchers said the company was prepared to defend the shoes in court.
Groundbreaking: The second phase of construction on Palmdale Gateway, a 522,760-square-foot retail space, began this month and will include a 107,000-square foot Home Depot. Construction is expected to be finished in spring 2008. The first phase of the project, which includes a Super Target, PetSmart, and Staples, will be completed by Oct. 14.
Buildings Sold: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Group bought two office buildings in the Opus Corporate Center in Valencia for $48 million from Opus West Corp., which developed the site in 2005. Located at 25152 and 25124 Springfield Court, each building is more than 77,000 square feet. Opus Corporate Center is part of the 14 million-square-foot Valencia Gateway campus. CB Richard Ellis represented both parties in the transaction.
Energy Drink: Fire Mountain Beverage Co., which bottles, develops, markets, sells, and distributes spring water, announced that it will launch its new energy drink in the second quarter of 2007. The drink will be distributed through in-house networks. The vitamin-B rich drink will be bottled in small cans.
Tasty Treats: Gelato Bar opened at 4342 & #733; Tujunga Ave. in Studio City. The small establishment owned by Gail Silverton serves 24 daily flavor selections of gelato and sorbetto including Noccioloa, Straciatella, Pistachio and English Toffee. The product is made by Allessandro Fontana, a gelato maker from Venice, in small batches daily. The new shop also includes a coffee bar that sells locally roasted coffees by Coffee Roaster in Sherman Oaks and baked goods from local suppliers such as Leda's Bake Shop, Susina Bakery & Caf & #233; and La Brea Bakery.
Travel Partners: CCRA International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Agoura Hills-based Reservation Center Inc., announced growth in its hotel partnership enrollment for 2007. CCRA, which matches travel content suppliers with travel agents, added 2,600 new hotels to the CCRA International Hotel Program. The company now connects 15,700 participating hotels to 19,000 CCRA travel agency members.
Facilities Expansion: Pasadena-based Arrowhead Research Corp., a publicly traded nanotechnology company specializing in life sciences, electronics, and energy, expanded its operations by opening a 7,000-square-foot office and lab in Silicon Valley. The Menlo Park facility will be occupied by Unidym Inc., Arrowhead's wholly owned subsidiary specializing in carbon nanotube electronics.
Purchase Agreement: Tetra Tech Inc., a consulting engineering and technical services company, is one of five contractors to receive a Blank Purchase Agreement from the U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Civil Engineering, Environmental Management Division and the Department of Homeland Security over the next five years. The BPA will provide up to $80 million of environmental services to the organizations, including environmental planning, documentation, compliance and occupational training, as well as waste management and software. Tetra Tech has been working with the Coast Guard for 13 consecutive years, but this is the first BPA with USGA Headquarters.
Bank Shot: Q's Billiard Club is reopening after an extensive remodeling project. The bar now includes 10 new pool tables, an expanded menu and technology upgrades, including multiple 50-inch flat screen Hi-Def TVs playing sports. The bar is located in a second-floor walk-up of Old Town Pasadena and has been in the same location since 1992. Q's speciality among its 700 menu items is American comfort food.
New Ownership: Henry Keck, the founder of Pasadena-based product development firm, Keck-Craig Inc., retired at the end of last year. Steve Kimmell has joined the firm as vice president of industrial design by taking over Keck's share of the business. Kimmell formerly worked as vice president of special products at Mattel Inc. in Los Angeles. Keck-Craig, now run by president Warren Haussler, has annual revenues of $1 million and is staffed with 10 people.
Big Box: Home Depot signed a 20-year ground lease at the Moorpark Freeway Corporate Center for a 13-acre site at Patriot Drive and Miller Parkway in Moorpark. The deal is valued at $32 million. Construction on a 145,000-square-foot building will begin in April and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
South Los Angeles
Industrial Complex: The 48th Place Improvement Project will bring a new industrial complex to South Los Angeles. It is the result of a collaborative effort with Councilwoman Jan Perry's office, the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency, the Bureau of Street Services and private developer Dynamic Builders. Street and sidewalks will be resurfaced and 48th place between Long Beach Avenue and Alameda Street will be reconstructed.
Office Portfolio: RREEF acquired the Inland Empire Office Portfolio composed of two office properties totaling 273,769 square feet on behalf of an institutional client. One Lake Shore Center is made up of two office buildings at the entrance to Ontario International Airport totaling more than 175,000 square feet. The other property, Ontario Corporate Center, is a five-story building totaling more than 95,000 square feet. It is located at the Vineyard Avenue exit off the San Bernardino (10) Freeway. The Garrett Group was the seller.
Financial Merger: CVB Financial Corp., the Ontario-based holding company for Citizens Business Bank with $6.1 billion in assets, announced a merger with Manhattan Beach-based First Coast Bank with $238 million in assets. First Coastal will merge into CVB Financial Corp. The deal will be completed in the second quarter of 2007.
Branding Agreement: Phoenix Motorcars Inc., a manufacturer of zero-emission, freeway speed vehicles hired Claremont-based Wilkin Guge Marketing as its agency of record. Wilkin Guge will develop and implement a branding initiative for Phoenix Motorcars and a fully integrated marketing communications campaign to support the company's customer relations management, media and marketing efforts.
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