Fire Lease: The Long Beach Fire Department leased a new headquarters at the Abbey Building on city-owned property at the Long Beach Airport, 320 Lakewood Blvd. Fire department, police department, and general funds will be used to pay $60 million for the 30-year lease. At the end of the lease the city will own the 114,553-square-foot building that includes hangars, warehouse, and office space. About 4,000 square feet of the space will be subleased to other agencies for about $53,760 per year. Previously, the administrative offices of the fire department were at the Port of Long Beach headquarters at 925 Harbor Plaza.
Hotel Restaurant: The Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, owned by Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., signed a licensing deal with Suzanne Tracht for the opening of a restaurant called Tracht's. Tracht's will open at the hotel in mid-June. It is inspired by the success of the chef's Los Angeles restaurant, Jar, at 8225 Beverly Blvd. The menu will include steaks, roasts, and braised foods, similar to the Jar menu. The Renaissance Long Beach is nearing completion of its $6.6 million renovation of its property and is finalizing design touches to the restaurant. The CZH Hospitality Group LLC introduced the opportunity to Sunstone Hotel Investors.
New Service: Doctors Bank, a division of Beach Business Bank, is offering a cash management technology program for physicians and dentists in conjunction with Greenbook Financial Service. The technology is called Image Deposit and it allows staff to scan and send checks for electronic deposit without visiting the bank in person.
West Los Angeles
Meeting of the Minds: La Agencia de Orci & Asociados, an independent Hispanic-owned marketing agency, has formed an alliance with Ontario-based Wilkin Guge Marketing for cross-cultural communications. Through the partnership, Wilkin Guge Marketing will enhance La Agencia services with brand development and research. La Agencia will deliver cross-cultural and language services to Wilkin Guge Marketing so they can better reach the Hispanic community.
Medical Acquisition: Culver City-based Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., which manages the medical care of HMO enrollees in Southern California, acquired ProMed Healthcare, which is comprised of two Independent Physician Associations: Pomona Valley Medical Group and Upland Medical Group. ProMed generated $90 million in revenues and had an operating income of $9 million in its fiscal year ending September 2006. It was sold to Prospect Medical Holdings for $48 million, including $41 million in cash and $7 million in shares of Prospect common stock. Together, Prospect Medical and ProMed Healthcare will cover about 250,000 people, and will be ranked as the sixth-largest IPA in California.
Regional Opening: Encino-based California United Bank, established two years ago, recently opened its third location. The Santa Clarita Valley Regional Branch Office at 25350 Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia will serve Santa Clarita and nearby areas. Four managers will comprise the initial staff. The other locations are at 15821 Ventura Blvd. in Encino and 1640 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in West Los Angeles.
United Flights: United Airlines has begun daily service between Palmdale and San Francisco. The airline has made a commitment to stay at the L.A./Palmdale Regional Airport for 18 months. Funds from Los Angeles World Airports, L.A. County, the City of Palmdale, and a federal grant will guarantee monthly revenue for United in case it falls short of projections. LAWA is providing $900,000 for the service, which came through a Small Community Air Service Development Grant. United offered flights out of Palmdale in 1998 but later terminated service. Increased funding, congestion on freeways linking the Antelope Valley to larger airports, and changing economics in the area are expected to contribute to greater success this time.
Complex Sold: The residential portion of a 292-unit North Hollywood apartment complex was purchased by real estate investment firm Redwood Partners Inc., for about $92 million. The Lofts at NoHo Commons was sold by J.H. Snyder Co. The company never put the residential portion of the property which opened last year on the market, but was convinced to sell after it was approached by Redwood. J.H. Snyder will use the profits to proceed immediately with the third phase of the property, which includes 60,000 square feet of commercial space. The anchor store, Hows Market, already opened its doors. Still to come are Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, California Pizza Kitchen's CPK ASAP, Cold Stone Creamery, T-Mobile, Daphne's Greek Caf & #233;, Wells Fargo Bank, Booster Juice and Panda Express.
Sports Store Opened: A Sports Authority store opened at the Promenade at Westlake. It will carry gear and apparel for football, softball, basketball, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, running, cycling, skating, golf, and tennis. Sports Authority operates 424 stores in 45 states.
Retirement Home Sold: The Burbank Gardens Retirement Hotel was sold to Newport Beach-based VinCal Senior Housing LLC for $12.5 million. The facility is undergoing renovation that will make it an upscale senior living community. The $7 million to $8 million project will update the eight-story building and create an Alzheimer's treatment area on the top floor. The project is expected to open in a year and will include 104 residential units. The Retirement Hotel originally opened in the mid-1980s.
Venture Capital: Burbank-based Steamboat Ventures, a venture capital firm with close ties to the Walt Disney Co., invested $5 million of Series B funding in Shanghai-based CTS Media, a provider of in-stream video advertising technology. Steamboat Ventures invests in digital media, consumer, and technology companies in the United States and Asia, especially those that have strategic and financial interest to the Walt Disney Co. At the time of the investment, Benjamin Xu, the managing director of Steamboat Ventures, joined the board of CTS. In total, CTS Media raised $8 million in this round of funding. Steamboat Ventures was the top investor.
Fingerprinting System: Cogent Systems, a biometric identification solutions company, was awarded a contract from the Hong Kong Police Force to provide fingerprint services for the officers. Cogent's Computer Assisted Palmprint and Fingerprint Identification System will electronically convert the Hong Kong Police Force's existing fingerprint and hard copy records onto the computer.
Lease Signed: Premier Business Centers, an Irvine-based executive suite operation company, signed a 21,198-square-foot lease at the Wells Fargo Center in Bunker Hill for $2.1 million. It is the company's second location in downtown Los Angeles. The center consists of 79 offices with amenities including administrative/secretarial service, high-speed internet, furniture, information technology consulting, telephone service, and conference rooms.
New Firm: Springbanc Group, a wealth management company, recently opened at 550 S. Hope St. downtown. The company consists of three entities that include Springbanc Advisors, offering multifamily office services; Springbanc Philanthropy Advisors, delivering back office and strategic planning services; and Springbanc Capital for private equity. The founding partners are David Abrams, Jonathan Jaffrey, and Kashif Sheikh.
Legal Divergence: Tony Strauss and Curt Uritz, the senior partners of the Strauss Uritz law firm for eight years in downtown Ventura, have separated their practices. Tony Strauss is creating the Strauss Law Group which will focus on employment law, including counsel and litigation on the emerging wage and hour issues. Several lawyers from Strauss Uritz will follow him along with new lawyers and staff members. Uritz has formed his own firm as well and will continue to share space with his former law partner.
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