COLD SHOULDER: Toymaker Hasbro Inc. has announced a partnership with Burbank’s Walt Disney Co. to make Disney princess and “Frozen” dolls starting in 2016, leaving El Segundo toy giant Mattel Inc. out in the cold. Mattel currently holds the rights to develop dolls based on characters from the blockbuster animated film and Disney princess stories, but that will end when they are transferred to Hasbro. It’s a blow to Mattel, which has seen strong sales of “Frozen” dolls offset the weak performance of Barbie dolls in recent quarters. Mattel will stop manufacturing the dolls next year.
HOTEL HIKE: Large nonunion hotels in Los Angeles will soon be required to pay at least $15.37 an hour to their workers – one of the highest minimum-wage requirements in the country. Despite objections from business groups, the Los Angeles City Council voted 12-3 to raise the wage from the current $9 an hour. Mayor Eric Garcetti has already said he will sign the measure. The increase begins in July for hotels with more than 300 rooms and extends a year later to hotels with more than 150 rooms. The California Hotel & Lodging Association estimates that 41 hotels in the city will be affected. Before the votes were cast, local business and hotel industry groups had warned that they would likely file suit to overturn the ordinance if passed.
SIDEWAYS: The 438-unit, 1,500-foot-long One Santa Fe apartment and retail development in downtown L.A.’s Arts District has begun welcoming its first residents. The two-building project, designed by Michael Maltzan, earned the nickname “Empire State Building on its side” because, if stacked vertically, it would rise higher than the New York landmark. The project was financed by Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds of Century City and Goldman Sachs, which donated 5,000 square feet of retail space for use by five local arts non-profits, including One Santa Fe’s neighbor, Southern California Institute of Architecture. The first 124 apartments are open, with the rest scheduled to be ready before year’s end.
BROTHERS: UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation’s largest health insurance company, is suing Michael and Julian Omidi, the brothers who ran the L.A. weight-loss surgery centers behind the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign. UnitedHealth alleges the Omidis defrauded the insurer of more than $40 million by billing for surgeries that never happened or weren’t necessary. The companies advertised for years on Southern California freeway billboards, radio and television with the slogan, “Let your new life begin, call 1-800-GET-THIN.”
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