The Santa Monica-based Macerich Company this month announced an agreement to acquire 11 department store locations from Federated Department Stores, Inc. in key markets across the country, including the Robinsons-May location in Santa Monica Place. The acquisition is expected to close this July. Macerich is a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, management and development of regional malls throughout the United States, including Santa Monica Place; the company owns interests in 76 regional malls. Arthur Coppola, president and chief executive officer, said, “[T]he purchase of 11 redundant department store sites resulting from the Federated-May merger gives us a welcome opportunity to re-create these significant spaces in fresh, new ways that will inspire our customers.” www.macerich.com
Palisades MediaGroup of Santa Monica, a provider of integrated media services in the entertainment, business/consumer, direct response/direct marketing, political advertising and interactive arenas, has announced the appointment of Crystal Harris as Director of Interactive Creative Services. She will head the new creative group that will work in tandem with the firm’s interactive team, thereby coordinating the development of advertising content with advertising sales in the interactive market. Ms. Harris previously served as executive producer at the broadband network Heavy.com. Arthur Chan, Senior Vice-President of Palisades, praised “her incredible pedigree and her extensive expertise.”
National Planning Holdings, Inc. (NPH), a Santa Monica-based broker-dealer network, booked record revenue of more than $119.2 million in the first quarter of 2006, a 15.4 percent increase over the first quarter of 2005, and the network also achieved its first $3 billion quarter in total sales, according to the company. The NPH network consists of four independent broker-dealers which each serve a specific niche of the financial planning marketplace while sharing IT services, back office and compliance structure. The company also added 73 representatives in the first quarter of 2006, bringing its total number of affiliated financial professionals to an all-time high.
Activision, Inc. this month confirmed that the company is currently in development on three launch titles for both the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Wii (formerly Revolution) platforms. In fiscal 2007, the company reports that it will release ten games for next-generation platforms, including the Xbox 360 from Microsoft as well as Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii. Mike Griffith, President and CEO of Santa Monica’s Activision, said that its established brands and “multi-platform development strategy should continue to provide us with an advantage in the new console era.” www.activision.com
Genius Products, Inc., a producer and distributor of home entertainment products including DVDs and CDs, this month released the family film Hoodwinked, which followed its box office success and became a best-seller during its first week at retail on DVD. Genius is moving from San Diego to a stand-alone, 17,500-square-foot Santa Monica building on Broadway, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Equity Office Properties Trust, the owner of a sizable portion of Santa Monica’s office space, including the 12-building Santa Monica Business Park on Ocean Park Blvd., recently announced two major lease renewals in town. Activision, Inc. signed a 122,176-square-foot renewal on its corporate headquarters at 3100 Ocean Park Blvd. New World Entertainment, a Fox entertainment company, signed a 35,952-square-foot renewal on its space at 3340 Ocean Park Blvd. Equity Office, operating through its various subsidiaries and affiliates, is one of the nation’s largest publicly held office building owners and managers with a total office portfolio of 615 buildings in 16 states and the District of Columbia. www.equityoffice.com
Edmunds.com Inc., the online automotive information resource, announced that new vehicle sales for April are expected to be down six percent from March 2006 and, after adjusting for fewer selling days, down one percent from April 2005. The Santa Monica research and reporting firm said that auto sales for the “Big Six” are essentially flat compared with this time last year (the Big Six being Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan and Toyota). “Several smaller volume brands enjoyed great success [in April],” said Jesse Toprak, Executive Director of Industry Analysis for Edmunds. “We forecast double-digit percentage gains over April 2005 (adjusted for fewer selling days) by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Suzuki and Volkswagen.” www.Edmunds.com
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