Pasadena Now

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE:
Silver LEVEL MEMBER
Kaiser Permanente logo
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE:
Gold LEVEL MEMBER
Verizon
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE:
Silver LEVEL MEMBER
Optimum Seismic logo
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE:
Gold LEVEL MEMBER
Wellsfargo
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE:
Bronze LEVEL MEMBER
UCLA Health Logo
Subscribe to Pasadena Now feed Pasadena Now
Local Breaking News, Crime, Politics, Sports, Opinion, Real Estate, Business and more in Pasadena
Updated: 6 hours 56 min ago

Macy’s Hiring Seasonal Workers in Pasadena, Arcadia, Glendale

Mon, 2020-10-19 15:02

Macy’s is preparing for a holiday season hiring blitz, with a massive telephonic job fair being held Thursday to hire about 6,100 workers for the company’s 97 stores statewide, including outlets in Pasadena, Arcadia, and Glendale, representatives said.

The virtual hiring event will take place between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., according to Macy’s. Positions to be filled include jobs at stores, in fulfillment centers, and at call centers, the company said in a written statement.

“The quick and convenient process allows seasonal candidates to interview from wherever,” the statement said.

Employees are offered competitive pay, access to flexible scheduling, discounts, and opportunities to earn bonuses, according to the company.

Season applicants often receive an offer the same day they are interviewed, and many stay on with the company beyond the holiday season.

“Our colleagues help bring the magic of Macy’s to life during the busy holiday season, performing a number of functions that are critical to providing our customers the best experience when they shop in our store,” according to Macy’s employment website.

One of the available jobs represents a new position for the company.

“To support Macy’s convenient shopping experience, stores will also offer a new, versatile role focused on picking and packing contact-free curbside pickup and same-day delivery orders,”’ the statement said.

Those unavailable for the virtual job fair on Thursday can interview prior to the event, according to Macy’s.

Interested candidates can begin the process at macysjobs.com.

Langham Huntington in Pasadena Named to List of Top 50 Hotels in the World

Mon, 2020-10-19 11:52

The Langham Huntington in Pasadena has been named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Hotels in the World: 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards” list,  the hotel chain has announced.

The hotel was named 46th best hotel in the world, and third best in the Los Angeles area, according to The Langham Hotels & Resorts and Condé Nast.

“The honor of being recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler is one that never stops being exciting,” Langham Hospitality Group CEO Stefan Leser said in a written statement. “But in this year in which travel has been curtailed for many of us, the honor is even greater.”

Other Langham hotels receiving honors from the travel magazine this year include ones in Hong Kong, Boston, Sydney, Melbourne, London, New York City, Shanghai, and Chicago, according to the company.

“This list serves as a reminder of the power of travel to bring us all together and give us something worthwhile to celebrate,” Leser said. “We are so proud of all nine of our hotels that made the list, specifically our hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai who have made their first appearance on the list this year.”

The list was the result of nearly a half-million reader responses, Langham officials said.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the savvy and knowledgeable readers of Condé Nast Traveler,” said Langham Huntington Managing Director Paul Leclerc. “We are proud to be among the hotels that they consider the best of the best in our city and in the world.”

The Langham Hotels & Resorts operates 17 hotels on four continents.

Council’s Economic, Development, and Technology Committee to Consider Legacy Business Program

Mon, 2020-10-19 01:00

Longtime commercial enterprises that continue contributing to the community could soon be recognized as legacy businesses.

The Economic, Development, and Technology (EDTech) Committee will consider a business legacy recognition program at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The variety of businesses in a downtown or along primary commercial streets represent a significant part of what defines a city and creates a local character,” city Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart said in a staff report.

“As national retailers and online shopping continue to lure a larger portion of consumer spending, it is increasingly important to recognize elements of local commerce that help set our community apart from other cities,” the report states.

Long Beach and San Francisco have already started similar programs, according to Duyshart, who said honoring these businesses is particularly relevant as the negative economic impacts caused by the pandemic continue to threaten small businesses.

The program would create a process in which storefronts, restaurants, and other local companies that have existed for up to 50 years can be acknowledged and celebrated. Pasadena is home to a variety of businesses that have been contributing to the community’s culture for more than a half-century.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce has a similar program that recognizes businesses that have been members of the organization for long periods of time.

Among the businesses included in the EDTech Committee report are Pashgian Brothers, Fishbecks Patio Center, Mijares Mexican Restaurant, Anderson Business Technology, and Vroman’s Bookstore as examples of local businesses that have been around for more than 50 years.

In a letter to the community last month, Vroman’s Chairman Joel Sheldon said sales at the venerable Pasadena bookstore are down 40 percent from prior years, “A level which cannot sustain our business,” according to Sheldon.

According to its website, Vroman’s is the oldest and largest independent bookstore in Southern California.

“Presenting these businesses with a plaque and window decal to celebrate contributions to the community is a great way to honor them. Such a program can also provide the city with a structured mechanism to recognize and help promote these retailers and restaurants that are unique to Pasadena,” the staff report states.

The EDTech Committee will discuss criteria options for the business, including the minimum business age for eligible businesses, whether only storefront businesses should be eligible, and if changes to business name and ownership should be a factor.

Staff is prepared to craft a version of the program if the committee supports the project. The project would return to EDTech and, if it is approved, presented to the City Council.

Innovate Pasadena’s Connect Week Highlights Local Tech Community

Thu, 2020-10-15 16:41
Click on image to enlarge

Despite the ongoing pandemic, and in some cases as a result of it, innovation is alive and well in Pasadena, as the organization Innovate Pasadena intends to show during its annual Connect Week, which is being presented in an online format this year.

Connect Week takes place Monday through Sept. 24, although several events are scheduled to begin as early as Friday, before the formal start to the week-long celebration of technological innovation, organizers said.

The more than 30 tech-centered online events include activities such as app-building seminars and low temperature metal casting, along with a host of speakers and discussions covering a wide array of tech-related topics, from entrepreneurship and branding to climate change.

While the pandemic has slowed many aspects of society and the economy, new ideas continue to flourish in Pasadena, Innovate Pasadena President Beth Kuchar

“Innovation is not dead, that’s for sure. We do still see many innovations that are happening, new technologies that are emerging,” she said.

“I think one of the effects the pandemic has had is while, yes, it has spawned some new technologies that have been released out there, I think it’s also helped to accelerate technologies and innovations that were already under development,” Kuchar added.

From touch-free temperature scanning door security systems to ventilator machines to unique face masks, new inventions and innovations have continued to pour out of the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only is technology evolving in reaction to the pandemic, but so are people’s attitudes and habits toward it, according to Kuchar.

Looking at healthcare, for example, patients have long been leary of virtual doctor visits or diagnosis, she said.

“One of the things that this [pandemic] might accelerate is people being more trusting of some of those distance type interactions,” Kuchar said.

Working from home has made countless people familiar with video meeting software.

“And we’ve seen 3-D printing technologies come out in force to help some of our first responders and some of our hospitals respond to and deal with shortages of PPE,” Kuchar said.

Kuchar pointed to a mobile app recently developed by Innovate Pasadena staff on behalf the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce to help keep residents up-to-date on the offerings of local restaurants. The app can be downloaded at pasadena.belocalstrong.com.

The planned week of events “lives up to the name of Connect Week in that it’s helping to create these links between institutions and resources and people, Kuchar said.

“I understand people have a Zoom fatigue these days, but we’re hoping that we’ve got some pretty enticing topics to pull people back onto their Zoom accounts and attend,” she added.

Alex Maleki, who serves as managing director of the tech company incubator Idealab, said he has also seen how the challenges of today are fostering innovation.

“As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention,” he said. “I think as people have to figure out what to do and how to survive and innovate… we’re seeing a high level of innovation. And I think that will continue for some time,” he said.

“You’re seeing things around: curbside delivery and how retailers and restaurants and businesses have to find new ways to entice customers and provide value,” Maleki said. “So I think there’s a number of areas where again, just driven out of pure necessity, we’re going to see innovation.”

New tech startups continue to spout up even amid the pandemic,” he said. “We started one in the last month.”

“Obviously we’re dealing with all the changes and all the new scenarios out there, but we’re continuing to do our best to push our companies forward and help them in any way that they can, and ultimately help to make a big impact on the world.”

More information on Connect Week, including a full schedule of events, is available online at connectpasadena.com.

Makers of Covid-19 Testing Kits Leases Office Space in Pasadena Playhouse District for $8.1 Million

Thu, 2020-10-15 11:52

A medical group that is currently focusing on increasing the global supply of COVID-19 rapid test kits has recently leased office space in Pasadena Towers, located in the heart of the city’s Playhouse District.

Innova Medical Group, Inc., which specializes in the production and distribution of innovative medical devices, including the best-in-class SARS-COV-2 rapid antigen testing kit that is being sought out by many countries, struck a long-term lease on the 15,024 square foot office space at 800 E. Colorado Blvd. for $8.1 million.

Innova describes its business strategy as “an open platform to enable top talents and most promising innovative medical technologies to maximize their value through rapid, most cost-effective, and efficient penetration of the global market.”

The group also produces cancer diagnostic devices, cerebra-cardiovascular risk assessment devices, and stem cell technologies — from stem cell separation and isolation devices to stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

The growth of Innova Medical Group Inc., a subsidiary of Pasaca Capital Inc., has pushed the group to search for space that would be quickly available in the San Gabriel Valley.

“The Pasadena Towers location offered great accessibility and security in a class A property with space that could be delivered quickly,” said Kathi Constanzo of Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, who represented the group in the property transaction.

“Working with Innova leadership, we carefully evaluated a number of alternative locations and this property met the client’s requirements to meet the needs of their employees and business growth objectives,” Constanzo said.

The property is owned by CBRE Global Investors. Innova Medical will occupy three suites and, with their tenancy, bring the property up to 100 percent occupancy.

For more on Innova Medical Group, visit https://innovamedgroup.com.

For information on property acquisitions, contact Constanzo at kathi.constanzo@cbcnrt.com or call (626) 898-2308.

Pasadena Retailers Hoping for Strong Holiday Season to Offset Pandemic Losses

Tue, 2020-10-13 13:03

The holiday season is always an important time for retailers, but now that the coronavirus pandemic has claimed some businesses and left others teetering on the edge of closure, holiday shopping this year could be more critical than ever.

For many businesses, the next few months could determine their futures, Stuart Lauchlan wrote in diginomica.

“Retail’s taken a pounding from COVID and retailers across the board desperately need the Holiday season of 2020 to be a success, otherwise many of them won’t need to be thinking about planning for the same period in 2021,” he wrote. “As an industry, retail’s been through a lot, pre and post the onset of the pandemic, but the real stress test is about to begin.”

Jade’s Fashions boutique co-owner Maryanne Reyes said she was working on sales and special deals to tempt customers. The decrease in in-store traffic during the pandemic has taken a significant toll on the business, she said.

“For this season, I think it’s going to be difficult, as well, because now we don’t have the events that we had before,” Reyes said.

“As a small business, as a boutique, it’s really difficult because we’re competing against Macy’s and the largest stores and online,” she said.

Reyes said she has remained hopeful, however.

“I’m optimistic and looking towards the future that it will be OK, but it is at the point where it’s a real struggle because we just don’t have the walk-in clients at this point,” Reyes said.

Jennie Walker, co-owner and creative director at Walker/Viden Luxury Consignment in Pasadena, said much of her sales have shifted online, as the pandemic has also reduced foot-traffic in her store.

She, too, said she hoped the upcoming holiday shopping season would help give the business a lift.

The two-and-a-half months between now and Christmas “absolutely is going to impact us,” she said.

“The fourth quarter is always the biggest quarter in retail,” Walker said.

“It’s going to take more than the fourth quarter to make or break us,” she said. “We’re determined to see this through and get through the other side of COVID.”

Valia’s Jewelers owner Michael Azabache said business has been brisk since he was able to reopen after being ordered closed at the start of the pandemic.

“We get a lot of fewer people coming in, but most of the people that come in are very serious. They come for a purpose, either to purchase something or to have something repaired,” Azabache said.

“We’re very fortunate in that case. We have a very good clientele,” he said.

Like many other retailers, he also wondered what was in store for the holiday shopping season.

“That’s our biggest time of the year,” he said. I think we’re going to be fine. I’m just hoping that we don’t go through another shutdown right before the holiday,” Azabache said. “So we’ll see.”

Gary Trudell, the owner of Custom Comfort Mattress, which recently opened a new location in Pasadena, said he was also optimistic about the months to come. 

“Be it furniture or carpet or appliances, and certainly for mattresses, the business has been quite strong for a lot of us,” he said. “So I think it will stay continually strong.”

Even so, Trudell said business will undoubtedly be affected by the holiday season.

“A lot of times we will sell more beds, but it’s more of the guest bedrooms, the daybeds, and the sofa sleepers for a guest coming to town,” he said. “So I think that is going to depend on the travel.”

Pasadena-based Tetra Tech Wins $24 Million USAID Water Resources Management Contract

Tue, 2020-10-13 10:34

Pasadena-based Tetra Tech, Inc., a leading provider of high-end consulting and engineering services, announced a five-year, $24 million single-award contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen regional capacity to manage shared water resources and mitigate environmental risks in Central Asia.

The USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity contract is intended to promote economic stability and healthy ecosystems through the implementation of sustainable management practices for two major Central Asian river basins.

“Tetra Tech has supported USAID to promote water resilience in developing countries for 40 years,” said company Chairman and CEO Dan Batrack. “We are pleased to continue our Leading with Science® approach and leverage our data analytics expertise to improve the sustainability of regional water, energy, and food systems in Central Asia.”

Headquartered in Pasadena, with 20,000 associates in 450 offices worldwide, Tetra Tech, according to a report posted on businesswire.com, will provide technical assistance to “resolve complex transboundary water issues by developing evidence-based water resources technology solutions that optimize regional water, energy, and agricultural systems across target areas.”

Analysts and consultants with Tetra Tech will design and implement a robust decision-support process that employs integrated water-energy-food systems modeling and advanced data analytics to improve understanding of the risks, vulnerabilities, costs, and benefits associated with different development pathways in these river basins, the report states. These analytical results will form the basis for agreement on specific actions to improve regional water cooperation.