Los Angeles Business Journal

Hiring for Christmas Already?

It’s still September, but already the holiday season is starting to rev up for retailers. JC Penney said it is planning to hire 1,500 seasonal employees in Los Angeles this year, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. Customer service positions as well as cashiers are among the positions that will be filled. There’s no word on whether the goal is to actually make sales clerks available to help.

Restaurants Opening at the Village

L.A.’s newest mall, the Village at Westfield Topanga, opened recently but all 17 restaurants were delayed while work continued. However, the first restaurants started opening Monday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. About 100 people lined up early to be among the first to eat at the new Panera Bread and for the chance to win free coffee for a month.

New Bel Air Mansions to Sell for $115 Million

A group of developers is offering to build trophy houses, rivaling the size of the White House, near the Hotel Bel Air at a starting price of $115 million, Bloomberg reports. The first lot in Park Bel Air is expected to go on the market Tuesday. Buyers may choose to buy a lot for $45 million and develop it themselves. Construction is expected to begin on the first estate in February.

Major Buy

Comcast NBCUniversal, the parent company of Universal Studios Hollywood, has paid $1.5-billion to buy a 51 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, the Los Angeles Times reports. The park has a license from NBCUniversal to operate rides such as Jurassic Park, the Ride and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Company officials say they plan to introduce attractions to the park over the next five years.

First Model X SUVs Here

Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc. is scheduled to deliver the first of its Model X vehicles Tuesday night, Bloomberg reports. The electric sport utility van allows customers to choose whether to have six or seven seats, comes with “falcon wing” doors that open vertically and has a battery range of about 250 miles. Starting price: $75,000

Nothing Like Deep-fried Guacamole

The Los Angeles County Fair may have been four days shorter this year, but attendance was up 6 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports. Fair organizers attributed the higher numbers to a stronger economy, better weather and, of course, the introduction of deep-fried guacamole offered by Charles Boghosian, also known as Chicken Charlie, one of the fair’s most popular food vendors.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 69 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,071. The S&P 500 was up 13 points to 1,895. The Nasdaq was up 34 points to 4,578. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 213.

New Credit Card Standard

Beginning Thursday, swiping your credit in the checkout line will start to become a thing of the past, the Los Angeles Times reports. New cards, with chips embedded, are designed to weed out criminals. However, the credit card industry is also shifting responsibility for paying for counterfeits to merchants and card issuers, and some small business owners say they are not prepared for the added expense.

Not Sold on Street Vending

Many restaurant and store owners are concerned about a city proposal that would legalize street vending, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Some argue that street vendors operating legally would make it more difficult for mom-and-pop eateries, in particular, which are also fretting about the new minimum wage law.

Mulling Museum’s Makeover

New styles can be jarring. And the new façade of the Petersen Automotive Museum is being described as an eyesore by many and even as the “Edsel of architecture,” the Los Angeles Times reports. The museum, controversial exterior and all, is scheduled to open in December.

River Development Making Current News

The state of California plans to give $25 million to help buy the Taylor Yard property on the Los Angeles River in Cypress Park, the Los Angeles Times reports. It is the largest remaining piece of undeveloped riverfront land and has been referred to as a “crown jewel” by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. City officials are working with the federal government to share the $1.4 billion cost for restoring 11 miles of the river.

New Technology Helps Ports

The West Basin Container Terminal in San Pedro is using technology designed by Venice’s Cargomatic that helps smaller cargo owners get their goods through the port faster, the Daily Breeze reports.

Box Office: ‘Hotel Transylvania 2' Sets September Record

Sony Pictures’ “Hotel Transylvania 2” had the biggest September opening on record, making $47.5 million in its North American debut, the Hollywood Reporter reports. Warner Bros. Nancy Meyers’ film "The Intern," with Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, came in at No. 2, making $18.2 million.

Steve Martin, the Art Aficionado

Comedian Steve Martin can now add museum curator to his repertoire as he is curating an upcoming exhibit at the Hammer Museum called "The Idea of North," which will showcase the work of famous Canadian painter Lawren Harris, LAist reports. It will include one of Harris’ paintings that sold for $3.5 million.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 195 points in early trading Monday to 16,120. The S&P 500 was down 27 points to 1,904. The Nasdaq was down 80 points to 4,606. The LABJ Stock Index was down three points to 214.