Business & Real Estate

ClassPass offers new way to exercise

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Carla Hickman leads students in a Jazzercise class at the Los Altos Youth Center. Fitness buffs can use ClassPass to sample Hickman’s class and other local studios for $99 per month.

Two trends are converging in Los Altos this spring: boutique exercise studios and startups that offer a new way to pay – and pay less – for traditional services.

The New York-based startup ClassPass, which launched in the Bay Area late last year, partners with local studios to offer wide-ranging access for a discounted monthly fee – a buffet of boutiques. As of the Town Crier’s press deadline, Los Altos had three participating businesses – Momentum Cycling Studio, some of the Jazzercise classes at the Los Altos Youth Center, and The Dailey Method – and Mountain View another three: Yoga Belly, Serao Academy and Overtime Fitness. Palo Alto and Menlo Park are already dense with options, though even they pale in comparison to some neighborhoods of San Francisco, where studios charging $25 or more per hourlong class seem to be popping up two to a block.


Beepi driven to redefine used-car industry

Courtesy of Beepi
Beepi co-founders Alejandro Resnik, left, and Owen Savir oversee the used-car business that will soon move to a larger location in downtown Los Altos.

The business of used-car sales often results in a winner and a loser. One Los Altos-based company aims to take the gamesmanship out of the process.

Beepi – named for the cheerful “beep beep!” sound of a honking horn – heralds a new era of car buying with an online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers and tends to all the details along the way.


Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

BIZ Inventor Showen in fmt
Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los Altos home. Sensors are placed around a city, below, and four or more consistent timings cue SST Inc. to notify police of gunfire.

The award-winning work of Robert Showen began on a grand piano.

Technically, it was on top of his piano. That’s where the Los Altos resident first used his computer to study the acoustics of gunshots. From his research, Showen founded ShotSpotter Inc., a gunfire alert and analysis company.


SEC charges Los Altos resident with insider trading

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday charged a corporate insider from Los Altos, a stock research analyst and two others with insider trading. Together, they generated nearly $750,000 in illegal profits by trading in advance of four corporate news announcements, according to the SEC.


Longtime banker readies for retirement

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank of the West’s downtown Los Altos branch vice president and manager, is scheduled to retire at the end of October after a 43-year career that began with First Interstate Bank in San Francisco’s Financial District.


Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy therapies.

A new skin care studio aims to bring a little serenity to Los Altos.

Marjan Kashi, owner of Pure Serenity Skincare, opened her doors in late August at 648 Fremont Ave. in Rancho Shopping Center. The location is the former home of Estatements Luxury Consignment, which moved to 395 Main St. in downtown Los Altos earlier this year.


Modern art exhibit comes to Los Altos: Passerelle teams with Christie's on pop-up venture

images courtesy of Christie’s 2014
Christie’s auction house will host a pop-up exhibit Sept. 10-18 in downtown Los Altos. Works on display will include Roy Lichtenstein’s “Girl in Mirror,” valued at $2 to 3 million and a 2013 untitled work by Korakrit Arunanondchai.

The Los Altos-based Passerelle Investment Co. is teaming up with Christie’s auction house to host a pop-up exhibition of post-war and contemporary art Sept. 10-18 at 359 and 242 State St. in downtown Los Altos.

The event will showcase major works by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Richard Diebenkorn and Tracey Emin, as well as contemporary art. Displays will feature highlights from the coming auction season and works of art to be offered for private sale.


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