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Daily Business Report — Feb. 22, 2010

San Diego’s Consumer Prices Climb

Consumer prices in the San Diego area in 2009 climbed by 0.6 percent from the previous year and advanced 1.1 percent in the second half of the year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that higher prices for housing and education and communication equally contributed to an overall increase in the annual all items index. Local Consumer Price Index data are not seasonally adjusted.

The housing index increased 0.9 percent for the year, but fell 0.6 percent since the first half of 2009. Annual prices for shelter moved up 0.3 percent, but decreased 0.6 percent for the past six months. The rent of primary residence index increased 1.7 percent and 0.3 percent for the year and for the past six months, respectively.

The transportation index fell by 2.0 percent for the year, but rose 8.6 percent for the past six months. Over the year, gasoline prices were lower by 9.9 percent, but jumped 25.3 percent compared to six months ago.

Prices paid for food and beverages fell 0.6 percent over the course of the year and moved down 1.2 percent from the first half of 2009. The food at home index, which measures grocery prices, decreased 2.9 percent for the year, but prices for food away from home increased 0.6 percent over the same period. Compared to six months ago, grocery prices declined 2.1 percent, and prices for food away from home decreased 0.9 percent. Prices for alcoholic beverages increased 2.4 percent from a year ago, but fell 0.9 percent from six months ago.

Medical care prices rose by 2.2 percent for the past 12 months and advanced 0.9 percent for the past six months.

Apparel prices rose 2.3 percent since last year and moved up 0.4 percent during the past six months. Prices for recreation declined 2.8 percent over the year and 2.6 percent since the first half of 2009.

Education and communication prices advanced 9.0 percent during the past year and 5.8 percent over the past six months. Other goods and services rose by 4.7 percent on an annual basis, but slipped 0.2 percent on a semi-annual basis.

The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the San Diego area stood at 243.655 (1982-84=100) during the second half of 2009. This means a market basket of goods and services that cost $100.00 in 1982-84 would have cost $243.66 in the second half of 2009.

Port and City of San Diego Join Green Office Challenge

The Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego are joining Charleston, S.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Arlington County, Va., in developing a program aimed at helping businesses engage in a friendly competition to reduce costs and conserve water and energy, as well as meet other environmental goals.  The Port and the city, the only government agencies chosen on the West Coast, were selected to receive technical assistance and support in the development of a Green Office Challenge. The program is patterned after a successful program started in 2009 by the  city of Chicago and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, a nationwide association with 600 local, regional and national governments that are committed to sustainable development. ICLEI will provide technical assistance to the Port and city of San Diego. SDG&E and the San Diego Port Tenants Association will also contribute to the Challenge.

Based on work with these four pilot communities, ICLEI is developing a program that can be replicated by local governments across the country. These cities were chosen because they are considered to be leaders in local climate, energy and sustainability issues. Over the next several months, the Port and city will develop the Challenge with support from ICLEI, with plans to start it in the fall. Tenants participating in the program will initially establish a baseline score of energy and sustainability features ranging from efficient lighting and low-flow toilets to solar panels.

During the program’s first phase of implementation, scheduled to be conducted during 2011, tenants enrolled in the program will receive support and training to monitor and reduce their energy and resource use. The second phase of the program will continue into 2012.

Artisan Design Group Purchases Downtown Showroom

Artisan Design Group (ADG), an urban design firm with a showroom in Downtown San Diego since 2004, has purchased a 3,500-square-foot showroom and studio at 888 West Ash St.  It is located within the Breeza mid-rise at the corner of Pacific Highway and Ash. Artisan Design Group is owned by Jaimi and Scott Thompson, who purchased the space as Ash Street Investments from Intergulf Development Group, the developer of Breeza, for $1,022,000.Improvements are under way by ADG’s general contracting division with a grand opening scheduled for June.  The design showroom will include three full kitchens, several bathroom displays, home office interiors, home automation systems, customized lighting and storage solutions, cabinetry, flooring, window coverings, furniture and accessories.

“Purchasing a new building in the depths of the recession is a reflection of our confidence in the vitality and resurgence of Downtown,” said Jaimi Thompson, president of ADG.  “We have thrived during the last two years because we have strategically expanded our services to respond to market conditions.  Buying this building now actually allows us to reduce our monthly facilities costs.  That’s the silver lining of the recession – the economy has opened up opportunities for small business owners.” ADG has designed public spaces, model homes and private residences for buildings such as Smart Corner Residential Tower, Sapphire Tower, DR Horton’s Atlas at Hillcrest, Renaissance Tower and Pinnacle Tower.  The company consulted for K Hovnanian on Cortez Blu and Gaslamp City Square II and was selected as the interior design firm by Centurion Partners for the Library Tower.

San Diego Women’s Week Scheduled for April 19-24

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce and Sony will host the first San Diego Women’s Week April 19-24 — a series of events designed to inspire and empower female executives, professionals and young entrepreneurs from around the region. All events will be held at 5 p.m. at the Sabre Springs Corporate Center, 13290 Evening Creek Drive, in San Diego. Each evening will include speakers, exhibitors and forums for networking and education. Topics will include health, fitness, financial, legal, retail, fashion, business, the arts and entrepreneurship. A luncheon will be held on April 24. “This week will be a celebration of the thousands of hard-working women in San Diego who make this region so great,” said Debra Rosen, president and CEO of the chamber. Speakers will include Kim Moses, executive producer of “Ghost Whisperer,” the TV series; Jill Leiber Steeg, the first woman to cover sports for Sports Illustrated; Ingrid Croce, owner of Croce’s Restaurant and Jazz Bar; Tina Mickelson of Tina Mickelson Golf; Midge Costanza, former presidential adviser; Carol LeBeau, former television anchor and health reporter; Alicia Gwynn of the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation; Mimi Kirk of PETA; and Charlene Zettel of the governor’s office. For additional information, call (858) 487-1767 or visit sdwomensweek.com.

2010 Paso Robles Grand Tasting Tour

Got wine? The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance brings the winemakers out of the cellar and down to San Diego for its 2010 Grand Tasting Tour. Coming to San Diego Feb. 23-25, the tasting event features three days of festivities that will give wine lovers the opportunity to taste and explore more than 150 wines from California’s fastest growing wine region.

• CRAVE – A Paso Robles Wine Country Experience. Feb. 24, 8 to 10 p.m., NTC Promenade, McMillin Event Center. Enjoy five Paso Robles varietal tasting bars, featured and paired with the culinary artistry of ChileCo Catering. Contemporary, lounge-like music in a relaxed atmosphere complete this tasty two-hour tour. $45 in advance; $55 at the door. To purchase tickets, visit pasowine.com.

• Paso Robles Wine Country Grand Tasting. Feb. 25, 6 to 8 p.m., Wine Steals, East Village. Be among the first to experience Wine Steals’ newest location, located within Petco Park.  Taste more than 150 award-winning wines from over 40 Paso Robles wine producers with cuisine prepared by Wine Steals’ newest Gastro Pub concept. Tickets are limited in this intimate immersion into Paso Robles Wine Country. $55 in advance; $65 at the door. To purchase tickets or a complete schedule, visit pasowine.com.

Forum for Small Business Set for March 6

The Southeastern Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) will hold an informational forum for small businesses on March 6 at its offices at 4393 Imperial Ave. in San Diego. The theme is “Doing Business in a Difficult Time.” The event will be from 9 a.m. to noon and will include information on enterprise zone tax advantages, storefront improvement program, loan programs and strategic marketing. The cost is $10 per person, which includes breakfast. For reservations, call (619) 527-7345.

DataQuick Information Systems Signs Lease Renewal

DataQuick Information Systems Inc., a provider of real estate information, has signed a 36-month, $1.5 million lease renewal for 26,897 square feet of office space in Eastgate Technology Park at 9620 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego. The lessee was represented by Eric A. Northbrook and Christopher P. High of Cushman & Wakefield. The lessor, The Irvine Co., represented itself. Eastgate Technology Park, a 14-building, 734,000-square-foot office park, is located near University Town Centre.

Ladeki Appoints V.P. of Mosaic Catering

The Ladeki Restaurant Group has appointed Rod Coon vice president of Mosaic Catering. Coon brings more than 20 years of experience in special event, business, and personal catering in San Diego. In 1999, Coon founded Contemporary Catering in La Jolla, where he handled daily operations of the business as well as creating menus and concepts. Before that, Coon founded and served as president of Café Design Catering in Qualcomm’s corporate headquarters where he was responsible for all food and beverage operations for the catering facility. Coon began his career with Red Baron Steak Houses, where he served as regional manager. Coon was responsible for coordinating the Gaslamp Festival Downtown, oversaw the Beer Garden service for 100,000 people at the Super Bowl XXXII SuperFest, and for 12 years, handled the entire liquor service management for 100,000 guests annually at San Diego’s Street Scene.

Handlery Hotel & Resort Reopens

Handlery Hotel & Resort in San Diego has reopened for business following a three month multi-million dollar renovation, upgrading the entire property and improving its meeting space. The three-star property, which closed for renovation in November 2009, has opened all jobs to the original staff. Improvements made to the property include the renovation of all 217 guest rooms with new custom marble top furniture, carpeting, wall covering, drapery, 37 inch flat screen TVs, ergonomic desk chairs and upgraded bedding. Common areas and event space were also improved with new carpeting and wall coverings, state-of-the-art electronic event screens, artwork, and landscaping.  An additional small meeting room was added to the property’s event facility.

County Holds Real Estate Auction on March 4

The county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency will have 10 houses, condominiums, and undeveloped lots up for bid at its real estate auction on March 4 at 3 p.m. The event will take place at the County Operations Annex in Kearny Mesa, 5201-A Ruffin Road. All properties will be open for viewing Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be the only open viewing without the services of a real estate broker. “We sell real estate to maximize the assets of estates the county is appointed to manage,” said Lori Bays, public administrator/public guardian. “Proceeds from the auction will benefit the estates administered by the county.” More information and pictures of the property are available online at papg.org.

Business Datebook

Feb. 23

LUNCHEON: State Controller to Speak at Asian Business Association Luncheon State Controller John Chiang will be the guest speaker at the Asian Business Association’s Rice Club Luncheon at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Chiang will discuss the financial condition of the state and how it impacts small business. Registration is at 11:45 a.m. followed by networking and buffet from noon to 1 p.m. and the program from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for ABA members, $30 for nonmembers and $35 at the door. To register online, visit abasd.org.

Feb. 24

DIGITAL FORUM: A forum on social media marketing will feature social media strategist and coach Jason Baer, who will lead a panel discussion on the topic. Sponsored by LEAD San Diego and Bailey Gardiner. 7:30 a.m., continential breakfast and networking; 8 a.m., presentation by Baer; 8:45 a.m., panel discussion. USD’s Joan B. Kroc Theatre, San Diego. $20 general admission, $15 for LEAD San Diego members. For more information, call (619) 280-5323.

Feb. 25

PANEL: A panel discussion of the Barrio Logan community plan update — the first in a series — will be held from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. in the Harborside Room of the Holiday Inn Embarcadero, 1355 North Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego. Discussion will focus on the planning process and the roles of the city and citizens. Cost for the continental breakfast and program is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Cost at the door is $35 for all. Student admission is $10. For reservations, call (619) 232-7196.

Feb. 27

WORKSHOP: The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers sponsors a “Day with Designers,” a public workshop to provide information on practical interior design basics and how to select an interior designer, among other tips. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art Institute, 7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Advanced tickets available for $35 by visiting ASIDSanDiego.org. Tickets at the door are $45. For more information, call (858) 646-9896.

March 6

FORUM: “Doing Business in a Difficult Time,” a forum presented by the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. for small businesses. 9 a.m. to noon, SEDC offices, 4393 Imperial Ave., San Diego. Will include information on enterprise zone tax advantages, storefront improvement program, loan programs and marketing. $10 cost includes breakfast. For reservations, call (619) 527-7345.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman. (619) 906-4104.

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Voice Your Opinion


We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com