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Daily Business Report — April 14, 2010

40 Under 40 Nominations

Nominations are now open for San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s 11th annual 40 Under 40 awards. The nomination period ends May 31. The honorees will be feted at our annual luncheon on Sept. 9 at the San Diego Convention Center and profiled in the September issue of the magazine. Visit http://sandiegometro.com/40under40/ for a nomination form.

Visionary Plan Goes Before Coastal Commission

The California Coastal Commission will be asked today to approve the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, a multi-year project aimed at rejuvenating San Diego’s Downtown waterfront. The request by the Port of San Diego is scheduled to be heard in the Ventura County Board of Supervisors chambers in Ventura. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. The Coastal Commission staff is recommending approval of the plan with conditions. The granting of a permit by the commission would clear the way for the first phase — expected to cost $28.6 million — to begin later this year. The first portion of the project runs along North Harbor Drive from the B Street Pier to south of Broadway Pier and along Broadway between North Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway. The plan is a joint project of the Port of San Diego, the city and the Centre City Development Corp.

County Home Sales Continue Climb

Home sales and prices in San Diego County in March continued their upward climb — mirroring the rest of Southern California — as buyers scrambled to take advantage of low prices and low mortgage interest rates, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego, a real estate information service.

Home sales in the county totaled 3,227 last month, a 6.9 percent increase from March of 2009, when 3,020 sales were recorded. The median home price was $330,000 in March, a 15.8 percent rise from the $285,000 recorded in March of last year.

March home sales also topped February’s total of 2,465, while the median sales price exceeded February’s $322,000.

A total of 20,476 new and resale homes sold in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 33.3 percent from 15,359 in February, and up 5.0 percent from 19,506 in March 2009, according to MDA DataQuick.

Sales always go up from February to March. Last month was the 21st in a row with a year-over-year sales increase. The March sales average is 24,936 going back to 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

“It’s a reflection of just how grim things got, that we’ve now had almost two years of sales gains and we’re still 18 percent below the sales average,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. “The market won’t rebalance until mortgage lending patterns normalize, and that’s just not happening yet. Some of the best deals out there right now are happening when the buyer comes in with cash.”

The median price paid for a Southland home was $285,000 last month, up 3.6 percent from $275,000 in February, and up 14.0 percent from $250,000 for March 2009.

Foreclosure resales accounted for 38.4 percent of the resale market last month, down from 42.3 percent in February, and down from 54.8 percent a year ago. The all-time high was in February 2009 at 56.7 percent.

Tenant Office Space Demand

Resumed employment growth will stem the drop-off in tenant demand for office space in San Diego this year, although firms’ underutilization of existing space will pressure fundamentals as leases expire, according to the 2010 National Office Report by Marcus & Millichap, a real estate investment services firm. While new construction will be limited through at least 2012, conditions will continue to soften in oversupplied areas of the market. “Investment activity in San Diego is expected to accelerate this year, as private buyers have begun to resume their activity, and larger, private equity firms and institutions are showing greater motivation to move off the sidelines,” said Kent R. Williams, senior vice president and regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s San Diego office.

Other findings:

• Following the loss of 42,700 jobs in 2009, payrolls will begin to recover this year as local employers are expected to hire 12,500 workers, a 1 percent gain. Growth in office-using segments will total 1.6 percent with the addition of 5,000 positions.

• Developers will deliver 325,000 square feet of office space in 2010, down from 458,000 square feet last year.

• Vacancy is forecast to rise 40 basis points to 18.2 percent this year, after jumping 260 basis points in 2009.

• As vacancy continues to edge higher, operators will lower rents further to retain tenants. Asking rents are on pace to fall 5.4 percent this year to $27.11 per square foot, while effective rents will drop 6.3 percent to $21.71 per square foot.

‘Mining the Blogosphere’ is Panel Topic

The International Association of Business Communicators-San Diego will hold a panel talk on April 21 with four of San Diego’s most influential bloggers for a discussion on the do’s and don’ts of “Mining the Blogosphere.” The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at UCSD Extension, 6925 Lusk Blvd. in San Diego. Panelists will be Caron Golden of SD Footstuff, Dr. Michael Mantell, Stacey Ross of SD Bargain Mama and Denise Scatena of SoCal PR Blog. The cost is  $30 for members, $40 for nonmembers and $20 for students. Cost at the door is $5 extra. To register, visit sandiego.iabc.com.

Personnel Moves

Real estate brokers Greg Salley, Chris Bartlett, Patrick Roche and Claudine Scott have joined Cotter & Associates, offering specialization with urban condos, luxury leases, coastal communities and suburban living throughout San Diego. Salley has 15 years of experience and began his career with Keller Williams. Bartlette graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Roche began his real estate career working in timeshares and most recently worked with buyers and sellers of single-family homes. Scott obtained a real estate license after her work as a meeting/event planner came to a close.

Ron Sipiora

Ron Sipiora has been selected as the executive director for the nonprofit Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation, a newly created position. The foundation was formed to protect the natural resources of Agua Hedionda Lagoon and its 30-square-mile watershed that includes portions of Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and Escondido. Sipiora has served as area director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego and executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad as well as other community center positions.

San Diego Executives Featured at April 21 Panel Program

Higgs Fletcher & Mack and The Monger Company will sponsor an April 21 panel discussion — “Sharpen Your Competitive Edge in 2010” — featuring four San Diego executives. Panelists are Rob Lankford, president of Lankford & Associates; Larry Clemens, senior vice president of the San Diego Housing Commission; Tim Konold, partner with Higgs Fletcher & Mack; and Guy Asaro, president of McMillin Homes. They will discuss how they adapted their organizations to survive in today’s economy. The program, which includes a lunch, will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel at 207 Fifth Ave. in Downtown San Diego. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. and the lunch and program is at noon. Cost is $40. To reserve, e-mail to TheMongerCompany@MongerCompany.com. Reservations must be pre-paid by April 19. For information, call (619) 544-7000.

Social Media Seminar April 23

The San Diego Advertising Club will present “Using Social Media To Put Customers First,” at an April 23 seminar presented by Becky Carroll of Petra Consulting. It will be from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Crown Plaza San Diego Hotel, Hanalei Conference Center, 2270 Hotel Circle North, in Mission Valley. Attendees will learn how to leverage new technologies and social media to create evangelists, how customer service can increase brand value and the keys to measuring customer success. Carroll is the author of “Customers Rock,” a business blog, and writes the blog “Teaching Social Media.” She also teaches the “Marketing via New Media” class at UCSD Extension. Cost to attend is $35 for Ad Club members and $45 for nonmembers with reservations. For reservations, visit sandiegoadclub.com or phone (619) 255-2281.

UCSD Students Win Simulation Competition

Four students from the Rady School of Management at UCSD have won the sixth annual Operations Simulation Competition presented by MIT Sloan Operations Management Club. Eli Reihman, Tony Nguyen, Jim Duvall and Chris Crouch earned first place and $3,500 in the competition against top international business schools. In recent weeks, the same team won $1,000 scholarships for coming in first in the Avnet TechGames RedPrairie Supply Chain Challenge. The competition allowed students to put their skills to the test on operations management, production and inventory control, industrial engineering, manufacturing and quantitative methods in a simulated factory that assembles make-to-order electronic systems.

Encinitas Office Condo Sells for $676,496

North Coast Business Park

Dr. Randy Garland has purchased a 1,804-square-foot office condominium in the North Coast Business Park at 531 Encinitas Blvd., Suite 101, in Encinitas for use as a dental office. The selling price was $676,496. Peter Curry of Cassidy Turley represented the buyer. The seller, North Park Business Park, was represented by Kevin Farrell and Barry Mahlberg of Cushman & Wakefield.

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest Wins Award

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has been chosen by the Department of Defense to receive the 2010 Environmental Award in the Sustainability-Industrial Installation category. Thirty-four installations from all four branches of the armed forces competed in nine categories. Fleet Readiness Center competed against Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, N.C., Letterkenny Army Depot in Pa., and Defense Supply Center, Columbus, Ohio, in its category. The award will be made in a ceremony June 2 at the Pentagon Center Courtyard in Washington, D.C. Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, based at Naval Air Station North Island, is the Navy’s West Coast aircraft repair and maintenance facility. It maintains, modifies or repairs more than 275 Navy and Marine Corps aircraft annually, including F/A-18 Hornet fighters, E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning planes, C-2A Greyhound transports and CH-53 Super Stallion and H-60 Sea Hawk helicopters.

Business Datebook

April 17

FREE WORKSHOP: Entrepreneurial Excellence Workshop sponsored by the Universiy of Phoenix Kearny Mesa Learning Center, 3870/3890 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego. 9 a.m. to noon. Topics include outllook for small business in San Diego, business opportunities, legal issues for small businesses, search engine marketing, among others. Sports psychologist Casey Cooper to talk on “Home Run Leadership Styles.” To sign up, contact Gray Miller at (858) 650-4612.

April 20

PRESENTATION: Juval Aviv, president and CEO of Interfor Inc., will discuss some of the major financial fraud cases he has investigated during 30 years in the corporate investigations field, including personal anecdotes. Sponsor: Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) San Diego. 7 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. program, Doubletree Hotel Hazard Center, 7450 Hazard Center Drive, SanDiego. Free for ACG members, $50 for nonmembers. Make reservations at acteva.com.

April 21

PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: San Diego Press Club hosts a panel of photojournalists to discuss new digital tools and share tips on taking compelling photos and videos. Panelists: Nancee Lewis, photojournalist; Sam Hodgson, former reporter-photographer for voiceofsandiego.org; and Joe Little, 10News Team reporter for ABC affiliate KGTV. 6 to 8 p.m., Essy’s Studio (adjacent to the Sports Arena). Free for Press Club members, $10 for nonmembers. For reservations, call (858) 274-6160 or e-mail to: reservation-sdpc@cox.net.

LUNCHEON: Joon Han, founder and strategy specialist with Better San Diego, to speak on “Getting Ahead by Giving Back” at the luncheon meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sheraton La Jolla, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. Early bird pricing for members and guests available through April 15. For more information and online registration, visit nawbo-sd.org.

April 28

WORKSHOP: Grossmont College Career Center will present “Job Interview Fitness,” a free workshop from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Career Center, Room 627, on campus. Topics: job interview tips, ethics and etiquette. Speakers:  Nancy Davis, Grossmont College student development services supervisor, and Carole Martin of The Interview Coach. For more information or to reserve a seat, phone (619) 644-7614.

April 29

PROGRAM: The World Trade Center presents “Standards, Connections, Pathways and Problem Solving — the DNA of Lean,” featuring Samuel Obara of Honsha demonstrating why so many companies fail when trying to implement lean strategies. 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., World Trade Center conference room, Downtown. $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers. Walk-ins, $55. For information, call (619) 615-0868, Ext. 111. To register, visit wtcsd.org.

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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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.

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