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Daily Business Report — June 17, 2010

Convention Center Corporation Revs Up Expansion Plans

The San Diego Convention Center Corp. (SDCCC) has started the ball rolling on expanding the San Diego Convention Center. It has officially launched a search for an architectural team to provide a design for the center expansion. “The chosen team will ultimately design the expansion for one of San Diego’s most iconic buildings,” according to the Convention Center Corp.

On Tuesday, the SDCCC issued a Request for Qualifications, which will be followed by a Request for Proposals for design of the center. A selection committee will oversee the process and make a recommendation to the SDCCC board of directors to vote on approval of the final contract. The overall process will take about five months.

Charles Black, founder and president of CB Urban Development, was selected last month by the SDCCC to serve as project manager for the proposed expansion. He will assist the corporation’s executive management team and the San Diego Unified Port District staff with managing an 18-24 month Entitlement, Environmental Impact Review and California Environmental Quality Act processes.

Candidates for the design work will be instructed to consider the public’s input — as collected last year by the Mayor’s Citizen Task Force — that includes public accessibility to the waterfront, preservation or enhancement of public realm spaces along the waterfront, view corridors, environmental sustainability, functionality and cost.

“The expansion will be one of San Diego’s highest profile projects, not only in scope, but in the thousands of jobs it will create and the enormous economic benefits it will deliver upon its completion,” said Bob Nelson, SDCCC chairman. “Besides a proven track record and demonstrated ability, we’re looking for a design team with a commitment to the environment who will give special consideration to sustainability and green components.”

The Convention Center opened in November 1989 and was expanded in 2001. Supporters of the new expansion proposal say the additional space is needed to keep such profitable events as Comic-Con from moving elsewhere. The proposed $753 million expansion would provide an additional 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, a third ballroom, 100,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a new 500-room hotel behind the Convention Center. Total exhibitions space would rise to about 815,000 square feet.

Cell Transplant Therapy Studied for Lou Gehrig’s Disease

San Diego-area researchers have begun studies that could lead to the development of cell transplant therapy for victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The effort was announced Wednesday by UCSD, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Life Technologies Corp.  As part of the joint effort — made possible by $11.5 million in funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine — investigators aim to conduct cutting-edge stem cell research based on a special type of cell called an astrocyte progenitor.

ALS is a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurons, long and complex nerve cells controlling voluntary movement that reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. Degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS leads to progressive loss of muscle control, paralysis and untimely death. Most people are diagnosed with ALS between the ages of 45 and 65. Typically, ALS patients live only one to five years after initial diagnosis.

Chamber Reports on Health Care Reform Impact on Business

The federal health care reform act may favor some San Diego businesses — particularly those with 10 employers or less — according to a report unveiled Tuesday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The report states that some small businesses and individuals may benefit from the reform, some may notice little immediate change in how they handle employee care or may even see negative impacts. “The provisions largely favor smaller enterprises, especially those with less than 10 employees. Impacts may also be more pronounced in certain industries, where benefit packages can be used to attract and retain top talent,” according to the report.

Larger companies will be subject to more penalties than incentives under the new act, the study said, adding: “The penalties for companies who employ 50 or more employees are compiled based on a complicated system that takes into account the number of full-time employees, the average annual wage of the company’s workforce, and how much of the premium the firm will cover.”

In San Diego County, 95 percent of businesses are considered small businesses, with 50 or fewer employees.

Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of the chamber, said the report will help local businesses understand how the act will affect their businesses and how they can plan for changes required by the law.

Campus Earns LEED Gold Certification

West City Campus

San Diego Continuing Education’s new West City Campus has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for sustainable and green design by the U.S. Green Building Council. The campus, which offers classes in hospitality services and consumer science, opened in January 2009. Designed by RJC Architects, the 39,000-square-foot, two-story facility includes a state-of-the-art culinary arts kitchen and classrooms designed to enhance students’ skills in sewing, fashion, business information technology, English for non-native English speakers, parent education and arts.

Perkins Coie Law Firm Signs New Lease

The law firm Perkins Coie leased has 19,969 square feet of office space at Del Mar Gateway, 11988 El Camino Real, in San Diego 92130. The three-year lease is valued at about $2.24 million. The San Diego location is Perkin Coie’s fourth office in California and the firm will now have more than 100 attorneys in the state. Steve Holland and Steve Bay of CB Richard Ellis represented Perkins Coie. The lessor, Prudential Real Estate Investors, was represented by Joe Anderson of Cassidy Turley|BRE Commercial.

17 Community Managers Get Statewide Designation

Seventeen community association managers from San Diego have earned the statewide designation as “Certified Community Association Manager” after successfully completing requirements of the California Association of Community Managers. Managers recently awarded the CCAM designation include Cena Martin, Marcella Durbin, Elizabeth Jaeschke de Buenrostro and Laura Hurst Brown with the Prescott Companies in Carlsbad; Leanne Ardilla, Robin Fennell, Katy Camp and Clint McClure with Walters Management in San Diego; Keisha Kendall and Kim Nguyen with Menas Realty Co. in San Diego; Julian Becton and Shannon Carpenter with N.N. Jaeschke Inc. in San Diego; Jennifer Ellis with A. McKibbin & Co. in La Jolla; Ernest Langston with Langston Management Consultants in La Jolla; Debra Vaca with Merit Property Management Inc. in Chula Vista; Brian Kalmenson with Merit Property Management Inc. in San Diego; and Barbara Wilkinson with CityFront Terrace Homeowners Association in San Diego.

Procopio Attorney Cited for Pro Bono Work

Robin Phillips, an attorney with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, has received the Wiley W. Manuel Award from the Califoria State Bar and the Outstanding Service Award from the Legal Aid Society of San Diego for his contribution of legal services to the pro bono program in 2009-2010. Phillips received the State Bar award for his work involving an indigent couple who were terminated by their employer without being paid for services rendered.  Phillips successfully settled the case for the full amount owed to the couple,  investing more than 200 hours of pro bono work. The case came to Phillips through the Legal Aid Society of San Diego while at his previous firm, McDermott Will & Emery. Phillips joined Procopio as an associate in March of this year. His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation.

Alternative Strategies Celebrates 10th Anniversary

William Lopez

Alternative Strategies, the boutique marketing communications firm in Bankers Hill, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in July. “They say time flies when you are having fun,” said owner William Lopez. “I love what we do here at Alternative Strategies more then ever. It is my belief that when times are hard, your marketing should work even harder. Don’t expect re-energized responses from the same-old strategies is our approach with every client.” The firm’s major clients include Anthology, Dlush, Stroller Strides, The Chopra Center and AT&T UVerse.

Alternative Strategies is one of the 427,805 firms owned by Hispanics in the U.S. That represents a 27 percent increase from 1997. Williams, who is Cuban, also owns San Diego Jogging Tours.

Casa Guadalajara Receives Gold Medallion Award

Casa Guadalajara in Old Town has earned the Gold Medallion Award for San Diego’s “Best Mexican Dinner House” from the San Diego chapter of the California Restaurant Association. The award recognizes exceptional restaurants and their chefs. Casa Guadalajara is part of Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo Restaurant Group which includes Casa de Pico in La Mesa and Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad. Casa Guadalajara Executive Chef Jose Duran, has received numerous honors, including the title of “Chef of the Year” by the San Diego Chefs de Cuisine Association.

Hard Rock Hotel Names Food and Beverage Chief

Jon Eyer, a 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry, has been chosen to oversee the food and beverage operations of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Eyer will direct menu development, operations, staffing, and training for the hotel’s signature diner concept Maryjane’s, 207 and Float bars, room service for the 420 guestrooms and suites. He also will oversee operation of the banquets and catering for the hotel’s 40,000 square feet of meetings and event space. Most recently, Eyer served as executive sous chef at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz. He also was sous chef at the Westin Resort located on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

AutoZone to Open Retail Shop in Oceanside

AutoZone Development Corp., dba AutoZone, an auto parts retailer, has signed a 120-month, $1,348,200 lease for 7,048 square feet of retail space in Palm Tree Plaza at 3513 Cannon Road in Oceanside (92056). AutoZone plans to open its new retail location in October. The lessor, Lakerose Properties Ltd., was represented by Aaron Hill and John Jennings of Cushman & Wakefield. The lessee was represented by Joe Zummo of GB Real Estate Services Inc. Other tenants of Palm Tree Plaza include Ralphs, Walgreens, Taco Bell and McDonald’s.

SCORE San Diego Small Business Workshops

June 18 – Tax Considerations for Small Business – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

June 19 – How to Start and Manage Your Own Business – 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

June 22 – Legal Issues for Small Business: Contracts and Leases – Carlsbad – 9 a.m. to noon at National University (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

June 23 – Business Plan 201: How to Write a Winning Business Plan – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $99, $109 at the door).

June 23 – Financing Your Business – Carlsbad – 9:30 a.m. to noon at National University (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door)

June 23 – Good Governance for Nonprofits – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation – Liberty Station (2508 Historic Decatur Road, #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

June 24 – Small Business Marketing – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University in Mission Valley (4007 Camino del Rio South, San Diego 92108; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

June 25 – Insurance: What You Need to Know to Protect You and Your Business – Carlsbad – 9 a.m. to noon at National University (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

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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