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Daily Business Report — Aug. 5, 2010

City Sales Tax Measure to go on Ballot

The San Diego City Council on Wednesday voted to place a temporary one-half-cent sales tax increase on the November election ballot that can only be implemented if 10 financial and pension reforms are completed. The “Reform Before Revenue” measure was brought to the council by Council members Todd Gloria and Donna Frye. The measure would ask voters to require the completion of a total of 10 critical financial and pension reforms by the city and then allow for a temporary ½ cent sales tax increase for the restoration of essential services. Among the mandated reforms are reduction of retiree health care costs, implementation of managed competition for city services, elimination of retirement offsets for elected officials and unrepresented employees, and reduction of the retirement offset for city employees. The proposal is supported by Mayor Sanders. Council members Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer voted against it.

DeMaio later released a list of 10 “flaws” in the measure, including his claim that it offers no concrete cost savings guarantee, no guarantees that most of the reforms will actually be implemented and that it provides no prohibition against salary increases for city employees. “Sales tax proponents falsely claim that the measure will ‘finally fix the ongoing budget deficits.’” said DeMaio. “This is patently false – as the measure does not address the skyrocketing annual pension cost increases in the city’s budget.  Taxpayers can expect more service cuts and tax increases.”

Permit Granted for S.D.-Tijuana Cross Border Facility

The San Diego-Tijuana Cross Border facility in Otay Mesa has obtained a Presidential Permit from the U.S. State Department allowing the investment group Otay-Tijuana Venture LLC to begin construction. The facility will provide an enclosed pedestrian bridge to link a passenger terminal in San Diego to the commercial passenger airport in Mexico, allowing air travelers secure access to the Tijuana airport. Work is expected to start in 2011. “Creating and maintaining a modern border is key to economic competitiveness in our bi-national region,” said Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which announced the granting of the permit. Barralessaid the project will help to alleviate border congestion and support cross-border trade, travel, development and jobs.

Cubic Board Approves Semiannual Dividend

The Cubic Corp. board of directors has approved a semiannual dividend of 9 cents per share, payable on Sept. 14 to shareholders of record on Aug. 26 — running its string of uninterrupted semiannual dividends to 38 years.

H.G. Fenton Co. Purchases Cornerstone Business Center

H.G. Fenton Co. has acquired the 114,000-square-foot Cornerstone Business Center in Sorrento Mesa for $14,015,000 and plans to renovate it with upgraded landscaping, parking lot improvements and new roofs. The property at 6181-6199 Cornerstone Court East includes four office and R&D buildings. The center was acquired through a 1031 exchange involving the sale of Lot 6 in H.G. Fenton Co.’s Fenton Technology Park in Sorrento Mesa. The purchase brings H.G. Fenton Company’s Sorrento Mesa/Miramar-area portfolio to 1,035,259 square feet. The center is 89 percent leased to tenants including Hitachi High Technologies of America, Continental Lab Products, Axxora Inc. and Henry Schein Inc.  The property includes a deli, common areas, surface parking and WiFi. In the transaction, H.G. Fenton Co. and the seller, The Realty Associates Fund VI, L.P., were represented by Rick Reeder and Brad Tecca of Cassidy/Truly BRE Commercial. Bryce Aberg and Brant Aberg of Cassidy/Turley will continue to lease the property.

Southwestern College to Build New Central Plant and Field House

Southwestern College’s governing board has selected Barnhart Falfour Beatty to provide construction management services for the construction of a new $33 million central plant and field house. Funded by Proposition R, the plant will house the college’s centralized heating and cooling systems and the field house will include new classrooms and a fitness room. The central plant will serve 72 buildings on the Chula Vista campus. The college’s conversion to a central heating and cooling plant is expected to significantly lower college energy use and equipment maintenance, reducing energy costs and lower the school’s impact on the environment. The new stadium field house will replace an existing facility. Proposition R was approved by voters in November 2008. The project will generate dozens of construction jobs and incorporate the latest green building techniques. Construction will start June 2011 and is expected to take about 11 months. Design services for the project will be provided by Gensler. The project is one of many scheduled for construction at the college under Prop R.

Esquire Solutions Law Firm Relocates

The Esquire Solutions law firm has relocated from Beech Street to the Emerald Plaza high-rise in Downtown San Diego. The new location at 402 West Broadway, Suite 1600, offers 11 conference rooms, all with wireless Internet, video teleconference capabilities and on-site scheduling, client services, physical and online document depository and document production. The Esquire Litigation Solutions office will remain at its C Street location.

Real Estate Attorney Joins Mintz Levin Law Firm

Commercial Real estate attorney Dawn Saunders has joined the San Diego office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo as of counsel. She previously with Cooley LLP. Saunders’ clients include technology and biotech companies, retail, medical and start-up companies, among others. She was in the real estate leasing practice group at Cooley LLP. Saunders is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law where she was named a member of the Order of the Coif and served as an assistant editor of the San Diego Law Review.

Taxpayers Association Holds Forum on Fire

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association will sponsor an Aug. 31 forum on San Diego County fire safety from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn San Diego — On the Bay, 1335 North Harbor Drive, in Downtown.

Panelists speaking on the issue will be Erik Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research; Stewart Gary, Citygate Associates; Augie Ghio, president of the San Diego County Fire Chiefs Association; county Supervisor Dianne Jacob; and Javier Mainar, chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Gene Cubbison of NBC San Diego will be moderator. Admission is $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information, call (619) 234-6423.

Ronald McDonald House Holds Red Shoe Day Fundraiser

The San Diego Ronald McDonald House will hold its firs Red Shoe Day fundraiser on Sept. 21 from 6 to 9 a.m. and are seeking 2,000 volunteers to gather donations at 250 designated locations throughout San Diego County. The fundraiser is to benefit families in medical crisis at the house. Working in teams, the volunteers will collect donations in size 14 red boots made especially for the occasion and donated by Carlsbad’s Phoenix Footwear. Volunteers will receive red t-shirts to wear for the event and be asked to attend a one-hour orientation at a convenient time prior to the big day. “This is a great opportunity to give just three hours to support lodging and care programs at the new Ronald McDonald House and Family Care Center,” said Donna Evans, Red Shoe Day chair. To volunteer as an individual, business or a group, send an e-mail to or call a hotline at (858) 598-2456.

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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