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Daily Business Report — Jan. 27, 2011

Downtown San Diego Partnership Gears for a Fight

Pete Wilson chats with guests.

Rick Bach, Partnership's new chairman

When Gov. Jerry Brown tells local officials “we’re going to take your redevelopment dollars” to help balance the state budget, former Gov. Pete Wilson shouts: “Like hell you are!” The former San Diego mayor and U.S. senator yelled that to a crowd of more than 300 attending Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies of the Downtown San Diego Partnership in the Westin Horton Plaza. Most of the lunchtime crowd gave Wilson long applause. If Brown is successful in eliminating redevelopment agencies such as the Centre City Development Corp., Downtown growth will come to an end, Wilson and other speakers said.

Rich Bach, head of Turner Construction Co.’s San Diego operations, was installed as the new chairman of the

Partnership. Ignacio De La Torre of AT&T was installed as vice chairman, Keith Jones of ACE Parking was installed as secretary and attorney Bill Sauls becomes treasurer. Wilson installed the officers. Bach succeeds Scott Maloni, vice president of Poseidon Resources. Kris Michell, former chief of staff for Mayor Jerry Sanders, was introduced as the Partnership’s new president. County Supervisor Greg Cox and San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer joined in the program.

San Marcos Centers Under New Management

NewMark Merrill Cos., a retail development and property management firm, has added the Grand Plaza and the Nordahl Marketplace — both in San Marcos — to its portfolio of managed property. Grand Plaza is located along Highway 78 at Las Posas Road in San Marcos.  The center totals more than 356,000 square feet. Tenants include Sprouts, Nordstrom Rack, Ross, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshalls, Sports Chalet, Petco, Lane Bryant, Party City, among others. The center is 95 percent leased.  Leasing for the property is handled by Cushman Wakefield of San Diego. Nordahl Marketplace is located at the northwest corner of Highway 78 and Nordahl Road in San Marcos. The center totals more than 315,000 square feet and is home to Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Guitar Center, Payless Shoes, Burger King, Starbucks, Coldstone Creamery and several others. The center was built in 2003 and remodeled in 2007. It is currently 96 percent leased.  Cushman Wakefield handles the leasing.

Pacific Trust Bank Acquires Bank Property in San Marcos

Pacific Trust Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of First PacTrust Bancorp, has entered into an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to purchase a bank branch property at 1642 West San Marcos Blvd. in San Marcos. The property was formerly a bank branch owned and occupied by San Diego National Bank that previously held $98.3 million in total deposits. The purchase of the property is expected to close during the first quarter of 2011, and Pacific Trust Bank anticipates opening its newest branch in that location during the second quarter of 2011, subject to regulatory approvals. Pacific Trust also has received approval from the Office of Thrift Supervision to open the branch office at 7877 Ivanhoe Ave. in La Jolla. California. Pacific Trust acquired the from the FDIC during the fourth quarter of 2010. The new La Jolla branch was formerly a bank branch owned and operated by San Diego National Bank that previously held $144.8 million in total deposits. Pacific Trust Bank projects an opening of the new office during the first quarter of 2011. The bank operates nine banking offices serving primarily San Diego and Riverside counties.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Acquires Kansas Firm

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired privately held CyDex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Kansas-based firm, for a combination of cash and contingent payments. CyDex shareholders will receive $31.2 million for the merger in upfront cash, a $4.3 million cash payment on the one-year anniversary of closing, and will receive contingent cash payments related to certain transactions and pursuant to a revenue share plan. In addition, Ligand paid $800,000 at close for an adjustment for working capital. “CyDex has created a very successful business around the Captisol drug reformulation technology over the last several years and the company has significant growth potential,” said Ted Odlaug, former president and CEO of CyDex. Pharmaceuticals. CyDex had 2010 revenue of $16.3 million and will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ligand.

USD Energy Corp. Completes Acquisition

USD Energy Corp. has completed its acquisition of Santa Teresa Minerals S.A. of Chili in an all-stock transaction and has expanded its management team. Santa Teresa Minerals engages in the acquisition, exploration, development and operation of precious metal properties in South America. Its gold and copper mining operations are based near Santiago, Chile. The company currently has mining rights in a producing gold mine, “Free Gold,” and in an exploration project, the “Casuto Project,” consisting of Los Azules 1-3, Tauro 1-6, and Los Chipi 1-16. These projects include 30 different mining and mineral exploration properties including gold, copper and copper sulfate. Juan Carlos Camus has been named CEO and Zirk Engelbrecht has been named president of USD Energy. Trisha Malone will remain the chief financial officer.

Atkins Chairs Assembly Panel on Homelessness

Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), has been named chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Homelessness by Speaker John A. Perez. “Reducing homelessness requires a delicate interplay of programs and services for those without permanent shelter and those at risk of becoming homeless,” said Atkins. Atkins is vice chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

Real Estate News

• Marketplace Del Rio Sold: Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. has purchased the Marketplace Del Rio Shopping Center at 3742-3784 Mission Ave. in Oceanside for $35.7 million. Tenants in the 177,136-square-foot shopping center include Stater Bros., Walgreens, Ace Hardware, Everything $5 Clothing, Blockbuster, Chase Bank, Burger King, U.S. Post Office and others. The seller, Mission Center LLC, and the buyer were represented by Richard Lebert, Matt Zimsky, Kirk Allison, Vic Gausepohl and Savvas Marinos of Colliers International.

Escondido Power Sports Purchase: Escondido Power Sports Inc. has purchased a 7,795-square-foot industrial building at 632 Aero Way in Escondido for $950,000. Trent France of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial represented the buyer in the transaction. Rob Gunness and Robert Fletcher of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller.


• Caris & Company leased 3,399 square feet of office space for four years at 12671 High Bluff Drive, Suite 350, from RB Income Properties Inc. for $376,909.

• Sport Clips leased 1,198 square feet of retail space for five years at 638 Camino de Los Mares, Suite 57, in San Clemente, from Centro Properties Group for $218,227.

• Foot Reflexology & Massage leased 1,523 square feet of retail space for three years at 3755 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite A, San Diego, from Daley Square Dolphin,G.P. for $94,874.

• Rawknykz Barber Shop leased 662 square feet of retail space for five years, two months at 8690 Aero Drive, Suite 106, San Diego, from Montgomery Field Associates for $63,552.

• Medley Holdings Inc., dba Simply Biotech, leased 765 square feet of office space for three years at 11858 Bernardo Plaza Court, Suite 230, San Diego, for $39,119.

Helen Keller Center Receives $235,000 Grant

The San Diego Foundation will grant the San Diego branch of the Helen Keller Center $235,000 over three years for assistance to the deaf and blind. The support is through the Adelaide Allen Fund held at The San Diego Foundation. The Adelaide Allen grant is designated for a pilot program to train sighted guides that facilitate increased independence for the deaf-blind. An estimated 45-60 deaf-blind San Diegans will benefit from three to five hours per week of services, which will help them with shopping, banking, dining in restaurants, and other ordinary activities that require guidance.

Cynthia Steckel Gets New Executive Post at Scripps

Cynthia Steckel

Cynthia Steckel has been named vice president, chief nursing and operations executive at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. She will head nursing services a nd be responsible for day-to-day internal operations of the hospital. Steckel previously was administrative director of clinical services at the hospital. She has held numerous leadership positions since she began her career with Scripps Health in 1980, including those of administrative director of acute and surgical services and administrative director of critical care services. She also has worked at Scripps Green and Scripps Encinitas hospitals. Steckel has a doctorate in nursing from the University of San Diego, a master’s degree in nursing administration from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University.

Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego has scheduled January workshops to help small business owners and those interested in starting a small business. Fees range from $29 to $109. For more information, call (619) 557-7272. To register for a workshop online, visit

• Jan. 28 – Marketing and Contracting with State and Local Governments – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Jan. 31 – Intellectual Property: Promise and Practicalities – 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).

North County:

The Business & Entrepreneur Center and the Small Business Development Center at MiraCosta College will offer free upcoming workshops to help businesses succeed. The workshops will be held at Vista City Hall, 200 Civic Center Drive, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Feb. 1: Build a Basic Website for a Business in One Day: Participants will learn how to build a Website in one session including, how to insert videos, links, and pictures. Bring a laptop.

March 1: Increase Sales Using Social Media: Learn how to incorporate social networking into a business.

April 5:  Financing Options for Businesses: Direct lenders and the SBA will discuss financing options for a business.

May 3: Ways to Market A Business: Learn to identify the “right” customer for a business and easy ways to market your business to them.

June 7: Marketing A Business Using Google Tools: Learn how to use Google tools such as ad words, ad sense, Google trends and more.

Bring a lunch to the workshops. Drinks will be provided.

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

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