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San Diego Scene 3.2011

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has made an agreement with International Golden Group to offer the Predator XP unmanned aerial vehicle to the United Arab Emirates government. International Golden Group is a supplier of defense systems in the Middle East. J. Neal Blue, chairman and CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical, said the agreement will help the United Arab Emirates strengthen its national security and protect infrastructure. Because of U.S. government export restrictions, sales of all General Atomics Aeronautical unmanned aerial vehicles had been limited to the U.S. government, NATO and other allied nations. However, General Atomics Aeronautical recently expanded its aircraft portfolio to offer an export version of its flagship Predator UAS — the Predator XP.  Offering comparable ISR capabilities as Predator, Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. government to be proposed for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Predator XP exhibits the same physical dimensions, altitude, speed, and long endurance (up to 40 hours) as the original “RQ-1” Predator aircraft first flown by the U.S. Air Force.

The median price of a Downtown resale condo was $454,190 for the 30-day period ended Feb. 18, higher by $17,320 over the previous month, though lower by 15.89 percent from February 2010 ($540,000), reports Realtor Lew Breeze of The average price was $674,170; the trimmed average was $551,097; the average without conversions was $746,553, and if you want to purchase a quality condo the average resale price was $923,670.
The number of resale condos pending sale during the past 30 days was 75, compared to 47 in January, and compared to 49 from February last year. The average price per square foot pending sale was $361, compared to $394 from the same period in 2010. The number of resale condos closing sale during the 30 days prior to Feb. 18 was 41, compared to 49 in January, and compared to 45 from the same period in 2010. The average price per square foot of units closing sale was $348, compared to $363 from the same period last year.
There were 294 resale condos for sale Downtown, compared to 300 in January, and compared to 322 for the same period a year ago. During this period, 46 percent of the closed sales were “all cash,” totaling $7,428,136, compared to 43 percent totaling $7,723,859 in January. Interesting to note that during this period, 63 percent of the closed sales were “distressed” sales.

The original partners of Irving Hughes real estate firm have gone their separate ways — after 18 years together. Craig Irving has formed The Irving Group. Jason Hughes and David Marino have formed Hughes Marino. Both firms exclusively represent tenants in their lease and purchase negotiations. Both Irving and Hughes describe the parting as amicable; each pledging to support each other’s endeavors. Irving’s new firm is located at 8710 University Center Lane, Suite 100, while Hughes Marino remains located at the former Irving Hughes Downtown office at 655 West Broadway, Suite 1650. Irving is a third generation San Diegan. His father, retired federal Judge J. Lawrence Irving, started his legal career in Downtown San Diego in the mid-1960s. After attending the judge’s alma mater, USC, Craig Irving began his real estate career in 1985 at John Burnham & Co. In 1989, Irving left Burnham with John Donovan to start the Donovan Irving Group. Donovan left the business in 1993 and Irving changed the business model to exclusive tenant representation. Later that year he hired a competitor, Jason Hughes, to work for him and two years after that he made Hughes a partner and changed the name of the company to Irving Hughes.

Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for global women’s issues, and L. Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, are among speakers at the 24th annual Women’s Leadership Symposium March 15-16 at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego. Sponsored by the Sea Service Leadership Association, the event is one of the largest gatherings of women in uniform in the U.S. Also scheduled are Army Capt. Dawn Halfaker, an Iraq war veteran who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroism in the conflict, and Elisabeth Bumiller, a New York Times reporter who spent time embedded in the Marine Corps’ female engagement team in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. The symposium’s theme is “Connect. Empower. Succeed.” Association officials said it will offer women from all service branches an opportunity to focus on their leadership development while also highlighting the achievements of women leaders on the front lines across the globe. In addition to the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard, this year the Army and Air Force are participating partners.
The first day of the conference will feature speakers and panel sessions on issues relevant to all military women, such as “Achieving Career Success,” “Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle” and “Financial Management.” The second day will include high-ranking senior officer speakers and agendas specific to each of the service branches.  For more, visit

Gene Ray, founder of The Titan Corp. and former executive with SAIC, will be honored on March 31 with CONNECT’s highest award — the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Estancia La Jolla, 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, in La Jolla. Members are $150 and nonmembers $175.  Ray is managing director of GMT Ventures. He is being honored for contributions he has made to San Diego’s technology industry. “Not only has Gene significantly contributed to San Diego’s technology entrepreneurship, but his companies have made pivotal contributions to our nation’s overall security,” the CONNECT citation reads.
Ray will be the ninth inductee into the Hall of Fame. Others are Irwin Jacobs, Walter Zable, Ivor Royston, William Rastetter, J. Robert Beyster, Neal and Linden Blue and Peter Preuss. 

For more information, call Taylor Peterson at (858) 964-1341.
Medical center rendering.

Sharp Rees-Stealy has begun construction of a new Downtown medical center to replace the 88-year-old building on Fourth Avenue. Sharp officials said it will be the first LEED Gold-certified “green” medical building in San Diego. The three-story building will have 66,365 square feet of medical office space, 300 parking spaces and a history gallery. The first floor will house a pharmacy, optical shop and physical therapy department. Urgent care, occupational medicine and radiology will be on the second floor. The third floor will be devoted to internal medicine, family medicine and specialty practices. Sharp officials anticipate a summer 2012 opening.


LEAD San Diego will fete winners of its 2011 Visionary Awards at a dinner May 26 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. More than 1,000 civic and community leaders are expected. Award recipients are:
• Yvonne Larson, past president of the Junior League of San Diego a founding organization of LEAD, will receive the Morgan Award.
• Jan Tuttleman, a leader in several nonprofit organizations and active in the bioscience community, is to received the Graduate of the Year Award.
• Gary Gallegos, executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments, will receive the Ronald Kendrick Memorial Award for Regional Collaboration.
• Greg Lucier, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Life Technologies, is to receive the Economic Opportunity Award.
• José Galicot Behar, founder of Tijuana Innovadora, and Alejandro Bustamante, president of  Plantronics Mexico, are to receive the Charles Nathanson Memorial Award for Cross-Border Regional Building.
The 2011 Herbert G. Klein and the Community Spotlight awards will be announced the evening of the awards.


Richard C. Atkinson, president emeritus of the University of California system, will receive the Scientist of the Year Award from the San Diego chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) at a March 18 dinner at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel.


Tom Hanson has been named director of sales for VQ ActionCare, a company that makes adult fitness and lifestyle equipment. The company’s Resistance Chair is a patented, at-home cable exercise system designed for mature adults. Hanson earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Oregon, with graduate studies in international business at the University of San Diego. He serves on the San Diego & Imperial District Export Council.


The 10th annual Black & White Ball, a fundraising social event for San Diego’s legal community, will be staged March 5 in the Elizabeth Ballroom of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Downtown. Activities start at 6 p.m. The San Diego chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the sponsor, has selected Conner’s Cause for Children as the fundraiser beneficiary. The Encinitas-based nonprofit organization provides financial assistance to families struggling to care for a child with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness or injury. For more, call Jon Hellings, the ACC executive director, at (619) 507-6772.

Construction has been completed on new corporate offices of enXco, a renewable energy company that designs, constructs and operates wind and solar projects in North America. The 51,200-square-foot offices, located at 15445 Innovation Drive in San Diego, were completed by Johnson & Jennings General Contracting. The facilities include two floors of offices, conference space, casual meeting areas, a server and lunchroom and a fitness center with showers. The building also has a working rooftop solar array designed by enXco. The offices were designed and constructed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for commercial interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council. Randy Clark, facilities manager for enXco, was project manager. Joe O’Hollearn, Maruka Tarabay and Monica Peralta of IR2 provided design services.
Johnson & Jennings’ project team included Carl Haines as senior project manager, Robert Gutierrez as project superintendent and Erin Downing as project engineer.


Entrada Apartments

Thomas Jefferson School of Law has secured a 15-year master lease with Security Properties Inc. for the Entrada Apartments in Downtown San Diego to provide housing for students beginning in the spring term. The 172-unit apartment building is located at 453 13th St., a few blocks away from the law school’s new high-rise at 1155 Island Ave. Security Properties is based in Seattle and is one of the largest multifamily real estate owners in the U.S. It purchased the apartment building for $22 million in July 2010. The 159,000-square-foot Entrada Apartments was built in 2004 and has a mix of studio, loft, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments. It has a newly renovated rooftop common area, an interior courtyard, fitness center and underground parking. The apartment building houses about 200 students. The law school opened its new Downtown campus in January and has a current enrollment of 950 students and 200 faculty and staff. It plans to expand its student body to more than 1,000 in the coming year.

Noble-prize winning economist Amartya Sen will speak on “Justice: Local and Global” at 7 p.m. on March 31 in the UCSD Price Center Ballroom West. The event is free and open to the public with no tickets or reservations required. Sen is regarded as one of the world’s foremost thinkers in the field of famine, poverty, social choice and welfare economics. He received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics and has used some of the prize money to establish the Pratichi Trust to promote primary education in India. The lecture is presented by the Helen Edison Lecture Series in partnership with the UCSD Division of Social Science, and the Institute for International, Comparative and Area Studies.

NAIOP San Diego, Newport National Corp. and the city of Oceanside will host a North County property showcase and networking event on March 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. at The Campus, 5964 La Place Court, in Carlsbad. Attendees will network with property owners, developers, lenders, brokers and other real estate-related vendors. Admission is $30 for NAIOP members, $60 for nonmembers and $75 at the door. For more, call (858) 509-4110.

The San Diego chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction will celebrate Women in Construction Week March 6-12, whose focus is to highlight women as a visible component of the construction industry. “The construction industry is one of the few in the United States that forecasts long-term growth and offers well-paying careers to workers from high school graduates to Ph.D.s,” says Dede Hughes, executive vice president of the organization. “Women can build a career in the construction industry and advance professionally.” For information about events planned during the week, call Rukhsana Hafeez at (858) 560-6060.

The 22nd annual Women’s Resource Fair on March 5 will offer medical, legal and social services to low-income, homeless, recovering and abused women and children in the San Diego region. It wil be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Golden Hall in the Downtown Civic Center, 202 C St. More than 100 organizations that provide services will attend.

Former Councilwoman Donna Frye will be honored as the Spirit of the 2011 San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony and dinner at San Diego State’s Alumni Hall on March 12 at 5 p.m. Frye will join five other San Diego women in receiving acknowledgement of their contributions to the community: Margaret “Midge” Costanza (1932-2010); activists Judy Forman, Rita Sanchez and Clara Harris; and Martha W. Longenecker, founder of the San Diego Mingei International Museum.

Andy Phemister, an 18-year veteran of local chambers of commerce, has been named the new CEO of the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. The San Diego native has worked for the La Mesa Chamber, the San Diego East County Chamber and the Encinitas Chamber. He was executive director of the Encinitas organization. Phemister attended San Diego State and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix. He is a graduate of the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management at the University of Notre Dame.

Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, is to deliver the keynote address at Symposium 2011: Advancing the Science and Business of Gems — a May 29-30 conference sponsored by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad. Gem industry business leaders and research scientists will convene to share findings and insights that impact the global gem and jewelry industry. “Attendees will be challenged to think strategically and expand both the scope and geography of their business, which is necessary in today’s economic environment,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice president and chief marketing officer. “Forbes’ commitment to leadership and success, along with his global economic insight, are sure to leave a lasting impression.”
Symposium business and research tracks will cover topics on consumer behavior, luxury marketing, design trends, social media, new gem localities, advances in gemstone treatments and technology, as well as the social, political, and ethical issues surrounding the production and distribution of gems and jewelry.
Forbes has launched a variety of new publications and businesses, including ForbesLife, the dedicated luxury lifestyle and culture magazine; ForbesWoman, providing Forbes’ community of executive women with luxury lifestyle content; Forbes Asia; and Forbes licensee editions published in China, Croatia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Turkey. The company also publishes a number of investment newsletters. Another division of the company is Forbes Investors Advisory Institute.  GIA Symposium 2011 will commemorate the 80th anniversary of GIA. For more information, visit

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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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