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Daily Business Report — May 13, 2011

40 Under 40 Award Deadline Looms

The deadline for submitting nominations for SD METRO’s 40 Under 40 Awards for 2011 is drawing near. You have until May 30 to nominate people you believe are making substantial contributions to their community, their companies, organizations or institutions. You will find a nomination form on the front page of our Website (sandiegometro.com). Fill it out and submit. Editor’s Tip: Describe your nominee in depth. Give plenty of examples of major accomplishments.

Mayor Proposes Assessing Hotels for Center Expansion

Mayor Sanders on Wednesday proposed the creation of an assessment district to pay for the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center that would impose a room tax on hotels on a sliding scale in relation to their proximity to the Convenion Center. Under the proposal, hotels Downtown within close proximity to the Convention Center would be assessed 3 percent on each room night. Hotels in areas such as Mission Beach and Mission Valley would be assessed 2 percent and hotels farther out would be assessed 1 percent on each room night. Sanders said the hospitality industry’s annual contribution to the debt service for the expansion would be between $28 million and $30 million under his plan. “The current estimate for hard and soft costs as well as construction/design contingencies is $500 million plus $50 million for unanticipated site and entitlement costs,” Sanders said. That is below the original expansion estimate of $711 million. The expanded Convention Center is estimated to increase hotel-room nights by 657,000 each year and produce $121 million in new hotel-room sales revenue annually. It is projected to create an additional $16 million in hotel-tax revenues for the city each year, which can be used for city services such as police and fire, the mayor said. He is to present the plan to the City Council, and an update on the expansion, on May 17.

Downtown Redevelopment Paying Off, Study Says

A financial analysis requested by the City Council  has determined that Downtown redevelopment contributed $44 million more to the city treasury than it cost to provide services Downtown last year. The analysis was done by Keyser Marston Associates on behalf of the Centre City Development Corp. and will be presented to the City Council on May 16. It examined the estimated impacts of Downtown redevelopment to the city’s general fund as well as the effect of the recent elimination of the financial cap for Downtown redevelopment on the city’s overall finances. Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer, whose district includes Downtown, claimed the analysis substantiates that public investments Downtown are paying “important dividends throughout our city and supporting all San Diego communities.”

The analysis said overall Downtown redevelopment will contribute an estimated $1.2 billion of net benefit to the city in the next 40 years — or $338 million more than if the redevelopment cap had not been lifted. It also said an estimated $1.36 billion in Downtown tax revenues will be generated for the building and preservation of affordable housing units over the next 32 years.

April Home Sales Up From March; Down From Year Ago

Home Prices Dip

A total of 3,277 homes were sold in San Diego County during April, an increase of 214 sales from March and a decline of 15 sales from April of last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The median sales price for a home last month was $321,750 compared to $325,000 in March and $325,250 in April 2010.

Southern California Totals:

Home sales for the six-county area (San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange) fell to the lowest level for an April in three years. Prices trended sideways or down slightly, depending on location, as credit remained tight and distress sales and investor activity continued to dominate the market, a real estate information service reported. A total of 18,344 new and resale houses and condos sold in April. That was down 5.5 percent from 19,412 in March, and down 9.2 percent from 20,205 in April 2010.

The median price paid for all new and resale Southland houses and condos purchased last month was $280,000, down 0.2 percent from $280,500 in March, and down 1.8 percent from $285,000 in April 2010. The median has declined year-over-year for two consecutive months, and hasn’t posted an annual increase since last December, when it rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier.

“Sales have been far below average for quite a while and there’s little doubt there’s pent-up demand out there. But too many people still aren’t in the mood or in a position to buy,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president. “They might be concerned about prices falling more, or can’t qualify for a loan. They might owe more on their homes than they’re worth and can’t move up. Others were foreclosed on in recent years and can’t re-enter the market yet.”

Miramar College Starts More Construction

Future Miramar College building

A ceremonial groundbreaking for a new cafeteria/bookstore and student services center at San Diego Miramar College will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday and will feature a presentation by Patricia Hsieh, president of the college and other officials. The $34.5 million, three-story building was designed by NTD Architecture and will include a cafeteria, bookstore, multipurpose room, convenience store, coffee shop, meeting rooms and offices. Programs that are currently being offered in World War II-era bungalows on campus will be housed in the building, which is being targeted for LEED Silver certification. C.W. Driver is the construction manager. Completion is expected in Novembe 2012 with classes beginning in January 2013.

San Diego Office Building Sold

A 10,650-square-foot office building at 6035 University Ave. in San Diego has been purchased by Roy and Helen Lee, who intend to use it for a retail development. The buyers also own the contiguous property. The seller was the Odom Family Trust. Mark Caston and Rick Wu of Voit Real Estate Services directed the acquisition. The seller was represented by Tim Kerrigan of CB Richard Ellis. A sales price was not disclosed.

Panel to Discuss Design-Construction Programs

Gafcon and the Society for Marketing Professional Services will host a luncheon panel discussion on May 25 about design and construction programs for educational facilities. Yehudi “Gaf” Gaffen, Gafcon’s CEO, will moderate the panel at the Mission Valley DoubleTree Hotel. The program is from noon to 1:30 p.m. Other speakers include Jaime Ortiz of the Sweetwater Union High School District, Richard Burkhart of the Community College District and a representative of UCSD. Cost is $45 for members, $60 for nonmembers.


Festival of the Arts:

Bringing the Arts (And More) to the Streets

By Ashley Garman

On Sunday, University Avenue will be home to the North Park Festival of the Arts for the 15th consecutive year. The main focus is, well, art. Creating, participating, viewing and appreciating. Ray Street will play host to the Artists Village, an area where there will be art demonstrations of all kinds, from painting to glass blowing. Past years have also included metal work and pottery as well. For those who want to get their hands a little more messy, there is a hands-on arts area that will be on Herman Street. “It’s really geared towards kids and families, but anyone’s welcome. There’s no age limit,” said Liz Studebaker, executive director of the sponsoring North Park Main Street. The interactive arts area will have projects that include crayons, water colors and collages. “Get in there and get messy and get creative,” said Studebaker.

There will be about five organizations helping out and providing these projects, among them the Rare Hare Studio, an arts studio that focuses on reusing and recycling materials. The Plein Air Quick Draw is another opportunity for involvement and will be happening throughout the early part of the festival. It is a timed, still-life painting for which artists register in the morning, and then take their easels and canvases into the neighborhoods and communities to paint. “It’s a day when all the artists bring their art out to the street,” said Studebaker. After a few hours, the fresh paintings are brought back to be judged and sold.

While the still-life contest and Artists Village are favorites of past years, the Main Street Association is throwing something new into the mix this year: a featured artist. Karin Grow was chosen as the first featured artist of the Festival of the Arts, and her work is used on the poster and other promotional items for the festival. “It supports local artists and gives them pretty massive exposure,” said Studebaker, on the choice to feature a specific artist to provide the visual identity of the festival. She said North Park Main Street plans to change it up in each of the coming years, staying flexible with the type and look of art chosen. “The hope is that someday, local artists may create pieces specifically for the festival,” said Studebaker. The position for featured artist for next year is open, and directions for submission are online.

The festival was started 15 years ago with a vision of creating North Park as an arts district, but it wasn’t called the Festival of the Arts until about five years ago. The Karaoke Street Faire was the original name for the festival, and staying true to its music origins there will be six stages throughout the streets this year. Each stage will feature a different genre of performance, from music to dance and poetry. “The demographics in North Park are so diverse that we’ve tried to build an event that’s welcoming and interesting for all types of people,” said Studebaker.

Up-and-coming musicians will be performing on many of the stages, but one of the most popular attractions is the dance stage. “It is consistently the most densely packed draw of the festival,” said Studebaker. The dance stage has been produced and managed by Kathryn Irey of Stage 7 School of Dance for the past 10 years. “It’s become a venue that dance groups competitively apply for,” said Studebaker, describing the performances as professional and engaging.

Another popular aspect of the festival is the craft beer block on Ohio Street. It is the only paid-entry area, and tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 on the day of. The beer block will feature 40 to 50 types of beers, and each ticket holder gets to choose 10 to sample.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on University Avenue between 30th and 32nd streets. Free car parking will be available at the North Park parking garage at the corner of 29th Street and North Park Way, and there will be free bicycle parking at both ends of the festival.


Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego continues its series of low-cost workshops. Fees range from $29 to $109, depending on the program. To register online, visit score-sandiego.org. For more information, call (619) 557-7272.

May 13 – Women’s Networking Breakfast & Exhibits – 8 to 11 a.m. at Morgan Run Resort & Club (5690 Cancha de Golf, Rancho Santa Fe 92091; Attendees: $30 pre-paid registration by May 10, $40 thereafter; Exhibitors: $80 pre-paid registration by May 10, $90 thereafter).

May 14 – Business Plan 201: How to Write a Winning Business Plan – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, San Diego 92011; pre-paid registration $99, $109 at the door).

May 14 – Professional Selling: Increase Your Business Sales Now! – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

May 16 – Business Basics 101 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; No charge – please pre-register).

May 17 – Financial Statements: What They Mean, How to Use Them – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

May 18 – Internet Marketing 301: Increase Sales Through Pay-Per-Click – 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

May 21 – Introduction to Starting Your Own Business – 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

May 21 – Internet Marketing 101: Use the Internet to Successfully Market Your Business – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).


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. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com