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Daily Business Report — Aug. 31, 2011

New Hillcrest DMV Office to Share Space With Condos and Retail

Plans are under way to construct a new and larger Department of Motor Vehicles office in Hillcrest along with rental housing and commercial/retail space at the same Normal Street site. Under legislation sponsored by state Sen. Christine Kehoe, the state would partner with developer Lankford and Associates for development of the property. Lankford would be given a 65-year ground lease on the Normal Street property. In return, the firm would demolish the existing DMV structure and build a larger facility (19,000 square feet) with underground parking, plus rental housing and commercial/retail space.

Hillcrest DMV to be demolished

According to Kehoe, construction will start after the environmental review and entitlement are completed, with the DMV facility construction lasting 14 months and the residential/commercial component taking an additional four months. The new building will be 6,000 square feet larger than the existing structure, and certified as LEED silver, an internationally-recognized sustainable building certification.

During the demolition and construction period, DMV customers will be directed to other field offices in the region. Employees from the Hillcrest branch will be reassigned to those offices, allowing more service windows to be open. The DMV will work with the Hillcrest Farmers Market, held near the Normal Street site, to ensure the market continues with normal operating hours.

Development of the new DMV will be discussed at the Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 meetings of Uptown Planners at 6 p.m. in the Joyce Beers Center, 1230 Cleveland Ave. in the Uptown shopping district. “These meetings will give residents an opportunity to know more about this new facility that will improve their DMV customer experience and be an asset to the neighborhood,” said Kehoe.  “We want to be responsive to community needs and concerns.” The Sept. 6 gathering will be an introduction of the people working on the project while the Oct. 4 session will be more detailed and allow the public to share comments and have questions answered.

County Economic Indicators Rise in July

The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.2 percent in July. Leading the way to the upside were strong gains in help wanted advertising and the outlook for the local economy. Local stock prices were also up moderately.  These outweighed a sharp drop in consumer confidence and smaller declines in building permits and initial claims for unemployment insurance to push the USD Index to its eighth gain in nine months. There was some concern when last month’s report showed the first drop in the USD Index in 27 months, according to Index author Alan Gin. “While the gain in July reduced some of those concerns, there are still some worries about the possibility of a double dip recession, both locally and at the national level,” said Gin, an economics professor.  “The probability of a recession is probably less than 50 percent, but the probability is significant and is growing.”

A drop in consumer confidence and the lack of income due to high unemployment has adversely affected personal consumption expenditures, which is about 70 percent of economy activity, according to the report. That, combined with a drop in government expenditures as all levels of government cut back to deal with deficits, has caused the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to slow to a crawl. “Add to that a weak housing and real estate market, increased inflation, and political turmoil over fiscal policy and the ingredients for a downturn are there,” said Gin. “Whether this is enough or whether a further triggering mechanism is needed remains to be seen.”

July’s increase puts the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 117.1, up from June’s revised reading of 116.9.

Pacific Trust Bank Receives U.S. Treasury Investment

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Pacific Trust Bank in Chula Vista, has received an investment of $32 million in the company’s preferred stock from the U.S. Treasury Department under the Small Business Lending Fund. The Lending Fund is a $30 billion voluntary program intended to encourage small business lending by providing capital to qualified community banks at favorable rates. As of June 30, 2011, the company had consolidated total assets of $882.3 million and stockholders’ equity of $160.5 million. The company’s book value per share was $13.91 as of June 30, 2011, based upon 11,520,067 shares of common stock outstanding as of that date.

Landscape Architecture Advisory Board Formed

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) has formed a six-member Landscape Architecture Advisory Board to assist students with urban landscape issues. Leslie Ryan, chair of the school’s Landscape Architecture Program, said that students will benefit from the professional experience and perspectives that board members bring to the school. “In the current economic climate, students need to be more than good designers” she said. “They also need to understand the larger network of issues that require attention, such as taking into account rapid urbanization and grasping the local impacts of projects and other plans in the future.” Advisory Board members were selected based on their knowledge of urban landscape issues across a range of disciplines, projects and scales. The members area:

• Martin Flores, director of urban design and planning at Rick Engineering.

• Kathy Garcia, planning director for the city of Del Mar and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

• Lara Gates, senior planner for the city of San Diego.

• Bruce Rudd, senior landscape architect with Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

• Glen Schmidt, principal at Schmidt Design Group.

• Andrew Spurlock, principal at Spurlock Poirier Landscape Architects.

Anne Benge Becomes President of Unisource Solutions

Anne Benge

Anne Benge has been named president of Unisource Solutions in San Diego. She was previously a principal of the company. Benge opened Unisource’s San Diego office in 2009 with a staff of 15 people. Prior to opening the Unisource office, Benge opened and grew two start-up companies. She was one of the first in San Diego to become a LEED-accredited professional and she has been instrumental in building the San Diego chapter of the Green Building Council. Benge is past president of CREW San Diego and is an member of Athena. She also serves as a mentor with Women Unlimited, a national organization that helps women become leaders in business.

Active Network Creates New Technology Position

Darko Dejanovic has been appointed to the newly created position of chief technology, product and innovation officer for Active Network Inc. Dejanovic will lead the company’s global technology and product strategy and operations spanning more than 25 countries. Prior to joining Active Network, Dejanovic served for four years as the executive vice president, global CIO and head of product at Monster Worldwide, where he was responsible for global IT strategy, operations and development, product innovation and design as well as consumer advertising businesses. Previously he held technology roles for more than a decade at the Tribune Company and its subsidiary, Tribune Publishing Co. He holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree  from Florida Metropolitan University.

Custom Logos One of 10 ‘Best Places to Work’

Custom Logos of San Diego was named one of Counselor magazine’s top 10 “Best Places to Work” — honoring ad specialty companies whose employees love going to work every day. Located in Kearny Mesa, Custom Logos specializes in custom imprinted sportswear, commercial printing and advertising specialties. It has 45 employees. The Best Places to Work survey measured 10 different areas: team effectiveness, retention risk (employee loyalty), alignment with goals (does employee understand goals of company?), trust with coworkers, individual contribution (does the company adequately recognize employees?), manager effectiveness, trust in senior leaders, feeling valued (does the company invest in employee success?), satisfaction with current role, and people practices (satisfaction with company benefits).

Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego continues its series of small business workshops. For more information, call (619) 557-7272 or visit

• Sept. 1 ­ Hiring and Managing Employees ­ 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Sept. 6 ­ 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 Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Sept. 7 ­ Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage ­ 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

• Sept. 7 ­ QuickBooks Basic ­ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Sept. 8 ­ Internet Marketing 301: Increase Sales through Pay-Per-Click ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Sept. 8 ­ Financing Your Business ­ 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Sept. 9 ­ Business Basics 101 ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; no charge ­ please pre-register).

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News and the West Coast Craftsman. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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