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Daily Business Report — Oct. 25, 2011

Fat City Lofts Project Challenged by Solar Turbines

A proposal to develop a large residential and retail complex at the site of the Fat City/China Camp property on Pacific Highway has encountered opposition from Solar Turbines, a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. that operates a large turbine manufacturing business across the street. The company objects to the proposal to develop a 232-unit apartment building on the property and has asked the Centre City Development Corp. to deny permits for the project. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Fat City Lofts rendering

Solar Turbines contends that the addition of a large residential complex is not a good fit for the area where large manufacturing is taking place.

The proposed development is called Fat City Lofts, a project sponsored by architect and developer Jonathan Segal and GLJ Partners. Plans call for a 232-residence apartment building with ocean and cityscape views, recreation facilities, subterranean parking and nearly 5,000 square feet of retail. The developers said the project incorporates and preserves part of the 1941 landmark Top’s Night Club, the predecessor of Fat City, and has won the endorsement of the Save Our Heritage Organisation.

“Fat City Lofts will connect Little Italy to the North Embarcadero and will be a catalyst in the transformation of what currently is a dead zone along Pacific Highway in North Little Italy,” said Garth Erdossy, president of GLJ Partners.

Segal maintains that the project complies with existing zoning and that it can co-exist with Solar Turbines.  The developers have agreed that all Solar Turbines operations should continue and will put in writing that they will not challenge any permit renewals from the 48 regulators Solar Turbines must deal with. Apartment renters will be required to sign the same agreement. Studies that the developers commissioned, they said, show that Solar Turbines’ operations will have no air quality effect on the apartment dwellers and that the presence of apartments will have no effect on any Solar permit.

SDSU Reaped Millions in Grants Last Fiscal Year

During the last fiscal year, researchers at San Diego State secured more than $145 million in research grants and contracts — a total of 799 awards, the university reported. One of the largest chunks of grants came from the National Institutes of Health, which awarded SDSU researchers 103 grants and funding of $32.2 million. SDSU was awarded 51 grants from the National Science Foundation,totaling $8.95. The Small Business Administration provided $599,978 to support an “Advanced Defense Technologies Cluster” program to help small businesses develop defense-related technologies that will provide the military with new equipment, materials and tools that will save lives while helping them meet operational requirements in hostile environments. SDSU’s role is to leverage the many programs and resources in the region to provide training, education, research, partnerships for small businesses based in San Diego. “Our research is affecting lives in San Diego, throughout California and around the world,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “Through this work, we are addressing challenges in public health, the environment, national security, energy and many other areas.”

Rescued Turtle Returns to San Diego Bay

“Bruce,” an injured turtle that was rescued from San Diego Bay in January, is ready to return to the wild. The endangered Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtle was found off the waters of the decommissioned South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista. Underweight and lethargic, he was taken to Sea World San Diego to be evaluated. He was named Bruce by his rescuers. He is among the estimated 60 to 100 Eastern Pacific Green Sea Turtles that live in San Diego Bay. At SeaWorld, a team of veterinarians examined Bruce and discovered that he had been hit by a shotgun. Although shotgun pellets were found in his chin and throat, the injuries were not life threatening. Bruce remained at SeaWorld for rehabilitation, where he gained weight and made a full recovery. Researchers there have tagged Bruce with a sonic monitoring system so that they can keep track of him after he is released back into San Diego Bay

Best Best & Krieger Partner Selected for California Post

De Sousa

The California Special Districts Association has selected Paula de Sousa, a partner at Best Best & Krieger LLP, to serve on the association’s newly assembled working group that examines legal and policy issues relevant to Local Agency Formation Commissions, commonly known as LAFCOs. She is one of only two attorneys and the only attorney from San Diego County selected for this working group of 29 members. The team will research, review, discuss and analyze critical policy issues confronting the special district community in the area of agency formation and reorganization. De Sousa, a partner in the law firm’s special districts practice group, practices in most areas of public agency representation, including the Political Reform Act, Brown Act, California Public Records Act, public works construction and purchasing issues, real property issues, and the Cortese- Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000.

 She currently serves as general counsel  to  the North County Transit District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Metro Wastewater Joint Powers Authority, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Sweetwater Authority and Valley Center Municipal Water District.

Attorneys Join Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel


Attorney Wilson Schooley and associates Jennifer Chang, Elvira Cortez and Malcolm Roberts have joined the San Diego office of Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel. Schooley joins the firm as an of counsel attorney. His practice includes business, real property, constitutional, criminal, and environmental litigation at the trial and appellate levels.  Schooley has represented a variety of Fortune 100 companies. Chang, Cortez and Roberts join the firm as associates. Chang practices in the business transaction group with a focus on corporate and real estate transactions and in the litigation group with a focus on estate and probate disputes. Cortez and Roberts are members of the construction, insurance and litigation transaction groups.

Small Business Workshops

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

• Oct. 26 ­ Internet Marketing 304: Cost-Effective Internet Marketing Tools ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Oct. 27 ­ 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).

• Oct. 28 ­ Insurance: What You Need to Know ­ 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).

• Oct. 29 ­ Business Basics 101 ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; no charge ­ please pre-register).

• Oct. 31 ­ Financial Statements ­ 9:30 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

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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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: