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Daily Business Report — Jan. 12, 2012

State of the City: Closing the Deal or ‘Lukewarm Porridge’

San Diego Newsroom

Mayor Jerry Sanders delivered his final State of the City Address Wednesday using a theme of “Closing the Deal” to encourage city officials to finish what they started on improving civic finances and completing major building projects. “We need to close the deal on the civic achievements that will ensure our progress and strength, and enhance the quality of life for every resident,” Sanders said in a half-hour speech. Sanders listed pension reforms, lowering retiree health care costs and the elimination of the structural budget deficit as three of his “tangible” successes.

Sanders

“We met the challenge of our time by methodically and relentlessly cutting costs — finding one efficiency after another while protecting our most critical city services — until the size of our government was aligned with our revenues,” Sanders said.

Setting in motion this year the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, construction of a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers that is part of a larger Downtown entertainment complex, and improving the center of Balboa Park will also bring real benefits to the city, Sanders said.

Sanders, who will leave office in December after seven years, also said the new Central Library is now fully funded, but did not release details.

When fundraisers for the project last briefed the City Council at the end of September, they were about $25 million short in paying for the second phase of the project, which will be privately funded.

“The modern library is our community center, our meeting hall, the place where education and achievement converge,” Sanders said. “It’s where people go to research their health needs, to get information on parenting, to find help entering the job market and to move up the ladder.”

After the speech, Ruben Barrales, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said Sanders set the proper tone for his final 11 months in office. “I’m very pleased that the mayor will run through the tape and close the deal on needed city improvements,” Barrales said. He said he was especially excited about the push for a new stadium and the convention center expansion.

Lorena Gonzalez, the secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, equated the speech to “lukewarm porridge,” which San Diegans are tired of. “Instead, our city was looking for answers to the important questions facing them,” Gonzalez said. “How will he put San Diegans back to work in good jobs? What assurances will the city make to employ local workers on the projects he’s been proposing? And what is the city doing to keep city residents in their homes when foreclosures are wrecking families and blighting neighborhoods?”

Gonzalez said it was disappointing that Sanders won’t have more accomplishments checked off by the time he leaves office.

The beginning of the speech was briefly disrupted by several Occupy San Diego protesters who chanted slogans. They protested outside the theater before and after the event.

Historic Gaslamp Quarter Buildings Sold

Two historic Gaslamp Quarter mixed-used properties — the Nesmith Greeley Building on Fifth Avenue and the Gaslamp Quarter Hotel on Fourth Avenue — have been sold. The Nesmith Greeley building was sold for $3.175 million and the Gaslamp Quarter Hotel sold for $1.965 million. The buyer for both properties was Jorge Sampietro.

The Nesmith Greeley Building, an 18,031-square-foot retail and loft apartment building, was built in 1888, renovated in the late 1990s and is one of Gaslamp’s most iconic properties. The Gaslamp Quarter Hotel is a 6,000- square-foot retail and residential building that was built in 1902, renovated in the 1980s and has been the longtime home of Sushi Bar Nippon.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Bill Shrader & Pete Bethea represented the seller, Street Retail West I,  in the sale of the Nesmith Greeley Building. On the sale of the Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, Cushman & Wakefield’s Bill Shrader represented the seller, Latifondista LLC.

Other Property Sales:

• An industrial warehouse building at 3220 Kurtz St. in the Sports Arena area sold for $1.45 million to Avi Klinger. The building was built in 1950. The sellers were Joseph and Annette Fritzenkotter.

• The Towers at Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad sold for $324,125. The 2,593-square-foot R&D condominium, built in 2007, was acquired by Alpha Design.

• Oceanside’s Venture Commerce Center, a 3,683-square-foot industrial warehouse condominium, sold for $310,000. The seller was City National Bank and the buyer was 3648 Ocean Ranch LLC.

New Chairman Leads Board of Port Commissioners

Retired Admiral Lou Smith, who represents the city of Coronado on the Board of Port Commissioners, was sworn in as chairman of the board on Wednesday. Commissioner Ann Moore, who represents Chula Vista, was sworn in as vice chair. Commissioner Lee Burdick, representing San Diego, was sworn in as secretary. Smith began his service on the Board of Port Commissioners in January 2010. A career naval officer, he began in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. He completed three tours in Vietnam, supervising construction facilities for the Marines. Later in his naval career, he was sent to Washington, D.C., where he worked with the Department of Defense and Congress. He retired from the Navy in 2000 as a two-star admiral. Following his Navy career, he served as chief administrative officer for San Diego City Schools.

Lori Holt Pfeiler Appointment

Pfeiler

Lori Holt Pfeiler, former Escondido mayor, SANDAG chair and North County Transit District Chair; has been appointed associate vice president of “Our Greater San Diego Vision” by The San Diego Foundation. In her new role, Pfeiler is overseeing the public input collected now until Jan. 31 at www.showyourlovesd.org. She will also lead the analysis to follow that will produce a long-term vision for the San Diego region based on the input of thousands of residents. She was an ambassador for the initiative early on and co-chaired its LIVE task force that looked at scenarios to accommodate the 1.3 million new residents projected by 2050.

Marine Training Center Receives LEED Certification

The new Marine Corps Infantry Training Center at Camp Pendleton has received a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The center was designed by KMA Architecture & Engineering in partnership with Straub Construction Inc. 

The two-story center incorporates eco-friendly features including photovoltaic panels on roofs to offset building energy costs by an estimated 14 percent and water efficient landscaping with drought-tolerant native plant species to reduce irrigation requirements by 60 percent. Overall water-use reduction will be achieved with low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The building also includes translucent panel skylights, and low-e insulated glass for exterior windows to bring natural daylight into the building. In addition, preferred parking for low-emission and fuel efficient vehicles was provided, as part of the plan to achieve LEED certification.


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: info@probolskyresearch.com