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Daily Business Report — Jan. 18, 2012

Home Sales Climb in San Diego County

Home sales in San Diego County climbed from 2,754 in November to 3,311 in December — a jump of 557 — and increased by 3.8 percent from sales of 3,191 in December of last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, a real estate information service. The median home price in the county was $315,000 in December — no change from November — and reflected a 5.4 percent decline from the median of $333,000 in December of 2010.

Southern California Totals:

Southern California home sales surged last month from November – as they normally do – amid relatively strong activity under $300,000 and a record share of sales to “absentee” buyers, mainly investors. But with the purchase plans of many ordinary buyers and sellers still on hold, the year-end rush couldn’t lift sales above December 2010. Moreover, investors’ focus on lower-cost homes helped push the median sale price back down to its 2011 low point, DataQuick said.

A total of 19,247 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in December. That was up 14.0 percent from 16,884 in November but down 1.4 percent from 19,528 in December 2010.

Last month the median price paid for all new and resale Southland houses and condos sold was $270,000, down 1.8 percent from $275,000 in November and down 6.9 percent from $290,000 in December 2010. Last month’s $270,000 median matched January and October for the lowest level of 2011. The regional median has declined year-over-year for the past 10 months – since last March.

City College to Break Ground on

New Science Building

San Diego City College will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking at 10 a.m. on Friday for a new, four-story science building that will house the astronomy, life sciences and physical sciences programs. The 98,978-square-foot building will include multiple laboratories, science lecture classrooms, a rooftop observation deck and a planetarium. The $57.2 million project, funded as part of the San Diego Community College District’s $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program, is on track to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council, one of 12 across the district and among a total of 30 LEED certifications. An instructional “block” will house all of the classrooms, including four 60-seat classrooms, two 30-seat classrooms, a 120-seat classroom, along with offices and the planetarium. The other “block” will be designated for all of the laboratory areas, separating “dry” labs from “wet” labs. Harley Ellis Devereaux is the project architect. Construction manager is Rudolph & Sletten.

Indian Casino Operators Close on $215 Million Refinancing

The San Pasqual Casino Development Group Inc., the gaming corporation of the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, owners of the Valley View Casino & Hotel, has closed on a refinancing of its $215 million in outstanding high-yield bonds due in September 2013. new credit facility was funded by a syndicate of seven banks led by BofA Merrill Lynch and KeyBank NA, who were joined by Compass Bank, Comerica Bank, PNC Bank, Capital One and Manufacturers Bank.  “In a very tight lending environment, we received favorable terms due to the sustained growth of our business and the stability of our board of directors,” said Jennifer Bryant, chief financial officer at Valley View Casino & Hotel.

San Diego to Host 2012 Craft Brewers Conference

Hindy

Steve Hindy, co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery, is the keynote speaker of the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference to be staged May 2-5 at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. Close to 4,000 industry professionals are expected to attend the four days of education and networking. Hindy and his neighbor, Tom Potter, founded Brooklyn Brewery, seeking to rebuild the robust brewing culture that once existed in New York’s German immigrant communities. The Craft Brewers Conference is the nation’s largest annual gathering of the professional brewing industry. Conference workshop presenters cover more than 50 topics ranging from technical brewing to brewery management and marketing.

Luce Forward to Merge With International Firm

The name of the venerable San Diego law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps will disappear on March 1 when the firm — founded in 1873 by Moses A. Luce — will officially merge with the Washington, D.C.-based McKenna Long & Aldridge, an international law firm with 475 attorneys and public policy advisers. The combined firm will continue as McKenna Long & Aldridge and will operate with more than 600 attorneys and public policy advisers in 15 offices in the United States and internationally. “Our focus for the past 138 years has always been to provide our clients with the highest level of service and legal experience,” said Luce Forward Managing Partner Kurt Kicklighter. “By combining with McKenna Long & Aldridge, we provide our clients with an international network of talented attorneys who can service any needs they might have beyond California.”

The merger was approved by a vote of each firm’s partners. “We took a long look at ways to better meet the growing needs of our clients on the West Coast,” said  MLA Chair Jeff Haidet.  “The market for legal and regulatory work in California is growing, and Luce Forward’s statewide platform represented a perfect fit for our firm.  MLA and Luce Forward share similar values and cultures, and are fully committed to delivering innovative solutions to our clients. “

Moses A. Luce launched his law firm in the early years of San Diego. He drafted the first city charter of the city of San Diego. He was the local postmaster and served as vice president of the Santa Fe Railroad. He practiced law as one of the county’s leading citizens for nearly 50 years until 1922, when he retired at 80. He died at 91


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.

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