Daily Business Report — Feb. 7, 2012
Federal Court Rejects Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
(City News Service) Supporters of same-sex marriage in San Diego and across the state scored a victory today when a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex weddings, was unconstitutional. The 2-1 decision, however, will likely be appealed to either the full 9th Circuit Court or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the court panel’s ruling, the proposition’s primary impact was to “lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” The case had been pending before the appellate court for months, including a delay while it awaited a ruling from the state Supreme Court on whether proponents of Proposition 8 had legal standing to appeal the issue. The Supreme Court eventually said they do. Despite the court ruling today, a stay on gay marriages in California will remain in effect while the court case continues.
Downtown Retail Vacancy Rate Lowest Since 2008
The year-end retail vacancy rate in Downtown San Diego was pegged at 10.7 percent — down from the 11.4 percent reported at mid-year and 12.2 percent at year-end 2010, according to a report by Cushman & Wakefield’s Urban Property Group. With nearly all Downtown neighborhoods reporting positive absorption, the vacancy is the lowest the Downtown market has seen since 2008, the report said.
Bill Shrader, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield, said the 2011 year-end positive absorption of 57,959 square feet in Downtown is a dramatic improvement from the same time a year ago when retail activity was negative 46,212 square feet. The overall vacancy rate, he said, is still recuperating from the nearly 150,000 square feet of negative absorption in 2009, and the recovery trend continues to be gradual and steady. “We are definitely seeing a slow and steady improvement, despite consumer and economic uncertainty,” said Shrader. “The biggest challenge for the retail market continues to be the lack of capital funding available to new business owners, as the market has been dominated by independent entrepreneurial operators. Only in the last few months are we starting to see the national chains re-emerge in the market place, which for Downtown San Diego has been the quick-serve restaurant concepts like Subway, Chipotle, IHOP Express, Smashburger and Specialties vs. the national soft-good retailers that we saw opening three to five years ago.”
The Cushman & Wakefield report shows that overall; there is 531,562 square feet of vacant ground floor commercial space Downtown, within a total inventory of 4.9 million square feet. Little Italy has surpassed Gaslamp for the lowest overall vacancy for the second year in a row. Had Borders Books not vacated 33,000 square feet, Gaslamp would have ended 2011 with a vacancy rate of 3.5 [ercemt. Demand for Gaslamp’s Fifth Avenue corridor is so great that the average monthly rental rate reached a record high of $4.36 per square foot in 2011, surpassing the $4.10 per square foot average seen in 2007, which was undoubtedly the peak for Downtown retail. This compares to Little Italy’s average rent for 2011 of $2.45 per square foot, and is more than $2 per square foot greater than the overall downtown average of $2.32. Overall retail vacancy continues to be the highest in East Village at 18.9 percent.
Best Best & Krieger Appoints Office Managing Partner
Best Best & Krieger has appointed Arlene Prater to serve as office managing partner of the San Diego office. Prater will oversee strategic direction, general operations and business development for the San Diego office of BB&K. The San Diego office has 33 attorneys practicing in various areas of public and private sector law. Prater practices in the firm’s labor and employment group. Prater succeeds BB&K partner Warren Diven, who served as the firm’s San Diego office managing partner since January 2008. Prater joined BB&K in October 1993. Previously she was a partner at Jennings, Engstrand & Henrikson and was employed with the San Diego County Counsel’s office from 1977-1988.
Torrey Pines Bank Signs New $8 Million Lease
Torrey Pines Bank has signed a new seven-year lease valued at $8 million for the ground floor and second floor at 12220 El Camino Real in Del Mar Heights — an expansion. The office expansion totals 27,834 square feet. Dave Odmark of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial represented Torrey Pines Bank in the transaction. Odmark, Rick Reeder and Joe Anderson, also with Cassidy Turley, also represented the lessor, Cognac Del Mar LLC.
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