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Daily Business Report — April 11, 2012

40 Under 40 Nominations Open

Nominations are now open for SD METRO’s annual 40 Under 40 Awards recognition program. Nominate a man or woman you think has made outstanding contributions to his or her profession, industry or to San Diego County as a whole. We will announce the winners in September. Either fill out the nomination form at or send your nomination to Better get crackin’! The deadline is May 31.

Dual Hotel Project Proposed for Fat City/China Camp Site

New: Fat City Hotel

Developers who failed to get approval of a 232-unit residential project near the Solar Turbines plant on Pacific Highway are now applying for permits to build a dual hotel project at the Fat City/China Camp property. GLJ Partners and Jonathan Segal have submitted an application to the Centre City Development Corp. board, which could begin consideration of the proposal at its April 25 meeting.

Old: Fat City Lofts

The developers are proposing a six-story, 239,100-square-foot project — designed by Gene Fong Associates of Los Angeles — that will include a standard hotel and an all-suites hotel with a total of 364 guest rooms, basement garage parking, two pools and spas, two dining rooms, meeting rooms, gym facilities, additional on-site surface parking and two retail/restaurant spaces totaling 2,500 square feet. The mid-priced hotels will front on Pacific Highway, share a circular driveway with a covered porte cochere and incorporate the façade of the 1940s-era Tops Night Club, the predecessor of Fat City. Construction costs are estimated at $40 million. Segal lives a couple of blocks from the site.

The developers’ original application for a 232-unit Fat City Lofts project was turned down by Kim Kilkenny, chairman of CCDC, following a hearing process that centered on the compatibility of residential and industrial uses. The project was opposed by Solar Turbines. The developers have appealed Kilkenny’s decision to the city Planning Commission and have asked the commission for a 60-day delay to allow the hotel proposal to go through the permitting process.

MWD Board Votes to Raise Water Rates Over San Diego Protest

Over objections by the San Diego County Water Authority, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) on Tuesday approved the raising of water rates by 5 percent in 2013 and another 5 percent in 2014. According to the Water Authority, the decision would actually raise the Tier 1 treated water rate by 6.7 percent in 2013 and another 5.1 percent in 2014. MWD’s board voted down an alternative proposed by the Water Authority that it claimed was more sensitive to water ratepayers.  The proposal called for reducing spending and capping average rate increases at no more than 3 percent per year for the next two years. “By its vote today, MWD’s board continues to spend more than is necessary to provide a safe and reliable water supply,” said Water Authority board vice chairman Thomas Wornham.  “In doing so, MWD rejected a more sensible option to reduce its operating costs and discretionary spending, as most other water agencies and cities in Southern California have.”

Padres Are For Sale Again

San Diego Padres Chairman John Moores announced Tuesday that the ownership group will move forward to sell the club— again. Steve Greenberg of Allen & Company and John Moag of Moag & Company have been retained to advise on the sale of the team and to work with prospective buyers. They have advised the club that the process could take a number of months. “Three years ago, I made the difficult decision to sell the club, and I didn’t expect to have to make that same decision again,” said Moores. “I have been honored to own the San Diego Padres and have enjoyed the experience tremendously.”

Council Agrees to Standardized Rules for Wetlands Development

City News Service — Over the objections of environmental groups, the City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to standardize San Diego’s rules for allowing development on environmentally sensitive wetlands. City planning officials were already allowed to make exceptions to policies that protect such properties, but they wanted to clarify the language in the municipal code. One of the scenarios allows for construction or maintenance of critical infrastructure. Another preserves a land owner’s right to the economic viability of a property if faced with circumstances out of his control. The third provides for developments that would lead to a “superior biological result’” or “extraordinary mitigation” of an environmental impact. Jim Pugh of the San Diego Audubon Society told the council that most of the criteria were unclear. Nate Hausman, of the Sierra Club, said the new rules will create “gaping holes” that would benefit developers.

PERSONNEL MOVES ____________________________________

San Diego — Jay Anaya, former program manager for Holocom, has been promoted to vice president of services and training for the company. Scott Beeson, vice president, has been promoted to senior vice president and chief operating officer. Anaya has been with Holocam for more than seven years and led the effort to develop the certification training programs. Beeson, who has been with Holocom since January 2010, is a former Marine Corps captain. He is a mechanical engineer with specialized training in management and organizational behavior.

San Diego — Tony O’Neill has been hired as director of acquisitions and Jon Mesa has been hired as acquisitions analyst at San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners LLC. Both come to the firm from Voit Real Estate Services, where O’Neill was previously a vice president and Mesa was previously a financial analyst. O’Neill received a master’s degree in real estate from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree  from the University of Michigan. Mesa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon.

SCORE Small Business Workshops

• April 12 – Legal Issues for Small Business – Contracts and Leases – 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).

• April 13 – Internet Marketing 303 – Social Media for Small Businesses – 9 a.m. to noon at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• April 14 – Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Rd., Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. 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: