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Daily Business Report — June 13, 2012

County Housing Market Improving
Home sales and median sales price both rise

The San Diego County housing market continued to improve in May when both the median sales price and the number of homes sold rose above April’s figures and median and sales numbers recorded in May of last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. May home sales totaled 3,750 compared to 3,559 in April and 3,087 in May of last year. The median sales price in May was $335,000 compared to $329,500 in April and $324,500 in May of 2011.

Southern California — The median price paid for a home in the six-county Southland rose last month to $295,000, up 1.7 percent from $290,000 in April and up 5.4 percent from $280,000 in May 2011. The rise in the median price is the result of higher demand and two other trends. First, there’s been a significant drop in the share of transactions that are foreclosed properties, which tend to sell at a discount and be concentrated in lower-cost areas. Second, a greater portion of sales are occurring in the higher-cost coastal markets. Last month, for example, sales in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura counties represented about 70 percent of all activity, up from 67.6 percent a year ago.

SDG&E to Pay the City $27 Million For
Losses Incurred During 2007 Wildfires

San Diego Gas & Electric has agreed to pay the city of San Diego $27 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the city over losses suffered during the wildfires of 2007. Under terms of the settlement, SDG&E does not admit fault or liability. No other pending claims against the utility company are affected by the settlement. The city’s case concerns the 2007 Witch and Guejito wildland fires. The Witch Fire was ignited at Witch Creek near Santa Ysabel on Oct. 21, 2007. The Guejito Fire started shortly thereafter on  Oct. 22 and subsequently merged with the Witch Fire. The city said its losses included fire emergency response costs, loss of lease revenue, damage to city structures including the city’s reservoir and ecological/habitat damage.

Nasseo Inc. Wins Entrepreneur Challenge
Prize is $57,000 in cash and services

Nasseo Inc., a medical device startup that developed technologies to treat dental/orthopedic implant failures, has won first prize in UC San Diego’s 2012 Entrepreneur Challenge. The prize is $57,000 in cash and services. The technology was primarily developed in the lab of Sungho Jin, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Nasseo is led by Garrett Cale Smith (co-founder, CEO), a PhD candidate in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School. Second prize with $28,000 in cash and services went to SONRGY, which is aiming to be a leader in localized drug delivery directed to cancer tumors. SONRGY is led by a team of technology leaders, entrepreneurs and marketing experts including co-inventors Michael Benchimol and professor Sadik Esener from the NanoEngineering Department and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

SG Biofuels Inc. Opens an Expanded
Genomics Research Center in San Diego

SG Biofuels Inc., an energy crop company,  has opened an expanded corporate headquarters and genomics research center in San Diego. Now totaling nearly 60,000 square feet in laboratory, greenhouse and office space, the facilities support the company’s commercial advancements, including ramping seed production and the deployment of additional JMax Knowledge Centers in Brazil and India, where the company is advancing hundreds of elite hybrids of the non-food energy crop Jatropha. “The opening of our new facility and expansion of our operations brings to reality our vision to establish a world-class global crop improvement platform supported by state-of-the-art plant biotechnology and genomics,” said Kirk Haney, president and chief executive officer.

Denmark Company Acquires Enaqua

Enaqua, a San Diego company specializing in the use of UV technology to disinfect water, has been acquired by Grundfos, a pump manufacturer based in Denmark. Enaqua will continue to be managed by Manoj Jhawar, who is in the second generation of the founder’s family. The partnership with Enaqua doubtlessly strengthens us. Peter Røpke, executive vice president of business development for Grundfos, said the acquisition will enable the company to obtain new methods for water treatment. It will also help the company aid in alleviating the growing water problems worldwide, said Røpke.

National University Purchases Office Building
For Educational and Administrative Functions

National University has purchased a 31,421-square-foot office building on Carroll Canyon Road in San Diego for $5.6 million for use as administrative and educational purposes. The building was sold by Rancho Santalina LLC, a real estate investment firm. Brian Mulvaney, Bruce Sanders, Paul Brown and Matthew Bean of Voit Real Estate Services represented the seller in the transaction. John Bucher of John Bucher Real Estate represented National University.

Real Estate Firm Acquires 2 San Diego Office Buildings

Cruzan│Monroe, a San Diego-based commercial real estate firm, has purchased two office buildings in the Sorrento Mesa  and Governor Park areas for $13.8 million. The seller of 5405 Morehouse Drive was Christian Hostmann, JMK Realty LLC and KDH US Real Holdings. The seller of 5151 Shoreham Place was Plaza Holdings Inc. and KDH US Real Holdings LLC. Cushman & Wakefield represented Cruzan│Monroe in the transactions. The Sorrento Mesa property is located at 5405 Morehouse Drive, consists of 51,472 square feet and is currently 94 percent  occupied. Governor Plaza is located at 5151 Shoreham Place, consists of 38,675 square feet and is currently 92 percent occupied.

Cell Phone Waiting Lot Relocated at Lindbergh Field — San Diego International Airport has relocated its cell phone waiting lot in order to add 47 parking spaces. The lot, now with 97 spaces, has been moved to just east of the Commuter Terminal on Harbor Drive and is now accessible via a traffic light at Rent-a-Car Access Road. Drivers can park for free in the lot for up to 60 minutes while waiting for a call from a friend or relative that their plane has landed.

PERSONNEL MOVES

San Diego — Jack Monger, president of The Monger Company, has been selected as the next executive director of the Industrial Environmental Associaton. He succeeds Patti Krebs, who held the position for 17 years.

Monger’s company has provided advocacy, government relations and community relations services to firms and organizations in San Diego County. Clients include The Corky McMillin Companies, Committee to Save Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, Carnival Cruise Corp., NASSCO, The San Diego Port Tenants Association, Alliance Healthcare Foundation, Jimsair, Scripps Health, Tri-City Hospital Medical Staff and Commander Navy Region Southwest.

San Diego — Candice Stephens has been appointed San Diego market president for Citibank, a new position in the firm’s U.S. consumer and commercial banking business. Stephens, who joined Citibank in 1995, will work with teams across the San Diego market as well as with community stakeholders, business, civic organizations and government partners to ensure strong local engagement. She has more than 30 years of financial services experience. Stephens also serves as Citi’s area director for North San Diego retail branches.

San Diego — Suzie Hunter has joined iTAN Sun Spray Spa as director of franchise operations. Hunter has more than 25 years of experience in corporate and franchise operations. She last was field auditor/compliance investigator at American Driveline Systems Inc. She also was director of operations and marketing at Submarina Inc. Her franchise experience also includes serving as franchise services manager and brand manager of field marketing for Dunkin’ Brands. Inc (Togo’s) as well as territory manager, category manager and market trainer for ExxonMobil Corp.


The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865. manny@sandiegometro.com.


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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