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Daily Business Report — Aug. 14, 2012

Home Sales Rise in San Diego County

San Diego County home sales in July climbed to 3,565, a 17.2 percent jump from the same period of last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. The median price paid for a home in July was $342,000, a 5.2 percent increase from July 2011.  Southern California: Home sales rose above the year-ago level for the seventh consecutive month in July despite continued declines in low-end distress sales. The median price paid for a home in the six-county Southland rose to $306,000 last month, up 2.0 percent from $300,000 in June and up 8.1 percent from $283,000 in July 2011. In July, a total of 20,588 new and resale houses and condos sold in Southern California. That was down 6.7 percent from 22,075 in June, and up 13.8 percent from 18,090 in July 2011.

SOHO Sues City in Effort to Foil
Balboa Park Plaza de Panama Plan

The Save Our Heritage Organisation has filed suit against the city of San Diego claiming that it has failed to comply with local and state laws in approving the Balboa Park Plaza de Panama project that is being spearheaded by Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. The San Diego City Council approved the plan last month. The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court, said the city has conceded that the project would cause significant adverse impacts to the architecture and cultural landscapes of Balboa Park. The lawsuit contends that there are other ways to resolve parking issues with fewer impacts to the natural and built environment. SOHO also alleges that the city’s approval of the Plaza de Panama project violated its own municipal code. The code allows substantial alteration of the historic Cabrillo Bridge only if “no reasonable beneficial use” of Balboa Park would otherwise remain.

Port Panel to Consider Lane Field
Project With Three High-Rise Hotels

The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider preliminary approval today of a project that could result in as many as three high-rise hotels near the foot of Broadway. The project is set for 5.5-acre Lane Field, once the site of a stadium for the former minor league Padres, on what is now a parking lot for the cruise ship terminal. Port planners have divided the lot in half. Two of the 14-floor hotels would be on the northern half of the property, while work on the southern part would be delayed for now, but could include a third lodging house, according to a port staff report. Plans call for a 250-room hotel to be of the quality of a Hilton Garden Inn or better, and a 150-unit extended-stay hotel to be along the lines of a Homewood Suites or better. Original plans for more upscale lodging, approved by the commissioners in 2006 and 2007, collapsed because of the recession, the staff report said. Plans also include open space, a plaza, ground-floor retail shops and restaurants, and a 442-space parking garage. The port says the plan fits within the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, an overall renovation of San Diego’s downtown waterfront. The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider issuing a permit this fall.

Qualcomm Inc. Signs a 72-Month Lease
For Office Space Adjacent to Headquarters

Qualcomm Inc. has signed a 72-month lease for 46,411 square feet of office space at 5505 Moorehouse Drive in San Diego, a three-story office building adjacent to Qualcomm headquarters in Sorrento Mesa. The building features a newly renovated common area, work-out facility, showers and locker rooms. The property is a part of a closed-end fund managed by Grosvenor Fund Management based in Philadelphia. The property ownership was represented by Tom Mercer, Ty Moffatt and Scott Moffatt of Colliers International. Qualcomm represented itself in the transaction. The building is now fully leased.

Cubic Board Approves Semiannual Dividend

Cubic Corp.’s board of directors has approved a regular semiannual dividend of 12 cents per share, payable on Sept. 4, 2012, to shareholders of record on Aug. 24, 2012.  Cubic has paid uninterrupted semiannual dividends to its shareholders since 1971.

Orchid & Onions Awards Program
To be Held Oct. 11 in La Jolla

The San Diego Architectural Foundation will announce the 2012 Orchids & Onions award recipients at the Orchids & Onions Awards ceremony and silent auction on Oct. 11 at the Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla. Each year, a jury of design professionals and artists is selected to determine the official Orchids & Onions based upon public submissions in categories including: architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, historic preservation, sustainable design and miscellaneous. Nomination deadline is Aug. 15. The 2012 Jury consists of Nathan Lee Colkitt (Colkitt & Co), Catherine Herbst (Woodbury University), Robin Wilson Carrier (Robin Wilson Interior Design), Marcie Harris (Marcie Harris Landscape Architecture), Greg Strangman (L.W.P. Group), Howard Blackson (Placemakers) and Christopher Puzio (  The Museum Of Contemporary Art La Jolla is at 700 Prospect St. The program begins with a 6 p.m. reception. The awards ceremony is from 8:45 to 10:15 p.m.

Junior Achievement Receives $10,000 Grant
From MetLife Foudation for C.A.R.E. Program

Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties has won a 2012 MetLife Foundation Sowing the Seeds of Entrepreneurship Award and a $10,000 grant for its C.A.R.E. program. The organization has partnered for more than 10 years on the awards program, which honors innovation and entrepreneurship at the local level and provides funding to expand those efforts. C.A.R.E. (Care Abuse Resistance Education) trains high school students on how to manage their credit cards and credit card debt.


Sarah R. Lustig has joined Best Best & Krieger as an associate attorney in its labor and employment practice group in San Diego. Lustig represents employers in the public and private sectors in labor and discrimination cases arising under federal and state laws. She also defends clients against administrative complaints. Lustig previously worked at Rediger, McHugh & Owensby, a Sacramento law firm. She is a  San Diego native. Lustig graduated with a master’s degree in regulatory affairs from San Diego State University in 2004 and received her law degree from the University of California, Davis in 2007.

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

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Voice Your Opinion

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: