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Daily Business Report — Jan. 22, 2013

Fresh & Easy Fined for Pricing Errors

City Attorney’s Office said consumers paid more than advertised prices

San Diego Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp ordered Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., the owner of Fresh & Easy grocery stores, to pay $833,136 in penalties and costs and to institute a “Get it Free” program to settle a consumer protection case filed by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and San Diego and Riverside District Attorney’s Consumer & Environmental Protection Units. The prosecutors filed a civil complaint alleging that the owners of Fresh & Easy stores posted prices and advertisements in stores of the prices that would be charged for items and then charged more than those prices at the time of checkout. Prosecutors also alleged that meat and seafood packages in its meat department were marked a higher price per pound than the shelf prices indicated. The court ordered Fresh & Easy not to commit violations in the future and imposed a penalty of $653,470, costs of $97,163 and restitution of $80,000.

School Board to Vote on Resolution
Opposing Restart of San Onofre Plant

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education will consider a resolution today opposing the proposed restart of a reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station until its operator undergoes a rigorous license amendment process, KPBS reports. The nuclear plant in northern San Diego County was shut down nearly a year ago, after a small leak was discovered coming from a steam pressure tube in one of the reactors. The school board resolution proposed by Trustees Richard Barrera and Kevin Beiser says “the San Diego Unified School District believes restarting the defective Unit 2 nuclear reactor at San Onofre will have profound impacts on our children in San Diego Unified and the surrounding communities in the event of a nuclear accident regarding radiation contamination of air, water and food, evacuation plans, and long term viability of life in Southern California.”

Gaslamp Quarter’s Bridgeworks Retail
Building Sold to Paragon Real Estate Fund

Bridgeworks

Bridgeworks Retail, an 18,569-square-foot retail condominium in Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, has been sold to Paragon Real Estate Fund for an undisclosed amount. The seller was an affiliate of S.D. Malkin Properties Inc. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler represented the seller. Completed in 2000, Bridgeworks is fully leased to tenant’s including Lou & Mickey’s restaurant, MAC, Toscana Café and Chuck Jones Gallery. S.D. Malkin Properties is the original developer of the Bridgeworks project, which includes the Hilton Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, acquired in 2005 by Lasalle Hotels.

Mountain Real Estate Capital Opens San Diego
Office and Hires Managing Director for the West

Lisa Albanez

Mountain Real Estate Capital, a buyer of residential properties, has opened an office in San Diego and hired Lisa Albanez as managing director to lead its expansion effort in the West. Mountain’s focus will be in both primary and secondary markets throughout Southern and Northern California as well as the Las Vegas, Phoenix and Seattle markets. Albanez has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and has been involved in residential projects totaling more than 40,000 new homes with a retail value in excess of $10 billion, working with both private and public builders.

Isles Ranch Partners Completes Residential Acquisitions

Isles Ranch Partners of Newport Beach, an investment management firm, has completed four real estate acquisitions in Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Lakeside and Palm Springs. These acquisitions, totaling $50 million of committed capital, were closed with three different homebuilding operating partners. The four deals closed by the strategic partnership: The Farms in Ranch Santa Fe, finished single-family lots; single-family lots at Greenhills Ranch in Lakeside; 63 single-family lots at La Costa Town Square in Carlsbad; 46 undeveloped single-family lots at Sōl-Palm Springs in Palm Springs.

Geoffrey Chackel Joins Higgs Fletcher & Mack

Geoffrey Chackel

Geoffrey C. Chackel has been hired as partner in the San Diego law firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack. Chackel has more than 12 years of legal experience. he is in  to Higgs’ business litigation and employment practice groups. Previously employed as a partner at Gordon & Rees LLP, a national law firm with offices in 26 cities, Chackel managed a business and an employment litigation practice primarily representing corporate defendants. Chackel graduated with honors from Pepperdine University School of Law and completed a federal judicial clerkship with the Hon. Michael R. Hogan (Ret.), chief judge for the United States District Court, District of Oregon.

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The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO.

Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865. manny@sandiegometro.com.

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