Daily Business Report — April 17, 2013
San Diego County Home Prices and Sales Jump
The median price paid for a San Diego County home in March rose to $380,000 — an 18.6 percent increase from March of last year and better than the $359,000 median in February, DataQuick reported today. Home sales also increased. March sales totaled 3,762, an increase of 16.2 percent over the 3,237 sales in March of last year and an increase from the 2,779 sales in February.
Southern California Totals:
The median price paid for a Southern California home hit a 56-month high in March, rising 23.4 percent from a year earlier as the impact of foreclosures continued to fade and sales of mid- to high-end homes shot up. Total sales were the highest in six years for a March despite a sharp drop in sub-$300,000 deals, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 20,581 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 29.1 percent from 15,945 sales in February, and up 3.1 percent from 19,953 sales in March 2012.
“It’s remarkable how much the housing scene has changed in a year,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president. “At this point in 2012 there were still plenty of folks sitting on the market’s sidelines, waiting to be sure the recovery was real. But gradually the psychology shifted as the economy picked up steam and mortgage rates fell to historic lows. We’re seeing the release of a lot of pent-up demand, especially in the middle and higher-priced neighborhoods where activity had been sluggish for years.
Dempsey Construction Company
Acquires Legacy Building Services
Dempsey Construction Inc. has acquired Legacy Building Services, a general contracting firm based in San Diego. Legacy Building Services will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dempsey Construction and will employ about 30 professionals. John Dempsey, president and CEO, said the acquisition will serve the commercial development, biotech/laboratory, multifamily, retail, education, historic renovation, theme park and health care sectors. “Legacy Building Services brings a history of superb contracting services on many notable San Diego projects,” said Dempsey, who founded his company in 2010. Before that, he served as president of Lusardi Construction. The company has since completed commercial renovation and improvement projects throughout California, Arizona and as far as Indianapolis. Legacy Building Services has completed a number of high-profile projects, including the Miramar Aviation Technology Building, San Pasqual Academy, the new Koala exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, and Turtle Reef at SeaWorld. The firm’s historic renovations include Liberty Station Marketplace and the Old Police Headquarters Downtown.
Noble Environmental Technologies
Opens First International Subsidiary
San Diego-based Noble Environmental Technologies Corp. has opened its first international subsidiary, Noble Environmental Europe AG, the exclusive licensee for ECOR technologies and products throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The company was founded in Zug, Switzerland, where other multi-national companies are based. ECOR products offer recyclable, non-toxic, 100 percent recycled, bio-based and reusable alternatives to plastic, aluminum, wood, particleboard, plywood and many other materials and panel products.
City Council Rejects Mayor’s Nominee
To Sit on County Water Authority Board
City News Service — A new clash over nominations to outside agency boards broke out Tuesday when the City Council rejected Mayor Bob Filner’s nominee to serve as the city of San Diego’s representative on the County Water Authority Board of Directors. The council members who voted in a 5-2 majority stressed they were not opposed to the nominee, Philip Pryde. However, they were against Filner’s decision to replace Roger Bailey, director of the city’s Public Utilities Department, as a city representative. “He’s the top expert in our city on water issues, so he should be on the water board,” Councilman Kevin Faulconer said of Bailey. Francisco Estrada of the mayor’s office said Pryde, a retired San Diego State University geography professor, was “eminently qualified” to serve on the CWA board. He said a win-win opportunity existed since Bailey would still serve as an adviser in the mayor’s office and support all water authority members. Councilwoman Lorie Zapf responded that it was better for the head of the city’s water operations “to lead, not support.”
Caltrans and CHP Installing
‘Move Over’ Signs on Freeways
KPBS — The California Department of Transportation and the California Highway Patrol are installing the first of 100 signs across the state’s freeways urging drivers to move over or slow down for law enforcement, highway workers and emergency personnel. Of those 100 signs, seven will be posted in San Diego and Imperial counties. The message comes from the 2007 Move Over law, which requires drivers to move or slow down when approaching Caltrans highway workers, law enforcement and other emergency vehicles. Caltrans said 178 Caltrans employees have died during highway construction or maintenance. CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said the number of deaths and injuries that happen along California highways increases each year. “One way to help minimize the risk for these workers is for the motoring public to do their part by paying attention and exercising caution on the road,” Farrow said. Caltrans spokesman Steve Saville said San Diego will unveil its signs on April 24 as part of its Highway Workers Memorial Day ceremony.
Credit Union Offers Free Shredding Services on Saturday
San Diego County Credit Union will offer free shredding services on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at three of its office locations: 5555 Mildred St., San Diego; San Marcos branch at 790 West San Marcos Blvd.; and, its administrative offices at 6545 Sequence Drive in Mira Mesa. The public is invited to bring a maximum of two boxes containing personal and confidential information to have it shredded on the spot at no charge in the parking lot of the locations. The credit union will give free USB flash drives to participants while supplies last.
Senior General Manager Selected for Otay Ranch Town Center
Janet Henderson has been named the new senior general manager of the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista, succeeding Tim Colby, who has retired. Henderson is a long-time member of the management team at General Growth Properties, which owns the shopping destination. Starting in 1999 with a General Growth Properties mall in Tulsa, she has moved up the management ladder with the company, serving as a general manager in several markets such as Colorado Springs and Columbia, Mo. Most recently she was senior general manager at Bellis Fair in Bellingham, Was.
Peach Palms and Sierra Gardens
Apartment Projects Sold for $4.3 Million
The 22-unit Peach Palms at 1038 Peach Ave. in El Cajon and the 18-unit Sierra Gardens at 1050 Peach Ave. in El Cajon have been sold for $4,337,500. The buyer was DCC Peach Palms LLC, 3610 Hancock St.,Suite C, San Diego, with DCC Multifamily Fund LLC as the manager. Drake Carver Communities LLC is the fund manager. It operates a multi-family fund currently acquiring properties in Southern California. The seller of the property was 532 West Olive Street L.P. CBRE San Diego represented the buyer. Built in 1970, the apartments are comprised of two two-story buildings with a mix of seven one-bedroom and 33 two-bedroom units totaling 34,726 square feet. The property was 100 percent occupied at the time of sale.
South County and East County Development
Councils Receive Approval for Plan Expansion
The South County Economic Development Council and East County Economic Development Council have received a key approval for an expansion of a regional economic development plan to create more jobs. The approval from the federal Economic Development Administration for the expansion of the 2011 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy expands the qualifying grant area for projects that would allot for job creation. The CEDS outlines economic development and growth strategies for the southern and eastern portions of San Diego County.
“The CEDS expansion benefits the entire region by allowing companies and communities to apply for projects and grants that would potentially drive economic activity in the region,” said Cindy Gompper-Graves, South County EDC president and CEO. Parties interested in learning more about the grant opportunity should visit www.southcountyedc.com.
Brookfield Homes Breaks Ground at Del Sur
Brookfield Homes has broken ground on its newest San Diego neighborhood, Brookfield Sentinels, located in the master-planned community of Del Sur. Brookfield Sentinels will offer detached residences with pricing from the high $800,000s. The company will offer one- and two-story floor plans ranging from 2,784 to 3,388 square feet. Residents will have access to Del Sur’s six parks, five year-round swimming pools heated with solar panels, as well as 18 miles of shared trails for exercise and leisure.
J. Craig Venter Institute to Receive $2.5 Million Gift
J. Robert Beyster and Betty J. Beyster will donate $2.5 million to the J. Craig Venter Institute to support the completion of the new sustainable laboratory under construction on the campus of UC San Diego, the institute reported today. In recognition of the gift, the third floor ocean view conference room and terrace will be named the “Bob and Betty Beyster Conference Room” and the “Bob and Betty Beyster Terrace.”
SDSU Unveils Strategic Plan
San Diego State University has unveiled a strategic plan, “Building on Excellence,” that establishes the direction and priorities of the university for the next several years. The plan is the culmination of a months-long process involving students, faculty, staff, alumni and the San Diego community. The final strategic plan presents three broad institutional goals that aim to build upon what those involved in the strategic planning process believe to be SDSU’s areas of strength and pride: student success, research and creative endeavors and community and communication. The plan can be found online at www.go.sdsu.edu/strategicplan.
Biking With the Mayor to School
Albert Einstein Academies (AEA) are inviting all students and parents to join the South Park Bike Train Ride with Mayor Bob Filner on Earth Day next Monday, April 22. It is the first of a series of bike rides leading up to the Mayor’s CicioSDias event on Aug. 11 in support of a “livable, walkable and bikeable San Diego.” Filner, AEA students and parents will meet at Madeleine’s Café at 2248 30th St. in South Park at 7:30 a.m. on April 22 for coffee, conversation and photos before the eight-block ride down Dale to the AEA campus at 8 a.m. CicioSDias, which translates to English as “bike path,” was coined in Bogotá, Colombia, a city that began experimenting with its Ciclovia initiative in 1974 as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets.