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Daily Business Report-July 9, 2013

The Lofts at 655 at Sixth Avenue and G Street is one of the OliverMcMillan buildings sold by the developer.

OliverMcMillan Sells Three Downtown Residential Buildings

OliverMcMillan’s Lofts Portfolio, three high-rise, mixed-use buildings in the East Village section of Downtown San Diego, have been sold for an undisclosed price to an institutional pension fund adviser. The buildings, developed by OliverMcMillan between 2006 and 2010, contain a total of 460 residential units and 23,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The sale was announced by CBRE as construction proceeds on OliverMcMillan’s five-story lofts development on Thirteenth Street that will have 208 apartments and ground-floor retail.

The buildings in the sale:

• The Lofts at 655, located at Sixth Avenue and G Street at the edge of the Gaslamp Quarter, has 106 residential units and features a Manhattan-inspired lobby, floor-to-ceiling windows in all floor plans offering panoramic skyline views, two outdoor socializing decks, a fitness center, business center and movie theater. First floor retailers include gourmet burger restaurant and bar The Counter and ACE Hardware.

The Lofts at 677

The Lofts at 677

• The Lofts at 677, located at Seventh Avenue and G Street, has 147 loft living spaces and two ground floor restaurants,  the gastropub Neighborhood and Zanzibar Café. The property received the Gold Nugget Merit Award for Best Attached Urban Residential Project of the Year at the 2007 Pacific Coast Builders Conference.

• The Lofts at 707, located at Tenth Avenue and G Street, includes 207 residential units. The building has a rooftop deck offering panoramic Downtown skyline views, a courtyard with a fire pit and outdoor seating, a movie theater, fitness center and business center.

Garfinkel Resigns as Padres President and CEO

Peter Seidler, lead investor of the San Diego Padres, and Ron Fowler, executive chairman, announced today that they have accepted the resignation of Tom Garfinkel as president and CEO of the team. Both Fowler and Seidler expressed their appreciation for Garfinkel’s contributions to the Padres over the last four years. Fowler will assume Garfinkel’s responsibilities on an interim basis until a new president and CEO is hired.

Garfinkel’s job involved overseeing the club’s non-baseball operations.


San Vicente Dam and Reservoir

San Vicente Dam and Reservoir

Water Authority Explores Major Hydropower Project at San Vicente Reservoir

Economic and financial study will help determine potential for pumped storage facility

With the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the San Diego County Water Authority and the city are set to study the potential for a major hydroelectric power project at the city-owned San Vicente Reservoir to boost the region’s local energy supply. The proposed pumped storage project could generate up to 500 megawatts, enough power for about 325,000 homes. It would require the construction of a small reservoir in the hills above San Vicente Reservoir, along with other facilities.

Power would be generated during peak-demand periods by allowing water to flow downhill in a tunnel from the upper reservoir and turn turbines before entering the San Vicente Reservoir. Water would be pumped back uphill during off-peak periods much like it is at the Water Authority’s 40-megawatt pumped storage project that connects Hodges Reservoir with Olivenhain Reservoir. That kind of arrangement allows the Water Authority to generate power when it’s needed most and generate revenues for offsetting expenses.

The Water Authority has issued a request for proposals seeking firms that could evaluate the economic and financial requirements of a pumped storage facility at San Vicente. The study will include an analysis of the power market, potential sites for an upper reservoir, regional power needs, and associated construction and operating costs.

The initial assessment is expected to cost less than $150,000 and be completed next spring. Construction likely would take at least five years. It would be done in partnership with the city of San Diego.

“Given the closure of the San Onofre plant, it makes sense for us to determine whether we can leverage our experience with hydroelectric power to help meet the region’s need for clean energy,” said Frank Belock, a deputy general manager at the Water Authority. “The concept of pumped storage at San Vicente has been on our radar for years and is a natural next step now that the San Vicente Dam Raise project is almost complete. An independent economic review will help the Board of Directors determine whether we should make it a priority.”

Hillcrest Medical Office Building Sells for $3.79 Million

A medical office building at 770 Washington St. in Hillcrest has been sold for $3.79 million to Seva Property Holdings LLC. The seller was Park North Medical Center. The buyer intends to use a portion of the 20,832-square-foot property for various clinical research studies. Built in 1973, the three-story building features a ground-floor surgery center with second and third floor medical office tenants. Cushman & Wakefield represented the buyer and seller in the transaction.

Little Italy’s Hotel Vyvant Sold for $2.22 Million

Hotel Vyvant

Hotel Vyvant

Hotel Vyvant, a boutique hotel  at 505 West Grape St. in Downtown San Diego, has been sold for $2,220,000. The 23-room hotel is located on the corner of West Grape Street and State Street in Little Italy. The three-story hotel has 9,270 square feet. It was built in 1910 and was formerly known as the Little Italy Inn. The guestrooms were renovated before the sale. The seller was Dan Floit. The buyer, a limited liability company PRE LII.

San Diego Entrepreneur to Appear on Hallmark Channel

Debara Medina, founder of San Diego-based Clearstory Digital Publishing, will discuss directions and innovations in the self-publishing industry on Hallmark Channel’s Daytime “Home & Family” show to air  July 18 at 7 a.m. Medina will also introduce the Everyday Photo Book, Clearstory’s new photo book product. Medina founded Clearstory ( to satisfy unmet needs in the growing self-publishing and photo book markets.  The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006, and print book production by small presses increased more than 74 percent between 2066 and 2011, according to Bowker Books In Print and Bowker Identifier Services.

ViaSat to Receive Military Communications Contract

Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. has won a contract modification worth $166.3 million from the Department of Defense for its work on a U.S. military communications system. Under the contract, ViaSat will perform systems engineering and integration of the multifunctional information distribution system. Data Link Solutions LLC, a joint venture of BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins, will receive a similar contract modification.

City Council to Take Up Ban on Pet Sales in San Diego

A proposal to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores and other commercial establishments in San Diego is scheduled to be considered Tuesday by the City Council, City News Service reports. The proposed amendment to the municipal code would make it “unlawful for any person to display, offer for sale, deliver, barter, auction, give away, transfer or sell any live dog, cat or rabbit in any pet shop, retail business or other commercial establishment located in the city of San Diego, unless the dog, cat or rabbit was obtained from a city or county animal shelter or animal control agency, a humane society or a nonprofit rescue organization.” Pet stores would need to keep certificates that identify the sources of their animals and make them available to animal control officers, law enforcement, code compliance officials or other city employees. A report to City Council committee said dogs, cats and rabbits bred for pet stores are kept in inhumane conditions; are more likely to carry genetic disorders; are poorly socialized; and too many end up being abandoned by owners and going to shelters.

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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.

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