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Daily Business Report-Sept. 12, 2013

Daily Business Report-Sept. 12, 2013

San Diego Plastic Bag

Ban Moves Forward

The City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee unanimously directed staff to develop an ordinance to ban the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and other retail outlets in the city of San Diego, City News Service reports. Nearby Solana Beach is among nearly 80 cities in California, including Los Angeles and West Hollywood, that prohibit or restrict plastic bags, which are considered a threat to the environment. The city of Encinitas is also developing a plastic bag ordinance.

San Diego’s proposed ordinance would ban plastic bags in supermarkets, large stores that sell food, plus drug, convenience, hardware and clothing stores. The proposal would also require stores to charge customers 10 cents per paper bag used as an alternative but exempt restaurants, nonprofits, food stamp recipients, and produce and meat products. The city would provide for distribution of reusable bags and public education. Staff will return with an update on its progress at a committee meeting scheduled for Oct. 23.

house for sale

San Diego County Home Prices Rise

Home sales in San Diego County in August climbed 3 percent from August of last year while the median sale price jumped 20.2 percent over the same period, DataQuick reported today.

Home Sales in August 2012: 3,981

Home Sales in August 2013: 4,099

Median Sale Price August 2012: $345,250

Median Sale Price August 2013: $415,000

Southern California Report

Southern California home sales were the highest for an August in seven years as strong activity above $300,000 compensated for a dip in sales below that level, as well as fewer cash and investor purchases. The median sale price held steady compared with June and July but rose 24.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year gain over 20 percent, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 23,057 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 0.8 percent from a revised 23,253 sales in July, and up 2.8 percent from 22,438 sales in August 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $385,000, the same as in June and July and up 24.6 percent from $309,000 in August 2012. The $385,000 median over the past three months is the highest since April 2008, when the median was also $385,000.

In a sign of continued market confidence, Southern California home buyers continue to put near-record amounts of their own money into residential real estate. In August they paid a total of $4.68 billion out of their own pockets in the form of down payments or cash purchases. That was down from a revised $5.18 billion in July and up from $4.24 billion a year ago. The out-of-pocket total peaked this May at $5.41 billion.

“There’s something for everyone in today’s housing data,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.  “Sellers have seen an amazing price jump from just a year ago, allowing many to finally sell at a profit. Home shoppers have more properties to choose as we begin to see a ‘supply response’ to higher values. Price pressures appear to be easing, though, amid higher mortgage rates, more supply and fewer cash and investor purchases. As we head into fall and winter, a slower time of year, we’ll probably see year-over-year price gains continue to taper.”

Northrop Grumman Ready for Full-Scale 

Production of Freedom 350 Radio for the Army

After a series of successful tests, Northrop Grumman Corp. said it is ready to start full-rate production of its Freedom 350 radio to satisfy the U.S. Army’s acquisition effort for the Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio (MNVR). MNVR replaces the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio, which was canceled in October 2011.

The company said its Freedom 350 MNVR is less expensive per channel than competing systems but is much more capable in terms of range and network processing power. Additional cost and time savings are achieved because the Freedom radio can be installed without modifying the platform– the Freedom 350 system fits “over” the existing radios and docks to the original power and control cables and intercom systems, the company said.

NASSCO Receives Contract for Two Product Carriers

NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has entered into a contract with Seabulk Tankers Inc. for the design and construction of two 50,000 deadweight ton LNG-conversion-ready product carriers, each with a 330,000-barrel cargo capacity. Construction of the first tanker is scheduled to begin in late 2014, with deliveries scheduled for the second quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017. The tankers will be constructed at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. The ships will be designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of Busan, South Korea.

With this order from Seabulk, NASSCO is now under contract for the design and construction of six ECO MR tankers. In May, NASSCO was contracted by another customer to build four vessels of the same design.

Drawbridge Realty Trust Purchases Pacific View Corporate Center

Pacific View Corporate Center

Pacific View Corporate Center

Drawbridge Realty Trust has purchased Pacific View Corporate Center in Carlsbad for $22.25 million. The seller was TA Realty Associates. The 80,862-square-foot Class A office building is located at 5759 Fleet St. in Carlsbad. Pacific View Corporate Center, a two-story building, was built in in 1988. It is 100 percent leased to two tenants:  Synteract Inc. and RF Micro Devices. Cassidy Turley represented the buyer. The seller was represented by Cushman & Wakefield.

Chef Richard Sandoval to Open Venga Venga Cantina

Richard Sandoval

Richard Sandoval

Chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval will open Venga Venga Cantina and Tequila Bar at Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista on Sept. 27. The menu will contain spins on casual Mexican favorites such as tacos, enchiladas and iron skillet fajitas, and seafood specialties. The menu has been developed by Sandoval and Chef de Cuisine Marissa Gerlach, who will be leading the Venga Venga kitchen in Chula Vista. The address is 2015 Birch Road, Suite 710. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant will feature an 80-seat patio with fire pits overlooking the plaza. In addition to lunch and dinner, Venga Venga will also serve a Bottomless Brunch every Saturday and Sunday.

Report Shows Some Veterans Charities Misusing Funds

San Diegans are known for being big supporters of the military and of causes that help veterans. Many local organizations support military families, work to find veteran’s employment after their military service and help homeless vets get back on their feet. But not all veterans charities do what they say they’ll do.mA recent investigative report by News21 found that some charities, many started since the attack of 9/11, have misused tens of millions of dollars donated to help veterans across the country.

One of the charities highlighted is the Help Hospitalized Veterans charity based in Hemet. An analysis found that HHV spent only 25 cents of every dollar it raised on arts-and-crafts kits and “craft care specialists” as “diversion therapy for veterans facing extended hospitalization.” Most of the remaining funds paid for mass mailings soliciting more money and volunteers.

Last week, California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced a settlement with HHV. Harris sued the charity for improperly diverting funds intended to go veterans and active-duty service members.

Paul Rodeno to Manage Citizens Business Bank’s San Diego Operations

Paul Rodeno

Paul Rodeno

Citizens Business Bank of Ontario, Calif. announced the hiring of Paul F. Rodeno as senior vice president and manager of the bank’s newly formed San Diego region. Rodeno joined Citizens Business Bank to lead the bank’s growth initiative in the greater San Diego market. Rodeno was the principal founder and CEO and president of Security Business Bancorp and its subsidiary Security Business Bank of San Diego. Before that, he was executive vice president of Eldorado Bancshares Inc. of Orange County. Rodeno was a founding member of Connect Sport Innovators. He currently serves on the University of San Diego School of Business Board of Advisers.

Michael Hogan Takes Seat on Regional Water District Board

Michael Hogan of Solana Beach, former general manager of the Encina Wastewater Authority, has been seated on the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, succeeding Doug Wilson. Hogan joins Fern Steiner, Keith Lewinger and Vincent Mudd as San Diego County Water Authority representatives on Metropolitan’s 37-member board.

(W)right On Communications Adds Account Executive

Molly Borchers

Molly Borchers

Molly Borchers has joined (W)right On Communications Inc. as senior account executive to lead the agency’s energy and technology sector accounts. Borchers attained seven years of communication experience in Washington, D.C. and Columbus, Ohio. Her agency experience includes managing a variety of clients across numerous industries including high-tech, startups, energy and manufacturing. She began her career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, later becoming communication director at the U.S. Department of Energy. Borchers holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University.


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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: