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Daily Business Report-Sept. 30, 2013

Daily Business Report-Sept. 30, 2013

The rooftop park in the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center is pictured.

Convention Center Expansion Proposal Meets Stiff

Resistance from California Coastal Commission Staff

Supporters of the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center face a tough challenge on Oct. 10 when the California Coastal Commission — meeting in San Diego — decide whether the project should proceed. The staff of the state agency on Friday recommended denial of the expansion plan, believing that it would result in the loss of waterfront and open space and block views of the bay.

The agency staff gave two critical conditions for overcoming its objections, U-T San Diego reported — building a pedestrian bridge linking the Gaslamp Quarter and the convention center, and trimming the southwest end of the expansion to retain a view down Park Boulevard to the bay.

Despite the staff recommendation, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said he remains optimistic the commission “will recognize the overwhelming benefits of the current plan.”

“Once the commissioners themselves see the overwhelming benefits of this project, the extraordinary degree of community support and the public benefits to San Diego Bay, I’m optimistic they will support our request,” said Gloria in a statement. “This project enhances public access and safety, builds a new five-acre rooftop park that will be a destination for residents and visitors alike, and will build on the facility’s long history of environmental leadership. We will continue to work to address the issues raised by Coastal Commission staff.”

According to convention center expansion supporters, benefits from the $520 million project include an annual economic impact of $700 million, creation of 7,000 permanent jobs, 3,000 construction jobs and a $13.5 million boos in local tax revenues. By expanding under the current proposal, the facility can attract and retain some of the nation’s largest and most lucrative conventions, many of which insist they need contiguous space for their events, according to Gloria.

 

Career Center

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria cuts the ribbon to open the Career Center at the Downtown Central Library. Also pictured, from left: Evonne Perryman, San Diego Workforce Partnership client; Peter Callstrom, San Diego Workforce Partnership president; Judy Forrester, Bank of America senior vice president; Rick Bregman, Bank of America market president; Mel Katz, San Diego Public Library Foundation chair; Kris Michell, Downtown San Diego Partnership president; Jerry Sanders, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce president.

Downtown Central Library Offering Free Career Center

Besides all of its other features, the new San Diego Central Library Downtown will offer free career development services to job seekers through the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Career Center, opening today. The library is partnering with the San Diego Workforce Partnership and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to provide the center. The career center was established through a $400,000 donation from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The company also is sponsoring a reading room, an area of the library that will supply space for students and visitors to enjoy a quiet area for studying and reading.

The career center, located in Room 555, will provide individual and small group counseling services, resource materials, computer and resume assistance, workshops, and training to job seekers. Operating hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month.

The library is located at 330 Park Blvd.

Defense Money Floods into San Diego

The Pentagon is cutting its budget, but it continues to send huge contracts to San Diego, where the top 10 defense companies collectively pulled in more than $6 billion last year, the U-T San Diego reports. Northrop Grumman has been awarded $114.2 million for development work on three Block 30 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS). The work is being done on behalf of the Air Force, which like the Navy has used the vehicles for long range-high altitude surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. For more, visit www.utsandiego.com.

Vista Equity Partners to Acquire ACTIVE Network

San Diego-based ACTIVE Network announced today that is has entered an agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm, in a transaction valued at $1 billion. Under the terms of the agreement Vista will acquire all of the outstanding shares of ACTIVE’s common stock for $14.50 per share in cash.  “ACTIVE Network’s leadership position in cloud-based Activity and Participant Management solutions make it a highly attractive investment for us,” said Robert F. Smith, CEO and founder of Vista Equity Partners.

Women’s Empowerment to Hold Annual Meeting Oct. 20

Women’s Empowerment International (WE), a San Diego-based nonprofit that provides micro-loans and business support services to women in poverty, will hold its annual meeting Oct. 20 at the new Central Library in Downtown San Diego. The meeting is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The theme of the meeting is “Celebrating Empowered Women” and will feature talks by local recipients of WE’s assistance and an update on WE’s microfinance programs in Mexico, Ghana, Honduras, and San Diego. Participants will learn how women can help other women through their donations, and with “fundraising that’s fun.” The event is free. For more information, visit www.womenempowerment.org or call (619) 333-0026.

San Diego Real Estate Summit Scheduled for Thursday

The inaugural San Diego Real Estate Summit will be held Oct. 3 at the San Diego Convention Center, an event aimed at educating San Diego real estate agents on how they can succeed in the industry. The event will be hosted by Synergy One Lending and Craig Sewing, local radio and TV personality. Speakers will include Tom Ferry, motivational speaker and real estate coach; economist Alan Nevin; and Robert Monaco, former Tony Robbins business coach. There also will be a panel of San Diego’s real estate leaders discussing their best practices and taking questions from audience members. Admission to the event, scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon, followed by lunch, is compensated with advance registration. To RSVP, visit www.sdresummit.com.

Research Identifies Early Signs of Prostate Cancer

A team of cancer researchers at UC San Diego has identified the existence of precursor cells in early prostate cancers. These cells are resistant to androgen-deprivation therapy, and may drive the subsequent emergence of recurrent or metastatic prostate cancer. The study’s findings have massive implications for the development of future treatments with the hope being that those treatments will target thee early-stage prostate cancer precursor cells, potentially increasing cure rates.

 

Most Admired

Nominations are Open for Most Admired Companies

SD METRO is soliciting nominations for 2013’s Most Admired Companies in San Diego County. Send us your nomination of a company you believe demonstrates the highest level of honesty, integrity, business practices and service to its industry and community. Nominations may be emailed to Rebeca Page at rebecapage@sandiegometro.com or Bob Page at bobpage@sandiegometro.com. The deadline is Oct. 20. Our Most Admired Companies report will be published in November.

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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.

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: info@probolskyresearch.com