Daily Business Report-Oct. 23, 2013
The Faraday Corporate Center in Carlsbad has been sold to Regent Properties.
Faraday Corporate Center Sold for $40.4 Million
Regent Properties has purchased Faraday Corporate Center, a 229,753-square-foot, Class A office building in Carlsbad, for $40.4 million. The center, located at 2200 Faraday Ave., was sold by DRA Advisors LLC. “Carlsbad is seeing a surge in acquisition activity by investors who are directing their attention away from the well stabilized, higher priced central submarkets including Del Mar, UTC and Sorrento Mesa,” said Rick Reeder of Cassidy Turley, which represented the seller. “Carlsbad’s vacancy is steadily declining as more tenants also turn their attention northward to this highly regarded corporate headquarters hub. This improving tenant demand and subsequent higher occupancy positions investors for strong upside potential.”
The two-story Faraday Corporate Center is located in the Carlsbad Research Center. It is 87 percent leased to four tenants: NetGear, Legend 3D, Catalina Restaurant Group and Rockstar Games.
Barrio Logan Community Plan May Go to the Ballot Box
The contentious battle for the rezoning of Barrio Logan isn’t over, despite The San Diego City Council’s approval of a new community plan, KPBS reports. The maritime industry, which had been working with the city and residents, said the final deal could threaten the shipbuilding industry and cost San Diego thousands of jobs. Industry supporters have rallied behind a referendum campaign and been out collecting the necessary signatures.
Maritime interests said already more than enough people have signed the petition to put the plan to a vote and they said they expect to deliver more than 50,000 signatures to the San Diego City Clerk’s Office by the Nov. 1 deadline. If 33,792 of those signatures are valid, the City Council will have two options: either rescind the plan or put it on a citywide ballot in early June.
General Atomics’ Improved Gray Eagle Completes Demonstration
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced the successful completion of the first of two planned U.S. Army endurance demonstration flights with its Improved Gray Eagle aircraft, a next-generation derivative of the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System. “This first endurance flight is a significant accomplishment for Improved Gray Eagle as it demonstrates the aircraft’s game-changing potential for saving the lives of Army soldiers abroad by providing extended surveillance coverage, along with the ability to self-transit to other remote distant locations,” said Frank W. Pace, president of General Atomics’ Aircraft Systems Group. During the second demonstration, which is planned for later this year, the aircraft will carry a wing-mounted external payload and weapons.
Renewed Funding for Scripps Translational Research Institute
Scripps Translational Science Institute has received a $29 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The five-year grant is the second from the NIH, the first having been awarded for $20 million in 2008. The money will fund research into genomics, wireless technology and bioinformatics to help individualize medicine. Additional information on the research being conducted with the NIH grant can be found here. The institute was one among 15 research centers to receive grant renewals this week, totaling more than $79 million under the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards.
Energy Awareness Hackathon Coming Next Month
AT&T and San Diego Gas & Electric have announced event details for their Energy Awareness Hackathon aimed at developing apps that will reduce energy use in San Diego and beyond. Since a 2011 call from the White House for utility companies to provide customers with easy access to their energy usage data, over 60 applications have been created, giving consumers control of their energy usage. Yet, there is much more to be done. If you have a talent for or interest in coding, find out how you can get involved and attend the Nov. 8-9 Hackathon here.
St. Paul’s to Install New Generator to Protect Seniors
St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services has received a $375,000 grant to install a new generator that will boost its electrical needs to operate as an in-take disaster center for vulnerable seniors during countywide disasters and emergencies. The Community Development Block Grant will be announced Thursday at St. Paul’s Villa at 2340 Fourth Ave. in Downtown San Diego.
The new emergency generator will better allow St. Paul’s to accommodate and serve St. Paul’s residents and other vulnerable seniors in need of special services and care during the next disaster evacuation. It will allow elevators to remain in use, heating and air conditioning to remain operational and full dining services to continue.
Apple Unveils New Macs, iPad Ahead of Holidays
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple Inc. is refreshing its iPad lineup and slashing the price of its Mac computers ahead of the holiday shopping season, as it faces an eroding tablet market share and growing competition from rival gadget makers.
Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the “iPad Air” along with a slew of new Macs Tuesday at an event in San Francisco. The iPad Air weighs just 1 pound, compared with 1.4 pounds for the previous version. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the tablet a “screaming fast iPad.” He said it is eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010.
The iPad Air will go on sale Nov. 1 and start at $499 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory. Apple plans to phase out its third and fourth generation iPads while the iPad 2, which launched in 2011, continues selling at $399. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at $399 for a 16-gigabyte model. It has a retina display designed to give it a clearer, sharper picture and the same 64-bit chip that powers the iPad Air.
“I think today was about re-establishing that the iPad is the benchmark for what a good tablet experience should be,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. “Too many times when we look at these devices we focus on hardware, not the whole experience.”
The iPad’s market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that Android tablets will end 2013 with a 50 percent share of the worldwide market versus 49 percent for the iPad. Just two years ago, the iPad commanded a 65 percent market share compared to 30 percent for Android tablets.
Apple sold 14.6 million iPads in the June quarter, down 14 percent from the same time last year. It was the first year-over-year decline in iPad sales. Nonetheless, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted that Apple has sold 170 million iPads since the tablets launched three years ago.
Tim Bajarin, a Creative Strategies analyst who’s followed Apple for more than three decades, said the 64-bit chip in the new iPads makes them the most powerful tablets on the market. Keeping the iPad 2 on store shelves also makes sense, according to the analyst.
“That’s the one that’s a big hit in Asia and emerging markets,” Bajarin said. “It’s still got a lot of traction.”
Apple also refreshed its computer lineup. A new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is thinner and lighter, Schiller said, adding that the laptop has up to nine hours of battery life, enough to watch the entire trilogy of “The Dark Knight” on one charge. The notebook’s new price is lower: $1,299, compared with $1,499 for the previous version.
A larger MacBook Pro, with a 15-inch monitor and 256 gigabytes of storage starts at $1,999, compared with $2,199 for the previous version.
The Mac Pro, a high-end desktop computer aimed at what Apple calls “power users,” will be available in December for $2,999.
The company also said that its latest computer operating system, Mavericks, is available free of charge.
Apple’s new gadgets come not only at a time of toughening competition. They arrive as retailers face an uncertain holiday season following a 16-day partial government shutdown. Retailers say Washington’s gridlock has caused people to hold off on shopping, though they hope that this won’t last throughout the holiday season.
Evens so, some analysts are optimistic about Apple’s prospects.
“Between the iPad and iPhones, I think they’ll have a monster holiday season,” Bajarin said.
Shares of Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple climbed 83 cents to $520.70 in after-hours trading. The stock had closed down $1.49 at $519.87.
Nokia Introduces New Windows Phones, First Tablet
NEW YORK (AP) — Nokia is expanding its lineup of Windows phones and introducing its first tablet computer, all sporting the powerful camera technology found in its flagship Lumia 1020 smartphone.
The struggling cellphone maker is turning to the camera to differentiate its phones from rivals. The Lumia 1020 has a 41-megapixel camera with technology designed to produce better low-light shots and offer greater manual controls than most smartphones.
The new devices will use Microsoft’s Windows system and come as Microsoft aims to complete its 5.44 billion euros ($7.4 billion) deal to buy Nokia’s phone business and patent rights. The deal is expected to close early next year.
Nokia, a Finnish company, has seen its cellphone business unravel since Apple revolutionized the way people use handsets with the 2007 introduction of the iPhone. Microsoft, meanwhile, is struggling amid declines in sales of traditional personal computers in favor of smartphones and tablets.
Nokia’s new Lumia 1520 will have a larger screen, measuring six inches diagonally, compared with 4.5 inches on the 1020. Nokia said the new phone’s camera will have only 20 megapixels in order to keep the camera sensor smaller and the phone thinner. But that’s still more resolution than most other phones.
The 1520 will also come with new apps designed to organize photos based on where you take the shots and to give you more flexibility in determining —after the fact— where the image should be focused. The phone will cost $740, though wireless carriers are expected to offer it cheaper with two-year service contracts.
Nokia will also make a cheaper version, the Lumia 1320, for a contract-free price of $339. It will have a five-megapixel camera and a slower processor than the 1520. Both run the latest version of Windows Phone 8, which has new features to accommodate larger screen sizes.
Nokia’s first tablet will be the Lumia 2520. It will run Windows 8.1 RT, meaning it shares the tile-based interface of the phone software, but can run various apps designed for Windows tablets. However, RT is the lightweight version of Windows, so it will run only apps specifically designed for it. Regular versions of Windows 8.1 can run apps for older versions of Windows.
The 10.1-inch tablet will cost $499. An optional cover with a physical keyboard and extended battery life is $149 extra. The camera is 6.7 megapixels, but shares the low-light technology and manual controls found in the Lumia 1020.
All three devices are expected to go on sale by the end of the year. They will come in multiple colors with a hard, plastic back molded onto the device.