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Daily Business Report-Oct. 30, 2013

Daily Business Report-Oct. 30, 2013

The  new owners of the North Park Theatre say they will present about 200 events a year.

Iconic North Park Theatre Has New Owners

Renovations will offer concert and cinema productions

The North Park Theatre, one of the symbols of the renaissance of the North Park neighborhood after its renovation, but saddled with financial difficulties that led to bankruptcy, has been sold to David Cohen, owner of the West Coast Tavern, and the Verant Group, it was announced Tuesday.

A purchase price was not disclosed.

“The theater has been under-utilized for many years due to financial and staffing constraints,” said Cohen, whose West Coast Tavern operates in the lobby of the theater.  “The building needs a full-time management team in place that can dedicate 100 percent of their efforts and resources to booking the venue.  We have assembled an all-star team to accomplish this task and look forward to producing about 200 events per year.”

Cohen said the group intends to produce about 200 events a year — a mixture of concerts and movies — and will include full food and alcohol service inside the theater.

“Our vision is Casbah meets Cinéopolis,” said Cohen. “We love the Casbah and the amazing things Tim Mays has done for music in San Diego. “And we really enjoy the Cinéopolis cinema concept in Del Mar. We are aiming to create an affordable music and movies concept that is reflective of North Park’s arts-craving clientele.”

Lyric Opera took ownership of the 731-seat, 32,000-square-foot theater a couple of years ago, but was forced into bankruptcy because of continued financial problems. It was purchased in 2005 by Lyric Opera founders Jack Montgomery and Leon Natker, for $12.5 million. According to published reports, the purchase was made in a complicated arrangement with the city of San Diego and developer Bud Fisher.

In February, Cohen, who also owns Uptown Tavern in Hillcrest, proposed a settlement of the bankruptcy in February of this year. Cohen owned the $4 million mortgage note Lyric Opera took out in 2006 and later refinanced. According to a report in U-T San Diego, the note was sold to Cohen in 2012 for an undisclosed amount.

The Verant Group is a San Diego-based bar, restaurant and entertainment development company with ownership in a variety of establishments, including Tavern at the Beach, Sandbar Sports Grill, True North Tavern, West Coast Tavern, Barleymash and Ginger’s. Its website identifies the owners as Mark Cirillo, Joe Vaught and Eric Lingenfelder.

City Management Veteran Named Chief Operating Officer

Scott Chadwick

Scott Chadwick

Scott Chadwick has been appointed chief operating officer of the city of San Diego, where he has work for nearly 10 years. Chadwick currently is the assistant chief operating officer and held the position of acting chief operating officer earlier this year. He replaces Walt Ekard, who was named to the post by former Mayor Bob Filner after Filner was engulfed in a sexual harassment scandal, which led to his resignation.  Eckard is returning to private life. Chadwick’s appointment was announced by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. It was Gloria, Chadwick and Ekard who developed an executive management plan, ultimately approved by the City Council, which created three new management positions and formed a new Department of Planning, Neighborhoods and Economic Development.

While with the city, Chadwick has included work as a labor relations officer, as the labor relations director, and as the human resources director. Before joining the city, he served in the U.S. Army. Chadwick received a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.

Tech Coast Angels Ranked Fifth Most Active in the Nation

The Tech Coast Angels investor organization has been named among the top five most active groups in the country by the quarterly Halo Report.  “Through September of this year, we have invested more than $25 million in California startups,” said Gary Phillips, president of Tech Coast Angels San Diego. “As important to us is that along with the seed funding comes our commitment to be a strategic resource for these companies in their quest for rapid growth. The Halo Report includes aggregate analysis of investment activity by angels and angel groups and highlights trends in round sizes, location and industry preferences. The current report is based on 379 deals totaling $461 million invested in the first half of 2013.

Read the report…

Kratos Awarded $14.5 Million Contract

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. of San Diego has received a contract valued at $10.5 million, with optional tasking for an additional $4 million, to support the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Center for Educator Effectiveness. As the prime contractor, Kratos will lead the team to establish a newly designed center as the premier resource for the education field. The TIF program will support the development and identification of effective educators to ensure that the most capable teachers and principals are serving where they are most needed.

New Leadership Announced for Jacobs Family Foundation

Andrew Hapke and his mother, Valerie Jacobs Hapke.

Andrew Hapke and his mother, Valerie Jacobs Hapke.

A third generation of board leadership has taken control of the Jacobs Family Foundation and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation — the organizations responsible for the development of Market Creek Plaza in southeast San Diego. Andrew Hapke, grandson of Joe and Vi Jacobs, founders of the foundation in 1995, has been elected chairman of the boards of the two organizations. Born and raised in San Diego, the 30 year-old Hapke now resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. He works for American Express as a digital marketing strategist. Hapke does not intend to relocate to San Diego, but will attend board meetings here, a spokeswoman said.

“Andrew shares the vision of his grandfather for resident-led neighborhood revitalization and a passion for ensuring residents are actively engaged in creating the positive change they want for their neighborhood,” said Reginald Jones, president and CEO of JCNI.

Market Creek Plaza, part of The Village at Market Creek, is a shopping center with national and local tenants. The Village at Market Creek also includes a community center. Future plans include housing, retail and commercial developments as well as education, arts and culture programs.

Hapke completed a master’s degree program in business administration at the Yale School of Management and worked in India with an organization that connects rural villages with mainstream markets. He helped conceptualize, pilot, and launch a micro-finance program that supports budding entrepreneurs in villages across northern India.

Cambridge Apartments in Chula Vista Sold for $4.65 Million

Cambridge Apartments, a 40-unit development at 660 F St. in Chula Vista, has been sold for $4.65 million. Essex-JMS Acquisitions sold the complex to a tenant-in-common entity, which was not named in the announcement of the sale. The complex has one- and two-bedroom units, is gated and includes a pool and picnic area. CBRE was the broker.


Vote sign

Early Voting Seen As Strong In San Diego Mayor’s Race

Early voting to elect San Diego’s next mayor began Monday, when the San Diego County Registrar of Voters mailed more than 350,000 ballots to eligible voters. Since then, San Diegans have been casting ballots by mail and in person at the Registrar;s office. As of Oct. 29, some 363,000 ballots had been issued and about 52,000 ballots had been cast– a 14.2 percent return rate. Those numbers include individuals who voted in person at the Registrar’s office.

Michael Vu with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters was pleased with turnout thus far. “Overall, the return is a good sign compared to our four special elections we conducted earlier this year,” Vu said, noting that the election held in March for the 40th State Senate District attracted a mere 15 percent turnout overall — with 85 percent of voters casting a ballot through the mail. In this election, Vu expects that a majority of voters will similarly opt to vote by mail.   — KPBS report

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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: