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Daily Business Report-Oct. 31,2013

Daily Business Report-Oct. 31,2013

The mixed-use project at Grim Avenue and North Park Way in North Park is expected to be completed next year.

Post Postal Architecture

Mixed-use project to incorporate old post office

It’s not often a huge construction project goes up quietly in a densely populated commercial area.

But that’s basically what happened with “You Got Mail,” a mixed-use project in the heart of North Park incorporating and surrounding the abandoned post office at Grim Avenue and North Park Way.

The property was purchased by FoundationForForm after the post office was shut down in July 2011. This architectural and developmental company, whose vision is to turn the abandoned building into residential and retail space, is keeping the project environmentally friendly and significant by incorporating the mid century post office building into the design plan.

“Were not historical preservationists” says Craig Abenilla, designer and developer of the project,”…but it’s becoming our M.O to be smart and maintain space that is sturdy and has good bones.”

FoundationForForm also recently completed the “You Are Here” project in Golden Hill, which was similarly built on top of an old, unkempt gas station on 25th Street. The success of “You Are Here” sparked plans for “You Got Mail”, whose name is only temporary from the ownership entity behind the project.

The North Park development is still in construction, but it’s already visibly arresting, with a large slanted design element springing from the post office to the top of the new structure’s wood frame.

It’ll include 33 market-rate rental apartment units, and the old post office will be converted into 5,000 square feet of commercial restaurant/retail space.

Reported by Andrew Keatts|Voice of San Diego

Photography and editorial assistance by Anna Lee Fleming

Read the full story…

Rady School at UC San Diego Launches Business Accelerator

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego announced that six teams of entrepreneurs have been selected to take part in the inaugural class of StartR, a nonprofit business accelerator designed to propel the success of companies founded by Rady School students and alumni. StartR is a free, six month-long program that provides startup teams with mentoring, workshops, seminars, work space, consultation with Rady School faculty and industry experts, connections to funding sources and a conduit to the larger San Diego business community. At the conclusion of the program, StartR accelerator teams will be given an opportunity to pitch to investors and industry experts.

Thirty teams competed to take part in the program, with six chosen for the inaugural StartR class. The six teams chosen were: Andro360 with Rady alum Lucas Fornace; Hulk Biotech with current Rady students Anil Sadarangani and Andres Volker; LabFellows with current Rady student Julio DeUnamuno; Ovapal with current Rady student Giovanna Scheidler; Skylit with current Rady student Martyn Gross; and tab32 with Rady alumni Kiltesh Patel and Joe Aquilina. The StartR program was funded with the support of Rady School donor Mary Ann Beyster and the private, nonprofit Foundation for Enterprise Development. Entrepreneurs can apply for the next class at: http://rady.ucsd.edu/ciid/startr/

Garden Fresh Announces Successful Refinancing

The primary ownership group of San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Group. has provided new funding that has enabled to company to successfully complete a refinancing of its debt, the company announced today. “This refinancing solidifies our capital base and gives us the opportunity to accelerate the significant improvements we continue to make in our business,” said Garden Fresh CEO David Goronkin, who joined the Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes parent during mid-2012. The refinancing, which was led by Garden Fresh CFO John Morberg and his team, includes more than $135 million of new capital funding. Proceeds from the refinancing were used to retire existing debt and provide additional liquidity for growth. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. operates 128 restaurants in 15 states under two brand names: Souplantation (only in Southern California) and Sweet Tomatoes.

Del Mar Designated as a Main Street Community

Del Mar Village will be designated as a California Main Street community by the California Main Street Alliance on Nov. 5. Official certification will be presented to the Del Mar Village Association.

The California Main Street Alliance awards California Main Street designation to cities, towns or neighborhoods that have reinvigorated the economic health of their historic Main Street central business districts. Del Mar is the 27th community in California to achieve California Main Street status.

The designation ceremony will be attended by county Supervisor Dave Roberts, Mayor Terry Sinnott, members of the Del Mar City Council, and representatives from the California Main Street Alliance.

2 UC San Diego Spinoffs Cited for Positive Economic Payoffs

Two innovative UC San Diego spinoffs – Genomatica, a leader in sustainable chemicals, and Senomyx, a provider of flavor ingredients for the food and beverage industries — are among the 100 companies cited by The Science Coalition in a new report touting the positive economic payoff of federally funded university research. The new report by The Science Coalition, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0,” illustrates one of the many returns on investment of federally funded scientific research: the creation of new companies. The report highlights companies that trace their roots to federally funded university research and their role in bringing transformational innovations to market, creating new jobs and contributing to economic growth. The basic scientific research that gives rise to companies like those in this report is in jeopardy, says the report.

Mission Mesa health center

Rendering of the future Mission Mesa health center .

North County Health Services to Expand Mission Mesa Health Center

SAN MARCOS — North County Health Services (NCHS) has announced the official expansion project for one of its 10 North County clinic locations. The NCHS Mission Mesa health center in San Marcos will undergo a reconstruction of its pediatrics building, taking the current 3,024 square-foot, six-exam room facility to an expanded 12,639-square-foot, 18-exam room facility. Looking to break ground in December, the new facilityalso will offer a procedure room, two health education rooms, a lactation consultation room,  financial consultation room and a group visit room. The NCHS Mission Mesa health center will continue to serve patients while under construction, which includes women’s health services, WIC services and pediatric services, all located on site. The current pediatrics building on the property will remain to serve NCHS patients in a different capacity. Completion of the expansion project is anticipated in spring 2015.

“Not only will this project create a brand new health center for our community, it will enable us to continue to deliver quality care to our current and future patients,” says Irma Cota, president an CEO.

San Diego’s Sandford Hotel for Seniors Rededicated

The Sandford Hotel

The Sandford Hotel

San Diego’s Sandford Hotel, an affordable housing facility for seniors, has been rededicated after undergoing a multimillion-dollar facelift, KPBS reports. Jerry Lohla of the San Diego Housing Commission said the hotel’s 129 subsidized one-room apartments fill an important niche for seniors. “The Hotel Sandford is really a step between homeless and market-rate housing. Like most of what the housing commission does, it is intended for residents who meet an income qualification level. In other words, their annual income is no greater than a certain amount for an individual,” Lohla said.

The San Diego Housing Commission bought and restored the structure for about $12 million. Prior to this project, the hotel had gone nearly 25 years without major improvements. The nearly 100-year-old hotel was built a year before the Panama California Exposition in Balboa Park, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

U.S. Marines Testing ViaSat’s Hand-Held Devices

ViaSat device

ViaSat device

CARLSBAD — The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command has taken delivery of off-the-shelf mobile devices with advanced information security engineered by ViaSat Inc. of Carlsbad. The Marine Corps is now beginning evaluation of this first production delivery of 150 protected mobile devices on a beta service network. The new secure mobile system will be available on any Android device, and multiple carrier service pilots are scheduled to begin this fall. While this development is for government unclassified and classified use, the ViaSat system is based entirely on commercial technology and is designed to provide secure communication of sensitive information for any government or commercial customer, the company said.

“We’ve delivered this secure virtualization in a standard android device to enable a highly-trusted platform for the mobile enterprise,” said Jon Korecki, executive director of Secure Network Systems at ViaSat. “Now we’re at work on integrating these protected commercial devices into a variety of carrier networks and managed services.”

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Meetings & Events

Mexican Designer to Speak on Architecture and Design

Ezequiel Farca, a prominent designer from Mexico, will hold a discussion on the interdisciplinary intersections between architecture, interior and product design Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in Downtown San Diego. Farca collaborates with NSAD as an advisory board member with the Domus Academy School of Design at NSAD. School officials said the event is an example of the school’s expanding global design education opportunities being made available to the community and students, which include an interior design program and a product design program. The school is located at

Women in Real Estate Conference Set for Nov. 13

The University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will host its third annual Women in Real Estate Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 13, on the university campus. The conference will feature three women achievers in real estate: Beth Fischer, division president of Pardee homes, as the keynote speaker, and Kris Michell, president and CEO of Downtown San Diego Partnership, as the featured speaker. Lori Holt-Pfeiler, executive director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity and former three-term mayor of Escondido, will moderate a discussion on real estate career paths and work-life balance.  The conference starts with a 7 a.m. breakfast and networking. The program starts at 8 a.m. Cost is $50. For more, call Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.

High-Performance Mira Mesa Home Open for Tour

San Diegans can tour a typical 1970s tract house transformed into a high-performance home with energy-saving upgrades and solar power during an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 9, in Mira Mesa. The free home tour, at 7932 Dancy Road, is sponsored by the nonprofit California Center for Sustainable Energy. Visitors can meet the homeowners to hear about the advantages of installing upgrades. Energy efficiency experts will conduct guided tours and be available to answer questions and talk about home upgrade rebates.

At the featured home, upgrades include whole-house sealing, attic insulation, insulated air ducts, fresh air ventilation system, high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner, dual-pane windows and doors, tankless hybrid water heater, programmable thermostat, ENERGY STAR kitchen appliances, interior and exterior LED lighting, high-efficiency clothes washer and a roof-top solar system to generate electricity. For more, call (858) 244-1177.

Al Gore to be Guest Speaker at J. Craig Venter Institute

Former Vice President Al Gore will be the special guest speaker for the “Step into the Genome” black tie event Nov. 9 at the J. Craig Venter Institute. The event is being held to celebrate the opening of the new, sustainable, net-zero carbon genomics laboratory in La Jolla. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe is the headlining musical entertainment. William Close and the Earth Harp Collective and Jennifer Spingola and Jesse Malloy will begin the evening event, which begins at 6 p.m.

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Sage Creek High School

Sage Creek High School

Sage Creek High School Opens to High Praise From District

CARLSBAD — Carlsbad Unified School District officials are boasting about the new $104 million Sage Creek High School, which opened its doors to more than 300 incoming freshmen for the start of the 2013/2014 school year. “To accomplish a project of this magnitude, it took a team of dedicated, persistent, and smart people,” said Suzette Lovely, district superintendent. “Once the funds were secured to build the school, it required a team with incredible bench strength to conquer the challenges that come with constructing a high school in a mountain of bedrock, surrounded by environmentally sensitive habitats.” The team included program manager Gafcon Inc., contractor Balfour Beatty Construction and Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects.

The campus features 140,000 square feet of occupied space, with three classroom buildings, a library, administration offices, food services, gymnasium, fine arts building and a football/soccer field with press box and concession stands. The 57-acre site also includes 6.2 acres set aside as a biological habitat.  The school will receive an award from the Associated General Contractors San Diego at the Build San Diego Awards banquet on Nov. 7.

AIDS protein

Using advanced techniques, researchers from The Scripps Research Institute and Weill Medical College of Cornell University have now determined the structure of the HIV envelope protein, shown here bound by broadly neutralizing antibodies against two distinct sites of vulnerability. (Courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.)

Scientists Capture Most Detailed Picture Yet of Key AIDS Protein

Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Weill Medical College of Cornell University have determined the first atomic-level structure of the tripartite HIV envelope protein — long considered one of the most difficult targets in structural biology and of great value for medical science. The new findings provide the most detailed picture yet of the AIDS-causing virus’s complex envelope, including sites that future vaccines will try to mimic to elicit a protective immune response.

“Most of the prior structural studies of this envelope complex focused on individual subunits; but we’ve needed the structure of the full complex to properly define the sites of vulnerability that could be targeted, for example with a vaccine,” said Ian A. Wilson, a senior author of the new research with biologists Andrew Ward and Bridget Carragher of TSRI and John Moore of Cornell. The findings are published today in two papers in Science Express, the early online edition of the journal Science.

HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, currently infects about 34 million people globally, 10 percent of whom are children, according to World Health Organization estimates. Although antiviral drugs are now used to manage many HIV infections, especially in developed countries, scientists have long sought a vaccine that can prevent new infections and perhaps ultimately eradicate the virus from the human population. However, none of the HIV vaccines tested so far has come close to providing adequate protection.

Gordy Shields Exhibit

Gordy Shields Exhibit

Grossmont College Library Exhibit Pays Tribute to Gordy Shields

The smiling senior citizen pictured in a new exhibit at the south entrance of the  Grossmont College Library is Gordy Shields, a former counselor who after retirement from the college became a local legend in the world of bicycling. Besides winning numerous races as a senior citizen, Shields, who died earlier this year, was an effective advocate for the establishment of bike paths all over San Diego County.

Nadra Farina-Hess, interim associate dean for the library, said the painting of Shields was done by artist Mona Mills in connection with the San Diego County Library’s “Legends” exhibition which has been traveling from branch to branch. One of several poses in which Mills had pictured Shields, the painting was loaned to Grossmont College Library by the San Diego County Library to be shown amid his bike jerseys and medals, and literature from the San Diego Bicycle Coalition. The exhibit is expected to remain on view through the end of the fall semester.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com