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Daily Business Report-Nov. 12, 2013

Daily Business Report-Nov. 12, 2013

San Diego County Home Prices in October

 Jump 17.9 Percent From October 2012

The median price paid for a home in San Diego County in October was $412,750 — up 17.9 percent from $350,000 in October last year, but down from $422,000 in September, according to a report today by DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate information service.

Home sales in October totaled 3,509 compared to 3,383 in September and 3,622 in October 2012.

Southern California:

Little Change for Home Prices; Sales Picture Mixed

Southern California home buying picked up in October compared with September but fell short of a year earlier as sales in inventory-starved, lower-cost markets continued to lag far behind 2012 levels. For the fourth month in a row the region’s median sale price more or less moved sideways, though it was still nearly 22 percent higher than October last year, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 20,150 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 5.4 percent from 19,112 sales in September, and down 4.4 percent from 21,075 sales in October 2012, according to DataQuick.

On average, Southland sales have declined 1.1 percent between September and October since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.

Last month’s sales were 14.4 percent below the average number of sales – 23,572 – in the month of October. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. October sales have ranged from a low of 12,913 in October 2007 to high of 37,642 in October 2003.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $383,750, up 0.5 percent from $382,000 in September and up 21.8 percent from $315,000 in October 2012. The $385,000 median this June, July and August was the highest in more than five years.

“Our read on the market is that after playing some rapid catch-up, home prices hit a bit of a mid-summer wall. It took a very specific set of circumstances to trigger price gains of 20 percent or more over the course of a year. We had a pitifully low number of homes for sale, incredibly low mortgage rates and unusually high levels of investor purchases. In recent months each of those drivers has reversed somewhat,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

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The Festival of Science & Engineering, coming up on its sixth year, is a program of the Biocom Institute.

The Festival of Science & Engineering, coming up on its sixth year, is a program of the Biocom Institute.

Festival of Science & Engineering

Aimed at Getting Kids Involved

The sixth annual San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering next year will bring a variety of interactive activities for children and adults at various locations throughout San Diego County.

The festival — to be staged March 15-22 — is a program of the Biocom Institute. It’s aim is to get kids excited about science and related fields to inspire them to become “tomorrow’s STEM innovators.”

Teachers, scientists and students are encouraged to submit applications to participate in the 2014 festival.

During festival week March 15-21, hundreds of community businesses and organizations in the county will present science, technology, engineering and math activities for kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Local organizations can apply now to host an event during the week. Visit www.sdsciencefestival.com to submit an event application. The deadline is Dec. 2.

Expo Day on March 22 will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego. It is a day of hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities. It’s open to everyone. More than 55,000 kids, parents, scientists, educators and community members are expected to participate.

For more information on the festival, visit www.sdsciencefestival.com or call (858) 455-0300, Ext. 104.

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New Kaiser Permanente Hospital Approved for Kearny Mesa

Construction of a new, 450-bed Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Kearny Mesa has been approved by the San Diego City Council. The project on 20 acres along Ruffin Road at Clairemont Mesa Boulevard will include a seven-story, 565,000-square-foot hospital, along with a medical office building, a central utilities plant and a parking garage. Kaiser’s largest hospital in the San Diego region is located in Grantville near the intersection of Zion Avenue and Mission Gorge Road. Kaiser is expected to remodel the Zion facility at some point in the future.

The hospital will include an emergency department, operating rooms and recovery spaces, pharmacies, a laboratory and a blood bank, as well as administrative offices, conference rooms and other support facilities. Kaiser plans to achieve a LEED gold certification for environmental sustainability, making it the first hospital in the state to meet the criteria.

Edward Littlejohn, the chief operating officer for Kaiser in San Diego, said the project would create about 700 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent positions when finished in three years.

The Oakland-based health care organization operates 25 medical facilities in San Diego County and is one of the biggest managed care organizations in the country, with about 8.9 million subscribers. (City News Service)

Pension Board Move Increases City’s Contribution

The city of San Diego’s budget for the next fiscal year took a $12 million hit Friday when the governing board of the employee pension system approved a move that ups the city’s contribution to its workers’ retirements, City News Service reports. The directors of the San Diego City Employees Retirement System voted to lower its discount rate from 7.5 percent to 7.25 percent, a move that will lower its risk in the investment markets. It also means the city will have to bump up the annual contribution it makes on behalf of employees next year — and future years in which the lower discount rate is in effect.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said the latest change will result in a net increase of $12 million in the budget. The total tab of $14 million will be partially offset by a five-year labor agreement reached earlier this year.

Enterprise Zone Program Forum Set for Nov. 15

CHULA VISTA — The South County Economic Development Council will host an educational forum for business owners, accountants and tax preparers on Nov. 15 to describe how they can still take advantage of the current state Enterprise Zone program and learn what changes will be made beginning Jan. 1. The Enterprise Zone program is ending Dec. 31 and a new business incentive program will launch. The event will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the South County Regional Education Center, 800 National City Blvd. in National City.

Guest speakers for the event include Brenda Voet, California Franchise Tax Board, and Sid Voorakkara, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. To reserve, send an emial to cindy@southcountyedc.com or call (619) 424-5143.

SDG&E Donating $1.2 Million to San Diego

And Orange County Nonprofit Groups

San Diego Gas & Electric will donate more than $1.2 million to nonprofit organizations in San Diego and Orange counties, utility officials announced Monday. The donation will be made through the utility’s “Helping People in Need” initiative, and will be used to help the local military and veteran population along with those in underserved communities, SDG&E officials said.

More than 120 organizations will receive grants, including The San Diego Rescue Mission, , the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, Feeding America San Diego, Crisis House, Heart and Hands Working Together, Mama’s Kitchen, Promises2Kids, the Salvation Army, Embrace, Amikas and Senior Community Centers of San Diego.

Vietnam Veterans of San Diego, the YMCA at Camp Pendleton, the NTC Foundation, the Veterans Association of North County and the Veterans Housing Initiative are also set to receive grant funds, SDG&E officials said.

U.S. Department of Education Formally

Recognizes Ashford University Accreditation

Bridgepoint Education’s Ashford University has received notification from the U.S. Department of Education that the university has been approved for accreditation with the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. As a result of the DOE approval, Ashford will resign its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. Ashford also received a letter from the Federal Student Aid School Eligibility Channel School

Participation Team acknowledging that Ashford’s to participate in federal student financial aid programs has been provisionally approved.

CaseyGerry Associate Elected to Bar Association Division

Jason Evans

Jason Evans

Jason Evans, an associate attorney with San Diego-based CaseyGerry, has been elected to the board of directors of the New Lawyer Division of the San Diego County Bar Association. He will serve a two-year term. The New Lawyer Division consists of attorneys who have been in the profession for seven years or less, and supports the interests and activities of members through legal outreach, educational programs and community events.    Evans, who joined CaseyGerry in 2012, specializes in complex litigation and personal injury cases. He earned a bachelor’s  degree at Claremont McKenna College and his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law.

 

Illumina Inc. Names Francis deSouza as President

Francis deSouza

Francis deSouza

Illumina Inc., a San Diego-based life science company, has appointed Francis deSouza as president. DeSouza has nearly two decades of technology experience and has successfully brought products to market in startups and large organizations, the company said. DeSouza, who will take the position in December, is currently president of products and services at Symantic Corp. He had served in a variety of executive roles at Symantec, joining the company through the acquisition of IMlogic in February 2006, where he was co-founder and CEO. Before his years at IMlogic and Symantec, deSouza was co-founder and CEO of Flash Communications, a provider of corporate instant messaging that was acquired by Microsoft in 1998. Following that acquisition, he joined Microsoft.

 

Shea Opens New Model Homes at Civita in Mission Valley

Shea Frame

Shea Frame

Seven new model homes will be unveiled at 10 a.m. on Saturday during the grand opening of Frame & Focus at Civita, a new brand of urban townhomes by Shea Homes San Diego. Frame & Focus is located at 2642 Aperture Circle in Mission Valley. It showcases open floor plans, decks, patios, small yards and large-scale windows. Ranging from 1,306 to 1,983 square feet, Frame & Focus offers two architectural styles suited for a range of lifestyle and family configurations. Pricing for new homes at Frame & Focus will start from the high $400,000s. For more information, call (866) 696-7432.

Frame features an entry called a motor court, which routes vehicles through a large, shared interior courtyard to individual attached two-car garages. By bringing cars through these communal front spaces, Frame can provide each home with a private rear yard. Ranging from 1,584 to 1,983 square feet, 64 townhomes at Frame offer two to four bedrooms and two baths.

Judy Hoffman

Judy Hoffman

Trigild Names Judy Hoffman President

Trigild, a San Diego-based real estate firm, has promoted Judy Hoffman from chief operating officer to president and Brian Morelan from managing director to chief operating officer. Past President

Brian Morelan

Brian Morelan

Bill Hoffman will remain as chairman of the board and CEO. Hoffman, who has been with Trigild since 1984, started as marketing coordinator and moved up company ranks. She is founder of both the annual Trigild Lender Conference and Trigild Spring Conference.

As the new chief operating officer, Morelan will be responsible for the strategic direction of the firm, as well as client services, and portfolio management. He also will help direct the company’s day-to-day operations, overseeing 10 regional offices and 750 employees nationwide.

William Hoffman

William Hoffman

William Hoffman helped found the company in 1976. He has more than 35 years of experience as an attorney, real estate broker and court-appointed receiver for more than 2,000 assets, including hotels, office buildings, retail centers, industrial facilities, multifamily projects and restaurants nationwide.

ecoATM Names Director of Law Enforcement Relations

ecoATM, the company that enables consumers to recycle used mobile phones, tablets, and MP3 players, announced the appointment of Max Santiago as director of law enforcement relations. Santiago has more than 32 years of law enforcement experience. He served as the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol and was a member of the CHP for 30 years. As deputy commissioner, Santiago was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CHP and provided executive level oversight over a wide range of the CHP’s activities including crime prevention, counter-terrorism operations and homeland security. Santiago previously served as the CHP inspector general and chief audit executive.

NASSCO Gets Contract From Seabulk Tankers

General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has entered into a contract with Seabulk Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc., for the design and construction of one 50,000 deadweight ton LNG-conversion-ready product carrier with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity, plus an option for one additional vessel. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015, with delivery scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016. This new tanker will be constructed at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

This new 610-foot-long tanker is a continuation of the ECO MR tanker design, which delivers improved fuel efficiency and incorporates the latest environmental protection features, including a ballast water treatment system. Including this order, NASSCO is now under contract for the design and construction of seven tankers, plus an option for one additional vessel. In September, NASSCO entered into a contract with Seabulk for two tankers of the same design. That order was preceded by a contract in May for four vessels from American Petroleum Tankers.

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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