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Daily Business Report-Nov. 27, 2013

Daily Business Report-Nov. 27, 2013

San Diego Housing Prices Increased

Nearly 21 Percent Since September 2012

Housing prices in San Diego increased 20.9 percent in September, compared to September 2012 prices, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. The monthly increase from August to September was 0.9 percent.

San Diego home prices were similar to those in the 20 major U.S. real estate markets followed by S&P. “The second and third quarters of 2013 were very good for home prices,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The indices were created by taking housing prices in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall.

San Diego’s figure in September was 193.51, representing an over 93 percent appreciation in value over the last 14 years. The rise is the third-fastest in the country, behind Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The national index of 20 major cities stood at 165.66 in September, representing a nearly 67 percent appreciation in value since 2000. The figure was up 13.3 percent over the same time period in 2012, and 0.7 percent over this past August, according to the report.

“The strong price gains in the West are sparking questions and concerns about the possibility of another bubble,” Blitzer said. “However the talk is focused on fear of a bubble, not a rush to join the party and buy. Moreover, other data suggest a market beginning to shift to slower growth rather than one about to accelerate.” — City News Service

Serco Transport Solutions employs 253 people across the UK and three in Australia

Serco Transport Solutions employs 253 people across the UK and three in Australia.

Cubic Completes Acquisition of Serco Transport Solutions

Cubic Corp. announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Serco Transport Solutions for an enterprise value of $70 million. Serco will become a part of Cubic Transportation Systems. It is primarily a UK-based transport technology and services business and had revenues in the last calendar year of about $67 million, Cubic said in a release. Serco Transport Solutions employs 253 people across the UK and three in Australia with offices in Stockton on Tees, Beckton (East London), Belfast, Birmingham and Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, as well as in Sydney, Australia.

Serco specializes in the development and supply of complex traffic management systems for the monitoring and control of urban and intra-urban road networks, encompassing integrated traffic and incident management, decision support, bus tracking and passenger information through integrated user interfaces.

Alegria Real Estate Purchases University City

Property to Develop Single-Family Homes

Alegria Real Estate, an investment group based in Solana Beach, has acquired 3.87 acres of property in University City for the development of single-family homes. The vacant property was sold for an undisclosed amounty by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, which has owned it since 1961. Alegria plans to call its new neighborhood West End, since it is located on the west end of University City west of Regents Road between Highway 52 and Governor Drive. The company said West End will offer homes with more living space than most of the homes in the area, modern kitchens, green features and technology.

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center expansion rendering

Lawsuit Threatens Convention Center Expansion

The lengthy drive to expand the San Diego Convention Center hit another legal roadblock Monday with a new lawsuit asking for reversal of the California Coastal Commission’s October approval, the U-T reports. Attorney Cory Briggs, who had warned the commission when it unanimously approved the project Oct. 10, filed a motion in Superior Court, saying the $525 million expansion does not comply with the California Coastal Act and a consistency certification was “illegal.”

Briggs, who represents the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition that also is active on waterfront issues, asked the court to stop anyone from “taking any action on any aspect” of the expansion.

Read more…

Fate of Barrio Logan Referendum to be Decided Next Week

The fate of a citywide referendum over the hotly contested Barrio Logan community plan is now in the hands of a San Diego Superior Court judge. After the plan was approved by the San Diego City Council, maritime industry leaders launched a referendum to put it to a citywide vote, and that effort is being challenged by the Environmental Health Coalition. It is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the referendum from ever reaching the ballot, claiming that signature collectors were misinforming voters about the plan.

After two separate days of hearings on the case, Superior Court Judge Jeffery Barton has said he will rule early next week on whether the referendum can proceed. –KPBS

World Trade Center Names Interim President and CEO

Samuel R. Kephart, vice president of marketing for World Trade Center San Diego, has been named interim president and chief executive officer. He succeeds Steven W. Weathers, who announced his resignation, effective Dec. 4, for personal reasons. Kephart, 63, has served as the vice president of marketing since July. He is a veteran sales and media executive, who has run his own consulting firm for the last 10 years. He is a veteran sales and media executive, who has run his own consulting firm for the last 10 years. He was president of Global Factors Inc., an export management company trading in specialty chemicals, in the mid ’70s.

Weathers served in the post only since last December. From 1990 to 2001, he served as a vice president of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Bank of America Awards Workshops For Warriors $200,000

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named Workshops For Warriors as a recipient of the 2013 Neighborhood Builders award, which includes a $200,000 unrestricted grant. Workshops For Warriors is a non-profit organization that trains, certifies and places veterans in manufacturing careers.

UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge Set for Dec. 4

The annual UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge, a student- run, $100,000 business plan competition, will start on Dec. 4 at the UCSD Price Center West Ballroom. Past challenge winners and finalists will discuss the challenge of commercializing university technology, and how their companies are doing today. Panel moderator Court Turner from Avalon Ventures will be joined by panelists Raj Krishnan from Biological Dynamics, Inanc Ortac from DevaNano, Jared Tangney from Electrozyme, and Phil Bourne from Scivee. The free event will begin with food and networking at 6 p.m., with the panel to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Click here to register…

Sandag Forum Offers Contracting

Opportunities for Transit Project

The San Diego Association of Governments will hols last of its Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project forums on Dec. 12 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave., in El Cajon. Contractors and vendors, especially Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and small businesses, interested in learning about contracting opportunities related to the project, are encouraged to attend the free event. As part of the Mid-Coast project to extend the Trolley Blue Line service to University City, about $150 million in contracting opportunities will become available for DBEs and small businesses.

Amedica in Collaboration With Kyocera Industrial Ceramics

Amedica Corp.,  a Salt Lake City biomaterials company, announced a collaboration with Kyocera Industrial Ceramics Corp., a ceramics producer, to manufacture medical devices from Amedica’s Silicon Nitride biomaterial at Kyocera’s Vancouver, Wash. facility. Kyocera Industrial Ceramics, headquartered in Henderson, N.C., is a subsidiary of Kyocera International Inc. of San Diego. The collaboration includes the manufacture of Amedica’s FDA-approved silicon nitride spinal interbody devices. As a biomaterial, silicon nitride has been shown to help promote bone growth and has anti-infective properties.

Gable PR Promotes Anna Crowe to Account Supervisor

Anna Crowe

Anna Crowe

Gable PR has promoted Anna Crowe from senior account executive to account supervisor. Crowe joined the agency in June 2011 as an account executive and was promoted to senior account executive within one year as she managed programs for AT&T, Bridgepoint Education’s academic institutions and Kimpton’s Hotel La Jolla and Hotel Palomar San Diego. In her new position, she will take on an additional leadership role in creating and managing long-range client programs, creating budgets, supervising and providing direction to account executives and other junior staff and assisting in new business development.

Prior to joining Gable PR, Crowe spent several years as a senior marketing manager for AT&T Mobility in San Diego and as a director of sales and marketing for EMI Music Marketing (Capitol Records) in Hollywood.

Crowe has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s of science in accounting from Rutgers University.

Jenna Brossman Joins J. Walcher Communications

Jenna Brossman

Jenna Brossman

J. Walcher Communications announced the addition of Jenna Brossman as account executive, and the promotions of Sandy Young to account supervisor and Ashley Shafer to assistant account executive. Brossman previously was an account executive at Cook + Schmid, where she managed multiple large-scale events, and worked at the Hotel del Coronado with marketing initiatives. She earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.

Sandy Young has managed multiple accounts for the firm. She was a freelance writer for media outlets and  a columnist for She is secretary of the board of the Public Relations Society of America, San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter. Ashley Shafer has been with the agency since 2012, assisting with the management and coordination of public and community relations for local and national accounts.



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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.

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