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Daily Business Report-Dec. 10, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 10, 2013

More than 90 employers participated in a Hiring Our Heroes job fair at Camp Pendleton in September.

Mild Job Market Expected in Early 2014

Employers in the San Diego region expect to hire at a cautious pace during the first quarter of 2014, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. From January to March, 15 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 11 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 71 percent expect to maintain their current workforce levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This means a Net Employment Outlook of 4 percent.

A Net Employment Outlook of 4 percent

A Net Employment Outlook of 4 percent

“Employers are going to be pleasantly surprised about the first quarter of 2014,” said Manpower San Diego President and CEO Phil Blair. “Trends are picking up. “Although many employers will be taking a conservative approach to hiring, we feel that business will be better than most of them think it’s going to be.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in construction, durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information, professional and business services and government. Employers in nondurable goods manufacturing, financial activities, education and health services and other services plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in transportation and utilities and leisure and hospitality is expected to remain unchanged.

U.S. Outlook

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed in the United States, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 7 percent expect a decline in their payrolls during the first quarter. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 3 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring plans.

San Diego Real Estate Market Slowing

Signs that San Diego’s residential real estate market is slowing showed up in a report released Monday by the San Diego Association of Realtors, though housing prices remain well above what they were last year. A total of 1,609 single-family homes were sold last month, down 15.6 percent from November 2012, and 11.3 percent below October of this year.

The number of attached homes that changed hands in November totaled 761, down 19.4 percent from the same month last year, and 9.6 percent below this past October.

The median cost of a single-family house in the region in November was $469,000, down 1.3 percent from October. However, the price tag was 15 percent higher than the same month in 2012, according to the statistics.

The median price of a house across the first 11 months of this year was $455,000, nearly 20 percent above the first 11 months of last year.

The SDAR reported that for condominiums and townhouses, the median sales price in November was $310,000, up 4.7 percent over the previous month, and a jump of 19.2 percent from November 2012.

The year-to-date median price of an attached home is $295,000, a 30.5 percent hike over the same period last year.

According to the figures, 22,888 houses sold in the first 11 months of 2013, up 0.5 percent over the same time frame of 2012. Also, 10,779 condos or townhomes sold year-to-date, a 5.3 percent climb.

— City News Service report

City Faces $170 Million for Sidewalk Installations

The city of San Diego has 425 requests for sidewalk installations throughout the city, which would cost a combined $170 million, but only budgets $1 million annually to pay for them, according to a report delivered Monday to the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee. Each project carries a price tag of $400,000, according to the report. The money used to fund sidewalk installations is part of revenue from the half-cent TransNet sales tax.

“Some neighborhoods are missing sidewalks on common walking routes, and that is unacceptable,” Councilman Mark Kersey, the committee chairman, said.

Kersey and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole said they will work with staff and the city’s Independent Budget Analyst to revise city policies on sidewalks, some provisions of which are four decades old. The policies have led to confusion over whether the city or adjacent property-owners are responsible for repairing damaged sidewalks — resulting in inaction, Kersey said.

— City News Service

The Gray Eagle

The Gray Eagle

General Atomics Aeronautical Gets Army

Contract for Gray Eagle Production

The U.S. Army has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $40.3 million contract modification for full-rate production of the Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system. The Gray Eagle is the Army version of the Predator aircraft. Work on the aircraft will be conducted in Poway and is expected to be completed by September 2016.

Former Mayor Sentenced

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who admitted grabbing and fondling three women while in office, was sentenced Monday to three years probation, along with three months home detention, City News Service reports. Filner apologized to his family, his staff, the residents of San Diego and the women he offended, saying the behavior would never be repeated. The former mayor vowed to “earn back my trust and integrity, no matter how long it takes.”

Filner, 71, will avoid jail time, though he is expected to spend three months under home confinement at his apartment complex. If he violates probation, he would face up to six months in jail. Filner will be barred from seeking or holding public office while on probation, but could run again once his probation is completed. After 18 months, Filner can apply to have his probation reduced to informal probation. He can also petition to have his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor after 18 months. Filner will be required to undergo mental health treatment while under court supervision. He also was fined about $1,500.

Todd Gloria Re-Elected City Council President

Todd Gloria was re-elected president of the San Diego City Council Monday by a unanimous vote of his colleagues, his second consecutive term as president. Gloria was first elected council president on Dec. 3, 2012, and took over as the interim mayor on Aug. 30, 2013.  When a new mayor is sworn in after the February election, Gloria will remain council president and the representative for District 3.

Mercury Tech Center in Kearny Mesa Sold

Alex. Brown Realty Inc. of Baltimore and CIP Real Estate announced the acquisition of the Mercury Tech Center, an industrial/flex property in Kearny Mesa. ABR Chesapeake Fund IV, a real estate fund, invested $3.6 million in the newly formed venture. The acquisition will be financed with a loan from Sabal Financial.

Currently known as the Mercury Court Complex, the portfolio includes six buildings totaling 78,488 square feet. The joint venture will rebrand the property as the Mercury Tech Center and reposition it from single-tenant office to industrial/flex use. To complete the repositioning, the joint venture plans to invest $2.3 million to enhance the exterior appearance, reconfigure the interior space, and prepare vacant units for leasing.

Escondido Apartments Sell for $2.87 Million

ESCONDIDO — The Serenity Palms Apartments at 928-934 Fig St. have been sold for $2.87 million to Allstates Investment & Management LLC. The seller was a limited liability company. Built in 1989, the property has 14 units with a mix of 1,050-square-foot, two bedroom two-bath units and 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom two-bath units. About 40 percent of the property has undergone renovation. CBRE represented buyer and seller in the transaction.

Model Homes Near Completion at Arterro at La Costa

CARLSBAD — Three model homes are nearing completion at Arterro at La Costa, Davidson Communities’ enclave of new homes located at the junction of Rancho Santa Fe Road and La Costa Avenue in the city of Carlsbad. New homes at Arterro at La Costa range from 3,288 to 4,384 square feet with three to six bedrooms, 3 ½ to 6 ½ baths and a three- or four-car garage. The homes are designed by R. Douglas Mansfield, with interior merchandising by Design Line Interiors.

The grand opening of Arterro at La Costa scheduled for mid-January 2014. Prices are expected to range from the high $900,000s. For more information and to join the interest list for Arterro, register online at

San Diego Wind Farms Get Extended

Legal Protection on Eagle Deaths

Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle

Wind farms in San Diego County and across the nation can now get a 30-year permit to unintentionally kill bald or golden eagles with their spinning turbine blades, KPBS reports. It’s an effort by the U.S. Interior Department to spur green energy growth while balancing its environmental consequences. The previous permit was issued every five years.

The new rule requires wind farms to increase safety measures if eagle populations are being affected or if they kill or injure more eagles than estimated. Without the permit, companies could receive large fines.

Kelly Fuller, a consultant with the Protect Our Communities Foundation, said the ruling especially puts San Diego’s declining golden eagle population at risk.

“Because when they hunt, they’re not paying to attention to what’s immediately in front of them in the air, because they’re looking down at the ground — they’re looking for what they’re hunting,” Fuller said. Fuller urged the use of solar in San Diego County instead of wind farms.

Chris Powers Joins CBRE

Chris Powers

Chris Powers

Chris Powers has joined the San Diego Occupier Services group at CBRE, and will be based in the UTC office. Powers will specialize in assisting corporate tenants with their real estate needs, including lease renewals/restructures, relocations, expansions and dispositions. Powers previously was a vice president and tenant representation specialist at Cresa San Diego. He also worked at Maguire Properties as director of leasing. Powers studied business administration and management  at San Diego State University.


San Diego Student Wins $100,000 Scholarship

Eric Chen

Eric Chen

Eric Chen, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, won the $100,000 grand prize — a college scholarship — in the individual category in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology today in Washington, D.C. Chen won for his discovery of potent influenza endonuclease inhibitors, which could be used to develop anti-flu drugs.

“Eric’s outstanding interdisciplinary approach to research enabled him to identify several new candidate drugs for treating influenza,” said Gary Benson, associate professor of bioinformatics at Boston University. “He combined computer modeling of molecules with essential lab experiments to quickly comb through more than 100,000 drugs to find the few with useful anti-influenza activity. His inventive and thorough work will help advance the search for drugs that could prevent the next flu pandemic.”

Chen was inspired to pursue research on influenza after the swine flu outbreak started in his hometown of San Diego in 2009. Eric earned the Google Science Fair Grand Prize and was a finalist in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He is the founder and head coach of a summer math contest program for middle school students and helped start Science Fair and Science Olympiad programs in San Diego primary and middle schools. He plans to become a college professor or an entrepreneur.

Chen’s project mentors were Rommie Amaro, assistant professor, and Gen-Sheng Feng, professor, both of UC San Diego.

Steve Forbes to Introduce Forbes School of Business

Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes

Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes and President and CEO Mike Perlis will join Bridgepoint Education and Ashford University chief executives for a ceremonial signing to formally introduce the Forbes School of Business at 8 a.m. on Dec. 12 at Ashford’s Sunroad Centrum building, 8620 Spectrum Center Blvd. in San Diego.

San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education announced an alliance between its Ashford University’s School of Business and a subsidiary of the global media company last month. As a result, Ashford’s College of Business and Professional Studies has been renamed the Forbes School of Business.

Bridgepoint Education President and CEO Andrew Clark, Ashford University President and CEO Richard Pattenaude, Forbes and Perlis will discuss how the alliance brings together Ashford’s business curriculum with Forbes Media’s resources.

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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: