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Daily Business Report-Jan. 13, 2014

Daily Business Report-Jan. 13, 2014

NBC will be leaving its Downtown building in 2016.

NBC and Bridgepoint Education

Arranging to Leave Downtown

NBC is leaving Downtown. NBC has negotiated a termination of its lease and will be moving out of Downtown in October 2016, according to Jason Hughes, president and CEO of Hughes Marino, a San Diego commercial real estate company.

Comcast will be relocating the studio and office space to the suburbs into a company-owned building. “This will be a big loss to Downtown and to 225 Broadway where NBC has building top signage, their ground floor TV studios as well as the entire third floor, “ said Hughes.

Hughes also reports that Bridgepoint Education has negotiated a lease termination for its space at 600 B Street (floors 1 and 2), and will be leaving Downtown over the next six months. “Bridgepoint has building top signage as well, so that makes two great options for large companies wanting great identity in Downtown,” said Hughes. “For 600 B Street, this now provides for the entire lower half of the building as vacant — more than 160,000 square feet of contiguous space.”

The YMCA building at 500 West Broadway Downtown may soon go up for auction, following a failed run as a low-income hotel and other financial difficulties, according to Hughes.

Holiday Inn Bayside

Holiday Inn Bayside

Bartell Hotels Completes $13 Million Expansion

Of its Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside Property

San Diego-based Bartell Hotels has completed a four-story, 44,000-square-foot, $13 million expansion of its Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside property at 4875 North Harbor Drive. The hotel expansion features a new entrance to the hotel consisting of a Mediterranean garden, a 23-foot sculpture and a 2,000-square-foot lobby with 18-foot ceilings. The expansion also added 57 guest rooms and suites with bay and marina views, a corporate boardroom and a 5,000-square-foot pre-function area and ballroom. The hotel now totals 291 guest rooms including 13 suites, and total meeting space of 9,750 square feet.

Sculpture by Matt Devine

Sculpture by Matt Devine

“We took great care to create such a visually striking entryway along the Port of San Diego tidelands,” said Bartell Hotels President and CEO Richard Bartell. The project recently received best architecture, best landscaping and best artwork honors by the Point Loma Association.

The large metal sculpture, Intersect, serves as an aesthetic focal point at the hotel’s entrance. It draws inspiration from marine and maritime life for which Point Loma and Shelter Island are famous, according to Bartell.

“The three delta shapes are representative of abstract seabirds, fish and sailboats as balance is reached when all of the elements are in harmony with each other,” said the sculpture’s creator, Matt Devine.

Joseph Wong of JWDA served as architect, Liz Bartell Design performed design work and Parterre Landscape Architecture handled landscaping.

The official Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside re-launch set for late winter 2014.

Board of Supervisors to Sue Caltrans for its

Approval of Jamul Casino Management Plan

The county Board of Supervisors last week voted to take legal action against Caltrans over its approval of an encroachment permit and temporary management plan submitted by the Jamul Indian Tribe in connection with its proposed $360 million “Hollywood Casino Jamul” project. The tribe announced the start of construction activities for the casino, which it claimed would “blend seamlessly into the region.”

The transportation management plan and encroachment permit were submitted by the tribe to minimize any traffic impact on State Route 94 during construction of the casino.

Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, a resident of Jamul and longtime opponent of the casino project, issued a strongly worded statement against the tribe’s plans.  “The tribe must take us for fools if it thinks a Hollywood-style, Costco-sized casino would blend seamlessly into rural Jamul,” said Jacob. “The giant gaming complex might generate profits for the tribe and its developer, but at the expense of the community’s quality of life.

“The tribe needs to follow the law and delay construction until an adequate environmental review of the traffic impacts has been completed. The county will be taking legal action to enforce the law.”

Kevin Faulconer Leads in Mayoral Poll

San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer has taken the lead in the race to become the city’s next mayor, with the backing of 53 percent of those polled, compared to 37 percent who said they would likely vote for fellow Councilman David Alvarez, according to the results of a 10News/U-T San Diego poll released Sunday.

A similar poll of 515 likely voters conducted by SurveyUSA last month showed Faulconer and Alvarez in a near tie, with 47 and 46 percent of the likely votes, respectively, headed toward the Feb. 11 runoff election to replace former Mayor Bob Filner.

The poll showed Faulconer, a Republican, had about twice the support from likely voters who live north of Interstate 8. Faulconer and Alvarez, a Democrat, were about even with likely voters south of Interstate 8, 10News reported.

Alvarez’s backing fell among men, 35- to 49-year-olds, along with black and white voters. He edged out against Faulconer with black, Hispanic, Democratic and liberal voters, and those earning less than $40,000 a year, U-T San Diego reported.

Faulconer made gains among moderates. Faulconer’s backing included 84 percent of Republicans, compared to Alvarez’s backing from 65 percent of Democrats, U-T San Diego reported.

Susan Davis Asks for a Postage Stamp to Commemorate

100th Anniversary of Panama-California Exposition

Congresswoman Susan Davis

Congresswoman Susan Davis

Congresswoman Susan Davis of San Diego has introduced a resolution requesting the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee to issue a postage stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition at Balboa Park. “Balboa Park is a crown jewel in the heart of San Diego,” said Davis. “It is an integral part of the lives of San Diegans and we are so proud of it. As Balboa Park prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2015, this stamp will honor the Panama-California Exhibition and would provide an opportunity for San Diego to once again show off Balboa Park to the rest of the world.”

From 1915 to 1917, San Diego played host to an exhibition recognizing the historic completion of the Panama Canal, which revolutionized transcontinental trade. With many of its most iconic buildings originally constructed as intended temporary structures for the exhibition, Balboa Park went on to serve as an active military installation in both world wars, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and is a cultural and artistic center for San Diego.

Balboa Park Celebration Inc. joined with Davis in calling for a commemorative stamp in a letter to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee in December.

Kilroy Realty Completes Sale of San Diego Office Properties

Kilroy Realty Corp. said it has completed the sale of 13 San Diego office properties for total gross proceeds of $327 million. The portfolio included 1.1 million square feet and was approximately 91 percent leased. The company said it will reinvest the proceeds into its expanding West Coast office development program and other potential acquisition opportunities.

The sale of 4910 Directors Place occurred in December 2013 and the sale of 12 other office buildings located at 10020 Pacific Mesa Bvd., 6055 Lusk Ave., 5010 and 5005 Wateridge Vista Drive, 15435 and 15445 Innovation Drive, and 15051, 15073, 15231, 15253, 15333 and 15378 Avenue of Science occurred in early January.

Starwood Completes Acquisition of 12-Building Portfolio

Starwood Capital Group of Connecticut has completed the acquisition of a 12-building office and R&D portfolio in the San Diego communities of Sorrento Mesa and Rancho Bernardo. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The properties total 1.1 million square feet. The properties are relatively newly constructed — with an average vintage of 2002 — and feature open floor plans and high ceilings. The portfolio is 91 percent leased.

“These buildings are well-leased with high-quality tenants, and boast modern designs and systems that are ideal for use as corporate headquarters,” said Mark Deason, senior vice president at Starwood.

The biologists developed ‘humanized’ laboratory mice that contained a functional human immune system. (Photo: Zhili Rong, UC San Diego)

The biologists developed ‘humanized’ laboratory mice that contained a functional human immune system. (Photo: Zhili Rong, UC San Diego)

Biologists Discover Solution to Human Stem Cell Problem

Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered an effective strategy that could prevent the human immune system from rejecting the grafts derived from human embryonic stem cells, a major problem now limiting the development of human stem cell therapies. Their discovery may also provide scientists with a better understanding of how tumors evade the human immune system when they spread throughout the body.

The achievement, published in a paper in the journal Cell Stem Cell by a collaboration that included scientists from China, was enabled by the development of “humanized” laboratory mice that contained a functional human immune system capable of mounting a vigorous immune rejection of foreign cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

Yang Xu, a professor of biology, headed the team of researchers that included Ananda Goldrath, an associate biology professor at UC San Diego.

ResMed Founder to be Honored

Peter Farrell

Peter Farrell

Peter Farrell, founder and executive chairman of ResMed, will be honored at Connect’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Awards Feb. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Estancia in La Jolla. The awards are given to individuals who have achieved distinction over the years for founding, leading or advancing a San Diego life sciences or technology-based business or organization.

From July 1984 to June 1989, Farrell served as vice president, research and development at various subsidiaries of Baxter International, Inc., and from August 1985 to June 1989, he also served as managing director of the Baxter Center for Medical Research Pty Ltd., a  Baxter  subsidiary. From January 1978 to December 1989, he was foundation director of the Graduate School for Biomedical Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he currently serves as a visiting professor and as chairman of the UNSW Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Frida Exhibition Organizers Plan Evening Event

The organizers of “The Complete Frida Kahlo” exhibition are planning “An Evening with Frida and Friends” on Jan. 30 at Stone Brewing Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station in Point Loma. The event includes the opportunity to obtain a voucher to view the exhibition at the NTC Arts & Culture District in Liberty Station and to view the film, “Frida,” starring Salma Heyak. Admission is $20 per person. The exhibition, which has been extended through March 9, features 123 replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in original size and materials, hand-painted by master artists in the same style as Kahlo painted them. Also on display are original photographs and over 500 reproductions of clothing, jewelry and pre-Colombian pottery, treasured by Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera.

Tickets can be purchased at

Pacific Imperial Railroad Names Senior Vice President

Pacific Imperial Railroad is moving forward with plans to restore freight rail services to the Desert Line that connects the Tijuana-Tecate region of Baja California with U.S. markets by naming David Arganbright its senior vice president of corporate development.

Arganbright has nearly 30 years of railroad experience in multiple roles with Class 1 railroads, Amtrak, and short line railroads. In his last railroad job, Arganbright served RailAmerica as vice president of government affairs.

Arganbright is a graduate of Indiana University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. “I am excited to participate in this bold new venture to repurpose a 100-year-old rail line to serve the demands of modern industry,” Arganbright said.

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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: