Daily Business Report-Feb. 12, 2014
San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer will be sworn in as San Diego’s next mayor on March 3 after defeating fellow Councilman David Alvarez in Tuesday’s mayoral runoff election.
Faulconer Easily Defeats Alvarez in Mayor’s Race
• Swearing in to be held March 3
• City Council to appoint District 2 replacement
• Alvarez says the city will move forward
City News Service — Kevin Faulconer is expected to be sworn in as San Diego’s mayor March 3 after comfortably defeating City Council colleague David Alvarez in the special election to succeed the disgraced Bob Filner.
With all 582 precincts in Tuesday’s election counted, Faulconer had 137,296 votes, 54.5 percent, to 114,478, 45.8 percent for Alvarez, according to results released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
Faulconer will serve the nearly three years remaining in the term of Filner, who was beset by scandal when he left office Aug. 30, barely nine months into his term. Faulconer, 46, will replace interim Mayor Todd Gloria.
“Together, you have sent a very strong message — not only here in San Diego but throughout our region — that this city is going to have an independent leader, this city is going to stand up and work together to bring us all together,” Faulconer told jubilant supporters at the U.S. Grant Hotel.
Faulconer said he would continue fiscal reforms instituted by Jerry Sanders, Filner’s predecessor, and plow the savings back into the city’s neighborhoods.
“So tonight, our message to every single San Diego neighborhood, we will invest where we need to help,” Faulconer said. “We will get our city back on track on the services that San Diegans expect, and that they deserve.”
Alvarez, 33, thanked his supporters at an Election Night event at the San Diego Public Market and said the campaign came a long way in five months.
“In fact, a lot of people had no idea who David Alvarez was — they know who David Alvarez is tonight,” he said. “We have come really, really far.”
Without mentioning his opponent by name, Alvarez said they would move the city forward because of their shared love for San Diego, without the campaign rhetoric of business against labor, or north of Interstate 8 versus south of I-8.
Faulconer, who is married and has two school-aged children, will give up his District 2 City Council seat when he is inaugurated, which will reduce the Republican minority from 5-4 to 5-3 on the technically nonpartisan body. His replacement will be appointed by the City Council, and interim Mayor Todd Gloria said last week a Democrat would be considered. Such an appointee would give the Democrats a veto-proof 6-3 edge.
San Diego County Home Sales Drop
San Diego County home sales in January topped out at 2,338 — a decrease of 13.9 percent from January 2013, according to DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate information service. The median sale price for a home, however, climbed from $350,000 in January of last year to $405,000 last month — a 15.7 percent increase.
January’s home sales also represented a decrease from December sales of 3,099, while the median home price fell from $420,000 in December.
Southland Picture: Home Sales Drop in January; Price Picture Mixed
Southern California logged its lowest January home sales in three years as buyers continued to wrestle with a tight inventory of homes for sale, a fussy mortgage market and the highest prices in years. The median price paid for a home dipped from December — a normal seasonal decline — but remained 18 percent higher than January last year, DataQuick reported.
A total of 14,471 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 21.4 percent from 18,415 in December, and down 9.9 percent from 16,058 sales in January 2013, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
A significant drop in sales between December and January is to be expected because many buyers drop out of the market during the holidays and mid-winter. That means fewer transactions close during January and February. On average, sales have declined 27.6 percent between December and January since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin.
Last month’s Southland sales were 17.3 percent below the average number of sales – 17,493 — in the month of January since 1988. Sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. January sales have ranged from a low of 9,983 in January 2008 to a high of 26,083 in January 2004.
“The economy is growing, but Southland home sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for four consecutive months now and remain well below average. Why? We’re still putting a lot of the blame on the low inventory. But mortgage availability, the rise in interest rates and higher home prices matter, too,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
“Two of the bigger questions hanging over the housing market right now are,‘How much pent-up demand is left out there?’ and, ‘Will inventory skyrocket this year as more owners take advantage of the price run-up?’” Walsh continued. “Unfortunately, we’ll probably have to wait until spring for the answers. When it comes to statistical trends, January and February are atypical months that haven’t proven to be predictive over the years.”
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $380,000, down 3.8 percent from $395,000 in December and up 18.4 percent from $321,000 in January 2013. Because of seasonal changes it is typical for the median to decline between December and January, with that drop averaging 2.9 percent since 1988. Last month’s median was the lowest since it was $368,000 in May last year.
California Falls Behind Texas in Tech Exports
Technology merchandise exports from California to the world totaled $45 billion in 2012, pushing it out of first place and behind Texas, the new leader, according to TechAmerica Foundation’s Tech Trade in the States 2014. The report said California tech exports decreased 2.8 percent from 2011.
Technology exports accounted for 27.7 percent of all exports from California in 2012, far above the national average of 13 percent and ranked seventh in the nation by concentration, the report said. The state’s largest trading partner is Mexico with $8.3 billion in tech exports flowing to Mexico. California also ranks first or second in every technology export sector examined.
“Tech Trade in the States clearly shows that the technology industry is a critical driver of jobs and economic activity for California,” said Matthew Kazmierczak, vice president of research for the TechAmerica Foundation, who is based in Silicon Valley. “With tech exports supporting nearly 330,000 jobs and with tech representing over a quarter of all exports from the state, tech clearly plays a significant role in California’s export economy. The recently discussed trade agreement in the Pacific will have a significant impact on California and its tech industry.”
Nationally, U.S. exports of tech goods totaled $204 billion in 2012, growing by 1.3 percent or $2.7 billion, the report said.
Cardiologist Becomes Chief Medical Adviser to AT&T
AT&T has hired cardiologist Eric Topol of La Jolla as the company’s chief medical adviser to help find better ways to use wireless technology to diagnose, monitor, and care for patients. Topol is an advocate of digital medicine and believes the new position will not change what he is doing at Scripps Health or the Scripps Research Institute. “It just provides a new and important link to actualize the opportunities in medicine’s future, and I expect there will be some innovative research projects that we’ll be initiating as a result of this new connection,” he told the U-T San Diego.
Topol is chief academic officer at Scripps Health, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and a genomics professor at the Scripps Research Institute. He is also the author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution will Create Better Health Care.”
New Kaiser Hospital to be Built in Kearny Mesa
A new, 450-bed Kaiser Permanente Hospital is going to be built on 19 acres of land at 5201 Ruffin Road in Kearny Mesa. “Kaiser Permanente’s new central hospital will be a high-tech hospital of the future,” said Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Permanente San Diego. “From green design to the latest technology, it will have all the tools to provide our members with the highest quality care in a beautiful, healing and nurturing environment.”
The hospital grounds will include a 1,400-space parking structure, wrap around healing garden and gourmet cafeteria. Inside the seven-story building will be 321 patient rooms (in the first phase of construction), which will feature sophisticated technology in telehealth, digital way-finding, clinical informatics and communication. The hospital will be the first hospital in California to earn the LEED Gold Healthcare hospital certification.
Groundbreaking for the hospital was scheduled for 10 a.m. day with hospital officials and city and county elected officials.
Phil’s BBQ Reopens in Point Loma After Renovations
Phil’s BBQ re-opened the doors at its popular Point Loma restaurant on Tuesday following a six-week shutdown for renovations to the kitchen and design upgrades. The renovations, which topped $1 million, were the largest in Phil’s BBQ history and included a complete overhaul of its kitchen.
Restaurant owner Phil Pace said the main reasons for the renovations were to help improve workflow in the kitchen while also increasing energy efficiency. “When we moved in to the Point Loma location over seven years ago, we took an existing kitchen and tried to make it work for our needs, but it just wasn’t,” said Pace. We’re really excited for this day to have come and are very pleased with the outcome of the renovations.
Energy upgrades include a Demand Control Ventilation system and new LED lighting that is expected to save a minimum of 30 percent on the lighting bill.
Phil’s also installed new design features including neon lighting and flame designs between the booths. As part of the renovation, beer is now also being served in the main dining area. Tap handles in the restaurant doubled to 16 with the addition of eight suspended beer taps behind the counter.
Carroll and Cabrera Appointed to Convention Center Corp. Board
The San Diego City Council has appointed Candace M. Carroll and Gil Cabrera to the San Diego Convention Center Corp.’s board of directors. The two will join a seven-member board that sets policy for the corporation that manage and operate the 2.6 million-square-foot waterfront facility.
Carroll is an appellate practitioner with more than 30 years of experience handling appeals in federal, state and bankruptcy appellate courts. She has taught seminars in advanced legal writing at Duke University School of Law and the University of San Diego School of Law and currently supervises a Ninth Circuit Legal Clinic at the University of San Diego School of Law.
Carroll currently chairs Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Judicial Appointments Committee for the Southern District of California.
Cabrera was a senior associate attorney with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps before forming The Cabrera Firm. He serves on the board of directors for the San Diego LGBT Community Center and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Previously, he served as the co-chair for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Lawyers Representative Panel to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Cabrera is a former chair and commissioner of the City of San Diego Ethics Commission.
Luke Daniels Appointed President of Richman Group
The Richman Group Development Corp. has established a California division and named multi-family developer Luke Daniels as president of The Richman Group of California Development Company LLC. The company has established an office at 888 Prospect St., Suite 200, in La Jolla. The new company will focus initially on luxury rental residences, workforce housing, and affordable projects in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties.
Daniels was managing director for the Western Division of Trammell Crow Residential, where he was involved in acquisition, entitlements, procurement of equity and debt capital, and development processes. Previously, he was the development director of GLJ Partners, a Southern California apartment developer that merged with Trammell Crow Residential in 2012.
Earlier, he was in charge of all aspects of land development and construction for CLB Partners in San Diego, which developed the award-winning 1Mission in Mission Hills and Park Laurel overlooking Balboa Park. He started his career with Intracorp San Diego LLC and its sister company, K Street Construction.
Dowling & Yahnke Promotion
Jake Erlendson has been promoted to portfolio manager for Dowling & Yahnke LLC, a wealth advisory firm. Erlendson joined Dowling & Yahnke in 2006 and worked in a variety of positions, including client service specialist and assistant portfolio manager.