Daily Business Report-Feb. 20, 2014
The building on Miramar Road will be renamed the San Diego Innovation Center.
Iconic Pyramid Building Sold for $13.6 Million
New owner intends to shake off home furnishing
tenants and develop an office and technology center
The “pyramid building” on Miramar Road, hailed as an architectural landmark when it was first opened in 1992, has been sold for $13.6 million to Alliance Diversified Holdings LLC and will be turned into a creative office and technology center and renamed The San Diego Innovation Center. Allied Diversified is a private equity firm with an office in La Jolla.
“As one of the most recognizable and architecturally notable office buildings in San Diego, The San Diego Innovation Center will be a natural fit for technology, R&D, medical/wellness, and traditional office tenants seeking creative office space,” said Brandon Keith of Voit Real Estate Services, which brokered the transaction with seller APEX 1 & 2 LP. “The first floor, which has historically been leased to home furnishing tenants, will now be leased to business support services and amenity-based uses in order to better serve other tenants.”
The 131,218-square-foot, six-story building at 7310 Miramar Road was originally part of the Miramar Metroplex.
The new owner intends to invest in cosmetic upgrades of the building to provide a more professional office atmosphere, and to improve suites on each floor in order to accommodate interested tenants.
“This building was actually a bit before its time,” said Ted Eldredge, president of Alliance Diversified. “We will now be able to bring this dynamic property to its full potential as a creative shell in which creative companies will thrive.”
Civic San Diego President to Resign
Jeff Graham, president of Civic San Diego, announced Wednesday that he will resign on March 7 to take a job as senior vice president for public institutions for real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle’s western division. One of his major projects will be the bayfront master plan for Chula Vista. It was an extremely difficult decision to make,” Graham told the U-T San Diego, “but I’ve decided I’m ready for a different challenge and a little bit more travel. This opportunity presents all of that.”
“Jeff Graham has done a tremendous job leading Civic San Diego. I appreciate and value his judgment, skill and friendship,” said Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. “He has been an asset for our city and I wish him nothing but great success with his new professional endeavor.”
Mayor-Elect Kevin Faulconer will select Graham’s replacement.
Del Mar Fairgrounds Directors Reject Micro-Brewery Plan
Del Mar Fairgrounds directors rejected an in-house proposal to bring a micro-brewery to the under-used Surfside Race Place in partnership with beer giant MillerCoors, instead directing staff to gauge the interest of local brewing companies in such a project, according to the Carmel Valley News.
Some directors criticized the proposal, contending that staff and the fairgrounds’ food and beverage contractor, Premier Food Services, hadn’t done enough to solicit proposals. The plan put forward at the Feb. 11 board of directors meeting was “too cozy, too insider,” said director David Watson.
“The entire process has not been fair and has not been transparent,” said Watson.
Board member Stephen Shewmaker defended the proposal as making a “solid business case,” and that he didn’t consider Blue Moon Brewery, a MillerCoors subsidiary, as representing unfair competition to San Diego County beer makers.
“Chevy doesn’t ask Ford if they can put in a dealership,” Shewmaker said.
Fairgrounds general manager Tim Fennell said the plan was intended to produce new revenue for the district from its 90,000-square-foot satellite wagering center, which has seen its attendance dwindle since the 1990s from 2,900 visitors per day, to today’s counts of 300 to 350 per day.
Pacific Medical Plaza Sells for $32.5 Million
Pacific Medical Plaza, a three-story, 50,656-square-foot medical office building in Sorrento Mesa, has been sold for $32.5 million to Ron Kaufman Companies LLC of San Francisco. Kilroy Realty Corp. of Los Angeles was the seller. The building is fully leased. Major tenants include UC San Diego Health System, Surgical Center of San Diego and Clear Choice Management Services. Jones Lang LaSalle represented the buyer and seller. The property is at 4910 Directors Place.
Construction Completed on J. Craig Venter Institute
McCarthy Building Companies Inc. has completed construction of the new J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, located on a 1.75-acre site at 4120 Torrey Pines Road on the UC San Diego campus. The three-story, 45,000-square-foot building was designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects.
“Our new facility was built not only to advance genomic research, but to showcase how science can be compatible with the best of environmentally sustainable practices,” said JCVI founder and CEO J. Craig Venter. “Construction completion of this remarkable building signifies the fulfillment of a long-time dream to return to the UCSD campus where I began my research career, and collaborate with other scientists in the region to find solutions to our most pressing social issues.”
The new JVCI, La Jolla, currently has about 90 employees but is designed to house approximately 125 scientists and staff. The JCVI teams are focused on a variety of genomic research areas.
Villas La Costa Sells for $6 Million
CARLSBAD — Villas La Costa, a 24-unit apartment property, has been sold for $6,010,000 to PUR Villas Carlsbad LLC. The seller was Oram Properties One LLC. Located directly across from the La Costa Resort and Country Club, Villas La Costa is situated on a .98-acre lot and consists of 25,280 rentable square feet. The property features 16 two-bedroom / two-bath townhomes and eight two-bedroom / two-bath apartments. Constructed in 1987, the complex consists of four, two- and three-story wood frame buildings, with concrete slab foundations and pitched tile roofs. Marcus & Millichap’s San Diego office marketed the property.
Scripps Scientists Create a New Compound to Treat Arthritis
A team of scientists at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute has created a new compound that dramatically reduces joint inflammation and could possibly be taken in a daily pill. The compound is known as SR2211, and when tested on mice, blocked development of virtually all symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis during the first eight to 10 days of treatment. The mice also showed significantly reduced bone and cartilage erosion compared to animals that did not receive treatment.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects more than 2 million Americans. Untreated, it causes painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity. Researchers at TSRI are working to make the compound suitable for pill form, but need to test its general safety before trials involving humans can start.
“We wanted to develop a compound with the potential to help treat patients suffering from a range of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis,” said TSRI Staff Scientist Mi Ra Chang, the first author of the study and a member of the lab of Patrick R. Griffin, chair of the TSRI Department of Molecular Therapeutics.
Emergency Drought Legislation Introduced
Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders announced emergency drought legislation Wednesday that provides $687.4 million to support drought relief. The funds would help workers directly impacted by the drought, bond funds for projects to help local communities capture and manage water and funding for securing emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities.
In addition, the legislation increases funding for state and local conservation corps to assist communities with efficiency upgrades and reduce fire fuels in fire risk areas, and includes $1 million for the Save Our Water public awareness campaign — which will enhance its mission to inform Californians how they can do their part to conserve water.
Brown has called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent.
Thomas Wornham, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority board of directors, applauded the announcement. “All regions of the state can benefit from expedited regional funding programs and targeted efforts to quickly get water supply and drought relief projects into development,” Wornham said. “As we have learned and implemented in San Diego County, a sustained focus on local and regional water supply development and conservation is vitally important in any strategy to successfully manage the wide variations in California’s hydrology.”
Carlsbad Company Finalizes Marijuana Farm Purchase
CARLSBAD — Strategic Global Investments Inc. announced that the company has signed an agreement for the purchase of Bearpot Inc., controlling entity of an existing marijuana growing facility located in Teller County, Colo. As a subsidiary of Strategic Global, Bearpot will function as the marijuana incubation and development sector of the company.
“Our plans under way currently involve an active search for compatible marijuana-related businesses in Canada and the U.S.,” said Andrew Fellner, president and CEO of the company. He said the company expects to be able to yield a harvest and generate revenues from the sale of plants by the fourth quarter of this year. Colorado began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Jan. 1.
Alpine Teachers Strike After Talks Fail
ALPINE — Nearly 100 teachers from the Alpine Union School District hit the picket lines Thursday after salary negotiations failed, KPBS reports. The district, which has an operating budget of about $14.7 million, proposed a 6.58 percent salary cut for the current school year while the union proposed a 4.58 percent cut. Members of the Alpine Teachers Association gave their board permission to strike after their salaries were already cut by 7.58 percent. The strike comes after 16 months of negotiations failed.
In an interview with KPBS media partner 10News this morning, Superintendent Tom Pellegrino said he’s waiting for the teachers union to come back to the negotiations table. “A strike is where the teachers are in the driver’s seat,” he said. “If we had the money, we would fulfill their proposal. We simply do not.”
The district said it hired 122 substitute teachers to cater to the 1,700 students in Alpine.
Former UC San Diego Chancellor to Receive Clark Kerr Award
Marye Anne Fox, former UC San Diego chancellor, has been selected to receive the 2014 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the advancement of higher education. It was established in 1968 as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of University of California President Emeritus Clark Kerr.
The award is bestowed by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate, which noted in Fox’s nomination: “Dr. Fox has used her scientific and administrative leadership positions to enhance the vitality of our national research enterprise by working tirelessly and effectively to strengthen science education and science policy.”
Fox served from 2004 to 2012 as chancellor of UC San Diego, one of the world’s top 15 research universities. Fox was the first permanent female chancellor of the campus, and she continues to serve as a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego. In 2010, she received the National Medal of Science — the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers and inventors — from President Barack Obama.
During her tenure as chancellor of UC San Diego, the university established new research and partnership ventures to further innovation and increase international collaboration, achieved an ambitious $1 billion campaign goal, expanded academic and campus programs and facilities, and received national and international recognition in prominent university rankings.
Fox will be presented with the award at a private ceremony at UC Berkeley in March.