Daily Business Report-March 18, 2014
San Diego City Council Approves
U.S. Open For Torrey Pines in 2021
Economic benefits could be substantial
The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved a contract with the U.S. Golf Association to hold the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club, City News Service reports. According to terms of the deal, the association will lease the golf course in June of that year for $2.5 million. The economic benefit for the region, however, could be far greater.
San Diego hosted the tournament for its first and only time in 2008. Attendance totaled about 295,000 people, and the city benefited from about $1.5 million in hotel room taxes from 74,000 room-nights.
The overall economic impact of the tournament was estimated at $142 million, with about $1.6 million coming from sales tax revenue, according to a city report.
Moreover, the final round featured a showdown between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate that went into extra holes and led to the largest television audience in the tournament’s recent history.
“You can’t put a price tag on what the exposure means around the world,” City Council President Todd Gloria said.
Mike Butz, the director of open championships for the USGA, told the City Council that the 2008 tournament was “an unqualified success.” Also, the city’s independent budget analyst, Andrea Tevlin, noted that the success of the tournament nearly six years ago came as the nation was entering a deep recession.
The lease will include both the North and South courses at Torrey Pines, the glider port and the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium. The USGA will also negotiate with lessees such as the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and The Lodge at Torrey Pines for the use of the hotels.
In return, the city might be required to make modifications to the golf course. It has agreed to keep golf carts off the course for six weeks before the start of the tournament, help with security and appoint liaison staffers.
City staffers expects direct revenue to outstrip expenses. The city will get 20 percent of hospitality tent revenue, which Carolyn Wormser, the city’s director of special events, said could bring in $1.3 million for the city.
The USGA will name members of a local host committee.
Toni Atkins Voted Assembly Speaker
Toni Atkins was voted the next Assembly speaker Monday, making the Democrat the first San Diegan and first lesbian to lead the Legislature’s lower chamber. Atkins, now the majority leader, is expected to succeed Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, sometime this spring. It was revealed two months ago that she had amassed enough Democratic support to claim the post.
“I am grateful to my Assembly colleagues for selecting me for this honor and responsibility,” Atkins said. “After several years of deficits and financial challenges created by the Great Recession, California has finally begun down a path of stabilization and growing prosperity.”
The Speaker is charged with the overall management and supervision of the Assembly; appoints members to committees and subcommittees; allocates funds, staffing, and other resources for operations; and establishes committee schedules. The Speaker is also responsible for making or recommending appointments to state panels, and serves on the University of California Board of Regents and the California State University Board of Trustees.
Atkins was elected to the Assembly in 2010, following eight years on the San Diego City Council.
Cross-Border Innovation Groups
Establish Manufacturing Accelerator
Efforts to strengthen San Diego’s tech startup community by working more closely with the innovation ecosystem in Tijuana has led to the formation of HardTech Labs, a cross-border accelerator program intended to give startup founders access to low-cost manufacturing, Xconomy reports.
HardTech Labs would initially operate as a kind of virtual umbrella group to help entrepreneurs shape their early stage startup ideas and business models, create prototype products, and move to full-scale manufacturing.
The participants on the U.S. side of the biorder include the Ansir Innovation Center, a San Diego tech startup incubator; FabLab San Diego; the Co-Merge Workplace in Downtown San Diego; and Origo Ventures, a venture fund established in the San Diego region just over two years ago. Participants in Baja California include the Ignitus innovation program developed by the Tijuana Economic Development Corp. and MINK Global, a legal and technical consulting firm in Tijuana.
“I’ve been propounding this idea for awhile,” said Ping Wang, founder and managing partner of the Ansir Innovation Center. “I’m glad it’s finally getting traction.”
As an example of what could be accomplished with a hardware incubator, Wang cited AirDroids, a San Diego startup that raised $929,212 from a Kickstarter campaign that ended March 8. Most of the 1,946 contributions were pre-orders for the Pocket Drone, a tri-copter powerful enough to carry a small, GoPro-type camera aloft—yet small enough to fold into a 7-inch long neoprene carrying case.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Office Building Opening
OCEANSIDE — Kaiser Permanente’s new medical office building, a 21,531-square-foot multi-service facility, will open to members on March 24. Officials will hold an opening celebration Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the facility at 1302 Rocky Point Drive. The building houses 12 provider offices including pediatric and primary care as well as a pharmacy, lab and radiology.
The Oceanside medical offices will feature Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, the largest civilian electronic health record in the nation. HealthConnect provides members and their caregivers with instant access to their health records when they need it immediately.
Governor’s Cabinet Member to Give Remarks
At Housing Federation’s Board Installation
Anna M. Caballero, Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, will be a special guest at the San Diego Housing Federation’s first ever board installation dinner March 26 in the Shiley Event Space of the new San Diego Central Library.
Caballero’s responsibility includes the oversight of departments charged with funding affordable housing, civil rights enforcement, banking and financial transactions, consumer protection, and the licensing of 3 million working professionals. Prior to her appointment, Caballero served as a member of the Assembly for four years and Mayor of Salinas and council member for 15 years.
Incoming board members Rebecca Louie of Wakeland Housing & Development Corp. and Hanan Bowman of City Heights Community Development Corp. will be installed, as will Mary Jane Jagodzinski, Community HousingWorks, the Federation’s incoming board president.
Tickets for the dinner can be purchased by March 24 at www.housingsandiego.org. Tickets are $100 for current members, $125 for nonmembers or $750 for a table of eight.
Cibus Global Receives Canadian Approval for SU Canola
San Diego-based Cibus Global announced that it has received permission from Canadian food and health authorities to fully commercialize its plant product, SU Canola, which it said will offer Canadian farmers a new alternative for weed control. “The approval from the Canadian government is an exciting and necessary step for Cibus while we advance our technologies into this important marketplace for canola,” said David Voss, vice president of commercial development. “The new system offers an excellent alternative weed control system for farmers. Cibus’ SU herbicide tolerant system controls glyphosate resistant weeds such as pigweed and is an excellent crop rotational partner for glyphosate tolerant soybeans.”
Cibus’ SU Canola is already commercially available in the United States, and the company will now move forward with plans to make the product available in Canada, according to Voss.
McColl Health Center Receives Five-Star Rating
The McColl Health Center, a facility of St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services, has received a ranking of five stars overall in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Nursing Homes. Best Nursing Homes recognizes top-rated homes in all 50 states, and offers guidance to families and health care providers caring for people in need of a nursing home. St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services was among those recognized for excellence.
The ranking is based on data from Nursing Home Compare, a consumer website run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Homes earn an overall rating of one to five stars, as well as up to five stars in each of three underlying categories: health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of care.
Hughes Marino Adds General Counsel
Hughes Marino announced that Robert J. Bello has been named general counsel for the tenants-only commercial real estate company. Bello, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. He also helped found Thomas Jefferson’s Dual Degree MBA Program with San Diego State University, and was the first graduate of that program.
Prior to joining Hughes Marino, Bello practiced law at one of San Diego’s plaintiff’s firms and one of California’s largest defense firms. He counseled and represented clients in all aspects of business law, including real estate, contractual, and labor/employment issues. Bello holds dual citizenship with the United States and Italy, and speaks Italian.
The addition of Bello brings the total number of lawyers employed by the commercial real estate company to three, which includes: J.P. Roach, vice president of the Hughes Marino Orange County office; and Kathleen Raya, who serves on the Hughes Marino Operations team.
Kevin Kantharia Joins Fish & Richardson
Kevin Kantharia has joined Fish & Richardson’s Litigation Group as an associate in its Southern California office. Overall, 14 associates have joined the firm across its 12 offices. Kantharia will focus his practice on patent litigation, including cases involving biomedical devices and wireless communications.
Prior to joining the firm, he was a senior electrical engineer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. He received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2013 and his B.S. from California Polytechnic State University in 2005. He is admitted to the bar in California and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.