Daily Business Report-April 15, 2014
Above: The latest ritual at the Ken Cinema was the addition of midnight screenings of Tommy Wiseau’s ‘The Room.’ (Photo/Beth Accomando)
Neighborhood Treasure Ken Cinema to Close
Landmark Theaters has confirmed that the Ken Cinema will close at the end of the month, KPBS reports.
Monday evening, Ted Mundorff, president of Landmark Theaters, told KPBS that its single-screen venue of The Ken Cinema would be closing on April 27. He said that Landmark wanted to keep the theater and upgrade it to full digital projection but was unwilling to do that without a multiple-year lease in place with the Torrey Pines management company that owns the building.
Mundorff said Torrey Pines was only willing to give Landmark a 30-day, month-to-month lease, so the theater chain gave notice that it would not be renewing its lease next month. Landmark still owns the Hillcrest and La Jolla Village Theaters.
Mundorff said that Landmark will now look to improving its other theaters and will continue to keep its eyes open for other potential opportunities. He also noted that it was sad that San Diego might be losing both the opera and the Ken Cinema in the same month.
He added that single-screen venues are a dying breed because they are harder to run at a profit. He said Landmark was able to keep the Ken Cinema, which is still capable of 35mm projection, because it looked at the venue as just an additional screen of the Hillcrest multiplex. But 35mm prints are a rarity these days, so Landmark said the Ken had to be upgraded for full digital projection in order to be able to screen new films.
Barry Green, grandson of Ken Cinema’s original owner and operator, Robert Berkun, is a member of the Berkun Trust, which still owns the building in which the Ken Cinema is located.
Guy Hanford, who owns and runs Kensington Video next door to the Ken Cinema, said “it’s a great loss.” His parents had the opportunity to buy the Ken Cinema decades ago but the cost was too prohibitive. Hanford said he owns the building his video store is located in and noted that if his parents had bought the theater as well, “I would never let it close.”
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San Diego County Home Sales Fall
San Diego County home sales in March fell 18.7 percent from a year ago while the median price paid for a home jumped 12.4 percent compared to March 2013, according to a report today by San Diego-based DataQuick.
Home sales in the county in March totaled 3,057 compared to 3,762 recorded in March 2013.
The median home price in March was $427,000 compared to $380,000 in March 2013.
Southern California Report:
Southern California home sales quickened last month compared with February, as they normally do, but remained far below average and at the lowest level for a March in six years. The median sale price rose to a more-than-six-year high, driven up by demand that continues to exceed supply in many areas, as well as a shift toward a greater share of sales in middle and high-end markets.
A total of 17,638 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 25.7 percent from 14,027 sales in February, and down 14.3 percent from 20,581 sales in March last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
For seasonal reasons sales shoot up between February and March, with that gain averaging 36.3 percent since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Southland sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for six consecutive months, and last month was the second in a row in which sales were at the lowest level for that particular month in six years.
Sales during the month of March have ranged from a low of 12,808 in 2008 to a high of 37,030 in 2004. Last month’s sales were 26.9 percent below the average number of sales – 24,115 – for March since 1988. Sales haven’t been above average for any month in more than seven years.
“Southland home buying got off to a very slow start this year, with last month’s sales coming in at the second-lowest level for a March in nearly two decades,” said Andrew LePage, DataQuick analyst. “We see multiple reasons for this: The inventory of homes for sale remains thin in many markets. Investor purchases have fallen. The jump in home prices and mortgage rates over the past year has priced some people out of the market, while other would-be buyers struggle with credit hurdles. Also, some potential move-up buyers are holding back while they weigh whether to abandon a phenomenally low interest rate on their current mortgage in order to buy a different home.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $400,000, up 4.4 percent from $383,000 in February and up 15.8 percent from $345,500 in March 2013. Last month’s median was the highest since it was $408,000 in February 2008.
The median has risen on a year-over-year basis for 24 consecutive months. Those gains have been double-digit – between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent – over the past 20 months. The 15.8 percent year-over gain in the median last month marked the lowest increase for any month since September 2012, when the $315,000 median rose 12.5 percent from a year earlier.
The March median sale price stood 20.8 percent below the peak $505,000 median in spring/summer 2007.
Foreclosure resales — homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months — accounted for 6.4 percent of the Southland resale market in March. That was down from a revised 6.7 percent the prior month and down from 13.8 percent a year earlier. In recent months the foreclosure resale rate has been the lowest since early 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009.
Short sales — transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property — made up an estimated 7.7 percent of Southland resales last month. That was down from a revised 9.3 percent the prior month and down from 18.7 percent a year earlier.
Last month 13.3 percent of Southland home purchase loans were adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) – nearly double the ARM level of a year earlier. Last month’s figure was up from 12.9 percent in February and up from 7.4 percent in March 2013. Since 2000, a monthly average of about 31 percent of Southland purchase loans have been ARMs.
Multi-Tenant Office Building Sold for $3.84 Million
Central Data Services Inc. has purchased Convoy Business Center from Self Procured Properties for $3.84 million. The 27,909-square-foot, three -story, multi-tenant office building at 7071 Convoy Court was constructed in 1973. Extensive renovations were completed in 2012. The building was approximately 63 percent leased at the time of sale.
CBRE and Voit Real Estate Services brokered the transaction.
Forest Glen Condominiums Sells for $14.2 Million
OCEANSIDE — Forest Glen Condominiums, an 88-unit condominium-entitled apartment complex at 612 Arbolitos Blvd., has been sold for $14.2 million. The 89,119-square-foot project features a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartment homes. It was built in 1977. Marcus & Millichap was the broker. Residents have access to an on-site laundry facility, a fitness center, clubhouse, a resort-style swimming pool, barbecue and picnic areas and open and covered parking.
University Student Union Building Opening
SAN MARCOS — The official ribbon cutting for the University Student Union building at California State University San Marcos was scheduled for noon today. The new four-story, nearly 90,000-square-foot building, has become the new heart of campus and hub of campus life. Located near the center of the university between Kellogg Library and Chavez Plaza, the USU features new dining options, an open-air amphitheater, a student activity center with a game lounge, a rooftop garden and patio, and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom.The $43.9 million project, which broke ground in February 2012, was funded through student fees.
Burkett & Wong Announces Executive Changes
Burkett & Wong Engineers has named Thomas Newsom as its third president, and named Charlie Colvin and Casey Lynch as new principals of the firm. Newsom Succeeds Timothy Yeun, who served as president for more than 13 years, and succeeded Bob Burkett, the founding president.
Newsom has been with Burkett & Wong Engineers since 2001. He has extensive experience associated with the development and construction of residential, commercial and infrastructure projects. He was promoted to principal associate in 2005 and principal in 2007.
Charlie Colvin has been with the firm for more than 10 years. His project management experience covers a wide variety of assignments ranging from education and military structures, to hotels and corporate centers. Casey Lynch joined Burkett & Wong Engineers in 2007 as a land surveyor and became the firm’s first principal land surveyor. He was the 2010 President of the California Land Surveyors Association, San Diego chapter.
The company also promoted Tom Eagling, Carl Fiorica and Jeff Densley to principal associates, and Mike Wagner and Hansol An to associates.
Four S.D. Community College District Students Win Prestigious Scholarships
Four San Diego Community College District students are among 85 in the country who have been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which will pay up to $30,000 annually for tuition and living expenses as they pursue their bachelor’s degrees at a four-year university. The grants are for up to three years.
The recipients are: Trin Hoang Viet Nguyen (Miramar College); Marikris Guerrero Racho (City College); Bryce Jared Schierenbeck (City College); and Mehrdad Yazdanibiouki (Miramar College).
Nguyen is majoring in both biology and chemistry and has been accepted to UC Irvine and is waiting to hear back from another university as well.
Racho is a biology major and has been accepted for transfer to San Diego State University in the fall and has plans to move on to medical school and work as a surgeon. Schierenbeck is a business major who has been accepted for transfer to UC San Diego in the fall. Yazdanibiouki, an engineering major, came to Miramar College after moving to San Diego from Iran less than three years ago. He has served as president of the Miramar College Iranian Student Association.
Port Wants Feedback on Long-Range Plan
The port of San Diego will hold three open house events to get public feedback on its long-range vision and the Port Master Plan Update process, which will help set the course for future land and water issues in San Diego Bay. At each session, port consultants will present an overview of the process.
The open house schedule:
• April 16 — 6 to 8 p.m., B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal, 1140 North Harbor Drive, San Diego.
• April 22 — 6 to 8 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 140 East 12th St., National City.
• April 30 — 6 to 8 p.m., Imperial Beach City Hall Community Room, 825 Imperial Beach Blvd., Imperial Beach.
Membership Director Named at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe
Carly Hyslop has been appointed the new membership director at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe. She will be responsible for advancing membership candidates in the golf equity, national, junior, and social categories.
Hyslop joined The Bridges from Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, where she most recently served as senior sales manager. She has more than eight years of experience in the private club business. Hyslop holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University Fresno.