Daily Business Report-April 17, 2014
San Diego Industrial Vacancy Dips
To Pre-Recession Low of 7.6 Percent
San Diego County industrial vacancy has dropped to the pre-recession low of 7.6 percent, marking the early stages of a landlord’s market that will be boosted by improving demand and little if any new construction, according to a Cassidy Turley report on the first quarter.
“The San Diego County industrial market has absorbed 7.1 million square feet since mid-year 2010, not only recovering more than 4.2 million square feet vacated by tenants in 2009, the worst year of the recession, but absorbing an additional 2.9 million square feet of inventory,” said Bryce Aberg, managing director with Cassidy Turley’s San Diego office. “The gradually improving economy and higher tenant confidence have generated 11 consecutive quarters of declining vacancy and a much welcome return to pre-recession numbers.”
The Cassidy Turley study shows 372,689 square feet of positive net absorption for the first quarter of 2014. This compares favorably to 317,952 square feet absorbed the same time a year ago, and to 314,850 square feet absorbed in the first quarter of 2012. Correspondingly, vacancy across all industrial product types has decreased, from 12.7 percent at year-end 2009, to 9.2 percent as of March 31, 2013 and to 7.6 percent today.
“Fifteen of the county’s 25 industrial submarkets are showing marked improvement in vacancy,” said Aberg. “While some areas are still sluggish, most are more stable than they have been in years.”
The county’s best performing industrial submarkets in the first quarter were Carlsbad, Otay Mesa, Miramar, Carmel Mountain Ranch and Sorrento Valley. All recorded positive net absorption between 34,000 and 173,000 square feet and combined recorded 486,000 square feet of activity. The quarter’s largest move-in was AleSmith Brewing Company’s occupancy of 105,636 square feet in Miramar.
San Diego is Fifth Least Affordable City for Renters
A New York Times survey found that San Diego is the fifth least affordable rental market in the nation. In San Diego, rents consume almost 41.5 percent of residents’ median salary.
Eight other California cities also ranked in the top 20 least affordable rental markets. Los Angeles topped the list.
New Director for Trans-Border Institute
Everard “Ev” Meade is the new director of the Trans-Border Institute in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. Meade received a PhD in history from the University of Chicago and is a published scholar with extensive experience teaching courses on the history of Mexico, U.S. relations with Latin America and human rights.
Meade was co-founder of the Eleanor Roosevelt College Human Rights Minor Program at the UC San Diego. His most recent research focuses on individuals and families who have fled violence in Mexico and Central America.
For the past 15 years, Meade has also served as adviser, activist, expert witness and grant writer raising funds for the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center.
AT&T Expands Network Downtown
AT&T says it has activated a new 4G LTE mobile Internet cell site in downtown San Diego that will enhance coverage for area residents and businesses and provide speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. The new site is near the intersection of West C Street and Columbia Street. The launch is part of AT&T’s Velocity IP (VIP) plan, a multi-year plan to invest for growth.
New Venture Capital Fund to Commercialize
Innovations from UC San Diego Community
A group of UC San Diego alumni has created a venture capital fund — the Triton Technology Fund — that is specifically focused on commercializing innovations by UC San Diego faculty, students and alumni. The fund will offer an additional option for UC San Diego innovators looking for the investment and expertise that is often crucial for successful technology commercialization.
“This fund will significantly advance our technology transfer capabilities by providing essential support to propel products to market,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The quality of the technical innovation coming out of UC San Diego is astounding, and by accelerating the transition from discovery to real-world impact, UC San Diego is able to have a greater positive impact on our society.”
The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering will serve as a key player in the Triton Technology Fund. Through service agreements between UC San Diego and the Triton Technology Fund, the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center will help identify and mentor teams interested in working with the Triton Technology Fund.
UC San Diego alumnus David Schwab, a seasoned venture capitalist, is leading the alumni-driven effort to create the externally owned and managed Triton Technology Fund.
The Triton Technology Fund is part of a larger venture capital fund –Vertical Venture Partners — also created by Schwab. Approximately 20 percent of the Vertical Venture Partners fund will be allocated to Triton Technology projects involving UC San Diego faculty, students or alumni. The UC San Diego Foundation is a limited partner in the Vertical Venture Partners fund on behalf of the Jacobs School of Engineering.
Transgender Advocate to Speak at UC San Diego
UC San Diego will host Janet Mock, a transgender advocate, writer and New York Times bestselling author, on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Price Center Theatre on campus. Mock is the author of “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More”
After publicly proclaiming her identity as a trans woman in a 2011 profile in Marie Claire magazine, Mock focuses her efforts on speaking about the struggles, triumphs and portrayals of girls and women like herself. In 2012, she launched #GirlsLikeUs, a movement that encourages trans women to live visibly. She currently writes and speaks about her experience of living at the intersections of identities.
With the passage of the School Success and Opportunity Act, which went into effect in California on Jan. 1, 2014, transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in schools across the state, including UC San Diego. The university has one of the largest LGBT Resource Centers in the nation, which supports the transgender community on campus.
Mock’s presentation is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m
The event is co-sponsored by a number of departments and division at UC San Diego.
Luna Grill Adds V.P. of Real Estate
Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, has hired retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to fill the newly created position of vice president of real estate. Thorburn will be involved in Luna Grill’s plans to double the number of its locations in 2014 to 20 and doubling again by late 2016 to 40.
Thorburn’s most recent experience is his work at Pacific Dental Services, a national operator of dental health practices, where he developed their national strategy for site selection across the country.
Thorburn holds a business degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Luna Grill is owned by Premier Food Concepts LLC, headquartered in San Diego.
OneRoof Energy Names Senior V.P. of Operations
Valerie Iwinski has joined OneRoof Energy Inc. as senior vice president of operations. She is charged with overseeing company operations, product development, logistics, customer service, and information technology systems.
Iwinski joins the company with 30 years of premium brand customer service, operations and management experience. Most recently, she served as vice president and general manager at Express Scripts Inc., where she led the nationwide, specialty pharmacy team of nearly 5,000 employees to implement customer strategies, spearhead new company programs and streamline key service processes. Prior to that, Iwinski managed multiple business functions at American Express.
Credit Union Names Two Senior Vice Presidents
San Diego County Credit Union has named Pat Zervic as senior vice president of real estate and Carolyn Hatten-Kissick as senior vice president of operations and card services.
Zervic has more than 20 years of experience in lending and bank management. Before joining the credit union, Zervic was vice president of mortgage operations at Pentagon Federal Credit Union’s office in Omaha, Neb. Her career has also included positions with PrimeLending of Dallas, Texas, Bank of America, Credit Suisse of Princeton, N.J. and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. of Milwaukee, Wis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in operations management and analysis from Ashford University.
Hatten-Kissick has more than 24 years of financial management experience. She previously was senior manager of operations at AlliantSM Credit Union in Chicago. She also served in various roles, including vice president of operations at El Paso Employees Federal Credit Union in El Paso, Texas She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.
Lee & Associates Adds Two Vice Presidents
The San Diego North office of Lee & Associates has hired veterans Daniel Knoke and Peter Merz as vice presidents.
Before joining Lee & Associates, Knoke was with the industrial division of Colliers International’s Carlsbad office where he started in 2004. Before that he was with the Honolulu-based Monroe & Friedlander, Inc. from 1999 to 2004. His specialties include tenant representation, landlord representation and investments sales. Since 2009 Knoke has completed more than $85 million in real estate transactions.
Merz, who specializes in industrial and investment brokerage in the San Diego area, is partnering with Knoke on listings along with buyer and tenant representation assignments. He was with Colliers International from 1997 to 2014.
Knoke is a graduate of University of San Diego, and Merz, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho, also holds a master’s degree from Arizona State University.