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Daily Business Report-April 22, 2014

Daily Business Report-April 22, 2014

VCs Invest $243M in San Diego

Startups in the First Quarter

Venture capital firms invested $243 million in 23 deals in the San Diego area during the first quarter that ended in March, according to data from the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, reports

It was a strong upturn in the amount of capital invested, representing a 67 percent increase over the $145.5 million that VCs invested in San Diego startups during the previous quarter, and a 20 percent rise over the $203 million invested during the first quarter of 2013, according to MoneyTree Data.

The deal count remained more or less comparable. There were 24 deals in the previous quarter, and 27 in the same quarter of 2013.

About $178 million — or 73 percent of the total invested in the region during the quarter — went into 13 life sciences companies.

In the single biggest deal of the quarter, San Diego’s Lumena Pharmaceuticals raised $45.5 million from Alta Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Pappas Ventures, RA Capital Management, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Adage Capital Management. The three-year-old company, founded to develop new oral drugs for treating a rare group of metabolic disorders and liver diseases, recently filed for an IPO.


California Foreclosure Starts Hover Near 8-Year Low

For the third consecutive quarter California foreclosure starts remained little changed at a level last seen in early 2006, the result of steady economic growth and higher home values. Foreclosure processors are still mostly plowing through a pool of toxic subprime mortgages originated back in mid-to-late 2006, a real estate information service reported.

In San Diego County, Notices of Default totaled 1,244 in the first quarter of this year,

compared to 1,471 in the first quarter of 2013 — a drop of 5.4 percent.

Lenders and their servicers recorded 19,215 Notices of Default (NoDs) on California house and condo owners during this year’s first quarter, which runs January through March. That was up 6.0 percent from 18,120 NoDs in the prior quarter, which had the lowest NoD tally since fourth-quarter 2005, and was up 3.5 percent from 18,568 NoDs in first-quarter last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

The trough for DataQuick’s NoD statistics, which begin in 1992, was 12,417 in third-quarter 2004, while the peak was 135,431 in first-quarter 2009. Each NoD represents a “foreclosure start” because the filing of the Notice of Default begins the formal foreclosure process.

“It may well be that the foreclosure starts in recent quarters don’t reflect the ebb and flow of financial distress as much as they reflect a steady state of workload capacity on the part of the servicers. They may well be just working their way through a backlog, stacks of paper piled high on desks,” said John Karevoll, DataQuick analyst.


Bumble Bee Seafoods will move into the Showley Bros. Candy Factory in Downtown San Diego.

Bumble Bee Seafoods will move into the Showley Bros. Candy Factory in Downtown San Diego.

Bumble Bee Seafoods Moving Back to Downtown

Bumble Bee Seafoods is moving back to Downtown San Diego after 12 years on Granite Ridge Drive in Kearny Mesa. The brand first purchased a canning facility on the San Diego waterfront more than 30 years ago and is getting back to its roots with a move to the historic Showley Bros. Candy Factory in the East Village.

Bumble Bee has been working with the San Diego Historical Society during the remodeling of its new headquarters to ensure the exterior of the building remains untouched from its restored state. In keeping with its rich manufacturing history, the openness of the building has been preserved, showcasing exposed brick walls, open barrel vaulted ceilings, and visible pipes and mechanical equipment.

Guests will find unique touches throughout the new headquarters including conference room furniture constructed out of distressed wood and recycled equipment from its tuna canneries, recycled fishing net carpeting, and authentic photos depicting the rich histories of both Bumble Bee Seafoods and the Showley Bros. Candy Factory.

San Diego Quality of Life Trending Upward

San Diego received generally positive marks in a quality of life “report card” released by the Equinox Center at a news conference Monday. The think tank’s Quality of Life Dashboard uses 13 economic and environmental indicators to help gauge quality of life in the region.

Just over half of the indicators are trending upward for San Diego. The report found the workforce is growing, venture capital is strong and there is less trash going into landfills.

However, Lani Lutar, the center’s executive director, said air quality has declined a bit, energy use rose and there are concerns about water.

“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing is there has been a 5 percent increase in water consumption overall in the region. And that’s troubling because, as you know, we are currently in the state of a significant drought and we all need to be doing as much as possible to conserve water,” Lutar said.

The report also found water quality at beaches got better and park access improved. Lutar said the region also got good marks for developing solar power.

San Diegans own one in five of California’s 30,000 electric cars. The Center For Sustainable Energy’s Len Hering said about half of all the rebates issued for electric cars in California were handed out last year.

“The number of EVs on the road is nearly up 9 percent. Rebates totaled nearly $5 million in 2012 and the number has dramatically risen over the past year,” Hering said.

— Reported by KPBS

San Diego Among Cities Eyed by AT&T

For Expansion of Ultra-Fast Fiber Network

AT&T announced a major initiative to expand its ultra-fast fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including San Diego and 21 new major metropolitan areas. The fiber network will deliver AT&T U-verse with GigaPower service, which can deliver broadband speeds up to 1 gigabit per second and AT&T’s most advanced TV services, to consumers and businesses.

The company plans to work with local leaders in San Diego and other proposed markets to discuss ways to accelerate deployment timing and expand the availability of fiber broadband in their communities. The communities with suitable infrastructure and that show the strongest investment cases, based on anticipated demand and the most receptive policies, will influence these future selections and coverage maps within selected areas.


Layton Belling Associates' design-build project.

Layton Belling Associates’ design-build project.

Dempsey Completes Design-Build Project

Dempsey Construction has completed an extensive design-build interior and exterior renovation of Layton Belling Associates’ 40,000-square-foot office building at 4075 Sorrento Valley Road in San Diego. The project’s exterior improvements included a new building entrance featuring an elevated building façade with wooden paneling, upgraded walkways and extensive landscaping improvements. The interior renovation consisted of the demolition of a majority of the existing interior improvements and construction of a new  building shell with upgrades to flooring, walls and restrooms. The design-build project was handled in collaboration with LPA Architects, San Diego.

El Cajon building that houses CoCo’s Bakery & Restaurant

El Cajon building that houses CoCo’s Bakery & Restaurant

El Cajon Building Sells for $2.65 Million

The El Cajon building that houses CoCo’s Bakery & Restaurant has been sold for $2.65 million to the Cindy C. Kasai Separate Property Trust and Pai Ho Wey Separate Property Trust. The seller was Barsky Family Limited Partnership. CoCo’s Bakery & Restaurant currently occupies the building at 1025 Fletcher Parkway with a remaining 9.5-year lease. Built in 1981, the building is located in the Wild West Village shopping center, which is anchored by The Rock Church. Colliers International and Capital Real Estate Ventures were the brokers in the transaction.

Dowling & Yahne Hire Planning Specialist

Dowling & Yahnke LLC, a wealth advisory firm, has hired Tracy Burgett as a planning specialist. Burgett will be expanding the firm’s expertise in financial planning strategies including financial goals analysis, estate planning, education planning, tax efficiency, college savings, social security, and executive compensation. Before joining the firm, Burgett worked for several years at a San Diego wealth advisory firm as a financial planner and as operations  manager. She also practiced law in the area of business transactions and litigation.

Burgett earned an Executive Financial Planner Advanced Certificate from San Diego State University. She holds a law degree from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, graduating  cum laude in 1993. She completed her undergraduate work in Journalism at the University of  Missouri-Columbia.

CACI International Selected for Naval Contract

CACI International Inc. has been selected as a prime contractor to provide lifecycle sustainment, integration, acquisition, and technical support for Naval Electronic Surveillance Systems to the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) in San Diego. The three-year contract has a base value of $42 million and includes two one-year options for a potential ceiling value of $71 million.

SSC Pacific is the Navy’s premier research, development, test, and evaluation laboratory for C4ISR systems. Under the terms of the contract, CACI will provide lifecycle support for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection electronic surveillance systems to the Department of Defense and other government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.

Kenneth Ames Receives National Service to Youth Award

Kenneth R. Ames

Kenneth R. Ames

CARLSBAD — Kenneth R. Ames, a tax advisory partner with White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP, has received a National Service to Youth Award from the California Boys & Girls Club of America for his 10 years of service on the Carlsbad Club’s board of directors.  In conjunction with the award, he received a Certificate of Recognition from the city of Carlsbad.

In his role on the club’s board, Ames assists with its fundraising efforts. He noted that many White Nelson Diehl Evans employees had contributed generously to the club over the years, both in financial gifts and in volunteering their time.

Ames has been a member of the staff of White Nelson Diehl Evans for 11 years, working out of the firm’s Carlsbad and Escondido offices.  His area of expertise is tax consulting, compliance and litigation support services for entities of all types.

Petco Names President Of Unleashed by Petco

Brad Weston, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer of Petco, has been named president of Unleashed by Petco, a smaller format neighborhood store. The stores provide an assortment of mostly dog and cat products focused on natural foods and “Made in the USA” brands. Unleashed also offers a variety of services including dog training, vaccination clinics and pet parties, as well as grooming and self-service pet washing at select locations. Unleashed has grown to more than 100 locations across the country. The first store opened in Hillcrest in 2009.

Weston, a 25-year retail veteran, joined Petco in October 2011. He is based at Petco’s corporate support center in San Diego, where the company was founded in 1965.

Barona Resort Promotes Chef

Barona Resort & Casino’s Chef de Cuisine Duncan Firth has been promoted to executive chef. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, Firth has worked in kitchens from Napa Valley to Montreal, Malibu and now San Diego. In addition to his culinary talents, he is also a wine specialist and a former instructor at the New England Culinary Institute.

Since joining Barona in 1999, Firth has overseen culinary operations in three of the property’s restaurants — The Barona Steakhouse, Italian Cucina and The Plaza Grill. In his new role, he will manage all operations for Barona’s 15 restaurants and casual eateries, special events catering, gameside dining, and will also continue to serve as Barona’s resident wine specialist.

Firth has an associate degree in Culinary Arts from New England Culinary Institute and a master’s certificate in hospitality management from Cornell University.


Workman works on a portion of the Lion Temple arch at Legoland California.

Workman works on a portion of the Lion Temple arch at Legoland California.

Largest Lego Model Installed at Legoland California

The largest Lego model that will go into Legoland California’s new water park was installed over the weekend, park officials said Monday. The Lion Temple arch, more than 18 feet high, 14 feet wide and weighing more than one ton, will be part of the “Legends of Chima” Water Park, which is due to open to the public May 24.

The arch, with water streaming beneath the head of a lion at the entrance to a wave pool, was built from 260,000 Lego bricks, according to park officials.

The three-acre water park will also have a place where children can build and race their own boats, and includes water blast cannons, water jets and slides.

Legoland California, which opened in 1999, has been in a major expansion phase over the last few years. The facility already has a water park, and a 250-room hotel opened last spring. The park is also home to an aquarium.

— City News Service

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