Daily Business Report-April 30, 2014
Westfield’s Plaza Camino Real shopping center will have an open air flavor, as shown in this rendering.
Plaza Camino Real Shopping Center’s
$300 Million Makeover Set To
Southern California Lifestyle
CARLSBAD — Westfield’s Plaza Camino Real shopping center is literally taking its roof off and working on a $300 million renovation to convert the 45-year-old indoor center into a modern outdoor complex “in harmony with the Southern California lifestyle.”
Westfield officials said the makeover will create 1,200 high-wage union construction jobs and more than 1,000 jobs in the new commercial space.
Last fall, Westfield began a remodel of the eastern portion of the shopping center that includes the addition of a 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport, a state-of-the-art luxury Regal Cinema and several new sit-down dining opportunities. That remodel, which was approved by the Carlsbad City Council in July 2013, is scheduled to open later this year.
Plans for the second, more dramatic phase of the transformation will be submitted to the city of Carlsbad within the next few weeks. That work will begin next year, pending approvals by the Carlsbad City Council. If approved, this sweeping renovation will completely transform the current indoor facility into an open air lifestyle center and regional shopping destination, the officials said. By removing the shopping center’s roof and creating upscale, lushly landscaped and comfortably intimate common areas, the center will become home to an upgraded mix of retail shops consisting of national brands and local boutiques, sit down and casual dining, and entertainment options for the entire family.
The Carlsbad Planning Commission is expected to consider Westfield’s proposal in fall 2014. The City Council will then make a final decision on the project. If approved, construction is expected to begin next year.
San Diego’s High-Tech Diversity Key
Factor in Region’s Economic Rebound
San Diego is tied with Boston and San Francisco as the regional economies with the most technology sector diversity — a key factor in the region’s economic rebound. That’s according to research carried out by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
“This is the first time the oft-discussed diversity of San Diego’s tech-economy has been quantified and objectively compared,” said Kelly Cunningham, the institute’s senior economist. “It is really quite remarkable how many technology sectors in San Diego exceed national concentrations. Many metros have three or four. San Diego has seven and an eighth, transportation manufacturing, is just under the national average and growing strong.”
In a comparison of the 11 U.S. metro areas with the most physical, engineering and biological research jobs, San Diego showed the highest relative concentration for this specific technology sector.
Among seven additional technology industries, San Diego tied Boston and San Francisco for most categories with concentrations above national averages.
Technology sectors continue to lead the rebound in San Diego employment, seeing significant increases in employment and wage growth, the institute said. This has been evident in both direct impacts on job growth and indirect effects from spending by technology workers.
San Diego’s technology oriented businesses employed an average of 142,100 workers during 2013. Payrolls totaled an estimated $15.6 billion during the year, generating $41.4 billion in sales, and directly adding $21.5 billion to the San Diego economy. Technology industries directly contributed 12 percent of San Diego’s gross domestic product (GDP), and, in total, accounted for 22.9 percent of all economic activity.
Multipliers measuring indirect and induced effects indicate a total 353,400 jobs in San Diego are traced or dependent upon local technology industries. This accounted for 27 percent or more than a quarter of all payroll jobs in the county, the institute said.
San Diego Home Prices Continue to Climb Despite Nationwide Cooling Trend
San Diego home prices rose 1 percent in February and were up nearly 20 percent compared to February 2013, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Monday. San Diego was one of seven cities among the 20 tracked by S&P to show a monthly price increase.
The indices were created by taking the housing prices in 20 large U.S. cities in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall.
San Diego’s value in February was 196.97, reflecting a nearly 97 percent appreciation over the last 15 years. That’s the third fastest increase in the country, behind Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
“Despite continued price gains, most other housing statistics are weak,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Sales of both new and existing homes are flat to down. The recovery in housing starts, now less than 1 million units at annual rates, is faltering.”
While prices across the 20 markets as a whole were flat in February, compared to January, the annual gain from February 2013 was 12.9 percent.
“The annual rates cooled the most we’ve seen in some time,” Blitzer said.
He also said home prices nationally still have not made it back to 2005 levels, before the housing crisis and recession. He said there is less demand for housing and fewer homes being built, partly because of elevated mortgage interest rates, difficulties in qualifying for loans and concerns about consumer confidence.
– City News Service
Waterfront Park Fountains Fire Up
The county will hold a grand opening on Saturday, May 10, of the new Waterfront Park adjacent to the County Administration Center along Pacific Highway. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is at 10 a.m.
The new fountains at the Waterfront Park were tested in preparation for the May 10 grand opening. They sit on either side of the County Administration Center, measure 830 feet long total, contain 31 jets combined and will recirculate 82,000 gallons of water.
Schedule of Events:
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony — 10 a.m.
Classic Car Show — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Farmers Market – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Food Truck Pavilion – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Arts & Culture Zone with Civic Performances – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kids Zone — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Arts & Crafts – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Environmental Activities — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sports Zone with Family Friendly Activities and Celebrity Appearances – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Live Musical Performances — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Beer & Wine Garden — noon to 4 p.m.
San Diego City College Gets New President
Anthony E. Beebe, president of San Diego Continuing Education for the past eight years, has been named president of San Diego City College. Beebe succeeds Lynn Neault, who has served as the college’s interim president since July. His appointment is subject to ratification by the board of trustees on May 22. If approved, he will begin work on Aug. 1.
Before his appointment with San Diego Continuing Education, Beebe served as vice president of instruction and student services at Yakima Valley Community College, assistant vice president of instruction at Mt. Hood Community College, and as a dean and as director of continuing education at the Riverside Community College District.
Beebe earned degrees from Lane Community College, the University of Oregon, Sacramento State University and Oregon State University
Potholes Will be Filled One Neighborhood at a Time
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants to fill potholes one neighborhood at a time. He said the city used to have a “scattershot” approach, but no more. “A complaint would come in and then a crew would go out and fix it,” Faulconer said at a press conference. “Then they would go on to the next complaint even if it was sometimes halfway across the city. “We’re not doing that anymore. We will still collect all of those complaints, but we will dispatch a crew to a specific neighborhood for the entire day.”
The city’s pothole repair crew will fill all the potholes in the neighborhood before moving on, Faulconer said.
A schedule of pothole repairs on the city’s website shows the crew moving from district to district. It began in District 1 on April 1 and moved to District 2 next day, then District 5, and so on.
The crew will visit District 1, which includes La Jolla, Torrey Pines and University City, eight times before June 30. That’s the most among the city’s nine council districts. It will visit Districts 2 through District 8 seven times and District 9 six times before June 30.
Mikel R. Bistrow, one of SD METRO’s Best Attorneys 2014, is a partner in the national law firm of Ballard Spahr LLP and is based in its San Diego office. At the time of publication, Bistrow was a partner with Foley and Lardner LLP. Bistrow practices in the areas of creditor’s collection and related remedies, bankruptcy, insolvency and work-outs, commercial finance and lending, real and personal property secured transactions, and Uniform Commercial Code. She is a seasoned lecturer throughout California and nationally and a published author. Bistrow is included in The Best Lawyers in America (1995-2014 editions) and in The Best Lawyers in San Diego (San Diego Magazine, September 2001, April 2005-2013 editions).
Cubic Defense Systems Gets $35 Million Contract
Cubic Defense Systems a maker of combat training systems and secure communications, has been awarded a follow-on contract worth more than $35 million from the British Army. The three-year contract is for support and repair of the Area Weapons Effects Simulator system at the Salisbury Plain Training Area in the U.K. and the British Army Training Unit Suffield in Alberta, Canada. Cubic Defense Systems is a business unit of Cubic Corp.
Verimatrix Names New President
San Diego-based Verimatrix Inc., a specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-network, multi-screen digital TV services around the world, has announced Steve Oetegenn as the new president of the company. Previously, Oetegenn was the chief sales and marketing officer. With his new position, he will now play a more strategic role in the company as more large digital video operators are transitioning to IP-centric network infrastructure.
Makin Island named Recycler of the Year
The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island was recognized as one of the top Recyclers of the Year during the 2014 City of San Diego Waste Reduction and Recycling Awards ceremony hosted on the flight deck on Tuesday. The event was sponsored by the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department in efforts to recognize businesses and organizations that have implemented waste reduction reuse, recycling and recycled product procurement programs that demonstrate success, innovation and exemplary waste reduction practices.
“We are the first hybrid-powered amphibious assault ship,” said Capt. Alvin Holsey, commanding officer. “What that means is that I can take this 40,000-ton warship and move it throughout the water with the same power source that drives my lights, air conditioning, satellite communications and television.”
Makin Island’s unique design helps the ship to burn nearly 50 percent less fuel than a traditional steam-powered ship within its class.
Reported by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Princess L. Brown, USS Makin Island Public Affairs
Kyocera Communications Also Gets Recycling Honor
San Diego-based Kyocera Communications Inc. also was recognized as a 2014 Recycler of the Year by the city of San Diego. It is the 14th consecutive year Kyocera has been awarded by the city for its recycling efforts and seventh time since 2000 that it has received the top “green” business award from the city. Overall, Kyocera (which operates multiple divisions in San Diego) has earned 21 annual awards from the city for recycling programs and other environmental efforts – more than any other business in San Diego.
Marines to Test Northrop Grumman
Prototypes To Jam IEDs, Protect Troops
A San Diego Northrop Grumman Corp. unit will produce five prototype jamming systems for the Marines to counter the threat of roadside improvised explosive devices. Under the $4.1 million contract, announced Tuesday, the systems, described as backpacks, will be produced for testing by the Marine Corps. The Navy also is expected to acquire some of the systems, according to Northrop Grumman.
The project, if successful, could lead to $90 million worth of contracts over five years, according to the company.
The backpack electronic jamming systems will be designed to create a protective barrier around a Marine ground combat team and its equipment while minimizing disruption to friendly communications systems.
“Our troops face the IED threat around the world, and these Marine Expeditionary Units are the ones that go to the most dangerous places at a moment’s notice,” said Mike Twyman, sector vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “Northrop Grumman’s Freedom 240 dismounted system is lightweight, powerful and designed to keep up with these hard-fighting Marines,” he said.
The backpacks can be deployed worldwide with only some software adjustments, and an open architecture system will allow the Marines to add technologies from third parties, according to the defense contractor.
– City News Service
Water Authority Campaign Urges Voluntary Conservation
Supported by civic and business leaders, the San Diego County Water Authority on Tuesday unveiled a new regional campaign to encourage additional voluntary water conservation in response to statewide drought conditions. The campaign’s theme — When in Drought: Save every day, every way — will appear in ads, public service announcements, online communications and elsewhere in coming months.
The campaign will be located online at www.whenindrought.org as part of the Water Authority’s response to the region’s current Drought Watch condition that calls for increased voluntary conservation. In addition to promoting more water conservation, it is designed to thank residents and businesses for taking action to save water, provide a one-stop resource for drought-related information in San Diego County, and raise awareness of efforts by the region’s water agencies to make San Diego County less vulnerable to supply shortages.
The Water Authority will support When in Drought with approximately $300,000 in drought response grant funds from the State Department of Water Resources.
SDSU to Hold Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute
San Diego State will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s campus speech at a 3:30 p.m. event today in the courtyard of the California Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre. More than 4,000 people attended King’s speech in 1964 at what was then San Diego State College.
The event will feature addresses by local community leaders, civil rights advocates, historians and students as well as the unveiling of a new permanent plaque that will be placed in the theater in King’s honor.