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Daily Business Report-May 23, 2014

Daily Business Report-May 23, 2014

Rendering of what the HUB | Hillcrest Market will look like. Inset: the shopping center today.

Graham Downes Put His Mark On

Uptown Shopping Center Makeover

The death last year of noted architect Graham Downes left a void in San Diego’s architectural community, but the man’s legacy is evident nearly everywhere. One place will be the Uptown District Shopping Center, which is undergoing a makeover designed by Downes and Page Winkler of MCG Architects.

The late Graham Downes

The late Graham Downes

Downes was hired by Regency Centers, owners of the shopping center, in November 2012 to revitalize the center, which got under way this month and due for completion in the fall.

“Regency understands and appreciates the historical importance and cultural significance of this community gathering place,” said Gregg Sadowsky, senior vice president for Regency Centers. “That is why we turned to Graham and other San Diegans to help us restore and enhance this civic treasure.”

A new name for the shopping center has been chosen — The HUB | Hillcrest Market.  HUB stands for Hillcrest Uptown Block.

The more than $3 million makeover project will include new custom murals by San Diego-based artists, several new tenants, including Napizza and Ritual Juicebox, drought-resistant landscaping and sculptural art installations by Chris Puzio and MakeFab.

“Regency has brought together a San Diego-based team that will bring new vitality and excitement to this center, while preserving the culture and spirit of the Hillcrest community, and I look forward to working with them and the neighbors as the project moves forward,” said San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria.

The complete project team:

• Graham Downes & Page Winkler of MCG Architects — lead architects.

• Don Hollis of Hollis Brand Culture — brand expression, marketing and signage ·

• Jose Parral – landscape designer.

• Ron Neal of Ron Neal Lighting Design — lighting designer.

• John Hadaya of Jones Sign — signage fabricator and installer.

• Bycor Construction — contractor.

55,000 SD County Homeowners Still Underwater

Nearly five years after the Great Recession, more than 55,000 San Diego County homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages, says an analysis released this week by the real-estate website Zillow.

The report found that in the first quarter of the year, 12.6 percent of homeowners with mortgages in San Diego County owed more on their properties than they were worth, down from 21 percent a year earlier.

The drop in those underwater was aided by big home price appreciation in 2013, which during the summer peaked at 24.1 percent year-over-year. Still, the annual gains slowed in the second half of the year, and weren’t enough to get everyone’s value to recover to a point that they could sell their home for a profit or at least break even to get out of their loan.

By March, the end of the first quarter, median home values had reached what was then a post-Great Recession high of $427,000, a 12 percent jump from a year earlier. Appreciation, however, is expected to flatten out more this year, and because of that Zillow predicts that by the first quarter of 2015 that 10.9 percent of homeowners with a mortgage will still be underwater in San Diego County. – U-T San Diego

Read more…

Amid VA Scandal, Audit Finds S.D.

Healthcare System in Compliance

An audit of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System found it is operating in compliance with agency standards for patient scheduling, VA officials said Thursday. The findings came from a review conducted last week amid an uproar over allegations that as many as 40 veterans in Phoenix died over while awaiting care. Representatives from other VA medical centers performed the audit, according to VA San Diego spokeswoman Cynthia Butler.

A separate investigation now under way into scheduling practices at 26 VA facilities by the Office of the Inspector General does not include San Diego, according to local officials with the agency.

In a statement, the VA San Diego Healthcare System said it “prides itself in being the only health care organization in the area dedicated to providing high quality, timely care to veterans in San Diego and Imperial counties.”

“As evidenced by the results of a recent external scheduling review, VA San Diego Healthcare System consistently schedules patients in compliance with national Veteran Health Administration standards,” the statement said.

“Nine out of 10 of our scheduling clerks are veterans themselves and have been trained on proper scheduling practices and are audited at least monthly to ensure compliance.” – KPBS report

Read more…

Building at 13450 Stowe Drive in Poway

Building at 13450 Stowe Drive in Poway

Aldila-Leased Building Sells for $12.7 Million

Cushman & Wakefield today announced the sale of 13450 Stowe Drive in Poway to Peckham Properties Inc. for $12.7 million. The seller is a partnership between Walton Street and Greenlaw Partners.

The 73,000-square-foot manufacturing building was built in 1991 and sits on 4.3 acres. The property is currently fully leased to Aldila, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon America Inc, through May 2022. Cushman & Wakefield was the broker.

Golden Door Foundation Donates

$75,000 to Forensic Health Services

SAN MARCOS — The Golden Door Foundation has made a $75,000 unrestricted contribution to support the work of Forensic Health Services of Escondido, which assists child victims of abuse or molestation as well as adult victims of sexual assault, to help law enforcement gather evidence for criminal prosecution. North County law enforcement officials bring victims to the center to begin the investigation of child abuse and sexual assault.

Forensic Health Services is funded by fees charged to law enforcement agencies for services, as well as private contributions.  It faced closure earlier this year when the Palomar Health district cut its longtime donation.  San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, and other leaders have stepped up to support the center and partner with private donors to keep the program operating.

Water Authority Board Endorses

San Diego Potable Reuse Project

The San Diego County Water Authority’s board on Thursday approved a formal resolution supporting the city of San Diego’s proposed large-scale water recycling project Pure Water San Diego, which the Water Authority has identified as the region’s most likely next source of local supply.

“Projects such as Pure Water San Diego are critical to the continued success of our regional water supply diversification strategy,” said board chairman Thomas V. Wornham. “The city of San Diego is not only leading the way locally, but it’s blazing regulatory and scientific trails that one day could benefit all Californians. The Water Authority has long supported these efforts and will continue assisting San Diego and other member agencies that are pioneering potable reuse.”

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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