Daily Business Report-May 28, 2014
State Sen. Marty Block’s legislation would allow 15 campuses from 15 different district to offer one baccalaureate degree each starting Jan. 1, 2015, and ending July 1, 2023.
State Senate Aproves Measure Allowing
Community Colleges to Offer 4-Year Degrees
The state Senate by a 34-0 vote on Tuesday approved a bill aimed at closing California’s job skills gap by allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees where a local workforce need can be documented. Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego), who authored SB 850, described his measure as a jobs bill.
“California has a workforce skills gap,” Block said. “By 2025 our state will need one million more adults with four-year degrees. We need to use all of California’s resources — including our community colleges — to close that gap.” He added that more than 20 states since 1970 already allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees.
Block’s proposal is a pilot program that would allow 15 campuses from 15 different districts to offer one baccalaureate degree each starting Jan. 1, 2015 and ending July 1, 2023. Programs would begin no later than the 2017-18 academic year.
Baccalaureate degrees offered at the chosen campuses could not be duplicative of degrees offered by the University of California or California State University campuses. “It will be value added, not duplicative,” Block said. The state’s community college Board of Governors and chancellor in consultation with the UC and CSU systems would select the participating districts and campuses.
Ownership Change for Hotel del Coronado
Just three years after negotiating a deal with a mega investment firm to save the Hotel del Coronado from a loan default, Strategic Hotels & Resorts announced Tuesday that it will buy out that company’s entire interest in the iconic property, the U-T San Diego reports.
The Chicago-based real estate investment firm, which currently has a 36.4 percent ownership stake in the hotel, said it has signed an agreement to acquire for $210 million the remaining 63.6 percent ownership interest from the Blackstone Group, a transaction that would make Strategic the sole owner.
The agreement, which includes Strategic assuming $475 million in mortgage debt, values the 757-room oceanfront resort at roughly $787 million, the equivalent of a little more than $1 million per room. While such a per-room sum was rare just a few years ago, it is much less so now as the luxury hotel market stages an impressive comeback from the depths of the recession, said hotel broker and analyst Alan Reay.
Mixed-Use Project Slated for La Jolla
SARE Investments has purchased a parcel of land at 5702 La Jolla Blvd. for $2.9 million to develop a mixed-use project. The new development will have 10 ocean view condominiums, 5,500 square feet of ground floor retail space and a rooftop teck with ocean views. The seller was the Krambs Family Trust. “La Jolla and the other coastal markets are seeing significant interest from developers looking for high-quality infill sites, especially ones that have been entitled like this,” said Victor Krebs of Colliers International, which marketed the property.
Dempsey Construction Selected for School Project
Dempsey Construction has been selected to handle the improvement and expansion of La Jolla Country Day School’s Upper School Classrooms for grades 9-12 at 9490 Genesee Drive in La Jolla. A total of 28 Upper School classrooms will be upgraded and expanded to feature larger learning areas and more natural light. Project Manager Bryce Raleigh said careful planning will be required because construction will be performed during school holidays, the first portion of which recently took place during spring break, with residual phases to follow during the upcoming summer break.
Apartment Complex Sells for $1.57 Million
ESCONDIDO — An 18-unit apartment complex at 333 North Juniper St. in Escondido has been sold for $1.57 million to the Duron Family Trust. The seller was Quoc & Hoang Dang. Built in 1962, the property is situated on 0.35 acres. It has 18 one-bedroom/one-bath units totaling approximately 7,506 rentable square feet.
Employment Law Update: June 18
San Diego Employers Association’s Summer 2014 Employment Law Update takes place on Wednesday, June 18, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at AMN Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, San Diego. Participants will learn about the newest rulings and legislative developments in California and how they will impact their company. Led by Christopher Olmsted of Barker Olmsted & Barnier. The cost to attend is $75 for SDEA members and $95 for nonmembers.
City Unveils 7-Mile Bike Loop Around Top Landmarks
City officials on Tuesday unveiled a seven-mile loop of bicycle lanes and routes that passes some of San Diego’s major landmarks and helps build a “world-class bike city.” Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria spoke to the press and cycling community at a ceremony at Juniper Street and 5th Avenue, where a dedicated bicycle lane was just added to complete the loop.
“The San Diego Bike Loop is a big step forward in our push to create a more bike-friendly city,” Faulconer said. “These are the type of low-cost projects that have a huge impact on our neighborhoods, and we’re going to be doing a lot more of them in the future.”
The project cost a total of $65,000, officials said, primarily for paint and labor.
The route passes Balboa Park, the new Central Library, the Gaslamp Quarter, the harborfront and Little Italy.
Gloria said projects like the new bike loop make bicycling safer and position it as “true transportation option.” He said San Diego has the potential to be a “world-class bike city.”
“With more people choosing biking not only as a form of exercise but as a real transportation option, providing safe bikeways is a smart investment,” he said.
Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, said bicycle ridership in San Diego has increased by 50 percent over the past decade, underscoring the need for safe bike routes.
— Times of San Diego
New McDonald’s App Uses Qualcomm’s Technology
McDonald’s and Qualcomm have teamed up to launch Gol, a new mobile app powered by Qualcomm’s Connected Experiences Inc. (QCE) Smart Terrain technology. Once customers download the free app and point their smartphone cameras at McDonald’s newly redesigned French fry box, a virtual soccer ball and goal appears. Using the Smart Terrain Technology, players can add other objects onto the playing field to bounce off trick shots and score goals with a swipe of the finger. This breakthrough mobile vision technology creates new capabilities for mobile marketing.
I Love A Clean San Diego Celebrates 60th Anniversary
Post-Memorial Day, San Diego beaches usually look in need of sprucing up: At least some people seem to leave trash behind. No one knows that better than the original beach clean-up group, I Love A Clean San Diego, which has been fighting litter in the county for six decades.
During that time, the environmental movement has stayed true to its mission: to educate and motivate people to care for their environment. And in doing so, the group has become a major force by changing our laws and personal habits.
The nonprofit environmental organization first came on the scene in 1954 when the community was growing and litter was developing as an issue. In response to the growing trash problem local officials create the “War Against Litter” Committee. This later became I Love A Clean San Diego.
Sixty years later, it’s now the longest-running independent environmental group in San Diego County.
San Diego School District Approves
Early Retirement for 471 Teachers
The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education gave final approval Tuesday night to implementing a supplemental early retirement program for 471 eligible teachers in a move to trim about $29.6 million from its budget over the next five years.
District officials said the tally, which was about a quarter of those eligible, signed on before Friday’s deadline, but teachers accepted to teach summer school will have until its last workday to tender their non-revocable resignation. The district previously set a goal of 547 San Diego Education Association-represented teachers.
The retirement incentive is expected to save the district about $7.9 million next year, which will be applied to next year’s anticipated $115.6 million shortfall along with about $80.3 million in real estate sales and funds from other cost-cutting measures.
“This was 100 percent really a dollar decision — and a good decision for the taxpayers,” Trustee Scott Barnett said.
District officials said early retirement will be beneficial due to declining enrollment and common core standards and other requirements that will necessitate adjustments.
Teachers 55 years of age and older with five years of state teachers retirement system credit, or who are 50 to 54 with 30 years state retirement credit were eligible, according to the association’s website. They were also required to have been with the district for at least five years.
— City News Service
MicroPower Technologies Wins Tech Award
San Diego-based MicroPower Technologies Inc., maker of solar-powered, wireless surveillance video cameras, was named a winner in the American Technology Awards Green Technology category. Sponsored by TechAmerica, the awards honored 15 products and services out of 100 entries as category winners.
MicroPower said its cameras consumes much less power than traditional systems, and can be deployed and operated for a fraction of the capital and operating cost expected with comparable video surveillance platforms. The cameras use ½ watt of power to transmit streaming video from ½ to two miles without the need to trench for cabling requirements, the company said.
Epic Sciences Names VP of Business Development
Epic Sciences, a San Diego company that develops diagnostic tests for detecting cancer, has appointed Jason Adams as vice president of business development. Adams has more than 15 years of experience in biotech and diagnostic business development. He has specialized in negotiating and structuring complex revenue generating business development partnerships, in-licensing of high value technologies, and conducting due diligence for potential acquisition opportunities. Prior to joining Epic Sciences, Adams served as a senior member of the companion diagnostics business development group at Ventana Medical Systems Inc., a member of the Roche Group.
German American Game Day Today at Cabrillo Elementary
The German American San Diego Foundation today is organizing its first German American Game Day to celebrate World Play Day from 4 to 6 p.m.
at Cabrillo Elementary School, 3120 Talbot St. in Point Loma. The event is free to the public.
Hundreds of children and their families will enjoy playing German-style board and card games, learning about German language and culture, and trying new games that have not been released yet. Two local inventors from Wiggity Bang Games and CLEVER will also attend to unveil and share their new games that will be released this summer.
“We want to show students and families in our community how fun and educational German-style board and card games are,” said Armina Kranz, executive director of the foundation. “German Game Week will bring together several San Diego schools that have German language programs, allowing them the opportunity to practice what they have learned and giving others who haven’t studied the language the opportunity to learn about German culture.”
RSVP for the event by calling (619) 321-0607 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first 200 attendees will receive one free game from Wiggity Bang Games..
To commemorate German American Game Day, special guests Bernd Fischer, consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany in Los Angeles, and Stephan Hollmann, honorary consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Southern California and president of the foundation, will open the event.