Daily Business Report-June 10, 2014
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to replace the state’s Enterprise Zone program. He visited Takeda California to illustrate that biotechs will no longer have to pay sales tax on R&D equipment.
$5 Million in Tax Breaks Coming to San Diego
In a first for California, the state on Monday unveiled the list of companies set to receive $30 million in hiring tax credits, nearly $5 million of which will go to companies that plan to add jobs in San Diego County through 2018, the U-T San Diego reports.
Locally, the biggest award for what’s called the California Competes tax credit is scheduled to go to retail giant Petco, which will break ground on a 300,000 square-foot headquarters in Rancho Bernardo. The state plans to award the company $2.6 million in exchange for adding 263 jobs that will pay an average of more than $80,000, well over San Diego County’s average wage of $51,000. Petco’s award is the second largest tax break in the state.
Additionally, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Go-Biz, proposed to award $1.45 million to BST NanoCarbon LLC, a high-tech commercial fiber design and manufacturer in Rancho Bernardo, which will add 632 jobs in San Diego and potentially Temecula that pay an average salary around $50,000 a year; $700,000 to AI California, LLC, which plans to add grocery stores and other operations across Southern California with 182 jobs that pay an average $25,000 per year, and $30,000 to National City-based American Marine Abatement Services to add six jobs that pay an average $25,000 per year.
Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature approved the credit program last year as a way to compete with states like Texas, which tries to lure companies by paying them cash to relocate. Petco, for instance, in 2010 got a $3.1 million check from the Lone Star State to build an operation in San Antonio. Still, in San Diego Petco is investing a total $84 million on its headquarters and other hiring, and said in a statement that it is glad to expand here.
San Diego’s Unmanned Aircraft Summit
Explores Industry Growth in California
Gretchen West, executive vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, will kick off today’s California UAS Summit, a forum to explore opportunities and challenges of unmanned aerial vehicles industry. The event will be held from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road, in Point Loma.
The conference opens the same day that the FAA announced permission for the first commercial drone to fly over U.S. land.
The conference will bring together leaders from government, trade organizations, the military, academia and a variety of companies from the private sector exploring how California can continue to be a world leader in unmanned aircraft systems.
Besides exploring the economic and jobs impact to the state, the summit will look at balancing regulation with innovation, and advancing safety and security, according to an announcement of the event.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that permission for the first commercial drone to fly over U.S. land has gone to oil company BP and drone manufacturer AeroVironment to fly aerial surveys over Alaska’s North Slope. AeroVironment will be represented on one of today’s panels at the summit.
AeroVironment flew a Puma AE drone on its first commercial flight Sunday to survey BP pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in the U.S., according to the FAA.
Using the Puma’s sensors, BP hopes to target maintenance activities, in an effort to save time, improve safety and increase reliability in the sensitive North Slope environment, according to the FAA.
“These surveys on Alaska’s North Slope are another important step toward broader commercial use of unmanned aircraft,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who oversees the FAA. “The technology is quickly changing, and the opportunities are growing.”
The announcement comes at a time when the drone industry is urging faster FAA approval of commercial drones for jobs that are too dangerous or boring for people to fly conventional aircraft.
Roy Minson, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment, is scheduled on a 4 p.m. panel at the summit.
San Diego Council Approves $3 Billion Budget
The San Diego City Council Monday approved Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s nearly $3 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Among the spending plan’s highlights are extended library hours, more officers in police academies, additional fire academies, a temporary fire station in the Skyline neighborhood to reduce response times, and more money for infrastructure projects.
The budget, which the City Council approved on an 8-1 vote, also includes funding for a program manager to oversee the city’s various sustainability programs, streetlight installation, parks projects, fire equipment and a lifeguard at Windansea Beach.
The dissenting vote was cast by Councilman David Alvarez, who said less than 2 percent of funding for capital projects was being directed to neighborhoods he represents, such as Barrio Logan and San Ysidro.
“This is a sound and fiscally responsible budget,” said City Council President Todd Gloria. After years of trying to climb out of budget shortfalls, the city is now in “a fiscally more sustainable position,” he said.
The most notable additions were a new position to enforce code regulations for private “mini-dorms” near San Diego State University where large numbers of students room together in an off-campus house, and to restore $500,000 to the library system’s materials acquisition budget.
That part of the materials line item had been reduced in Faulconer’s original proposal to help pay for a new after-school tutoring program in neighborhoods with low standardized test scores. Library officials said the money was available for school tutoring because they planned a thorough review of their collections during the next fiscal year.
However, retiring library Director Deborah Barrow said that she welcomed having the funding restored. — City News Service
La Mirada Business Park Sold for $5.147 Million
VISTA — La Mirada Business Park, a three-building project with six tenants, has been sold for $5.147 million to Catesgarb Holdings. The seller was Otay Terminal-La Mirada Drive LLC. Lee & Associates and Voit Real Estate Services were the brokers in the transaction.
Stemedica Earns Patent for Cellular Scaffold
Stemedica announced today that it has received a new patent from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office; entitled “Cellular Scaffold.” The patent, coupled with a previous patent issued in 2012, extends Stemedica’s proprietary technology to therapeutic skin regeneration. The scaffolds are human skin equivalents that can be transplanted to regenerate skin in patients with skin defects, such as burn injuries, or diseases affecting skin, such as diabetic ulcers. Stemedica is a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company that manufactures best-in-class, allogeneic, adult stem cells and stem cell-derived factors.
Fitness Center Sold for $11.5 million
ESCONDIDO — The 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport fitness center in Escondido has been sold for $11.5 million to an Orange County-based limited liability company. The seller was a San Diego developer. The property is one of four San Diego County “Super Sport” locations for the Fitness Club, which has more than 400 locations across the country. The property was built-to-suit for 24 Hour Fitness in 2000 and has more than seven years remaining on its initial 21-year lease term. Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services marketed the property.
SPAWAR Awards $17.5 Million Contract
Serco Inc., a Reston, Va. company, has been awarded a contract with a potential value of $17.5 million by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command for installation support on the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego.
The Grant Grill’s New Chef de Cuisine
Sam Burman, a 14-year veteran of the culinary and hospitality industries, has been named chef de cuisine at The Grant Grill. Burman will be responsible for the restaurant’s operations and creating seasonal menus to feature local produce, seafood and meats. After 10 years of culinary experience throughout Chicago’s dining scene, Burman came to San Diego. He most recently served as the corporate chef at Whisknladle Hospitality, where he spent two and a half years overseeing the Whisknladle and Prepkitchen’s culinary programs. Burman also served as executive chef at Quality Social in San Diego.
San Diego Council Set to OK
Police Body Camera Contract
The San Diego City Council today is scheduled to approve a four-year $3.9 million contract with TASER International, which will provide cameras that San Diego police officers will wear on their uniforms.
The cameras will record interactions with the public. The department had been beset over the years with citizen complaints of sexual misconduct and racial profiling. The city will acquire 300 cameras from TASER’s Evidence.com subsidiary by the end of this month, 300 more in the upcoming fiscal year and an additional 400 in the following fiscal year, according to a staff report. The Seattle-based firm also will provide the infrastructure needed for officers to download data from the cameras after their shifts and for storage.
— City News Service