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Daily Business Report — June 17, 2014

Daily Business Report — June 17, 2014

The Barcelona apartments on Bankers Hill

The Barcelona to Get a Major Renovation

The Barcelona, a 90-unit apartment building in Bankers Hill, will undergo a major renovation in the coming months by new owner Sentre Partners. The 55,000-square-foot property was purchased by Sentre for $15 million.

“The finished product will include freshly upgraded unit interiors, a lavishly redesigned roof top deck boasting panoramic ocean and downtown skyline views, and an expansive 10,000-square-foot resident lounge offering hotel-style amenities and modern technology,” said Doug Arthur, president of the company. He said the upgrades will only enhance the property’s astonishing Spanish Colonial Revival style, rendered by Eugene Hoffman (i.a. William Penn Hotel, John D. Spreckel’s building) in 1921.

“We intend to immediately engage in a complete revitalization of the property — transforming The Barcelona into the premier location for dynamic renters seeking a one-of-a-kind living experience in a walkable neighborhood.”

Rendering of the 'Ecotanker' to be built by NASSCO

Rendering of the ‘Ecotanker’ to be built by NASSCO

NASSCO Wins Order for Eighth ‘Ecotanker’

Pipeline and tanker operator Kinder Morgan Energy Partners said Monday it has expanded its contract with General Dynamics NASSCO for the construction of a fifth 50,000-ton tanker that can also be converted to carry liquefied natural gas. The 610-foot-long “ecotanker” will be a sister ship to the four “Jones Act” tankers Kinder Morgan currently has under construction at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. NASSCO is also building three similar tankers for Seabulk Tankers.

The Jones Act requires that goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on ships constructed in the United States.

“We are delighted to build an additional tanker (supported by a long-term charter with a major shipper), which clearly demonstrates Kinder Morgan’s ongoing commitment to marine transportation of crude oil, condensate and refined products in the United States domestic trade, commonly referred to as the Jones Act,” said Rob Kurz, vice president of Kinder Morgan Terminals and president of its subsidiary American Petroleum Tankers. “There continues to be increasing demand for waterborne transportation to move petroleum products.”

The tanker is based on the South Korean ECO design offering improved fuel efficiency and incorporating the latest environmental protection features. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 with delivery slated for the second quarter of 2017

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is a leading pipeline transportation and energy storage company. It owns an interest in or operates approximately 54,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. It acquired American Petroleum Tankers in January.

— Times of San Diego

The Kona Kai is at the tip of Shelter Island.

The Kona Kai is at the tip of Shelter Island.

Kona Kai Completing 2nd Renovation Phase

Kona Kai Resort & Marina, situated at the tip of Shelter Island, has undergone the second phase of its $22 million renovation, which is scheduled to be completed in time for the Fourth of July weekend and fireworks over San Diego Bay. The renovation includes new guest rooms, renovated lobby and waterfront restaurant, a newly built Tiki Bar and revamped pool and meeting spaces.

Nominations Now Open For

Most Innovative New Products Awards

Nominations are open for Connect’s 2014 Most Innovative New Product Awards. Nominations are being accepted through Aug. 15 in the following categories: Aerospace and Security Technologies; Communications & IT; Diagnostics and Research Tools; Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Devices; Mobile Apps; Software; Sport and Active Lifestyle Technologies; Sustainability.

Click here for nomination page…

The MQ-8B Fire Scout

The MQ-8B Fire Scout

Modernized Radar System Made for Unmanned Helicopter

Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Navy demonstrated a new multimode maritime surveillance radar on the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter that they say will drastically enhance long-range imaging and search capabilities for Navy commanders. Warfighters will now have the latest in radar technology to pair with their current electro-optical infrared payload. Integrating this new radar system will provide the MQ-8B Fire Scout with essential operational capabilities in all tactical environments and will improve how it addresses threats in real-world scenarios, Northrop Grumman said in a release.

“Fire Scout is pushing the limits of unmanned helicopters by continuing to add enhanced capabilities to its already advanced payload,” said George Vardoulakis, a company vice president. “This modernized radar complements Fire Scout’s other sensors and systems to provide the Navy with increased visibility far beyond the horizon, while collecting vital imaging for maritime operations.”

Northrop Grumman modified a Telephonics Corp. maritime surveillance radar system used for manned aircraft so it could be used on the unmanned MQ-8B Fire Scout.

Oceanside Charitable Foundation Gives $58,000 in Grants

The Oceanside Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation, has distributed $58,000 in grants to seven nonprofit organizations. The foundation said the grants will enhance civic leadership, engagement, and volunteerism within the Oceanside community. The programs funded include Bread of Life Rescue Mission ($5,000), Oceanside Leadership Summit Project at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center ($5,000), Oceanside CERT program at the Oceanside Community Emergency Response Team ($5,000), Volunteer With A Friend program at Ivey Ranch Park Association ($5,000), School of Nursing Healthcare Project program in Oceanside with the California State University, San Marcos Foundation ($10,000), TIP Training Academy and Resource Guide program in Oceanside, with Trauma Intervention Program of San Diego Inc. ($10,000), and Oceanside REACH program at Vista Community Clinic ($18,000).

2014 Employment Law Update is Wednesday

Christopher Olmsted will lead the Update.

Christopher Olmsted will lead the Update.

San Diego Employers Association’s Summer 2014 Employment Law Update takes place Wednesday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at AMN Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, San Diego. SDEA’s mid-year employment law check-in helps business owners and HR professionals determine whether their company is in compliance. The Employment Law Update will cover new legal developments that include wage and hour updates, discrimination and harassment claims, new leave laws affecting your organization now, and more.

Led by Christopher Olmsted with Barker Olmsted & Barnier, the event will summarize the latest labor and employment law news that has a direct effect on employers. Participants will learn about the newest rulings and legislative developments in California and how they will impact their company.
Eligible for 1.5 hours HRCI units.

The cost to attend is $75 for SDEA members and $95 for nonmembers.

To register, click here…

Minimum Wage Increase Proposal Scaled Back

A proposed minimum wage hike that could go before San Diego voters this fall was revised downward Monday by its chief proponent, City Council President Todd Gloria. He originally proposed an incremental increase to $13.09 an hour. At a news conference Monday, he unveiled what he called a “compromise” $11.50-per-hour proposal, which would be phased in over three years, and like, the earlier proposal, would require employers to give workers five earned sick days.

Gloria, whose original proposal drew opposition from Mayor Kevin Faulconer, some members of the City Council and business groups, said he met numerous times with representatives of both sides of the issue.

“During those exchanges, I heard that my proposal brought too much change, too fast, and that a higher minimum wage would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage,” Gloria said. “This is a common-sense compromise that reduces the potential impact on businesses while maintaining tremendous benefits for our workers and our economy.”

The council members can choose to adopt Gloria’s plan as an ordinance or place it on the November ballot — which is his preferred option.

Such a decision is not expected until next month.

— City News Service

Sundt Construction Adds Five Team Members

Sundt Construction Inc. has added five new team members to its San Diego office. Amber Simonson, Rudy Teh, Thomas Lopez, Tom Oliver and Ron Eldridge will join the R.J. Donovan Correctional Complex team in Otay Mesa. The $169 million joint venture project with Layton Construction is expected to break ground in 2015.

Simonson, hired as senior project engineer, brings more than nine years of project manager experience within the San Diego construction industry. standards.

Teh, a senior project engineer, transferred to the California District from Sundt’s Federal Division and will immediately join the R.J. Donovan Complex team.

Lopez, hired as project engineer, joins the San Diego team after spending the last three years as project engineer for a Southern California builder.

Oliver, a project superintendent, transfers to the San Diego office from Sundt’s Irvine office this August.

Eldridge, a senior project superintendent, joins the California District from Sundt’s Southwest District.

Loan Awarded for City Heights Apartments Rehab

LISC San Diego (Local Initiatives Support Corp.) has provided a $2.25 million loan supporting the acquisition of a 20-unit apartment building by nonprofit affordable housing developer City Heights Community Development Corp. This loan will be used for the rehabilitation of apartments at 4348 53rd St., and lock in lower rents for the 20-unit, garden- style apartments for decades to come.

“San Diego is facing a critical shortage of affordable housing with an estimated shortfall of more than 125,000 homes affordable to San Diego County households living in poverty,” said Edward Lopez, LISC San Diego executive director. “While San Diego has seen a 77 percent decrease in state and federal investment in affordable housing, with this loan, LISC and CHCDC will preserve 20 units at an affordable level for hard-working families and individuals in City Heights.”

La Jolla Institute Advances Research

Toward First Vaccine for Heart Disease

Research toward the world’s first vaccine for heart disease continues to advance at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, with researchers demonstrating significant arterial plaque reduction in concept testing in mice, the institute reports. Klaus Ley, a pioneer in vascular immunology, is leading the vaccine effort, which seeks to reduce plaque buildup in the arteries by targeting inflammation. In his latest finding, published recently in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, Ley used two mouse peptides, identified by Harley Tse of Wayne State University, which he incorporated into testing the vaccine approach.  In the study, vaccinated mice had about 40 percent less arterial plaque than mice that didn’t receive the vaccine.

“Heart disease remains our nation’s No. 1 killer,” says Mitchell Kronenberg, La Jolla Institute president and chief scientific officer.  “We are excited by Dr. Ley’s studies, which show promise for creating a vaccine that may one day reduce the incidence of this terrible illness.”  If successful, the vaccine could be given to aid in preventing heart disease and also to stop or reduce disease progression.  In addition to heart disease, the vaccine could target strokes, which are also fueled by plaque buildup in the arteries.

About 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year, amounting to 1 in every 4 U.S. deaths.

Balboa Park Rated Among Best Parks in U.S.

TripAdvisor rates Balboa Park among the top 10 parks in the United States.  The park is listed as seventh in the top 10 list, below Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Central Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, High Line in New York City, Boston Public Garden, Golden State Park in San Francisco — and above Bryant Park in New York City, Forsyth Park in Savahhah, Ga., and Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville, S.C.

The local sentiment here is that Balboa Park is the best park in the U.S.

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Voice Your Opinion

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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: