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Daily Business Report-June 5, 2014

Daily Business Report-June 5, 2014

The 14-story Torbati Building at 625 Broadway in Downtown San Diego will be converted to residences by its new owner.

Downtown Torbati Building to be

Converted to Residences

The 89-year-old Torbati Building, the first high-rise built in Downtown San Diego and once home to Home Federal Bank, has been sold and will be converted into a residential development.

The purchase price of the 14-story, 223,000-square-foot building was not disclosed. The buyer, a partnership formed by Hammer Ventures, a San Diego-based real estate development company, was represented by Colliers International. The seller was 625 Broadway Holdings LLC, controlled by Emanuel Torbati.

The building at 625 Broadway was built in 1925. The building includes 186,636 square feet of office space, 35,665 square feet of fully leased “high street” ground floor retail and a 376-space parking structure, according to

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which worked on behalf of Hammer Ventures to arrange the joint venture equity to acquire the building.


The PGA Tour Grill in Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field

The PGA Tour Grill in Terminal 2 at Lindbergh Field

First PGA Tour Restaurant Opens at Lindbergh Field

Travelers were promised a healthy menu, golf tips and PGA tournament viewing at the PGA Tour Grill that opened Tuesday in Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport.

The restaurant, a joint venture between the PGA Tour and global restaurateur  HMSHost, was stocked with flat-screen televisions that show live golf tournament action, highlights from the recent tournaments and programming from the Golf Channel. Customers can also use iPads to access golf tips, airport officials said.

“We’re excited to welcome PGA Tour Grill’s first airport-based restaurant to San Diego International Airport,” San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO Thella F. Bowens said.

“With San Diego’s rich golf history, PGA Tour Grill fits seamlessly into the airport’s brand new concessions core, which strives to bring customers some of the best local, national and international shopping and dining options.”

Officials said the restaurant would feature a menu that incorporates a wide variety of healthy ingredients and will allow visitors to get an inside look at the San Diego region’s history with the PGA Tour..

— City News Service

J. Craig Venter Institute Awarded $25M Grant

To Establish Genome Center for Infectious Diseases

Scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute, the La Jolla-based genomic research organization, have been awarded a five year grant from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to establish and operate a Genome Center for Infectious Diseases. Funding for the center is up to $25 million over the five-year award period.

The goal of the grant is to further develop and enhance basic science understanding of infectious diseases by increased focus on and analysis of the pathogens responsible for infectious disease, the institute said.  The findings and outcomes from the work will be available as a resource for the broad scientific community.

The research, led by JCVI co- principal investigators, Karen Nelson,  president and William Nierman, professor, Infectious Disease Group, will involve more than 50 collaborators at approximately 40 research organizations around the world.

Infectious diseases are still one of the leading causes of death worldwide, especially in children in Africa and Southeast Asia, according to the institute. Globally, anti-microbial drug resistance continues to rise with some of the most common bacteria resistant to all but the strongest classes of antibiotics.

Sami Ladeki

Sami Ladeki

Sami Ladeki Named ‘Restaurateur of the Year’

Sami Ladeki of Ladeki Hospitality Group was named “Restaurateur of the Year” for 2014 by the California Restaurant Association’s (CRA) San Diego chapter at the 30th annual Gold Medallion Awards. Best known for his popular Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza concept, the restaurateur also celebrates the 25th anniversary of his first restaurant opening this summer.

Ladeki is the largest independent restaurant owner in San Diego and has opened more than 35 restaurants and fine-dining concepts around the world since 1983. He opened Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza at a small storefront in La Jolla in 1989, and has since expanded the Sammy’s family to 19 locations throughout California and Nevada, with the newest location set to open in Sacramento in July.

Ladeki was the recipient of the Headliner Award, presented by the San Diego Press Club for recognition of outstanding achievement in the community. He currently operates 14 restaurants in San Diego, providing hundreds jobs for hard-working local residents.

Airsis Acquired by a Texas Company

Airsis Inc. has been acquired by Oceaneering International Inc., a Texas company, for an undisclosed price. Airsis develops software and hardware for the energy and transportation industries. Oceaneering is a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deep water application. The new acquisition will help enhance the company’s asset-tracking service offered on onshore drilling rigs and vessels engaged in undersea activities.

Three Appointed to San Diego County Fair Board

Lisa Barkett, 55, of La Jolla, And Frederick Schenk, 60, of San Diego, have been reappointed to the 22nd District Agricultural Association, San Diego County Fair Board of Directors, by Gov. Jerry Brown. Kathlyn Mead, 55, of Escondido, was newly appointed to the board.

Barkett has served on the board since 2011. Barkett was vice president of Merjan Financial Corp. from 1989 to 2013. She is a member of the University of Southern California Board of Trustees and the Rady Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Barkett is a Democrat.

Schenk has been chair of the board since 2013 and has served since 2011. He has been a partner at Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt and Penfield since 1983. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Schenk is a Democrat.

Mead was executive vice president and chief operations officer at the California Endowment from 2007 to 2014. She was president and chief executive officer at the Council of Community Clinics from 2006 to 2007, vice president at Blue Shield of California from 2005 to 2006, president and chief executive officer at Sharp Health Plan from 1996 to 2005 and vice president at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego from 1994 to 1996. Mead earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California. Mead is a Democrat.

Climate Change Summit Scheduled for October

The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will hold a meeting at Sunnylands in October about rising sea levels and ocean acidification, it was announced Wednesday.

The meeting at the Rancho Mirage estate of Ambassador Walter Annenberg will “address two of the most pressing issues impacting our planet,” according to a statement from Sunnylands, and is being convened by Albert, Monaco’s reigning monarch; Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution and vice chancellor for Marine Sciences at UC San Diego; and Geoffrey Cowan, president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. A date wasn’t announced.

Participants will include policymakers, scientists and engineers, according to Sunnylands.

The meeting will be followed by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Awards, which the prince will attend. The awards will recognize “excellence in … climate change and renewable energies, biodiversity, and integrated and sustainable water management,” according to the statement.

— City News Service

Torrey Pines Bank Names Senior Vice President

Marcus Di Fiore

Marcus Di Fiore

Marcus A. Di Fiore has been named senior vice president, corporate banking, for Torrey Pines Bank.  Di Fiore draws on 12 years of experience in the financial services industry, working on business development, relationship management and underwriting in private, business and commercial banking.  For the past six years, he was responsible for developing middle market credit and deposit relationships. Prior to that, he held relationship management and business development roles at financial institutions in the Phoenix metropolitan area and in Chicago.

Di Fiore currently is chairman of the board of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, which provides mentorship programs in elementary, middle and high school, focused on stopping youth violence throughout San Diego County. Di Fiore will work from the bank’s Carmel Valley office.


PURE Bioscience Hires V.P. of Market Development

PURE Bioscience Inc. creator of the silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobial,  has named Bridget Tinsley to the newly created position of vice president market development. Tinsley will be responsible for both expanding the market for SDC as a food contact surface disinfectant and sanitizer and leading the future commercial applications of SDC as a food safety aid in the processing of poultry, meat and produce. Tinsley has nearly 15 years of food industry and food safety experience with diverse expertise across global food programs, territory sales, account management, and laboratory research and business development. She previously was senior food safety and regulatory specialist with Thermo Fisher Scientific. Tinsley earned her master’s degree in food microbiology from Kansas State University.

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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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