Daily Business Report — July 29, 2014
The new Sofia Lofts feature a renovated historic house and the addition of 16 contemporary units.
Open House and Tour Slated for
New Sofia Lofts in Golden Hill
The public has been invited to an Aug. 6 open house and tour of Nakhshab Development & Design’s recently completed Sofia Lofts in the Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego. The 6: 30 p.m. project tour and reception will also be hosted by the Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana District Council and Hold It Contemporary Home.
Sofia Lofts, located at 3051 Broadway, are a renovation of an existing historic home and the addition of 16 contemporary units.
The Sofia Lofts project tour and reception will include festivities and food from the surrounding Golden Hill neighborhood. Giorgino’s, the nearby cheese steak specialist, will prepare sandwiches on-site and to order. Rocio Carrera, owner of flamenco studio Paloma Aragon, will perform musical and flamenco programs with an ensemble of dancers and musicians.
Lincoln Property Company Acquires
Headquarters Building for $21 Million
CARLSBAD — The corporate headquarters building housing Pro Performance Sports, or SKLZ, has been purchased by Denali California Faraday Industrial LLC, for $21 million. Denali is an entity of Lincoln Property Company.
The 150,159-square-foot building at 2081 Faraday Ave. is used by SKLZ as its international headquarters and specialized sports equipment testing and training facility. The firm offers sports products, technologies and training to athletes.
Lincoln Property Company purchased the building from Biodec LLC, Ken Satterlee, its general partner. Cassidy Turley represented Lincoln.
Earlier this year, Lincoln acquired a 106,311-square foot, multi-tenant industrial building, also in Carlsbad, located at 2270 Camino Vida Roble. The company owns and manages more than 13 million square feet of office, industrial and retail property in Southern California.
Firms Break Ground on 21-Unit Townhomes
Development in Chula Vista Marina District
CHULA VISTA — Pathfinder Partners LLC, a private equity firm, and developer Lanshire Housing Partners have broken ground on Bahia Vista Townhomes, a 21-unit development in Chula Vista’s Marina District.
Pathfinder acquired the one-acre parcel in 2013. Completion is slated for the summer of 2015. The construction team includes Lanshire Development as lead general contractor, with Lanshire principal partner, Michael Kootchick handling project management duties. The project was designed by San Diego-based Rodriguez Associates Architects and Planners.
The development will have four, three-story Mediterranean-style townhome buildings – with 13 three-bedroom/three-bathroom units and eight four-bedroom/ three-bathroom units, ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 square feet. Each unit will feature a private front entry, a balcony and a direct access, two-car garage.
S.D. Tech Coast Angels Reports Record Investments
First half 2014 investments match all of 2013
The San Diego chapter of the Tech Coast Angels, the second most active angel investing organization in the United States last year, reported that its investments for the first half of 2014 matched the entire total for 2013. The $7.3 million placed in 15 startups thus far also exceed its 2012 total for San Diego by 80 percent.
“This is by far the most active year in our history,” said Jeff Draa, president of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels. “The type of tech companies in our portfolio also run the gamut; from consumer-oriented firms to life science and health care. Our members are committed to fueling the innovation economy and we’re excited for what this means in terms of economic opportunities for the region as a whole.”
The average investment size so far this year by the organization was more than $485,000. In the past two and one-half years, San Diego Tech Coast Angels has invested $18 million in startups, with $10 million of those investments in the life science and healthcare industries.
“We continue to actively seek out entrepreneurs with great ideas that are in need not only of funds, but also of the strategic counsel and guidance that come with our investment,” said Jack Scatizzi, lead analyst for San Diego Tech Coast Angels. “That’s why we’ve got a slew of events scheduled to help expedite such introductions, including the John G. Watson Quick Pitch competition in September.”
Since its establishment in 1997, TCA has funded more than $153 million in more than 252 companies. The organization’s portfolio companies have gone on to attract an additional $1 billion in investment capital.
Council Approves Minimum Wage
Hike And Prepares for Mayoral Veto
In its required second reading, the San Diego City Council on Monday approved an ordinance proposed by Council President Todd Gloria increasing the minimum wage in the city to $11.50 per hour and providing workers the opportunity to earn sick leave. The measure passed by a vote of six to three, which would be enough to override the Mayor’s expected veto of the measure.
“The San Diego City Council supports strengthening our local economy and our local workforce, and we demonstrated that with our action today,” said Gloria. “Should the mayor choose to veto our action, I will ask my council colleagues to override it so 279,000 San Diegans will be able to earn sick leave and at least 172,000 San Diegans will get a raise on January 1st.”
The Mayor has 10 business days after receipt to veto the ordinance. The City Council then has 30 calendar days to consider overriding the veto, which would take six votes.
The new $11.50 minimum wage will be phased in through 2017 with indexing to inflation starting on January 1, 2019. On January 1, 2015, the wage will increase to $9.75. It will move to $10.50 on January 1, 2016, and reach $11.50 on January 1, 2017. The proposal includes no exemptions for any industry or business.
E-Cigarette Regulations Approved
The San Diego City Council unanimously approved regulations regarding vapor inhalers, also known as electronic cigarettes, on Monday. The two measures will regulate retail sales of the battery-operated devices and restrict their use. They will generally conform to restrictions on tobacco products.
Councilman Mark Kersey, who guided the package through the council, called the restrictions “common-sense regulations” that “are not an outright ban” on the devices.
The ordinance will require store owners who sell e-cigarettes to obtain a police permit, and prohibit sales of the devices, vaping juice and other paraphernalia through vending machines.
— City News Service
Developing San Diego’s Zero Waste Plan
San Diego has set an ambitious goal to be waste free by 2040. Currently, 68 percent of the city’s waste is diverted away from landfills for recycling. City officials are proud of the current level of recycling, but there is concern that the city is stuck at that number. The recycling rate hasn’t improved in three years.
Rebecca Hays, a recycling specialist for the city, told KPBS Midday Edition the new recycling initiative will get the city on track to its goal. “We have a really great food recycling program in place right now but we do want to expand it,” she said. “We have applied for grant funding to expand our compost take-in system so that we can compost things more quickly which will allow us to take in more materials. So if we are able to expand our green waste collection we’ll have the capacity to receive those materials and process them in a timely manner.”
In order to jump start San Diego recycling efforts, a series of meetings are under way to develop a zero waste plan. California says cities have to recycle 75 percent of waste by 2020.
Sapphire Energy Names New President/CEO
Sapphire Energy Inc. a company involved in algae cultivation technologies, announced the appointment of James Levine as president, CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors. Levine will be replacing Cynthia “CJ” Warner, who will remain chairman of the company’s board of directors. Levine is a biotechnology veteran, and former president and CEO of Verenium Corp., an industrial biotechnology company that develops commercial-scale enzyme solutions using proprietary and patented technologies for industries worldwide.
SANDAG Board Approves Bond Sale
The board of the San Diego Association of Governments has authorized the issuance of $350 million in bonds to help fund a variety of transit, highway and local street projects over the next few years, including the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project to extend trolley service to University City. The bonds will be secured by tax revenues from TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation approved by San Diego County voters. Two national bond rating agencies — Standard & Poor’s and Fitch — have assigned AAA ratings to the bonds that SANDAG plans to sell this summer.
Comic-Con Leaves 23 Tons of Trash
The Downtown San Diego Partnership-funded group that helps keep the area tidy cleaned up more than 23 tons of refuse during Comic-Con International’s four-day run, the organization announced Monday. Members of the partnership’s Clean & Safe Team removed six times more garbage than normal. They also picked up nearly 3,400 aluminum cans, which is three times more than usual, removed 4,900 stickers and collected about 18,600 fliers and posters.
The Clean & Safe program typically removes seven tons of trash and empties trash cans about 2,000 times in a seven-day period, according to the partnership. Team members also provide safety patrols and escorts throughout Downtown.
“Once again, our Clean & Safe team went above and beyond to ensure that Downtown looked its very best,” said Bahija Hamraz, executive director of Clean & Safe. “The Clean & Safe employees maneuvered through hundreds of thousands of Comic-Con attendees and spectators to pick up trash, stickers and other debris left behind, ensuring that the annual event did not negatively impact the community and Downtown property owners.”
— City News Service
Fisher & Phillips Partner in New Practice Group
Jim Fessenden, partner in the San Diego office of Fisher & Phillips, is one of 26 attorneys in a new Government Solutions Practice Group established by the law firm. The practice focuses on labor and employment legislation and regulations in areas such as: workplace discrimination; employee privacy; wage and hour; employee compensation; trade secrets; employment contracts and terms; unionization and organization efforts; health care; immigration; workplace accommodations; employee leave; workers’ compensation; workplace safety; affirmative action; and employee benefits.
Innovative Encinitas Lettuce Grower
To be Honored at White House Ceremony
The founder of an Encinitas-based firm that grows lettuce inside climate-controlled greenhouses without soil will be among 15 people honored today by the White House and the Department of Agriculture in Washington.
Pierre Sleiman, the founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, is among the “Champions of Change” being honored for doing extraordinary things to assist the next generation of farmers and ranchers, according to the White House.
Sleiman is a member of the board of directors of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and business from UC Riverside and a master’s degree in business from UC San Diego.
The Champions of Change program was created by the Obama administration as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals, businesses and organizations doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
Go Green Agriculture operates greenhouses on the former Eicke Ranch property and sell it’s Happy Living brand organic lettuce in Barons Market, Sprouts and Whole Foods, among other retailers.
The company harvests year-round by controlling light, temperature, humidity, nutrients, carbon dioxide, shade, air circulation and more in order to provide the optimal growing environment.
— Times of San Diego with City News Service