Daily Business Report-Oct. 17, 2014
Artist’s rendering of One Paseo’s main street. (Courtesy Kilroy Realty)
Planning Commission Approves
Controversial One Paseo Project
The San Diego Planning Commission on Thursday approved Kilroy Realty’s controversial One Paseo project and sent it to the City Council with a series of refinements.
The commission voted 5-0 with two members recusing themselves. Chariman Tim Golba described the 11 refinements as generally reducing “the bulk and scale” of the project, but the commission left it to Kilroy to develop specific changes before the project comes before the City Council.
The project, which has been criticized by residents and nearby businesses, would be built on 23 acres of vacant land on the southwest corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real in Carmel Valley.
In August the developer presented a 30 percent reduction in density, lower building heights, an increase in open space and improvements to traffic flow.
“We’re grateful for the Planning Commission’s thorough examination of One Paseo and unanimous recommendation to move the project forward to the City Council with 11 refinements,” the developer said in a statement after the vote. “Kilroy agreed at the hearing to these project improvements, which will enhance One Paseo’s benefits for the community.
“We are gratified by the commissioners’ acknowledgement that One Paseo clearly implements the General Plan’s City of Villages strategy and is the very best use for this last undeveloped piece of land in Carmel Valley. ”
The project is expected to come before the City Council in January.
— Times of San Diego
San Diego County Jobless Rate Drops to 5.9 Percent
San Diego County’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September, down from 6.2 percent in August and below the 7.3 percent jobless rate in September of last year, the state Employment Development Department reported today.
Nonfarm jobs were down by 2,800 over the month, but up 33,300 over the year.
California’s jobless rate for September was 6.9 percent and the national jobless rate was 5.7 percent.
Between August and September:
Total nonfarm employment declined from 1,348,300 to 1,345,500, a loss of 2,800 jobs. Agricultural employment remained unchanged over the month.
• Leisure and hospitality recorded a month-over seasonal decline, down 5,700 jobs. Accommodation and food services (down 3,100) contributed to more than half of the job losses in this sector, primarily from food services and drinking places (down 2,300). Arts, entertainment, and recreation decreased by 2,600 jobs.
• Five other sectors also reported month-over job losses: construction (down 1,400); educational and health services (down 1,200); financial activities (down 700); other services (down 300); and information (down 100).
• Four sectors added jobs over the month. The most significant job growth came from government (up 4,600). Local government (up 4,300) accounted for more than 90 percent of the job growth in this sector, primarily from seasonal growth in local government education. State government added 400 jobs, while federal government declined by 100 jobs.
Between September 2013 and September 2014:
Total nonfarm employment increased by 33,300 jobs, or 2.5 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 300 jobs, or 2.9 percent.
• Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over gain, adding 9,300 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services (up 8,900) accounted for roughly 95 percent of the job growth in this sector. Management of companies and enterprises added 900 jobs, while administrative and support and waste services declined by 500 jobs.
• Eight other sectors also added jobs over the year. The most notable job growth came from trade, transportation, and utilities (up 6,400) and construction (up 6,300).
• One nonfarm industry recorded year-over job losses: financial activities (down 500).
San Diego County Innovation Economy Grows
Connect’s 2013 Innovation Report shows the growing strength of the innovation economy in San Diego County.
Connect CEO Greg McKee reported these highlights of the report:
• 2013 saw the establishment of 412 new startups in San Diego — that’s the most startups in San Diego since 2007.
• Over 50 percent of those startups came through the Connect program.
• Over 1,200 new direct jobs were created in San Diego in 2013 out of our startup and innovation economy companies. Our innovation companies in San Diego directly employ over 143,000 people in the county.
• For each direct job in the innovation economy, another 1.6 jobs are created in San Diego — that’s another 229,440 jobs.
• The average tech wage is almost $110,000 annually, an almost $20,000 increase since 2010, whereas the average wage in San Diego is about $48,000.
• San Diego County is the No.1 county in California for National Institutes of Health grant funding with a total of $960 million.
• San Diego County was also the number one county in Southern California for patents granted.
Minimum Wage Hike Opponents Have
Enough Signatures to Force Council’s Hand
Opponents of San Diego’s move to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour collected enough valid signatures to force the City Council to either repeal the ordinance or place the issue to an upcoming ballot, City Clerk Elizabeth Maland announced Thursday. Whichever direction the council chooses at a meeting on Monday, the first of the scheduled hikes in the city’s lowest pay rate — set for Jan. 1 — won’t happen.
The council will consider the issue Monday, during the session slated to begin at 2 p.m. — Times of San Diego
Mayoral Forum Slated for Oct. 20
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association will ask mayors from around the county about minimum wage, the drought, a new Chargers stadium and other issues during an Oct. 20 Mayoral Forum. It will be held beginning at 11 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis & Marina at 333 West Harbor Drive in Downtown San Diego.
Mayors Kevin Faulconer of San Diego, Bill Wells of El Cajon, Jim Desmond of San Marcos and Ron Morrison of National City will participate.
The cost is $55 for association members and $70 for nonmembers. Register online at http://www.sdcta.org/Events/Event_Registration.asp.
Rize Eagles LLC to Build Apartments in College Area
Rize Eagles LLC has purchased a 1.8-acre parcel of land at 6244 El Cajon Blvd. in the College area to build an apartment complex with up to 130 units. The land was purchased from the Carpenter Family Trust for $3.5 million. The site is currently occupied by the Campus Medical-Dental Center. Colliers International and Berkshire Hathaway were the brokers in the transaction.
Dempsey Construction Finishes Classroom Renovation
Dempsey Construction has completed a renovation 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 27 classrooms and additional offices were upgraded and expanded to feature larger learning areas, all new interior finishes, as well as more natural light and ventilation. The exterior improvements included new glazing systems, exterior building finishes, landscaping, hardscape and collaboration areas for the students.
Safdie Rabines of San Diego was the design architect.
National University Receives $2.1 Million Grant
National University has been awarded a $2.1 million federal grant to expand its Pathways for Achieving Student Success program (PASS), a collaborative effort between Student Services and Academics to provide a comprehensive support system for at-risk undergraduate students.
The grant is from the U.S. Department of Education/Office of Postsecondary Education Strengthening Institutions Program.
The program will centralize the university’s intervention efforts to more systematically identify at-risk students and behaviors through immediate and long-term intervention support services. New learning technologies will be used in introductory and select advanced courses.
Batu Biologics Awarded Exclusive License
From UC San Diego for Cancer Vaccine
Batu Biologics, an immunotherapy company developing an anti-angiogenic cancer vaccine, announced the signing of a license agreement with the Regents of the University of California granting exclusive rights to novel peptide drugs developed at UC San Diego that have been proven to stimulate cancer-killing immune responses. Batu Biologics plans to utilize the licensed technology to enhance the potency of the antigen-specific immune response induced by the company’s novel ValloVax lung cancer vaccine. The company also plans to commercialize the UC San Diego technology as a stand-alone treatment for patients with melanoma.
“Productive and beneficial relationships with cutting-edge pharmaceutical companies such as Batu Biologics help speed further development of promising new drugs to those most in need,” said Sandra Brown, vice chancellor for research at UC San Diego. “We look forward to this collaboration.”
Illumina Selects 3 Startups for Accelerator Program
llumina has selected three startup companies — Encoded Genomics, EpiBiome and Xcell Biosciences — for the inaugural funding cycle of the Illumina accelerator program launched in February. The program is focused on creating an innovation ecosystem for the genomics industry and is run out of the San Francisco Mission Bay R&D facility.
The Illumina Accelerator will provide these startups with seed investment, business guidance, access to Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents, and lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area during the six-month funding cycle. The Accelerator is led by Amanda Cashin, former senior vice president of life science at Alexandria Real Estate Equities.
Celebration of Innovation Begins in Tijuana
TIJUANA — Dignitaries from Mexico and the United States inaugurated Tijuana Innovadora on Thursday, a joyous 10-day celebration of innovation in the border region and beyond.
In welcoming remarks, the co-founder of the biennial conference, José Galicot, said the civil society first created the event four years ago. “We wanted to build, together with San Diego, a space to show cutting-edge technology to the world,” said Galicot.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said that even though San Diego and Tijuana were separated by a border, the cities have developed into strong partners in a “megaregion” to compete in the world. “I want San Diegans to know what an opportunity Tijuana represents for us,” he said.
The conference, housed at Tijuana’s Cultural Center, presents more than 200 speakers and several special events focused on food, fashion and technology. The goals are to showcase innovation in the region, promote cross-border business opportunities and to highlight the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the United States.
Today, three food innovators will share their genius: Spanish Chef José Andrés, known as “the king of tapas”; José Iturriaga, an influential food historian; and Carlos Ruiz, the inventor of “the Nespresso of tortillas.” They set the table for the weekend’s Batalla Culinaria, featuring 24 of the leading chefs from both sides of the border.
There will also be a panel discussion featuring several leading researchers and professors from UCSD, all with roots in Mexico, among various keynote addresses, lectures and chats.
The international event runs through Oct. 26.
Water Use in County Drops by 4 Percent
Water use in San Diego County dropped 4 percent in September compared to the same period last year, even though temperatures were higher than average and far higher than they were last year, the San Diego County Water Authority reports. The latest figures indicate that residents and businesses across the region are conserving water; however, more water savings are necessary to preserve stored water reserves in case serious drought conditions continue into 2015, the agency said.
The year-over-year reduction in potable water use of 4 percent in September is based on figures reported to the San Diego County Water Authority by its 24 member agencies. The total savings is approximately 782 million gallons – enough to serve about 13,300 residents for a year. It adds to savings of approximately 1.2 billion gallons in August 2014, enough to serve about 20,000 residents for a year.
“Our collective efforts are making a difference,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s board. “We need to build on that success by reducing outdoor water use during the fall and winter in case drought conditions persist. Every drop we save today is a drop we have in reserves if our imported water supplies are reduced in 2015.”
The average daily temperatures in September 2014 were about 5 degrees above normal, while temperatures were only slightly above normal in September 2013.
Brown Law Group 2 Attorneys to Staff
Brown Law Group, a San Diegp business litigation law firm, has hired Arlene R. Yang as of counsel and Vanessa Negrete as an associate attorney.
Yang’s practice focuses on employment law and litigation and she will handle employment matters at the state and federal levels, as well as before administrative agencies such as the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Yang was previously with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, both at the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Negrete is a labor and employment law practitioner specializing in litigation and the counseling of employers in day-to-day workplace issues and providing proactive solutions to legal problems and questions. She has represented employers throughout California in matters involving wage and hour lawsuits and class actions, wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, and violation of the ADA.