Daily Business Report — Oct. 9, 2014
Large Industrial Complex Planned For
Oceanside’s Ocean Ranch Business Park
OCEANSIDE — McDonald Property Group, an industrial development company headquartered in Newport Beach, has formed a development agreement with an entity owned by First Industrial Realty Trust to develop La Pacifica II, a three-building, 237,275-square-foot industrial park.
The $26 million project represents the inaugural development for McDonald Property Group, a company formed by Bruce McDonald in 2013. McDonald was previously co-founder of Master Development Corporation and U.S. managing director for DEXUS Property Group. Bruce McDonald’s previous industrial developments in San Diego County include North County Corporate Center in Vista, a 493,000-square-foot industrial complex that recently sold for $57 million.
The project is located in the master planned Ocean Ranch business park on a 15.8-acre site that represents the last industrial parcel larger than 10 acres in North County. Ocean Ranch is home to Coca Cola, Taylor Made and Genentech, among others. Newly planned facilities for US Foods and FedEx are located nearby.
The project will consist of three light warehouse manufacturing buildings that measure 108,413 square feet, 63,262 square feet and 65,600 square feet. The buildings can accommodate single users or up to 12 tenants in varying sizes with target tenant sizes in the 20,000- to 40,000-square-foot range.
MTS Ready to Open $44 Million
Mid-City Rapid Bus Project
San Diego transit and planning agencies today will celebrate completion of the $44 million Mid-City Rapid project, which starting Sunday will provide fast bus service between San Diego State University and Downtown San Diego.
The new service, Rapid 215, will provide all day, every day service at a 10-minute frequency during the peak periods. It will be faster than regular buses because of transit signal priority, transit-only lanes, and custom-designed stations.
Rapid 215 is part of a growing network of high-frequency, limited-stop services that Sandag, the county’s regional planning agency, is building in partnership with the Metropolitan Transit System and other local agencies.
Dedicated lanes built in the center median of Park Boulevard between University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard are the first in the City of San Diego. Other improvements include new curb ramps, sidewalks, next vehicle arrival signs, and curb pop-outs that allow transit vehicles to easily merge back into traffic.
Service will begin Sunday with free rides all day.
The fare for Rapid 215 will be $2.25 one way or $5 for a 1-day pass that enables transfers to other Rapid routes, MTS bus services, and the trolley. A monthly transit pass is $72 for adults, $36 for youth, and $18 for seniors.
A growing number of cities are investing in bus rapid transit systems which utilize special lanes and other technology to speed service.
— Times of San Diego
Researchers Receive $1.3 Million Award
From the National Science Foundation
Researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego have received a three-year, $1.3 million award from the National Science Foundation to develop a web-based resource, called SeedMe, that lets scientists seamlessly share and access preliminary results and transient data from research on a variety of platforms, including mobile devices.
SeedMe is short for Swiftly Encode, Explore and Disseminate My Experiments. The new award is from the NSF’s Data Infrastructure Building Blocks program, part of the foundation’s Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering.
$1.1 Million Approved for Sidewalk
And Pedestrian Safety Projects in City
A plan to redirect $1.1 million in unused federal grants for sidewalk and pedestrian safety projects in San Diego received a go-ahead Wednesday from the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee. Under the plan, eight sidewalks in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods will be fixed up, and four signs that tell drivers how fast they’re going will be installed. The City Council as a whole has to sign off before work can begin.
The city intends to use more Community Development Block Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on infrastructure projects. Most CDBG money is allocated to local nonprofit agencies to pay for social service programs.
The projects are slated to take place near schools, libraries, recreation centers and transit stations — areas with a lot of pedestrians.
“I really think we’re witnessing a sea-change in terms of the political will to address our massive infrastructure backlog, which could be upwards of $2 billion at this point,” said committee chairman Mark Kersey said. “We obviously need to do more, and will be doing more, and I’m very encouraged by our progress so far.”
The leftover CDBG funds came from allocations in recent years that went unused for various reasons. City officials are preparing a second round of CDBG funding for similar projects, which could be worth around $4 million.
— City News Service
USD Economic Indicators Rise in August
The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.3 percent in August. Four of the six components were up during the month, with initial claims for unemployment insurance and consumer confidence sharply positive and help wanted advertising and the outlook for the national economy up modestly. On the downside, there was a big drop in residential units authorized by building permits and a very small decline in local stock prices.
August’s increase was the sixth gain in the USD Index in the first eight months of 2014. The Index started the year strongly, had two bad months in the spring, and has now increased for three consecutive months.
The outlook is for continued solid growth in San Diego’s economy at least through the first half of 2015. The local economy has done well so far this year, with the county on a pace to add almost 31,000 jobs. If that pace continues, it would be the third consecutive year with an increase of more than 30,000 jobs. The last time that happened was during the period 1997 –2000, which was the “Golden Age” of job growth in San Diego.
Workshop on California Completes Tax Credit
San Diego Regional EDC and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) are co-hosting a free workshop on the new California Competes Tax Credit on Monday, Oct. 13, at 2 p.m. in the Corporate Education Center at San Diego City College, 1551 C St., San Diego. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), will give opening remarks. Small, medium and large businesses are encouraged to attend.
The California Competes Program provides upwards of $151 million in tax credits during this fiscal year for businesses of all sizes that want to expand or relocate to California.
Education Job Fair Set for Oct. 18
Brandman University will host a free education job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the San Diego County Office of Education, 6401 Linda Vista Road, San Diego. Several school districts will have human resource representatives on hand to review resumes and conduct interviews, including Escondido Union, Fallbrook Union, Grossmont Union, La Mesa Spring Valley Schools, Poway Unified, Ramona Unified, San Diego Unified, SDCOE Juvenile Court and Community Schools, Sweetwater Unified and Vista Unified.
Job seekers should wear professional attire, bring copies of credentials and come prepared to be interviewed. The event is free to attend.
Westcore Properties Purchases
Office Complex in Berlin, Germany
San Diego-based Westcore Properties’ Europe Division has purchased a historic office complex in Berlin, Germany, its first acquisition in the German commercial real estate marketplace. The 395,036-square-foot building complex — named Anthropolis — is located in the Reinickendorf area of Berlin and features six buildings, two of which are designated as historic. Westcore plans to upgrade and rebrand the office park in the coming months.
Westcore currently owns and operates a portfolio of 2 million square feet of industrial and office assets throughout Western Europe. It maintains offices in London, Geneva and Berlin and Amsterdam.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to Promote
New Book at San Diego Event on Oct. 15
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will be in San Diego on Oct. 15 to appear at a program promoting her book, “Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World.” She will appear in a conversation moderated by attorneys Johanna Schiavoni and Sarah Boot, and sign copies of her book. The event is at 12:30 p.m.
The event is presented by Warwick’s, UCLA School of Law Alumni, Run Women Run, California Western School of Law, American Constitution Society San Diego Lawyer Chapter, and the ACS Law Student Chapter at Cal Western University. It will be at the California Western School of Law auditorium, 350 Cedar St. in Downtown San Diego.
Admission is $28 and includes one copy of the book, or admission is $43 and includes one copy of the book and a box lunch.
For more information, call the Warwick’s Book Department at (858) 454-0347 for more information.
Brand Diego Awards Set for Oct. 23
The Brand Diego Awards, recognizing outstanding San Diego brands and the marketing and advertising professionals who build those brands, will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m. at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Awards will be presented in 16 categories, including Brand of the Year and Agency of the Year. SDX, formerly the San Diego Ad Club, is event sponsor.
The Paula E. Sullivan Award also will be presented — a career achievement award for individuals who have demonstrated active involvement and dedication to the San Diego advertising and graphic design community.
Cost to attend is $115 for members, $135 for nonmembers and $95 for students. To RSVP, visit www.SanDiegoX.org.
S.D. Council Panel Recommends
Mandatory Water Use Guidelines
The San Diego City Council Environment Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend that the full council adopt mandatory water use guidelines for the city. The council will vote on the recommendation later this month.
According to San Diego Coastkeeper Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, the vote is a strong step in the right direction to conserve water in the face of uncertain future water supply and will be most effective if the measures stay in place permanently.
San Diego Researchers to Receive
Funds to Mine Biomedical Data
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Translational Science Institute will receive more than $4.4 million as part of a National Institutes of Health initiative called “Big Data to Knowledge.” The funding will be part of a new Center for Excellence for Big Data Computing at UCLA, one of the 12 new centers nationwide announced by the National Institutes of Health.
Over the course of the four-year grant, Scripps Research Institute will receive roughly $3.8 million and Scripps Translational Science Institute more than $600,000.
“Today’s biomedical research is generating a huge amount of data,” said Andrew Su, a TSRI associate professor and faculty member at STSI who is a co-director of the new center. “In fields such as genomics and proteomics, researchers require increasingly powerful tools to make sense of their findings and extract valuable information that could lead to improvements in human health.”
Sullivan Hill Adds Attorney Associate
Sullivan Hill, a San Diego business and trial law firms, has added Priyanka Talukdar as an associate in the firm’s San Diego office. Talukdar will focus her practice primarily in the areas of international trade disputes and business transactions in South and Southeast Asia as a member of the firm’s commercial litigation and business transactions practice groups.
Prior to joining Sullivan Hill, Talukdar worked in a range of cross-jurisdictional matters for firms in Singapore and India including commercial and contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, joint venture disputes, derivative actions, trademark disputes, and construction disputes. She served as an associate for India’s judicial training institute, the National Judicial Academy. Talukdar is a licensed attorney in India and is fluent in several Indian languages, including Hindi.
‘Tactical Urbanism’ Gaining
Momentum in San Diego
Leaders in San Diego have spent a lot of time and effort on proposing big development projects like the Convention Center expansion or a proposed downtown stadium. Sometimes those plans don’t pan out.
As an alternative, some community advocates, artists and architects are proposing city development on a much smaller scale.
For example, the city’s second parklet recently opened in University Heights and construction is underway for a temporary park Downtown on the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street.
Tiny seating areas, green spaces, and public art are part of a movement called “tactical urbanism” which aims to make a small part of a city more livable and enjoyable without it breaking the bank. Now, after years of feet-dragging, it’s an idea that the city of San Diego is beginning to embrace.
But as San Diego City Beat recently reported, planners could run into some red tape to get these mini-improvement projects off the ground. That’s why the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a leader in the movement, is working with city leaders to follow what other big cities have done and streamline the permitting process.