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Daily Business Report-Nov. 4, 2014

Daily Business Report-Nov. 4, 2014

Rendering of the David Franklin artwork that will be attached to the parking garage at the Lane Field North hotel project site at the San Diego waterfront.

$1 Million ‘Ripples’ Arwork to Grace the Waterfront

A $1 million artwork titled “Ripples” that will wrap around an above-ground parking garage at the site of the $130 million Lane Field North hotel project will be borne by LFN Developers LLC, the company building the hotel. It is a Port of San Diego requirement that tenants on tidelands allocate a percentage of their estimated development budget toward public art.

The Board of Port Commissioners approved the artwork on Oct. 14.

The $130 million Lane Field North hotel project is under construction at North Harbor Drive at Broadway, a site known as the first home of the San Diego Padres. It will feature 17 floors, 400 hotel rooms, a fitness center and a swimming pool in addition to 27,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The art piece consists of a series of fixed blades of aluminum that were individually cut in patterns that resemble the graphs created by daily charts that depict rising and falling tides.

“The neutral color and reflectiveness of the aluminum will create a visually kinetic structure that will change throughout the day and look different depending on where a viewer is standing,” said Yvonne Wise, the Port of San Diego public art curator. “We believe the artwork will be a unique optical experience and become an unmistakable landmark near the waterfront.”

“Ripples” artist David Franklin has completed a variety of public and private commissions that have been exhibited in New York, Seattle, Alaska and Oregon.

The project also includes a developer-funded public park on the east side of North Harbor Drive. The park, along with additional public areas on the hotel site, will add nearly two acres of public space to the waterfront.

 The Lane Field North hotel project is expected to be open in 2016.

San Diego Economy Undergoes

‘Goldilocks’ Recovery from Recession

San Diego’s economy has fully recovered from the “great recession” with a gross domestic product growing to a projected $206.4 billion by the end of this year — the highest level ever recorded —  according to an analysis by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

San Diego economic recovery

San Diego economic recovery

According to revised estimates of metropolitan area gross domestic product (GDP) by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, San Diego’s economy reached $197.9 billion in 2013. Based on recent national and statewide estimates of economic activity, the institute projects San Diego’s economy will expand by 4.3 percent by the end of 2014 to $206.4 billion.

Despite San Diego showing overall record levels of economic activity, many sectors remain far from recovery, the institute said. According to BEA figures, information, construction, food services, accommodations, and retail trade have still not recovered. On the other hand, local sectors that have more than recovered and set record levels of activity include professional and business services, real estate and leasing, and health care.

Government and manufacturing sectors in San Diego continually expanded throughout the recession, and only faltered in 2013. The continual growth of these two sectors is largely attributed to large expansion of military and defense expenditures over the past decade. The decrease in the past year resulted from government budget and “sequestration” cuts particularly impacting San Diego.

“These numbers underscore important changes ongoing in San Diego below the surface,” says Kelly Cunningham, economist for the institute. “The region continues to transform from largely defense and goods based production to more services and technology oriented applications for economic activity.”

According to the institute, San Diego’s post-recession recovery appears relatively stable, not as robust as some similarly sized metro areas, but certainly much stronger than others. “Perhaps we can label it a ‘Goldilocks’ recovery for San Diego — not too hot and not too cold,” said Cunningham.

Ebola and Pandemics Topics of Conference

In less that a month a virus that few in the U.S had ever heard grabbed headlines and dominated cable news for weeks. This was not the first time Americans work up to a potential pandemic from a mysterious pathogen. Thirty years ago it was AIDS.

Both are spread by chiefly by contact with a victim’s blood and body fluids. What they have most in common — they are byproducts of globalization and will be the topic of a unique presentation Friday, Nov. 21, at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. The presentation “AIDS, Ebola, Hepatitis: Can We Avoid Another Pandemic?” is part of the four-day “Make It In America” Conference, hosted by County Supervisor Dave Roberts and the County of San Diego, along with the Asian Heritage Society. Other participants include Alliant International University, UCSD, CONNECT of San Diego, SDG&E, SCORE, U.S. Small Business Administration, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, North San Diego Business Chamber, Times of San Diego, and Philippine American Chamber of Commerce.

Roberts will kick off the four days, while Barbara Bry, newly appointed member of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will outline the importance of San Diego and the region as one of the nation’s top hubs for innovation.

Scripps Corporate Plaza

Scripps Corporate Plaza

Dempsey Construction Handles Major

Renovation at Scripps Corporate Plaza

Dempsey Construction is handling a comprehensive renovation of the Scripps Corporate Plaza, a 152,353-square-foot multi-building office campus in Scripps Ranch at 10650-10680 Treena St.

Project Manager Paul Prellwitz said the scope of the project work includes the demolition of an existing two-story office building, which will be converted to parking.

The two other larger office towers will be enhanced with new architectural elements on the building facades, new lobby and common areas, interior building upgrades, new on-site amenities, new site landscaping and resurfaced parking lot.

Property improvements are currently under way with completion scheduled for December.

Sanford-Burnham Receives $1 Million Gift

Karen and Stuart Tanz at the Sanford-Burnham annual gala following the announcement of their $1 million donation.

Karen and Stuart Tanz at the Sanford-Burnham annual gala following the announcement of their $1 million donation.

The Tanz family has awarded Sanford-Burnham a $1 million gift to establish an international collaboration between Sanford-Burnham and the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto to accelerate the development of new therapeutics to treat neurodegenerative diseases.

The gift, a grant from Karen and Stuart Tanz of Toronto, Canada, and Rancho Santa Fe, will provide funding to launch an ongoing collaboration that brings together the two organizations’ strengths.

The collaboration will bring together the cutting-edge resources of Sanford-Burnham’s drug discovery platform, including ultra-high throughput screening robotics and advanced drug discovery and drug optimization technologies, with the Tanz Centre’s expertise in neurobiology, preclinical testing of prototype therapeutics, and diagnostics for identifying and monitoring individuals at risk.

 Election Could Have Lowest

Turnout in More than 30 Years

Voter turnout for today’sgeneral election in San Diego County could be the lowest in more than 30 years and herald a trend of low participation, according to a report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The study found that turnout in the county should be somewhere around 34-38 percent of registered voters. The projection is down from the author’s earlier estimate of 42-46 percent.

“Our earlier projection of a shift from a ‘red,’ Republican-dominated summer election to a ‘purple’ mixed fall election has not materialized, nor have the infrequent, younger voters who skip primaries and show up for general contests,” said Vince Vasquez of the institute. “While this may be good news for local GOP candidates on the ballot, a greater public dialogue is needed about the real troubling undercurrents of this phenomenon.”

Since 1982, turnout in San Diego County for general elections in which a governor’s race leads the ballot has ranged from 48-67 percent, Vasquez said.

He said a combination of demographic shifts, technological advances and electoral reforms might send the region and California as a whole into a new period of low-turnout elections.

— Times of San Diego

Ailing Project Wildlife Rescued By

Merger With S.D. Humane Society

Project Wildlife was founded in San Diego in 1972 to rescue, rehabilitate and release San Diego’s wildlife and to provide wildlife education to the San Diego community.

Project Wildlife was founded in San Diego in 1972 to rescue, rehabilitate and release San Diego’s wildlife and to provide wildlife education to the San Diego community.

The merging of Project Wildlife with the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA has been completed, the Humane Society announced. The work of Project Wildlife, which cares for orphaned and injured animals, will continue as a Humane Society program. It was revealed two months ago that the organizations were having merger discussions.

“All animals matter, and we’ve always considered our partnership with Project Wildlife vital to providing care to all animals in need, not just those who are our home companions,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the Humane Society. “We’ve worked together for many years to transport injured animals and connect citizens with crucial wildlife services, so integrating our teams was a natural step.”

According to the Humane Society, Project Wildlife had struggled to secure consistent funding for its lifesaving programs.

In the spring, Project Wildlife would take in up to 300 injured or sick animals each week and, as the only local emergency trauma center for injured wildlife, always had to keep its doors open.

The San Diego Humane Society has already combined forces this year with the Escondido Humane Society and PAWS San Diego, which served elderly and low- income residents with their pet needs.

— City News Service

 San Diego AMA Chapter Wins National Awards

The San Diego chapter of the American Marketing Association (San Diego AMA) has won two national chapter Excellence awards (from a field of 74 chapters) in the organization’s Communication and Leadership Special Merit Award categories for the years 2013-2014. As a result of the chapter’s outstanding 2013-2014 years, it has received both a Communications Excellence award and the Leadership Special Merit award.

The Chapter Excellence Awards program was established in 1974 to recognize and reward outstanding achievements in leadership, membership, programming, and communications among AMA professional chapters.

Southwest Strategies Moves to Downtown San Diego

Southwest Strategies,LLC, has moved from its Tierrasanta offices to the Wells Fargo building in Downtown San Diego. The relocation provides the firm with additional office space, as well as the opportunity to be more centrally located to better serve its growing client list, said company chairman Alan Ziegaus.

The firm — with nearly 30 employees — will occupy a portion of the first floor of the building. The new space will allow for additional offices and conference rooms to better accommodate meetings and media training sessions, and other engagements.

Southwest Strategies was previously headquartered in Scripps Ranch before moving to its location off Santo Road in Tierrasanta in 2006.

Personnel Moves

Welk Resorts Names President and CEO

Welk Resorts announced the promotion of Jon Fredricks to the position of president and chief executive officer. President since 1999, Fredricks has led the hospitality company during its greatest period of growth and expansion. Today Welk Resorts operates vacation resorts with theater and golf in Escondido; golf in Palm Springs; skiing in Lake Tahoe; a luxury beach resort in Cabo San Lucas; as well as one with a theater in Branson.

“Jon has built an incredible team of individuals who believe in our mission of ‘Creating Vacation Memories to Cherish for a Lifetime,’” said Welk Resorts Chairman of the Board Larry Welk, whose father Lawrence Welk, opened the first Welk Resort in the San Diego area in 1964. The company currently has 1,600 employees and 1077 vacation units.

Balestreri Potocki & Holmes Adds Associates

Le-Mai Dam and Erin L. Benler-Ward have joined the law firm of Balestreri Potocki & Holmes as associates.

Dam focuses her practice on representing owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, and product manufacturers in construction pre-litigation and litigation matters involving residential and commercial properties.

Benler-Ward represents owners, general contractors and subcontractors in a variety of construction pre-litigation and litigation matters involving residential and commercial properties.

Our Most Admired Companies

Our Most Admired Companies



SD METRO is soliciting nominations for 2014’s Most Admired Companies in San Diego County. Send us your nomination of a company you believe demonstrates the highest level of honesty, integrity, business practices and service to its industry and community. Nominations may be emailed to Rebeca Page at or Bob Page at The deadline is Nov. 28.

Our Most Admired Companies report will be published in December.






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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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