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Daily Business Report-Dec. 16, 2014

Daily Business Report-Dec. 16, 2014

Bosa Development has purchased the nine-story building at 1620 Fifth Ave. in Downtown San Diego for $18.5 million.

Douglas Wilson Companies Sells Downtown

Headquarters Building for $18.5 Million

Following a renovation and lease-up, Douglas Wilson Companies has sold its Downtown San Diego headquarters building at 1620 Fifth Ave. to Bosa Development for $18.5 million.

Currently 95 percent occupied, the 80,651-square-foot, nine-story office building includes a six-level parking structure with 212 spaces. It is bounded by Fourth, Fifth and Cedar streets.

Built in 1985 by Robert F. Driver as headquarters for the Driver Insurance Co., it was only 35 percent leased when Douglas Wilson Companies purchased it in 2010, said Nicholas Wilson, the company’s managing director. Douglas Wilson Companies, which has signage on all four sides of the building, will retain its space there.

“When we acquired the building, it was part of a strategic shift for our company from working with properties in receivership to a more traditional real estate base,” said Wilson. “We looked at its potential and renovated the building with an eye to attracting creative companies like marketing and architectural firms and have created an attractive tenant base for the new owners.”

He said DWC’s recent acquisitions include property in Tempe, Ariz., where they are planning to build a 270-room Kimpton Hotel and 280,000 square feet of office space. They also purchased 50 acres in Spring Valley, which is being entitled for multifamily and attached single-family homes.

Thomas Olson and Alan Scott of Douglas Wilson Companies and Doug Ceresia and Josh Buchholz of NAI San Diego represented the sellers and Bosa represented itself.

Port of San Diego Launches

Search for a New CEO

The Port of San Diego has hired executive search firm Boyden to conduct a nationwide search for candidates for the port’s next chief executive officer to replace Wayne Darbeau, who was fired on July 25. John Bolduc, the agency’s vice president of public safety, has been acting CEO since the firing of Darbeau.

According to a port-issued statement at that time, Darbeau was placed on paid administrative leave through the end of this year, at which point he will no longer be employed. Darbeau, who has held the job for about four years, got in hot water when he sent an email to Sharon Bernie-Cloward, the president of the San Diego Port Tenants Association, asking if its members could help in his son’s search for a summer job. He withdrew the request when the message became public.

It was later reported that Darbeau’s son and his best friend had obtained summer jobs with Pasha Automotive, a major port tenant, two years ago.

“Our acting president/CEO and his leadership team are doing an outstanding job, so our board will take whatever time is needed to make the right choice,” said Port Chairman Bob Nelson.

Possible Brown Act Violation Causes

Re-Vote on City Council President

The San Diego City Council will hold a special meeting today to re-vote on which of its members should serve as president, due to a possible violation of the state’s open-meeting law.

Sherri Lightner was selected Wednesday to succeed Todd Gloria, who served in the position for two years but was unable to muster a majority of his colleagues to remain in the post.

At the beginning of Monday’s council meeting, Lightner said allegations were raised about whether improper discussions were held before the meeting. She did not elaborate, and no other council members commented.

However, NBC San Diego reported Thursday that a series of individual meetings among council members could be considered a violation of the Brown Act.

Lightner said a re-vote was scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Her nominations for president pro tem and a slate of appointments to council committees and outside agencies will also be heard at the special meeting, she said.

Even though she scheduled the re-vote, she continued to run Monday’s council meeting.

— City News Service

UC San Diego Vice Chancellor

Takes Post With City of Hope

Kristin Bertell

Kristin Bertell

Kristin Bertell, vice chancellor of heal sciences development at UC San Diego, has taken a job as chief philanthropy officer at City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. She assumes the position on Feb. 23, 2015.

At UC San Diego, Bertell led a team that raised $320 million in private philanthropic support –the largest fundraising goal ever met for UC San Diego Health Sciences — and served as the primary development lead in securing a landmark $100 million donation. That gift supported the establishment of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center.

Prior to UC San Diego, Bertell served as senior vice president of the Greenwood Company, a San Francisco-based consulting firm providing professional fundraising management expertise for nonprofit organizations, and as vice president of institute relations for the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla.


Council Agrees to Waive $1.5M Fee

To Bring All-Star Game to San Diego

The San Diego City Council agreed Monday to waive up to $1.5 million in fees to help the Padres bring baseball’s All-Star game to Petco Park in 2016.

The Padres submitted a bid to Major League Baseball last month to host the annual contest, which is normally held in the middle of July.

The fee waivers would be for things like permits, police and fire protection and other city functions that are financed by the city’s general fund. The Padres would be billed for any such expenses exceeding $1.5 million. The team would also cover expenses that fall within what city officials call “enterprise funds,” like code enforcement and building inspections, according to city documents.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig is expected to announce a location for the 87th All-Star game before he retires next month.

The Padres, who haven’t hosted an All-Star game since 1992, are believed within baseball circles to be in line to host the event soon. That may be because Petco Park now features the “Selig Hall of Fame Plaza,” a move that was widely interpreted as a blatant attempt to help the commissioner decide on the next NL city to get his All-Star bid.

However, the city’s bid for the 2016 edition would have to overcome both tradition and competition.

All-Star hosts normally alternate each year between the American and National leagues. Cincinnati, an NL franchise like the Padres, is set to host next year. Making matters worse, the Baltimore Orioles of the American League are making a push to hold the 2016 game because it comes on the 25th anniversary of their stadium — the well-regarded Camden Yards.

Benefunder Establishes Partnership

With Computer Science Institute

In an effort to bring promising research advances in computing to market, San Diego-based Benefunder, a philanthropic organization that works with wealth management firms to connect donors with leading researchers across the nation, has established a partnership with the Berkeley-based International Computer Science Institute (ICSI).

Under the new partnership, scientists from ICSI, a leading nonprofit center for computer science research, will have access to Benefunder’s funding platform.

“Through ICSI’s established, interdisciplinary research activities, this partnership will help turn discoveries into real products and services that will impact our daily lives,” said Gert Lanckriet, academic ambassador and cofounder of Benefunder. “By facilitating philanthropic funding for these particular research areas, as well as many others on our platform, Benefunder will play a leading role in closing the nation’s innovation deficit, giving the economy and humanity a big boost.”

ICSI researchers who have already joined Benefunder are working on an array of projects, such as enhancing speech recognition technologies. For example, Steven Wegmann, director of ICSI’s Speech Research, is using statistical models to make speech recognition more accessible to the general public.  ICSI’s Director Emeritus of Speech Nelson Morgan is also working to increase the function of speech recognition systems, especially for those who need to use hands-free devices for medical reasons.

BOMA Honors Commercial

Real Estate Professionals

The San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) presented awards to seven members during its sixth annual Winter TOBY and membership awards gala. The individuals were honored for “their dedication and hard work that continues to make BOMA San Diego one of Southern California’s leading commercial real estate organizations.”

This year’s winners:

• Principal Member of the Year: Amber Molina of Colliers International.

• Associate Member of the Year: Michele Ignacio of A.O. Reed & Co.

• Chairperson of the Year: Jessica Kalloch of Bill Howe Plumbing.

• Rising Star: Dean Schumacher of Watkins Landmark Construction.

• Gavel Award: Kristin Howell of Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services.

• President’s Award: Lynn Hulbert of Brandywine Realty Trust.

• Champion of Education: Thor Emblem of ABM.

Personnel Moves

Torrey Pines Bank Hires Vice President

Sean Hunt

Sean Hunt

Torrey Pines Bank has hired Sean Hunt as vice president and real estate loan officer. He will work out of the bank’s Carmel Valley office. Hunt will be responsible for underwriting commercial real estate loans and helping business clients, investors and professionals reach their financial goals.

Hunt has an extensive background in the financial industry and has spent the last 17 years in the San Diego area and the East Coast. He specializes in lending for office and retail space, multi–family housing, industrial and warehouse, SBA, business franchise lending, vacant lot development and more.


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