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Daily Business Report-Dec. 18, 2014

Daily Business Report-Dec. 18, 2014

An artist’s conception of an expanded San Ysidro Land Port of Entry. (Submitted by Miller Hull Partnership, 2010)

Federal Budget Includes ‘Full Funding’

Of San Ysidro Port of Entry Expansion

The $1.1 trillion spending bill signed by President Barack Obama this week completes the funding of an expansion project at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a top priority for the region’s business community.

Traffic lineup at San Ysidro border crossing.

Traffic lineup at San Ysidro border crossing.

The bill provides $216 million for a new pedestrian crossing and administrative building. The border crossing is a major driver of the local economy.

“The full funding of the expansion project allows the city of San Diego and our partners throughout the region to focus on making our border more efficient and effective,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “The shorter wait times will promote job growth and increase opportunities for bi-national trade.”

Area business leaders have complained that long wait times to cross into the United States from Mexico have cost the regional economy billions of dollars over the years, especially in the era of heightened security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

San Ysidro is the busiest land border crossing in the western hemisphere and processes an average of 50,000 northbound vehicles and 25,000 northbound pedestrians daily. The San Diego Association of Governments projects an 87 percent increase in vehicle traffic in San Ysidro by 2030, making its reconfiguration and expansion a priority for the region.

The completion of the expansion project “will result in more jobs, greater border safety and efficiency, and increased economic growth,” said Rep. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), who represents the border area.

According to the mayor’s office, once the $735 million project is completed, the port will have 62 northbound vehicle inspection booths, a dedicated bus lane, an inspection booth spread over 34 lanes and improved processing facilities for buses and members of a rapid inspection program. Also, the crossing into Mexico will be expanded from five to 10 lanes.

— City News Service

Building at at 2819 Loker Ave. East.

Building at at 2819 Loker Ave. East.

Hines Purchases Carlsbad Building for $23.4 Million

Hines Interests Limited Partnership has purchased a Carlsbad building leased to Acushnet Company for $23.4 million. The 161,310-square-foot manufacturing and R&D building is located at 2819 Loker Ave. East. The seller was JP Morgan Chase.

Acushnet is the sole tenant of the building. The golf-related company, which carries Titleist, FootJoy, Pinnacle and Scotty Cameron brands, has occupied the building for more than 15 years. It recently extended its lease through July 2019.

Cassidy Turley represented the seller in the transaction.

Taxicab Trade-In Program Proposed

At San Diego International Airport

Travelers arriving at San Diego International Airport may soon be hailing newer, cleaner taxicabs. County Supervisor Greg Cox and the county’s Air Pollution Control District are proposing a pilot program that would help owners of airport-based cabs to trade in their older, polluting cars for new, fuel-efficient vehicles.

“We want to get these older taxis that pollute and guzzle more gas off the roads and replace them with cleaner, greener cabs,” said Cox.

Cox, who is also an Airport Authority board member, will propose to the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 7 a taxicab trade in grant program. The board also sits as the Air Pollution Control District governing authority.

The pilot program would enable taxicab owners who have permits to operate at the airport to upgrade their older, gasoline-powered vehicles to hybrid, CNG or alternative fuel taxis. Owners would receive a rebate between $3,500 and $4,000 after the purchase of a hybrid, CNG or alternative fuel vehicle. The owners would also pay reduced airport fees for converting to alternative fuel vehicles.

“Taxis are a vital link in the region’s transportation network, especially for the many tourists and visitors who come through our airport,” said Cox. “This program can save energy and improve air quality.”

More than 350 cabs operate at the airport today. If the pilot program is successful, it could be expanded throughout the region.

S.H.E. Manages Properties Acquires

Allegis Residential Services Inc.

Family-owned community management company S.H.E. Manages Properties Inc. has acquired Allegis Residential Services Inc. The combined companies now do business as ASPM-San Diego and have doubled in size.

“The ASPM name reflects a unified, shared vision among the principals, and we agree that greater efficiency and offering a wide range of affordable solutions are key factors in our company’s success,” said Karen Martinez, chief executive officer of ASPM. “We were one of the first community management companies in San Diego to employ licensed general contractors, offer in-house maintenance and janitorial services, and online bill-paying, and we have always been a leader in our local industry in that respect.”

One of the company’s service expansions in 2015 will include an in-house real estate sales division.


Leslie Larranaga-Britt

Leslie Larranaga-Britt

National City Mile of Cars

Selects New Executive Director

The National City Mile of Cars auto dealership cooperative has a new executive director. She is Leslie Larranaga-Britt, a media consultant who operates her own company called MediaWise. She  previously served the Mile of Cars as media director. She began serving the Mile of Cars as media buyer in 2002.

Larranaga-Britt succeeds Weldon Donaldson, who spent 20 years as executive director. Donaldson, who passed away in May 2014, joined the Mile of Cars in early 1995 after a career in television sales.

With her new title, Larranaga-Britt will continue serving as both media director and executive director, overseeing day-to-day administration, partnerships, legislative advocacy, community outreach and branding, including advertising and social media.

In addition to operating her media strategy company, Larranaga-Britt teaches media planning and buying at San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies as part of a curriculum that offers a professional certificate in marketing and digital media.

The National City Mile of Cars, along National City Boulevard in National City, features nine family-owned dealerships, representing more than 21 brands, offering more than 5,000 new and certified pre-owned vehicles. More than 20,000 vehicles are sold on the Mile annually, and a half-million vehicles have been sold since the Mile was established 60 years ago, MOC officials said.



St. Vincent de Paul Village

St. Vincent de Paul Village

Homeless Agency Receives $500,000

In Grants to Continue Operations

A program aiding the 25 homeless men and women who use the most public services received $500,000 in grants to continue its operations, St. Vincent de Paul Village announced Wednesday.

Project 25 won a $400,000 award from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to go along with $100,000 from the United Way of San Diego County.

St. Vincent de Paul estimates the program has saved government agencies and other service providers $4.5 million since it started as a pilot program in 2011.

“Project 25 has demonstrated tremendous success over the past three and a half years,” said Ruth Bruland, executive director for St. Vincent’s, which oversees Project 25. “We are thrilled to continue this critical work that saves both lives and money. It just makes sense.”

The people in the program receive intensive case management, substance abuse services, life skills coaching, landlord mediation, transportation assistance, socialization activities, enrollment assistance for public benefits and health insurance, and employment skills training. They also receive health, psychiatric and dental care, and help managing their medication.

Organizers of the program, which also include the United Way, and city and county of San Diego, said the grants could allow them to almost double the number of people they help.

— City News Service


Veterans Village of San Diego

Veterans Village of San Diego

Ending Homelessness Among San Diego

Veterans Remains A Challenge

President Barack Obama set an ambitious goal in 2009 of ending chronic homelessness among veterans by 2015. That’s just a few days away, and the goal hasn’t been achieved. But progress has occurred, with the number of homeless veterans in the U.S. cut by 33 percent since 2009, according to veteran service providers who presented the figures last week to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Phil Landis, president of the nonprofit Veterans Village of San Diego, was among those who testified before the committee. Landis told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday that those seeking to end homelessness among veterans need to “work smarter.”

Landis said the Veterans Affairs Housing First Program, an initiative to place veterans in homes, should be changed to “housing plus” — with more attention given to helping the veterans with the issues that led to them being homeless.

“We have found when these men and women are placed in a Housing First situation, they tend to be isolated,” Landis said. “No one is really paying attention to the root causes of homelessness.”

He said two-thirds of the veterans served by Veterans Village of San Diego have been diagnosed with chronic mental illness, and 70 percent have been incarcerated. Of the post-9/11 veterans his nonprofit serves, 85 percent have been incarcerated.

“We would like a little more focus on treatment,” Landis said. “We need to help them change their behavior, and that can only be done with treatment.”

Landis believes long-term residential treatment is essential to getting veterans permanently off the streets. That kind of controlled environment would be the “magic ingredient” to solving homelessness for veterans, he said.

In San Diego County, an estimated 8,520 people were homeless based on a count conducted in January, according to the county Regional Task Force on the Homeless. Of those, about 1,300 were veterans.



Personnel Moves

Evan Kovac Joins HFF

As a Managing Director

Evan Kovac

Evan Kovac

Evan Kovac has joined Holliday Fenoglio Fowler as a managing director in its San Diego office. Kovac will be a member of HFF’s national health care practice and will focus on medical office building and health care capital markets and investment sale transactions throughout the United States.

Kovac joins HFF from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, where he was a managing director and member of its Capital Markets Medical Office Group since 2012.

Kovac began his career at Marcus & Millichap in 2005 with a focus on medical office investment sales.  He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics.


Phil Rush Named Senior Executive

At Presidio Residential Capital

Phil Rush

Phil Rush

Phil L. Rush, a residential development and land investment expert with more than 30 years of experience, has joined San Diego-based Presidio Residential Capital as a senior executive. He will be involved in implementing a new land banking platform, asset management and project due diligence for the residential real estate investment firm.

Rush most recently served as president and COO of Brehm Residential, a privately held homebuilder based in Carlsbad. Before that, he was president and founder of RPR Realty Advisors Inc.

For more than 15 years, Rush served as a senior executive for leading advisory firms in the CalPERS residential investment program and has substantial project experience with residential projects in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Virginia and Maryland. He teamed with both public and private homebuilding partners while a Senior Vice President at Prudential Homebuilding Investors.

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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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