Daily Business Report-Feb. 10, 2015
Artist’s rendering of the 175-foot Sky Views R60 wheel on Broadway Pier.
Port Commissioners to Hear 5 Proposals
For Giant Structures at Downtown Waterfront
San Diego port commissioners will hear presentations today on five proposals to build a giant Ferris wheel or observation tower at the Downtown waterfront.
The “observation wheels” have become a new “in” thing for tourist attractions. Eighteen are now in use around the country, and one that opened 11 months ago in Las Vegas is the world’s tallest at 550 feet.
Another wheel in Orlando is set to open this year, and one is in the planning stages for New York City, according to port staff.
The proposals for San Diego’s waterfront include:
• A 450-foot-tall observation wheel proposed by Discovery Point LLC — which includes SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment — that would charge riders $25-$30 and generate an estimated $70 million in revenue.
• A 450-foot-high version from the same developers of the Orlando project.
• A wheel up to 250 feet high from developers of five previous attractions that would charge riders $15 each.
• A wheel 175 feet high by Pier 57, a waterfront development firm that wants to replicate the Seattle Great Wheel in San Diego.
• An observation tower at least 250 feet tall that would be topped by a restaurant, proposed by U.S. Thrill Rides, which has created attractions for Balboa Park, Universal, Six Flags and Mall of America.
A port staff report says some of the proposals are more fleshed out than others at this point, and all are unsolicited.
The plan is for the commissioners to listen to the ideas, decide if they’re interested, and direct staff on how to proceed.
Acceptance by the port commissioners is only one step in what could be a very long regulatory process. According to port staff, such a project would be subject to a thorough environmental analysis and would have to be cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration, state Coastal and Lands commissions, U.S. and state wildlife agencies, and possibly other government organizations.
The FAA has already come out against the Discovery Point wheel as being an aviation hazard at Lindbergh Field. The FAA indicated that a structure 277 feet or lower would be acceptable.
— By City News Service
City Council Reverses Approval
Of Controversial Point Loma Project
The San Diego City Council on Monday reversed the Planning Commission’s approval of a three-house bluffside development on the former Jessop Estate in Point Loma.
The Point Loma Summit project was approved by the city’s Planning Commission on a 5-1 vote last June, but the decision was appealed to the City Council by opponents who live in the area.
The plan was to divide two lots into four, and build three homes on a 1.45-acre parcel at 414 La Crescentia Drive. A possibly historic existing house on the property, built by prominent jeweler Joseph Jessop in 1929, would remain.
City staff, which recommended upholding the Planning Commission decision, said the project meets or exceeds city guidelines, including those having to do with fire safety, cliffside grading and the historic nature of the existing house.
However, a group formed to stop the project disagreed. Called Preserve Point Loma, the group launched the website preservepointloma.org and claimed to have 700 signatures on a petition to stop the project.
The opponents, including former Councilman Byron Wear, said the project didn’t fit the character of the community, didn’t comply with neighborhood and city land-use plans and was a public safety risk — since fire trucks wouldn’t be able to access a private driveway.
“In summary, the proposed Point Loma Summit development of the old Jessop estate is ill-conceived, poorly planned and inconsistent with the Peninsula Community Plan and (the city’s) general plan,” Wear said.
Council President Sherri Lightner pointed out that excavation work on the property would require the use of about 200 dump trucks rumbling along neighborhood streets. Deviations to normal design guidelines requested by the developer were “not appropriate,” she said.
Robin Madaffer, representing the developer, argued that environmentally sensitive coastal slopes wouldn’t be touched, and zoning allowed two more houses than were planned. Fire safety concerns would have been mitigated by the installation of standpipes, she said.
When it became apparent the council members favored the appeal, Madaffer offered to remove one of the houses from the proposed project. Her offer was not considered by the council.
The owner of the property, Carolyn Kutzke, has been trying for several years to develop it.
The appeal was granted on a 6-3 vote, with Councilmen David Alvarez, Todd Gloria and Scott Sherman dissenting
— By City News Service
Radio Shack to Close 8 Stores in San Diego County
Eight of the 34 Radio Shack stores in San Diego County will be closed as part of the fallout from the struggling electronics retailer’s bankruptcy filing, according to a list released Monday.
Nearly 1,800 outlets will be shut down nationwide, while the rest of RadioShack’s stores — roughly 2,200 — will be sold to wireless carrier Sprint and a hedge fund that was the 95-year-old company’s biggest investor.
The eight to be closed in the region are in:
• Carmel Mountain Ranch, 11865 Carmel Mountain Road.
• Chula Vista, 510 Broadway.
• La Jolla, 8849 Villa La Jolla and 915 Pearl Street in the downtown village area.
• La Mesa, Grossmont Center.
• Murphy Canyon, 3462 Murphy Canyon Road.
• Rancho Bernardo, 16763 Bernardo Center Drive.
• Santee, Santee Trolley Square.
RadioShack has suffered financial losses in 11 of its past 12 quarters.
— City News Service
Qualcomm to Pay $975M Fine Over
Chinese Anti-Monopoly Claim
Qualcomm agreed to pay $975 million to China after the government found that the company violated the country’s anti-monopoly laws. The company said Monday that the fine will reduce its earnings for the fiscal year ending Sept. 27, the Associated Press reports.
Qualcomm now forecasts earnings per share between $3.56 and $3.76, down from previous estimates of $4.04 to $4.34. Adjusted earnings will top its expectations, however.
The company also agreed to make several changes to its licensing practices in China.
Qualcomm said it will offer licenses to its current 3G and 4G Chinese patents separately from licenses to it other patents. It also will give existing licensees in China an opportunity to adopt the new terms for sales of branded devices for use in China going back to Jan. 1.
San Diego State Receives $1 Million
To Support Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State University has received a $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation to secure its future and support continued growth.
The gift coincides with the 10th anniversary of the institute at SDSU, which offers university-quality courses without tests or grades to San Diego community members 50 years of age or “better.” SDSU President Elliot Hirshman announced the gift during an anniversary celebration Saturday morning at the university’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.
In the last decade, the institute has expanded to include 700 members and more than 145 course offerings annually.
Many SDSU faculty are among the instructors, lecturing on a wide variety of subjects including history, theatre, world affairs, literature, political science, cultural studies and creative arts. Courses are offered through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.
Metropolitan Water District Mulls Cutting
Water Deliveries Because of Drought
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is weighing whether to cut water deliveries more than 10 percent this summer due to the continuing drought, the Southland water importer announced Monday.
Possible water allocation actions range from “zero supply restrictions to possible cutbacks of 5-10 percent or even more,” according to the agency.
Potential cuts are based primarily on State Water Project delivery projections from Northern California and on Colorado River deliveries and local supplies.
“We’re certainly hopeful the storms that swept through Northern California this weekend will help make a dent in the drought,” said MWD general manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “But should state project supplies not improve substantially, it won’t be a matter of if, but how much mandatory water cutbacks will be necessary to meet demands and maintain reasonable reserves.”
Kightlinger said the MWD board of directors is expected to consider possible supply allocations in April. If cutbacks are deemed necessary, they would take effect July 1.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a consortium of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and San Bernardino counties.
The MWD imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to augment local supplies and delivers an average of 1.7 billion gallons of water per day to a 5,200-square-mile service area, according to the agency’s web site.
Former Vikings Head Coach to Speak
at North San Diego Business Chamber Event
Former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Dennis Green will address a Feb. 25 luncheon program sponsored by the North San Diego Business Chamber.
He will share how vision combined with motivation will allow a person to achieve any goal they set.
The event will begin with check in and lunch at 11:30 a.m. The program is at noon. Cost is $49 for chamber members, $69 for nonmembers. Call (858) 487-1767 or visit www.sdbusinesschamber.com for more information.
Dennis Green has the highest winning percentage in the Minnesota Vikings 40 year history. The 15-1 1998 season is in the top three in NFL history.
The underlying theme of Green’s teams has been perseverance, no excuses, and a drive to win. Green’s motto is: “Plan your work and work your plan.” He explains how to do so with what he calls “The 3 Ds:” Desire (goals), Dedication (work ethic to achieve the goals), and Determination (perseverance).
Tri-City Healthcare District Board
Moves Ahead on Redevelopment Plan
OCEANSIDE — The Tri-City Healthcare District board of directors has directed Tri-City Medical Center CEO Tim Moran to hire an architect to proceed on a campus redevelopment plan.
The architect will provide designs for a new Emergency Department and parking structure, re- design and expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit level II and III and the Obstetrics Department along with addressing certain seismic compliance requirements.
“The board looks forward to a plan with design principles that enhance our service to patients and families in some of the most critical areas of the medical center,” said Board Chair Larry Schallock.
The design of a new Emergency Department and parking structure as well as the NICU and OB departments is the first phase of a multi-phase approach to their campus redevelopment. The board of directors originally granted approval for a campus redevelopment plan during a Jan. 29 district board meeting.
Urban Land Institute Event Set for Feb. 24
The Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana District Council will host its first annual My ULI Night on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at The Alexandria Center for Life Science at Campus Pointe, 10300 Campus Point Drive, San Diego.
The event will feature an exclusive project tour of the award-winning Campus Pointe facility and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey’s organic eatery, Green Acre. The event will also highlight success stories of ULI membership as well as provide guests a chance to network with current ULI members, including members of the ULI management and executive committees.
Tickets for the event are $40 and registration by ULI members includes one complimentary guest.
For more information or to register for the event visit:
Virgin America to Move Operations
At San Diego International Airport
Virgin America will move its operations from Terminal 2 East to a new location in Terminal 2 West at San Diego International Airport effective on Wednesday.
Ticketing counters for Virgin America will be located between Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways. The airline will operate self-service kiosks in front of its ticket counters to help expedite the check-in process for passengers.
Signage along airport roadways and in the terminals will be changed to reflect the new location of Virgin America beginning Wednesday.
All Virgin America arrivals will use baggage claim carousel 4.
The airline currently operates five daily nonstop flights between San Diego and San Francisco.
Lorelei Taylor Joins Windermere Real Estate SoCal
Realtor Lorelei Taylor has joined Windermere Real Estate SoCal at its La Mesa Village office at 8277 La Mesa Blvd. Taylor has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in interior design, and has been a professional interior designer since 1986. She consults with both buyers and sellers.
Taylor entered real estate in 2009 in Washington State, where she helped attorneys who managed the sale of homes left in estates.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack Adds Litigation Associate
Scott Ingold has joined Higgs Fletcher & Mack as its newest litigation associate. Ingold has maintained an active litigation practice throughout California and Southern Nevada and will primarily be responsible for assisting Higgs’ Partner Roland Achtel with probate matters.
Ingold, recently named a 2015 Rising Star by Super Lawyers, comes to Higgs from Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz where he tried jury trials, bench trials and binding arbitrations in high-exposure cases involving business disputes, employment disputes, wage and hour claims as well as wrongful death. Prior to that, he was at Brownwood Chazen & Cannon where he assisted with research and investigations, drafted discovery and motions and appeared in court as a law clerk and certified legal intern at Liberty Mutual’s in-house defense firm.
Other experience includes legal intern in the Real Property Unit for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office.
U-T San Diego Names New President/COO
The U-T San Diego has named Jeff Light as its new president and chief operating officer. Light, currently editor and vice president of content at U-T San Diego, will continue as the editor of the newsroom, a position he began in 2010 at the multimedia publishing company.
Light, 54, came to the U-T after serving as vice president for interactive publishing at The Orange County Register.
Light, who has a master’s degree from UC Irvine and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, said he will emphasize more multimedia innovation and product development in his expanded role.
In one of Light’s first initiatives as president and COO, he has promoted U-T San Diego’s A-1 editor, Lora Cicalo, to managing editor. In this capacity, Cicalo will work closely with Light in managing the newsroom and continue to oversee production of the daily print editions.