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Daily Business Report-March 11, 2015

Daily Business Report-March 11, 2015

Cruise ships visit the Port of San Diego in October 2012.

Report: Port of San Diego Generates

$7.6 Billion in Regional Economic Impact

The Port of San Diego plays a critical role in San Diego County’s economic rebound by pumping more than $7.6 billion a year into the region from employment, sales, and purchases of goods and services, according to a new report distributed by the port district.

The analysis, completed by Economic and Planning Systems Inc., a land economics consulting company, breaks down the economic impact into two categories — direct impact and secondary impact, the latter including both indirect and induced effects.

The Port’s direct economic impact grew 8 percent and jobs grew 9 percent in two years. The direct economic impact of the Port is derived from sales, employment, and operating expenditures (purchases of goods and services) occurring on Port-managed property.

More than 33,000 jobs are located on tidelands, generating more than $4.4 billion in direct economic output, according to the report. This represents an 8 percent increase in direct economic impact over the previous analysis completed using 2011 data. The number of jobs has also increased to 33,356 in 2013, a 9 percent gain.

An additional 24,600 jobs and $3.2 billion in indirect impact are generated in San Diego County based on the goods and services purchased by businesses and organizations located on Port tidelands, along with their employees.

The report said that if all jobs on Port tidelands were aggregated and compared to the largest employers in San Diego County, the Port would rank second only to the State of California, with a larger economic impact than major San Diego organizations such as the UC San Diego and Sharp Healthcare.

“The data confirms the Port of San Diego is a powerful regional economic engine with substantial benefits reaching far and wide,” said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Dan Malcolm. “As we plan ahead, our goal is to find opportunities for additional economic growth, balanced with public open space and continued investment in the future of the tidelands and the region.”

Click here for an interactive summary and full copy of the report.

Josh Williams at the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s economic summit. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

Josh Williams at the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s economic summit. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

North County Economy Rebounding

As High-Paying Jobs Grow

North County was hit harder by the recession, but has rebounded faster than the rest of San Diego and is poised to add more well-paying jobs than neighboring areas, an economist said Tuesday.

“This is where the job are,” said Josh Williams, co-founder and president of BW Research in Carlsbad. “Not only have the number of jobs in North County grown, the quality of those jobs has improved.”

He said North County is in transition from primarily bedroom communities to an export-oriented economy led by clusters of biotechnology, environmental technology and active-lifestyle industries.

Williams spoke at the San Diego Economic Development Council’s second annual economic summit. The morning event at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa drew a crowd of 450, including four of the five mayors of North County cities and many other public officials.

“If you look at North County on its own, it would be the 43rd largest state in the country,” he said, citing it’s population of 1.2 million.

One challenge for the region, he said, is that many skilled professionals continue to commute to other parts of San Diego County or Orange County. “The brains tend to live here, but a lot of them are going south,” he said.

Earlier in the event another economist presented an optimistic forecast for coastal California metro areas. Mark Vitner, senior economist and managing director of Wells Fargo, forecast growth in the U.S. economy to rise from 2.4 percent in 2014 to 2.8 percent this year, but said coastal California will do even better.

“The Bay Area and Southern California are some of the fastest growing areas in the country,” he said.

Vitner said the overall San Diego area benefits from the shift in economic growth from traditional manufacturing to communications and information technology.

“It’s much more centered around intellectual capital than physical capital. It’s been the technology behind the equipment that’s driving it,” he noted.

— Times of San Diego

Cal Western and OAS Sign Agreement

To Promote Collaboration in Programs

California Western School of Law and the Organization of American States (OAS) have signed an agreement in Washington, D.C. to promote collaboration in areas such as legal cooperation projects, joint training activities, exchanges of experiences and best practices.

“The agreement solidifies the relationship between our law school and the OAS, a relationship which started in 2001,” said Assistant Dean James M. Cooper, director of the International Legal Studies Program at California Western. “The agreement provides the framework for us to work together more formally and expand relations. Future academic programs and research projects will be easier to achieve.”

California Western President and Dean Niels B. Schaumann was in Washington to sign the agreement along with OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who signed the agreement on behalf of OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza.

California Western has created several programs that are based on training and cooperation with Latin American countries, including an online LL.M. degree program for Spanish-speaking attorneys, the Chile Summer Program, and the American Legal Studies and Exchange-Brazil.

Seal Team

Seal Team

Navy Reserve Centennial Celebration

Members of SEAL Team 17 climb into a rigid-hull inflatable boat as a HH-60H Seahawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85, passes by during a demonstration Saturday at Amphibious Naval Base Coronado in commemoration of the Navy Reserve Centennial. The SEAL team and helicopter squadron recognized the centennial with a visit from Vice Adm. Robin Braun, chief of Navy Reserve, onboard both Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gregory A. Harden II)

Cara & Garland Law Firm

Moves to New Downtown Office

Cara & Garland APLC, a labor and employment law firm, has established new offices at 600 B St., Suite 1420, in Downtown San Diego, near state and federal court buildings.

The women- and minority-owned law firm occupies a shared floor plan of 2,719 square feet that will allow for providing hands-on “quality counsel and innovative solutions,” said founder Adriana Cara. “For us, it is a homecoming because we have spent a significant portion of our legal careers in Downtown San Diego,” she said.

Meagan Garland, the other founder, said, “Centering our operations in Downtown San Diego allows us the opportunity for continued involvement in various legal associations and organizations based here.”

Among Cara & Garland’s practice areas are workplace investigations, sexual harassment training, and employment and business litigation. The office phone is (619) 232-5600.

Rendering of the Rees-Stealy Rancho Bernardo Medical Center

Rendering of the Rees-Stealy Rancho Bernardo Medical Center

Sharp Rees-Stealy to Move Rancho Bernardo

Medical Center to Accommodate Growth

Sharp Rees-Stealy Rancho Bernardo Medical Center will move into a new, state-of-the-art facility in late 2017 that will be nearly double the size of the existing medical center. The new center will be a half-mile from the current location at 16950 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo.

Sharp Rees-Stealy CEO Stacey Hrountas cited the continued population growth of San Diego County’s North Inland region as the reason for the move.

The new location will offer  100,000 square feet of build-to-suit medical office space on 3.5 acres. The existing location is 57,400 square feet. Sharp Rees-Stealy will lease the entire three-story building, adjacent four-level parking structure and surface parking for a total of 500 parking spaces.

The new building will allow for an additional 20 physicians over the current staffing level at the Via Tazon building. The increased size of the new building will allow Sharp Rees-Stealy to offer expanded services.

Design and construction will be handled by Cunningham Group Architecture, Davis Davis Architects, Hensel Phelps, HKS Architects, Lankford & Associates and McCarthy Building Companies.

The Waterfront Park playground

The Waterfront Park playground

Waterfront Park to Close

For 2-Day Musical Festival

The county’s Waterfront Park has been reserved for an electronic music festival taking place March 14 and 15, so the entire park, including the playground, will be closed to the public for those two days.

Preparations for the CRSSD Fest get underway today and access to the park will be limited in some areas Thursday and Friday as the promoter installs equipment and fencing for the event. The southeast corner of the park, where the playground and restroom are located, is scheduled to remain open until the park’s regular closing time at 10 p.m. on Friday night.

The festival runs from noon to 11 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Up to 15,000 music fans are expected each day. Only ticket-holders over the age of 21 will be allowed into the festival. Attendees are urged to use public transportation or a ride service because parking will be at a premium.

For more information about the park, call (619) 232-7275.

Poseidon Water Executive Named

Businessperson of the Year

Peter MacLaggan

Peter MacLaggan

For his leadership on the Carlsbad Desalination Project, Peter MacLaggan, senior vice president of Poseidon Water, has been named Businessperson of the Year by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.

“Peter’s wealth of experience and passion for water resources management have proven invaluable for the Carlsbad Desalination Project,” said Poseidon Water Chief Executive Officer Carlos Riva. “He has done a tremendous job leading this Project through entitlement and construction the past decade, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient.”

MacLaggan has been instrumental throughout the development of the desalination project. He has more than two decades of experience in water resources management and planning, including that with several large-scale desalination projects throughout California.

In addition to the Carlsbad Project, Poseidon Water, under MacLaggan’s leadership, is in late-stage development on a second Southern California desalination plant 60 miles north of the Carlsbad plant. The Huntington Beach Desalination Project is in the final phase of the permitting process. If approved, the Huntington Beach Project will provide Orange County residents with 50 million gallons of high quality water per day.

Construction on the Carlsbad Desalination Project is more than 80 percent complete. When completed in late 2015, it will provide water for nearly 112,000 San Diego County households.

Month Over Job Gains-Losses

Month Over Job Gains-Losses

San Diego Unemployment Rate Increases

Civilian Employment Decreases In January

The San Diego Monthly Employment Report (December 2014 to January 2015) shows an increase in the civilian unemployment rate, a slight increase in the civilian labor force, and a decrease in civilian employment. Highlights from the report include:

• San Diego’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in January, up 0.3 percent from December 2014 but below the year-ago estimate of 7.2 percent

• Labor force increased by 100

• Employment decreased by 4,900

• Unemployment increased by 4,900

• Nonfarm jobs in the region declined by 20,100

• Construction had the largest month-over employment gains, with an increase of 2,200 jobs

• Trade, Transportation & Utilities had the largest month-over employment loss, with a decline of 9,900 jobs

• All industries grew in employment between January 2014 and January 2015, with Professional & Business Services having the largest increase of 11,300 jobs

Year-Over Job Gains-Losses

Year-Over Job Gains-Losses



Annual Lodging Forecast

Scheduled for March 20

This year’s R.A. Rauch & Associates’ annual lodging forecast event, “An Extraordinary Year Ahead,” will bring together hotel expert Robert Rauch and capital markets and asset expert Alan Reay on March 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar. The event is from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Economist, Gary London will moderate discussions on the projections that 2015 will be a record-breaking year in hospitality. The event is $69 and includes continental breakfast. RSVP at (619) 808-7788

Personnel Announcements

David Bennett Chosen General

Director of the San Diego Opera

David Bennett

David Bennett

David Bennett, former executive director of Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City, will become the new general director of San Diego Opera. An announcement of his selection is to be made today.

“David met all of the criteria we were looking for and his artistic strength, infectious love of opera, creativity, vision and collaborative nature was the course we wanted to set for the future of our company,” said Carol Lazier, opera board president.

Bennett joined the Gotham Chamber Opera in 2006 and tripled the company’s operating budget while increasing the number of annual productions from one to four. The company recently commissioned the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s opera “Dark Sisters” and has become recognized under Bennett’s leadership for partnering with notable New York and national institutions.

A singer (baritone) with an M.B.A. and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Bennett was the managing director of Dance New Amsterdam Inc. in New York City prior to joining Gotham Chamber Opera. In this role he managed the company’s operations and oversaw the company’s $5.7 million capital campaign.

Bennett succeeds former General Director Ian Campbell, who served from 1983 to 2014.

Bob Rief Joins SD Sport Innovators

Bob Rief, an advisory board member for SD Sport Innovators, has been named the organization’s new executive director. Rief’s selection was announced by Bill Walton, executive chairman of SDSI.

Rief is a 40-year sports and active lifestyle industry veteran most recently holding the position of CEO at OTZ shoes.  Previously, Rief was CEO at footwear brands Reef and Sanuk and held executive positions at Merrell Footwear, Nike Golf, Callaway Golf, Boardworks and C4waterman.

“Bob Rief is the perfect addition to what we do and who we are,” said Walton. “His Hall of Fame resume, life, experience and network are exactly what we need to have our SDSI dreams come true.”

Mountain Health Names Chief Medical Officer

Mountain Health, a private, nonprofit regional community health center in Alpine, has named Arthur Blain, M.D., as its new chief medical officer.  Blain graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. He received his medical doctorate from New York Medical College on a USAF Health Professions Scholarship. He then completed an internship at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and served active duty tours in Washington, D.C., and the Republic of South Korea.

Blain had a family practice residency at UC San Diego and received a master’s degree in business administration from  George Washington University.

Rob Singh Returns to the ConAm Group

Rob Singh

Rob Singh

Robert Svatos

Robert Svatos

The ConAm Group, a San Diego-based real estate investment, development and services firm, announced that Rob Singh will be returning to the company as president and chief investment officer. ConAm also announced that Robert J. Svatos, formerly ConAm’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been promoted to the position of president and chief operating officer.

Singh is a 27-year industry veteran, who was previously with ConAm for 17 years.

Chaz Mueller, who had been president of ConAm, will be leaving the company in March to join the Irvine Company.


Heather Wood Joins Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge

Heather Wood

Heather Wood

Heather Wood, formerly a law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has joined  Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge as an associate attorney. Her practice areas include civil litigation and employment law.

While a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Wood was responsible for drafting portions of a Ninth Circuit Appellate Brief for an employment discrimination case and researched issues associated with Affirmative Civil Enforcement cases. Wood also served as an extern to Judges Larry A. Burns and Thomas E. Hollenhorst on the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Division Two.

Wood earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from UCLA.

 San Diego Briefs

City News Service Reports 

Online Reservations at City Golf Courses

The City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to accept a performance audit of the Park & Recreation Department’s Golf Division, which recommends the implementation of an online reservation system.The three municipally owned and operated courses — Torrey Pines, Balboa Park and Mission Bay –contribute 10 percent of gross revenues and around $1,800 per acre into the city’s general fund, amounting to about $2.4 million combined annually, Matthew Helm of the City Auditor’s office said. The bulk is generated by Torrey Pines, which hosts the annual Farmers Insurance Open, because the other two courses lose money, Helm said. An online reservations system could be implemented by September, Mark Marney, the city’s deputy director of golf course operations, said at a previous meeting.

City Mulling 10-Year Plan for Fixing Roadways

City officials are looking at a 10-year program to improve the overall condition of San Diego’s roadways, according to a report to be presented Wednesday to the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee.

San Diego’s 2,659 miles of asphalt streets, 115 miles of concrete roadways and 203 miles of paved alleys were given a 54.5 rating, on a scale of 0-100, in a 2011 assessment. The plan, according to the report, is to reach a rating of 70 by Fiscal Year 2025.

The current rating is right in the middle of the “fair” category, which is defined as having roadways with moderate cracking, some minor potholes, adequate driveability, and typically in need of remedial repairs and a slurry seal, or a minor asphalt overlay that may include remedial repairs.

The 2011 survey found that 35 percent of city roadways were in “good” condition, 40 percent were “fair” and 25 percent were “poor.”

One Paseo Gets Final OK

The City Council on Monday gave final approval to a 23.6-acre mixed-use housing, retail and office project that opponents contend will destroy the Carmel Valley neighborhood. The action, on a 6-1 vote, came after paperwork was filed with the City Clerk’s office to establish a committee to seek petition signatures in an effort to stop the $750 million One Paseo development.The development by Kilroy Realty consists of 10 buildings ranging from two to nine stories and includes a movie theater, landscaping and nearly 3,700 parking spaces. The council voted 7-2 in favor of the project last month, but only if the developer designated about 60 residences as affordable housing units and found a way to lighten the resultant traffic.

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Voice Your Opinion

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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: