Daily Business Report-March 12, 2015
Cost to Expand San Diego Convention Center
Pegged at Between $335 Million and $549 Million
An expanded convention center in San Diego would cost anywhere from $335 million to $549 million, according to a consultant’s report to the mayor’s office.
All of the scenarios would be scaled-down from the expansion plan approved under former Mayor Jerry Sanders. That plan received approvals from the City Council, Port of San Diego and California Coastal Commission, but the financing plan was rejected in court.
According to the consultant, costs since then have risen about 4 percent per year, or $1 million a month, because of robust global construction.
The main options and their costs include:
• Cutting a corner to keep a one-acre park, which reduces the amount of added floor space, $549 million.
• Removing a massive upper-floor ballroom that had been part of the project, $410 million.
• Putting the additional facilities at other locations like Tailgate Park, which is next to Petco Park, and the Metropolitan Transit System’s bus yard, $335 million to $428 million, depending on where a parking lot is placed.
The consultant also studied a convention center expansion paired with a new football stadium in East Village, but a task force appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer has opted for a stadium site in Mission Valley.
The CB Urban report came with several disclaimers, including whether the reduced-scale alternatives fit with the convention center’s programming and marketing goals, a lack of certainty on costs until design and construction teams are selected, and the exclusion of certain infrastructure and land costs.
In a memo to the City Council and other municipal officials, Faulconer said his staff would work with the San Diego Convention Center Corp. to study the return on investment and customer preferences of each scenario. The study would begin this month and take about four months, the mayor said.
“I stand firm in my support of expanding the convention center and remain open to both contiguous and non-contiguous opportunities,” Faulconer wrote. “Ultimately, the decision on which expansion project that we move forward with will be based on what is most financially and legally prudent and supported by San Diego voters.”
— City News Service
Major Initiative Launched to Open Up
San Diego Region to Global Investment
An initiative designed to open up San Diego to global investment was unveiled Wednesday at an event in La Jolla sponsored by the Brookings Institution think tank and the financial firm JP Morgan Chase.
The “Go Global” effort will involve more than 30 area organizations, including the city of San Diego, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and UC San Diego.
“Opportunities and innovation abound in San Diego and it’s time to tell the world,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at the Global San Diego Summit. “With so much creative talent in life sciences, cyber technology, clean technology and blue technology, we have to begin to discuss ways to think beyond just California and how we can make a real impact on the world. This initiative will serve as the launching pad for our movement to bring international leaders directly to San Diego and help us Go Global.”
According to Brookings, San Diego has the 17th largest economy in the country, but ranks 61st when it comes to export intensity and 49th in the percentage of jobs at foreign-owned firms. This means San Diego has a strong opportunity to increase its level of economic engagement, according to Brookings.
The think tank said that more than 85 percent of global growth through 2019 is projected to occur outside the U.S., so global engagement is essential if cities want to stimulate their economies and workforce.
A report released in conjunction with the unveiling of the program lauded San Diego’s public-private partnerships, technological innovations, weather, tourist destinations and military presence. The city is also well-positioned to take advantage of growing trade along the Pacific Rim.
The report suggested:
• Holding an annual event in which foreign investors and buyers are brought to San Diego to learn about local industries and opportunities.
• Creating a campaign to develop a global identity.
• Possibly setting up trade offices in key markets such as France, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
— City News Service
UC San Diego Graduate Programs
Rated Among the Best in the Nation
The 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook highly ranks the UC San Diego’s professional schools and programs in engineering and medicine. The campus’s academic Ph.D. programs in the sciences, social sciences and humanities earn top marks in the book as well.
“UC San Diego’s strong academic programs across diverse disciplines continue to demonstrate education and research of the highest caliber,” said Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.
This year, UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering biomedical/bioengineering program is ranked second (up from third compared to last year) in the nation. The Jacobs School of Engineering overall ranking was 17th out of 195 engineering schools.
The Jacobs School of Engineering has been consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. & World Report for its wide range of strengths in fundamental engineering research areas such as wireless communications and biomedical engineering.
The UC San Diego School of Medicine placed 19th (up from 38th compared to last year) in the primary care category. In the research category, it was ranked 17th out of 118 medical schools.
Task Force Picks Mission Valley
For Proposed New Football Stadium
San Diego’s football stadium advisory group confirmed Wednesday it has chosen Mission Valley as the site for the proposed stadium.
The decision to build a new playing home for the Chargers, San Diego State, the two college bowl games and various special events at the site of Qualcomm Stadium was reached unanimously at a meeting Tuesday night.
Tony Manolatos, a spokesman for the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group that was appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said a formal announcement will be made today.
“CSAG has selected the Mission Valley site for a new multi-use stadium for a series of reasons, including cost savings, developable land and transportation options,” Manolatos said. “Recent events in Los Angeles, including the Chargers’ plans to build a joint stadium with the Oakland Raiders in Carson, mean any plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego needs to be developed expeditiously,” Manolatos said.
Siting the new stadium was expected to be the easier of the two decisions the task force needs to make. The alternative was a location east of Petco Park that wouldn’t have been available for at least five years because it’s the site of a bus maintenance yard.
Much harder will be the group’s other task, which is coming up with a way to pay for construction of a facility that is expected to cost $1 billion or more.
— City News Service
Landmark Sign Wanted for East Village
The East Village Association is asking for monetary support to create a landmark sign for East Village. The cost to permit, construct and install the sign will not exceed $500,000, the association said. The organization wants to have a landmark sign up before the end of the year.
Click here for more information.
RetroVirox Receives $3 Million Grant
RetroVirox Inc. , a San Diego biotech focused on viral diseases, has received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop immunomodulators to eradicate HIV infection with “shock and kill” therapies. The Phase II Small Business Innovative Research grant will support the development of small-molecules that enhance the elimination of HIV-reactivated cells with the goal to achieve a functional cure for HIV.
The new award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is the sixth received by RetroVirox. Since the company started R&D operations in 2009, RetroVirox has secured over $5 million in grants from the U.S. government to support the company’s antiviral programs.
3 Top San Diego Female Cops to be
Honored at Women in Blue Event
The San Diego Police Foundation will honor law enforcement leaders at the 2015 Women in Blue luncheon on March 25 at the San Diego Mariott La Jolla in UTC. The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
This year’s honorees are San Diego Police Capt. Anastasia Smith; Chris Haley, program manager of information services for the San Diego Police Department; and Lt. Tina Williams, SWAT executive officer.
Considered trailblazers in nontraditional careers, the honorees will share insights and anecdotes from their paths to success with an anticipated crowd of over 300 at the fifth annual Women in Blue event. Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, a 2011 honoree, will deliver the luncheon keynote address.
Captain Anastasia Smith has been a member of the San Diego Police Department for over 25 years.
Chris Haley is a 25-year civilian veteran of the San Diego Police Department.
Lt. Tina Williams has had a multi-faceted career spanning 21 years with the San Diego Police Department.
The program will feature the Police Foundation’s SafetyNet: Smart Cyber Choices work to prevent cyberbullying and the victimization of children online.
Attendees are invited to bring their used mobile devices and accessories to the luncheon as part of Verizon’s HopeLine initiative. HopeLine recycles these items, using the proceeds to support nonprofit domestic violence agencies like the San Diego Family Justice Center, a program administered by the San Diego Police Department.
MiraCosta College Music Program
Receives $100,000 Donation
The MiraCosta College Music Program received a $100,000 donation from Rancho Santa Fe residents Sue Ellen and Pierre Leroy, which will provide further support for program excellence and student success.
The donation will be distributed over the next four years and will impact the music department in a number of ways. A new “Guest Artist Series” will bring a variety of industry professionals and expert musicians to the college and to North County. In addition, scholarships will be established for music students in need. The donation will also support student travel to conferences and festivals and support other important music and industry experiences.
“The MiraCosta College Music Department is very grateful for the generous donation provided by the Leroys,” said Steve Torok, chair of the music department. “They have demonstrated a genuine interest in the success of music students, and a clear willingness to support their educational goals. ”
USD’s Graduate Programs Ranked High
The University of San Diego’s graduate programs within the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, and Nursing were ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate School rankings.
USD’s graduate programs included in the 2016 highly anticipated rankings included:
• School of Business Administration’s part-time MBA, No. 73
• School of Law’s full-time program, No. 71, part-time program, No. 13, and Tax Law program, No. 6
• School of Leadership and Education Sciences Education Program, No. 96 and the
• Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science’s Nursing program, No. 30.
USD’s part-time MBA program ranked No. 73 out of 282 programs, moving up 21 spots from the 2015 ranking of No. 94.
The School of Law’s full-time law program moving up to No. 71 from No. 79, and the part-time program moved up to No. 13 from No. 17. The law school’s renowned tax law program is now ranked No. 6 in the country.
Cavignac Hires Certificates Coordinator
Cavignac & Associates has hired Jaime Mellinger as its certificates coordinator. Mellinger will work with those processing certificates at the firm to ensure accurate performance and 24-hour turnaround.
Prior to joining Cavignac & Associates, Mellinger served as a policy specialist for Erie Insurance in Erie, Pa., where she processed new business applications and endorsements to policies, cancelled policies, and fulfilled other client requests. She was a certificate specialist for Volt Information Sciences, also located in Erie.
Prior career experience includes four years as a teacher for the Houston Independent School District and Pasadena Independent School District in Texas. Mellinger graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Trish Williams Reappointed to State Board of Education
Trish Williams, 64, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the California State Board of Education by Gov. Brown. She has served since 2011. Williams was executive director at EdSource from 1992 to 2011, a consultant to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth from 1982 to 1989 and served as a management analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1981 to 1982, where she was a presidential management fellow from 1979 to 1981. Williams earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Tulsa. The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Williams is a Democrat.
Kidder Mathews Adds 2 Brokers to Office
Kidder Mathews has added two established commercial real estate brokers to its San Diego office. Eric Knowles and Robert Fletcher, previously with Cushman & Wakefield, will both be members of the firm’s newly created religious and educational facilities, as they specialize in assisting faith-based and nonprofit institutions with acquisition and disposition of religious and education related facilities.
Knowles will lead the practice group and has been named a senior vice president. Joining Knowles is his business partner, Robert Fletcher, who has been named vice president. Together, they have four decades of commercial real estate experience, with 20 of those years specializing with religious facilities. Some of the larger denominational clients include; San Diego Catholic Diocese, Orange County Catholic Diocese, California Southern Baptist, United Methodist Church, Episcopal Diocese, Southern California Nazarenes, Apostolic Assembly, Disciples of Christ, Grace International, and Christian Mission Alliance, among others.
Madaffer Reappointed to Transportation Commission
James Madaffer, 55, of San Diego has been reappointed to the California Transportation Commission by Gov. Brown. He has has served since 2014. Madaffer has been president of Madaffer Enterprises Inc. since 2009. He was publisher of four community newspapers at Mission Publishing Group from 1995 to 2014, a member of the San Diego City Council from 2000 to 2008, chief of staff to San Diego City Council member Judy McCarty from 1993 to 2000, owner of JVM and Associates from 1988 to 1993 and general manager at the Delta Coast Corporation from 1981 to 1988. The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Madaffer is registered without party preference.
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals CEO Retires
San Diego-based ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the retirement of Chief Executive Officer Uli Hacksell. Steve Davis, executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief business officer, has been named interin CEO.
“Under Uli’s leadership, ACADIA has grown from a small startup to a fast growing biopharmaceutical company with innovative drug candidates such as Nuplazid that has the potential to transform the treatment of psychosis in a range of neurological and psychiatric disorders,” said Leslie Iversen, chairman.
Davis has more than 20 years of executive-level experience and more than 20 years of collective experience on the boards of directors of public biopharmaceutical companies.