Daily Business Report-March 3, 2015
Rendering of the stadium proposed to be built for the Chargers and Raiders in Carson, Calif.
Goldman Sachs Pledges to Finance
Chargers’ Move to Los Angeles
Goldman Sachs will finance the Chargers’ move from San Diego and also cover any losses sustained by the franchise in the first few years in Los Angeles, the Sports Business Journal reported Monday.
The investment banking firm will also pay for any renovations needed at a temporary playing facility, according to the article, which cited unnamed sources.
The Chargers have worked with Goldman Sachs for several years in their search for a new stadium. A company representative said last month that the firm was prepared to finance a proposed joint stadium for the Chargers and Oakland Raiders in the Los Angeles County suburb of Carson.
Asked for comment, Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani told City News Service that Goldman Sachs has developed a workable financing plan for the $1.7 billion Carson stadium.
“But because we are in a hyper-competitive environment at this point regarding Los Angeles, we aren’t in a position to release the specifics of that plan except to say that it is modeled closely on the plan that Goldman Sachs developed for the 49ers and their new stadium in Santa Clara,” Fabiani said.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
The 49ers’ new stadium, in the heart of the Silicon Valley, was financed through the sale of personal seat licenses, which provide the purchaser with the right to buy season tickets later. A naming rights deal with Levi’s and advertising also paid for construction of the facility.
Fabiani said the vast size of the Los Angeles market makes such a plan work there, but not necessarily in San Diego.
— City News Service
Chargers Fans Want Stadium in Mission Valley
“Find a way to get things done!”
That was the message Chargers fans told the nine-member group formed to advise Mayor Kevin Faulconer on where to locate and how to finance a new stadium for the Chargers during an open forum at Qualcomm stadium on Monday.
While the meeting was held to get the public’s opinion on the new stadium’s site and ideas for financing it, all of the people in attendance told the advisory group they need to do what it takes to keep the Chargers in San Diego, regardless of where the stadium is ultimately built.
Hundreds of fans packed Club Lounge 5 and hundreds more packed the overflow seating area in the stadium for the forum.
The meeting was very emotional for some fans. For many, the connection to the team goes beyond football. Some shared their personal stories about coming to the games with their families when they were younger and becoming lifelong fan.
The majority of speakers, however, prefer to keep the stadium in Mission Valley. Fans such as Devera Scott said the location makes economic sense for her and her family. All 50 members of her family share two season tickets and tailgate at Qualcomm Stadium.
“We’re not rich,” she said. “We can’t afford to pay for 50 tickets” if the stadium moves downtown.
For Tim Previe, who lives in Santee, the Downtown site won’t work because of the parking issue.
“(The stadium) needs to be in Mission Valley,” he said. “I don’t want to take the trolley to Downtown.”
The main sentiment of the evening was that regardless of the where the stadium is built, it new venue needs to be multi-purpose, attracting concerts, Major League Soccer and other athletic events.
As for financing, the ideas brought up range from public funding in forms of taxes such as the Transient Occupancy Tax to crowd funding to more contribution from the NFL and the Spanos family, the owners of the Chargers.
After the forum ended at around 8:30 p.m., Adam Day, the advisory group’s chairman said the group is focused on success and not failure.
“Your testimonies today will help us make our decision that much more quickly,” he said. The group will meet to make a decision that is fair for the city and the stadium tenants, including the Chargers and San Diego State football team, he said.
— Times of San Diego/ Photos by Chris Stone
Old Midway Post Office
Contents to be Auctioned
Remember the old Midway Post Office? The big building at 2535 Midway Drive in San Diego — now long gone — was once San Diego’s primary mail hub. Every piece of mail delivered to the city was sorted and processed in the building.
Now, the contents of the building are the subject of an online auction. Proxibid will provide online bidding for AAA Public Auction’s United States Postal Service District Hub Auction.
The sale features the contents of the old post office building including USPS collectibles and various types of machinery. Online bidding is already available by visiting
www.proxibid.com/aaapublicauction. Lots begin closing Wednesday at 10 a.m.
“This post office is widely known in San Diego,” said Bobby Beacham from AAA Public Auction. “People knew this place, and we are excited to be able to share a little bit of its history with bidders from around the world on Proxibid.”
One Paseo Opponents Start
Ballot Referendum Drive
Opponents of the One Paseo mixed-development planned for Carmel Valley have started a petition drive to force a public vote after the City Council’s 7-2 approval of the controversial project.
“The City Council’s vote for One Paseo flies in the face of good planning and what makes sense for our neighborhoods. If not overturned, this vote could bring similar over-sized developments to neighborhoods throughout San Diego,” said referendum proponent Ken Farinsky.
The project on the southwest corner of Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real in Carmel Valley includes 484,000 square feet of office space, 608 apartment units and 199,000 square feet of retail space on 24 acres of vacant land.
Hundreds of opponents attended the Feb. 23 City Council meeting, criticizing the project as too big for the affluent community and complaining about the potential for increased traffic.
“The opponents of One Paseo made their case against the project for many months, and their case was full of falsehoods and unsupported opinions and fears,” said a spokesperson for Kilroy Realty, developer of the project. “Now, project opponents are using the same demonstrably false rhetoric that was rejected by the City Council to overturn the decision by referendum.”
The opposition group What Price Main Street? was partly funded by the owner of an existing shopping center across the street from the project site.
Opponents have until March 25 to collect approximately 34,000 signatures to force the council to repeal the vote, or place the matter on the ballot.
— Times of San Diego
Drone Maker 3D Robotics Raises $50 Million
Qualcomm is Lead Investor
Commercial drone maker 3D Robotics said Thursday that it has raised $50 million in additional venture capital, led by San Diego’s Qualcomm, U-T San Diego reports.
Founded by former Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson and Tijuana’s Jordi Munoz, 3D Robotics makes several varieties of quad-copter style drones for personal and business uses. The company is headquartered in Berkeley but has manufacturing and other operations in San Diego and Tijuana.
In a blog post, 3D Robotics said it raised this third round of funding to partner with Qualcomm and to help expand its drone platform. The company already has 200 employees in North America and more than 30,000 customers worldwide.
3D Robotics previously raised $30 million in mid-2013.
Restored Trolley Makes
Debut on MTS Silver Line
A train swap, a community partnership and Balboa Park’s Centennial Celebration all played important roles leading up to the launch of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s second vintage streetcar — Balboa Park Centennial Car #530 — on the Silver Line Downtown loop.
Officials from MTS, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the San Diego Unified School District and a group of Washington Elementary School third-graders cut the ribbon on Monday, marking the beginning of service for Centennial Car #530 — one day shy of a year after its arrival in San Diego.
After months of meticulous repairs, creating and replacing worn out sections, painting, and passing a rigid inspection, Centennial Car #530 is now fully operational and ready for service. The restored trolley honors Balboa Park’s Centennial Celebration and will also be a part of a year-long pilot program to educate third grade students about San Diego’s past and present.
The 68-year old streetcar was acquired as part of a trade with United Transportation Corporation (UTC)/Rail Air Sources in exchange for two Siemens U-2 light rail vehicles that were phased out of the MTS fleet. San Diego’s U-2s will be displayed at rail museums in Suisun City, Calif. and Rockhill Furnace, Penn. The restoration costs were underwritten, in part, by a SDG&E grant.
Walmart Announces High Pay to Employees
In a letter to associates (employees), Walmart CEO Doug McMillon announced Walmart’s plan to increase wages to at least $10/hour for part-time associates and $13/hour for full-time associates. In addition to increased wages, the company is also piloting a training program to move associates from entry level to positions that pay $15/hour or more. More than 7,500 people in San Diego work at Walmart and will be able to grow professionally through these new programs and opportunities.
Read McMillon’s letter here.
Aztec Entrepreneur Week
San Diego State University, The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center and Entrepreneur Society are hosting multiple events this week in celebration of Aztec Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Week.
March 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
SDSU Centennial Walkway
Open to the public
In its 6th year, Entrepreneur Day brings together more than 40 student and alumni companies who will showcase their business on Centennial Walkway. Companies include: Oggi’s Pizza Express, Stance, Pura Vida, Shake Smart and many other alumni and student companies. California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference
San Diego State University
The conference will be highly interactiv,e driven by the theme of creativity and innovation; no lectures, no tedious presentations. The two days will feature top entrepreneurship educators and researchers serving as panelists, breakout session leaders, and guest speakers..
LeanModel Start-Up Competition
March 6, 3-6 p.m.
San Diego State University, Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center
Open to the public
Student startup teams from all over the country are coming together to compete for $20,000 in cash prizes. This is not a traditional business plan competition and is designed to assist and reward student-based start-ups that utilize the business model canvas. On Friday, The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center has teamed up with the Zahn Innovation Center for a pitch competition.
For more information on any events contact the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at (619) 594-2781.
San Diego Regional Chamber Names
Director of Public Policy, Economic Research
Sean Karafin has joined the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce as executive director of public policy and economic research. The chamber also added Sophie Barnhorst to the staff as policy assistant to support its public policy and advocacy efforts.
Karafin joins the chamber from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association where he most recently served as vice president. Karafin brings a strong background in economic research as well as extensive experience in policy analysis, advocacy, and coalition building. He has authored various opinion pieces, studies and other economic and fiscal reports including the 2014 “Minimum Wage & Poverty in San Diego” study that was produced in partnership with the chamber.
In his new role, Karafin will lead the chamber’s economic research efforts and assist Chanelle Hawken, who has been elevated to vice president of public policy, in overseeing the day-to-day activity for the public policy department.
Barnhorst, a recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz, has experience working in local city government and government agencies. She will provide general support and assistance to the policy department.
Previous announcements also include Mayra Vazquez as Mexico Business Center coordinator. Vazquez previously worked as council representative in the office of San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey.