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Daily Business Report-March 5, 2015

Daily Business Report-March 5, 2015

Architect’s rendering of the F11 mixed-use project by The Richman Group of California.

 7-Story Luxury Apartments

Approved for East Village

Civic San Diego, the city-owned development arm, has approved a seven-story project of luxury apartments and stores in the emerging “makers quarter” in the East Village.

The F11 development by the Richman Group of California on the north side of F Street between 11th Avenue and Park Boulevard will include 99 apartments and 5,600 square feet of street-level commercial space. The mixed-use development includes exercise facilities and a bowling alley.

The site is adjacent to the emerging 35-block I.D.E.A. district, also called the “makers quarter,” that is increasingly home to entrepreneurs and institutions involved in innovation, design, education and art.

“Our residents will be surrounded by this vibrant transformation. East Village is becoming San Diego’s center for cool,” said Luke Daniels, president of The Richman Group of California.

In the last six months the developer has received government agency approval on three mixed-use projects in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, with a total of 326 apartment units and a combined value of $150 million. The San Diego project is a partnership with long-time local property owner Shearn H. Platt.

Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016 with completion anticipated about 18 months later.

— Times of San Diego

Council Panel  Tentatively OKs

Measure to Build Bungalows

North Park Bungalows

North Park Bungalows

Developers would find it easier to subdivide certain lots and build small, single-family homes under a series of measures tentatively approved Wednesday by a San Diego City Council Committee.

The proposed regulations, which would have to be approved by the full City Council before taking effect, are designed to foster the creation of more “bungalow courts” — small houses connected by a single driveway — of the sort found in beach areas, North Park, Hillcrest and Barrio Logan.

Current regulations encourage developers, who buy residential property in areas zoned for multi-family housing, to build bulky apartment buildings, according to Dan Normandin of the city’s Development Services Department. Normandin said the amendments would make it easier to build the smaller one-, two- and three-bedroom homes within a neighborhood’s median price and still make a profit.

He said the development concept has been popular in West Coast cities such as Portland and Los Angeles.

“It’s another tool. It’s not the answer to everything, but I think it’s good to have options for architects and folks who are looking to develop,” said Councilman David Alvarez, a member of the council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

The amendments, which are expected to address mostly older residential neighborhoods, would allow developers to subdivide properties zoned for multi- family residential into individual lots for houses.

Also, houses that face city streets would be required to have their front doors face the roadways, not the common driveway. Vicki Granowitz, chairwoman of the North Park Planning Committee, said the current regulations led to the front doors of a courtyard housing development on 30th Street facing an adjacent auto body shop.

Normandin said the idea for the amendments came out of a recent effort to update the community plan for Barrio Logan. As it turned out, the proposed regulations were pulled from the community plan before being approved by the City Council — and later rejected by voters.

The amendments were fine-tuned after testing by students at the Woodbury School of Architecture,  which created projects in Barrio Logan based on the draft regulations, he said.

—City News Service

The  U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk

The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk

Northrop Grumman Says Global Hawk UAV

Shows Big Decrease in Cost-Per-Flight

The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude unmanned aircraft system had another remarkable year in 2014, with a significant decrease in cost per flight hour coupled with a sharp increase in flight hours, according to its manufacturer, Northrop Grumman.

The Global Hawk program has brought the system’s cost per flight hour down to the point of being half the cost of the manned alternative. The aircraft also saw close to a 40 percent increase in flight hours from 2013 to 2014, the company said.

Global Hawk also maintained a perfect safety record in FY14 after carrying the designation as the safest platform in the Air Force active inventory in 2013.

“As we move into 2015 and beyond, global security requires flexible systems and strategic agility. Global Hawk has proven again and again that it can bring unparalleled endurance, innovation and value to any mission,” said Mick Jaggers, director of the Global Hawk program for Northrop Grumman. “We are proud that, together with our Air Force partners, we are operating a very safe system that provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information effectively and efficiently when and where it is needed.”

Global Hawk variants have flown more than 140,000 flight hours in support of diverse missions. Carrying a variety of ISR sensor payloads, Global Hawk supports antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications relay, information sharing, and the full range of operational combat missions.

Qualcomm Driving the

Future Of Auto Connectivity

Qualcomm Technologies announced it has added the Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 LTE modem and the Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 LTE modem to Snapdragon Automotive Solutions to support connectivity across all tiers of the automotive industry.

“With smartphone connectivity setting the pace for advanced features, consumers expect the same experience from all other connected devices, including their car,” said Kanwalinder Singh, senior vice president of business development for Qualcomm Technologies. “Qualcomm Technologies already supports first-generation LTE connected cars with major automakers. We are now pressing ahead with the vision of LTE for all automakers, cars, geographies and models with the leading performance of the X12 and the leading value of the X5.”

Sotera Wireless Acquires Reflectance Medical Inc.

San Diego-based medical device company Sotera Wireless has acquired Reflectance Medical Inc. of Westborough, Mass. for undisclosed terms. This acquisition will expand Sotera’s opportunities in the military, EMS, and emergency care markets.

Solana Beach Applies for

$2 Million in Sandag Grants

The city of Solana Beach will ask a regional agency for help in funding local transportation needs. The Solana Beach City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a request by staff to apply for grants with the San Diego Association of Governments.

The first grant application is for part of $13 million available to local agencies through SANDAG’s Smart Growth Incentive Program. It would benefit the following areas for roadway improvements: North and South Cedros Avenue between Marsolan Avenue and Cliff Street; between the railroad tracks and the ocean from Via de la Valle/Border Street to Plaza Street; and between the railroad tracks and Acacia Avenue from Plaza Street/Lomas Santa Fe Drive to Cliff Street, according to a staff report.

— Seaside Courier

Read more…

Defaulted Properties to be Auctioned

324 tax defaulted properties will be sold at the Property Tax Sale Auction to be held March 24 at the San Diego Convention Center in Downtown San Diego.

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said the auction is being held in an effort to collect $5.2 million in unpaid property taxes, penalties and fees.

“We currently have 78 improved properties, 177 unimproved parcels and 69 timeshares ready for auction,” said McAllister. “The numbers may change if owners pay the defaulted taxes before the deadline. They have until 5 p.m. on March 23 to bring their taxes and delinquent charges up to date, or their property will be auctioned off.”

Interested bidders may purchase registration packets for $50 at any of the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s offices located in Downtown San Diego, Kearny Mesa, Chula Vista, El Cajon or San Marcos.

Information on the current availability of properties going to auction can be obtained by visiting

Restaurants Take Part in  ‘Foodies Against MS’

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society in San Diego is celebrating MS Awareness Week with “Foodies Against MS,” a fundraiser today with more than 35 restaurants participating. The restaurants, which include full-service and fast-food eateries, sushi and even ice cream shops, have agreed to donate a percentage from each purchase today to the National MS Society. Some restaurants are donating up to 20 percent of the bill.

Participating restaurants include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Board & Brew, Boudin Bakery, Brigantine, Chick-fil-A, Chili’s, Cold Stone Creamery, El Pollo Loco, On the Border, The Patio, Poway Sushi Lounge, Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Slater’s 50/50.

— Times of San Diego

Police Department Raps Journalist Group

Over Critical ‘Wall Award’ Nomination

The San Diego Police Department is lashing a local journalist group after it named the law-enforcement agency a finalist for its inaugural (and ignoble) Wall Award.

The award, in the form of a symbolic brick, will go to the public official or agency that made it hardest for journalists to do their jobs in 2014, “ignoring requests or otherwise compromising the public’s right to know.”

Launched by the San Diego chapter the Society of Professional Journalists, the s Windows and Walls Awards are also meant to celebrate transparency. Windows finalists are the city of Del Mar, Councilman Mark Kersey and Water Authority spokesman Mike Lee. But police spokesman Lt. Scott Wahl said the SDPD’s potential Wall Award is “misleading and in complete contradiction to what the award is intended for.”

Under Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, the SDPD has reached out to aggrieved communities via public forums and other means. The agency “values community trust and transparency in policing,” Wahl said.

But local journalists who seek footage from the body-worn camera program have been stymied.

“The SDPD repeatedly told the public that getting police body cameras would increase public trust and add transparency,” the SPJ said last week in announcing three finalists for Windows and Walls Awards. “But instead, … Zimmerman has publicly said she won’t release most of the footage to the public and that if she did, it would be at her discretion.”

The journalist group said such a stand “doesn’t seem to jibe with the public records law and runs counter to what the public believes body cameras do: Provide a record of what happened. And law enforcement agencies elsewhere are releasing the footage upon request.”

Other finalists for Wall Awards are Gerry Braun, former spokesman and interim CEO of the defunct Balboa Park Centennial group, and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who resisted releasing a letter that linked her to a campaign finance scandal.

Braun and Dumanis didn’t respond to Times of San Diego requests for comment, but Wahl did as head of the police Media Relations Unit.

Read more…

— Times of San Diego


Under Construction

Rendering of the second hotel that is under construction at Viejas Casino in Alpine. When completed in November, the five-story hotel will have 109 rooms, a top-floor technology suite, added gaming floor, specialty bar, ballroom meeting and board rooms and swimming pool.  Xpera CM has been retained by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians to provide construction management services for the hotel.

Rendering of the second hotel that is under construction at Viejas Casino in Alpine. When completed in November, the five-story hotel will have 109 rooms, a top-floor technology suite, added gaming floor, specialty bar, ballroom meeting and board rooms and swimming pool. Xpera CM has been retained by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians to provide construction management services for the hotel.




Vibra Bank Named No. 1 SBA Lender

CHULA VISTA — Vibra Bank has been recognized as the No. 1 “small size” SBA 7(a) lender for all of 2014 by the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The award was announced at the Feb. 18 annual San Diego District SBA awards luncheon by Ruben R. Garcia, director of the district Office.  Brian J. McClendon, Vibra Bank’s senior vice president/SBA Division sales manager, accepted the award on behalf of the bank.  The award recognized Vibra Bank as No. 1 in both number of loans made and total dollar volume for this category during 2014. It was the second consecutive year the bank has won the award.

The bank reported last week that it has received all necessary approvals for its merger with Pacific Commerce Bank, scheduled to close early in the second quarter.

Ballot Initiative Filed to Fast-Track

Carson Stadium for Chargers, Raiders

Backers of a proposed stadium for the Chargers and Raiders in Carson filed a ballot initiative Wednesday to fast-track approval, following a tactic successfully used by boosters of another football stadium in Inglewood.

Should the initiative qualify for the ballot, it would likely be approved by the Carson City Council, negating the need for a vote by the city’s residents.

The Inglewood City Council voted unanimously on Feb. 24 to approve an initiative allowing for construction of an 80,000-seat stadium proposed by the owner of the St. Louis Rams as part of the redevelopment of the former Hollywood Park racetrack.

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced Feb. 19 they are working on a joint proposal to build a 72,000-seat stadium at Del Amo Boulevard and the San Diego Freeway in Carson if they are unable to strike deals for new facilities in their respective cities.

An NFL team has not played in the Los Angeles area since 1994.

— City News Service

Panel to Take Up Issue of Salaries for Elected Officials

The City Council’s new Charter Review Committee is scheduled today to take up the thorny issue of how to set the salaries of San Diego’s elected officials. The current system, in which the City Council considers a recommendation made by a commission every two years, has has come under fire. Critics say office-holders in politically sensitive jobs don’t want voters to see them raising their own salaries, especially when municipal finances are tight. That effectively sidelines potentially talented candidates who aren’t willing to take a pay cut to run for office, according to those who want the system changed. Read more…

Personnel Announcements

Torrey Pines Bank Promotes Ryan Vertigan

Ryan Vertigan

Ryan Vertigan

Torrey Pines Bank has promoted Ryan Vertigan to senior vice president and regional manager of its East County market. Vertigan will be responsible for helping East County businesses with a broad array of deposit, lending and treasury management solutions that help advance their business and streamline their financial operation.

The East County market represents a large portion of construction and construction-related firms that have contributed to the bank’s growth through lending activity and liquidity strategies.

Vertigan previously was senior loan officer of the bank’s Downtown San Diego office. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in business economics and political science.

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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: