Daily Business Report-April 14, 2015
W. Laurel Street in San Diego. The mayor’s budget proposal calls for the repair of 300 miles of streets.
Mayor Unveils $3.2 Billion Budget for San Diego
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Monday outlined a $3.2 billion budget for America’s eighth largest city for the next fiscal year.
Faulconer’s spending plan, which would take effect July 1, includes paying for the repair of 300 miles of streets. The mayor has made a goal of repaving 1,000 miles of roadways over the next five years, and he’s set aside $49.2 million in a bond issue to pay some of the cost.
He is also proposing to expand operating hours at the city’s 16 busiest recreation centers from 45 to 60 hours a week, upgrade playgrounds, install better lighting, and improve preschool and teen programs.
Faulconer said his proposed spending plan “funds services that give more San Diegans in more communities the opportunity to succeed.”
“San Diegans will see more street repairs, better parks and more equality to neighborhood services, so your community is thriving no matter where you live,” he said.
The proposed budget also builds on the city’s activities of the current year by increasing broadband Internet access at libraries, expanding an after- school study program at libraries in communities with low test scores, staffing a new fire station in Mission Valley and a temporary fire facility in Skyline, adding more neighborhood code enforcement officers and updating nine community zoning plans.
Faulconer proposed a $2.97 billion budget at this time last year. The upcoming year’s number will be higher because of across-the-board revenue increases, according to the mayor’s office.
The city is projecting a 4.25 percent hike in property tax income, 4 percent for sales taxes, 5.5 percent in hotel room taxes and 2 percent for franchise fees — which are paid for by companies like San Diego Gas & Electric and Cox Communications.
“After years of sacrifices on the part of our residents, communities and city staff, it’s encouraging to see a budget that continues to provide essential services such as public safety and infrastructure, and restores recreation center and library hours and other city programs,” council President Sherri Lightner said.
The draft budget will be formally presented to the City Council this afternoon. The council members will hold hearings on the budget in May and vote on a final document in June.
— City News Service
San Diego and Tijuana Tourism Boards
To Sign Binational Marketing Agreement
The board of the San Diego Tourism Authority will meet with its counterpart in Tijuana — the Comite de Turismo y Convenciones de Tijuana (COTUCO) — on Thursday for the signing of a binational marketing agreement to increase cooperation on regional tourism marketing and promotion.
The joint meeting also will include a progress update of the Cross Border Xpress, a cross-border pedestrian bridge linking San Diego with Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International airport.
The marketing agreement includes cooperative mechanisms that allow both parties to develop joint work programs in areas of common interest. Some of the areas of cooperation include: a significant presence in each other’s respective website and board of directors’ meetings, a prominent display of marketing materials developed in both languages at visitor information centers, and participation of both parties at trade shows and conferences on both sides of the border.
“This agreement is testament to the commitment of both the City of San Diego and the City of Tijuana to promote a shared vision of an economically vibrant binational mega region,” said Miguel Angel Badiola, COTUCO president.
Ballpark Village Project Gets Council OK
The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved a transfer of development rights for a major project adjacent to Petco Park in the East Village.
JMI Realty, the firm created by former Padres owner John Moores to handle development surrounding the stadium, sold the rights to build the 37-story Ballpark Village project to Greystar, a real estate management company based in Charleston, S.C.
The project, which is scheduled to break ground later this week, will include 720 apartment units — with some set aside for affordable housing — and 58,000 square feet of retail space on 3.9 acres bounded by Park Boulevard, and Imperial and 12th avenues, just east of Petco Park.
The transfer went before the City Council because the original agreements with JMI were made before the redevelopment process was abolished by the state.
The deal includes an Owner Participation Agreement, which has terms specifying the types of uses and affordable housing requirements. The OPA also includes a $4 million contribution to a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Drive, and creating 267 public parking spaces for special events.
Greystar is complying with the agreement, according to city staff.
— City News Service
Activist Investor Calls for Qualcomm Breakup
An activist investor is calling for the breakup Qualcomm to boost the wireless company’s stock price, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The newspaper reported Monday that Jana Partners LLC is asking the San Diego-based company to spin off its chip-making business. Samsung, previously a major customer, recently passed over Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon processer for the latest Galaxy S6 smartphone.
Jana has a $2 billion stake in Qualcomm, making it one of the company’s largest investors.
The Journal quoted Qualcomm as saying it welcomed input from investors and would consider the matter.
After opening higher on NASDAQ, Qualcomm’s stock was later trading at a few cents below Friday’s close of $69.16 per share.
— Times of San Diego
Update of McClellan-Palomar Airport
Master Plan Set for April 30 in Carlsbad
The county of San Diego will hold a public meeting on April 30 to given an update on the McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the city of Carlsbad Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Center, in Carlsbad.
There will be an informational presentation from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. Afterwards, attendees will be able to learn more by visiting various project stations presenting the individual airport alternatives. The project team will be available to answer any questions.
The project team welcomes public input and will be accepting written comments at the workshop. The public input will help the project team refine the alternatives and ultimately select a preferred alternative.
During the workshop, the airport project team plans to present an overview of the:
• Master Plan Update process.
• Evolution of McClellan-Palomar Airport.
• Airport alternative development process.
• Potential airport alternatives.
Flagship Cruises & Events Celebrates
100th Anniversary on San Diego Bay
Flagship Cruises & Events, formerly called San Diego Harbor Excursion and before that the Star & Crescent Boat Company, will celebrate a century on San Diego Bay on May 2 with a big party aboard three of the company’s yachts.
The party — from 2 to 6 p.m. and free and open to the public — will take place aboard the California Spirit, California Princess and Quiet Heart yachts, and guests will be able to freely embark and disembark in order to enjoy the offerings and harbor view on all three boats. The yachts are docked along the newly-remodeled embarcadero at 990 North Harbor Drive.
Additionally, Flagship will offer free high-speed thrill rides on the Patriot jet boat for party guests.
Highlights of the party include live music by dance band Sensation and jazz vocalist Celeste Barbier, local craft beer and wine for sample and purchase, commemorative photos, memorabiliay from Flagship’s history, games for kids and prizes.
The Patriot jet boat is the newest addition to the Flagship fleet and the only boat of its kind in San Diego, the 70-foot Patriot features two turbo-charged, 1,400 horsepower jet engines that send passengers racing through San Diego Harbor on an unforgettable joyride at 50 miles per hour. The complimentary rides will depart at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Originally founded on May 1, 1915 as the Star & Crescent Boat Company, Flagship Cruises & Events began as a ferry company with owners Oakley J. Hall and Rufus Creswell at the helm. In 1986, The Engel brothers — Art, Herb and David — purchased the Star & Crescent Boat Company from the Hall family, continuing the company’s family-owned legacy and growing the fleet to offer a broader array of charter, cruise and event options. To reflect this expansion, the company changed its name to San Diego Harbor Excursion in 1990, and then to Flagship Cruises & Events in 2011. Today, Flagship’s offerings include harbor tours, nightly skyline dinner cruises, whale watching excursions, Sunday brunch cruises, event planning and private yacht charters.
Rafael F. Bonilla Joins Heisner Álvarez
Heisner Álvarez, a La Jolla-based trusts and estates and business law firm, has added Rafael F. Bonilla as an associate. Bonilla focuses his practice on complex civil litigation, estate planning, and trust and probate law.
Bonilla represents clients in the areas of environmental litigation, securities litigation, and municipal law. He has extensive experience in counseling public entities on municipal law and compliance.
Bonilla received his J.D. from Rutgers Law School and his undergraduate degree from UCLA. He served as a judicial intern for the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division and the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. Bonilla also studied at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. He is fluent in Spanish.
Bonilla is a member of San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, the La Jolla Bar Association and the American Inns of Court, Clifford B. Wallace Chapter.