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Daily Business Report-April 23, 2015

Daily Business Report-April 23, 2015

The tower will offer views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Coronado Island and bridge, Balboa Park, Point Loma and the Downtown skyline.

Graystar Purchases Site For 37-Story

Downtown Multifamily High-Rise

Graystar has purchased property adjacent to Petco Park for the construction of a 37-story, 446-unit multifamily development that will be part of the six-building Ballpark Village mixed-use project. JLL’s Capital Markets announced the purchase on behalf of JMI and Lennar.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The property is called Ballpark Village Parcel C2.

The tower will offer views of the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, Coronado Island and bridge, Balboa Park, Point Loma and the Downtown skyline. Community amenities include a rooftop pool, clubhouse, spa, fire pit, and barbecue area. The property will also feature a three level parking garage and 24,000 square feet of retail space.

“This development is an indication of the strength of San Diego’s multifamily market as job growth, along with population growth, continues its upward climb,” said Darcy Miramontes of JLL. “Its location will offer residents a true ‘live, work, play’ environment since it’s located near the area’s top employers, vibrant restaurants and entertainment options.”

Lynn LaChapelle, “JMI has been working to get this project off the ground for more than a decade. Their collaboration with city leaders and community groups is a testament to hard work, dedication and a vision for the future,” said Lynn LaChapelle, also of JLL.


Demonstration of Autonomous Aerial Refueling.

Demonstration of Autonomous Aerial Refueling.

X-47B Unmanned Aircraft Demonstrates

First Autonomous Aerial Refueling

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated fully autonomous aerial refueling with the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft on Tuesday, marking the first time in history that an unmanned aircraft has refueled in-flight.

During the probe and drogue Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) demonstration, the X-47B performed a close formation flight rendezvous with an Omega K-707 tanker. Upon clearance from the tanker crew, the X-47B maneuvered into position behind the K-707 and successfully engaged the drogue. On completion of the refueling, the X-47B autonomously disengaged the drogue and maneuvered away from the tanker before returning to base.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this first round of probe and drogue flights with the X-47B,” said Pablo Gonzalez of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The AAR system and X-47B both performed as expected. While we would certainly benefit from additional probe and drogue flight testing, we have reached a tipping point at which AAR is now feasible.”

Northrop Grumman began developing AAR technology for both Navy and Air Force application nearly a decade ago, pioneering a “hybrid” approach that integrates both GPS and infrared imaging to enhance navigational precision and hedge against GPS disruption. Initial UCAS-D flight testing began in 2012 using a manned Learjet as a surrogate for the X-47B. These successful proof-of-concept flights demonstrated the overall feasibility of the X-47B AAR system and helped refine its navigation, command and control, and infrared sensor processing components.

Hearing on Short-Term Vacation

Rentals Draws Crowd at City Hall

A City Council committee meeting on possible new rules for short-term vacation rentals in San Diego attracted so many public speakers Wednesday that another hearing was scheduled for next month.

The issue has developed in recent years as more property owners offer to rent their residences for periods of a few days to one month.

Many residents, especially in the beach areas, contend their quality of life is suffering because of increased noise from heavy partying and overcrowding. Many owners, however, said they’ve had few problems with their guests, and need extra income to keep up with high housing costs.

Members of the public who didn’t get a chance to speak at the meeting of the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee were invited back on May 29, when the hearing will resume. After the public testimony, the committee members will comment and provide direction to staff.

Marcie Beckett, who belongs to a grassroots group called Save Our San Diego Neighborhoods, told the committee that she’s confronted with a “constant parade of strangers,” and that vacation rentals don’t belong in residential areas.

“The noise and negative impacts make it so that neighbors are unable to enjoy their houses and backyards,” Beckett said. “It’s scary having a revolving door of strangers watching your kids play in the yard.”

She said such properties diminish the housing supply for people who want to buy or rent long-term.

While she and some others want to prohibit short-term vacation rentals in residential areas, other opponents said enough regulations are on the books, but the city needs to enforce them.

On the other side of the issue, Tony Griffin, who lives in the Windansea area of La Jolla, said he rents his house when he goes away on vacation.

“In two years, I’ve had one problem,” Griffin said, adding that his loud renters quieted down immediately after being warned of neighbors’ complaints.

City News Service

Read more…

UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute to Open

Innovation Space for Industry and Startups

For the first time, a UC San Diego professor or researcher can start a company and lease office space for it on campus for up to two years, so they can more easily “commute” between their startups and their academic faculty offices or labs on campus.

That’s the idea behind a 6,000-square-foot facility in the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego that will open on May 7.

Tenants must apply and be accepted into the Qualcomm Institute Innovation Space, which is also open to larger and existing companies that see value in being able to maintain an office on campus in order to collaborate more effectively with university personnel and to gain easier access to student interns and workers.

The Qualcomm Institute is the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).

S.D. Community College District Hires

Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services

Stephanie Bulger will oversee coordination and alignment of the curriculum at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges and Continuing Education.

Stephanie Bulger

Stephanie R. Bulger, a top administrator at a 70,000-student community college system in Michigan, has been named vice chancellor of instructional services for the San Diego Community College District.

Bulger will oversee coordination and alignment of the curriculum at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges and Continuing Education.  The district’s Instructional Services division also is responsible for ensuring the transferability of courses and degree programs to universities, building and maintaining relationships with local businesses and industry, and interfacing with such important agencies as the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Bulger is the vice chancellor of educational affairs and distance learning at the multi-campus, Wayne County Community College District, in Detroit.  As the district’s chief instructional officer, Bulger’s responsibilities include curricula and program development, including planning and developing programs that meet student needs and foster student success, managing budgets for instruction, and building community relations.

Bulger’s contract is scheduled for ratification by district’s board of trustees at its May 14 meeting. She will begin her job on July 1. The vice chancellor position became open last year when Otto Lee assumed the presidency of Los Angeles Harbor College.  Shelly Hess has served as interim president since September.

Salk Heavyweight Evans Raises

$33M for Intriguing Stealth Biotech

Ronald Evans, the heavyweight Salk Institute researcher and serial entrepreneur who co-founded Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Syndax and X-Ceptor, is putting his shoulder behind a new stealth biotech in San Diego named Metacrine.

According to documents filed with the SEC, Metacrine has raised $6.85 million of a $33 million round, putting them on track to burst onto the San Diego biotech scene in the near future.

Cubic Wins Big at ITS United Kingdom Awards

Cubic Transportation Systems, a business of Cubic Corporation and Transport for London, have received another significant accolade for their contactless bankcard payments solution. Both organizations were named the winner of the Forward Thinking Award for Innovation at the ITS United Kingdom Awards 2015. The contactless payment system demonstrates innovation at a global scale, as London is one of the first major cities to accept contactless debit and credit cards for travel.

Northrop Grumman, Caltech Enter Agreement

For Development of Space Solar Power Initiative

Northrop Grumman Corporation has signed a sponsored research agreement with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for the development of the Space Solar Power Initiative (SSPI). Under the terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman will provide up to $17.5 million to the initiative over three years.

Working together, the team will develop the scientific and technological innovations necessary to enable a space-based solar power system capable of generating electric power at cost parity with grid-connected fossil fuel power plants. SSPI responds to the engineering challenge of providing a cost-competitive source of sustainable energy. SSPI will develop technologies in three areas: high-efficiency ultralight photovoltaics; ultralight deployable space structures; and phased array and power transmission.

Community College Districts Selected

For National Network to Boost Student Success

MiraCosta College and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District were selected for a nationwide educational reform network called Achieving the Dream that has a long record of boosting graduation and transfer rates at community colleges across the country.

The colleges’ participation in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network begins in June with seminars and an orientation, followed by months of research and planning aimed at developing new strategies to improve student outcomes.

The districts have each been awarded a three-year, $120,000 matching grant from the Kresge Foundation to take part in Achieving the Dream. The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program focuses on expanding student access to higher education and opening avenues to student success, particularly for those from historically underserved communities.

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District serves about 30,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. MiraCosta College, based in Oceanside, has about 15,000 credit students at its Oceanside and Cardiff campuses, plus online.

Detailed plans of how the two college districts will move forward will be developed over the next year. As part of the Achieving the Dream Network, colleges receive an array of resources, including expert, one-on-one coaching, grant opportunities to facilitate institutional change, and access to webinars and other professional development programs.

Mesa College Student Sarah Taha

Due to Receive Additional Honors

Now 26 and a resident of La Mesa,  Taha is one of only 20 to receive the All-USA Community College Academic Team honor.

Now 26 and a resident of La Mesa, Taha is one of only 20 to receive the All-USA Community College Academic Team honor.

Sarah Taha, an Iraqi immigrant and honors student at San Diego Mesa College — named earlier this week as one of the top community college students in America — is due to receive more honors on Friday.

At the Mesa College Scholarship Awards, Sarah is expected to receive several more scholarships, including the $2,500 President’s Academic Excellence and Service Award.

Taha was a senior in high school in November 2006 when her father was shot and killed by terrorists as punishment for allowing her two brothers to work as interpreters with U.S. forces. Her family was displaced; her education came to a halt. She went into a deep depression. Eventually, the family found their way to America through a special immigration visa, and Sarah found her way to Mesa College.

Following graduation from Mesa College in May, she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration with hopes to achieve her doctorate in accounting and help those who are in the situation she was able to escape. She wants to become social entrepreneur, and already has ideas for an international enterprise that imports tea grown in Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries to help bolster those communities. Locally, she has volunteered to raise funds and awareness of the hungry and shelter-deprived.

Now 26 and a resident of La Mesa,  Taha is one of only 20 to receive the All-USA Community College Academic Team honor, which comes with a $5,000 scholarship and is presented by Follett Higher Education Group.

La Mesa Chamber Hosts Spring Fling

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce will present Spring Fling, a business expo, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa. Admission is $10 per person. Beer and wine will be available for sale. Raffles and door prizes hosted by vendors and participants are planned. To RSVP, send call (619) 465-7700.

The event will feature live music, food sampling and 45 display tables. Event sponsors include American Medical Response, SDG&E, The East County Herald and Viejas Casino & Resort.

Sydnee’s Pet Grooming to Offer Franchises

San Marcos-based Sydnee’s Pet Grooming has received approval to grant franchises in 33 states, the company announced.

The company said it offers an established business model, proven operational systems and a highly effective mentor program, focusing on growth from within. The company is also proactive in the site selection process and offers cost conscious construction guidance, as well as marketing and public relations support.

Initial investment for a Sydnee’s Pet Grooming salon franchise is estimated to be between $152,614 and $241,429. Estimates for the initial investment of a mobile salon or area developer agreement will vary.

For more information, visit the franchising page of the website ( or call Carmen Chávez de Hesse at (619) 865-9476.

Low Impact Development Solutions Workshop

The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects is will hold an April 30  workshop to discuss low-impact development solutions. The event will be at 3:30 p.m. at the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island in Point Loma.

Attendees will spend an afternoon with multi-disciplinary professionals, including city agencies, landscape architects, civil engineers, geotechnical engineers, landscape contractors and students, listening to industry experts discuss their experience with what has worked and what hasn’t.

The workshop is open to the public. Free for ASLA members, $10 for nonmembers. Online registration:

Workshop sponsors include: RCP Block and Brick, Belgard Hardscapes and ReproHAUS.

The city has run out of money to reimburse residents who replace thirsty lawns with drought-resistant plants or artificial turf, but there are still some options for anyone looking for a rebate and to reduce outdoor watering.

The city has run out of money to reimburse residents who replace thirsty lawns with drought-resistant plants or artificial turf, but there are still some options for anyone looking for a rebate and to reduce outdoor watering.

City’s Turf Rebate Money Has Dried Up

That was fast: The city has run out of money to reimburse residents who replace thirsty lawns with drought-resistant plants, but there are still some options for anyone looking for a rebate and to reduce outdoor watering.

The city’s turf replacement rebate program, which Mayor Kevin Faulconer pushed earlier this month, ran out of money Wednesday. The rebates were designed to help the city save water during the drought. About 350 residential and commercial water customers applied for the rebates, which became available April 15. About half the water used by single-family homes in the city ends up being used outdoors.

A similar rebate program San Diego County Water Authority ran out of money several months ago after a two-year run. Both the city and county water agencies are looking for more money.

The last major rebate program standing, for now, is offered by the Metropolitan Water District, the Los Angeles-based supplier that delivers water across Southern California, still has rebates available for San Diego-area water customers. Some smaller water districts in the county might also have some rebate money available for their customers.

Even without rebates or tearing up grass and other plants, residents can save water.

In the city, about a quarter of the water used on outdoor plants may be wasted, said Stephen Heverly, the managing director of Equinox Center, a think tank that studies water use. “People are overwatering their landscaping without even knowing,” Heverly said. (That’s saying nothing of the people who aim for the lawn but water the sidewalk.)

A typical home sprinkler system is set to go off for 10 minutes, three times a week, said Lynlee Austell-Slayter, a San Diego County master gardener and sustainable landscape expert. That type of watering is “basically recreating Hawaii,” Austell-Slayter said.

Some plants need only about half the water they receive, she said. Some ornamental trees can go weeks without water.

So, to cut outdoor water use in half, people could instead water for 15 minutes once a week. Austell-Slayter said to do that, people should set their sprinklers on five-minute intervals a half hour apart in the morning, so the sprinklers would go off at 6 a.m., 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. The 25 minutes between the end and beginning of each watering is to let the soil absorb the water.

Ry Rivard/Voice of San Diego (

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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: