Daily Business Report-April 27, 2015
It’s Over: The Chargers Are Done With San Diego
An NFL VP reiterates that a complex real estate deal to fund a new Chargers stadium probably won’t work. Combined with other challenges, this deal is dead.
Read Scott Lewis’ opinion piece in Voice of San Diego here.
Plaza de Panama Revitalized for
Balboa Park Centennial Celebration
As the Balboa Park Centennial celebration continues throughout 2015, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, the Balboa Park Conservancy and Southwest Airlines unveiled a revitalized Plaza de Panama – the central gathering point in Balboa Park — last week.
Improvements include new amenities such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, benches, games, an “outdoor living room” and a lawn for lounging. In addition, specially crafted presentation panels allow the adjacent museums to have their collections and exhibits on display outside their buildings.
“The Plaza de Panama is one of the greatest gathering spaces in San Diego and these new amenities will create more opportunities for San Diegans and visitors alike to enjoy Balboa Park,” Faulconer said. “This is where San Diego communities come together, making this project a great addition to the Centennial celebration.”
Funded by Southwest Airlines and The San Diego Foundation, the new vision for the space was developed with input from the community and park stakeholders to create an active, vibrant gathering place for millions of Balboa Park visitors each year. The total cost of the project was $117,000.
Southwest Airlines provided $85,000 for the project through its Heart of the Community grant program.
“Our purpose at Southwest is to connect people to what’s important in their lives,” said Gary Kelly, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines. “What better way to do that than by helping to create more access to our public spaces where communities can come together.”
To date, The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $1.75 million — including more than $32,000 for the Plaza de Panama makeover — to support preservation, maintenance and beautification of Balboa Park throughout its fundraising.
New Information Center to Open on Waterfront
A new information center will open on the San Diego waterfront on Thursday, under the management of Old Town Trolley Tours.
The center at 996 North Harbor Drive is in a building that is part of the Port of San Diego’s recent improvements to the North Embarcadero. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week from June through October, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week from November through May.
Old Town Trolley will kick off its new business with a grand opening ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Ed Swift III, President and CFO of Historic Tours of America, which is Old Town Trolley’s parent company, will cut the ribbon on the facility, along with Port Vice Chairman Marshall Merrifield.
The San Diego Visitor Information building is a combination of public art and design as envisioned by renowned artist Pae White. White helped design all of the public buildings that are incorporated in the Port’s North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase I project, which was opened to the public in November 2014.
The Port designed and installed the unfinished building shell with water, sewer, electrical and gas service connections. Old Town Trolley installed interior finishes, flooring, ceiling, mechanical, electrical, heating and air conditioning equipment, plumbing, lighting, millwork and interior walls.
Old Town Trolley will operate the center with a staffed desk and displays, along with distributing information for activities and events including restaurants, hotels and transportation services along the waterfront and within the city and county of San Diego.
Dollar Tree Stores to Pay $2.72 Million to
Settle Environmental Protection Lawsuit
Dollar Tree Stores Inc., which operates six stores in San Diego and 25 others in the county, is paying $2.72 million to settle an environmental protection lawsuit filed by 45 California district attorneys and two city attorneys, including San Diego’s. The judgment is the result of an investigation into Dollar Tree Stores’ unlawful disposal of hazardous waste products into trash bins at each of its stores and distribution centers, over 480 facilities in California.
The waste included ignitable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices and other e-waste, as well as other hazardous waste generated by circumstances including spills and damage. Hazardous materials were being illegally handled and, rather than being transported to authorized hazardous waste facilities, hazardous wastes were illegally transported to local landfills that are not permitted to accept such waste.
Dollar Tree Stores, which cooperated throughout the investigation, admitted no guilt in settling the complaint and agreeing to pay civil penalties and costs. As part of the settlement, the Virginia-based chain was ordered to continue implementing a company-wide hazardous-waste compliance program.
The San Diego City Attorney’s Office played a role in investigating the case and, as a result, will receive $207,500 of the civil penalties and $54,500 to defray costs. The funds will be used to pay for the office’s consumer and environmental enforcement activities.
San Diego Named to Top 10 List
Of Best Cities for Green Homes
San Diego has been named one of the 10 best cities for green homes in the U.S., based on the percentage of its homes with “green” features that sold over the past year, reports Redfin, a real estate brokerage.
The report also named Allied Gardens, Clairemont Mesa West and Sycamore Estates as the top three neighborhoods for green homes in San Diego.
San Diego was ranked fourth in the top 10 list.
The report found that the top 10 green homes:
• Had a median sale price that was $52,000 higher than homes without green features.
• Were mostly built in the 1960s and 1970s.
• Were slightly larger than non-green homes, with an average square footage of 1,765 vs. the 1,588 square feet for other homes sold.
Features that were looked for in homes included solar panels, low-flow faucets, dual-pane windows, energy efficient appliances, environmental ratings and certification programs such as Energy Star and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
In Allied Gardens, most homes have been updated with energy-efficient appliances and solar panels, and many homes in the area also feature drought-resistant landscaping, said Redfin agent Lisa Padilla.When it comes to new construction, many homes in San Diego are now being built with solar panels and other energy-efficient features.
Click here to read the report.
Sempra Subsidiary Purchases
Minnesota Wind Project
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, has acquired the Black Oak Getty wind project in Minnesota from Geronimo Energy LLC, a wind and solar energy developer. When the 78 megawatt project is completed, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, its affiliates and joint-venture partners, will have wind facilities in seven states totaling more than 1,200 megawatts of generating capacity, the company said.
Located in Stearns County, Minn., the Black Oak Getty wind farm will generate enough renewable power for about 30,000 Minnesota homes. The project is expected to move into full construction in spring 2016.
NASSCO Awarded $24 Million Contract
For Littoral Combat Ship Support Work
General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded a $24.1 million contract by the U.S. Navy for Littoral Combat Ships sustainment execution in support of Littoral Combat Ships home-ported in or visiting San Diego. The contract has a total potential value of $96 million if all options are exercised.
Under the contract, NASSCO will plan, furnish material and provide support and facilities to maintain and modernize twelve LCS-class ships. The contract covers both variants, Freedom and Independence. These ships are fast, agile, focused-mission platforms designed for operation in near-shore environments and capable of open-ocean operation.
“General Dynamics NASSCO has a proven repair experience with a track record of delivering high-quality maintenance and modernization services to the U.S. Navy,” said David Carver, vice president and general manager of repair at NASSCO. “We look forward to working with the Navy to support the sustainment of the Littoral Combat Ship program.”
General Dynamics NASSCO will serve as the prime contractor and will partner with General Dynamics Mission Systems and General Dynamics Information Technology.
One Paseo Opponents Have
Enough Signatures for Referendum
Opponents of a controversial development in Carmel Valley collected enough referendum petition signatures to force the San Diego City Council to either rescind its approval of the project or put the issue to voters, the City Clerk’s Office announced Friday.
More than 60,000 signatures were turned in by opponents of the 23.6-acre project, far more than the 34,000-plus needed to qualify. However, the City Clerk’s Office also received nearly 29,500 requests from people asking that their names be taken off the petitions.
The $750 million One Paseo proposal, from Kilroy Realty, calls for 10 buildings encompassing nearly 1.5 million square feet of floor space, including shops, offices, a movie theater and more than 600 housing units south of Del Mar Heights Road, between El Camino Real and High Bluff Drive.
It was approved on a pair of City Council votes earlier this year, by margins of 7-2 and 6-1.
Kilroy issued a statement saying the firm “worked constructively with Carmel Valley community members for nearly seven years to refine One Paseo, ultimately earning the support of a bipartisan supermajority of the City Council.”
SDSU Poetry Professor Wins National Prize
Marilyn Chin has received the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for “Hard Love Province,” her fourth volume of poems.
A professor in San Diego State University’s master of fine arts program, Chin is among the most celebrated living American poets. Previous recipients of the Anisfield-Wolf Award include Toni Morrison, Martin Luther King Jr., Louise Erdich, Junot Diaz, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X and Maxine Hong Kingston.
Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the prize in 1935 in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize for works that address racism and diversity.
Chin’s poetry, distinguished by incisiveness and finesse, is a cross-fertilization of many cultures and styles, often blending Eastern and Western forms to address the complexities of biculturalism, feminism and Asian identity. “I always try to speak to the most vulnerable brown girl in the room,” she said.
Rita Dove, an Anisfield-Wolf juror and Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, said of Chin’s work: “In these sad and beautiful poems, a withering portrayal of our global society emerges — from Buddha to Allah, Mongols to Bethesda boys, Humvee to war horse Dachau to West Darfur, Irrawaddy River to San Diego.”
Chin said initially she thought the phone call informing her of the award was a student prank. In fact, the caller was the celebrated scholar and educator Henry Louis Gates, chair of the selection committee. He contacted her in Hong Kong, while she was en route to Beijing to work on a translation of her poems into Chinese. “I was pleasantly surprised to receive his message over my cell phone an ocean away,” Chin said. “Such is the life of a transnational Chinese American poet!”
— SDSU NewsCenter
Chamber Hires VP of Sales and Marketing
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has hired Dave Haller as vice president of membership. Haller is the former vice president of sales, marketing and account management for North America at WIS International.
Haller also directed sales for Rubbermaid Inc., where he oversaw annual sales revenue of $200 million. He also held increasingly senior positions at Warehouse Clubs and S.C. Johnson Wax. Haller earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from UC Long Beach, and a master’s of business administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.