Daily Business Report-June 26, 2015
The annual Innovation Report by CONNECT also reported that a total of $805 million in venture capital was invested in 98 deals in San Diego in 2014.
Rapid Growth Reported for Companies
In San Diego’s ‘Innovation Economy’
CONNECT, the organization charting the growth of start-up companies in San Diego’s ‘’innovation economy,” reported Wednesday that 446 companies were started last year, the greatest single-year total since it began tracking the data in 2005.
The annual Innovation Report by CONNECT also reported that a total of $805 million in venture capital was invested in 98 deals in San Diego in 2014.
The Innovation Report provides an overview of the strength and impact of the innovation economy in San Diego, and tracks the health of the innovation economy by comparing data year over year and across industry clusters.
Of the 446 new startups established in 2014:
• 248 were software companies
• 86 were communications, computer, and electronics companies
• 70 were life sciences companies
• 16 were in defense and transportation
• 16 were in recreational goods manufacturing
• 10 were environmental technology companies
• 1,860 new direct jobs were created in San Diego in 2014 out of the start-up and innovation economy companies.
The report said 147,900 people in San Diego County are directly employed in an innovation economy company, and that $109,600 is the average salary in the innovation sector — more than two times the average wage in San Diego for a non-innovation economy job.
Other results from the report:
Equity Capital Markets:
• $416 million raised by seven San Diego companies in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in 2014.
• $1.25 billion raised by 142 San Diego companies in private placement offerings in 2014.
• $2.4 billion raised by 20 San Diego companies in Follow-On Public Equity Offerings (FPOs) in 2014.
The report said that San Diego was the No. 1 county in Southern California for patent applications published and patents granted last year.
• 7,715 patent applications were filed in San Diego in 2014.
• 6,564 patents were granted in San Diego in 2014
Carlsbad Desalination Plant
Construction to Finish Early
Help on the California water supply front is arriving sooner than expected.
As the U.S.’s most populous state endures the fourth year of an historic drought, the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere will be operational ahead of schedule, said the chief executive officer of one of the project’s developers.
“The contractual date is at the end of November and we’ll probably finish a few weeks ahead of that,” Avshalom Felber of IDE Technologies Ltd., a partner with Poseidon Resources Corp. on the Carlsbad water supply project north of San Diego, said.
The $1 billion Carlsbad plant, which uses reverse osmosis to purify seawater, will have the capacity to produce 54 million gallons a day of drinkable water. While helpful, this is still a relative drop in the ocean compared with the 38 billion gallons a day used by Californians on average in 2010. When completed, the facility will surpass in scale the Point Lisas desalination plant on the Caribbean island of Trinidad.
If an increase in production is sought, the Carlsbad plant can be expanded by 6 million gallons, Felber said in a phone interview. The facility will provide about 7 percent of San Diego County’s water when at full capacity. Completion of the plant is timely as last month regulators approved rules that for the first time require mandatory water reductions across California, the U.S.’s top agricultural producer.
The planned sale of the company — UBS AG has been asked to find a buyer — has “not yet kicked off full steam,” Felber said, delayed by “internal decision-making processes” of its joint shareholders, Israel Chemicals Ltd. and Delek Group Ltd. Both companies’ strategies dictate the sale of non-core assets.
San Diego Comic-Con Not Nailed Down for 2017
A Comic-Con International official said Thursday that talks regarding a two-year extension to remain in San Diego are still under way, and it’s uncertain when or if an agreement will be reached.
Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer told City News Service that the talks are with a small group of local hotels.
“Basically, we’re trying to keep room blocks and discounts for our guests” at the hotels, Glanzer said. “We’re still talking, which is good.”
Comic-Con, the largest annual trade show in San Diego, brings 130,000 attendees to Downtown and visitors from around the world. It is scheduled to be staged at the convention center through next year. Where the show will be held after that remains unknown.
“That’s scary,” Glanzer said. He said the 2017 show location should have been determined last year.
Because of the show’s immense size, attraction and media coverage, other cities have been trying to lure Comic-Con away — while San Diego city and tourism officials have been trying to keep it home.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday that an agreement for a two-year extension, which would keep the show here through 2018, could be announced before the start of this year’s convention.
Glanzer, who wasn’t available until Thursday to speak about the status of negotiations, said it was unclear whether a deal could be signed in time for the July 8 Preview Night.
If not, the discussions would have to be put off until after the show, he said.
Glanzer said talks with the city of San Diego, which manages the convention center, went well.
He said a delay in a planned expansion of the facility has not affected the show, because the event’s organizers weren’t expecting it to be completed by now.
Some Comic-Con events have been farmed out to nearby hotels in recent years because the show has outgrown the convention center.
— City News Service
Civic San Diego Approves Design for 240-Unit
Apartment and Commercial Project Downtown
Civic San Diego said it has approved the design and permits for the IDEA 1 project by Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group — a six-story, mixed-use development located on the full block bounded by Park Boulevard and 13th E and F streets in East Village Downtown.
The project is comprised of 280 apartments and 24,000 square feet of commercial space. The project contains “The Hub,” an interior courtyard space to be shared by the project’s commercial tenants, residents and the public for a variety of programmed activities and everyday interactions. It is estimated that the project will generate approximately 308 construction jobs and 97 permanent jobs.
DoubleTree San Diego Del Mar Sold
CBRE Hotels has arranged the sale of the 224-room DoubleTree San Diego Del Mar to San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners. The seller was PHF Ruby LLC, an affiliate of Fillmore Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Southwest Value Partners has retained Dimension Development Co. as the new operating manager of the hotel, which will continue to operate under the “DoubleTree by Hilton” license.
The Five-story hotel property originally opened in 1991 and underwent a partial renovation in 2012. It is located in the Del Mar Heights area of San Diego near the junction of Interstate 5 and State Route 56.
Simons Array Project Awarded $5 Million
To Study the Origins of the Universe
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $5 million grant to support the Simons Array, a new system of three powerful telescopes designed to study the origins of the universe.
Led by a team of scientists from UC San Diego, UC Berkeley and the University of Colorado, the Simons Array expands the POLARBEAR project, based in Chile’s Atacama desert, to search for the signature of cosmic inflation — the rapid expansion of the early universe after the Big Bang. The project is one of just four cosmology proposals — out of more than 40 applicants in 2014 — to be funded by the NSF.
The new system is named for James and Marilyn Simons of the Simons Foundation, which provided the initial funding to build and install two telescopes to pair with the original POLARBEAR telescope. The three together make up the Simons Array. The NSF grant will support a team of scientists for three years of observations and data analysis. This includes graduate student stipends, undergraduate research scholarships, travel and other operational expenses.
“People are the heart of any good experiment. We would not be able to design, fabricate, test and deploy the hardware of the Simons Array — not to mention travel to Chile to observe the distant universe — without the NSF funding,” said Brian Keating, professor of physics at UC San Diego. Keating is leading the project with Adrian Lee, a UC Berkeley professor of physics.
“This project, which will give astronomers an important new tool to peer back in time to our early universe, will enhance UC San Diego’s reputation as a world leader in the field of astrophysics,” said Mark Thiemens, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences, which hired three renowned astrophysicists to UC San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences in just the last year. “Our group of astrophysicists is world renowned for its research from the origin of the elements, stars and galaxy all the way to the beginning of the universe.”
The Simons Array is stationed at the University of California’s James Ax Observatory in Chile.
Junior Achievement Team from San Diego
Captures ‘Company of the Year’ Title
A team from Junior Achievement of San Diego that created CCA Today, a startup company that developed an app to inform students of activities and events on school campus, has been declared winner of the 2015 JA Company of the Year competition.
The team was selected from among 15 competing student companies representing JA operations across the country at JA’s National Student Leadership Summit.
In addition to winning the JA Company of the Year title, the San Diego teens representing the student company in Washington, D.C. were awarded a JA Company of the Year Scholarship from The Hartford. The scholarships were awarded to five students on each of the top three finishing teams. Each member of the CCA team will receive a $4,000 scholarship. CCA Today also took home the “Social Media Award” for creating a solution to address a local, national or global social concern.
The San Diego students represent Canyon Crest Academy High in Carmel Valley. CCA Today’s product, which is compatible with all smart phones, serves as a recreational, campus-wide application designed to enlighten students with information about events, schedules, news, and more. The teen company hopes the new technology will encourage students to feel a part of their school and improve their experience at CCA.
“I am so proud of the team from Canyon Crest Academy. They put their hearts and souls into this project and the end result was so impressive,” said Ken Schmitt, president and founder of Turning Point Executive Search and program mentor for CCA Today.
Ware Malcomb CEO Wins Sandro Botticelli Prize
Lawrence R. Armstrong, chief executive officer of Ware Malcomb, has been awarded the Sandro Botticelli Prize in Florence, Italy, for his artwork, “filla 1.1.”
Armstrong’s artwork was honored at an award ceremony at the Casa di Dante museum in Florence, the birthplace of Botticelli. The piece was also featured in Effetto Arte Magazine, which is sent to galleries, museums collectors and art enthusiasts around the world. The Sandro Botticelli Prize is curated by Francesco Saverio Russo and Salvatore Russo.
Armstrong’s work has appeared in a number of high profile international art exhibitions.
Armstrong’s paintings and sculptures represent an ongoing exploration of the concept of layers: both how they interact and intersect with one another, and also the meanings contained within. For Armstrong, layers are to be found everywhere: in space and time, in intellect, in emotion, and in the synthesis and interpretation of form. Whether two- or three-dimensional in scope, the artwork that results is almost multisensory in nature, eliciting from the viewer a multifaceted experience of the wondrous complexity that ultimately composes our world.
UC San Diego Medical Center to Glow
In Rainbow Colors to Honor LGBT Community
UC San Diego Medical Center will light up in rainbow colors throughout the month of July to honor the goal of health care access and equality in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
A lighting ceremony will be held Tuesday, June 30, from 7 to 8 p.m. at UC San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive.
The lighting ceremony will also recognize other UC San Diego Health System achievements, such as being designated a “Leader” in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Healthcare Equality Index and being the first hospital in the region to sponsor and participate in the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade and Festival.
Water Authority Approves Budget,
Increases Water Rates 6.6 Percent
The San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors on Thursday adopted a $1.5 billion budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, up 2 percent from the current two-year budget due largely to higher costs for the purchase and treatment of water.
The board also adopted rate increases for 2016 of 6.6 percent for untreated water and 5.4 percent for treated water. Actual increases will vary among the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies based on differing circumstances among the agencies.
Expenses were held in check by lower spending on the Water Authority’s Capital Improvement Program, which decreases by 34 percent in the new budget as major projects near or reach completion, and is now at $2.8 billion for the lifetime cost of the projects.
“This two-year budget balances the need for efficiencies and the need for flexibility to respond to severe drought conditions we face,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s board. “We have trimmed positions and reduced reliance on outside consultants to contain costs. At the same time, we are investing in drought response efforts, purchasing desalinated seawater from the Carlsbad plant starting this fall, and preparing for reduced water sales due to drought-induced conservation. The net result is a budget that will allow us to provide a reliable water supply at the least possible cost while maintaining our strong credit ratings and our solid financial footing.”
Escondido Council Approves Apartment
Complex for Veterans and their Families
ESCONDIDO — The Escondido City Council unanimously approved a 54-unit affordable apartment complex for military veterans and their families.
Six apartments are already on the site. They’re historical adobe structures built by the Weir Brothers Construction Company on the corner of South Escondido Boulevard and 15th Street.
The apartment complex is the only known commercial building and apartment complex designed and constructed by the company. They will stay intact and serve as an office and laundry building for the apartment complex just approved.
Veteran’s Village owns the property and is looking to house veterans and their families. The units will be available to those who make 60 percent or less of the area median income.
A commercial building will also be built on the corner of the property to give veterans vocational training.
— The Coast News
Keel-Laying Ceremony Today for Second
Of Five Tanker Ships NASSCO is Building
A keel-laying ceremony is scheduled to take place today for the second of five tanker ships NASSCO is building for American Petroleum Tankers.
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will be the guest of honor. She will weld her initials onto a steel striker plate that will be fitted into the ship.
The 50,000-ton tankers NASSCO is building for APT are 610 feet long, with a capacity of 330,000 barrels. The shipbuilder said the vessels have improved fuel efficiency and include the latest environmental protection measures.
The five-ship contract allowed NASSCO to maintain its 4,000-person workforce and add about 300 jobs, according to the company. The vessels will carry petroleum and liquefied natural gas.
A keel-laying ceremony is the first milestone celebrated in the life of a ship, along with launching, commissioning and decommissioning. It marks the construction of the central spine of a boat.
The first ship in the series, the Lone Star State, is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year, according to NASSCO. The second vessel, the Magnolia State, is set for delivery in the second quarter of next year.
On Thursday, NASSCO began construction on a similar vessel — the second of a three-ship series for SEA-Vista Newbuild III LLC, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holding Inc.
— City News Service
Mary Kay Bier Joins Kidder Mathews
Mary Kay Bier has joined Kidder Mathews’ San Diego office as a first vice president, and she will specialize in office and retail properties.
Beir has been in commercial real estate for over 24 years. Prior to joining Kidder Mathews, she was a partner with Lee & Associates and before that she was with Cushman & Wakefield where she leased and sold over 1,000,000 square feet of space in San Diego and Southwest Riverside County.