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Daily Business Report-July 31, 2015

Daily Business Report-July 31, 2015

Artist’s rendering of The Richman Group’s $100 million-plus mixed-use project in East Village.

Civic San Diego Approves 22-Story

Mixed-Use High-Rise in East Village

Project to cost in excess of $100 million

The Richman Group of California Development Co. has received unanimous approval from Civic San Diego to develop a mixed-use apartment complex that includes a 22-story residential tower with 226 apartments and more than 7,000 square feet of commercial space in the East Village neighborhood of Downtown San Diego.

The proposal also will include an adjoining low-rise building, playfully called The Sliver, which will include two penthouses, a restaurant with extensive outdoor seating and a park-like open space corridor.

With a working title of 330 13th Street, the project is located on a 38,846-square-foot undeveloped property on Park Boulevard, directly across from the San Diego Central Library. The proposed development occupies most of the block bounded by Park, 13th, J and K streets, less than three blocks from Petco Park.

With a construction start planned for the second quarter of 2016, the project is estimated to cost in excess of $100 million.  Highlights include a two-story “Sky Lounge” on the 19th floor with built-in bar and outdoor seating, a hotel-style pool area with spa and fire pits on the fourth-floor podium level and adjoining two-level recreation center with lounge, demonstration kitchen and gym.

The design team includes architects DesignARC LA Inc. and Rob Wellington Quigley of San Diego and landscape architect Spurlock Poirier of San Diego.  NEXUS Planning Consultants of San Diego is the project manager. Quigley was the architect for the Central Library.

Quigley designed the project’s secondary structure “The Sliver,” as an idiosyncratic, playful building to animate and give life to the tower. It features a restaurant space that includes outdoor seating and two mid-rise penthouses.

The tower is designed to include 63 studios, 72 one-bedroom units and 91 two-bedroom units, and six levels of parking (three subterranean and three above ground) with a total of 234 automobile spaces and 12 motorcycle spaces.

Spurlock Poirier has surrounded the project with gardens and a wide promenade along Park Boulevard with a double row of London Plane Trees.  The ground-level commercial space is planned to open onto a new park, diagonally connecting K Street with upper 13th Street. 13th Street features an open space corridor with a bioswale fashioned into a series of contemporary water features, and accompanied by seat walls and colorful water-wise plantings.

The Richman Group of California is headed by Luke Daniels, president.

330 13th Street is The Richman Group’s second major San Diego residential project to be approved in the past five months. In February, Civic San Diego approved F11, a seven-story luxury apartment/retail mixed-use development, located on the north side of F Street between 11th Avenue and Park Boulevard.  Construction is scheduled start on F11 in the first quarter of 2016.

Lockheed Martin is forging partnerships in health care, such as the study of the human genome with Illumina. (Robert Pratta/Reuters)

Lockheed Martin is forging partnerships in health care, such as the study of the human genome with Illumina. (Robert Pratta/Reuters)

Lockheed Martin Launches Health Care

Tech Alliance with Illumina, Others


Lockheed Martin this week announced the formation of a health care technology alliance to develop new technology for diagnosing, caring and treating diseases while protecting sensitive patient information.

The founding members of the alliance are Illumina, Intel, Cisco, Cloudera, and Montgomery College.

The Lockheed Martin Healthcare Technology Alliance members will collaborate to develop solutions to improve care in areas of health technology that are rapidly growing, such as those that leverage genomic advances, secure patient medical information, and apply big data solutions.

Lockheed Martin and Illumina are collaborating to develop methods for genomics on a national scale, Lockheed Martin said. Its systems integration and data analytics experience complements Illumina’s genomic sequencing and analysis, and the collaboration “has the potential to create a complete offering for customers — the most advanced tools and best practices in large-scale genomic solutions,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

In January, the two firms announced a partnership combining Illumina’s sequencing tools with Lockheed Martin’s expertise in large-scale information systems and integration in an offering to countries that are beginning to integrate genomics into their national health systems.

Rendering of the Eastgate Apartments

Rendering of the Eastgate Apartments

Affirmed Housing Group Breaks Ground

On Affordable Housing in San Marcos

An effort to bring more than 40 affordable housing units to San Marcos hit a milestone with a groundbreaking Thursday for Eastgate Apartments.  The three-story building on the corner of Grand Avenue and Creekside Place is being developed by Affirmed Housing Group with funding assistance from the county, the city of San Marcos and other financing.

The apartment complex consists of 42 units: six studios, five one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units and 13 three-bedroom units. Except for a manager’s unit, all will be set aside for low-income tenants and their families.

The site will also include more than 7,000 square feet of commercial space and a community room for residents. The property will be built to LEED Silver standards with rooftop solar and other energy efficient features.

“This development will do more than help families find safe and affording housing,” said Todd Henderson, director of Housing and Community Development. “It will create a neighborhood that residents are proud to call home.”

Veterans will be given preference during the rental application process. And veterans living at Eastgate will be offered supportive services such as case management, assistance obtaining employment, help getting education, benefits support and informing on financial aid.

Nearly $2 million of the $18 million project comes from a county loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city of San Marcos provided the land and a portion of the funding for Eastgate Apartments as part of its downtown development plan.

Project completion is expected in March 2017.

Urban Discovery Academy rendering

Urban Discovery Academy rendering

Urban Discovery Academy Prepares

For Sept. 2 Grand Opening Downtown

Urban Discovery Academy is preparing for a Sept. 2 grand opening as Downtown’s first K-8 charter school.

The nearly finished 37,000-square-foot building at 840 14th St. in East Village will house 18 brightly-colored classrooms, a rooftop pavilion for special school events, a two-story atrium lobby, and a four-story Angels Bell Tower with a 100-year-old cast bronze bell.

Students will have access to a performing arts venue, an arts studio with a kiln and a darkroom, a multi-media library, and an enclosed outdoor playground.

Construction of the campus, which began in fall 2014, includes the restoration of a historic 20,000-square-foot building dating from the 1930s. Its tenants included a parachute manufacturer and a vocational center for the blind. Key architectural elements of the original structure, such as exposed brick walls and louvered windows, were kept to enhance the modern new addition.

To date, $250,000 in private funding has been raised for the school. Leading donors are philanthropist Jeffrey H. Silberman, President of Carlton Management Inc., who gave $125,000, and UDA Trustee Edward Abeyta, whose family donated $30,000 for the Angels Bell Tower.

$150 Million Renovation Turns Old La Mirage

Into the Village Mission Valley Apartment Homes

Village Mission Valley Apartment Homes

Village Mission Valley Apartment Homes

A $150-million renovation has transformed one of San Diego’s largest apartment complexes into a gated, resort-style community that features such amenities as a clubhouse with a wine and beer bar, an indoor/outdoor terrace overlooking swimming pools, a Wi-Fi lounge, poolside cabanas, and a private dog park.

The extensive renovation to the newly named Village Mission Valley Apartment Homes was accomplished by the Irvine Company Apartment Communities.

The complex, formerly known as La Mirage Apartments, was acquired in 2013 and underwent months of construction in order to transform the 1,410-unit apartment community into luxury apartment homes. The Village offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes and townhomes ranging from 620 square feet up to 1,350 square feet. Interior finishes include modern cabinetry, quartz countertops, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, hardwood-style flooring, full-size washers and dryers, walk-in closets and vaulted ceilings, with rents starting at $1,900 per month.

Community amenities include three resort-style saltwater pools, two lounge pools, five spas, outdoor cabanas and grills, a new clubhouse with a wine and beer bar, a Wi-Fi lounge, an indoor/ outdoor terrace overlooking the pools, an event lawn, and a guard station providing 24-hour controlled access. Additional luxury amenities include a mile-long running trail, a state-of-the-art fitness center and movement studio, a private dog park and a dedicated team to plan resident gatherings and events.

The complex is at 6560 Ambrosia Drive.

Illumina Cites Ambitious Growth

Plans Amid Q2 Miss and Stock Tumble


It has been a busy year for Illumina, with deals to expand its product offerings and increase its footprint in growing markets. And the company is counting on new technology to keep up the positive momentum, especially in light of second quarter revenues that missed for the first time in years and stock crashing upon the news.

The San Diego-based company raked in $539.5 million in Q2, up from $447.5 million during the same quarter last year but slightly below the Street’s prediction of $542.1 million. Illumina is forecasting 20 percent revenue growth and is increasing its EPS projections to $3.39 to $3.45 from its previously-announced range of $3.36 to $3.42, the company said in a statement.

Part of the problem could be a drop in array revenue, Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said during the company’s Q2 earnings call. Total microarray revenue declined 11 percent year-over-year, even as Illumina’s testing volumes increased. Pricing pressure contributed to the decline, Flatley told investors, as it’s becoming more difficult to sell to bio banks doing large-scale projects.

But Flatley highlighted the company’s liquid biopsy work and its expansion into new markets as potential sources of growth.

Illumina Secures  $40M for Accelerator Startups


Illumina today announced that its startup accelerator has secured $40 million from Viking Global Investors to fund promising genomic firms.

Accelerator graduates that raise between $1 million and $5 million in new capital will receive additional dollar-for-dollar match funding from Illumina Accelerator Boost Capital.

“This capital commitment will be instrumental in driving value for our startups as they advance breakthrough applications in genomics,” Amanda Cashin, head of Illumina Accelerator, said in a statement.

The Illumina Accelerator provides early-stage startups with a $100,000 seed investment, business guidance, access to Illumina’s sequencing systems and reagents, and fully operational lab space in the San Francisco Bay Area for a six-month funding cycle. The program selected its inaugural class of three firms in October 2014, consisting of Encoded Genomics, EpiBiome, and Xcell Biosciences. Accelerates Growth

After Raising $11.5 Million

San Diego-based,  the online shopping destination for verified military and federal, state and local government personnel, announced the completion of a $11.5 million Series A and Series B Preferred Stock financing to expand its service offerings. This brings the total invested capital in the company to just over $21 million.

The financing round was led by Alestra Ltd. and Arbor Group, who are existing shareholders, along with principals from Star Avenue Capital.

Founded in 2011,  provides privileged pricing and services for a broad range of popular apparel, sunglasses, outdoor and active sports gear, tech gear, select lifestyle products and an array of on-duty tactical gear.

In addition, the company announced that Thomas Davin, CEO of 5.11 Tactical, and David Alberga, a private investor and former executive chairman of The Active Network, have joined the GovX Inc. board of directors.

Junior Achievement Selects New

President and Chief Executive Officer

Marla Black

Marla Black

Junior Achievement of San Diego County announced that veteran banker Marla Black will join the nonprofit as its new president and chief executive officer, effective in September.

Black will succeed Joanne Pastula, who will be retiring as president and chief executive officer after more than 16 years of leadership.

Black has more than 35 years of financial service and sales management experience with some of the world’s leading banking institutions. She also nonprofit sector experience from her current and previous roles as a board member at Rady’s Children Hospital, LEAD San Diego, Girl Scouts, United Way of San Diego, and many others.

A native San Diegan, Black’s career includes her recent role as senior vice president and managing director with Union Bank.  Under Black’s leadership, she directed sales and service to 45,000 households with $1.5 billion in deposits, and $300 million in loans and an annual net income of $15 million. Prior to joining Union Bank in 1985, she was the sales and service manager for San Diego Federal/Great American Savings Bank.

Black graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in telecommunications in 1978 and Pacific Coast Banking School in 1999.

Park Boulevard Expansion

May Finally Move Forward

City News Service

A long-awaited plan to connect Park Boulevard with Harbor Drive could get a boost next week when the San Diego City Council considers whether to direct new funding toward the project.

The thoroughfare stops next to Petco Park, where it intersects with Tony Gwynn Drive. A half-dozen railroad and trolley tracks currently sit between the road’s terminus and Harbor Drive.

The road extension was given its first go-ahead by city officials 14 years ago, when the Padres ballpark was being planned. The plan was to open up the last segment of Park Boulevard to make up for closing the nearby Eighth Avenue crossing.

Construction was delayed, however, by a legal challenge from the California Public Utilities Commission that took three years to resolve, a shift in city priorities to a pedestrian overcrossing that was built nearby, and the state’s abolishment of redevelopment, according to a report from Civic San Diego, which assists the city with certain development projects.

The report says the nearly $14 million project, which will include pedestrian enhancements, will be largely covered by excess proceeds from leftover redevelopment bonds.

The plan also calls for 100 feet of the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade to be shifted to make way for a pedestrian crossing. Additional recognition of the civil rights leader would be installed as part of the project, Civic San Diego says.

If the funding is approved, construction could start early next year and be finished by October 2018, according to the agency’s timeline.

 K. Ann Brizolis & Associates Named No. 1

In Sales Volume for San Diego County

K. Ann Brizolis & Associates of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty has been recognized on The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends Inc.’s The Thousand — a summary of the top 1,000 independent real estate agents and teams in the United States.

K. Ann Brizolis

K. Ann Brizolis

In addition, REAL Trends has named Rancho Santa Fe-based K. Ann Brizolis & Associates No.1 in San Diego County for sales volume during the first two quarters of 2015.

“We are proud to represent the finest homes in the San Diego market,” said K. Ann Brizolis. “This recognition is the result of our unparalleled market knowledge and the support of Sotheby’s International Realty, all of which enable us to effectively market and sell these extraordinary residences.”

The REAL Trends 1000 is broken into four sections: the top 250 real estate agents each by transaction sides, sale volume, teams by transaction sides and teams by sales volume. K. Ann Brizolis & Associates of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty was ranked 90th on the 2015 Teams by Sales Volume with $127,907,000 in transactions.

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 700 offices in 54 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated.

K. Ann Brizolis has consistently ranked in the top 1/10 of 1 percent of all Prudential (previous broker) luxury real estate agents in the U.S. An expert in the purchase and sale of luxury homes in Rancho Santa Fe and the surrounding coastal communities of La Jolla and Del Mar, Brizolis has more than 25 years of real estate experience and  has facilitated in excess of $1 billion in real estate transactions.

Scripps Health Open House to Offer

Up-Close Look at Proton Treatment Center

San Diego County residents can get an up-close look at the region’s only proton treatment facility for cancer care when Scripps Health hosts a special open house on Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, 9730 Summers Ridge Road, San Diego.

The free event will include tours of the facility, which opened for patient care last year, complimentary refreshments and appetizers and a presentation on proton therapy by the center’s medical director, Carl Rossi, M.D.

To register to attend, call (800) 727-4777.

Proton therapy is an extremely precise form of external beam radiation treatment that spares more healthy tissue surrounding a patient’s tumor than conventional X-ray radiation. Less radiation to healthy tissue lowers the probability of side effects and treatment-related cancers.

PURE Bioscience COO Resigns

San Diego-based PURE Bioscience Inc., creator of the patented silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobial, today announced the resignation of Peter C. Wulff as its chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Wulff said he has accepted a new assignment as CFO for a venture-backed medical device company.

With Wulff’s departure, Mark Elliott, PURE’s controller, has been promoted to vice president, finance and will serve as the company’s principal financial and accounting officer. Elliott joined PURE in 2004 and has been responsible for managing all accounting and regulatory reporting activities since May 2006.  Prior to joining PURE, Elliott worked in government accounting.

Community Colleges Set to Welcome

More than 28,000 Students in the Fall

The new semester begins Aug. 17 for more than 28,000 students at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges. The two colleges are offering more than 2,400 class sections this year, almost 5 percent more than last fall.

Enrollment at Grossmont is expected at about 19,000 students, up 4 percent from 2014, while enrollment at Cuyamaca College is projected at about 9,200 students, a 5 percent increase.

Students still have the opportunity to register for fall classes, with the colleges continuing online registration through Aug. 16. Schedules and registration links are available at

“We are continuing to recover from the recession with increased funding and we are looking forward to a great year as we keep focused on improving student success,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Among Grossmont College’s offerings this fall are three new associate degrees for transfer in economics, English and Spanish, bringing to 17 the total number of transfer degrees that provide community college students guaranteed admission in the California State University system. Cuyamaca College offers the associate degrees for transfer in 16 majors, including Spanish, added for the fall semester.

Grossmont College is starting the semester with a new president, Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, formerly president of West Los Angeles College. He started at the El Cajon college in July.  At Cuyamaca College, Wei Zhou is serving as interim president, with the announcement of a new president expected this fall.

Manners of Death

Manners of Death

Motor Vehicle-Related Fatalities,

Pedestrian Deaths Climbed in 2014

Motor vehicle-related fatalities increased last year, with a considerable jump seen in the number of pedestrian deaths, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s 2014 Annual Report, which offers an overview of cases the office investigated.

Nearly half of the 19,000 to 21,000 deaths recorded in the county annually are reported to the Medical Examiner. Most of these 9,200 cases are determined after an initial review to be sudden, unexpected natural deaths.

The data in the report focuses on the 2,972 cases in 2014 that were fully investigated by the Medical Examiner; the largest portion (47 percent, or 1,390 cases) were determined to be accidental deaths. After that, 34 percent, or 1,022 cases, were found to be natural deaths; 14 percent, or 420 cases, were suicides; 3.3 percent, or 99 cases, were homicides; and for 1.4 percent, or 41 cases, the manner of death was undetermined.

Of the accidental deaths, 481 cases involved illicit drugs, medications, or alcohol and 291 were motor vehicle-related cases.

“This sampling is a reflection of the health of the community as a whole. The report becomes a starting point for all types of other discussions, whether it’s issues of health or public safety,” said Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas.

Among the drug deaths, methamphetamine was the No. 1 cause of drug-related fatalities with 169 deaths, even after dropping from the previous year’s 190 deaths. Alcohol followed with the next highest number of cases –133 deaths — while heroin was the cause in 105 deaths. Heroin-related fatalities have increased over the past nine years and more than doubled since 2007. The ME’s department reports seeing 71 Oxycodone-related deaths, up from 49 cases in 2013.

Motor vehicle-related fatalities accounted for 291 cases in 2014, up from 247 the previous year, an increase of nearly 18 percent. Accidental pedestrian deaths made up 88 of those cases. The total does not include two pedestrian deaths ruled homicides and three suicide pedestrian deaths. Those 88 cases are up from 64 deaths the previous year.

Suicides, while still higher than national or statewide rates, were down slightly in numbers this year with 420 deaths, compared to 441 deaths in 2013. As in previous years in San Diego County, the Medical Examiner’s department found the highest rates of suicide among men older than 85 years old.

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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.

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