Daily Business Report-Aug. 13, 2015
Ongoing construction at the Rental Car Center at San Diego International Airport.
Construction Progessing on Airport
Rental Car Center and Restaurant
Construction crews are working around the clock on the $316 million Rental Car Center at San Diego International Airport, a 2 million-square-foot building that will include a 7,900-square-foot restaurant at the top. The aim is to meet a grand opening in the first quarter of 2016.
The restaurant will have 180 feet of floor-to-ceiling, glass-lined frontage, an exclusive elevator and parking lot. A tenant has not yet been secured for the space. Mike Spilky with Location Matters is handling the leasing.
The Rental Car Center will house 12 rental car companies and will include a customer service building, a quick-turn-around car prep facility, and a 5,000-car ready/return area.
The project is the first major component of the airport’s long-range plan to reduce airport traffic congestion and bring passengers closer to Interstate 5 and commuter rail lines. The new facility will also help improve air quality by removing multiple shuttle vans from the streets and will simplify the trip to and from a single, centralized rental car lot for passengers.
Union Hiring 100 Longshoremen
As Shipping Picks Up at the Port
Times of San Diego
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is bringing on 100 “casual labor” employees to handle work on high-demand days as shipping through the Port of San Diego picks up.
Local 29 of the union handles cargo at the Port’s Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal and National City Marine Terminal. ILWU memers also assist with cruise ship operations at the Port’s B Street Cruise Ship Terminal and Broadway Pier Terminal.
The port said the recent hiring is a positive sign for both maritime business and the economic strength of the region.
Gerald Roiz, Local 29’s president, said the hiring of the new workers comes just in time for the kickoff of the port’s cruise season in September.
“In addition to the current registration of foremen, clerks and members, the hiring of 100 additional workers strengthens Local 29’s numbers, which keeps our customers happy,” he said. “The bigger the numbers, the better the service.”
Seven Startup Companies Graduate
From CONNECT Springboard Program
Seven local startup companies are graduating from Springboard, the flagship business accelerator program of CONNECT.
Springboard is designed to assist science and technology companies with marketing, financial, and strategic business advice from experienced mentors. The comprehensive program has assisted over 2,000 companies since its inception in 1993.
Since 2005, graduates of the Springboard program have reported raising more than $1.5 billion in capital or exit value and created over 4,000 jobs in the San Diego area.
The seven companies that have recently advanced through the program are:
Bar World - Bar World is a unique application that shows users all of the real-time specials and events at bars and clubs around them. Venues have a login and can update the content and send push notifications directly to subscribing customers. The app also has the capability for venues to offer daily deals, tickets, and VIP hookups. (Henry Liner, CEO)
Footprints — Sales representatives do not utilize corporate CRM solutions, resulting in poor performance and loss of key data when the representatives go from location to location. Footprints uses mobile location-awareness and an easy to use experience to increase CRM utilization and sales performance. (Jonathan Friedman, CEO)
GRest — GRest is developing a “Best of Both Worlds” laparoscopic reversible gastric restrictive device that is expected to provide the substantial, sustainable weight loss of invasive bariatric surgery (e.g., vertical sleeve gastrectomy), with the reversibility and anatomy preservation of implantable, adjustable gastric bands. (Ghassan Kassab, CEO)
PureWick — The PureWick device is suitable for numerous urine retrieving needs in adult females, and is proposed as a safe alternative for urinary catheters. It is a patented, non-invasive device that minimizes urine entering the user’s bladder protection products, clothing or bedding. (Ray Newton, CEO)
Smart Property — Many homeowners associations are severely underfunded and are reluctant to increase fees to address the shortfall, which results in homebuyers being left with costly special assessments. SmartProperty solves this problem by providing information to homebuyers regarding the financial reserves in relation to anticipated future repairs and maintenance of the HOA, highlighting the probability of a special assessment. (Damian Esparza)
Togally — Togally is an online marketplace to hire local photographers, any time and for any occasion, making it a one-stop-shop for photography needs. Search ratings, reviews, and portfolios of local photographers, hire your favorite , and view or download your digital pictures. Customers only pay for the photos they love. Togally keeps 20 percent of the transaction fee, allowing the photographer to keep the rest. (Jon Margalit, CEO; Jason Kirby, CMO)
VerifiR — VerifiR Brand Protection and Communication System physically integrates with brand merchandise, enabling customers to authenticate their purchase. VerifiR is the first approach that makes the customer and their NFC enabled mobile devices an integral part of brand protection efforts. (Jurgen Schmerler, CEO)
Northrop Plans Sale of Drones to Australia
The Australian Defence Force has resurrected plans to buy intelligence and surveillance drones from Northrop Grumman at a cost of up to $3 billion. The unmanned aerial vehicles will be used for maritime surveillance and intercepting asylum seeker boats.
The decision comes despite claims that the Royal Australian Air Force’s top commanders have long opposed the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles because they will put pilots out of a job and threaten RAAF culture.
The $200 million Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone is the largest, most expensive unmanned aerial vehicle in the world today. Its vast wingspan of 39.8 metres can lift the craft to 65,000 feet and stay airborne for 35 hours with a non-stop range of 16,000 kilometres — eclipsing the endurance of similar manned aircraft.
The RAAF now wants seven large UAVs flying by 2019.
The favoured option is a new, maritime surveillance version of the Global Hawk — the MQ4C Triton.
UC San Diego, Chinese Delegates
Open Talks on Building Medical School
An eight-person delegation from China is scheduled to meet UC San Diego officials today to discuss ways the university can help China create a school of medicine at one of the country’s oldest higher education institutions, Northwest University.
The delegation will discuss the type of guidance UC-San Diego could offer on selecting the curriculum, faculty, infrastructure and research of the medical school.
SDSU Astronomers Discover
10th Known ‘Tatoonie’ Planet
Times of San Diego
San Diego State University astronomers using data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft have discovered the tenth known “circumbinary planet” that orbits two stars.
Like the fictional planet “Tatooine” from “Star Wars,” inhabitants of a such a planet would see two suns in its sky.
Known as Kepler-453 b, the new planet is described in an article published last week in The Astrophysical Journal. The planet was difficult to spot because the tilt of its orbit rapidly changes, making transits — passages in front of a star — visible only 9 percent of the time.
“The detection was a lucky catch for Kepler,” said William Welsh, professor of astronomy at SDSU and lead author of the study. “Most of the time, transits would not be visible from Earth’s vantage point.”
Kepler-453 b lies in the habitable zone of its host pair of stars, but is a gas giant like Jupiter and Saturn and therefore unlikely to harbor life as we know it.
The system is in the direction of the constellation Lyra, some 1,400 light-years away. The larger star is similar to our own sun, while the smaller star is far cooler and fainter.
Once thought to be rare or even impossible, astronomers have discovered 10 in the last four years, with Welsh’s team finding the first in 2012.
“The diversity and complexity of these circumbinary systems are wonderful,” Welsh said. “Each new circumbinary planet is a gem, revealing something unexpected and challenging.”
L.A. Developer Hopes Carlsbad Project
Will Clear an Easier Path to Building Malls
Voice of San Diego
One of the country’s largest mall developers, Caruso Affiliated, is pushing through a plan for a shopping center near coastal wetlands in Carlsbad using a novel method that could allow it to bypass many of the state’s environmental protection rules.
A California Supreme Court decision last August ruled that if a project gets enough signatures to put it on the ballot, a city council can approve it without going to voters and without a California Environmental Quality Act review, the state’s landmark environmental law that sets mandates for big projects to disclose their environmental impacts and reduce as many of them as possible. Two proposed football stadiums in Inglewood and Carson used voter initiatives to leapfrog CEQA, and Caruso is trying to make it happen for the first time locally.
Caruso is a Los Angeles-based developer, and to call what it typically creates a shopping mall isn’t quite right. Its projects – like The Grove in Los Angeles and Americana in nearby Glendale – are massive and ornate, kind of like if your hometown mall and Disneyland had a love child.
The company’s proposed plan in Carlsbad would take 200 acres between I-5 and the south shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, turn 15 percent of it into a shopping center and leave the rest for agriculture and trails.
Caruso only needed to collect 15 percent of registered Carlsbad voters’ signatures to qualify the measure for a vote — it submitted twice the number of signatures they needed in early July — and now it only needs to lobby the City Council for the three votes necessary to pass the measure in the next Council meeting on Aug. 25.
Scripps Health Unveils New App
City News Service
Scripps Health on Wednesday unveiled a smartphone app that will bring the functions of the health care provider’s website to mobile users.
The app provides information about physicians, as well as Scripps hospitals and clinics, for users of Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Locations and maps, a patient portal link and one-touch dialing for the toll- free (800) -SCRIPPS information line are also part of the app.
More functions are being planned, according to Scripps.
“So many people use smartphones and rely on them to access the information they need whenever and wherever they need it,” said Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO. “The new Scripps Health app puts the best features of our website a quick click away no matter where you might be.”
Nearly half of Americans prefer to use an app rather than a mobile website when accessing information quickly on their smartphone, according to a Google report.
The Scripps Health app can be downloaded from Apple or Android app stores by searching for “Scripps Health.”
Employers Encouraged to Participate
In the Rideshare 2015 Challenge
Organizations throughout the region are invited to participate in a fun competition to help the environment by encouraging their employees to use alternative ways to get to work, such as carpool, vanpool, bike, walk, and transit. Registration for the 2015 Rideshare Challenge, organized by the SANDAG Commute Program, is open to employers countywide through Tuesday, Sept. 22.
From Oct. 1-31, participating organizations will compete against similar sized employers in the region. Each day employees log an eligible commute with the iCommute Trip Tracker tool, they will earn one point for their organization. The employer with the highest average number of points in each size category wins.
Participating in the Rideshare 2015 Challenge is a fun way for organizations to meet transportation, parking, or environmental goals. In addition, employees who try alternative commutes can save time and money, reduce stress, and be entered to win prizes. Prizes include a new bike from Bicycle Warehouse, $100 certificates from eLiveLife.com, and memberships from car2go, Zipcar, and DecoBike.
For more information, visit 511sd.com/iCommute.