Daily Business Report-Aug. 14, 2015
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Lack of Affordable Lodging
Dooms Harbor Island Hotel Project
City News Service
A push to create more inexpensive hotel rooms along the state’s coastline led the California Coastal Commission on Thursday to reject a $30 million, 175-room hotel project planned for Harbor Island in San Diego.
The commissioners voted 9-2 to deny an amendment to the Port of San Diego’s master land use plan, which was one of numerous items taken up during the second of three days of meetings in Chula Vista.
The master plan originally envisioned one 500-room hotel at the site on the east end of Harbor Island, but was subsequently modified to three lodging houses that would offer 500 rooms combined.
With the commission putting a renewed focus on public access to the coastline in the form of lower-cost overnight accommodations, the port had offered to have 25 percent of the remaining 325 rooms fit in low- to middle- cost categories.
Of more than 8,000 rooms that provide overnight stays on port tidelands, only 237 are considered lower cost — and those are at a recreational vehicle park in Chula Vista, according to a commission staff report. Commissioner Mark Vargas said that works out to around 3 percent of the available rooms. The figure should be more like 25 percent since the port administers public land, he said.
A fee on developers that was supposed to foster the creation of budget- friendly lodging has not brought about the desired result, according to the report.
Commission staff said that while they worked out details with the port and developer that involve public coastal access and protection of resources, proposed language for a deal on room rates “does not adequately protect and encourage lower-cost visitor-serving accommodations.”
Last week, the port responded with a letter to the commission that said the hotel project doesn’t constitute a change in land use in its already approved master plan. The port also contended the commission’s recommended language is illegal and unconstitutional.
The east side of Harbor Island where the three hotels would have been located is currently the site of overflow parking for airport rental car companies. With auto rental services being moved soon to the north side of Lindbergh Field, the port is facing the prospect of losing the leases for the property in another year or two.
The commission also unanimously approved the Ocean Beach Community Plan on Thursday, which took about a dozen years to piece together and was approved by the City Council a little over a year ago. That prior approval came with several modifications, mostly over shoreline protection and environmentally sensitive lands. The coastal commission inserted language that would prevent future hotel development from only offering high-end room rates.
East Village Commercial
Building Sold for $4.35 Million
PREF, an affiliate of Paragon of San Diego, has acquired the two-story freestanding Unicorn Building located at 7th Avenue and J Street in Downtown San Diego for $4.35 million.
The seller of the 13,000-square-foot property was Cisterra SEHQ LLC, an affiliate of Cisterra Development. The property in East Village was vacant at the time of sale. Colliers International is handling leasing for the building.
Cisterra gutted the interiors of the building, upgraded the infrastructure, dressed up the exterior, and demolished the back one-third of the building, maintaining the façade along 7th Avenue in this area, to create ramps to the Sempra subterranean parking simultaneous with the development of the Sempra Energy building.
The work was part of the development of the Sempra building by Cisterra Development.
New Program Helps Businesses
Build Their Presence Online
Rep. Scott Peters joined Google and San Diego small businesses on Thursday to launch the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map Program in San Diego. The event featured a workshop to help small businesses build their presence online with a free website and listings on Google Maps and Search. Businesses also received a customized domain name, free web hosting for a year, and other free training and resources.
By making the process of getting online fast, easy, and free, more customers will be able to find businesses in their area when they turn to the web for information. “San Diego, with its innovation-driven economy and highly-skilled workforce, is already one of the top cities to launch a startup or small business,” said Peters. “Our region’s continued growth depends on providing local businesses with the tools to succeed in a modern economy where commerce increasingly begins online.”
“With customers increasingly turning to technology to search for what they need, it’s important that local businesses can be found online when people are looking for them.” said Soo Young Kim, head of Google’s Get Your Business Online Program. “We want San Diego small businesses to be online and on the map to continue shaping communities around the country.”
Businesses can go to www.gybo.com to check to see how they show up on Google and update their listings for free. They’ll also be able to build a free website and find helpful resources for building a successful business online.
Davidson Communities Releases
1st Phase of Enclave Rancho Santa Fe
Davidson Communities has just released its first phase at Enclave Rancho Santa Fe, a neighborhood of 13 luxury residences behind private gates with views of the golf course at The Crosby.
Located at 7915 Silvery Moon Lane in Rancho Santa Fe, a new model home is now open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (858) 367-9600.
Homes at Enclave were designed to be flexible, with the option for dual master suites (one on the first floor), den/office areas and bonus rooms. Offering up to five bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths, homes in the first phase are now selling from the high $1.2 millions.
San Diego County Urban Water
Use in July Shows 32% Drop
Urban potable water use in San Diego County fell by approximately 32 percent in July 2015 compared to July 2013, according to preliminary numbers released by the San Diego County Water Authority. That follows a decrease of 26 percent in June compared to June 2013 and a 30 percent decline in May.
July was the second month in which the State Water Resources Control Board required compliance with conservation targets set for each local water agency. State-mandated targets for Water Authority member agencies are between 12 and 36 percent below 2013 levels; the countywide average target is 20 percent.
Record rainfall from a tropical storm in July gave a boost to water-saving efforts already under way across the region as residents and businesses complied with state mandates not to irrigate during rainstorms or for 48 hours after receiving measurable rain. The net result was the lowest July water use for the region since at least 1975.
Peregrine Semiconductor Expands
Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. has added a third building to its Sorrento Valley headquarters. The new office building at 9339 Carroll Park Drive, Suite 150, is more than 18,000 square feet and will accommodate the company’s growing workforce. The other two office buildings are at 9369 and 9380 Carroll Park Drive.
“On the heels of our acquisition by Murata last December, we’ve been tasked with growing our two business units — high performance analog and mobile wireless solutions,” said Sarah Canfield, Peregrine Semiconductor’s director of human resources. “We currently have over 350 employees, but that number is rapidly growing. This new building enables us to have space for our new San Diego hires.”
In addition to its San Diego headquarters, Peregrine has offices in Arlington Heights, Ill.; Reading, United Kingdom; Seongnam-si, South Korea; and Shanghai, China and is hiring in all locations.
Qualcomm Acquires CSR for $2.2 Billion
Qualcomm Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Global Trading Pte. Ltd, has completed its acquisition of CSR plc, a provider of end-to-end semiconductor and software for the Internet and automotive segments. The acquisition was completed at a value of $2.2 billion.
The company said the acquisition complements Qualcomm Technologies’ current offerings by adding a compelling portfolio of new products, sales channels and a large number of customers.
Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSR that operates, along with its affiliates, substantially all of CSR’s engineering, research and development functions, along with substantially all of the CSR products and services businesses. Cambridge Silicon Radio Limited will be renamed Qualcomm Technologies International Ltd., which will become a subsidiary of Qualcomm Technologies.
Big Changes Coming in Fall for Students
In San Diego Community College District
More classes, more instructors, and more academic programs — including a historic new bachelor’s degree at San Diego Mesa College — are among the numerous additions greeting some 53,000 San Diego Community College District when the new fall semester gets underway Aug. 24.
Among the changes:
• San Diego Mesa College this fall launches its new baccalaureate program in the rapidly growing field of Health Information Management . It is one of the first community colleges in the state to move forward in offering a bachelor’s degree under the state’s Baccalaureate Pilot Program.
• Students will have 150 more course sections to choose from this fall, including many new courses that are being offered online. To accommodate new student demand, the SDCCD is hiring 31 additional full-time faculty members.
• San Diego Miramar College, home of the Southern California Biotechnology Center, features an expanded and remodeled science building that includes a two-story, 49,000-square-foot addition to the existing science facility.
• A new agreement with Point Loma Nazarene University will allow nursing students graduating from San Diego City College to earn a bachelor’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University within 15 months without having to leave the City College campus.
• Significant changes also are coming to San Diego Continuing Education (CE), which opens its doors for the fall semester on Sept. 8. Dr. Carlos O. Turner Cortez, a longtime educational leader, begins his first academic year as CE’s new president.
• A grand opening at CE’s new César E. Chávez campus in the heart of Barrio Logan is set for Oct. 28.
Town Hall Meetings on Social Security
Aug. 14 marks the 80th anniversary of the U.S. government’s Social Security program. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare Foundation used this date to announce two town hall meetings in San Diego to discuss Social Security benefits available to LGBT military veterans and LGBT seniors.
Know Your Rights Initiative/California will hold these two meetings on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. at the Ohr Shalom Synagogue at 2512 Third Avenue, San Diego. While the events are tailored to people ages 55 years and older, all are welcome to attend. To register for the events, visit knowyourrightssd.com or call Sabrina Johnson at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation at (619) 291-3383.
In support of the Know Your Rights Initiative/California, Acting Social Service Administration Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin will offer remarks at both San Diego meetings.
$5 Million in Grants Awarded to
County Conservation Programs
City News Service
Four conservation programs in San Diego County were awarded more than $5 million combined Thursday by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The awards are part of $37.2 million in grants to 20 states, with almost $16 million in California.
The local grants include:
• $2 million to the city of Carlsbad’s Habitat Management Plan to purchase up to 133 acres of habitat areas for the coastal California gnatcatcher, least Bell’s vireo, California least tern, western snowy plover, and numerous plant species
• $2 million to the county of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program to buy up to 200 acres that support riparian and upland habitats, and seasonal wetlands known as vernal pools that support numerous species like the San Diego fairy shrimp, arroyo toad, least Bell’s vireo, coastal California gnatcatcher, southwestern willow flycatcher and bald eagle
• $1 million to the county of San Diego to acquire lands that will help with the recovery of species that live in vernal pools
• nearly $189,000 to fund planning for the city of Santee Multiple Species Conservation Program
“By cultivating partnerships between federal, state and local governments, private organizations and individuals, we can establish creative and effective solutions to some of the greatest conservation challenges of our time,” said Dan Ashe, the USFW director. “These grants are one of many tools available under the Endangered Species Act, and we look forward to providing continued guidance and support for these programs.”
The grants are funded in part by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands.
Art of the Park Exhibit
The fifth of six outdoor plein air painting exhibits will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marston House Museum & Gardens. The free event is accompanied by live classical music by various performers throughout the day, and light refreshments are part of the festivities.
The Art of the Park show & sale features Balboa Park as their sole subject and includes paintings for sale by different monthly groups of award-winning artists.
Showing, painting, and selling their work will be painters Andrea Gaye, Catherine Grawin, Krentz Johnson, Margaret Larlham, Rita Pacheco, and Grace Schlesier. They were chosen for the special affinity they have expressed for painting Balboa Park and its historic buildings and gardens.
Marcus & Millichap Promotes Alvin Mansour
Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate investment services firm, has named Alvin Mansour an executive vice president investments. Most recently Mansour held the position of senior vice president investments.
Mansour joined Marcus & Millichap in September 2003 as an agent specializing in the institutional retail and net-leased property sectors and serves as an executive director of Institutional Property Advisors. He also serves as a senior director of the firm’s National Retail Group and Net Leased Properties Group.
Mansour rose to vice president investments in July 2008, first vice president investments in October 2008 and senior vice president investments in July 2009. Over the course of his career with the firm, he closed over $2 billion in investment property transactions.