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Daily Business Report-Aug. 19, 2015

Daily Business Report-Aug. 19, 2015

Rendering of Civita Park by Sudberry Properties.

Sudberry Begins Construction

On First 2 Phases of Civita Park

Sudberry Properties, developer of the urban-style village of Civita in Mission Valley, announced that Hazard Construction Company has started construction on the first two phases of Civita Park, a public park designed to serve as the centerpiece of the community.

The 14.3-acre park, which will be operated by the Civita Maintenance Assessment District, is located at the intersection of Civita Boulevard and Russell Parkway.

The multi-level park, which cascades down a former quarry site, was designed by Schmidt Design Group Inc. of San Diego. The future park incorporates ideas from hundreds of local residents collected from a series of public meetings.

The park will be built in phases, with Phase I and IV, totaling about 10 acres, completed in about 16 months.  Phase I is planned to include a large central plaza that accommodate a variety of active and passive activities.  It is also designed with rose gardens, a military tribute with a 100-foot-tall flagpole, an outdoor grassy amphitheater with a dramatic stage design, a recirculating interactive water feature and a game area with chess, ping pong and other activities.

Other areas now under construction in Phase I will feature a large open field for casual sports play, two basketball half courts and a community garden.  The southern and eastern border of the park will feature a formal tree-sheltered promenade.

A dry streambed and walking trail is designed to run the length of the park along the western edge of the site.

The park’s Phase IV, which is also under construction, is located at the top of the property near the summit of Via Alta. This phase is planned to include passive parkland and a dog park for large and small dogs. This portion of the park will be connected to the southern portion by a pathway.

Future phases of Civita Park will include separate children’s play areas for toddlers and youngsters, a plaza that will showcase equipment from the site’s mining past, a tree-shaded picnic grove, interpretive gardens crisscrossed with trails, scenic lookouts and restrooms.


A cruise ship in the port of Ensenada. Photo by Cesar Bojorquez

A cruise ship in the port of Ensenada. Photo by Cesar Bojorquez

San Diego and Ensenada

Ports See Joint Opportunities

Times of San Diego

The San Diego region’s twin ports, Ensenada and San Diego, each named new leaders last year and are seeking new opportunities to work together.

Hector Bautista and Randa Coniglio

Hector Bautista and Randa Coniglio

“There are very common areas that make us sister ports,” said Hector Bautista, general director of the Port of Ensenada , through a translator. “Without a doubt we will go from here to a great friendship agreement.”

“In recent years, we haven’t seized a lot of opportunities to work together,” noted Randa Coniglio, president and CEO of the Port of San Diego. “With new leadership here and at the Port of Ensenada, it’s a really a good opportunity to start a fresh, new relationship.”

Bautista and Coniglio spoke to business and political leaders at a meeting Tuesday sponsored by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ensenada handles 2 million metric tons of freight annually, just behind San Diego’s 2.8 million tons, and its container traffic is growing. The two ports are just over 60 miles apart, and signed an initial partnership agreement back in 2004.

Coniglio said she saw opportunities to work together on cruise traffic, sport fishing and ocean recreation, and Bautista predicted that the meeting in downtown San Diego would be “the first of many that we will have.”

He suggested that the two ports create a “maritime highway” for tourism between their two surrounding cities. Coniglio added that the perception that it isn’t safe to travel to northern Baja is misinformed.

The Coast Guard already works closely with its counterparts in Ensenada, focusing on maritime safety and security, and environmental stewardship. “Our partnership with Mexico is not just talk…it is highly operational,” said Capt. Jonathan S. Spanar.

 Fly Nonstop from L.A. to Cuba

With the U.S. and Cuba resuming diplomatic relations, American Airlines said it will begin Saturday flights on Boeing 737s in December from Los Angeles to Havana. No other carrier offers such nonstop service from the West Coast. Round trip tickets will start at $950. Read The Los Angeles Times.

Medfly Quarantine Hits Parts

Of East County, San Diego

Male fruitfly

Male fruitfly

State, federal and county of San Diego officials have announced that 93 square miles covering portions of San Diego City and East County communities have been put under quarantine after the discovery of four Mediterranean fruit flies — a dangerous pest that can infest more than 250 types of fruits and vegetables.

Backyard gardeners are being encouraged not to move fruit they grow off their properties, but to eat it at home instead, while commercial growers, nurseries, wholesalers and retailers will have to comply with quarantine requirements.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and the County’s Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures are working together to eliminate the infestation. Agencies have already started dropping millions of sterile fruit flies — which have been used successfully to eradicate past infestations — and to treat properties within 650 feet of where the flies were found with a naturally-occurring bacteria that is poisonous to Mediterranean fruit flies.

The 93-square-mile quarantine area is bordered on the north by Prospect Avenue; on the south by Mount Miguel Road; on the west by Fairmount Avenue; and on the east by Vista Grande Road.

Map of quarantine area (PDF)

The Mediterranean fruit fly infests fruits and vegetables — including apples, apricots, avocados, figs, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears and tomatoes — by laying eggs inside that hatch into maggots.

SBA Administrator Featured

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will give a presentation on SBA contracting programs and will recognize SBA lead economic development specialist Rosa Rodarte for 40 years of service at a Sept. 25 event from 2 to 4 p.m. at the San Diego Public Library, 330 Park Blvd. Information on SBA loans and free mentoring programs also will be given.

San Diego County Home

Prices Increase In July

The median price of a home in San Diego County rose by 5.6 percent in July, compared with the same month a year ago, while the number of homes sold jumped by 22.4 percent, a real estate information service announced Tuesday.

According to CoreLogic, the median price of a San Diego County home was $470,000 last month, up from $445,000 in July 2014. A total of 4,322 homes were sold in the county, up from 3,530 during the same month the previous year.

A total of 24,235 new and resale houses and condos changed hands in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, according to CoreLogic. That was down 0.6 percent from 24,377 in June and up 16.9 percent from 20,734 in July 2014.

The median price for a Southern California home was $438,000 in July, down 0.9 percent from $442,000 in June and up 5.5 percent from $415,000 in July 2014.

“Southern California home sales have risen year over year for six straight months now, and we’re finally approaching an overall sales level that could loosely be called ‘normal’ in the context of the past quarter century,” said Andrew LePage, a data analyst for CoreLogic. “Last month’s total sales were 4 percent below the long-term July average, while July 2014 sales were 18 percent below average. Cash and investor purchases, as well as distressed sales, also continue to trend toward more historically normal levels.”

Statewide, the California Association of Realtors  reported Tuesday that home sales reached their highest level in nearly three years in July, with sales rising year-over-year for six straight months.

CAR reported 449,530 sales in July, the highest level since October 2012. The number of home sales was up 2.7 percent from June and 12.7 percent above the July 2014 figure.

The statewide median home price was $488,260 in July, according to CAR, down 0.3 percent from $489,640 in June but up 5.4 percent from $463,330 in July 2014.

Leading Economists to Headline

Triguild Fall Lender Conference

James Smith

James Smith

Sam Chandan

Sam Chandan

Leading economic forecaster James Smith and economist Sam Chandan will headline the annual Trigild Lender Conference Oct. 14-16  at the Hotel del Coronado.

In addition to the headline speakers, top commercial real estate, finance and legal industry leaders will address hot button topics related to the economy, finance, commercial real estate and the lending industries — from CMBS maturities to declining and emerging industries.

Smith will discuss where he thinks the U.S. and global economy is heading. He is currently chief economist for Parsec Financial Management Inc. in Asheville, N.C.

Chandan, president and chief economist for Chandan Economics and adjunct professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will present his annual update on the commercial real estate industry.

For the 15th consecutive year, the annual event –the largest of its kind in the country — will draw a full slate of industry leaders to San Diego, with 20 educational sessions, more than 60 speakers and panelists and a series of networking breaks.

Carnitas’ Snack Shack to Operate

 Food Truck on North Embarcadero

Beginning the week of Aug. 24, Carnitas’ will be operating a food truck serving its “slow food-inspired, pork-centric American cuisine” near the site of its upcoming walk-up café, which is currently under construction at 1004 North Harbor Drive in San Diego.

The food truck is expected to operate through January 2016, when the café is anticipated to open.

 The Port of San Diego selected Carnitas’ Snack Shack, which operates popular restaurants in North Park and Del Mar, to operate the new walk-up café through a competitive process. The café building is among $31.1 million in recent public improvements to the North Embarcadero waterfront area.

The Carnitas’ food truck will be parked in front of the Port of San Diego’s B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, just north of its future building location in Broadway Landing. The food truck hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Personnel Announcements

Meybol Guerrero Joins Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Meybol Guerrero

Meybol Guerrero

Meybol Guerrero has joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Business Banking team in San Diego as vice president and client manager. Guerrero will manage relationships with new and existing clients.

Guerrero has 15 years experience in commercial banking and business development serving companies in San Diego and surrounding communities.

She joined the bank from JP Morgan Chase, where she was most recently vice president and business relationship manager.



Cavignac & Associates Hires Heather Stone

Heather Stone

Heather Stone

Heather Stone, attorney at law, has been hired by Cavignac & Associates to serve as its human resources risk adviser.

Stone has more than 10 years of related experience. In her new position, she will be responsible for providing human resources consulting and other such services to the agency’s clients..

Stone previously worked as an employment attorney at Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC in San Diego, where she specialized in employment litigation and provided employment law advice and counseling to the firm’s clients.  Her prior legal experience includes working in San Diego as a business and employment attorney for Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith LLP, and as a business litigation attorney for DLA Piper LLP.

Stone received her Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law, and her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University. Names Chief Executive Officer,  an online shopping destination for verified military and federal, state and local government personnel, announced that Eric McCue has assumed the role of chief executive officer of the company. McCue is currently the president.

Prior to his role as president, McCue was an executive at The Active Network Inc. for nearly 14 years, which operates the world’s largest cloud-based platform for event/race/walk registrations. During his time with Active, McCue was instrumental in helping to lead the company to nearly half a billion in revenues, which then led to the company’s initial public offering and, more recently, its sale for just over $1 billion to Vista Equity Partners.

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Voice Your Opinion

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.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: