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Daily Business Report-Sept. 15, 2015

Daily Business Report-Sept. 15, 2015

The partnerships, made up of university representatives and city decision-makers, will use technology and analysis to research, develop and deploy solutions to the problems facing the systems and infrastructure on which urban citizens and regional economies depend.

UCSD and San Diego Join

Smart Cities MetroLab Network

City News Service

The city of San Diego and UC San Diego will participate in the newly created MetroLab Network, part of a $160 million Smart Cities initiative announced Monday by President Barack Obama.

MetroLab seeks to create and strengthen partnerships between metropolitan areas and their respective universities to research, develop and deploy technologies to address challenges facing the nation’s urban areas. The idea is that universities possess the expertise to develop and implement technology, while city governments hold the knowledge and information necessary for deployment in real-world settings.

“The city is partnering with UC San Diego’s brightest minds to solve some of San Diego’s biggest challenges, from traffic to parking to infrastructure,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “San Diego leads in research and innovation and this will capitalize on UC San Diego’s academic resources to create real-world solutions that improve the lives of city residents. The MetroLab Network is a great opportunity to increase collaboration between the educational and civic worlds, and I’m excited to see the results.”

The partnership will focus on city and transportation planning, and smart, green infrastructure.

“We look forward to working with the mayor and local communities to tackle our common challenges and improve city services,” said UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

San Diego and UCSD will share their expertise with other metro areas via the network, which includes 21 cities and around 25 universities.


The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, shut down since 2012 and now being decommissioned.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, shut down since 2012 and now being decommissioned.

County to Ask Energy Department

To Remove San Onofre Nuclear Waste

City News Service

A proposal to request the federal government to remove spent nuclear fuel from storage at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station will be heard by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today.

The proposal by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts says more than 1,400 metric tons of “incredibly hot and radioactive” nuclear waste from more than 45 years of operations is stored at the plant, which was never meant to be a permanent repository.

They want the county to send a letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to urge the “prompt removal and relocation” outside of San Diego County of the spent fuel, which they note is only a couple of hundred yards from Interstate 5, a busy rail corridor and the Pacific Ocean.

The Department of Energy has been unable to designate a permanent nuclear waste storage site in the United States. A proposed location in Nevada has been held up for decades because of stiff political opposition.

The supervisors contend that the waste poses a health risk to residents and a potential target for terrorists.

Former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who has been critical of Southern California Edison’s actions regarding the closure, said he worried about the threat to Southern California residents.

“If the waste is allowed to remain on the beach it will become a permanent storage dump that is vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, corrosion and terrorist attacks,” Aguirre said. “We don’t have the equipment, the personnel, or the training to respond to this type of emergency.”

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been idle since January 2012, when a small, non-injury leak occurred. SCE, the operator and majority owner of the plant, later decided to retire the two reactors rather than follow a costly start-up procedure.

Easterly Government Properties Completes

Buy of Building Housing Federal Agencies

Easterly Government Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust focused primarily on the acquisition, development and management of Class A commercial properties leased to the U.S. government, has closed on the acquisition of a 52,881-square-foot Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building in Otay Mesa at a purchase price of $16.6 million.

The ICE-Otay building is adjacent to the Easterly-owned DEA-Otay building and located less than a half mile from the Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry.

The Otay Mesa border crossing is second, out of six ports of entry in California, in terms of total border-crossing volume and is the busiest truck crossing on the California/Mexico border. The building has been fitted with specialized security features for federal tenants executing highly important national security functions.

“We are pleased to add another mission critical property to our portfolio with the acquisition of the ICE-Otay building in San Diego,” said William C. Trimble III, chief executive officer of Easterly. “The building is strategically located and houses federal agencies that are focused on our nation’s border security. With critical missions including the investigation of illegal tunneling, human trafficking, narcotics and weapons smuggling, and vehicle safety, these agencies serve a critical role in enhancing national security and combating terrorism.”

The ICE function housed in the building, Homeland Security Investigations, is an investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to ICE, the building is occupied by the Motor Carriers Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SDG&E Chairman Jessie Knight

To Retire in November

Times of San Diego

San Diego Gas & Electric Chairman Jessie T. Knight Jr.

San Diego Gas & Electric Chairman Jessie T. Knight Jr.

San Diego Gas & Electric Chairman Jessie T. Knight Jr., a well-known San Diego business and community leader who once headed the chamber of commerce, will retire from the utility company on Nov. 1.

Knight, 64, served as executive vice president of external affairs for SDG&E’s parent, Sempra Energy, and also as chairman of Southern California Gas Co.

Steven D. Davis, currently president and chief operating officer of SDG&E, will succeed Knight as executive vice president of external affairs and corporate strategy for Sempra.

Knight joined Sempra in 2006 and served as CEO of SDG&E from 2010 to 2014. He became chairman of SDG&E and SoCalGas in 2014.

From 1999 to 2006, Knight was president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. From 1993 to 1999, Knight served as commissioner for the California Public Utilities Commission, after being appointed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Prior to his appointment as a CPUC commissioner, Knight was employed as executive vice president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

From 1985 to 1992, Knight was vice president of marketing for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner newspapers. He began his corporate career in 1975 with Dole Food Company, where he worked 10 years in both domestic and international operations.

Knight is a board member of the Seattle-based Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines, life member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and member of the corporate council of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.  He also is a trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation. For Sempra Energy, he serves on the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Energy Institute and the Inter-American Dialogue.

Xpera CM and C&S Professional Services Merge

Xpera CM, a Southern California-based construction management consulting firm with offices in San Diego and Los Angeles, has merged with San Diego-based C&S Professional Services. The combined firm will have over $500 million in construction management contracts in three states.

The principals of C&S Professional Services, industry veterans James Callaghan Jr. and Craig Perry, join the Xpera CM executive team with 65 years of cumulative experience in construction, development and entitlements.

The combined firm will operate under the Xpera CM name and provide project management services for C&S’s major developer clients, including Wakeland Housing & Development Corp. (with affordable housing projects throughout Southern California), The Richman Group (with residential projects in California, Texas and Colorado) and a major mixed-use project in Orange County, among others.

Xpera CM was founded in 2014 by President David Pallinger and is an affiliated company of Xpera Group, a construction and real estate consulting firm. The firm is currently providing construction management services for the new hotel tower at the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, mixed-use Worthington Square project in Imperial, new Cambria Suites project for Choice Hotels/Filmore Hospitality near Los Angeles International Airport, and Creekside Vista, a new garden-style apartment community in Chula Vista.

Cubic and MasterCard Launch

Urbanomics Mobility Project

Cubic Transportation Systems, a business unit of Cubic Corp., and its subsidiary, Urban Insights, announced the development of the Urbanomics Mobility Project, a new data analysis platform to fuel smarter, more inclusive cities.

Built in collaboration with MasterCard, the tool will help urban planners and commercial developers better understand the relationship between how people travel and what they buy to inform growth strategies and improve the quality of life for citizens. The Urbanomics Mobility Project will officially be previewed during Smart Cities Week in Washington, D.C. this week.

The initiative leverages Urban Insights’ state-of-the-art big data analytics and visualization technology; Cubic’s expertise in processing more than $24 billion per year in public transportation revenue; and powerful spending trends and insights derived from 43 billion transactions processed over the MasterCard network each year.

Seating arrangement in British Airways' Boeing 777-300.

Seating arrangement in British Airways’ Boeing 777-300.

British Airways to Introduce Four-Cabin

Boeing 777-300 to San Diego Passengers

British Airways today announced that from March 27, 2016, customers in San Diego will be able to fly to London in First class, as the airline introduces its larger, four-cabin Boeing 777-300 on to the route. British Airways began daily services between San Diego International and London Heathrow in June 2011.

The new aircraft will be able to accommodate 297 customers — 14 in First, 56 in business class, 44 in premium economy and 183 in(economy. This is an increase of 24 seats a day from the current Boeing 777-200 operating between the two cities.

“We’re thrilled that British Airways has decided to increase the aircraft size on its popular London – San Diego route,” said Thella F. Bowens, president/CEO of San Diego International Airport. “The larger aircraft will now include a First class cabin in addition to the normal business, premium economy and economy cabins.  This means the flight will provide the most options for both business and leisure travelers to connect in comfort.”

The new First cabin has 14 suites that are based on classic design and discrete luxury.  Features include:

• Individual seats that turn into a 6 ft., 6 in. fully flat beds with a simple twist of a button.

• Signature turn down service includes a quilted mattress, crisp white cotton duvet and pillow, along with pajamas and luxury amenity kit.

• A personal closet and leather-bound writing desk that converts into a dining table.

• A la carte dining and a buddy seat to enable customers to dine together.

• Lighting and electronic blinds that can be modified to reflect mood and time of day.


Personnel Announcements

Rob Stirling Named Sales and Marketing Director

Rob Stirling

Rob Stirling

Rob Stirling has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort. Stirling will oversee sales, marketing, catering and conference services activities, focusing on the resort’s newfound direction following the recent rebrand of the Craftsman-style 215-room property.

Stirling is an industry veteran with nearly 30 years experience. He has been involved in numerous high-profile development projects and, most recently, was instrumental in the redevelopment, renovation and repositioning of The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

His career tenure also includes serving as the pre-opening director of sales and marketing for the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, W San Diego and The Grand Del Mar, which he helped become the first hotel in San Diego to achieve the Forbes 5-star rating.

JLL Promotes 3 on Staff

Misty Moore, Tony Russell, Chad Urid

Misty Moore, Tony Russell, Chad Urid

JLL has promoted three brokers in its San Diego office — Chad Urie, Tony Russell and Misty Moore. Previously executive vice presidents, both Chad Urie and Tony Russell were promoted to managing director, while Misty Moore was promoted from vice president to senior vice president.

Urie and Russell both specialize in landlord representation for office, lab and R&D properties. Urie leads the marketing for several preeminent technology and life science properties. Russell leads the marketing for several of San Diego’s most prominent office projects.

Moore specializes in tenant representation and also co-chairs the JLL Law Firm Practice Group for the San Diego office. She has represented local and global law firms DLA Piper, Morrison & Foerster, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, Best Best & Krieger, Troutman Sanders and many more.

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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: