Daily Business Report-Oct. 13, 2015
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Research Institutions Bring
$4.6 Billion to San Diego Economy
Times of San Diego
Research institutions have a $4.6 billion impact on San Diego’s economy, according to a report scheduled to be released Tuesday afternoon by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
The EDC said independent research institutes like the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have an economic impact of $2.7 billion, while university-based centers add another $1.9 billion.
The total is equal to the impact of four conventions, the basing of six aircraft carrier, 33 U.S. Open golf tournaments and 34 Comic-Con International conventions, the EDC said.
Combined, the organizations support 37,000 jobs in the region, receive $1.8 billion in federal and philanthropic funding, and attract the world’s best and brightest minds — including 111 National Academy of Science fellows, the report found.
Notably the independent research institutes in San Diego receive more research funding from the National Institutes of Health and generate more patents than counterparts in any metropolitan area of the U.S.
“From Ebola to Alzheimer’s to HIV, San Diego’s research institutions are developing breakthrough therapies that are advancing healthcare and quality of life on a global scale,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “With this study, for the first time, we not only understand the impact these research institutions have on global well-being, but the way they drive job creation and impact our economy.”
The EDC recommended that coalitions be formed to seek continued financial support, including quarterly trips to Washington, D.C., to lobby federal officials. The research industry should also coordinate with the EDC’s Go Global initiative in order to lure international funding, the report says.
The EDC also suggested that industry officials create technical training programs, focus job creation efforts on mid-level positions like laboratory technicians and assistants, and develop more interactive labs to gain interest from K-12 students.
City News Service contributed to this article.
Building Industry Association Honors
Affordable Housing Project and Developer
Alpha Square, a $47.6 million, six-story, mixed-use development in East Village that will house the homeless and low-income individuals, was recognized by the Building Industry Association of San Diego as San Diego’s Best Affordable Project in 2015.
Carlsbad-based Chelsea Investment Corp., the developer of the project, was named San Diego’s Builder of the Year 2015. The awards were made at this year’s BIA ICON awards, which honor excellence and innovation in the home building industry.
Jim Schmid, who served as chairman of the BIA in 2014, is CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp.
Alpha Square will replace Hotel Metro, a nearby single-room occupancy hotel whose current residents will be welcomed to Alpha Square when it opens later this month.
Averaging 260 square feet, all fully furnished studio apartments at Alpha Square will feature a full bathroom, cooktop and air conditioning, plus Internet access, cable television and telephone service for all residents. Building amenities will include a computer lab, multipurpose room, laundry facilities, a community courtyard and a landscaped rooftop deck and terrace. Case management and an array of supportive services will be provided by Alpha Project for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that also operates the Hotel Metro.
Through vouchers provided by the San Diego Housing Commission, the tenant will pay 30 percent of their income, and the federal government will pay the balance of the monthly rent. Rental assistance will stay with the unit when an occupant moves out.
Borre Winckel, CEO of BIA San Diego, said this was the first time the Builder of the Year award was presented to a developer of affordable housing.
Civic San Diego Directs SANDAG Grants
To Projects in Encanto and Downtown
Civic San Diego announced Monday that it will direct $2.5 million in grant funding from SANDAG’s Smart Growth Incentive Program to three projects in Encanto and Downtown San Diego.
An award of $300,000 will be used to produce a Complete Streets Master Plan for the Euclid and Market Community Center. The final phase of planning will include streetscape designs to improve walkability, promote safety, provide access to transit and create new bike lanes. An additional $100,000 for this project was matched by the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation.
A $1 million grant will help fund the design and construction of the first block of the 14th Street Pedestrian Promenade envisioned to connect City College with the Barrio Logan neighborhood through the East Village neighborhood. Located along the east side of 14th street between Broadway and E Street, adjacent to the San Diego Police Department headquarters, the project will also be supported by $250,000 from CivicSD’s FAR Bonus Payment Program fund which collects payments from developers seeking additional density in the Downtown area.
Also described as a linear park, the completed promenade would connect the future East Village Green park –planned for the full blocks bounded by 13th, 15th, F and G streets — and the recently completed Fault Line Park at 14th and J streets..
A grant for $200,000 will complete a feasibility study and conceptual design for an improved pedestrian walkway from Downtown to Balboa Park. Current visions for the plan include a widened sidewalk, landscaping, benches and trellises along Sixth Avenue over Interstate 5. The project would also eliminate the hazardous free left-turn from the northbound I-5 off-ramp onto Sixth Avenue, improving pedestrian safety. This grant was accompanied by $50,000 of matching funds from CivicSD’s FAR Bonus Payment Program fund.
Qualcomm to Sell Vuforia Software
City News Service
Qualcomm has agreed to sell its vision-based augmented reality software platform Vuforia to software developer PTC.
The sale is expected to close by the end of the year, and includes Vuforia’s developer ecosystem, according to Qualcomm. The deal is worth about $65 million, according to Dow Jones Business News.
“We share PTC’s vision for a connected world and look forward to seeing the Vuforia mobile platform continuing to flourish under PTC’s leadership,” Qualcomm Inc. President Derek Aberle said. “Qualcomm will continue to drive computer vision technology that will unlock a wide variety of applications for consumers and businesses around the world.”
Vuforia can be used to build Android and iOS applications for mobile devices and digital eyewear. The mobile vision platform enables applications to “see,” thus connecting the physical world with digital experiences, according to Qualcomm. In the five years since its launch, Vuforia has become an industry leading platform.
“Qualcomm always looks to push the boundaries of what is possible with computer vision,” Aberle said. “By leveraging the company’s mobile technology leadership, Vuforia has become the platform of choice for developers of augmented reality applications.”
Conservation Group Acquires Land
To Protect Threatened Species
The Endangered Habitats Conservancy has assumed ownership of a 140-acre site in East County — Lakeside Downs — that was previously proposed for a 140-home development. The site contains a robust population of the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, high-value coastal sage scrub habitat, and extensive stands of spiny redberry, host plant for the rare Hermes Copper Butterfly.
Officials from SANDAG, MCAS Miramar and the Endangered Habitats Conservancy will announce the $8 million acquisition today.
The Endangered Habitats Conservancy worked with all the parties to put together the acquisition and has assumed ownership and management of the land. Officials said Lakeside Downs is strategically located and its acquisiton will close gaps between large swaths of conserved land and parcels targeted for conservation.
The preservation of the site helps to advance goals in both Santee’s Multiple Species Conservation Plan and the county’s MSCP, as well as support military readiness by helping MCAS Miramar avoid encroachment that can restrict military training or operations, according to officials.
SANDAG provided $4 million of the cost through its TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program, while $4 million was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense under its Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program.
Debra Maxie Appointed to
Student Aid Commission
Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins has appointed Debra Maxie of San Diego to serve on the California Student Aid Commission. Maxie is a longtime educator, and currently serves as vice principal at Crawford High School in San Diego, where she has worked for 23 years as both a teacher and counselor.
Maxie is a member of the Association of African American Educators. In March, she received the association’s Unsung Hero Award for service in the field of education.
“I have made it my lifelong passion to help others get an education in whatever field they desire,” Maxie said. “If there is a reason or challenge that alters or stops a person from pursuing their dream, it is usually tied to finance, not their inner drive or desire. By serving on the Student Aid Commission, I can be in a position to influence future decisions regarding financial support for those that most need that assistance.”
Created by the Legislature in 1955, the California Student Aid Commission is the state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs for students attending public and private universities, colleges, and vocational schools in California.
Maxie’s term will expire Jan. 1, 2019. Compensation for commissioners is $100 per meeting day plus actual and necessary traveling expenses.
Viejas Casino Opens Expanded Gaming
Floor and Adds 1,000 New Slot Machines
Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine has officially opened the newly expanded section of its gaming floor, including the addition of 1,000 all new slot machines. The 15,000-square-foot expansion includes a new state-of-the-art promotion stage and open access to an ultramodern escalator bank that leads to a new hotel tower, opening later this month.
“This marks the first step in our most ambitious plan of growth to date,” said Viejas Tribal Chairman Robert Welch. “The ongoing development of Viejas continues to resonate in many positive ways for the San Diego area, both economically and in establishing a strong foundation for the future of our culture.”
On Oct. 30, the central feature of the year-long development culminates with the grand opening of Viejas’ second luxury hotel tower. The event will include a tightrope performance by Tino Wallenda of the world-famous Flying Wallendas. The new hotel tower will then be opened for guest tours.
Breast Cancer Drug Beats Superbug
Tamoxifen helps white blood cells clear multidrug-resistant bacteria in lab and mouse studies
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen MRSA and reduces mortality.
The study is published October 13 by Nature Communications.
“The threat of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens is growing, yet the pipeline of new antibiotics is drying up. We need to open the medicine cabinet and take a closer look at the potential infection-fighting properties of other drugs that we already know are safe for patients,” said senior author Victor Nizet, professor of pediatrics and pharmacy. “Through this approach, we discovered that tamoxifen has pharmacological properties that could aid the immune system in cases where a patient is immunocompromised or where traditional antibiotics have otherwise failed.”
Cal State San Marcos
Ranked 13th Best College Value
City News Service
Cal State San Marcos was ranked 13th out of nearly 1,200 colleges and universities in employment outcomes relative to the total cost of a higher education.
The nonprofit Educate to Career compiled the rankings based on such criteria as the percentage of graduates employed in occupations that match their field of study, the average salary earned by recent graduates, and the percentage of people employed within one year of graduation.
The number of years it takes to graduate, the net cost of in-state tuition and loan default rates were also considered.
San Marcos was the highest ranked campus in the California State University system and third overall in the state. UC Irvine ranked highest in the University of California system, coming in second overall.
“CSUSM is increasingly becoming a national model for student success,” said President Karen Haynes. “As we demonstrate the importance of public higher education, our programs and practices are expanding access to a diverse population of students in support of our region’s social and economic vitality.”
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ranked first on the ETC list.
UC San Diego was 36th and San Diego State University ranked 94th.
SCORE San Diego
Announces New Board
SCORE San Diego, the nonprofit organization whose volunteers make use of their business expertise and experience to provide free mentoring to small business owners, announces its new board of directors for 2015–16.
SCORE’s board members serve for the organization’s fiscal year, October 1–September 30. This year they will be led for a second consecutive term by president Sally Broff, a retired executive from Fallbrook.
Broff’s corporate career included sales, product management, and quality assurance positions in the electronics industry. She was the owner of a company that was the sole U.S. distributor of LCD and contract assembly products from an international manufacturer.
Other Board Members:
Bob Berman, Vice President — Marketing, Carlsbad
Fred Bruning, Treasurer — San Diego
Lawrence Gach, Vice President — Mentoring, San Diego
Paul Hollenbach, Member-At-Large, San Diego
Liz Lemesevski, Secretary, San Diego
Ed Smythe, Vice President — Workshops, San Diego
Study: San Diego Advertising
Industry Has $71 Billion Impact
The advertising industry in San Diego County accounts for $71.5 billion in annual economic impact, or about 16.9 percent of total economic output in the region, according to a just-released study commissioned by the American Advertising Federation, a national advertising trade organization.
Federation membership consists of more than 200 local advertising clubs, including San Diego’s SDX, formerly the San Diego Ad Club.
The study’s results, announced by SDX, also revealed that one dollar spent on advertising generates $22 in economic output, and every one million dollars of ad spending resulting in sales of products and services supports 81 local jobs. In addition, about 15.5 percent of all local jobs are related in some way to local advertising expenditures.
“Advertising is clearly an important contributor to the San Diego economy,” said Michael Warburton, SDX board chair and San Diego Zoo’s global brand manager.
“Whether it’s online banner ads or television commercials or anything in between, advertising drives the economy and jobs,” said Doug Hecht, SDX president.
Hecht said the study confirms that advertising not only helps businesses build brand awareness and communicates benefits of products and services to customers, but it also triggers a cascade of economic activity and stimulates job creation and retention throughout the economy.
Conducted by research firm IHS Global Insight, SDX said the economic impact figure was measured against four categories, including direct economic impact, suppliers economic impact, inter-industry economic impact and induced consumer spending. The geographic area used for the study was defined by San Diego’s five congressional districts.
USO San Diego Hires
Retired Navy Captain as CEO
City News Service
USO San Diego on Monday named a retired Navy captain and charity executive to become its new CEO.
Arne John Nelson has led Catholic Charities of Dallas and Catholic Charities of Central Florida over the past 10 years. He’ll be tasked with increasing attendance in under-used programs and creating stability for military members and their families when they transition to civilian life.
USO San Diego operates centers in Downtown San Diego and at Lindbergh Field that provide assistance to the military.
“Having served in the military for over 30 years, I am familiar with the unique challenges and joys service members and their families experience and I am grateful to the USO for always striving to be by their side,” Nelson said.
During his naval career, Nelson was chief of staff for the commander of naval forces in Europe, commanded a naval air station at Sigonella, Italy, and led a helicopter squadron during Operation Desert Storm.
Community Housing Works to Open
340 Affordable Housing Projects
Community Housing Works (CHW) today announced 340 new affordable apartments and townhomes in three communities in San Diego, Escondido and Vista.
The nonprofit developer:
• Acquired Mayberry Townhomes, a 70-unit community in San Diego’s Southcrest neighborhood.
• With the help of a $1 million loan from the city of Escondido, CHW began renovating Cypress Cove, a 200-unit apartment community in Escondido.
• CHW also recently completed construction of North Santa Fe, 68 new apartments located in a transit-oriented community in Vista.
The acquisitions of Mayberry Townhomes and Cypress Cove are part of a new initiative CHW began two years ago, which aims to keep affordable communities affordable and out of the hands of investors who are increasingly buying affordable communities, making modest improvements, minimizing expenditures and raising rents, and eventually flipping the properties for a profit.
The abrupt changes often force existing tenants, including seniors living on fixed incomes, to move. Affordable housing stock, already dangerously thin, also is reduced.
Using an allocation of housing tax credits, CHW will begin a $3 million renovation of the Mayberry Townhomes property that was originally built in 1984. The acquisition will lower rents according to CHW. The townhomes have two stories with off-street parking and are affordable to residents earning up to $48,600 for a family of four (at 60 percent of the Area Median Income). The renovations are expected to be complete in mid-2016.
Community HousingWorks is the developer/owner and Sun Country Builders, a firm based in Vista, is the general contractor.