Daily Business Report-Jan. 27, 2016
High rises at 525 B St., 530 B St. and 101 Ash St., from left, are all changing hands.
Downtown San Diego on Fire
Will Chargers Join the Party?
By Jason Hughes
More Musical Ownership Chairs
525 B Street (aka the Procopio building) is in escrow to LaSalle Investment Management, a subsidiary of Jones Lang LaSalle or JLL.
530 B Street is in escrow to Bosa, the prolific Downtown San Diego bayfront condo developer out of Vancouver who also owns the former Driver Building on 5th Avenue and the Paladion Building across from Nordstrom (which formerly housed American Specialty Health many years ago).
Additionally, the former Sempra Building is for sale, with escrow negotiations currently underway. Also, the Executive Complex located at 1010 Second Ave. has been in and out of escrow (and has a $40 million balloon payment due next month), and Emerald Plaza is rumored to hit the streets soon as well.
Good News — Bad News
Downtown is on fire (figuratively) and is the clear locational choice for progressive firms wanting to pack in geographic, amenity-rich benefits for their employees. We’re seeing lots and lots of activity, with more tenants having recently moved or in the process of moving Downtown than ever before. The bad news is that rents are spiking and options are waning for good space. The so-so news is that there are still plenty of options for less desirable space — with rents to reflect it.
Chargers in Downtown?
Unlikely. Just more drama. As much as I would love to see a stadium Downtown, I wouldn’t bet on a Chargers presence here. For those of you who don’t remember, the mayor’s stadium task force, which I co-chaired, spent a month evaluating Downtown. There are simply too many hurdles to give it a positive prognosis. But if the Chargers are ready to get serious then they know who to talk to. Good job with your patience this whole time, Mr. Mayor.
Jason Hughes is president, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning California commercial real estate company with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Reach him at email@example.com.
Illumina Acquires Conexio Genomics
San Diego-based genomics equipment provider Illumina announced Tuesday its acquisition of Conexio Genomics, a 14-year-old Australian firm that specializes in typing used to match patients and donors for bone marrow or cord blood transplants.
Conexio’s system uses a protein found in most cells in the body — human leukocyte antigen or HLA.
“The addition of Conexio products and people solidify our HLA capabilities and demonstrate Illumina’s ongoing commitment to HLA and ultimately, to the field of transplant science,” said Alex Lindell, associate director of HLA market development at Illumina.
Illumina and Conexio began a partnership about one year ago to develop the TruSight HLA Sequencing Panel, an HLA typing kit. Conexio’s next-generation sequencing development programs will be immediately integrated into Illumina, company officials said.
Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, Conexio is a privately held company that employs 13 staffers and has developed technology used in more than 200 laboratories worldwide. Conexio was founded in 2002 by its CEO, David Sayer, and its chief software engineer, Damian Goodridge, whose innovations ushered in the use of sequencing in HLA typing in the early 2000s.
Samuel Yin Gifts $12.8 Million for New
Laboratories at Scripps Research Institute
Philanthropist and businessman Samuel Yin of Taiwan has given $12.8 million to The Scripps Research Institute to help fund construction of a new building complex on the La Jolla campus. The gift also secures additional funding from a previous challenge grant, bringing the total in private donations for the project to more than $25 million.
At Yin’s request, one of the future new buildings will be designated the Chi-Huey Wong Chemical Biology Laboratory in honor of the professor of chemistry at the institute and president of Academia Sinica, the highest academic institution in Taiwan.
“I am most grateful for this unexpected honor,” said Wong, whose research tackles major problems in biology and medicine — especially those associated with cancer and infectious diseases — through a focus on synthesis of glycoproteins, vaccines and other biologically active molecules.
Yin is chairman of the Ruentex Group and chief development officer, chief technology officer and chief engineer of Ruentex Construction & Development. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at National Taiwan University and a professor at Peking University.
In the West, Yin is perhaps best known as the founder of the Tang Prizes. The Tang Prizes, biennial awards first given in 2014, are selected by panels of judges convened by Academia Sinica for research excellence in Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law.
Yin is also a long-time supporter of scholarships for the study of Chinese literature and history, programs in higher education, and a number of foundations he launched to serve people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
His latest gift to TSRI makes possible a new state-of-the-art building complex that will help consolidate research labs on the La Jolla campus, encourage collaboration among the institute’s scientists and strengthen ongoing programs at the intersection of biology and chemistry.
Northrop Grumman to Deliver 5
Drones to NATO Air Base in Italy
Northrop Grumman is scheduled to deliver five unmanned ground surveillance aircraft to NATO’s Sigonella air base in Sicily, Italy by the end of this year, Defense News reported Monday.
Program officials told Defense News that 30 NATO personnel are now on the air base in preparation for a performance assessment of five Northrop-built Global Hawk drones and related ground components as part of NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance system.
Tom Kington writes NATO staff will perform a performance review prior to a complete handover of the drones to the alliance in 2017.
Northrop launched its first Global Hawk for NATO last month in an effort to test its flight controls.
The company has begun to conduct test flights to evaluate the unmanned aircraft’s radar and will set up a ground station at the Sicilian air base that will work to analyze and transmit radar data to a NATO network, Kington reports.
Researchers Find More Evidence
Of Health Dangers of E-Cigarettes
Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report data suggesting that e-cigarettes are toxic to human airway cells, suppress immune defenses and alter inflammation, while at the same time boosting bacterial virulence.
The mouse study is published Jan. 25 by the Journal of Molecular Medicine.
“This study shows that e-cigarette vapor is not benign — at high doses it can directly kill lung cells, which is frightening,” said senior author Laura E. Crotty Alexander, staff physician at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and assistant clinical professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We already knew that inhaling heated chemicals, including the e-liquid ingredients nicotine and propylene glycol, couldn’t possibly be good for you. This work confirms that inhalation of e-cigarette vapor daily leads to changes in the inflammatory milieu inside the airways.”
Crotty Alexander reported the preliminary results of this work at the American Thoracic Society annual meetings in 2014 and 2015. But now her team has also seen their findings hold up in mice. Inflammatory markers — signs of full-body inflammation — in the airways and blood of mice that inhaled e-cigarette vapors for one hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks were elevated by 10 percent compared to unexposed mice.
Ballot Measure Planned for
‘Rebuild San Diego’ Project
City News Service
The City Council Tuesday directed the City Attorney’s Office to develop language for a proposed ballot measure that would set up a method for funding infrastructure projects in San Diego over the next few decades.
Councilman Mark Kersey’s “Rebuild San Diego” plan would amend the City Charter to dedicate future sales tax growth and money from reduced pension payments toward neighborhood upgrades, including streets, sidewalks, storm drains, parks, libraries, recreation centers, and police and fire stations.
In addition, it would preserve half of all new major general fund growth for infrastructure projects — formalizing a commitment made by Mayor Kevin Faulconer in his first two budgets.
The money dedicated by the measure would close a gap in funding for fixing billions of dollars of neglected roads, sidewalks, municipal buildings and other city facilities that have been ignored until recently.
Kersey, his Infrastructure Committee and the mayor’s office have spent the past couple of years trying to figure out the scale of the problem, and to streamline the city processes meant to deal with the issue.
Sydnee’s Pet Grooming Wins National Recognition
San Diego-based Sydnee’s Pet Grooming has been named an honoree in the International Franchise Association Education Foundation’s NextGen in Franchising Global Competition.
Sydnee’s, among 19 other recognized leaders, will be acknowledged at the IFA’s annual conference, Feb. 20-23 in San Antonio.
Sydnee’s also was listed as one of the top franchise brands for 2016 by Entrepreneur.com.
Tickets On Sale Now for
Gator By The Bay Festival
C.J. Chenier, son of the legendary “King of Zydeco” Clifton Chenier, will headline the opening day of San Diego’s 15th annual Gator By The Bay Festival that will be staged May 5-8 at Spanish Landing Park on San Diego Bay.
Tickets are now on sale for the Louisiana-themed zydeco, blues and crawfish festival.
Presented by San Diego’s Bon Temps Social Club, the festival features four days of live music with over 90 musical acts and special performances on seven stages, along with 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked from Louisiana, non-stop dancing, shopping, playing and eating on bay.
The C.J. Chenier concert on May 5 will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. C.J. was literally born into the musical tradition of southwest Louisiana and Texas Zydeco, a chugging, accordion-led blend of French Creole and African-derived influences.
Other musical headliners this year include: Bonsoir Catin, a mostly female band playing traditional Cajun dancehall gems and sweet Louisiana ballads and a fresh new Cajun sound; Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys from Lawtell, La.; and Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble from Lafayette, La. playing a mix of traditional and nouveau Zydeco designed to “keep the folks dancing.”
Thursday night concert tickets range in price from $25 to $95. Festival tickets range from $35 to $40, with discounts available for advance purchase and multiday passes. Children 17 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. Patron passes are $120 per day.
Click here to find all festival, ticket, lodging, parking and free shuttle info.