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Daily Business Report-Jan. 5, 2016

Daily Business Report-Jan. 5, 2016

Andrew Viberbi will receive the Draper Prize on Feb. 16 in Washington, D.C.

Qualcomm Co-Founder Viterbi

To Receive Draper Prize for Engineering

 Viterbi co-founded Linkabit in 1968 and Qualcomm in 1985.

Viterbi co-founded Linkabit in 1968 and Qualcomm in 1985.

The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2016 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to Qualcomm co-founder Andrew J. Viterbi “for development of the Viterbi algorithm, its transformational impact on digital wireless communications, and its significant applications in speech recognition and synthesis and in bioinformatics.”

The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society.

The Draper Prize will be presented at a gala dinner event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16.

Viterbi developed the Viterbi algorithm as a method for enhancing error-correcting code used in telecommunication. His publication of the algorithm in the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory in 1967 helped to usher in the age of cell phones by focusing on only the most likely computing paths for telecommunication signals, ultimately making it easier to eliminate static in transmissions. The Viterbi algorithm has had the greatest impact in digital cellular phones—whether GSM, CDMA, TDMA, 3G, or 4G LTE, they all employ at least one Viterbi algorithm for channel decoding—but soon after its discovery, it was put to use in other applications such as cable, DSL modems, and Ethernet. The Viterbi algorithm has also been instrumental in interplanetary communication signals, allowing for greater signal strength in deep space missions such as Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rover and the Cassini probe to Saturn.

As cofounder of Linkabit in 1968 and Qualcomm in 1985, he led the development of innovative technologies based on code division multiple access. In addition to his career in the communication industry, Viterbi was a professor at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science from 1963 to 1973 and then taught part-time at the University of California, San Diego, where he has been professor emeritus since 2004.


Rendering of the La Jolla retail building after renovation.

Rendering of the La Jolla retail building after renovation.

$5 Million Renovation Starts

On Signature La Jolla Building

Dempsey Construction has started construction on the $5 million renovation of 1250 Prospect, the signature three-story, multitenant retail building in downtown La Jolla.

The building is home to many well-known tenants including George’s at the Cove, Donovan’s Steak House and The Hake Kitchen & Bar.

According to Dempsey Construction’s V.P./Project Manager Bryce Raleigh, the scope of work includes extensive project demolition including the removal of all hardscape along the street frontage, removal of the tile mansard roofs as well as courtyard terraces and copula.

The main entry stairs to George’s at The Cove are also being relocated and replaced. The removal of some of the existing building infrastructure is intended to open up the view corridors to the ocean and allow for more usable common area space.

New improvements to the project will include a totally redesigned building façade that will be resurfaced and painted, new stucco elements, new lighting, signage, landscaping, ADA upgrades, new hardscape and decorative paving fronting Prospect Street and upgraded MEP systems.

The building is currently 98 percent occupied and construction is taking place while the building and current occupants remain open for business. The project is scheduled for completion in summer 2016.


Southern Highlands Seniors

Apartments Sold for $14.9 Million

Southern Highlands

Southern Highlands

, the 151-unit independent living seniors apartment building at  2525 Highland Ave. in National City, has been sold for $14.9 million. The buyer was Southern Highland Partners located in Santa Barbara. The sellers were M&L Financial located in Los Angeles. Financing was provided by Opus Bank.

The property will be managed by Sperry Van Ness | Asset Advisory Group.

Southern Highlands was constructed in 1999. The seller acquired the building in 2015 and performed extensive renovations. The property was originally constructed as an assisted living facility but will continue operations as an independent living senior’s apartment building.

Sperry Van Ness | Asset Advisory Group represented the buyers. South Coast Commercial represented the sellers.


Army Marks Transition from Hunter

To General Atomics’ Grey Eagle

The U.S. Army marked the final flight of its first unmanned aircraft system as part of the transition toward a new UAS that will support the service branch’s surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The Army said Dec. 21 the General Atomics-built Grey Eagle drone will replace the Hunter, which will redeploy from Fort Hood in Texas to government-owned/contractor-operated units overseas.

General Atomics will deliver the Grey Eagle to the 15th Military Intelligence Battalion beginning next year.

According to the Army, the Hunter initially supported training exercises but eventually deployed to warfighting and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Iraq between 1999 and 2003.

The Grey Eagle’s electro-optical/infrared systems build on the Hunter’s imaging technology to provide real-time situational awareness of battlefield conditions, the Army said.


View of one of the floors of the East Tower at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

View of one of the floors of the East Tower at Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

$41 Million Renovation Completed on

East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital

The $41 million renovation of the East Tower of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa has been completed. Patients are now being treated in stae-of-the-art, upgraded rooms on all five floors of the tower.

The East Tower work was part of the hospital’s Facilities Master Site Plan. Renovation cost was financed through Proposition G, a bond measure sponsored by the Grossmont Hospital District (GHD) and approved by East County voters in June 2006.

Each renovated floor of the East Tower has 37 patient beds for a total of 148 beds. Among the improvements: patient-bed utility headwalls were replaced with advanced units; new ADA and bariatric accessible rooms were retrofitted; and, nurses are now using newly configured central work stations with upgraded lighting and finishes. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems also were modernized with new lighting throughout the floors. Five existing elevators were upgraded with mechanical and cosmetic improvements. Private restrooms also were upgraded. The project included a seismic retrofit of the East Tower, which will bring it into compliance with current California Building Code earthquake standards.

Taxpayer-funded construction is continuing at the publicly-owned, 540-bed hospital which opened in 1955. Prop. G also is currently funding construction of a 71,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center and 18,000-square-foot Central Energy Plant. The bond-financed construction began in 2007, and is scheduled to continue over the next several years.

The hospital is managed and operated by Sharp HealthCare under a lease agreement between GHD and Sharp HealthCare, which was extended by voters in 2014 for an additional 30 years.


Richard Risner Elected President

Of Landscape Architects Chapter

Richard Risner

Richard Risner

The American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego chapter, has elected Richard Risner as its new president for 2016. Risner is a landscape architect with over 25 years’ experience. In 2004, he and his wife, Juli, founded Grounded Landscape Architecture and the trendy retail furniture store, Grounded Modern Living, in Encinitas.  They are residents of Cardiff by the Sea.

Risner’s main goal during his one-year tenure is to make sure that the profession of landscape architecture is at the forefront of all relevant environmental debates. “Landscape Architects are stewards of the land and they need to facilitate designs and policies that effect the environment,” said Risner.

Risner’s recent work includes high-end residential design, commercial and mixed-use developments, community parks and open spaces, multi-family housing, streetscapes, boutique resorts, industrial parks, institutional and large retail shopping centers.

As principal landscape architect, Risner oversee all aspects of the design, document quality control and production of the firm’s projects. Many of his previous projects have won ASLA awards and have earned recognition in several publications.

Risner awards include the 2009 ASLA Merit award for his “Fairbanks Ranch — Balancing Act” project; a 2011 AIA Orchid award project “Centre Street Lofts”; the 2012 CLCA  1st place “best water-efficient landscape design”; the 2014 ASLA Merit award for the “Project Mozart”;  an ASLA merit award for “Project Pennsylvania”; and the 2015 CLCA 1st place “best water feature.”


Pathway Genomics Raises

$40M In Series E Financing

San Diego-based Pathway Genomics Corp. reported today that it has successfully raised over $40 million in a Series E financing.

This brings the total investment into Pathway Genomics to over $130 million. Investors in this round of funding include IBM Watson, Pathway’s partner in the development of a mobile health application using artificial intelligence to provide personalized health and wellness guidance.

Additional Series E investments will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

The company said this investment will enable it to expand its presence in the United States and beyond the 40 countries it currently serves internationally, capturing a growing share of the $38 billion global genomics market.

“I’m proud that Pathway is now recognized as a pioneer in the genetic testing industry known for providing affordable and clinically actionable tests not just in the US, but in many countries that don’t have access to this type of advanced genetic testing. This capital will allow us to continue to expand and validate the tests we offer, grow our sales force, and invest in cutting edge technology for our CAP and CLIA accredited laboratories,” said Jim Plante, founder and CEO of Pathway Genomics.


Chargers Officially Ask NFL Permission

To Move to LA for 2016 Season

City News Service

The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams each submitted applications Monday to move to the Los Angeles area beginning with the 2016 season, the NFL announced Monday night.

Each team submitted the appropriate documentation in support of its application as required by the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations, according to the league.

The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees that will meet in New York on Wednesday and Thursday — the Los Angeles Opportunities, Stadium, and Finance committees.

The applications will be presented for consideration at the league meeting in Houston Jan. 12-13. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs, 24 of 32.


Personnel Announcements

San Diego Blood Bank Hires VP of Marketing

Robert Baracz

Robert Baracz

The San Diego Blood Bank has named Robert Baracz as vice president of marketing.

Baracz has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, brand development, promotion, partnerships and e-commerce. He spent the past four years as director of marketing for SeaWorld and Aquatica San Diego. His experience includes developing marketing programs and strategies with teams and executing programs resulting in building revenue streams. At SeaWorld, he directed park-wide brand initiatives and developed new revenue-generating programs.

Prior to SeaWorld, he worked in various marketing and business development roles with Advanced Reservation Systems Inc., the San Diego Tourism Authority, Legoland California and San Diego Zoo Global. From 1986 to 1996, he spent 10 years with SeaWorld San Diego while earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California at San Diego.


Gina Plate Reappointed to

Special Education Commission

Gina Plate

Gina Plate

Gina Plate, 46, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the California Advisory Commission on Special Education by Gov. Jerry Brown. She has served since 2012. Plate has been senior adviser for special education at the California Charter Schools Association since 2009. She was director of education at the Seneca Center for Children and Families from 1996 to 2010. Plate earned a Master of Education degree in special education from the University of San Diego. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Plate is a Democrat.


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