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Daily Business Report-Jan. 8, 2016

Daily Business Report-Jan. 8, 2016

Sun Pinnacle, the first tower at Pinnacle on the Park.

Downtown’s Tallest Residential

Tower Sits Atop An Earthquake Fault

Yet nearly 60 percent of the units have been leased

The first tower at Pinnacle on the Park — a Downtown San Diego high-rise being built just above the Rose Canyon Fault, which runs beneath it — is now nearly 60 percent leased, according to San Diego-based Sunrise Management.

At almost 500 feet tall, the building is Downtown’s tallest residential structure. Located in East Village, the multifamily community will encompass two 45-story towers.

When complete, the Pinnacle on the Park community will yield 965 multifamily units and 17,000 square feet of commercial/retail space in the dual 45-story towers. Construction on the first high rise is slated for completion this month and the second tower will begin construction next year.

Amenities will include a lap pool and spa; a 24-hour resident fitness center; underground-gated parking; a clubhouse with a gourmet demonstration kitchen and oversized projection screen; resident lounge; and an onsite concierge.

Each one-, two- or three-bedroom floor plan offers a modern kitchen with island or breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, designer finishes with granite countertops; ceramic tile and wood-style flooring; washer and dryer; and expansive, private balconies offering sweeping downtown views.

An added benefit for residents: the community’s new Fault Line Park –named after the Rose Canyon Fault, which runs underneath — an urban oasis with multiple play areas, multipurpose lawns, gardens and public art. The 1.5-acre East Village facility is the first public park to open in the neighborhood since 2004.

Melissa Deen, vice president of marketing for Sunrise Management, said her firm just completed the first phase of lease up and began leasing in August for the first 45-story, 484-unit tower at 424 15th St.

“The East Village is San Diego’s most rapidly growing neighborhood –emerging as a hub for urban living with new restaurants, rooftop bars, boutiques, luxury hotels, live music venues and more — and residential real estate here is in hot demand,” said Deen’



Sequenom to Cut 110 Jobs, Seek

Partners for Liquid Biopsy Test


Genetic testing company Sequenom Inc. of San Diego said on Thursday it will cut 110 jobs, or about 20 percent of its workforce, and will seek partners to commercialize its liquid biopsy test.

Sequenom, whose bid to restore a prenatal DNA test patent was rejected by a U.S. court last month, raised expected cost savings to more than $20 million annually from over $10 million estimated earlier.

The company also said it intends to sell its operations in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Sequenom said a commercial partner for the oncology liquid biopsy would help cut research spending in the rapidly developing area.

“Liquid biopsy” uses gene-sequencing technology to screen blood samples for trace amounts of DNA associated with different cancers.

The U.S. appeals court had said in June the prenatal DNA test patent was not eligible for legal protection because it fell under the U.S. Supreme Court’s rule against patenting natural phenomena.

The decision was being closely watched by the biotech industry, which could put in doubt the validity of a wide range of medical and biotechnology patents.

The San Diego-based company’s shares closed down 2.1 percent at $1.41 on Thursday.


Rabbi Laurie Coskey Elected Chair

Of Convention Center Corporation

Laurie Coskey

Laurie Coskey

Rabbi Laurie Coskey has been elected chair of the San Diego Convention Center Board of Directors for 2016.

Candace M. Carroll will serve as vice chair and Gil Cabrera will serve as the board’s secretary. The seven-member board sets policy for the public benefit corporation that was created by the city of San Diego to exclusively manage, market and operate the 2.6 million-square-foot waterfront facility.

Coskey is a community leader with more than 25 years of experience building collaborative, community coalitions of leaders and people. She is  the executive director of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, where she helps diverse coalitions unite behind common goals.

Coskey is a board member of Interfaith Worker Justice, the national alliance of worker justice organizations, and of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, an alliance of immigrant and border advocacy organizations. She is Rabbi in Residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral.



The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (Yelp)

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (Yelp)

S.D. Chinese Historical Museum Gets

Grant to Help Pay for Digitizing Collection

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in Downtown San Diego has received a CollectionSpace mini-grant to help pay for the archiving and digitizing of the museum’s collection to eventually make the material available to the general public.

The museum — celebrating its 20th anniversary this year — has become the

custodian of thousands of ethnographic artifacts and works of art related to China and Chinese in America. It has always had the mission of sharing Chinese and Chinese American history, culture and art with diverse audiences, but never had the resources to share this one-of-a-kind collection outside of its physical exhibition spaces — until now.

Working with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, the museum will start the extensive project of organizing its collections into an effective system of archival management.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum was founded in 1996 and is located on Third Ave.

CollectionSpace is an open-source collections management system developed by the community and stewarded by LYRASIS. CollectionSpace is used by an array of museums and municipalities, including art museums, historical societies and botanical gardens.


Courtesy of Photospin

Courtesy of Photospin

County Library Branches Will Help You

Pass California’s Written Driver’s Test

A number of San Diego County Library branches will hold test preparation classes for people who want to pass California’s written driver’s test.

Branch libraries in Lakeside, Fletcher Hills, San Marcos and Vista are all scheduled to hold free, hour-long driver’s test preparation classes in the coming months, starting Friday in Lakeside.

The classes will be held in English in Fletcher Hills and Lakeside and in Spanish at San Marcos and Vista. They will cover information from the California Driver Handbook (the handbooks will be available at the library) and will include helpful videos and practice sample tests to take and review. The idea is to help you prepare to succeed before you walk in to the DMV to take the test.

The classes are open to first-time drivers and experienced drivers who need to renew their licenses. California’s written test for new drivers includes 36 questions and requires 30 correct answers to pass. The test for senior drivers includes 18 questions and requires 15 correct answers to pass. Drivers over the age of 70 are required to take the written test to renew their license.

Click here for the locations and times of the preparation classes.


FAA Records Nearly 180,000

Drone Registrations Since December

The Federal Aviation Administration has recorded nearly 180,000 unmanned aerial systems that registered with the agency since it launched the registration system in December, FCW reported Wednesday.

The FAA intends for the registration to help address issues around safety involving drones and passenger aircraft.

“Simply put, registration is all about safety,” Michael Huerta, FAA chief, told the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “It provides us with a key opportunity to educate the new generation of airspace users that, as soon as they start flying outside, they’re pilots,” he said.

The FAA charges $5 per system for the registration that is valid for three years, according to the report.


UC San Diego and Janssen R&D

Partner to Treat Chagas Disease

Researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego have entered into a research collaboration with Janssen Research & Development LLC, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to identify new therapeutic targets for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection that is the leading cause of heart failure in Latin America.

As part of this collaboration, Janssen R&D will provide James McKerrow, dean of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, and his research team with funding and access to its “Jump-Starter” screening library of compounds. Access to this library will help McKerrow and team identify chemical probes for studying Chagas disease and aid the discovery of compounds for potentially treating it.

“Chagas disease is known as a ‘neglected tropical disease’ because of the lack of resources and attention dedicated to studying, preventing and treating it, especially considering the millions of people it affects,” McKerrow said. “We’re excited by Janssen R&D’s commitment to global public health, particularly for underserved populations, and this opportunity to work with them to take the ‘neglect’ out of this neglected tropical disease. This collaboration represents an important step forward in establishing a culture of industry-academic training and research at UC San Diego.”

McKerrow and his research team will use a new robotic drug screening facility in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy to test the thousands of Janssen R&D compounds for their ability to kill or inhibit Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease.


Illumina Files Patent Lawsuits in Europe

Illumina Inc. announced that it has filed two patent infringement suits in Europe. The patents asserted use cell-free fetal DNA for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

The first suit was filed against The Doctors Laboratory Ltd, TDL Genetics Ltd, and Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division in the United Kingdom. The suit accuses The Doctors Laboratory and TDL Genetics’ use of the Harmony  NIPT test supplied by Ariosa of infringing European Patent 0 994 963.

The second suit was filed against Centrum Badan Sp z o.o. and Medgenetix Sp z o.o. in the Regional Court in Warsaw, Poland. The suit accuses Centrum and Medgenetix’s use of the Iona NIPT test supplied by Premaitha Health PLC of infringing European Patent 2 183 693.

Illumina is seeking all available remedies, including damages and injunctive relief.

These new lawsuits follow suits previously filed against Ariosa in the United States and Premaitha in the United Kingdom.


Personnel Announcements

Nora Vargas Reappointed to

Teachers’ Retirement System Board

Nora Vargas

Nora Vargas

Nora Vargas, 44, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System Board by Gov. Jerry Brown. where She has served since 2015.

Vargas has been vice president of community and government relations at Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest since 2009. She was executive director at the Latino Issues Forum from 2007 to 2009, a consultant at Nora Vargas Consulting from 2005 to 2007, founding director at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs from 2004 to 2005 and vice president of governmental and political affairs at Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties from 2001 to 2004.

She was a legislative relations specialist at San Diego State University from 2000 to 2001, a consultant at Kaufman Campaign Consultants from 1998 to 1999 and a confidential assistant at the U.S. Selective Service System from 1997 to 1998. Vargas is president of the Southwestern Community College District Governing Board and chair of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Board of Directors.

The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Vargas is a Democrat.


Wilson Turner Kosmo Adds Associates

Brittney R. Dobbins

Brittney R. Dobbins

Mark Rein

Mark Rein

Brittney R. Dobbins and Mark A. Rein have joined the Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP law firm as associates.

Dobbins joins the firm’s Employment, Business, Trade Secret, Class Action and Products Liability practice groups. She was previously with the Brown Law Group. She received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and her B.A., cum laude, from DePaul University.

Rein joins the firm’s Business Litigation, Employment Law, and Product Liability practice groups. He represents companies of all sizes in breach of contract matters and other complex business disputes. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S., summa cum laude, from San Diego State University.


Hughes Marino Adds Staff to

Orange County and L.A. Offices

Hughes Marino, The San Diego-based commercial real estate company, has added tenant representatives Greg Olson, Sean Spear and Michael Muna to its Orange County- and Los Angeles-based teams.

The addition was timed to correlate with the completion of Hughes Marino’s office expansions in West Los Angeles and Irvine. By doubling the offices’ size, the locally owned tenant representation firm will have the capacity to add more brokers to irs team of commercial real estate professionals..

In addition to the new brokerage team members, Hughes Marino Regional Operations Manager Julia Myers recently relocated to the firm’s West Los Angeles office, where she will lead the company’s ongoing recruitment efforts.

Prior to joining Hughes Marino, Olson, who was born and raised in Newport Beach, spent years in Orange County commercial real estate brokerage and ancillary industries including project management, development, and construction. Spear, a Los Angeles native, was instrumental in expanding Bisnow’s reach throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, helping it grow into the region’s most popular real estate news source before joining Hughes Marino. Muna, son of Hughes Marino Senior Vice President Ed Muna and Operations Manager Kelly Muna, recently graduated from the University of San Diego with a double major in real estate and finance.

In recent years the company has expanded to open new offices in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, in addition to the firm’s multiple locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.


Rendering of the Turtle Lagoon exhibit after enhancement

Rendering of the Turtle Lagoon exhibit after enhancement

Living Coast Discovery Center Undertakes

Major Enhancement of  Turtle Lagoon Exhibit

The Living Coast Discovery Center has begun a major enhancement of its signature Turtle Lagoon exhibit — a $300,000 project that is being funded by several community supporters.

Toddler and turtle

Toddler and turtle

The center has raised more than $269,000, or 90 percent of its goal, from foundations, companies and individuals and is looking for additional contributions to complete the initiative.

Contributions have come from the T. Nelson Family, County Supervisor Greg Cox, The Orca Fund at The San Diego Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Frank and Joan Roseman Family, Ken and Dina Weimer, the Hattie Ettinger Fund at The San Diego Foundation, Susan Fuller and Marine Group Boat Works.

Construction begins this week, with completion scheduled for mid-March. The reopening will coincide with the grand opening of the Living Coast’s new seasonal exhibit, Passport to the Pacific–A Tour Around the World’s Largest Ocean.

The project will provide the Living Coast’s animal ambassadors, endangered eastern Pacific green sea turtles, with additional space to swim freely, as well as offer more interactive elements to enhance the learning experience for visitors and students.

The campaign to enhance the existing Turtle Lagoon exhibit was kicked off by a supporter of the center, who first stepped forward with a significant donation in 2013.

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles

During construction, the exhibit will be closed to visitors and the sea turtles will be temporarily relocated to a facility, where they will be monitored by on-site veterinary staff in collaboration with the Living Coast’s animal care team.

The enhancement project will increase the water volume of the pool from 4,000 gallons to 6,000 gallons, providing the sea turtles with more space to swim freely and accommodate their anticipated growth over the coming years. More interactive elements will also be added to the exhibit, including a turtle nest, a life-sized turtle, and “ways to help do your part” interpretive displays. This is the center’s first major capital improvement project in a decade. Turtle Lagoon was originally constructed in 2005 as part of a $3 million renovation project at what was then known as the Chula Vista Nature Center.

All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are currently listed as endangered or threatened by the Endangered Species Act. Eastern Pacific green sea turtles, the species featured in Turtle Lagoon, are the more common species found along our local coastline. The Living Coast is also home to a rescued loggerhead sea turtle that resides in the center’s Shark and Ray Experience, which came to the Living Coast in 2014 following its rehabilitation from injuries.


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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: