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Daily Business Report-Feb. 24, 2016

Daily Business Report-Feb. 24, 2016

Aerial view of Seaport Village (Gray Cargill)

Seaport Village Fate Hinges on Port’s

Ambitious Plan to Redevelop the Waterfront

Seaport Village's 13.2 acres is included in the 70 acres that the Port wants to redevelop.

Seaport Village’s 13.2 acres is included in the 70 acres that the Port wants to redevelop.

Seaport Village, one of San Diego’s top tourist destinations, may be on its last legs, or the people who created it could be part of a larger  Port of San Diego vision to shape and develop up to 70 acres of prime waterfront property that includes Seaport Village’s 13.2 acres.

Seaport Village Operating Company’s 40-year lease with the port on the 13.2 acres expires on Sept. 30, 2018. Anticipating that, the Port on Monday solicited proposals from development teams interested in developing all or part of the 70 acres (which includes 30 acres of water).

Potential uses could include a waterfront arts and entertainment district, hotels, retail and restaurants, multi-purpose public spaces, water-oriented facilities and enhanced commercial fishing operations.

The area in question is known as the Central Embarcadero and, besides Seaport Village, includes Chesapeake Fish Company and surrounding area between the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the USS Midway Museum.

“This is an opportunity to reimagine this area with waterfront development to attract and benefit both locals and visitors to San Diego Bay,” said Marshall Merrifield, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners.

According to Port officials, Seaport Village Operating Company submitted a development plan for its acreage that was not accepted by the Board of Port Commissioners. Instead the board told its staff to come back with a development strategy for a broader area to include Seaport Village.

Merrifield said that Seaport Village Operating Company will be able to submit another proposal — in fact have been encouraged to apply — “but we can’t say ‘you’re in’ at this point.”

Merrifield said there is a great deal of development expertise in Terramar Retail Centers, the managing member of Seaport Village Operating Company.

Port staff is expected to present proposals to the Board of Port Commissioners in August.



Chargers Reject Mission Valley,

Seek A Downtown Stadium

City News Service

The San Diego Chargers announced Tuesday that they’ll pursue a stadium project in Downtown San Diego, in conjunction with a planned expansion of the convention center, with the aim of placing a citizen’s initiative on the November general election ballot.

In making their decision, team officials rejected city and county of San Diego offers to build a new facility next to existing Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said the arguments for Mission Valley were compelling in many respects.

“At the same time, we have considered the potential benefits to both the greater San Diego region and the Chargers of a multi-use stadium/convention center facility Downtown,” Fabiani said.

“Most experts we’ve talked to have concluded that building a stadium downtown — on land not owned by either the city or the Chargers — would increase costs by hundreds of millions of dollars and take years longer to complete,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts in a joint statement.

Read more…


CSUSM Offers Free Tax Prep

To Students, Local Community

Cal State San Marcos will be offering free tax preparation and assistance services to students and the local community beginning March 5.

The two programs available are the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Mega Day, free and open to the public, and the Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) Tax Program, open to CSUSM students only.

Taxpayers utilizing the VITA Mega Day will work with student volunteers to prepare and submit federal and state tax returns. CSUSM students attending the FSA tax clinics, complete their tax returns under the guidance of an accounting student tax coach.

CSUSM, in collaboration with the Board of Equalization, will host a free tax assistance day for students and the local community March 5. Volunteer tax preparers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service and will be onsite to prepare returns and answer common questions and concerns about filing taxes. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the College of Business Administration’s Markstein Hall on the third floor.


Atkins Appoints Larry Baza

To California Arts Council

Larry Baza (KPBS)

Larry Baza (KPBS)

Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins announced the appointment of Larry Baza, 71, to the California Arts Council. Baza, a Democrat, is the first San Diegan to serve on the California Arts Council in five years.

He is a partner of the Noel-Baza Fine Art Gallery and chairman of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. Previously, he served as the administrative director and art consultant for the Fingerhut Gallery in La Jolla, executive director of the San Diego Centro Cultural De La Raza, and executive director of the San Diego County Public Arts Advisory Council. Baza attended San Diego City College and the University of San Francisco. The compensation is $100 per meeting.

“With nearly 40 years of experience as a professional art administrator, Larry has proven his value to San Diego’s arts community,” said Atkins (D-San Diego). “He’s worked hard to bring in funding for the arts, and his passion and experience make him well-qualified to represent San Diego’s interests. I’m pleased to add such a wonderful advocate to the Arts Council.”


Board of Equalization Sets

Excise Tax Rate on Gasoline

Also sponsors proposal to exempt some

pawn shop purchases from sales tax

The California State Board of Equalization elected to set the excise tax rate at 27.8 cents per gallon on gasoline for Fiscal Year 2016-17 and voted unanimously to sponsor a legislative proposal to exempt some pawn shop purchases from sales tax.

The Board voted 3-2 to lower the excise tax rate on gasoline by 2.2 cents per gallon for FY 2016-17. The new rate will be 27.8 cents per gallon, effective July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The board has been tasked with setting the excise tax rate on gasoline since 2010, when two pieces of legislation  collectively known as the fuel tax swap took effect.

In a unanimous vote, the board decided to sponsor a legislative proposal exempting from tax some pawn shop sales to customers. This tax exemption may help customers reclaim items they sold to pawn shops by lowering the cost to buy back those items. It will exempt customers from paying sales tax upon reacquiring an item they once owned for up to six months after the pawn shop obtains the title for the item.


Two UC San Diego Faculty Receive

 Prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships

Charles Sprenger

Charles Sprenger

Julio Barreiro

Julio Barreiro

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has selected two UC San Diego faculty for Sloan Research Fellowships in 2016. This year’s recipients are Charles Sprenger, associate professor of economics and strategy, Rady School of Management and the Department of Economics, and Julio Barreiro, assistant professor of physics, Department of Physics.

The Sloan Research Fellowships give early-career scientists and scholars $55,000 to further their research.

Charles Sprenger is a behavioral economist who uses laboratory and field experiments to explore non-standard models of decision making over time and under risk. He is interested in phenomena that revolve around issues of self-control, temptation and the appeal of certainty.

Julio Barreiro, an expert in the field of atomic, molecular and optical physics, studies the properties of atomic gases at ultra-cold temperatures. He currently heads a research program at UC San Diego to build a next-generation machine called a “fermionic quantum computer and simulator” that will explore a new frequency standard, create novel states of matter and simulate the electronic structure of molecules.


Illumina Sues Oxford Nanopore

San Diego-based Illumina Inc. announced that the company filed lawsuits against Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. and Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Inc. for patent infringements.

The lawsuits are based on U.S. Patent Nos. 8,673,550 and 9,170,230, which are titled “MSP Nanopores and Related Methods.”

Illumina said it has exclusively licensed the patents in the field of nucleic acid sequencing from the UAB Research Foundation and the University of Washington.


Poll Shows Majority of California

Voters Support Legalizing Pot

A poll by Probolsky Research indicates that likely voters in California’s 2016 general election will show majority support for legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the state.

According to the poll, 59.9 percent would vote in favor of legalizing marijuana and 36.7 percent would vote against. 3.4 percent indicated unsure/refused.

Supermajorities of Democratic and Decline to State voters (69.4 percent and 68.4 percent, respectively) would vote yes, in favor of an initiative, while a majority of Republican voters (57.8 percent) would vote against it. Support is greatest among younger voters (79.7 percent) of those aged 18-34 would vote in favor.


Personnel Announcements

The Saywitz Company Hires

Two Real Estate Brokers

Matthew Smyth

Matthew Smyth

Frederick Blum

Frederick Blum

The Saywitz Company, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, has expanded its San Diego office with the addition of two real estate associates — Matthew Smyth and Frederick Blum.

Smyth recently joined the company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University and comes to The Saywitz Company with a variety of experience in real estate, property management, brokerage and investment.

Blum comes to The Saywitz Company with experience in residential brokerage and commercial investment.





San Diego Women's Week

San Diego Women’s Week


Naomi Tutu

Naomi Tutu

Women’s Week Welcome Naomi Tutu

“Be the world you want to live in” — words that are shared by Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The challenges of growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa have been the foundation of Naomi’s life as an activist for human rights.

Those experiences taught her that our whole human family loses when we accept situations of oppression, and how the teaching and preaching of hate and division injure us all. In her speeches she blends this passion for human dignity with humor and personal stories.

Naomi will be a keynote speaker during the Women’s Week conference on Friday, March 18, from 8 4 p.m. at Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort in Valley Center.

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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: