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Daily Business Report-April 6, 2016

Daily Business Report-April 6, 2016

 Artist’s concept of DARPA’s Gremlins project.

General Atomics is  1 of 4 Defense Companies

Chosen to Compete for ‘Gremlins’ UAV Project

By Flightglobal

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has picked General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and three other companies for its Gremlins project, which aims to launch volleys of small, low-cost unmanned air vehicles from bombers, cargo aircraft or possibly even fighter jets, and recover them via a Lockheed Martin C-130 transport.

Finely networked for coordinated assaults on well-defended targets, these “gremlins” would conduct a variety of missions like electronic attack or target geolocation, mainly as stand-ins for “conventional, monolithic platforms” such as manned fighter jets or expensive UAVs.

Besides General Atomics, DARP awarded Phase I contracts to Composite Engineering, Dynetics and Lockheed Martin.

The proposals submitted by those competing industry teams “cover a spectrum of technical approaches”, the agency says. The awards begin the first of three programm phases, which could culminate in a proof-of-concept demonstration “of an air-launched, air-recovered, volley-quantity unmanned aircraft system.”

According to the broad agency announcement for Gremlins, posted in September, candidate launch platforms include the B-52 and B-1 bombers or C-130 turboprop. In-flight recovery is assigned to the C-130.

Each gremlin must fly out  (555-926 km) at high subsonic speeds after launch and loiter for 1-3 hours before turning back to the C-130 for recovery, the announcement notes. The flyaway cost per Gremlin air vehicle should not exceed $700,000, and it is designed for at least 20 uses.

General Atomics manufacturers mostly large, armed UAVs like the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and MQ-9 Reaper. For several years, it has been expanding its sensors, airborne networking and command, control and communications portfolios, while also developing high-technology products like the high-energy liquid laser area defence system and electromagnetic aircraft launch system.

DARPA has not announced the cost or timeline associated with Gremlins, but $15 million is allocated for the current fiscal year and another $31 million has been requested for 2017. Preliminary design reviews are expected in 2017, agency budget documents state.

Read more…



Craft brew billboard (Courtesy New School)

Craft brew billboard (Courtesy New School)

San Diego’s Craft Brewing Industry

Generated $851 Million in Sales in 2015

But new challeges await

San Diego’s craft brewing industry generated $851 million in sales last year but new challenges and local policy choices are on the horizon, according to a report by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

The report found that:

• 2015 was a good year for industry growth. Overall, 114 San Diego based breweries and brewpubs generated $851 million in sales last year, and employed 4,512 workers.

• Industry wages are less competitive. The craft brewing regions of Portland and Boulder now match San Diego for average industry wages. Overall, San Diego industry wages have been flat.

• Craft breweries and brewpubs in the center-north part of the city of San Diego (City Council District 6) generated a $71.4 million economic impact in the region. Establishments in the San Diego City Council District 6 area also produced $102.9 million in sales and support 638 jobs, or about 10 percent of  the county’s total for craft brew employment and sales.

• Regional policy choices are directly impacting local brewers. Public debates over water supply, land use and housing may affect the brewing industry’s economic competitiveness long term.

“With nearly two-thirds of the city’s breweries located in my district, I am pleased that National University is highlighting this economic engine and the positive impact craft beer is having on District 6,” said District 6 City Councilman Chris Cate. “District 6 is truly San Diego’s beer belt with its numerous breweries in such close proximity to one another, increasing the number of visitors to the area.”

“Industry sales and jobs continue to rise each year in San Diego, but the local marketplace for craft beer is changing,” said Vince Vasquez, senior policy analyst for the institute and author of the report. “Regional marketing efforts and consumer education will be critical in identifying ‘craft’ brewers in a new era of industry acquisitions and expansions in San Diego.”


Rendering of BioMed Realty’s i3 campus, which will be leased by Illumina.

Rendering of BioMed Realty’s i3 campus, which will be leased by Illumina.

Close to Outgrowing its UTC Headquarters,

Illumina Signs Lease for 3 More Buildings

Illumina Inc.’s incredible growth in the biotech industry is measured not only in its financial sheets, but in the places it houses its employees.

With full occupancy expected in the company’s headquarters in University Towne Centre about a year away, Illumina has signed a 10-year lease at BioMed Realty’s i3 campus — a 316,000-square-foot development currently under construction a short distance away. The biotech company will occupy the entire three-building site. Move-in is expected in July 2017.

“Expanding to i3 enables us to continue our growth in San Diego, our home city and a source of top talent in our industry,” said Marc Stapley, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief financial officer. “i3 creates a near-term opportunity for us to accommodate our growing teams in a location very close to our headquarters, where we expect to reach full occupancy in the next year.”

The i3 lease agreement marks the third major lease for new construction that BioMed Realty and Illumina have completed within the last 15 months. Following completed build-to-suit lease agreements for 360,000 square feet at Lincoln Centre in Foster City, Calif., in, December 2014 and 155,000 square feet at Granta Park in Cambridge, U.K., in June 2015, the i3 lease brings BioMed Realty to a total of 831,000 square feet of laboratory and office space leased to Illumina in California and the U.K. in less than a year and a half.

The i3 campus will have three 100,000-square-foot customizable buildings. There will be a variety of indoor and outdoor amenities, fuel cell energy generation, and operable windows. The campus core and shell construction is expected to be completed in July 2016.

“We are thrilled to welcome Illumina to our i3 campus,” said Alan D. Gold, chief executive officer of BioMed Realty. “Illumina’s unmatched success and reputation as a global leader in genomics is the perfect fit for this iconic campus, which will bring together the key elements needed for their employees to thrive – flexible design, great amenities and easy access to transportation.”


Rendering of the planned retail building.

Rendering of the planned retail building.

First Tenants Confirmed for

Mixed-Use Complex in Rancho Santa Fe

Office building rendering.

Office building rendering.

Retail leasing activity has exceeded 50 percent at Palma de la Reina, a mixed-use complex located at the entrance to Whispering Palms off Via de la Valle in Rancho Santa Fe.

The latest commitments from resident-serving businesses include a beauty shop, dry cleaner, fitness studio, and a store that offers products for female cancer patients. Discussions are proceeding with other popular retailers including a combined deli, coffee shop and bakery.

Office leasing at Palma de la Reina also continues with a signed commitment from a local dental practice as well as interest from other users in the medical and professional services fields, according to Newport Pacific Inc., is the owner and developer of the property.

Located at 5525 Cancha de Golf, the 31,410-square-foot commercial complex will open this summer.

Also under development at Palma de la Reina is a residential component, which the owner said will offer the only upscale rental opportunity in Rancho Santa Fe. Construction is now underway on 54 two-bedroom, two-bath luxury suites, scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

The three-building Palma de la Reina mixed-use center was designed by Robert Colbourn of Colbourn Currier Noll Architecture, with Klang & Associates responsible for interior design. W. E. O’Neil Construction is the general contractor.


The SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn

The SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn

Grand Opening Set for Two Hotels

Under One Roof at the Waterfront

A grand opening celebration for two hotel brands, the SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn — both under one roof — on the Downtown bayfront will be held Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of West Broadway and North Harbor Drive.

Developed by BRIC San Diego Developers, a collaboration between Portman Holdings, Hensel Phelps and Lankford & Associates, the new hotel, constructed at a cost of $130 million, includes a total of 400 guest rooms — 253 are occupied by SpringHill Suites (a Marriott Global property), and 147 by the Residence Inn.

The new hotel includes 27,000 square feet of retail space, most of it facing San Diego Bay, and about 11,400 square feet of flexible meeting space. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center, an outdoor pool and patio and parking for more than 400 vehicles.

Ground was broken for the hotel on May 8, 2014.

The SpringHill Suites/Residence Inn is fronted by Lane Field Park, which opened on March 16, 2015. Lane Field San Diego Developers built the 1.6-acre park, which ties in with the history of Lane Field, where a ballpark once stood. The Pacific Coast League Padres played there from 1936 to 1957. The baseball theme continues in the SpringHill Suites/Residence Inn, which has named several meeting rooms after Pacific Coast League Padres players.

Lane Field San Diego Developers has plans for a second hotel to be built just south of the Springhill Suites/Residence Inn. Groundbreaking for that property is anticipated to occur in the next few months.


District Attorney and City Attorney

Renew Deal to Share Computer System

The city and the county of San Diego will continue to share a computer program that manages their respective criminal files under a five-year contract extension approved Tuesday by the San Diego City Council.

The case management system, or CMS, is used by about 150 employees in the Criminal Division of the City Attorney’s Office, and is managed by the District Attorney’s Office.

District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis agreed to share the computer program with the city attorney in 2009. Her office created the software and licenses it to the city, which owns the computer servers that house its information. Under the agreement, the city pays the county no more than $100,000 in any given year for upgrades and other costs.

A similar off-the-shelf computer program would cost about $2 million, plus additional costs for hardware, technical support and licensing fees.

Before 2009, every misdemeanor and infraction handled by the City Attorney’s Office — roughly 35,000 last year — was on an archaic computer system that needed to be augmented with extensive paperwork. Its inefficiencies and loopholes were vulnerable to exploitation by criminals, according to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.

The between the two agencies will now expire on June 30, 2021.


Broadstone Makers Corner rendering.

Broadstone Makers Corner rendering.

Groundbreaking Monday for Residential

And Retail Development in East Village

Broadstone Makers Corner, a residential and retail complex developed by Alliance Residential Company, will start construction Monday at 16th Street and Broadway in Downtown San Diego’s East Village. A groundbreaking ceremony will be at 4 p.m.

The mixed-use project will include 265 residential units and 4,949 square feet of retail space.

Broadstone Makers Corner represents the first phase of construction in this part of East Village. Ultimately, Makers Quarter will include 1 million square feet of office space, approximately 800 units of residential, 175,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants, alongside 60,000 square feet of open public space, parks and public art.


Personnel Announcements

Rick Kwasny Joins Colliers International

Rich Kwasny

Rich Kwasny

Rich Kwasny has joined  Colliers International San Diego Region as senior vice president specializing in industrial property sales and leasing in Otay Mesa, Tijuana, Mexicali, and Baja California.

During his 22-year career, Kwasny has leased or sold more than 11.2 million square feet and sold more than 3,200 acres of land representing users, landlords, and developers. Kwasny was formerly associated with CBRE and Grubb & Ellis where he was named a two-time Top Industrial Sales Person and 13-time Top 20 Nationwide Producer.

Kwasny has held a Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designation since 1986 and is actively involved with the Tijuana Economic & Industrial Development Association.  His academic background includes a graduate degree from Thunderbird Graduate School and an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University.


Xpera Group Hires Industry Veteran Steve Grimes

Steve Grimes

Steve Grimes

Building industry veteran Steve Grimes has been named director of construction services for Xpera Group in San Diego.

Grimes is responsible for overseeing business development and management for the firm’s Building Envelope Group and overseeing business development for the Quality Assurance Services Group, with projects throughout California.

Prior to joining us, Grimes provided marketing and business development strategies for trade contractors with SMG Business Strategies LLC, a consulting company he founded in 2009. During that time, he was also engaged with Xpera’s Quality Assurance team on business development initiatives.

Previously, Grimes served as vice president of Roel Construction’s Consulting Services Group, which specialized in expert witness testimony, surety support services and third-party peer review for builders. That consulting group was acquired by Xpera Group in 2012.


J. Walcher Communications Promotes Sandy Young to Vice President

Sandy Young

Sandy Young

Public relations and marketin firm J. Walcher Communications has promoted Sandy Young from account supervisor to vice president. The position is a first for the boutique agency.

After joining the JWC team in 2009 as an account executive, Young rose to second-in-command at the agency, mentoring staff and helping manage day-to-day office operations, along with leading a full-load of clients and servicing their strategic and tactical needs.

With more than 11 years in the public relations, marketing and communications industry, Young was recently named San Diego X Brand Diego Awards’ “2015 Young Achiever,” recognizing an individual who has made a notable or lasting impact by building strong brands through their professionalism in advertising, marketing or communications, as well as their contributions to the San Diego community-at-large.

Prior to joining J. Walcher Communications, Young worked for several of San Diego’s public relations and marketing communications firms, as well as with clients throughout the nation, on a full-time and consultant basis.


San Diegan Appointed to Commission on Aging

Joaquin Anguera

Joaquin Anguera

Joaquin Anguera, 72, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Gov. Jerry Brown. Anguera has been a professor at San Diego State University since 1999. He served in several positions at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency’s Aging and Independent Services from 1974 to 2005, including as deputy director. Anguera is a member of Elder Law and Advocacy, Independent Transportation Network, Greater San Diego and Consumer Advocates for Residential Care for the Elderly Reform. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in human behavior from Alliant International University and a Master of Theology degree from the Catholic University of America.

The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Anguera is a Democrat.


Erin Greene Joins Cavignac & Associates

Erin A. Greene

Erin A. Greene

Erin A. Greene has been hired by Cavignac & Associates as an account administrator within the agency’s Surety Department.

In her new position, Greene serves as the primary contact at the agency for handling bond requests and servicing all surety customer accounts. Her essential duties include processing bond requests and prequalification, new account setups and entries, requesting and analyzing financial information, assisting with client meeting agendas, updating bid schedules, and preparing line-of-credit and specific bond submissions.

Prior to joining Cavignac & Associates, Greene served as studio manager and a photographer for Boucher Inc. in Sorrento Mesa, where she was employed for five years. The highlight of her career there was participating in two photo shoots in Paris, one in 2012 and the other in 2014.

Greene is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, with honors.

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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: