Daily Business Report-June 24, 2016
Three students selected to participate in the San Diego Promise include Tiffany Celzo of Twain High School, who will be attending San Diego City College, Liutauras Marciulionis from Continuing Education’s North City Campus, who will be attending San Diego Mesa College, and Phillip Kist of University City High School, who will be attending both San Diego Mesa and San Diego Miramar colleges.
Free Community College
Pilot Program is Launched
The free community college movement has officially arrived in San Diego with the selection of the first students to participate in the San Diego Promise.
A pilot program of the San Diego Community College District, the San Diego Promise will cover the costs of enrollment fees and provide book grants for 201 incoming freshmen at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges during the 2016-17 academic year.
District officials held a news conference at San Diego Mesa College on Wednesday to launch the program and introduce some of the first students to benefit from the San Diego Promise.
Modeled after more than 130 similar programs elsewhere in California and around the country, the San Diego Promise aims to ensure that no deserving student is denied access to college due to lack of resources. The SDCCD has budgeted approximately $215,000 in non-state funds to cover the program’s first-year costs.
“The San Diego Community College District is pleased to be moving forward with this important program,” said SDCCD Chancellor Constance Carroll. “We are delighted to welcome the first group of students who will be able to attend our colleges free of charge. This is a real investment in our community.”
Among the first San Diego Promise students are 175 graduating seniors from 21 high schools in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The remaining 26 students will come from San Diego Continuing Education – the SDCCD’s adult education division, which includes an accelerated high school completion program.
A total of 317 SDUSD students applied to be part of the San Diego Promise. Students were selected by the SDUSD based on a combination of need, including barriers and challenges they have faced in high school, and commitment to completing a college degree, certificate, or transfer program.
There will be three direct benefits under the pilot program. Students who receive state or federal financial aid will have the balance of the cost of their enrollment fees paid, ensuring free access. Students who do not receive state or federal financial aid, but still have financial need, will have their enrollment fees paid outright. Additionally, students will receive up to $1,000 in grants for textbooks and related instructional supplies.
Pilot program participants will be required to be enrolled in at least 12 units for both fall and spring, participate in eight hours of community service each semester, and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Following a one-year pilot program, SDCCD leaders are planning to expand the San Diego Promise in 2017. Eligible are incoming freshmen from feeder high schools in the district’s service area — which overlaps with SDUSD’s boundaries in the city of San Diego. In a typical year, the SDCCD’s three colleges serve about 2,000 to 2,500 new students coming from feeder high schools. As such, the district will be seeking philanthropic support from local corporations and individuals to assist with funding the annual cost of the program.
Water Rates to Increase
In San Diego County
The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors on Thursday adopted rate increases of 6.4 percent for untreated water and 5.9 percent for treated water in 2017, near the low end of projections and similar to the increases adopted by the Board of Directors for 2016.
Rates adopted by the board are primarily driven by higher costs from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, though they also incorporate higher costs for drought-proof water supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. They also were impacted by state-mandated reductions in water use that decreased sales more than earlier projections.
Careful financial management by the Water Authority kept the rate increases near the low end of earlier projections and well below the double-digit increases during the last drought that were driven by steep price hikes from MWD. Higher rate increases also were avoided by successful regional efforts to keep MWD from adopting a new fixed water treatment charge in April that would have disproportionally harmed San Diego County ratepayers.
Electric Bills Also Will Increase
By City News Service
Electric bills in San Diego and Orange counties will rise about 1 percent after the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday approved a rate structure for San Diego Gas & Electric for 2016-18.
The commission approved a modified settlement between SDG&E, the Southern California Gas Co., the Office of Ratepayer Advocates and other parties.
The agreement authorizes 2016 revenue of $1.79 billion for SDG&E’s combined operations — $1.48 billion for its electric operations and $309 million for gas, according to the CPUC. The agency said the combined figure is $104 million lower than what SDG&E had requested.
“Compared to current rates, we estimate that for residential customers the average SDG&E electric bill will increase by about 1 percent, the average SDG&E gas bill remains about the same, and the average SoCalGas bill will increase by about 3 percent,” said CPUC President Michael Picker, the commissioner assigned to the proceeding.
SDG&E and SoCalGas are both owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy.
Also as part of the agreement, the CPUC said that SDG&E is prohibited from compensating its employees, managers, and executives for recovering money from consumers for 2007 wildfire-related costs that are being litigated before the agency.
The deal also provides funding to allow SDG&E to trim vegetation near overhead electric lines, and to replace many of its wooden poles with steel poles, in order to lower wildfire danger.
Carnitas’ Snack Shack to Hold
Grand Opening on the Embarcadero
The Port of San Diego’s newest waterfront restaurant, Carnitas’ Snack Shack, will celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June, 29, at 10 a.m. The restaurant is at 1004 North Harbor Drive.
The restaurant has been open for about a month, serving pork specialties, fish tacos and other fare.
Carnitas’ has two other restaurants in the region — one in North Park and the other in the Del Mar area.
The new Carnitas’ is housed in an artistically designed structure that is part of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1 project. It includes multiple angled glass panels of various colors. The restaurant features walk-up ordering stations as well as a full-service outdoor bar, views of San Diego Bay and live music on weekends.
Click here for the menu
Point Loma Apartment Complex Sells for $4.4M
Loma Vista Apartment Homes, a 13-unit multifamily complex at 3720 Yonge St. in Point Loma, has been sold for $4.425 million to Jay Crystal LLC. The seller was SD Apartments LLC, an affiliate of Birge & Held Asset Management LLC based in Indianapolis, Ind.
The apartment complex was built in 1973 and was fully renovated in 2007. The complex consists of one four-story wood framed building with a stucco exterior. The building is 13, 590 square feet and includes a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms. The average unit size is 911 square feet.
The units offer panoramic ocean views from private balconies, granite countertops, slate and tile flooring, washer and dryer and in walk-in closets. The gated community offers limited garage and storage space.
CBRE represented the buyer.
RAF Pacifica Group Acquires Carlsbad
Acreage to Build 2 Distribution Buildings
RAF Pacifica Group, a privately held owner, operator and developer of commercial real estate, has acquired 18.4 acres of land within the Carlsbad Raceway Business Park on which the firm plans to build two state-of-the-art distribution buildings totaling 272,430 square feet.
The firm’s planned development project, which will be known as “dis·trib·ute,” will be divisible down to 10,000 square feet and designed to accommodate a vast array of businesses, with a modern aesthetic and high-tech amenities to optimize efficiency, according to Adam Robinson, RAF principal.
The dis·trib·ute project is slated to break ground in the first quarter of 2017, with an estimated completion date in Q4 of 2017.
RAF Pacifica Group acquired the 18.4-acre entitled land parcel for a total consideration of $15,071,760 from HG Fenton.
Cushman and Wakefield represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.
Guild Mortgage Signs $10 Million
Lease for Space in The Terraces
Guild Mortgage Company has signed a 10-year, $10 million lease for nearly 40,000 square feet at The Terraces, a Class A office building located at 5887 Copley Drive in San Diego.
The new location is an expansion to Guild’s current corporate headquarters in the neighboring North Island Credit Union building and included installation of a new pathway between the buildings.
Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, Prudential. NAI San Diego represented Guild.
Barons Market Introduces Exotic
Olive Oils and Vinegar Bar
Barons Market, a locally owned, all natural grocery store, has brought olive oil and vinegar tasting stations to grocery aisles in all six locations, merging the specialties of a boutique store with its all-natural, everyday products.
Ten exotic olive oils and 14 flavorful vinegars fill shiny silver vats at each store’s tasting station accompanied by bread for dipping. Customers can expect to find citrus habanero olive oil and honey ginger white balsamic vinegar along with classic balsamic and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. When a shopper discovers his favorite, 12-ounce bottles are ready to take home for $9.99.
According to Rachel Shemirani, vice president of marketing at Barons, large grocery chains can’t quickly adapt to consumer requests and specialty shops aren’t suitable for everyday grocery needs. As a family-owned market, Barons has the ingenuity to bring the best of each together and the flexibility to quickly and simply execute innovative ideas.
“We’ve always been the place shoppers go for good foods at good prices, but now we’re introducing a specialty side,” says Shemirani. “You wouldn’t expect to taste artisan olive oils and vinegars inside of a grocery store. It’s our newest way of making grocery shopping more exciting and interactive.”
The olive oil and vinegar bar first appeared at Barons’ Murrieta location in late 2015. Now, Barons has expanded the tasting stations to all six stores and plans to include the feature in its newest location opening in North Park later this year.