New Airport Customs
Rendering of the new U.S. Customs Station, which is scheduled to be operational in summer 2018.
New Customs Facility to Handle Influx
of International Travelers at Airport
Construction has started on a new U.S. Customs Station at the west end of Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport — a facility designed to accommodate the increase in international passengers from added overseas flights.
The new $229.4 million Federal Inspection Station will serve British Airways, Japan Airlines, Condor Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and, starting June 9, Edelweiss Air. It is scheduled to be operational in summer 2018.
Officials said the new facility will improve the processing experience for passengers with reduced wait times and create a more welcoming environment. Features will include a second baggage claim and more queuing space in the lower level Customs hall, as well the newest processing technologies introduced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Officials said the airport has experienced significant growth in international arrivals in the past quarter-century – from about 50,000 passengers a year in the early 1990s to more than 300,000 a year in 2016. That number – and the associated economic impact – will continue to grow as more international nonstop flights are added.
“The economic impact of international flights is significant – about $432 million annually for the region,” said April Boling, Airport Authority board chairman. “But beyond the dollars and cents argument is the more personal one. A new Federal Inspection Station will allow us to better accommodate people who travel great distances to visit friends, families and loved ones.”
As of June 2017, the airport will offer nonstop flights to and from six countries — Japan, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Mexico and Canada. Construction of a new, larger Customs facility for international flight arrivals will allow the airport to process these passengers with greater ease and efficiency.
Former Point Loma/Midway Post Office
Building to Give Way to Mixed-Use Development
The site of the former post office distribution facility in the Point Loma/Midway area of San Diego will be home to a $325 million mixed-use project to be built by a Hammer Ventures affiliate, which purchased the property for $40.5 million.
Rexford Industrial Realty was the seller of the 16-acre site at 2535 Midway Drive. HFF’s equity placement team worked on behalf of the buyer to arrange joint venture equity for the acquisition.
The mixed-use development is to be called “The Point.”
Rexford Industrial Realty purchased the property — formerly called the Midway Processing and Distribution Center by the postal service — for $19.3 million from the U.S. Postal Service in 2015 with the intention of developing it for industrial use. Those plans never made it to construction.
The former post office building was closed in 2012 and its mail processing moved to the Margaret L. Sellers Processing Center in Rancho Bernardo.
Cubic Business Unit to Debut its
Virtual Ticket Agent to Airport Executives
NextBus, Cubic’s Real-Time Passenger Information business, presented its Cubic Virtual Ticket Agent to its first U.S. airport industry audience at the 89th annual American Association of Airport Executives in May.
The Cubic Virtual Ticket Agent is an innovative hybrid of a virtual walk-up ticket office, video-linked call center and ticket vending machine, which helps public transit agencies to decrease or eliminate the need for customer service representatives at the least busy stations on a rail line.
The technology makes important customer information available in remote locations where there is limited space for a full-ticket office. It can also help ease congestion at locations during peak hours thanks to its efficiency and speed of response, according to Cubic. Customer service operators can remotely answer customer questions, offer advice about best fares and reassure passengers about their onward travel. It is also a practical solution for airports with links to public transportation plus a number of other applications for airports and airlines.
A trial at the U.K.’s Stansted Airport, in partnership with train operating company Abellio Greater Anglia, has received positive endorsements since its October 2015 debut. Travelers cite the ease of use and how much they enjoyed the experience of talking to, and seeing via video link, a remote agent. The Virtual Ticket Agent has received three industry awards in the U.K. since the start of the Stansted Airport trial.
San Diego Ranked 13th in Nation on National Energy Efficiency Scorecard
San Diego is one of the most improved energy efficient cities in the country, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. San Diego moved into 13th place overall with a 54.5 percent score and was recognized as the second most-improved city from the ACEEE’s 2015 Scorecard.
“This new ranking shows how far we’ve come in creating a more energy efficient city in recent years,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “We’re now the No. 1 city for solar panel installations in the country, we are using cleaner-burning fuels in our city vehicles and we have committed to powering our city by 100 percent renewable energy. With the passage of our landmark Climate Action Plan, we’re setting the example for how to build a better and cleaner future for the next generation.”
ACEEE’s City Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks US cities based on the strength of their policies and programs advancing energy efficiency in local government, buildings, transportation, and across their communities.
A news conference on May 10 announcing the 2017 Scorecard rankings also provided an opportunity for the city’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Cody Hooven to highlight San Diego’s position as an up-and-coming city for energy efficiency policy. The city’s substantial scoring improvement was primarily due to the adoption of the Climate Action Plan adopted by City Council in 2015 and its goals to reduce energy use in homes and greenhouse gas emissions throughout the community.
“Our department views energy efficiency as central to achieving the city’s Climate Action Plan initiatives,” said Environmental Services Department Director Mario X. Sierra. “San Diego’s efforts to address climate change serves as a model and hopefully a motivator for other cities to improve their energy efficiency.”
Downtown’s Newest Affordable
Housing Complex Gets First Tenants
Atmosphere, the $79 million, 12-story apartment building in Downtown’s Cortez Hill neighborhood has been completed. It was developed by Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. Tenants have started moving in.
The building, touted as an affordable complex by the developer, also includes a rooftop terrace and three levels of underground parking.
Xpera CM, a San Diego-based construction management consulting firm, provided project management services on the project for Wakeland.
Atmosphere includes 154 units of affordable housing for families earning between 30 and 60 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income (AMI), plus 51 units of permanent supportive housing specifically for adults requiring additional support due to homelessness, mental disability or age.
Xpera CM began working with Wakeland on Atmosphere in May 2015. Its services included pre-construction design management, budgeting and cost management, entitlement and permitting through the city of San Diego, and contractor and project team selection. The project team included Xpera CM (construction manager), Suffolk Construction (general contractor), Joseph Wong Design Associates (architect) and Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering.
Atmosphere was funded through both 9 percent and 4 percent tax credits. It
is the latest affordable housing project that Xpera CM has completed for Wakeland. Others completed in 2016 include the new mixed-use Lofts on Landis community in Chula Vista and Home Front at Camp Anza, a new construction/historic rehabilitation project located at the former site of a WWII U.S. Army training camp in Riverside.