Daily Business Report-Aug. 10, 2017
UC San Diego researcher. (Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications)
Nature Names UC San Diego a Top
Research Institution Worldwide
The University of California San Diego is the world’s 14th best university for developing research that is used to create products or services that benefit society and spur economic growth. The new rankings by Nature, one of the world’s leading academic journals, also praise the campus for its research output: nearly half of UC San Diego’s natural science papers appear in the Nature index, which measures research productivity in the globe’s top science journals.
First launched in November 2014, the Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality natural science journals, which have been selected by independent panels of active scientists.
For example, researchers at UC San Diego recently created the ultimate natural sunscreen through development of nanoparticles that mimic the behavior of natural melanin-producing cell structures that protect our skin, eyes and other tissues from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Court Upholds Plaza de Panama Project
Improvements designed to increase pedestrian access within Balboa Park’s historic core were properly approved by the San Diego City Council, a court ruled Wednesday, rejecting arguments made by the Save Our Heritage Organisation.
Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Pollack found “no basis” for SOHO’s claim that the project, which had been delayed by a prior unsuccessful SOHO lawsuit, now required a Supplemental Environment Impact Report as a result of that delay. The improvements, collectively known as the Plaza de Panama Project, were approved unanimously by the City Planning Commission and approved twice by the City Council (each time with one opposing vote).
“Once again, a court has found that the city correctly followed environmental law in seeking to improve one of the City’s greatest treasures,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “SOHO’s lawsuits have served no purpose other than to delay a widely supported project, and to drive up costs for the taxpayers.”
Resale Home Purchases
Cooled Off in July
Prices of previously owned homes in San Diego County pulled back in July, according to housing statistics compiled from the Multiple Listing Service by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. Resale single-family home purchases were down 20 percent in July compared to June, and condominiums and townhomes (attached properties) were down 14 percent from the prior month. Compared to the same month last year, single-family home sales were down 10 percent and condos/townhomes were down 7 percent.
Prices continue to be the bright spot, at least for sellers. The median price of single-family homes reached $620,000 in July, up slightly from June, and 11 percent higher than a year ago. The price of attached properties ($405,000) dipped 1 percent from June, but that’s an increase of 7 percent from a year ago. Prices of all resale properties are up more than 8 percent this year.
In July, single-family homes were selling in an average of only 27 days, while attached properties closed an average of 22 days from the point that they went on the market.
“We are predominantly in a seller’s market,” said SDAR President Bob Kevane. “Savvy buyers, and particularly first-time buyers, will need to scramble and be purchase-ready, as they are faced with competing offers, sometimes over the asking price.”
In July, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family home sales were:
92028 (Fallbrook) with 66
92127 (Rancho Bernardo West) with 65
92057 (Oceanside North) with 62
92064 (Poway) with 51
92128 (Rancho Bernardo East) with 50
The most expensive residential property sold in San Diego County last month was an oceanfront home in Encinitas – 3,500-square-feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths – completely redesigned in 2015, with a sale price of nearly $8 million.
SDAR’s housing statistics are compiled monthly from the Multiple Listing Service
Click here for a detailed look at the numbers.
$175,000 Pot Shop Judgment Affirmed
An appellate court has affirmed $175,000 in civil penalties against a San Diego landlord for allowing an illegal marijuana dispensary by the name of “The Green Room” to operate on his property for 17 months in open defiance of a court order.
The decision by the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment against property owner Luis Eduardo Medrano, who was ordered to pay civil penalties for maintaining the unpermitted use of his property at 4218 Market St. in the community of Mount Hope in violation of local zoning laws. Medrano is also permanently enjoined from operating or maintaining a marijuana dispensary anywhere in the city of San Diego without proper permits.
“Landlords who rent to owners and operators of illegal dispensaries have committed a crime and will be held accountable. We will find these individuals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said.
Civic San Diego: Downtown Ridesharing Program
Saved 8,800 Gallons of Gas in First Year
Civic San Diego says its new Downtown ridesharing program FRED (Free Ride Everywhere Downtown) has already saved 8,800 gallons of gas and served more than 100,000 riders in its first year of operation. That’s significant progress towards reducing congestion and decreasing the carbon footprint Downtown, the agency said.
FRED lets people request free shuttle lifts using an app on their smartphone. The service — which launched in August 2016 via a collaboration with the city, the Downtown San Diego Partnership and Civic San Diego — runs on a fleet of 17 electric shuttles. As of June, FRED’s shuttles have already traveled 145,000 miles.
Plans are under way to expand the program. The program’s initial funding came from $500,000 in Downtown parking meter revenues, and the goal over the next few years is to phase out public money and instead rely solely on sponsors. The long term hope is that as more sponsors come onboard, the fleet of electric shuttles will grow.
Realtors Group to Discuss
Immigration, Foreign Investors
The Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR) will present “Immigration and Real Estate Investment in a New Global Climate,” from 10 to 11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, at the PSAR South County Service Center, 880 Canarios Court, Chula Vista. Cost to attend is free for members, $20 for nonmembers. Topics will include how Realtors can work with foreign investors, asset management challenges and laws about money coming into the U.S., as well as visa types and restrictions. Speakers will be attorneys Andres Moreno and Andrew Stillwell. The program is presented by PSAR’s Global Real Estate Council. Questions can be submitted in advance to email@example.com. For more event information and to RSVP, call PSAR at (619) 421-7811 or visit www.psar.org/grecevent.