Daily Business Report-Dec. 8, 2017
The ADI-Thermal UAV from Action Drone, a Chula Vista company that was one of the first businesses to use the testing site. (Photo credit: Action Drone Inc., copyright, all rights reserved)
City of Chula Vista Opens its Unmanned Aerial
System Testing Site for Commercial Businesses
The city of Chula Vista is opening its Unmanned Aerial System (UAV) testing site to qualified FAA-compliant commercial businesses.
The 375-acre site — located in the city’s University and Innovation District — is the only official, free and public UAV outdoor site in San Diego. It is situated next to an ecological preserve, adjacent to the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center and less than four miles from the U.S./Mexico border. The land contains both flat areas and foothills offering a diverse array of terrain.
“Prior to the site opening, local companies often traveled out of state to conduct drone testing,” said Sally Preston, chair of the South County Economic Development Council. “Having the site in Chula Vista provides a great resource for aerospace and defense industries within the region and aligns well with our Propel San Diego initiative to develop a resilient defense supply chain in the San Diego region.”
The site was established last year to spur the development of UAV technologies in San Diego County and until recently, only a handful of companies were able to access the space on a regular basis to test, evaluate, and demonstrate their technology to potential customers.
Action Drone, a Chula Vista-based company, was one of the first businesses to use the site.
“The Drone Industry will change the landscape of many industrial operations,” said Darryl Anunciado, founder and CEO of Action Drone. “The fastest way for industries to adopt drone technology is when the communities of drone companies work together to create real solutions for industrial problems. The Drone cluster here in San Diego can achieve faster results because we have a common factor and that is to make San Diego the drone capital for industrial solutions.”
Chula Vista recently submitted a proposal for Amazon’s HQ2, which included an option to locate on the site. There are also additional plans for the city of Chula Vista with the city of San Diego to pursue an FAA partnership to become an official drone testing city, instead of just a site.
“The UAV test site is just one of the many things we’re doing to push the envelope of innovation,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “The city of Chula Vista is one of the leading smart cities in the nation and was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of 10 proving grounds for autonomous vehicles. By embracing technology, and continuing to invest in our future, we’re able create these opportunities for research and advancement.”
Companies interested in using the test site with appropriate FAA certifications and entering into agreement with the city can log into www.AirMap.com to reserve airspace.
San Diego’s Toni Atkins Poised to Become
First Woman Leader of State Senate
State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León has announced that the chamber is set to pick San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins as his successor, making her the first woman to hold the leadership position. In a statement on Twitter Thursday morning, De León, D-Los Angeles, said Atkins, D-San Diego, “will make history and be our Senate’s next President Pro Tempore. I have every confidence she will lead America’s most accomplished legislative chamber to even greater heights and build on our extraordinary progress.”
In a statement from his office, De León said Democratic senators are “unified” in their support for Atkins. There will be a formal vote on leadership in early January before a transition next year when he will be forced from the Senate by term limits, he said.
— San Diego Union-Tribune
Medical Meetings Help Push Convention
Center’s Regional Impact to $1.1 Billion
Conventions hosted at the San Diego Convention Center during fiscal year 2017 generated $1.1 billion in regional impact, according to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation’s annual report.
With 149 events taking place between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, the Convention Center marked several records, including a record 21 medical conventions this fiscal year including BIO, Neuroscience 2017 and the American Society of Hematology.
Six events out of the top 10 events that generated the highest hotel and sales tax revenues, which goes directly into the city of San Diego’s General Fund, were medical meetings.
Medical events accounted for 22 percent of overall attendance and 49 percent of the convention center’s economic impact. These attendees spent a record amount while visiting the region, a total of $327.9 million.
Other notable achievements:
- $673 million: Second highest spending amount by attendees visiting the convention center
- 844,382: Record hotel room nights booked in a fiscal year
- Second highest occupancy since 1989
- LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council
At 76 percent occupancy, the facility is operating much higher than the national average of 50 percent, according to the report. The practical maximum occupancy for any facility is 70 percent, which means at some point, business is turned away.
November Saw Seasonal Slump
in Home Sales in San Diego
Sales of existing homes slumped in November as the buying season cooled, according to housing statistics compiled from the Multiple Listing Service by the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.
Single-family home sales last month were down by 15 percent compared to October, and by just over 14 percent from November 2016. Condominium and townhome sales in November were down 19 percent from the previous month, and 18 percent from a year ago. As 2017 winds down, sales of existing homes are off by 3 percent compared to 2016.
Prices continue to rise, with the median price of single-family homes exceeding $625,000 in November, a nearly 3 percent increase from October. The median price of attached properties (condos and townhomes) was $407,500, a slight increase from the previous month. Collectively,
residential resale prices are up 12 percent since November 2016. Resale properties are closing escrow in an average of 30 days.
“While we don’t expect a quick fix to our housing affordability and availability crises, we are more immediately concerned that the tax reform proposals moving through Washington may have a negative effect on homeownership,” said SDAR President Bob Kevane. “SDAR and its state and national Realtor associations are advocating to maintain the current law for mortgage interest deductions and capital gains exclusions.”
In November, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family home sales were:
92064 (Poway) with 51
92121 (El Cajon) with 47
92078 (San Marcos) with 46
92026 (Fallbrook) with 45
92065 (Ramona) with 42
The most expensive residential property sold in San Diego County in November was a gated estate in La Jolla Shores with a sweeping ocean view – 9,900 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 9 baths – built in 1999. The sale price was $7.83 million.
Click here for a detailed look at the numbers.
Commission to Discuss Salaries for
Mayor and Council at Dec. 14 Meeting
The city of San Diego Salary Setting Commission will meet on Dec. 14 to discuss salaries for the mayor and members of the City Council, and is seeking public comment to assist in making a decision. The meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. in the Civil Service Commission room on the third floor of the Civic Center Plaza building at 1200 Third Ave., Downtown.
Contract Talks Launched for Potential
San Vicente Energy Storage Facility
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday authorized negotiations with Tenaska Inc.-Diamond Generating Corp. Joint Venture to assess the potential for developing a major energy storage facility at San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside. The project would leverage existing water and energy infrastructure to reduce upward pressure on water rates while expanding the potential for renewable energy use across the region.
The Water Authority and its partner, the city of San Diego, are seeking to draft a Project Development Agreement by spring 2018 for consideration by their governing boards. In November, the agencies identified Tenaska-Diamond as the top choice among five groups of companies vying to develop an energy storage project based on its financial modeling, risk analysis, knowledge of the energy market, and revenue-sharing proposal. The Water Authority’s board on Thursday also authorized negotiations with Brookfield US Generation LLC in the event that negotiations with Tenaska-Diamond are unsuccessful.
A primary goal of the potential energy project is to generate revenue for the agencies in exchange for the use of public land, water and other assets. The negotiations do not commit the Water Authority or the city of San Diego to developing the project, which would require an environmental review and additional approvals by the Water Authority’s board and the San Diego City Council.
San Diego Hardware Celebrates 125th
Year With a Party for the Public
San Diego Hardware, one of the oldest family-owned businesses in San Diego, is celebrating its 125th birthday with a party for the public today and tomorrow. The event will commence with a ceremony, an official proclamation from the mayor’s office, a reveal of the identity of the mystery “Hardware Lady” model shown in the store’s original
advertisement, and a preview of the store’s new e-commerce websites.
The public will be treated to food and anniversary specials and can enter to win prizes and gifts up to $1,500, as well as meet experts from the different hardware brands. Guests can also pose for photos with the “Hardware Lady,” a recreation of the original advertisement and look-alike model.
San Diego Hardware was first incorporated on Dec. 8, 1892. The store is the oldest business in the city still owned by its founding family, one of the founding members of the Chamber of Commerce.
The public events are Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5710 Kearny Villa Road in San Diego.
(W)right On Communications Hires Two and Promotes One
(W)right On Communications Inc. has added Communications Strategist Sandra Wellhausen and Graphic Designer KeAsha Rogers while promoting Kara DeMent to Communications Strategist.
Wellhausen is supporting nonprofit clients Radiant Health Centers of Orange County, Tri-City Hospital Foundation and New Haven Youth and Family Services of Vista as well as energy efficiency communications for the city of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department. Wellhausen brings 14 years of public relations experience and started her career with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and local Swedish American chamber. Fluent in four languages, Sandra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree (magna cum laude) from San Diego State University, and is recipient of the Communicator Award of Excellence; Bernay’s Award of Excellence; and the American Chamber of Commerce Executive Award.
Rogers brings (W)right On’s client partner brands and stories to life through her print, digital and multimedia design strategies. She has over eight years of brand identity, digital content strategy, SEO and analytics, and motion graphics experience with a background in and passion for cause-related projects. Most recently, she worked in-house for NPHS, a community development nonprofit that serves families in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego with housing and financial services. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications from Westwood College. She is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserves including deployments to Bosnia.
DeMent supports the agency’s hospitality clients such as Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, San Diego Tourism Marketing District and Visit Oceanside as well as its health care practice including WESTliving senior living communities and Tri-City Medical Center. She has over four years of experience and joined (W)right On in 2015 following her experience working in an agency environment as well as in-house for the Orlando Magic. She graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in PR and mass communications.
Larry Goldenhersh Named President of Center for Sustainable Energy
The board of directors for the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) announce the appointment of Lawrence (Larry) E. Goldenhersh as the organization’s president. Goldenhersh, a San Diego software entrepreneur, environmental advocate and former CSE board member, succeeds current CSE President, Rear Adm. Len Hering (ret.), who has resigned after five years of service to the organization.
Goldenhersh brings to CSE 35 years of experience in the sustainability and environmental sectors in both for- and nonprofit roles. Goldenhersh will serve as president through the completion of a national search for a successor president, which will be initiated by March 2018 and is expected to conclude by the end of 2018.
In 1999, Goldenhersh founded Enviance Inc., an environmental technology company, and served as its president and CEO until the company’s sale in 2015. Under his leadership, Enviance pioneered the use of the Internet to provide environmental management software to industry and government. Enviance delivered a number of innovations including the first cloud-based system for greenhouse gas management and the first carbon “boot print” for the U.S. Army. Prior to founding Enviance, Goldenhersh was a partner at Irell & Manella, a Los Angeles law firm, where he specialized in commercial litigation, including environmental resource disputes.