Stories for July 2010

Friday, July 30

Mayor Vetoes Move to Put Civic Center on Ballot

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders vowed to veto a planned November ballot measure aimed at financing a proposed $294 million civic center, after originally recommending to the City Council that it be placed before voters.

Medical Device Maker Reports Record Revenue, Profit

Medical device maker Volcano Corp. said July 30 that it attained record revenue and profitability for its second quarter. The business said it had net income of $5.4 million on revenue of $73.5 million.

Chipmaker Entropic Posts Record Net Income

Entropic Communications Inc., a San Diego semiconductor maker, reported late July 28 it had second quarter net income of $3.1 million on revenue of $40.7 million.

Thursday, July 29

Economy Slowly Builds Steam, Stays Far From Boiling Point

An index tracking the San Diego economy rose two-tenths of a percent in June for the 15th consecutive monthly increase, but the future outlook isn’t too positive, according to a July 28 report.

Revenue Rises, Income Dips Slightly at Realty Income Corp.

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp., a real estate investment trust, saw revenue rise 2.7 percent in its second quarter ending June 30, to $83.5 million.

Bank Charts Conservative Course, Shows Profit

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with four branches, reported second-quarter net profit of $338,000, compared to a net loss of $88,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Wednesday, July 28

Callaway Announces Job Cuts, Mexican Factory Plans

Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. said July 27 it is restructuring its manufacturing and distribution operations over the next 18 months in a move designed to reduce its costs.

Building Activity Bounces Back

San Diego County residential construction led a continued rebound in overall building activity during the month of June, helping the region post an overall 24.9 percent increase in new permit valuations from June 2009.

Qualcomm Shares Pencil Out Nicely for Jacobs

Irwin M. Jacobs of Qualcomm Inc. received $436.8 million in total compensation from 1999 to 2008, ranking him among the top 25 highest-paid U.S. executives of that decade, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Tuesday, July 27

Home Prices Rise in May

San Diego’s home prices continued to increase over the past year, ranking second in a group of 20 of the nation’s largest cities with a gain in May of 12.4 percent over the prior May’s prices, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Index released July 27.

Qualcomm Monitoring Health of Japanese Seniors

In partnership with a Japanese corporation, Qualcomm Inc. said July 22 that it has embarked on an experiment to monitor the health of 300 elderly residents in rural Japan, including areas of snow-prone Hokkaido in the north.

Mission Oaks Raises Capital

Mission Oaks Bancorp Inc., parent of Temecula-based Mission Oaks National Bank, with about $180 million in assets and four offices including one in Fallbrook, said July 26 that it completed the sale of $7 million in new common stock, complying with regulatory orders to increase its capital base.

Monday, July 26

Central Plant Upgrade at San Diego City College

Construction of a 4,800-square-foot Central Plant building producing chilled water and heating hot water to the majority of the San Diego City College campus.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

DPR Construction says construction is now complete on its company-owned San Diego regional headquarters. The 24,000-square-foot office located at 5010 Shoreham Place in University City is pursuing Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.

People

Linda Devine, senior vice president of marketing for Barona Resort & Casino, was recently honored with Casino Enterprise Management magazine’s prestigious Great Women of Gaming award. Devine was one of 11 female casino executives from across the nation selected for the honor. Prior to joining Barona, Devine worked at several advertising and marketing agencies, including O’Shaughnessy‑Parr, Kenneth C. Smith Advertising, Roni Hicks & Associates, and was the marketing director for Grossmont Center.

Golden 1 Credit Union Veteran CEO to Take Helm at SDCCU

When she takes over her new job as Chief Executive Officer at San Diego County Credit Union next month, Teresa Halleck expects to maintain a focus on delivering customer service all the time.

Retail Tenants Sharpen Pencils, Look to Downtown S.D. for Growth

Some struggling areas within downtown San Diego’s retail market are showing signs of stabilizing, even though downtown’s overall absorption – in other words, the rate at which vacated space is being occupied by other merchants – remains in negative territory.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., the small-format U.S. grocery division of British retail giant Tesco PLC, plans to open three more local stores Sept. 22, including two in Oceanside.

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$568 Million Worth of Buildings Going Up at UC San Diego

CONSTRUCTION: School Adding Medical Facilities, 4 Apartment Complexes

Low-interest university bond funding, high demand for construction at down market prices, easy term financing, and cash reserves are enabling UC San Diego to construct six more buildings, promising it a new, modernized skyline.

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Low Mortgage Rates Mask Challenge of Qualifying for Loan

REAL ESTATE: Credit Score And Good Job Key to Winning Bank Approval

While average mortgage rates are still hovering below 5 percent — at levels unseen for five decades — local real estate brokers say it is not the critical factor in the homebuying process.

Defaults of S.D. Area Hotels on the Rise, Debt Issues Dog Operators

HOSPITALITY: Seven Foreclosures During 2010 Bring Total to 40 in Default

California hotels remain under financial distress as owners cope with debt burdens, even as fundamentals such as room revenue continue to improve from the historic plunge of 2009.

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San Diego Businesses Receive Health Care Reform Notices From IRS

HEALTH CARE: 2010 Tax Credit for Employers With Fewer Than 25 Employees

One of the first provisions of the Healthcare Reform Act to go into effect may provide relief for many San Diego employers in the form of a small business tax credit designed to assist with the cost of providing health insurance to employees, according to Notice 2010-44 issued by the Internal Revenue Service on June 1, 2010.

Qualcomm Earns $767M During Quarter

Chipmaker and wireless communication technology lab Qualcomm Inc. reported on July 21 that it had net income of $767 million on revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter ended June 27. That compares to net income of $737 million on revenue of $2.75 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Fit for Success: Pair Pursues Endurance Sports Clothing Biz

APPAREL: Partners Find a Growing and Under-Served Market in Women Athletes

There’s something about the more than 60 million women triathletes around the globe that gives San Diego-based entrepreneurs Brenda Shields and Vivian Sayward reason to believe they are onto something big.

News in Brief

Biotech Firm Establishing An Operation in India

Oceanside-based biotech firm International Stem Cell Corp., aka ISCO, said July 20 it will set up an affiliate company in India to develop and manufacture pharmaceutical products.

Reboot!

WORK FORCE: ‘Boot Camp’ Helps Former Military Personnel Prepare for Careers as Civilians

Every year in San Diego County, thousands of people finish their military careers. But no one in the chain of command tells them how to ace a job interview in the civilian world or how to address people and talk up their accomplishments.

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STRUCTURES

Structures 2010 Highlights Projects Being Built in Face of Adversity

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL 2010

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Building Religious Structures a Blessing for Firms

CONSTRUCTION: Steady Number of Church Projects Helps San Diego Contractors

While San Diego County commercial construction remains at a near standstill compared with pre-recession levels, local contractors are finding opportunities in project work for churches, synagogues and other religious institutions.

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Adapting to Change, Student Loan Company Thrives

FINANCE: Facing Abrupt Government Restructuring, ELS Reinvents Itself

Now that Uncle Sam is the sole source for federal college student loans, new business models are emerging, including one locally, that provide alternative financing solutions for both students and schools.

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Comic-Con’s Production Takes Precedence Over Naming Host City

HOSPITALITY: Pop Culture Event’s Economic Impact Revised Upward to $163M

As the 2010 Comic-Con International drew to its scheduled July 25 close, San Diego convention and business leaders still had no answer on whether the massive pop culture gathering would stay in its longtime home beyond 2012.

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Downtown Bridge Worth the Wait, Officials Say

CONSTRUCTION: $26.8M Structure Costs More Than Twice Original Estimate

A pedestrian bridge next to Petco Park that cost more than double its original estimate will take nearly double the time to complete construction, but project officials say it will be well worth the wait.

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Tweet All About It: KPBS Getting New Newsroom

KPBS radio and television host and political editor Gloria Penner reports that she and her colleagues are temporarily relocating while construction crews build the multimedia newsroom of the future.

Education Needs Collaboration to Foster Innovation

“The Race to the Top,” President Obama’s new school challenge, has not yet replaced the Bush administration’s “No Child Left Behind.”

California Megan’s Law Database Employment Loophole

As of December 2004, anyone with access to a computer can go online to California’s Megan’s Law sex offender Web site. All states have their own versions of the Megan’s Law database, created with the intention of helping people identify those men (and women) who have been convicted of certain sexually-related crimes.

Microsoft Makes Grand Entrance With Tech Grant at Store Opening

The San Diego Futures Foundation received a $200,000 technology grant at the Microsoft store grand opening at Fashion Valley mall in June. “This partnership is a transformative step towards bridging the ‘digital divide.

Friday, July 23

Tax Case Figure Sentenced, Ordered to Pay $2.5M

A San Diego businessman was sentenced July 23 to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution for withholding federal taxes from employees’ paychecks but never turning the money over to the Internal Revenue Service.

ViaSat Gets $477M Military Contract for Tracking Technology

Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. has been awarded a $477 million contract to supply the U.S. Army with next-generation, high-speed tracking technology.

Biotech Firm Takes Steps to Form European Subsidiary

Oceanside-headquartered International Stem Cell Corp. announced July 22 that it has made preliminary financial arrangements to create a new European subsidiary, to be called ISCO Europe.

Cymer Revenue More Than Doubles, Year Over Year

Cymer Inc., the San Diego maker of laser equipment used by semiconductor manufacturers, reported second quarter net income of $21.2 million, compared to net income of $525,000 for the like quarter of 2009 in a report delivered after the close of the stock market July 22.

Silvergate Bank Has Quarterly Profit of $722,000, Set to Expand

Silvergate Bank, based in San Diego and with four offices, reported on July 22 that it had second quarter net profit of $722,000, compared to $344,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

NextWave to Drop Off Nasdaq

Even after conducting a seven-for-one reverse stock split last month, shares of NextWave Wireless Inc. will be delisted from the Nasdaq exchange as of July 23 because the market price is below the $1 minimum required by the exchange, the company said July 21.

Thursday, July 22

Qualcomm Earns $767M During Quarter, Raises Forecast

Chipmaker and wireless communication technology lab Qualcomm Inc. reported on July 21 that it had net income of $767 million on revenue of $2.71 billion during the quarter ended June 27.

Douglas Wilson Named Receiver for San Pedro Condo Project

San Diego-based Douglas Wilson Cos. has been appointed receiver for Vue, a distressed, 318-unit waterfront condominium tower in San Pedro.

Wednesday, July 21

San Diego Trust Bank Is Consistently Profitable

San Diego Trust Bank reported July 21 that it had second quarter net income of $226,000, up from net income of $141,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Sony Video Game Unit Lays Off 35

Sony Online Entertainment, the San Diego-based maker of video games including EverQuest, recently laid off 35 people from its staff “in a move to better align the company’s resources.”

Tax Preparer Receives 41-Month Sentence

A Chula Vista tax preparer who pleaded guilty to two felony counts in connection with defrauding his customers in March was sentenced to 41 months in prison July 20 and ordered to pay restitution of more than $1 million, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Biotech Firm Establishing India Operations

Oceanside-based biotech firm International Stem Cell Corp., aka ISCO, said July 20 it will set up an affiliate company in India to develop and manufacture pharmaceutical products.

Monday, July 19

Jobs Workshop Set for July 20, 2010

The Grossmont College Career Center plans to host an orientation workshop regarding the San Diego Workforce Partnership Inc.’s on-the-job training subsidy program July 20.

Slow Economic Growth Ahead, Forecaster Says

While some data show the San Diego region is growing, albeit very slowly, the outlook for the rest of this year and 2011 is troubling, says an economist with the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

S.D. Gains Status as America’s Finest Solar City

CLEANTECH: Technology, Tax Incentives Make Green Energy More Affordable

Thanks to dropping costs and more readily available technology, solar panels are becoming an increasingly common sight in San Diego County construction and improvement projects.

Orders Taper Off, Nassco Shipyard Cuts 560 Jobs

Nassco/General Dynamics Corp., among the biggest employers in the region, said July 12 that it cut a total of 560 jobs due to downturns in contracts from its government and commercial customers.

News in Brief

Qualcomm Inc. executive William E. Keitel will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award when the San Diego Business Journal presents San Diego’s fourth annual CFO of the Year Awards on Aug. 12.

Business Loans Grow Harder to Find, But Haven’t Gone Extinct

FINANCE: Lenders Hold Capital Close to the Vest, Report Varied Loan Volume

Though some critics charge banks are being far too selective in making loans to businesses these days, many lenders assert little has changed with their underwriting standards.

Horsin' Around

SPORTS BIZ: Tourists Head for Del Mar to Get in on the Action

The economic wave known as the Del Mar races hits the beach this week. It’s a time when thoroughbred horse owners, trainers and jockeys take up temporary residence in North County, as the Del Mar Fairgrounds comes alive with tens of thousands of visitors and thousands of employees.

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Big Networking Event Coming Up For Entrepreneurs

We’re rapidly slipping into those lazy, hazy days of summer. But not everyone is off to the beach, or on that annual road trip. Indeed, the big networking event of the summer is on the horizon for entrepreneurs.

Despite Adversity San Diego Is an Economic Success

It is my contention that the San Diego economy will economically recover faster and stronger than most other regions in the U.S., once the recovery cycle establishes a foothold.

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Evening Honors Newswoman Gloria Penner and Funds YWCA Services

Gloria Penner received the Spirit of Commitment Award at the 31st annual Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) sponsored by the YWCA San Diego County on June 18 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island.

Ground Breaking: Miramar College Police Station and Parking Structure No. 1

The Miramar College police station will include a reception area, conference room, office areas and a secure suspect processing area.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

People

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Executive Profile: Mike Alfred

Mike Alfred is co-founder and CEO of BrightScope Inc., an independent retirement plan ratings and investment research group.

Observers Foresee SBA Lending Interrupted Unless Congress Breathes Life Into Stimulus

FINANCE: Using Second Mortgages as Collateral Not An Option Today

Over the past six months, U.S. Small Business Administration-backed lending by banks got a boost from federal economic stimulus funds with the government agreeing to cover 90 percent of loans approved — up from 75 percent — as a reliable safety net for banks making the loans.

Small Business Struggles to Borrow, Banks Say Money Is Available

FINANCE: Qualifying for A Loan Challenges Many Firms; Repayment Plan Key

When it comes to making commercial loans to qualified businesses, most banks say they’re up, open and their coffers are full. But many qualified would-be borrowers don’t think that’s the case. How can that be true?

With City Budgets in Place, Region Shifts Into Growth Mode

Now that all the cities in North County have approved budgets, new city council members and a new fiscal year, things are happening throughout the region.

Company to Use $100M Capital Infusion to Build Homes Locally

They’re both way down from pre-recession levels, but here’s yet more evidence that local prospects for housing construction are looking much better than commercial building at the moment.

Wells Fargo to Close Some Branches, Cut Size of Work Force

Wells Fargo has decided to restructure its consumer finance division, called Wells Fargo Financial, eliminating some 3,800 jobs nationally from the closure of 638 branches, including 12 in San Diego County.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Startup Strives to Take Risk Out of Severe-Weather Predictions

TECHNOLOGY: Statistical Approach Focuses on Extreme Heat, Cold Waves

Scientists and meteorologists expect that severe-weather events such as the recent heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast will become more frequent as the climate continues to change.

Study: Petco Park A Home Run for County Economy

DEVELOPMENT: $1.8B Invested In Construction in Last 10 Years

Development of downtown San Diego’s Petco Park has brought a 7.6 percent annual return on the community’s $300 million investment in the past 10 years, according to a consultant’s report released July 14.

Bumping Along the Bottom, Region’s Office Property Market Remains Soft

REAL ESTATE: Sluggish Job Growth Weighs on Commercial Office Leasing, Brokers Report

San Diego County is gradually adding jobs amid a slow economic recovery. But experts say it’s still not enough to rejuvenate the region’s sagging office property market.

White House Honors Cybersecurity Program

TECHNOLOGY: Award Pays Tribute to ESET, Mayor Sanders, 200 Locals

An effort to fight Internet-related crime in San Diego was singled out for federal recognition during a White House ceremony last week.

Friday, July 16

County’s Unemployment Rate Rises

San Diego County’s jobless rate rose to 10.5 percent in June from a revised 10.1 percent in May, and above the 10 percent rate of June 2009, according to a July 16 report from the state’s Employment Development Department.

Grocer to Open 3 More Local Stores

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., the small-format U.S. grocery division of British retail giant Tesco PLC, plans to open three more stores in San Diego County on Sept. 22, including two in Oceanside.

Credit Union Gets New CEO in August

San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest credit union and third largest lender, named Teresa Halleck as its new chief executive officer and president effective Aug. 16, the institution said July 14.

Verenium to Sell Biofuels Business to BP

Shares of Verenium Corp., based in Cambridge, Mass. and with San Diego operations, closed up 30 percent for the biggest percentage gain on the Nasdaq exchange July 15 following the announcement that the firm is selling its research and development operations here and in Louisiana to BP for $98.2 million.

ISE Cuts Staff, Says It Needs Cash

ISE Corp., the Poway maker of hybrid electric drive systems for buses and trucks, said July 13 it is cutting its staff by 45 employees to lower costs and conserve capital while it seeks additional financing.

Wednesday, July 14

Report Says Petco Park Delivers 7.6 Percent Return on Investment

Development of downtown San Diego’s Petco Park has brought a 7.6 percent annual rate of return on the community’s original $300 million investment over the past 10 years, according to a consultant’s report released July 14.

Mission Valley Office Park Sold for $70.5M

Mission City Corporate Center, a four-building complex of Class A office buildings in San Diego’s Mission Valley submarket, has been purchased for a total of $70.5 million by Kilroy Realty Corp., based in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, July 13

Nassco Job Losses Add Up to 560

Nassco/General Dynamics Corp., among the biggest employers in the region, said July 12 that it cut a total of 560 jobs due to downturns in contracts from its government and commercial customers.

Monday, July 12

ViaSat Pulls in $10M Contract to Continue Encryption Work

ViaSat Inc., the Carlsbad-based maker of satellite equipment, said July 12 that it was awarded a $10 million contract from the National Security Administration.

People

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Executive Profile: Melissa Hayden Cook

Melissa Hayden Cook is president and chief executive officer of Sharp Health Plan, a not-for-profit commercial health plan based in San Diego.

Health, Tech Sectors Hasten to Untangle Wireless Issues

TECHNOLOGY: Platforms to Privacy Concerns Slow Adoption

An urgent market need to drive down the bloated cost of health care delivery worldwide has spawned a new cooperative spirit among telecommunications, technology and investment companies wanting to develop wireless technology as a way to make health care less expensive and more efficient.

Irvine Co. Puts 16-Acre Site Up for Sale

REAL ESTATE: Housing Project Proposed for Land, Bought for $50M in 2008

The 16-acre San Diego site of a stalled condo and apartment project has been put up for sale by the property’s owner, The Irvine Co. LLC of Newport Beach.

Investors Hope Soccer Fans Get Their Kicks at the Q

The World Cup may be over, but San Diego soccer fans can continue the good vibrations from the monthlong tournament this week when Qualcomm Stadium hosts an international “friendly” between Mexico’s Club America and England’s Portsmouth F.C.

Business Failures Create Opportunities for Firms

The recycling of failed or failing businesses presents opportunities to acquire assets, customers and whole businesses at bargain prices. There are several ways for an organization to go about an acquisition.

Does Health Reform Mean Big Bills, Long Lines?

Much has been said about health care reform, from both sides of the aisle and from many stakeholders. Here with some nonpartisan, nondogmatic thoughts from the perspective of physicians.

Center for Children Honors Longtime Supporter Mary Clark at Fundraiser

Mary Clark was honored at the San Diego Center for Children Gala held May 20 at The US Grant hotel. Mary and her late husband, Dallas, have been longtime supporters of the Center for Children, providing leadership and financial support.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Wireless Firms Reshape Medical Care With Retooled Equipment

INNOVATION: New Digital Devices Improve Communications

Due to rapid advancements in the integration of wireless technology and health care, the future of post-hospitalization patient care will soon be coming to a screen nearby: on BlackBerries, iPads and iPhones.

Wireless Crusaders Pull the Plug on Escalating Health Care Costs

TECHNOLOGY: Gary and Mary West Commit $90M to Medical Innovation

Everyone talks about spiraling health care costs. With the creation of the West Wireless Health Institute last year, Gary West moved well beyond the talking stage. By accelerating medical innovation and the availability of wireless health solutions, WWHI aims to transform health care delivery, make it more universally available and trim its bottom line.

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Ground Breaking: Mesa College Design Center

Groundbreaking is a regular feature of the Business Journal, and includes commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential projects that are either nearing construction, in construction or finishing construction.

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Nonprofit Profile: José A. Cruz

José A. Cruz of the Barrio Logan College Institute.

North County-Based REIT Acquiring Properties Throughout U.S.

Excel, aka Excel Trust Inc., a real estate investment trust based in the Rancho Bernardo area that focuses on retail centers, has wasted no time growing its portfolio since its initial public offering April 23.

BBVA Compass Bank Touts Strength and Readiness to Lend

Depending on whom you ask, last year’s failure of Texas-based Guaranty Bank was either the 12th or 10th largest bank failure in the country, but suffice to say it was a doozy

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

S.D. Firm Brings 1st Two Open, Faster MRI Scanners to County

HEALTH CARE: Machines Can Accommodate Heavier Patients, Speed Up Exams

Medical patients who need magnetic resonance imaging may find an oasis in the county’s first two open, faster MRI scanners.

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Amidst Strong Revenue Growth, Bridgepoint Unveils New Degree Program

EDUCATION: Online Only B.A. in Law Enforcement Administration Launched

Increasing its presence in the rapidly expanding world of online education, San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education Inc. has introduced a Bachelor of Arts degree program in law enforcement administration.

SDSU Professor Seeks to Develop Hydrogen Catalyst

CLEANTECH: Academic Team Explores Holy Grail of Energy Production

Finding a way to take clean technology from the research lab to a job-generating business is the goal of the San Diego partnership Clean Tech Innovation and Commercialization Program.

Accelrys, Symyx Technologies Complete Merger

Accelrys Inc., a San Diego-based firm that makes software used by biotech companies for research and development, completed its merger with Symyx Technologies, based in Santa Clara, following approvals by the majority of both companies’ shareholders, the companies announced July 1.

Northrop Prepares First Unmanned Aerial Tanker

DEFENSE: Global Hawk To Refuel Global Hawk in DARPA Funded Test

Having one aircraft refuel another in midair is not a new concept. It goes back to the biplane era.

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Industrial Real Estate Countywide a Mixed Bag

INVESTMENT: Area Ranked 15th of 27 Metro Markets, Up From 20th in ’09

San Diego’s industrial real estate sector is seeing a mixed bag of trends at the midpoint of 2010. Observers note that tenants are enjoying a competitive market that remains in their favor, as landlords negotiate to keep them in place with rent price breaks and other incentives.

Is State Governable? Panel of Politicos Addresses Question

Well, here’s something we can all vote for. Some insight into the current gubernatorial election, and the future of the state.

Local Retail Real Estate Market Ranks Among The Nation’s Best

REAL ESTATE: Store Closings Slowing Considerably; Tenants Moving Into Vacated Spaces

With 2010 halfway over, San Diego County’s retail real estate market holds opportunities as well as pitfalls for potential investors, though experts say the region is faring better than most as shoppers keep their spending in check amid employment worries.

Employment Catch-22: San Diego’s Economy Needs Jobs to Grow Jobs

LABOR: Trend Down in Unemployment One Signal Employers to Begin Hiring

In a way, San Diego’s and the nation’s jobless picture is in a Catch-22 position.

Virus’s Worst Nightmare

SOFTWARE: ESET’s Computer Security Products Put Company On the Fast Track

Small company, plenty of heart. Heart seems to be the factor that has driven ESET LLC, and let it hold its own in the field of computer security.

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Friday, July 9

Convention Center, Park Plans Up for Discussion

San Diego business leaders and residents can provide input at upcoming public meetings, where a convention center expansion and a planned bayfront park will be discussed.

Thursday, July 8

Miramar Landfill May Go on the Block

The city of San Diego says it wants out of the landfill business, with Mayor Jerry Sanders announcing July 8 he is inviting the private sector to submit proposals to take over the Miramar landfill.

Solera Bound for Texas

Solera Holdings Inc., a San Diego maker of software used in processing of auto insurance claims, said July 7 that it is moving its corporate headquarters to the Dallas area.

Wednesday, July 7

Port Commissioners OK Hyatt Ownership Change

San Diego Unified Port District commissioners on July 6 approved a transfer of controlling interest in the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel to Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Robotics Cluster Gets on Its Feet

Robotics and related disciplines will be the focus of the newly formed Southwest Regional Innovation Cluster, according to one of the agencies working to form the group.

Tuesday, July 6

Software Project Could Be Worth $19M to SAIC

SAIC, which has more than 4,000 employees here, said July 6 that it was awarded a contract from the federal General Services Administration’s Greater Southwest Region for software development and support to the U.S. Air Force.

Monday, July 5

Technology Forms Foundation of Next-Generation Chinese-American Partnerships

TRADE: Enterprise Center Opening in Shanghai Pitches Access to Capital, Markets

Jiang Zhaobai has a big idea for Chinese-American trade. Odds are it’s not the thing most Americans have in mind. The average American probably draws a mental picture of Chinese factories making low-cost merchandise for export to U.S. markets.

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People

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego brings on chef Jon Eyer to oversee the four-diamond property’s food and beverage operations as executive chef. Eyer will direct menu development, operations, staffing and training for hotel dining, room service, banquets and catering. He brings two decades of experience, serving most recently as executive sous chef at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa. Eyer also played a leading role in concept development for the original Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant created in conjunction with Paramount Pictures.

Executive Profile

Scott Dennis

Scott Dennis is the chief executive officer and co-founder of D&K Engineering Inc., a San Diego-based research and development, engineering and contract manufacturing services company focused on developing and manufacturing electromechanical products and equipment.

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Executive Profile

Michael Gelfand

Michael Gelfand is president of Terra Vista Management Inc., a real estate investment management company specializing in luxury, water-oriented recreational vehicle parks, mobile home communities and marinas.

Executive Profile

Bella Heule

Bella Heule, president and chief executive officer of the World Trade Center San Diego, is responsible for strategic leadership and management, fundraising and community relations. WTCSD is a trade association that provides comprehensive international trade services and key global contacts to facilitate and expand trade for regional and worldwide clients.

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LEAD San Diego Honors Doctor for Community Outreach Services

LEAD San Diego presented the 2010 Herbert G. Klein Visionary Award to Dr. Chris Searles at the Eighth Annual Awards event held May 27 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Construction has been completed for the two-story, 17,000-square-foot Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Beech Street in downtown San Diego.

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News in Brief

Targegen Inc., a San Diego biotech developing a drug to treat blood diseases, agreed to be acquired by Sanofi-Aventis, a French public company for what could be $560 million if the company reaches certain milestones, the local firm said June 30.

Local REIT Acquires Napa Valley Vineyard and Winery for $269M

An Escondido-based real estate investment trust has taken a shopping trip to Northern California’s Napa Valley to purchase $269 million in winery and vineyard properties.

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Construction Industry In Slow Recovery With Housing Leading Way

REAL ESTATE: Residential Building Permit Values Up 21 Percent, Commercial Down 9.8 Percent

From January through May, local construction continued a slow recovery from a lingering slump, with the overall value of San Diego County residential and commercial building permits rising 7.8 percent from the same period of 2009.

Water Everywhere, and Not a Single Drop to Drink — Yet

The continuing saga of cures for our ever-present water shortages in the region has taken another confusing step. After a decade of permit hearings and lawsuits, Poseidon Resources began site preparation on the largest desalination water plant in the nation. Last week the work halted.

Western Professionals Make Intellectual Inroads Into Asia

WORK FORCE: High-Level Execs Facilitate Trade

San Diego’s business community is rich with experience when it comes to trading in China. From the nonprofit CONNECT’s aggressive inclusion of Chinese venture capital investors and companies in its innovation development programs to the region’s wealth of former government functionaries who dealt with China on trade issues, the area has the knowledge base to help local companies further their relations with one of the largest markets in the world.

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China Opens Trade Gates, Welcomes Local Ingenuity

FINANCE: Chinese Government Supports Foreign Investment

As manufacturing makes China wealthy, opportunities for trade are shifting beyond simple import-export and into the realm of investments and partnerships that promise access to demand for products that has simply never existed before.

Border Crossing Upgrades Expected to Cost $700M

INFRASTRUCTURE: Capital Spending on Port of Entry Projects Called ‘Unprecedented’

Work is moving forward on long-awaited improvements to the U.S.-Mexico border entry ports in southern San Diego County — expected to cost a total of nearly $700 million by the time they’re completed.

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Lindbergh Field Expansion Paves Way for Concession Contracts

AIR TRAVEL: Airport Authority Plans Hybrid Model for Contractor; Opportunity for Local Small Businesses

With a $1 billion construction project under way at Lindbergh Field, airport planners are also making changes to a few other operations, including a 45-year-old master concessionaire arrangement that some say stifled the number of options travelers have.

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Stiletto Ship

DEFENSE: M Ship Innovates to Deliver Faster, Better, Cheaper Ship Designs for Navies Worldwide

What does M Ship Co. do for an encore? The San Diego-based company designed the M80 Stiletto, a small, experimental Navy ship that continues to turn heads. The ship created a buzz in June as it made appearances in New York and Rhode Island.

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Use Same Process for Big Downtown Projects

Two weeks ago Mayor Jerry Sanders announced final plans for a new City Hall. He is proposing a new building on the adjacent site that is now Golden Hall and demolishing the current site, for a total cost of $294 million. Despite that price tag, it is being touted as the most cost-effective solution, one that is in the best interests of its citizenry and our fiscal circumstances.

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Automotive Technology Career Instructional Building at Miramar College

Groundbreaking

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The San Diego Miramar College Automotive Career Instructional Building will consist of approximately 6,500 square feet of classrooms, a computer lab, engine lab, transmission lab and additional classroom space and storage. The expansion will add several outdoor auto bays, some of which will be equipped with rotary lifts to gain access to the underside of vehicles. In addition, upgrades and minor renovations will be performed on the existing Automotive Technology Instructional Building.

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Auto Lender Balboa Thrift & Loan Contests Bank Examiners’ Order

Balboa Thrift & Loan isn’t looking backwards, only forwards after receiving a regulatory order that found the $200 million lender was “engaged in unsafe and unsound practices.”

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Contractors will have until mid-July to apply for design and construction work related to a $289 million replacement for the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility.

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Scripps Ranks Among Top Health System Leaders Nationally

HEALTH CARE: Study Identifies Local Provider As No. 8 in Care Delivery

An evolving new benchmark study of 255 health systems’ performance in eight clinical categories named one local provider among the nation’s top 10 leaders and is raising the bar across the country for inpatient health care delivery.

UCSD Scientists’ Software Enables PCs to Work While They ‘Sleep’

TECHNOLOGY: Energy-Saving System Has Commercial Potential

Software primarily developed by scientist Yuvraj Agarwal allows desktop computers to operate while in sleep mode — a tool that could reduce energy consumption of administrative networks by approximately 60 percent and save organizations $60 per year per computer.

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Home Prices Up, Median Hits $340,000 in May

Home prices in San Diego continued rising, and showed the second highest annual increase since April 2009, according to the 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index.

New Airline Offering May Bolster San Diego Tourism Business

TRANSPORTATION: A Flock of Airlines Link City and New Destinations

Travel and tourism experts say the thousands of new visitors arriving on recently added flights at San Diego International Airport – following nearly two years of airline service cutbacks – should help bring millions of dollars in economic impact to the region.

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Region Gains Status as an ‘Innovation Hub’

GOVERNMENT: State’s Designation Could Help Clusters Capture Funding

San Diego has long been known as a crucible for technology innovation, but last week the region was officially designated as one of California’s seven Innovation Hubs, or iHubs for short.

TripAdvisor Warns Visitors About Hotel Se Customer Ratings

Unfortunately, investors in the Se San Diego hotel fell victim to the poor economy, and coupled with costly construction delays and other issues during construction, filed for bankruptcy June 28.

Friday, July 2

REIT Makes $71.7M Buy

Excel Trust Inc., a San Diego-headquartered real estate investment trust that focuses on retail centers, has acquired five more properties in four states, for a total of $71.7 million.

Shareholders Approve Accelrys-Symyx Merger

Accelrys Inc., a San Diego-based firm that makes software used by biotech companies for research and development, completed its merger with Symyx Technologies, based in Santa Clara, following approvals by the majority of both companies’ shareholders, the companies announced July 1.

Sempra Joint Venture Sells Assets

Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., said July 1 that it completed the sale of parts of its joint venture it owned with the Royal Bank of Scotland to J.P. Morgan, the investment banking arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co., for $1.6 billion.

Thursday, July 1

Targegen Acquisition Could Be Worth as Much as $560M

Targegen Inc., a San Diego biotech developing a drug to treat blood diseases, agreed to be acquired by Sanofi-Aventis, a French public company for what could be $560 million if the company reaches certain milestones.