Stories for August 2011

Wednesday, August 31

Bayfront Hilton Gets Four Diamond Rating

The downtown Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel has received a Four Diamond rating from AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association, hotel operators announced Aug. 30.

Tuesday, August 30

Local Economic Index Shows Gain of 0.2 Percent for July

San Diego’s economy could be rebounding; it registered a two-tenths of 1 percent uptick in July, according to an index of six measures compiled by the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Monday, August 29

Cubic to Produce Electronics for War Games

Cubic Corp. said Aug. 29 that it received a $13 million task order to begin full production of its Tactical Vehicle System, to be used in U.S. Army war games.

Powerlink Among Projects Funded by SDG&E Bonds

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. closed a $350 million public offering of 10-year first mortgage bonds paying 3 percent annually

$9M Sale of Coronado First Bank Brings Closure to Rocky Deal

BANKING: Shareholders Gave Approval Aug. 23; Regulators Weigh in Next

Shareholders of struggling Coronado First Bank overwhelmingly approved the sale of the bank to downtown San Diego-based Embarcadero Bank for $9 million

SD REGIONAL REPORT

Startup Puts Social Spin On Brand Development

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As Stars Align, Auto Group Races Into Town

TRANSPORTATION: New Dealership Sells Jaguars, Lotuses, Aston Martins

In a move that’s betting on a rebounding economy, San Diego European Motorcars Ltd., which deals in Aston Martin, Jaguar and Lotus, has opened for business in Kearny Mesa.

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It’s Summertime and the Giving Is Easy for Supporters of the Arts

The Oceanside Museum of Art held its OMA Summer Soiree July 23 at the Central Pavilion and on Pier View Way.

Chicken and Charm a Winning Combination

HOSPITALITY: Chick-fil-A Takes Selective Approach To Granting Franchises

With more than 1,500 U.S. restaurants, Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A Inc. has developed a large and loyal following for its chicken sandwiches, with throngs of aficionados camping out hours in advance of location debuts.

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A Dose of Uncertainty

HEALTH CARE: Firms Trying To Understand How Reforms Will Impact Their Bottom Lines

If anyone could predict how President Barack Obama’s health care reform law is going to affect San Diego companies’ bottom lines, it might be Craig Gussin.

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EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Peter Aamo

Peter Adamo has served as administrator for Alvarado Hospital Medical Center since May 2011.

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Cancer Treatment Centers Proliferating in Region

HEALTH CARE: Demand For Services Helps Support Growth of Local Facilities

When it comes to fighting cancer, San Diego is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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Jewelers Benefiting From Gold Rush

RETAIL: Customers Flocking To Stores to Buy, Sell Jewelry, Coins; Economic Fears Mount

As the price of gold continues skyrocketing in tandem with a spate of negative financial news, Leo Hamel and other jewelers around the county have seen a noticeable surge in customers.

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Event to Showcase Power of Clustering

PLANNING: Creating Districts That Attract Innovation a Key, Some Say

San Diego developer Pete Garcia says he learned about the power of clustering when he developed the Hybritech biotech campus at Torrey Pines in 1980.

Financial Advisers Occupy Spot on National Top 50 List

Dowling & Yahnke LLC, celebrating its 20th year in business as independent financial

Accounting Firm to Buy Back Unit From H&R Block

ACQUISITION: $610M Deal Reunites Practices; Business Goes on as Usual

McGladrey & Pullen LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in the nation, said it’s buying back its tax and consulting unit called RSM McGladrey Inc. from H&R Block Inc. for $610 million.

INNOVATION: Wireless Tracking System Puts A ‘Tail’ on Your Straying Dog

TECHNOLOGY: Qualcomm Inc. Enters The Pet Products Field

Back in the 1980s, very early in its history, Qualcomm Inc. went to market with a system for truckers.

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COMMENTARY: Businesses Are the ‘Second Responders’ in Crises

Imagine going to 10 funerals a day for 66 days to remember and honor 658 people who lost their lives in a disaster.

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Developer Plans Otay Mesa Retail Center to Serve Border Region

San Diego-based Sunroad Enterprises is the latest developer making plans to serve what is expected to be a burgeoning population of shoppers in South County and the Tijuana region.

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FDA Approvals Expected to Put Apricus Bio on Profitable Path

BIOTECH: Firm Also Gets OK for Use of Technology In Other Applications

August has been a huge month for San Diego-based Apricus Biosciences Inc.

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Now Advertising ‘Crosses the Line’ In a Good Way

Welcome to America! But now that you’re here, buy American! Steve Wagner, owner of La Jolla-based Outdoor Insight

Demand for Apartments a Catalyst for Revitalization

DEVELOPMENT: Pending Project Could Also Boost National City’s Downtown

Rising demand for local apartments is helping nudge forward some long-discussed plans to revitalize National City’s downtown, which stalled when the recession hit.

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP

San Diego-based T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. has completed construction on the $9.4 million design/build Patrick Wade Child Development Center

Despite a Slow Economy, SDCCU Makes Some Advances

San Diego County Credit Union, the largest in the county with $5.2 billion in assets, grew in profits, size and deposits for the first half, but its loan portfolio shrank.

Kratos Lands Diversified Defense Work

U.S. Army tank mechanics will get to know their jobs better with the help of San Diego-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc.

Medical Groups Expand to Meet Needs, Rise to Meet Challenges

Health care: Industry Deals With Compensation, Electronic Records Issues

Several organizations on the San Diego Business Journal’s Medical Groups list are expanding as they grapple with issues from the uncertainties of health care reform

New Insulin Pump Is Camouflaged As Consumer Electronics

BIOTECH: Company’s Investors Are Already Sold on the Device

Tandem Diabetes Care Inc., a San Diego medical device company that’s seeking FDA clearance for a sleek insulin pump

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Petco Moves Corporate Jobs to Texas Satellite Center

RETAIL: Headquarters to Remain Local But Growth Expected in San Antonio

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. is expanding its corporate staff at the expense of San Diego. This year, the nation’s second largest pet food retailer behind only PetSmart Inc.

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Friday, August 26

Awarepoint Gets $27M Capital Infusion

Awarepoint Corp., a San Diego firm that makes hardware and software to help hospitals track assets and patients, said Aug. 24 that it obtained $27 million in venture capital financing led by new investor and Silicon Valley heavyweights Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Thursday, August 25

Student Businesses Take the Spotlight in Awards Event

Student entrepreneurs from both high school and college can stand up and be recognized by taking part in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards presented by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. A San Diego competition set for Sept. 27 in La Jolla leads to regional and national meets.

Wednesday, August 24

Gary & Mary West Foundation Gives Grant to ‘Reboot’ Program for Veterans

The “Reboot” program, which helps veterans make the sometimes difficult transition from the military culture to civilian life, has received a $250,000 grant from the Gary & Mary West Foundation.

Coronado Bank Deal Sails Through Shareholder Vote

Shareholders of Coronado First Bank overwhelmingly approved the sale of the struggling bank to Embarcadero Bank on Aug. 23 for about $9 million in a stock and cash deal that looked like it was on the rocks several weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 23

Grocery Strike Averted for Now

About 62,000 union grocery store workers in Southern California remain at their jobs for now until leaders and management sit down again with a federal mediator beginning Aug. 29 to negotiate parts of a new contract.

Monday, August 22

With $1.7B Under Management, Firm Occupies Top 50

Dowling & Yahnke LLC, celebrating its 20th year in business as independent financial advisers in Carmel Valley, said Aug. 22 it was ranked No. 48 nationally by Investment News, the industry’s trade publication, as the largest advisory firm ranked by assets under management.

Stores’ Pain Is Gain for Health Club Chains

HEALTH: Gyms Make Vacated Retail Space Part of Expansion Plans

Vacated big-box retail spots have recently become venues for exercise club chains, such as 24 Hour Fitness USA Inc. and Crunch Fitness, to flex their growth muscles in San Diego County.

California MedTech Now Part of BIT

California MedTech, a Rancho Bernardo company that develops and manufactures products for some of the area’s largest medical device companies, has been acquired by BIT Cos., based in Germany, for about $33 million.

Company Puts Good Nutrition On Vending Machine ‘Menu’

MARKETING: Franchise Snack Business Is Already Operating in 20 States

These days former Chicago-based ex-pinball executive Jolly Backer is tapping into efforts to make healthy snacks including fruits and fruit drinks available in local schools, as well as health clubs, hospitals and office buildings.

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Downgrade Doesn’t Disturb Big-Game Hunt for Property

REAL ESTATE: Capital Is Still Key to Capturing the Bargains; Credit Crunch May Hurt Others

Local property investment experts say the recent Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt will likely trim the overall ranks of financing sources to get deals done, and slow down the recent pace of price appreciation on attractive commercial properties.

Torrey Pines Bank Expanding Its Lending, Workforce

In the world of banking, capacity or size definitely matters. These days, many smaller lenders, generally those below $500 million, are having trouble finding qualified borrowers. But for those above $1 billion, apparently there’s plenty of action.

Salk Institute Puts $26M Into Electrical and Mechanical Upgrades

ENERGY: Solar Panel Installer Had to Please Coastal Commission

The iconic Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla has embarked on a sweeping $26 million energy retrofit project that includes covering virtually all of its rooftop space with more than 2,300 solar panels and replacing its original electrical and mechanical gear, which dated back to the early 1960s.

Chase Exec Spreads Upbeat Message on Western Bus Tour

BANKING: Nation’s Second Largest Lender Planning Extensive Expansion in State

At the end of his weeklong bus tour of his company’s western outposts Aug. 12, Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., told a throng of cheering employees at a Rancho Bernardo corporate center they’re doing a great job and to keep up the good work.

Venture Capitalists Choose to Nurture More Life Science Projects

BIOTECH: Investment Rises 16 Percent From Second Quarter of 2010

It appears that venture capital funding in San Diego’s life sciences sector is gaining steam, at least based on the second quarter MoneyTree Report that tracks investments made in local companies.

Conditions Keep Multifamily a Bright Spot in Property Picture

REAL ESTATE: Investors Betting on Limited Land And a Growing Demand

San Diego firms focused on the multifamily sector, including Wermers Cos. and Garden Communities Inc., are among those likely to be kept busy with projects in coming months, as the region continues to experience tight supply amid rising demand for apartments among renters and property investors.

Funds Keep Transportation Projects Moving

A few rays of financial sunshine in a sea of gray.

Solar Gard Agrees to Be Sold to a Division of Saint-Gobain Group

PRODUCTION: No Disruption Planned for Local Facility, Employees

Solar Gard Specialty Films, a San Diego based maker of window films which had its beginnings here in 1977, agreed to be sold to an Ohio division of Saint-Gobain Group of France for an undisclosed price.

Hoops and Hurdles on Path to Innovation

MEDICAL DEVICES: FDA’s Processes Strain U.S. Product Launches; Markets Found Abroad

“All of our products launch in Europe first,” said Scott Huennekens, president and chief executive officer of San Diego-based Volcano Corp., whose products include catheter-based imaging and ultrasound systems that doctors insert into patients to view the inside of arteries. “The FDA’s approval times are taking much longer, trials are becoming more costly and, most importantly, the process is becoming harder to predict.”

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Gift to Library Is Bank’s Investment in Community’s Kids, Future

Union Bank pledged $300,000 to the San Diego Public Library Foundation to support construction of the new Central Library which is scheduled to open in 2013.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Next Mayor Must Make Some Bold Moves

San Diego is familiar with things nautical, and so it’s a natural to depict next year’s mayoral campaign as a boat race.

Court System Budget Cuts Might Put Brakes on Wheels of Justice

The local wheels of justice turn slowly and it might get even slower in the coming months, despite the great work of the professionals in the San Diego Superior Court. Our local court system absorbed an $11.6 million reduction in operating funds this year. That was awful, but next year is going to be, well, awfuler.

Retail Vacancy Rate Downtown Shows Signs of a Turnaround

Especially since the recession hit, downtown San Diego has been a problem spot when it comes to filling retail spaces, with a vacancy rate far above the overall region’s rate of just over 5 percent.

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Privately Built Toll Highway Might Have a Buyer

TRANSPORTATION: Negotiators Hammer Out $345M Purchase Price

Buying the county’s only toll road from its private owners seems to be a good business deal to Jerome Stocks.

Auto Dealership Sales Revving Up

RETAIL: Low Interest Rates Fuel Optimism; Industry Ads Abundant

La Mesa auto dealer Bill Drew says he may just reach $125 million in sales this year.

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District’s Deal Gives Us Lesson in Local Economics

It is imperative for businesses, community organizations, and government to work with one another in a weak economic climate to build a strong regional economy.

Friday, August 19

San Diego’s Jobless Rate Reaches 10.5 Percent

San Diego’s unemployment rate rose to 10.5 percent in July, up from a revised 10.4 percent in June as the region lost a net 6,000 jobs in the month and more job seekers were in the market, according to the state Employment Development Department’s Aug. 19 report.

SDG&E Issues $350M in Bonds

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. closed a $350 million public offering of 10-year first mortgage bonds paying 3 percent annually, the company said Aug. 18.

Thursday, August 18

Commentary: Permit Runaround Stifles Business and Other Pursuits

In order for America’s Finest City to become the World’s Most Innovative City, San Diego city government must lead by example.

Sunroad Plans Large Retail Center in Otay Mesa

San Diego-based Sunroad Enterprises announced Aug. 16 that it plans to build a 500,000-square-foot retail center in Otay Mesa.

Petco’s Revised Slogan Puts New Focus on Health

Petco Animal Supplies Inc., the retail pet food purveyor based here, updated its logo adding the word “healthy” to its tagline. The slogan now reads, “where the healthy pets go,” the company said Aug. 17.

Wednesday, August 17

World Trade Center Marks 9/11 Anniversary With Gathering

The World Trade Center San Diego will host a free event Sept. 8 to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, August 16

Newport Firm Buys 5 San Diego Office Buildings for $56M

MIG Real Estate, an investment firm based in Newport Beach, has acquired a portfolio of four San Diego office properties for approximately $56 million, the company announced Aug. 15.

Mortgage-Software Specialist Gets New Owner

Del Mar Datatrac Inc., a maker of software used by some 200 mortgage lenders, was acquired by Ellie Mae, a Pleasanton public company for $17.2 million in cash plus $8 million in future cash payments over three years, the companies announced Aug. 16.

Monday, August 15

UTC Retail Center Sells for $23.8M

Renaissance Towne Center, a neighborhood retail center in San Diego’s University Towne Centre submarket, has been sold for $23.8 million.

Security Business Bank Branches Out in Escondido

Security Business Bank opens its fourth office Aug. 15 in Escondido at 800 La Terraza Blvd. in the Auto Club building.

Bricks & Clicks

EDUCATION: Online Classes Clicking With Professionals

A few years ago, Scott Williams realized his time with the U.S. Navy was coming to an end. He knew he would enter the civilian workforce without a bachelor’s degree, so he set out to rectify that by going online.

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Company Finds Nature Valuable Resource for Cold Storage Solution

SCIENCE: Biomimicry Is Basis for Biomatrica’s Preservation Technology

Big, energy-sucking freezers are a standard sight in practically every biomedical research lab around the world. A San Diego company hopes to change that.

Pfizer, UCSD Are a Match Made in Practicality

MEDICINE: Pharma Giant, School Enter $50M Drug Development Partnership

In a bid to fast track the discovery and commercialization of promising new drugs, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.

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Councilman Says Ad Is a Political Attack

Mystery spots? KFI 640 afternoon hosts John and Ken interviewed business-focused mayoral candidate, San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio Aug. 4.

With More Work In Region, Firm Goes on the Move

CONSTRUCTION: Cumming Shifts U.S. Headquarters From Orange County to San Diego

Construction project and cost management firm Cumming Corp. has moved its national headquarters from Orange County to San Diego, citing a steady influx of work in the industries where it has managed to carve out a niche in a still challenging climate.

Two Iconic Plazas Still Steps Away From Major Transformations

Big plans are on the drawing boards to refurbish two iconic plazas with deep ties to San Diego’s history, although the future of one of those projects is far from certain.

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Westfield Group Joins in Push to Lure Shoppers

RETAIL: Leveling Off Of Absorption Seen as a Sign Sector May Be Stalling

Like its rivals large and small, Westfield Group has been stepping up efforts to get shoppers into its seven San Diego County malls amid what continues to be a fragile economic recovery for retailers — made more so by the latest economic upheavals.

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Foundation’s Special Effort Raises Funds to Support Navy SEALs

Craig and Rebecca Irving hosted the 3rd annual Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation event raising $200,000 to support active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs and their families.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

The San Diego Association of Governments has put a price on the South Bay Expressway, and it is $345 million. That is the amount the association has offered for the lease to operate the 9-mile-long stretch of highway that runs north from Otay Mesa, through the eastern portion of Chula Vista and into Spring Valley. It is the only toll highway in San Diego County.

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Executive Profile: Jason Kulpa

Jason Kulpa is the founder and CEO of Underground Elephant, a performance-based online marketing company that specializes in providing customers to large ticket service providers.

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INNOVATION: Startup Strives to Deliver the Right Touch to Caregivers

TECHNOLOGY: Independa Product Provides Games for Seniors, Key Data to

Keeping tabs on aging parents can be a difficult balancing act.

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Exec Takes Business of Cancer Personally

HEALTH CARE: Companies in Talks With Nonprofit About Data That Could Lead to New Drugs

Local venture capital firm executive Laura K. Shawver knows the business of cancer almost too well. When she was president of Sugen Inc., a San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company now owned by Pfizer Inc., she spent years developing the well-known drug Sutent to treat advanced kidney cancer and a rare type of stomach cancer.

Company Finds Gold in Mountain of ‘Bad Debt’

FINANCE: Encore Capital Group Expanding Locally and Abroad As Collection Efforts Pay Off

Encore Capital Group Inc., a San Diego collector of charged-off credit card debt, has been doing such brisk business recently it’s expanding both here and at its India satellite office.

COMMENTARY: Remove These Roadblocks to Development

Do you want to have a glimpse into what I see as the future of the San Diego entitlement process for most development projects?

Embarcadero Bank Makes New Offer for Coronado First Bank

FINANCE: Deal Excludes Chief Executive’s Role; It’s Worth Nearly $9M

Embarcadero Bank is sweetening its offer to buy Coronado First Bank with $300,000 in cash

Future Looks Favorable for Purchasing Hotel Properties

HOSPITALITY: Defaults Decline as Occupancy, Room Rates Trend Up

San Diego-based Pacifica Host Hotels was among several buyers that went shopping for properties in the first half of 2011, as the hospitality industry’s performance and financing fundamentals improved significantly from a year ago.

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Small Office-Supply Firm Knows Importance of Seeing Big Picture

SALES: Company Aims For Understanding of Customers’ Businesses

The thing about office supplies is while it may appear simple and easy on the surface, it’s really not, says Mike Kravtsov, whose company Keen Office launched here in April.

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Competitors More Friendly Than Fierce

Public Relations: Longtime P.R. Rivals Share Common Bond

The empty dirt fields of University City turned out to be pay dirt for Sara Katz and Jan Percival Lipscomb.

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Meeting Needs, New Regulations Keep Mortgage Companies Busy

FINANCE: Some Firms Increase Staffing, Search For More Opportunities

Businesses on the San Diego Business Journal’s Mortgage Companies list have confidence in their ability to grow amid a mixed climate of low interest rates and increased regulation.

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REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP

Liberty Station, a mixed-use development on the site of the former Naval Training Center, was recently awarded the prestigious international 2011 Prix d’Excellence Award.

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Startup Strives to Deliver the Right Touch to Caregivers

Keeping tabs on aging parents can be a difficult balancing act. You have to respect their independence while making sure they’re socially engaged and staying healthy. And if you don’t live nearby, the task is even more complex.

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News in Brief

Breaking news from www.sdbj.com

Got a science- or tech-based company that needs cash? Got a pitch suitable for a long elevator ride (that is, two minutes)?

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Problem Loans Prove to Be Little Obstacle to Bank’s Profitability

California Bank & Trust reported second-quarter net income of $38.9 million, up from $14.3 million in the like quarter of 2010.

Friday, August 12

ConVis Moving Into Symphony Towers

The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, a nonprofit agency that promotes local tourism and is also known as ConVis, is moving this month into new quarters at Symphony Towers, a downtown office building owned by Newport Beach-based Irvine Co.

Quick Pitch Competition Deadline Draws Near

Got a science- or tech-based company that needs cash? If so, the people putting together the fifth annual San Diego Quick Pitch competition want to hear from you.

Thursday, August 11

At 10-Year Mark, Regents Bank Is Profitable

Regents Bank, based in La Jolla and with five branches, reported second quarter net income of $262,000, compared with a net loss of $927,000 for the like quarter of 2010.

Wednesday, August 10

Rady School’s Program Picks Up Accreditation

UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management has received accreditation from AACSB International, aka the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Arcadis Gets $1.6M Contract to Manage First Phase of Embarcadero Project

The Port of San Diego has approved a $1.6 million contract with Arcadis US Inc., under which the Colorado-based firm will provide construction and project management services for the first phase of renovations to the North Embarcadero district.

Bank Raises Capital, Plans to Increase Deposits

Bank of Southern California, based in Carmel Valley and with six branches, said it raised $3.1 million in new capital through a private stock placement.

Tuesday, August 9

‘Extraordinary Gains’ Boost Sempra Earnings

Sempra Energy reported on Aug. 9 that it had second quarter net profit of $511 million, up from $277 million for the like quarter of 2010.

Monday, August 8

Commentary: Otay Water District’s Actions Could Soak Its Ratepayers

Businesses understand that the cost of the water needed to work and live in this arid region is, in part, beyond their control.

Sustainable Practices Are Part and Parcel of Emerging Developments

REAL ESTATE: Infill Projects Put Emphasis on Walking and Mass Transit

After a long economic drought, local residential and commercial developers are moving forward with green-minded projects geared to cutting energy use, reducing pollution-causing car trips, and averting sprawl by rehabilitating sites within established urban centers.

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Power Specialists Follow the Sun, Plus State and Federal Incentives

FINANCE: Leases and Grants Make Solar Energy A World Unto Its Own

MCA Housing Partners LLC, a Gardena-based affordable housing developer, is big on solar power generation systems.

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Algae Biofuels Must Soon Show They Can Make It on the Market

ENERGY: Competition For Investment, Grants Increases in the Industry

San Diego’s biggest players in the algal biofuel space have already proven that oil derived from algae can be used for fuel that works in the gas tanks of today’s cars, boats and jets. But there’s still a major question looming: Is it possible to produce this type of biofuel at a scale that makes it price-competitive with gas at the pump?

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Car Charging-Station Additions to Be Big Plus

ENERGY: Businesses, Federal Funding Help Expand Infrastructure

In coming months, San Diego County could see a dramatic acceleration in the growth of its electric-vehicle infrastructure

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Green Economy Generating Green for Law Firms

The green economy has produced more “green” for law firms, too.

Retailers Putting Plenty of Energy Into Greening Up Local Stores

Drugstore giant Walgreen Co. is among several national retailers that recently put San Diego County in the forefront of efforts to green-up their stores and operations.

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Nonprofit Profile: Ann Tartre

Ann Tartre is the executive director of the Equinox Center, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit policy, research and communications organization focused on how the San Diego region can achieve a more prosperous economy, healthy environment and outstanding quality of life for all its residents.

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Yeast Yields an Alternative Way To Make Chemicals for Industry

BIOTECH: Big Business Takes Note of Verdezyne; E. Coli Meets Its Rival

Many people think of yeast in terms of food and drink. With bread and other baked goods, it acts as a leavening agent, converting sugars into carbon dioxide and causing dough to rise. When used in the fermenting process for beer, wine and liquor, it converts sugars into alcohol.

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Groundbreaking: Math and Science Building at San Diego Mesa College

A new four-story building being built in the heart of the San Diego Mesa College campus that will house classrooms, laboratory space and offices for the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physical sciences.

Environmental Considerations Fuel Demand for Firms’ Work

GREEN: Consultants, Energy Suppliers Profit From Need for Change

Companies on the San Diego Business Journal’s Environmental Consultants list and Alternative Energy Suppliers list are holding down a respectable amount of work for some significant clients and in some cases are even expanding.

Signs Point to Success Here for Electric Vehicles

GREEN: Mild Climate, Good Infrastructure Give The Cars a Fine Start

There’s lots of talk in San Diego about the future of electric vehicles, especially since it is a city with a reputation for embracing all things green. The discussion often revolves around the countywide infrastructure of electrical-vehicle charging stations that’s in development, with at least 1,000 charging stations popping up in parking lots and along city streets by the end of the year and the potential for hundreds more.

Executive Profile: Frank Dudek

Frank Dudek is founder and president of the eponymously named Encinitas-based environmental and engineering services company: Dudek.

Navy Conserves Resources at Shore Bases

The U.S. Navy is making changes at its shore bases to conserve resources

Real Estate Roundup

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

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Sempra Expands Solar, Wind Power Portfolio

ENERGY: $3B Investment Strategy Helps Company Achieve Renewables Goals

When it comes to developing new sources of renewable energy, few companies can match Sempra Generation.

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Top Gunk: Algae Powered Planes a Possibility

DEFENSE: Industry Seeks Green Alternatives To Petroleum Products

Algae — humble, oily and green — might have a secret identity.

Smart Grid Promises Benefits of Coordinated Power Consumption

ENERGY: $3.5B Program Could Ultimately Save Money, Utility Maintains

San Diego may have more solar cells and electric vehicles per capita than any place in the country

Environmental Stewardship Is a Group Effort in San Diego

The San Diego Foundation’s newest environmental initiative, the Climate Initiative, was awarded a $75,000 grant from the Qualcomm Foundation.

Green Solutions Could Be Cure for Economic Blues

Clean-tech to the rescue? The Census Bureau issued a report on the poor health of very small businesses in the nation from 2007 to 2009

Create the Environment for Green Innovation

San Diego's green economy sector is strong, diverse and growing. Recent reports by Sandag and The San Diego Foundation have measured the sector’s recent job growth and the positive economic impacts to our local economy.

$1B Airport Project Leaves Positive Footprint on Local Economy

CONSTRUCTION: Renovation Creating 1,000 Jobs; $146.8M in Contracts Going to Area Firms

Airport officials say the $1 billion “Green Build,” the largest renovation project in the 80-year history of San Diego International Airport

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Clean-Tech Can Be Our Next Success Story

With our innovative culture and strong base of scientists and entrepreneurs, San Diego is naturally fertile ground for emerging business sectors.

Green Companies Making Powerful Impact, Right?

CLEAN-TECH: Estimated Numbers of Businesses, Employees Vary Greatly

The difficulty in figuring the size and impact of San Diego’s clean-tech industry on the overall local economy is exemplified in a recent local startup, ecoATM.

Clean-Tech Sector Is Growing Like Gangbusters

ECONOMY: Hundreds of Firms Seeking Financial Return On Eco-Friendly Practices

This entire issue of the San Diego Business Journal is devoted to the green economy. We call these occasional issues devoted to a single subject a blockbuster. Perhaps we should call this one a gangbuster.

SHOW US THE GREEN

ENERGY: Financial Incentives the Key to Making N. County A Clean-Tech Manufacturing Hub, Chief Executive Says

To make the CleanTech Corridor initiative — a plan to attract numerous clean-tech manufacturers to North County — a success, financial incentives are the key, according to the chief executive of a fast-growing solar energy company.

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Thursday, August 4

Leap Wireless Records $65.2M Net Loss

Leap Wireless International Inc., the flat-rate carrier providing service under the brand Cricket, reported a second quarter net loss of $65.2 million, compared with a net loss of $18.2 million for the like quarter of 2010, in an Aug. 3 announcement.

Geothermal Energy Takes Center Stage at Conference

The Geothermal Resources Council plans to hold its 35th annual meeting Oct. 23-26 at the Town and Country resort in Mission Valley’s Hotel Circle. The Geothermal Energy Association holds its trade show at the same time.

Tuesday, August 2

Silvergate's Net Income Grows, Expects Federal Investment

Silvergate Bank, based in San Diego and with four offices, reported second quarter net income of $771,000 compared with net income of $722,000 for the like quarter of 2010.

Monday, August 1

Realty Income Reports Revenue, Earnings Up in Q2

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp., which invests in retail and related commercial properties, posted revenue of $102.6 million for its second quarter ending June 30, up 24.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

Hughes Marino Buys Former Magazine Building for Headquarters

Local real estate brokerage and management firm Hughes Marino has purchased the downtown building that formerly housed San Diego Magazine for $1.8 million, and will convert it for use as its new headquarters.

Cal Community Starts Year Slightly Slower Than 2010

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with four branches, reported July 28 that it had second quarter net income of $212,000 compared with net income of $338,000 for the like quarter of 2010.

CareFusion and ResMed Strike Hospital Deal

Medical equipment makers ResMed Inc. and CareFusion Corp., two of San Diego County’s largest public companies, have entered into a five-year distribution agreement

Local Union Bank Division Keeps Competition at ARM’s Length

FINANCE: Business Dominates in Adjustable Rate Jumbo Mortgages

Home lending and buying are still well off from where they were in pre-Great Recession times, but business is going great guns at Union Bank.

Military Construction Projects Keep Firms Marching Off to Work

Troop Relocation and Infusion of Funds Spur Activity at Marine Base

Despite the billions of dollars of construction under way at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, including new maintenance and training facilities, a new hospital and thousands of new housing units, the extraordinary landscape of the 125,000-acre slice of northern San Diego County still looks like a park.

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Executive Profile: Jay Leopold

After more than 29 years in the construction business, Jay Leopold, regional manager for DPR Construction, says he is still inspired by the energy, creativity and excitement that come with every day.

Satellite Likely To Send ViaSat’s Sales Soaring

TECHNOLOGY: Launch Delayed; Firm Invests $1B in Sector

Although ViaSat Inc. had to delay the launch of its broadband satellite by a month, once the machine begins orbiting, the results should be worth the wait, said several analysts who cover the telecom equipment maker.

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Building on Their Reputations Keeps Architectural Firms Busy

Excelling in Various Niches Generates Additional Work

Several companies on the San Diego Business Journal’s Architectural Firms list have taken the economic downturn in stride and are forging ahead with an assortment of jobs.

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Building Blitz: Program Provides Program Provides

San Diego Habitat for Humanity is partnering with Swinerton Builders to construct two homes from the ground up in just five days

Will Your Dollars Do Better in the Stock Market or Invested ‘at Home’?

The fall of housing values over the past couple of years has spurred the debate over which is the better investment: stocks or housing?

A ‘Man of Steel’s’ Super Efforts Earn Him Nice Guy 2011 Title

The Nice Guys San Diego announced Ted Rossin as Nice Guy 2011 at a luncheon held July 13 at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.

DOING THEIR CIVIC DUTY

ARCHITECTURE: Public Projects Keep Some Firms Busy

With commercial building at a virtual standstill, civic projects such as the new $185 million, state-of-the-art central public library have become increasingly crucial to the livelihoods of Rob Wellington Quigley and other longtime local architectural firms.

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Office Market in a Jumble of Mixed Leasing and Acquisition Activity

REAL ESTATE: Vacancy Rates Declining Slightly; Landlords Offer Incentives

Halfway through 2011, CB Richard Ellis broker Jeb Bakke describes San Diego County’s office real estate story as “a tale of many different markets.”

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Firm Rises to Challenge of Jet Parts Orders

AEROSPACE: It Seeks Additional New Staff At Its Local Headquarters

Increased orders from some of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers have propelled rising employment at Goodrich Aerostructures in Chula Vista.

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INNOVATION: Company Frames Its Business Around Demand for Video

TECHNOLOGY: ICE Helps The Mobile Market Get Plenty of Good Views

Richard Stanfield and his company’s venture backers have a strong interest in how people consume video. Consumer preferences are changing.

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Real Estate Roundup

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

Seismic Retrofit to Be Done So as Not to Shake Up Hospital’s Routine

MEDICINE: Builder to Tackle Complicated Job Of Upgrading Facilities

San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare has taken a huge step in upgrading the infrastructure at one of its biggest and oldest hospitals to comply with statewide earthquake safety rules by awarding the $26 million design-build contract to Swinerton Inc., a construction company based in San Francisco.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

GA-ASI Works to Satisfy Demanding Customer

DEFENSE: Company Aims To Make Laser Weapon That Would Fit in Belly of Airplane

Make it smaller. Give it more power. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is facing demands that any technology company would recognize.

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Wells Fargo Still Leading the Way in Number of SBA Loans

Wells Fargo Bank continues to maintain a lead on a list of loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration in the San Diego region, according to the most recent report released by the SBA.

Structures Highlights Region’s Notable Construction Projects

Although the economic downturn has led to a decline in the number of construction projects locally and nationally, there are still some notable projects under way in San Diego County.

Synteract Recognizes Mandate to Work Globally

BIOTECH: Opportunities Expanding for Specialized Research; ‘A Poster Child’

Carlsbad-based Synteract Inc., a contract research organization that’s become one of the largest and fastest-growing

Care Went Into New Hospital’s Construction: Patient Care

Healing Environment, Adaptability to Change Are Built-In Features

Much of the thinking behind the $956 million Palomar Medical Center West, under construction in western Escondido, is geared to blending in with the green rolling hillsides from which the hospital can be seen towering for miles around.

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String of Pearls Strategy Leads Big Pharma To Small Firm

BIOTECH: Bristol-Myers Squibb to Acquire Amira For as Much as $475M

Local drug discovery firm Amira Pharmaceuticals Inc., formed in 2005 by a team of Merck & Co. Inc. scientists, soon will be acquired by publicly held Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in a deal valued at as much as $475 million.

Sizable Industrial Leasings a Bright Spot Among Rising Vacancies

REAL ESTATE: Economic Uncertainty Grips Firms Wavering About Moves

The second quarter of 2011 saw some sizable local industrial leasings by companies ranging from dairy products maker Glanbia Plc and electric car maker Aptera Motors Inc., to biotech manufacturing products provider Biotix Inc. and energy drink seller Red Bull Distribution Co.

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Security Is Key Component in Building Federal Courthouse

New 16-Story Tower Is Built to Survive in A Dangerous World

The ever-present threat of domestic terrorist attacks is having a big impact on the design and construction of new public buildings, especially those structures where security is a most important consideration.

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