Stories for July 2013
Wednesday, July 31
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. has acquired two San Diego antibiotics makers — Trius Therapeutics Inc. and Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. — in a deal that could be worth up to $1.62 billion.
Qualcomm Inc. has taken a small stake in the French-based communications gear producer Alcatel-Lucent.
Business Park Drive Holdings LLC, a Maryland limited liability company, has purchased a Vista retail center out of foreclosure proceedings for $8.5 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.
Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received a $2 million milestone payment from British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc related to the advancement of its drug that treats patients with familial amyloid polyneuropathy, a rare genetic disease.
The local airport’s first spa, along with a new The Sharper Image store, are among four new businesses scheduled to open July 31 at San Diego International Airport.
An index measuring San Diego’s economy increased by a tenth of 1 percent in June, with three of its six components showing gains.
August 9 is “Coworking Day,” a growing trend which is celebrated around the globe.
Tuesday, July 30
San Diego’s aTyr Pharma Inc. has secured $59 million in funding — $49 million from venture sources and $10 million in debt financing. Investors in the equity financing include Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates and Polaris Partners.
Maryland-based ASB Real Estate Investments has acquired three adjacent retail buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter for $15.25 million.
Northrop Grumman announced on July 29 that it delivered its 100th avionics system for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
Hera Hub, a shared workspace community of several hundred like-minded entrepreneurial women, announces the launch of the third ‘coworking’ space in Carlsbad at 5205 Avenida Encinas. The other two locations are in Sorrento and Mission Valley.
Palomar Health has teamed up with Qualcomm Life Inc. to launch Glassomics, an incubator and innovation lab that will explore incorporating wearable computing devices in medicine. This includes using technology like Google Glass, a representative from Palomar said.
Poway Plaza, operated by StepStone Real Estate Services of San Diego, has completed a $3.5 million renovation, as it adds new tenants Michaels and Grocery Outlet.
Lindbergh Field’s $1 billion Green Build expansion and renovation at Terminal 2, which will be officially completed Aug. 13, benefited not only the major contractors, but hundreds of local and smaller businesses used as subcontractors, says the San Diego Country Regional Airport Authority.
San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister says his office has about $300,000 in unclaimed cash he wants to return to its rightful owners. He’s notifying those who may among the group to claim the money by Sept. 23 or it will revert to the county.
Monday, July 29
Neighborhood Healthcare, a community clinic network that operates in 10 locations in the San Diego metro area and Riverside, said it is expanding its services by opening a new health center in Escondido.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced the first flight of an improved, Predator-style remotely piloted aircraft for the U.S. Army market.
Callaway Golf Co., the Carlsbad maker of clubs, reported second quarter net profit of $10 million on sales of $250 million.
San Diego Gas & Electric announced it has given UC San Diego $7.2 million that represents energy efficiency incentives that it earned by implementing 30 energy efficiency projects between 2010 and 2012.
Women’s fashion boutique retailer Eccoci plans to open its first California store on July 29, at Viejas Outlets in Alpine.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to open its fourth San Diego County location of Walmart Neighborhood Market early next year on Mission Avenue in Oceanside.
Vibra Bank, with a single office in Chula Vista, reported unaudited second quarter net income of $61,000, compared with net income of $207,000 for the like quarter of 2012.
The San Diego Tourism Authority, the region’s primary tourism promotion agency, has announced the layoff of 31 people, effective July 30. The move stems from legal issues related to disbursement of funds from a Tourism Marketing District that supplies the bulk of the Tourism Authority’s operating budget.
Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of July 29 - Aug. 4
The Business of Law
Susan Hack, partner at Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP, was presented with the prestigious Daniel T. Broderick III Award at the 29th Annual Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers’ Celebration last Friday. The award is given to a lawyer in private practice with a substantial body of civil litigation experience, who epitomizes the highest principles of civility, integrity and professionalism. Hack joined Higgs in 1989 and became a partner in 1996.
Real Estate Column
Carlsbad is about to see more growth in its hotel count. The city’s Planning Commission has cleared the way for two new hotels proposed near McClellan-Palomar Airport, with a total of 239 rooms.
The need for medical care for veterans through the Veterans Administration has never been greater, and the strains on the VA never more acute. As the VA pushes to get more veterans into the system faster, the issue becomes one of staffing. Is the current staffing at the VA medical centers adequate to provide quality medical care and treatment to the increase in veterans needing medical care? If not, veterans face inadequate medical care and treatment, and the VA faces an increase in medical malpractice claims.
As U.S. Navy personnel point out, it is important to train like you fight. In the Navy’s case, they have a unique training facility to practice what they preach: San Clemente Island. The island is at the heart of a vast naval training complex that represents the Navy’s only remaining ship-to-shore live firing range. The entire San Clemente Island Range Complex, as it is formally known, covers an area of more than 2,600 square miles.
Phil’s BBQ and Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County raised more than $77,000 at the 5th Annual Phil’s Big BBQ at the Ballpark recently. Phil’s BBQ donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Operation Bigs, a mentoring program for children with a deployable parent in the military.
Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County
McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. has begun construction of the new 74,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center at Grossmont Hospital, located at 5555 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa.
Jay Alexander is managing director and market lead for the San Diego office of Jones Lang LaSalle. Alexander provides leadership and guidance for the local team and is one of the leading landlord representation brokers in San Diego, with approximately 4.7 million square feet of active listings. He has completed 3,000+ transactions in his career, valued at approximately $1.5 billion.
ARCHITECTURE: Many Firms Have Rich History In Defining the Region
As the economy continues its rebound from the long recession and the pace of construction quickens, some of the San Diego region’s architecture firms are seeing a surge in activity.
PROPERTY: Submarket Successes Help Boost Other Areas of the County
Steady job growth and rising demand for industrial and office space — amid sparse new construction — continued to fill San Diego County’s existing commercial buildings as the market reached the halfway point of 2013.
Kurt Chilcott, president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance, is being mentioned as a possible successor to SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
Sports Biz: Bowl Organizers Search for Replacement Sponsor
The Holiday Bowl, a mainstay of the post-college football season since 1978, is without a title sponsor after former sponsor Bridgepoint Education Inc. decided not to continue its relationship.
TECH: Defense Doesn’t Zap Power; ‘Zero-Day’ Threats Can Be Identified
FatSkunk Inc. wants to outfox a type of software that is growing more common and dangerous. The business has Silicon Valley roots, talent from the local wireless industry, and space at a downtown San Diego incubator.
DEFENSE: Local Firms Have Stake in Development of Fighter
Building the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft has been an odyssey for prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The program, which has had more twists and turns than a road crossing the Alps, might finally be on level ground.
GOVERNMENT: New Efforts Will Address State’s Competition for Business
Local commercial brokers anticipate a rise in leasing and related activity in coming months, as companies currently making use of job-creation tax credits in the California Enterprise Zone program aim to earn their last benefits before the program is officially terminated on Jan. 1, 2014.
Well, looks like I I missed this final tidbit involving the annual San Diego Venture Summit held July 11, which featured more than 100 venture capitalists. A 41-foot sailboat owned by yacht retailer Rick Day — he’s also a San Diego-based limited partner in local boutique venture capital firm Moore Venture Partners — took first place in the inaugural VC Regatta held on San Diego Bay following the summit.
APPAREL: Boot Maker Fashions Efforts to Take Company to Next Level
Jane Pak’s office is an exercise in minimalism. A desk, a computer, little else. But the president of San Diego’s Old Gringo Boots Inc. has a few items on display that catch the eye — several shelves of bedazzled, gem-colored boots and her company’s credo hanging in plain view: “The Cowboy Code.”
PROPERTY: More Than $1B May Go Into Huge Development
It’s been in the works for the past 10 years. But local development firm Urban Villages San Marcos now aims to capitalize on a recovering real estate market as it moves forward with North City, a 200-acre mixed-use project expected to entail more than $1 billion in development over the next decade.
FINANCE: Better Secondary Market, Pricing Spur Increase
San Diego lenders say borrowers seeking jumbo mortgages have more options this year despite a spike in average mortgage interest rates recently.
TECH: $5.7M in New Funding To Help MicroPower Expand
MicroPower Technologies Inc., a provider of wireless, solar-powered surveillance systems, said it closed on a $5.7 million second round of equity financing, which it plans to use for further product development, sales and marketing.
Friday, July 26
AUTO: Some Car Dealers Say Customer Connection Is Lost
Dell does it. So how about automakers? Tesla Motors Inc. takes a factory-direct approach to selling its novel, high-end electric cars.
MaxLinear Inc., the Carlsbad-based electronics manufacturer, said recently that Samsung will start using its hybrid silicon tuners in its televisions.
San Diego-based Skylight Healthcare Systems Inc., a maker of devices and software that help involve patients in their treatment during hospital stays, announced it has received a $10 million loan from GE Capital’s Healthcare Financial Services.
Realty Income Corp. reported record results for its second quarter ending June 30, with revenue up 63 percent and adjusted funds from operations rising 73.8 percent from the year-ago period.
San Diego’s Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. received an upfront payment of $2 million for granting Taiwan-based CY Biotech Company Ltd. exclusive rights to market and distribute its anti-obesity drug, Belviq, in Taiwan.
Shares of Qualcomm Inc. shot up nearly 3 percent in trading on the Nasdaq exchange July 25 to above $63 after the mobile chip maker reported better than expected third quarter results.
The average mortgage balance in San Diego in the second quarter was $258,548, making it the third highest city in the country in a ranking compiled by Manilla.com, a Hearst-owned account management service.
Thursday, July 25
Encore Capital Group Inc., a San Diego-based buyer and collector of defaulted credit card debt, said it completed a private placement of $172.5 million of convertible senior notes that pay 3 percent.
San Diego health care giant Scripps Health announced it has closed escrow on the former San Diego Hospice hospital and eight-acre property in Hillcrest, and now officially owns the property. It purchased the hospital at auction in federal bankruptcy court for $16.55 million in April.
Shares for San Diego-based genetic sequencing giant Illumina Inc. rose 11 percent following the company’s announcement that it has seen better-than-expected quarterly growth.
A health care property that formerly housed Alvarado Convalescent & Rehabilitation Hospital, in the city’s college area submarket, has been sold for approximately $17.2 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.
ForwardMetrics Corp., an Encinitas-based firm that makes cloud-based software which helps planners and consultants do a better job of formulating and implementing organizational plans, said it received $1 million in new equity investment from two unnamed individuals.
Molten Games of San Diego said on July 24 that it received a multimillion-dollar round of Series A funding led by South Korea-based NCSoft Inc. The exact amount of funding was not disclosed.
Wednesday, July 24
Coronado-based R3 Strategic Support Group Inc. said it received a U.S. Air Force contract that could potentially be worth $55 million over five years.
Andaz San Diego has completed the first phase of a $1 million renovation of the hotel’s lobby and entertainment spaces.
BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair recently received a $38.6 million contract for work on the destroyer USS Benfold.
The Carlsbad Planning Commission has approved plans for two hotels, with a total of 239 rooms, planned for a site near McClellan-Palomar Airport.
San Diego’s median housing price in June rose nearly 8 percent to $416,500, or $500 below the level designated for a jumbo mortgage, according to the most recent Dataquick housing market report.
Tuesday, July 23
Connect CEO Duane J. Roth is being treated at UC San Diego for a brain injury that occurred during a biking accident Sunday near Lake Cuyamaca.
Northrop Grumman has delivered the first of its bigger, better Fire Scouts.
The San Diego-based Biotech Investment Group LLC announced it has launched a new subsidiary, Formex LLC, after completing a purchase of the assets of contract manufacturing organization PharmaForm.
Life Technologies Corp. has filed a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its acquisition by Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. It has set a special stockholder meeting August 21 at the company's Carlsbad headquarters to discuss the acquisition.
A U.S. Navy communications satellite recently launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., contains structures built in San Diego by Alliant Techsystems Inc.
An index measuring economic activity for California was flat in May, declining by 0.01 percent from its April level.
South County EDC Announces New Chairman, Launches Survey as Part of Developing 5-Year Strategic Plan
Scott Parker, chief executive officer at Vibra Bank in Chula Vista, was named the new board chairman of the South County Economic Development Council.
Monday, July 22
San Diego Gas & Electric donated $800,000 through its Emergency Preparedness and Safety Initiative to support safety partners and emergency responders including 2-1-1 San Diego, The American Red Cross, Burn Institute, local fire departments, San Diego Police Foundation, Tribal CERTS and the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation.
Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County
Hotel Vyvant, a 23-room boutique hotel at 505 W. Grape St. in downtown San Diego, has been sold for $2.2 million, according to a statement from brokerage firm NAI San Diego, which represented the seller.
General Ledger Resources is a regional human capital consultancy focused in the finance and accounting vertical. Founded by two San Diego entrepreneurs, Anthony Thornburg and Jeffrey Litteken in May 2003, General Ledger Resources has evolved from a local staffing firm into a growth oriented business with a regional scope. The firm opened its first office in San Diego in 2003 and has been recognized on multiple occasions as one of the fastest growing human capital firms in the U.S. It has enjoyed 10 years as an independent company and operates offices in San Diego and Orange County.
WORKFORCE: Military Experience Can Translate Into Needed Job Skills
In the battle to help workers land jobs that are worthy of their skills and experience, advocates for the nation’s military veterans face a special challenge.
WORKFORCE: Staffing Agencies, Employers See A Hot Job Market for Some n By EMMET PIERCE Unemployment rates remain high as the nation continues its slow climb out of the recession, but there are many
Unemployment rates remain high as the nation continues its slow climb out of the recession, but there are many positions in the San Diego region for which workers have remained in high demand.
INSURANCE: Aetna, United HealthCare Avoid Risks of That Coverage
The upshot of insurers such as Aetna Inc. and United HealthCare Services Inc. dropping out of California’s individual market is that it will have a minimal impact on businesses and their employees’ coverage, said Linda Keller, benefits practice leader for the California operations of brokerage Hub International Ltd.
There’s a lot of snake oil in stem cells. That’s according to Larry Goldstein, director of UC San Diego’s Stem Cell Program. He recently spoke of the dark side of human stem cell development at a California Healthcare Institute symposium at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, citing a recent controversy in Italy involving a company of dubious repute claiming it can cure fatal disorders with its stem cell therapies.
Mission Federal Credit Union acquired Autoland Inc., a credit union service organization, from the National Credit Union Administration, the industry’s regulator, which took over the business after former owner Telesis Community Credit Union failed last year.
PROPERTY: Altana Project Will Offer 45 Detached Homes
Cautiously optimistic about an improving housing climate, San Diego-based developer Sudberry Properties recently broke ground on West Park, a 612-unit luxury apartment complex in its growing Civita mixed-use development in Mission Valley.
TECH: Mirasol Display’s Energy-Use and Lighting Well-Suited for the Device
A photo of a wristwatch with a 1.5-inch Mirasol display has technology bloggers abuzz. Mirasol is part of Qualcomm Inc. And those bloggers are speculating that Qualcomm is working on a smart watch.
FUNDING: Crowdsourcing Website Enables Individuals To Help Launch New Ideas
Startup fundraising is always challenging, yet some local companies and organizations are finding positive results from Kickstarter Inc., the nation’s top crowdfunding website.
INDUSTRY: Companies, Do-It-Yourselfers Find a Well-Equipped Workspace
The businessmen behind San Diego-based MakerPlace have already established that they can open a community workshop with a variety of industrial tools, sell monthly memberships to the do-it-yourself crowd, and keep the lights on.
SCHOOL: Midwest Move Was an Option if Efforts By Bridgepoint Had Failed
Bridgepoint Education’s gaining accreditation for its Ashford University subsidiary was good news for the for-profit, online business, its staff and students, but it was also a relief to the San Diego region.
PROPERTY: ROIC Pursues West Coast, Grocery-Anchored Sites
San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., also known as ROIC, is continuing a shopping spree that began last year, when it shifted its focus entirely to the West Coast in search of retail center acquisitions.
Sorrento Valley-based Vision Robotics Corp. is mentioned in a recent Associated Press story as part of the ongoing revolution in the use of robots to work the country’s orchards and farms. The ag-tech business is perfecting a robotic lettuce thinner, which can also be used in vineyards that produce wine grapes.
MEDICINE: Palomar Says Medi-Cal Changes to Blame
Palomar Health will close its Escondido-based skilled nursing center, saying that Medi-Cal cutbacks have rendered the 96-bed facility too costly to maintain for the financially beleaguered health system.
TELECOM: Leap’s Stock Is Up; Some Say Bid Is too High
Investors continue supporting the proposed sale of San Diego-based Leap Wireless International Inc. to AT&T last week, pushing up the prepaid cellphone provider’s stock more than $2 above the $15 cash offer price.
PROPERTY: Proposed Changes Seen as Threat to Industrial Work
The ship repair business, including the big yards run by BAE Systems, Continental Maritime and General Dynamics Nassco, looms large in Barrio Logan.
DEFENSE: Firm Is Submitting Proposals; 17 Ships Could Be Built
San Diego-based General Dynamics Nassco has jumped into the competition to build a series of refueling ships — as many as 17 — for the U.S. Navy.
TRAVEL: Some San Diego Favorites Land in Airport’s New Concession Lineup
The prospect of holiday traffic is now a much bigger deal for people like gourmet chocolate seller Jerry Swain. “In retail, chocolate sales tend to be very seasonal,” said Swain, founder and CEO of Jer’s Chocolates in Solana Beach. “But with a location like the San Diego airport, we should be getting a good stream of foot traffic throughout this summer and most of the year.”
The U.S. Navy recently awarded ITT Exelis a $22.1 million modification to a previously awarded contract.
San Diego-based pharmaceutical company Lithera Inc. announced it has raised an additional $6.7 million in equity capital, bringing its Series C funding round to $27.3 million.
Sorrento Mesa-based Yapert recently said that it received $1.2 million in seed funding for its business supplying content to mobile devices.
San Diego’s unemployment rate increased in June to 7.3 percent, up from 6.8 percent in May, but below the year-ago June rate of 9.3 percent, according to the California Employment Development Department.
Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc., a San Diego-based operator of two fish farms in Mexico and Croatia, said it entered into a new credit agreement for about $10.4 million for its Kali Tuna subsidiary in Croatia.
San Diego-based URBN Restaurants Inc., which operates four local restaurants including Basic Urban Kitchen + Bar in East Village, plans to open a new dual-concept craft brewery and pizza restaurant in El Cajon.
The San Diego Business Journal will hold a panel discussion on Technology Transforming Business: Telemedicine on Thursday, July 25.
Business events in and around San Diego County for the week of July 22- July 28.
Friday, July 19
The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego has completed a $100 million renovation involving all of the hotel’s 1,625 guest rooms, as well as public spaces.
San Diego-based Solulink Inc. has announced a new round of equity financing, but has not disclosed the price. It said that the new round will help the company accelerate the commercialization of its Hybrilink antibody-labeling technology.
San Diego-based Instant Imprints, which operates mostly franchised stores selling corporate and organizational promotional products and services, has reached an agreement with an Orange County franchisee to extend the brand to that region.
Cardium Therapeutics has announced a 1-for-20 reverse split of the company’s issued and outstanding common stock.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has opened its first small-format Walmart Neighborhood Market in the city of San Diego, at 2121 Imperial Avenue.
Figtree Energy Financing, a San Diego based clean energy finance business, said it issued the largest, nonsubsidized bond in the history of a state renewable energy program called Property Assessed Clean Energy.
Thursday, July 18
One week after Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel resigned, the baseball franchise announced his replacement — Mike Dee, a former Padres executive.
Rancho Bernardo-based On-Ramp Wireless, which makes wireless monitoring gear for the electrical distribution industry, said it brought in an additional $15 million in venture capital.
Commercial real estate services firm Cassidy Turley San Diego has acquired San Diego Project Management Services, a local firm led by industry veteran Ron Sutliff.
La Jolla-based Regulus Therapeutics Inc. has announced the pricing of a public offering of 4.5 million shares of its common stock at $9.50 per share. The company expects gross proceeds of $42.8 million.
Qualcomm Inc. announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per common share, payable on Sept. 25 to stockholders of record at the close of business Sept. 4.
A drug from La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. has received orphan status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company announced.
Wednesday, July 17
San Diego-based CyberFlow Analytics Inc. said it received $2 million in seed funding from Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.
Carlsbad-based Sealand Natural Resources Inc. has announced a distribution agreement with Brea-based Nature’s Best Inc., the country’s largest private wholesaler of health and natural food products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Carlsbad-based diagnostic test maker Qualigen Inc. announced that it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for its FastPack Vitamin D Immunoassay, which can rapidly detect levels of the key vitamin in a patient’s bloodstream.
Select Comfort Corp., which makes and sells high-tech adjustable beds and related products, plans to open the fourth San Diego County location of its Sleep Number stores on July 26 in Santee.
A new biotechnology incubator called Bio, Tech and Beyond opened last week in Carlsbad.
Kabe Exploration Inc., a San Diego oil and gas exploration company, said it received a tender offer from International Equity Partners Oil & Gas to acquire all of Kabe’s common shares in a two-for-one share exchange.
The College of Business Administration at San Diego State University has named Dawn R. Eisenberg as the new director of the college’s Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate.
Tuesday, July 16
The San Diego-based privately held Ocera Therapeutics Inc. has merged with Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Tranzyme Pharma, a public company. The combined company, called Ocera Therapeutics Inc., is public and will trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol OCRX beginning July 16.
Pricesmart Inc., the San Diego operator of club warehouse stores in the Caribbean and Central America, reported third quarter net income of $18.5 million, up 18 percent from the like quarter of 2012.
A Rancho Bernardo office building known as The Bluffs has been sold for $18 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.
StarPoint Advantage, a San Diego-based information technology services firm, said recently that it has acquired the assets and clients of a San Diego IT services firm, Balti Group Consulting, for undisclosed terms.
Mayor Bob Filner appointed Walt Ekard, the retired San Diego County chief administrative officer, as the city’s interim chief operating officer.
Focus Real Estate LP of Costa Mesa has purchased an industrial building at Palomar Airport Business Park in Carlsbad for approximately $4.8 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.
San Diego Community College District is refunding some general obligation bonds issued in 2007 in a process that should save property owners within the district an estimated $2 million on their tax bills, the district said.
The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego has named Albert P. Pisano as its dean.
Monday, July 15
Leap Wireless International, the San Diego flat-rate wireless carrier doing business under Cricket, said it’s agreed to be acquired by AT&T for $15 a share, or nearly $1.2 billion.
An affiliate of La Jolla-based Paragon Real Estate Fund has purchased the Coronado Plaza retail complex in Coronado for $21.5 million.
One Industries, a San Diego-based maker of protective gear, helmets and other items for motocross and mountain bicycle riders, said it was acquired by Transom Capital Group, a Los Angeles private equity firm, for an undisclosed price.
HP Investors LLC of San Diego has purchased the Gaslamp Quarter building that houses the Buca di Beppo restaurant for $5.7 million. The 9,872-square-foot building is at 705 Sixth Ave.
San Diego is the world’s second-most innovative city, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., also known as ROIC, has recently maintained a steady stream of shopping center acquisitions since officially moving its corporate headquarters to San Diego last year. The REAL ESTATE Column by Lou Hirsh
MARKETING: Digitaria’s Talent, Technology Meet the Challenges of a New Market
Digitaria employs more than 130 people in San Diego, and it wades deep into the world of advertising and digital media.
PROPERTY: Industry Growth Expected to Continue for Years
Work space is filling up quickly at Port Brewing Co. and sister craft-brewer The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, which since 2006 have seen their physical operations grow from 7,500 to 40,000 square feet.
AUTO: Ford Exports, Fiat Imports Add to Firm’s Growth
Pasha Automotive Services, which ships cars mainly from Asia to a marine terminal in National City, will be moving vehicles in the other direction, shipping Fords to Japan.
BIOTECH: Organovo Sees Big Market for Liver Tissue
Organovo Holdings Inc. has achieved another major milestone in its path toward commercialization — it’s off the OTC market and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
TOURISM: Event Brings Wealth of Opportunities
San Diego Convention Center officials estimate that Comic-Con International, the venue’s biggest single event of the year, generates $175.4 million for the local region’s economy.
FINANCE: It Plans to Serve ‘Underbanked’ Population This Year
Global Analytics knows there’s plenty of opportunity among the vast numbers of folks who shun traditional credit sources.
PROPERTY: Designs Are Being Finalized For Coastal Property
Developers and Imperial Beach planners are looking to turn two underutilized warehouse properties into a buzzing commercial hub catering to South County outdoor enthusiasts already making use of the 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway.
CoreLogic, an Irvine-based residential and property information and analytics business, said it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase three entities
HEALTH: Diagnostic Seen as Potentially Useful Tool in High Risk Groups
Nearly a quarter of all cases of autism could be detected with a simple blood test, according to San Diego-based Pediatric Bioscience Inc.
TECH: Platform Gathers Key Data and Connects With Customers
Companies both large and small are trying to make sense of mobile technology, but some are way ahead of the game.
The Business of Law
Five Allen Matkins partners are leaving the San Diego office to establish their own firm, in The Business of Law column by Randy Frisch
NEWS IN BRIEF
Breaking news from www.sdbj.com
Although it took a while, more lenders are loosening their purse strings, and making more small business loans. FINANCE Column by Mike Allen
Paul Bernstein, M.D., FACS, is the area medical director for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego
KUDOS / GIVING
Joan and Irwin Jacobs are committing to a $10 million matching gift for the San Diego Public Library Foundation... in the KUDOS/GIVING Column by Emily Pippin
HEALTH: Telemedicine Targets the Inefficiencies Of Health Care Delivery
SPECIAL REPORT - TELEMEDICINE: The overcrowding of emergency departments has long been a major driver of the nation’s health care cost crisis.
Saturday, July 13
French company Soitec Solar Development LLC has completed the construction of its Newberry Solar 1 power plant in San Bernardino County.
Friday, July 12
Shares of Bridgepoint Education Inc. were up 20 percent July 11 to $15.12 on the New York Stock Exchange following news the day before that one of the San Diego company’s academic units Ashford University was granted accreditation for five years by the Western Association of Schools and College.
San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. has purchased a 69,325-square-foot shopping center in Livermore for $17.5 million.
Concord-based retailer Beverages & More Inc. plans to open its 13th San Diego County location of BevMo! on July 26, at 5644 Mission Center Road, in San Diego. The 9,813-square-foot store will also be the company’s second location in Mission Valley.
Taylor Morrison Homes of California LLC has acquired 29 finished estate lots in Rancho Santa Fe for approximately $10.2 million. The lots are in Montagna, a residential development located within the master planned community of Cielo.
San Diego-based Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced it will price its IPO at $10 to $12 per share, after filing its $69 million IPO last month.
San Diego-based skincare product developer Senté Inc. has appointed a new chief executive. Michael York will serve as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors.
Thursday, July 11
ViaCyte Inc. announced it has raised $10.6 million in private financing to support the clinical development of its artificial pancreas, which could treat type 1 diabetes.
An unmanned aircraft engineered in San Diego by Northrop Grumman made a historic first carrier landing July 10 off the coast of Virginia.
Education services provider Kaplan International North America and upscale Brazilian-style steakhouse Fogo de Chao will be occupying the former Borders Books & Music building in the Gaslamp Quarter by the end of summer.
The Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investor group in the nation with a chapter in San Diego, said it’s accepting applications for its upcoming Quick Pitch competition Sept. 26.
The J. Craig Venter Institute, a La Jolla-based not-for-profit genomic research organization, announced that one of its scientists has been awarded a $5 million grant to continue her research into new wastewater treatment technologies.
Wednesday, July 10
Tom Garfinkel, the San Diego Padres president and CEO, resigned from the job and was replaced by Executive Chairman Ron Fowler, who will serve until a permanent replacement is found, the Padres said.
WD-40 Co., the San Diego maker of the all-purpose lubricant and other household products, reported fiscal third quarter net income of $10.3 million, up 12 percent from the like period of 2012.
Hotel Vyvant, a 23-room boutique hotel at 505 W. Grape St. in downtown San Diego, has been sold for $2.2 million, according to a statement from brokerage firm NAI San Diego, which represented the seller.
Shares for Organovo Holdings Inc. spiked 26 percent after the company announced it has been approved to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange beginning July 11.
Irvine Co.’s 101 W. Broadway office tower in downtown San Diego was among 14 U.S. buildings honored by BOMA International, in its annual The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) awards competition.
Nominations are now open for the San Diego Business Journal’s 20th Annual Women Who Mean Business Awards.
Tuesday, July 9
San Diego-based General Dynamics Nassco and two other U.S. shipbuilders will receive U.S. Navy contracts to do preliminary design work on a new class of fleet replenishment oilers.
Developer OliverMcMillan of San Diego has sold a three-property East Village multifamily portfolio known as The Lofts, with a total of 460 residential units and 23,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Indyme Solutions, a San Diego designer and maker of emergency response systems for the retail industry, said its technology was integrated with Alert Systems detection systems to detect when a “booster bag” enters stores.
The New York Genome Center will purchase the Irys System from San Diego’s BioNano Genomics Inc., as part of what the companies call a strategic partnership. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Local Coaster train travelers will soon be able to purchase paperless tickets on their smartphones, via a new mobile app available for free downloads on Android devices starting July 15.
The median priced home in San Diego County rose 3 percent in June from the previous month to $481,000, according to the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.
Monday, July 8
CoreLogic, an Irvine-based residential and property information and analytics business, said it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase three entities — Marshall & Swift/Boeckh; Dataquick Information Systems; and the credit and flood services operation of Dataquick Lender Solutions — from the Decision Insight Information Group in a deal valued at $661 million.
Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. will receive a contract modification worth $166.3 million on a communication system for the U.S. military, the Defense Department announced.
San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., also known as ROIC, has purchased Hawthorne Crossings, a retail center in Kearny Mesa, for $41.5 million, according to CoStar Group.
Amanpur Investments LLC of South El Monte has purchased the hospitality property that includes Pacific Best Value Inn of Oceanside for $3.4 million, according to CoStar Group.
RF Industries Ltd., the San Diego designer and maker of coaxial and custom cable assemblies, said it joined the Russell Microcap Index.
Quake Global Inc., a San Diego manufacturer of machine-to-machine devices for satellite and terrestrial networks, is opening an Asia sales office in Tokyo.
Monday’s edition of the San Diego Business Journal will feature an insider’s look at some of the breaking issues in the world of Intellectual Property.
The American Heart Association’s 2013 San Diego Heart Beach Ball raised more than $600,000. The event, held at the Hotel del Coronado, featured local philanthropist Darlene M. Shiley as the keynote speaker.
HOSPITALITY: Planned Downtown Site Is 22-Stories
JR Legacy Holdings LLC has plans for a $65 million, 410-room hotel in downtown San Diego’s Columbia neighborhood, which some observers see as a sign of a continued thawing in financing prospects for large new hospitality projects.
RETAIL: Store Arrives With an Entourage Of Other Businesses
Like the local population it aims to serve, specialty grocer Zion Market was growing at a fast pace and needed a bigger space to operate.
AIRCRAFT: Firm Eyes Sales Abroad, Civilian Uses
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. said recently that it plans to develop a new version of its Predator B remotely piloted aircraft.
BUSINESS: Women Owners, Execs Succeed In Leadership Roles
Thirty years ago, Celia Hunter was one of only two women majoring in construction management at Oklahoma State University. She is now the founding CEO of a San Diego construction management firm, Hunter Pacific Group, which employs 28 and has had contracts ranging up to $1.3 billion.
ENERGY: Green Box’s Software Brings Reports, Sustainability Into Focus
A San Diego company is looking to do for building-related energy data processing what Intuit Inc.’s TurboTax did for those who hate slogging through complicated paperwork to file their tax returns.
ENERGY: Firm Expects to Get $1M in Federal Funds For Fuel Rod Work
The U.S. Department of Energy said recently that General Atomics will receive federal funds to develop advanced nuclear reactor technology.
BIOTECH: Allylix Is in Position to Prosper From Demand for Flavors
Business opportunity can come in some unwelcome ways. Citrus greening — a devastating worldwide disease for crops like oranges, grapefruits and limes — may prove beneficial for a San Diego developer of fragrance and flavoring agents.
“Blue economy,” “aqua economy,” “blue-tech,” maritime industry, export initiatives: You probably hear one or more of these on a regular basis. With so much recent interest in our working waterfront, it seems like we are just “discovering” our port’s enormous economic development potential.
SDA Security is one of the leading safety and security providers in Southern California. Family owned and locally operated since 1930, SDA is a full-service shop which offers advanced burglary and intrusion detection, fire and environmental monitoring.
RESEARCH: Firm Expects to Grow 35% This Year
It started as a door to door solo mission. In 1977, Roseanne Luth would walk from house to house, asking homeowners to fill out product surveys, organizing church assemblies to do focus group taste testing —tapping into the consumer’s psyche to learn what beer or detergent or radio station the market liked best.
Banker salaries in California increased again last year, but the pay was much better at the biggest banks.
News and notes from communities around San Diego County
Germany-based Kontron, which has its U.S. office in Poway, said it has introduced its StarVX high-performance embedded computer.
Announcing positive clinical data can have a critical effect on a biotech’s stock value — as evidenced recently Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
FINANCE: Valuable Connections and Funds Can Be Found at Event
epreneurs arrives July 12. Indeed, the networking will be at full speed when more than 100 venture capitalists nationwide join 400-plus other attendees for the annual “venture summit” at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
TECH: Data Speeds Said to Be Double the Usual 4G LTE Speeds
San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. said recently that its Snapdragon processors will power smartphones on some of the fastest commercial wireless networks in the world.
HEALTH: The Two Are Planning Ways to Partner in Patient Care
Oceanside’s Tri-City Healthcare District has taken a small, but significant step to bolster its position in North County’s increasingly competitive landscape for hospital patients.
Kevin Kinsella, founder of La Jolla-based venture capital firm Avalon Ventures and arguably one of the San Diego’s most successful VCs, especially in the biotech arena, has been spending a lot of time of late at his Kinsella Estates Winery in Sonoma County directing the bottling of 600 cases of cabernet grapes harvested from his vineyards in 2011.
AUTO: Dealerships, City See Pluses in Forming Trade Group
El Cajon’s car dealers are forming a new trade group aimed at boosting the profile and fortunes of all 12 dealers through mutual sales events and advertising.
ENERGY: UCSD Project Blends Collection and Storage
In a proverbial ‘build a better mousetrap’ maneuver, two San Diego companies are joining forces in a demonstration project to create a more efficient solar energy system.
Friday, July 5
Encore Capital Group Inc., the San Diego collector of charged off credit card debt, said it closed the acquisition of the controlling equity stake in Cabot Credit Management Ltd. for $177 million.
The La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the company’s Investigational New Drug application for patients with a rare life-threatening form of kidney failure.
The San Diego Association of Governments, the regional transportation planning agency, said reducing tolls on the state Route 125 toll road from Lemon Grove to the international border is working.
San Diego-based ATA Engineering has received the 2012 George M. Low Award from NASA. The prestigious award distinguishes contractors for their exemplary technical and managerial performance.
San Diego businesses have another year to go before they’re mandated by the Affordable Care Act to provide their employees with health insurance, the Obama administration announced July 2.
The Grand Del Mar resort in Carmel Valley recently ranked fourth overall, and first among California properties, in the latest annual global ranking of luxury resorts by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Orange County-based Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar recently opened its first San Diego County restaurant in Mission Valley.
Wednesday, July 3
EcoATM, the San Diego business that operates automated kiosks that recycle unwanted electronic devices, was acquired by Bellevue, Wash.-based Outerwall, formerly known as Coinstar, for $350 million in cash, the companies said.
San Diego-based investment firm Excel Trust Inc. has purchased Stadium Center Shopping Center, in the Central Valley city of Manteca, for $41.15 million.
San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company that develops treatments for neurological disorders, has been added to the Russell 2000 Index.
New locations of Best Buy Express, Duty Free Americas and Starbucks are among recently opened additions to the retail roster at San Diego International Airport, bringing to 16 the number of stores and shops debuting at the facility during the past several months.
Stone IPA, a product of Stone Brewing Co., got top marks in a recent Consumer Reports ranking of craft beers.
Tuesday, July 2
San Diego-based Cytori Therapeutics Inc. announced it has entered into a four-year, $27 million term loan with Oxford Finance Corp. and Silicon Valley Bank.
Investor Yoshiteru Kawase has purchased the 110-unit Vista Amaya Apartments in La Mesa for $17.8 million.
San Diego-based genetic testing company Pathway Genomics Corp. has partnered with ParkwayHealth Laboratory Services Ltd., an ancillary service of Parkway Pantai Ltd., the largest private health care provider in Singapore.
Summit Performance Group, a San Diego event management and travel services business, said it has merged with Adelman Travel, a travel agency based in Milwaukee, Wisc., to form AdelmanSummit.
Alaska Airlines plans to begin new daily service between San Diego and Boise, Idaho, on Nov. 1, and daily seasonal service between San Diego and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California on Dec. 19.
San Diego gets a new “Navy mayor” at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Monday, July 1
Philadelphia-based retailer Urban Outfitters plans to open a new store in July at Fashion Valley mall in Mission Valley, at 7007 Friars Road. An exact opening date has not been announced.
San Diego-based Apmetrix Inc. announced recently that it has released an analytics platform for mobile apps — which it calls the fastest, most customizable product on the market.
Umami Sustainable Seafood Inc., and its subsidiary Baja Aqua Farms SA de CV, said it entered into an amended credit agreement with Amerra Capital Management LLC for a credit line of up to $64 million.
The Oceanside-based Tri-City Healthcare District has entered a joint powers agreement with the Fallbrook Healthcare District — meaning the two districts will share health care services and programs.
The North County Transit District, which oversees passenger train and bus systems including Sprinter, Coaster and Breeze, is projecting the highest ridership and revenue in its history for fiscal year 2014, with more than 12.6 million riders expected to generate fare revenue of nearly $19.3 million.
About 600 employees will be laid off from the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station as the nuclear power plant prepares to shut down, Southern California Edison said.
San Diego Panda Express restaurants raised $7,000 through fundraising efforts to fulfill a local boy’s Make-A-Wish dream of meeting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. Between April 19 and May 2, Panda Express donated $1 of every Samurai Surf & Turf food purchase to the cause.
Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County
Cushman & Wakefield announced the sale of 6179 El Camino Real in Carlsbad for $1.8 million. Bob Willingham and Ron King of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller, As If Holdings LLC. The buyer, He Jaamms Holdings LLC, was represented by Steven Field of Cassidy Turley.
James Brennan came to San Diego in 1992, straight from high school in Manhattan. After graduating from the University of San Diego, he originally made his career in the real estate world. First, in mortgages where he personally funded over $500M in loans and was named to the Mortgage Originator Magazine Top 200 in the Nation five years in a row.
DINING: Some Local Restaurateurs See Right Time to Bet on Expansion
Consumers remain in a cautious mood when it comes to spending on meals outside the home, but several San Diego County restaurant operators see enough improvement happening in the economy to continue planning new locations and business expansions.
RESTAURANTS: Gourmet Food Trucks Number About 50 and Growing in the County
For years, Francisco Moreno’s mother ran a taco truck. Now he is opening up his own. But unlike his mother’s, which served traditional Mexican fare, Moreno’s concept fits in with the burgeoning trend of gourmet food trucks that have been sprouting up around the country.
Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union with about $54 billion in assets and 4 million members, continues growing in San Diego. The Virginia-based institution added some 30,000 members in the past year and a half to bring its total to 330,000 in San Diego County, making it the biggest credit union by membership.
The Business of Law
The San Diego County Bar Association has released a report on the State of the Judiciary in San Diego County, which shows the first ever snapshot of the current state of San Diego’s courts and urges the Legislature to reinvest in the judicial branch. The California courts budget has been cut a lot more than other agencies. (It only hurts lawyers, right?) The budget cuts have led to court closures, staff layoffs and furloughs, and case backlogs, adversely impacting the ability for individuals and businesses to resolve their legal disputes in a timely manner, which hurts us all.
DEFENSE: Company Creates Battle-Ready Robotic Software and Hardware
Our soldiers and Marines carry heavy loads into combat in those distant battlefields. Their rucksacks can weigh 100 pounds and more, jammed with fuel, food and water, not to mention a generous supply of ammunition.
TECH: Platform Brings ‘Augmented Reality’ To Life on Devices
Software from Qualcomm Inc. is adding a new dimension to smartphones and tablet computers. Not to mention imaginative twists such as banjo-playing frogs. Large corporations, catalog publishers and even museums in San Diego’s Balboa Park are adapting Qualcomm’s Vuforia software to meet their needs.
BIOTECH: Medicine Is Given Clean Shot While Avoiding Immune Responses
Cage-diving wiffle ball nanotechnology — that’s how Inanc Ortac, a graduate student at UC San Diego, describes his award-winning approach to cancer therapy. Ortac’s company, called DevaNano Inc., has developed miniature cages made out of silica — a component of glass — that encapsulates cancer drugs, rendering them safer in terms of preventing hideous side effects associated with cancer.
TOURISM: Officials Will Distribute Small Portion Of Collections in August
Local officials are optimistic about getting past the latest in a series of funding and other obstacles recently facing the San Diego Tourism Marketing District, the primary support mechanism for the city’s tourism promotion efforts.
GOVERNMENT: City Looks to Ease Some Rules and Requirements
The City of Carlsbad is in the midst of overhauling its planning and zoning rules, in a bid to make its central downtown Village district more welcoming to new businesses like microbreweries, wineries and high-end restaurants.
Del Mar businessman Robert Vicino has been the focus of national media coverage of late for a very unusual project. The news stories detail his purchase of a former military storage facility in Atchison, Kansas, which he and a partner are transforming into a survivor complex where as many as 5,000 people can ride out a nuclear war or deadly virus pandemic in their RVs.
POWER: Sunrise Powerlink Is Key in Replacing San Onofre
San Diego Gas & Electric says it has sufficient power generation to meet the region’s needs, even without the San Onofre nuclear power plant, but it’s obviously hedging its bets by seeking approval for a natural gas peaker plant in Otay Mesa, one that state power regulators denied in March.
EDUCATION: Accreditation Efforts, Staff Cuts Bring Change
As Bridgepoint Education Inc., the San Diego for-profit provider of college classes mainly through online channels, awaits a decision on the accreditation of Ashford University from one entity, it’s pursuing a parallel effort to maintain the university’s current accreditation.
Real Estate Column
Investors nationwide view San Diego County’s commercial real estate market as a mixed bag of long-term prospects, according to results of the latest quarterly survey by the consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers, also known as PwC.
SPORTS: League Says It Will Continue, Launch Delayed a Year
The San Diego organization trying to resurrect the United States Football League said it’s still moving downfield despite taking a massive hit when its former chief executive pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million from another company.
PROPERTY: Six Apartment Projects Under Construction
A new 279-unit apartment complex with other mixed-use amenities, proposed for an East Village site by MB Property Acquisitions of San Francisco, recently joined a growing list of multifamily projects either under construction or in the pipeline for downtown San Diego.
TECH: ASML, Cymer Now on Same Team in Precision Work on Chips
ASML Holding NV’s $3.7 billion purchase of Cymer Inc. will focus more corporate resources on technology to produce ever-smaller, more capable microchips, Cymer executives said during a post-acquisition interview.