Stories for March 2016

Thursday, March 31

Regional Economic Index Inched Slowly Up in February

An index tracking San Diego’s economic health barely edged up in February as plunging local stock prices balanced out positive momentum in online job ads and unemployment claims.

Webcor Builders, Bethel Contracting Win $69 Million Project at Camp Pendleton

Webcor Builders, a contractor with a San Diego presence since 2000, was recently awarded a $69 million project at Camp Pendleton with its joint venture partner, Bethel Contracting LLC.

SDG&E Finalizes 20-Year Deal for Energy Storage Facility

Sempra Energy subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric Co. on Thursday said it had finalized deals for a 20-megawatt energy storage facility as well as a series of energy efficiency projects estimated to save 18.5 megawatts.

Strategic Partners Won’t Doom Craft Brewing

The amount of change in the craft beer industry has been rapid, vast and disruptive over the past 10-plus years. Craft-beer-centric regions like San Diego, Colorado and the Pacific Northwest have been particularly exciting and even other historically less craft-beer-centric regions such as Austin, Atlanta, Chicago and Ashville have turned into new craft hubs, complete with craft beer tourism.

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Sycuan’s Commitment to Community Seen in CAF Gift

NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton accepted a $50,000 check from Sycuan Casino on behalf of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The donation is part of the casino’s promise to the San Diego-based nonprofit to donate at least 5 percent of its GameDay Sports Bar & Grill’s annual sales, which began in 2012.

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Life Streaming

Designed by legendary organic modern architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, the Lotus House is a masterful juxtaposition of art, light and function. Nested like a butterfly on a private canyon rim, the undulating roof sits atop expansive walls of glass that frame panoramic views of the Pacific. Awash with natural light, the home is an architectural masterpiece unlike any other.

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Toft Group Opens South San Francisco Office

San Diego-based Toft Group, an executive search firm building leadership teams for life sciences and health care companies, announced the opening of a new office in South San Francisco.

Craft Glue

BREWING: In a Competitive, Growing Industry, Brewers Employ Stock, Cash, Culture and Other Methods to Retain Workers

The nation’s craft beer companies brewed 24.5 million barrels in 2015, according to figures recently reported by the Brewers Association trade group, besting the prior year’s production by 13 percent as retail sales grew by 16 percent, reaching $22.3 billion.

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Women Tackle Roles in Restaurant Ownership

DINING: Independence, Flexibility and Interaction Cited as Sector Pluses

Women-owned restaurant businesses in the U.S. grew at a far faster pace than that of the overall industry nationwide between 2007 and 2012, according to a recent report by the National Restaurant Association.

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Solpac Construction Wins $18.5 Million Navy Contract

Solpac Construction Inc., doing business as Soltek Pacific Construction Co., received an $18.5 million task order under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract from the U.S. Navy.

Navy Awards LRAD Corp. Five-Year, $7.4 Million Contract

The U.S. Navy awarded Rancho Bernardo-based LRAD Corp. an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract that could be worth up to $7.4 million over five years.

ACI Apartments Announces $3.8 Million Sale in Alpine

ACI Apartments Inc. announced the sale of a 24-unit complex in Alpine for $3.8 million.

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Renovate to Expand Outside of California With PACE Loans

FINANCE: Company To Offer a Commercial Version of Its Lending

Renovate America, by far the largest provider nationwide for a clean energy financing initiative called PACE, is set to capitalize on its leading position next month as it expands outside California and launches a commercial version of its product.

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Unlike El Nino, No Signs of Let Up for Roofing Demand

CONTRACTING: Cos. Scheduling Maintenance, Repairs Months Ahead

When it rains, it pours. At least, that’s what many would-be roof repair customers thought last fall when talks of a “monster” El Nino filled the news. While the severe rains didn’t quite materialize in San Diego, the roof repair demand did.

Envision Solar Reports Record Revenue for 2015

Envision Solar, a San Diego firm that makes sun-tracking parking lot products that charge electric vehicles, announced record revenues Thursday.

Atyr Pharma Announces Q4, 2015 Financials, Names New CMO

aTyr Pharma, Inc., a biotherapeutics company in San Diego, announced fourth quarter and full-year earnings, along with the appointment of a new company executive.

A Promise to Connect Media Like a Personal Server

SOFTWARE: App Designed To Decouple Access From Storage

Isn’t technology great? Your music, your photos, your videos are all digital now. The problem is that they are scattered all over the place, split among desktops and mobile devices made by different tech companies and running different operating systems.

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Spaces Merging And Mingling

WORKPLACE: Cos. Proving as Agile as Clients

Co-Merge, a popular coworking space formerly based in downtown San Diego, has merged locations with a former competitor just up the hill.

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Gun Parts Co. Aims For Less Controversy

RETAIL: Updated Equipment, Lower Profile Are New Strategy

New ownership has taken over an Oceanside-based gun component and accessories manufacturer — the target of a 2014 raid by federal agents over allegedly improper sales — aiming to attract less negative attention and concentrate on management fundamentals.

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Therapeutic at Center of Diagnostic Co. Dispute

BIOTECH: Trovagene Firings Raise Questions Over Roles

Is Trovagene Inc. a diagnostic or a therapeutic company?

State Action on Wages Could Affect S.D. Vote

WORKFORCE: Measure Would Still Change Sick Days

Gov. Jerry Brown’s support last month of a plan to bring California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour is complicating the campaign over a June ballot measure that would boost San Diego’s minimum wage to $11.50.

Getting The Jobs Done

TECH: S.D.’s Software Cluster Has a $12.2B Economic Impact

The Oceanside office of HireAHelper LLC is not quite polished yet. The business is an online marketplace that connects two parties — people in the process of moving a house or office, and laborers who can maneuver their belongings into a rental truck.

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Wednesday, March 30

Pathfinder Acquires 90 Luxury Condos in Arizona for $15 Million

San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners LLC has acquired 90 units in Aderra Condominiums – a 312-unit upscale community at 11640 North Tatum Boulevard in the exclusive Paradise Valley neighborhood of Phoenix – for $15 million.

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Certified Planner Brian Mooney to be Inducted into Group's College of Fellows

Rick Engineering Co.’s Brian F. Mooney will be inducted into the 2016 American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows on April 3.

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State Chamber of Commerce Releases List of 'Job-Killer' Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual list of “job killer” bills on Tuesday – and the tally of 18 so far is fewer than in recent years.

Biotech Startup Zavante Therapeutics Raises $45 Million

Zavante Therapeutics, a San Diego startup quietly launched by big-shot biotech veterans last fall, has raised $45 million to fund development of its lead drug.

Sempra Subsidiary Sells Stake in Midwest Pipeline

Sempra Energy subsidiary Sempra U.S. Gas & Power on Tuesday said it had agreed to sell its 25 percent stake in a Midwest pipeline to Tallgrass Development LP for about $440 million in cash.

Ware Malcomb Completes MediaTek Offices

Ware Malcomb, an international architecture and design firm with an office in San Diego, announced the completion of construction on the MediaTek offices.

Chargers Release Language for Ballot Initiative

The San Diego Chargers have released the final language of their initiative to finance a $1.8 billion downtown football stadium-convention center hybrid, which would raise the city’s hotel tax from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent if approved by voters in November.

Fired Trovagene CEO Says He Will Sue for Wrongful Termination

Trovagene Inc. has fired and sued two of its top executives — CEO Antonius Schuh and CFO Stephen Zaniboni -- alleging breach of fiduciary duty. The actions caught both seasoned biotech executives by surprise.

Tuesday, March 29

Army Awards Cubic Corp. 3-Year, $2.3 Million Contract

Cubic Corp. announced on March 29 that it received a three-year, $2.3 million task order from the U.S. Army.

Sunroad Enterprises Announces Centrumplace Development

San Diego-based developer Sunroad Enterprises announced March 28 that it will develop an office campus in central San Diego called Centrumplace with two new 11-story buildings.

S.D. Military Advisory Council Establishes Nonprofit, to Offer $15K Scholarship

The San Diego Military Advisory Council announced March 29 that it has established a charitable nonprofit arm and plans to continue offering a $15,000 academic scholarship.

JMI to Propose Converting Qualcomm Stadium to SDSU Campus

JMI Realty, former Padres owner John Moores’ development company, will announce a proposal next week to turn the current Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley into a “west campus” for San Diego State University, including a stadium of its own.

San Diego Home Prices Increase 6.9 Percent in Last Year

Home prices in San Diego rose 6.9 percent during the year ending in January, according to a leading housing market index, tied with Los Angeles as the eighth-fastest-growing among the country’s large cities.

FDA Panel Votes to Recommend ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Drug

The Food and Drug Administration's panel of advisers voted 12-2 Tuesday in favor of an experimental drug from ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, saying its benefits outweigh the risks.

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Trovagene CEO, COO Fired; Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Trovagene’s shares are down 12 percent Tuesday after the maker of liquid biopsies said it fired and sued its chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

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Subscribe by 5 P.M. Today and Receive SDBJ’s Craft Breweries Special Report

The San Diego Business Journal's Craft Breweries special report publishes April 4 and the only way to receive a copy is to subscribe. Subscribe by 5 p.m. today for just $69! That’s 30 percent off our basic rate of $99.

Monday, March 28

Vista Medical Office Building Sold for $7.25 Million

Cassidy Investors LLC has sold a Vista medical office building for $7.25 million, real estate management firm The Heritage Group said Monday.

Figtree Financing Raises $30 Million to Expand Program

Figtree Financing on Monday said it had raised $30 million to expand its commercial clean energy financing program outside California and launch a residential program.

Governor, Legislative Leaders Reach Agreement to Hike Minimum Wage to $15

Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders on Monday backed a proposal to hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

Cox Boosts Internet Speed for 400 Tenants of Poway Business Park

Cox Communications has completed more than seven miles of its fiber-optic telecom network at the Poway Business Park, the company announced in late March.

La Jolla Festival of the Arts Changes Name, Location

The La Jolla Festival of the Arts announced March 28 it will change its name to the San Diego Festival of the Arts and move into a new location for the event’s 30th anniversary.

Trabus Technologies Receives 3-Year Navy Contract Potentially Worth $7.4 Million

Trabus Technologies Inc., a small business based in Mission Valley, received an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract from the U.S. Navy that could be worth as much as $7.4 million over three years.

Neothetics Inc. Announces Plans to Commence Phase 2 Trial of Fat-Reducing Drug

San Diego’s Neothetics Inc. announced plans to move forward with its LIPO-202 program, despite earlier failed clinical trials and the abrupt resignation last month of CEO George Mahaffey.

Forge Therapeutics to Collaborate With Active Motif

San Diego’s Forge Therapeutics is teaming up with Carlsbad’s Active Motif on a research collaboration, the companies announced Monday.

Sunday, March 27

Hotel Forecast Calls For Continued Room Demand Growth in 2016

San Diego County’s lodging industry should see continued growth in 2016, with a “soft landing” expected for the local and U.S. markets in 2017 as hotel room demand slows, according to a newly issued forecast by San Diego-based consulting firm RAR Hospitality.

Construction Begins on $6.7M Memory Care Development in Spring Valley

Developers have begun construction on Noah Homes, a new $6.7 million project in Spring Valley that will include memory care homes for adults with developmental disabilities.

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Carlsbad Medical Office Building Sells for $4.4 Million

Pacific Property Group of San Diego has acquired a Carlsbad medical office building for $4.4 million, according to brokerage firm JLL.

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DJO Reports $1.11 Billion in Net Sales for 2015

DJO Global Inc., a medical device company in San Diego, announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full 2015 year.

Scripps Ranch Office Owner Secures $31.5M in Refinancing

An affiliate of San Diego-based Davlyn Investments has obtained $31.5 million in acquisition refinancing for the Northridge Summit office building in Scripps Ranch, according to NorthMarq Capital, which arranged the financing.

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The Business Calendar for the Week of March 28, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 28, 2016, and beyond.

Mitek Names Ritter Chief Technology Officer

Mitek Systems has hired Stephen Ritter as its chief technology officer, the company said March 23.

Turtle Beach Reports Q4, Yearly Results

Video game headset maker Turtle Beach Corp. on March 24 reported annual revenue of $162.7 million, down from $186.2 million in 2014, attributing the drop to a faster than expected decline in revenues from older generation products and the strong dollar’s negative impact on its international sales.

Just My Ticket Marketing Company Names New CEO, CFO

San Diego based email marketing company Just My Ticket named Gina Landau CEO.

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Hatfield Named Executive Director of Braille Institute San Diego

The Braille Institute recently announced the appointment of Jay Hatfield to the position of executive director for its San Diego regional center.

Friday, March 25

Office Owner Secures $31.5M in Refinancing

An affiliate of San Diego-based Davlyn Investments has obtained $31.5 million in acquisition refinancing for the Northridge Summit office building in Scripps Ranch, according to NorthMarq Capital, which arranged the financing.

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Work Begins on $6.7M Memory Care Development in Spring Valley

Developers have begun construction on Noah Homes, a new $6.7 million project in Spring Valley that will include memory care homes for adults with developmental disabilities.

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Carlsbad Medical Office Building Sells for $4.4M

Pacific Property Group of San Diego has acquired a Carlsbad medical office building for $4.4 million, according to brokerage firm JLL.

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Business Calendar for Week of March 28, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 28, 2016, and beyond.

Just My Ticket Marketing Co. Names New CEO, CFO

San Diego based email marketing company Just My Ticket named Gina Landau CEO.

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Thursday, March 24

San Diego Millennials Least Likely to Pursue Home Ownership

San Diego millennials are some of the least likely in the country to pursue home ownership, according to data released Thursday by LendingTree.

Qualcomm Ventures Participates in $27 Million Funding Round For Israeli Tech Co.

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Inc., took part in a $27 million series C funding round for Stratoscale, an Israeli company that makes technology for data centers, the San Diego organization said March 23.

Ramona Apartment Complex Sold for $2.64 Million

Shadow Glen Annex LP of La Jolla has acquired a 20-unit apartment complex in Ramona for $2.64 million, according to brokerage firm ACI Apartments Inc.

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Mad Catz to Voluntarily Delist from Toronto Stock Exchange

Mad Catz Interactive Inc., the San Diego-based videogame peripheral maker, said on March 24 that it plans to voluntarily take its stock off of the Toronto Stock Exchange while remaining on the NYSE MKT small cap exchange.

Escondido Apartment Property Sells for $6.96 Million

Vista International of Monterey has purchased the 41-unit Grand Villa Apartments in Escondido for $6.96 million, according to brokerage company CBRE Group Inc.

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Jury Rules in Favor of Thomas Jefferson Law School, Rejects Graduate's Claim

A San Diego jury on Thursday rejected claims from a Thomas Jefferson School of Law graduate that the school used misleading employment data to attract students.

Carlsbad Industrial Building Sold for $13.65 Million

A fund managed by Los Angeles-based Colony Capital has acquired a multi-tenant industrial building in Carlsbad for $13.65 million, according to the seller, Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas.

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Heaviland Landscape Management Acquires Landscape Plus

Heaviland Landscape Management announced the acquisition of El Cajon-based Landscape Plus, which closed its doors Jan. 1.

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Reports Revenue Increase in Q4 and 2015

San Diego’s Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a maker of compounded drugs, reported a significant increase in revenue for the fourth quarter and full 2015 year.

State EITC Benefits Economy, Small Businesses

Much of the talk surrounding the benefits of California’s new Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is about how much it will help low-income workers and their families. There’s a good reason for that: It is new money put directly in the pockets of the hard-working people who need it most.

For Students, It’s Not Hammer Time, or Plumbing Time or…

WORKFORCE: Students Shun the Trades; Schools Push the College Track

Fewer and fewer high school students are interested in working with their hands, or learning construction’s skilled trades, and instead are heeding the national call for a four-year college degree.

Bonsall’s Beauty Sets the Scene for Perfect Rural Retreats

About 40 miles north of San Diego, west of Interstate 15 off state Route 76, is the small community of Bonsall.

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Roberts Appointed to Leadership Role at Latham & Watkins

Brook B. Roberts has been appointed the managing partner of Latham & Watkins LLP’s San Diego office. He succeeds Brett P. Rosenblatt, who has completed a five-year term in the position.

Signs of Progress For Streamlining Business at Border

TRANSPORTATION: Road, Ridesharing Initiative Should Boost Economic Ties

It may take some time to deliver a payoff, but some see Uber’s newly launched cross-border ride service as one in a series of recent new offerings that should help streamline transportation and bolster economic ties in the San Diego-Tijuana border region.

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Secure Investment

TECH: Venture Capitalists Betting On Maturing Cybersecurity Field

For Stephan Chenette, the time seemed right. After working in cybersecurity for the better part of two decades, Chenette figured October 2013 was the optimum time to start his own business.

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Sequestration’s Budget Ax Could Fall on San Diego in 2018

Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned against the possible return of sequestration in 2018, saying the program of federal budget cuts would cause uncertainty for the Pentagon. He made his remarks March 22 during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

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Executive Q&A Cheryl K. Goodman, Executive Director, Athena San Diego

For Cheryl K. Goodman, life has largely been defined by testing her limits: in the boardroom, in the courtroom, and — as a competitive female surfer — in the water.

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PICO Settles Two Disputes With Shareholder Activists

INVESTing: Company Avoids Board Battle, Seeks To Leverage Water Rights

PICO Holdings Inc., a company with interests in water and land rights, has quashed a brewing battle with shareholders over control of its board, signing deals with two vocal activist investors that will avoid a special vote on its board makeup.

Device Maker Acutus Medical Receives $75M in Funding

BIOTECH: Carlsbad Co. Is Developing 3-D Imaging For Heart Procedures

Carlsbad medical device maker Acutus Medical Inc. closed a $75 million Series C round last week, one of the biggest infusions of cash the local medtech sector has seen in recent years.

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Bosa’s Buys Put It in Position Downtown

PROPERTY: Acquisitions Likely for Residential Plans

Downtown San Diego’s residential condominium boom of the early 2000s is not expected to make a comeback anytime soon. But Bosa Development, a prolific producer during that period, appears to be gearing up for the next wave.

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Car2Go Revs Up By Unplugging E-fleet

CLEAN-TECH: Co. Cites Lack of Charging Stations

San Diego’s leading car-sharing company, Car2Go, is replacing its all-electric fleet with gas-powered cars. The decision — which stemmed from a lack of local charging stations — is a setback to the city’s climate action plan, and a shakeup for the company’s business model.

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Loan Servicer Leverages Growth in Alt Lending

FINANCE: First Associates Excels at Educating Consumers

When David Johnson was searching for something to rescue him from the doldrums of retirement in 2008, he honed in on First Associates Loan Servicing LLC.

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Wheeling More Power

TRANSPORTATION: San Diego Emerges as Hotbed of Electric Bike Industry

Electric bikes are far from ubiquitous on California streets but are quickly growing in popularity as American consumers catch up to the far more ebike friendly Europe and Asia. And San Diego is a hotbed of ebike makers, with both American headquarters of major European manufacturers and budding local companies.

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Wednesday, March 23

Time Warner Begins Process to Increase Internet Speeds

Time Warner Cable said March 22 that it has begun a program to increase Internet speeds for its San Diego County customers. The cable system operates in the area of the county north of the San Diego River.

EDF Renewable Energy Sells Assets of Proposed Solar Project

San Diego’s EDF Renewable Energy on Wednesday said it had sold the development assets of a proposed 20-megawatt solar power project in San Bernardino County to a subsidiary of Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy.

RF Industries Reports Q1 Net Loss of $353K on Net Sales of $7M

RF Industries Ltd., which makes cable assemblies and connectors for electronics, reported a first quarter net loss of $353,000, or 4 cents per share, on net sales of $7 million.

Westfield Buys Mission Valley Retail Buildings from Macy’s for $16.5M

Mall owner Westfield Corp. has acquired two buildings at its Westfield Mission Valley mall from retailer Macy’s Inc., for approximately $16.5 million, according to CoStar Group.

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Miramar Industrial Building Sells for $8.45 Million

Los Angeles-based Rexford Industrial Realty LP has purchased a multi-tenant industrial building in Miramar for $8.45 million, according to brokerage company Colliers International Group Inc.

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TP Therapeutics Raises Nearly $18 Million in Series B Financing Round

TP Therapeutics, a small San Diego pharmaceutical company, has raised nearly $18 million in an all-equity Series B financing round, according to a recent form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

HUYA's Founder/CEO Stepping Down

San Diego drugmaker HUYA Bioscience International announced that its founder and CEO, Mireille Gillings, is stepping down.

Chargers Reportedly to Seek Hotel Tax Hike for Hybrid Stadium-Convention Center Project

The San Diego Chargers will seek voter approval in November to raise city hotel taxes from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent, to finance a $1.8 billion downtown facility that combines a stadium with convention center space, according to published reports.

Tuesday, March 22

WD-40 Declares Quarterly Dividend

Directors of WD-40 Co. named Daniel T. Carter to a seat on its board of directors, effective March 21.

PICO Signs Deals With Two Activist Investors, Avoids Board Battle

PICO Holdings Inc., a company with interests in water and land rights, has quashed a brewing battle with shareholders over control of its board, signing deals with two vocal activist investors that will avoid a special vote on its board makeup.

H.G. Fenton Buys Bankers Hill Office Property for $2.96 Million

San Diego-headquartered H.G. Fenton Co. has acquired an office property in Bankers Hill for approximately $2.96 million, according to brokerage firm Voit Real Estate Services.

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Ride Service Provider Wingz Begins Operations at San Diego Airport

San Francisco-based Wingz, a provider of personalized and scheduled airport ride services, has begun operations at San Diego International Airport.

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Report Details Top 10 Careers for San Diego Graduates

The most promising careers for young San Diegans are increasingly reliant on data skills, according to a report Tuesday from University of California, San Diego Extension, with analysts making up half of the region’s top emerging careers.

T S Restaurants Promotes Reed to CEO Post

Jackie Reed has been promoted to the post of chief executive officer at locally based T S Restaurants, which operates 14 venues including Duke’s La Jolla and Jake’s in Del Mar.

Cubic Corp. Subsidiary Receives $1.4 Million Contract

Cubic Corp. announced on March 21 its TeraLogics LLC subsidiary received a $1.4 million contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Acutus Medical Closes $75 Million Fundraising Round

Carlsbad medical device maker Acutus Medical has closed a $75 million Series C round, the company said Tuesday. The financing round came from Deerfield Management Company, Xeraya Capital and an undisclosed strategic investor, along with existing investor Advent Life Sciences, plus OrbiMed and GE Ventures.

Monday, March 21

Subscribe by 5 P.M. and Meet San Diego’s Top CFOs.

The San Diego Business Journal's 2016 CFO of the Year Awards supplement publishes March 28 and the only way to receive a copy is to subscribe. Subscribe by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, for just $69! That’s 30 percent off our basic rate of $99.

U.S. Air Force Awards GA-ASI Three-Year, $53.8 Million Contract

The U.S. Air Force awarded Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a three-year, $53.8 million contract to give new capabilities to the Block 5 version of the MQ-9 unmanned aircraft, also known as the Reaper.

Health Center Partners Expanding to Riverside County

Health Center Partners (HCP), a consortium of 17 primary care organizations in Southern California, is expanding its programs and investments to meet a growing demand in Riverside County.

East Village Restaurant Building Sold for $2.35 Million

San Diego-based American National Investments Inc. has acquired a restaurant building in downtown San Diego’s East Village for $2.35 million, according to brokerage firm Retail Insite.

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Doug Wright Named CFO at Mission Federal Credit Union

Mission Federal Credit Union on Monday said it has hired Silvergate Bank’s former CFO to fill the same role at Mission Federal.

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Scripps Health Says It Will Lay Off 69 Marketing/HR Employees

San Diego-based Scripps Health will lay off 69 employees from its human resources and marketing departments this summer, according to the hospital’s president and CEO Chris Van Gorder.

San Diego Office, Industrial Portfolio Sells for $25.5 Million

An affiliate of Washington, D.C.-based The Carlyle Group has acquired a portfolio of eight office and warehouse properties in San Diego’s Grantville neighborhood for $25.5 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Open-air Public Market Opens at Liberty Station

Operators have officially opened Liberty Public Market, an open-air dining and gathering spot featuring numerous food vendors in a former Navy commissary space at Liberty Station in Point Loma.

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Sunday, March 20

Tri-City Medical Center Appoints New CEO

Tri-City Medical Center has appointed a new permanent CEO, without addressing what will happen to the old one.

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Carlsbad Office Buildings Sold for $43.3 Million

Massachusetts-based Cape Ann Investment Properties LLC has purchased two Carlsbad office buildings for $43.3 million, according to CoStar Group and brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc.

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San Ysidro Retail Center Owner Obtains $22.75M in Refinancing

Solana Beach-based property owner The Shamrock Group LLC has obtained $22.75 million in refinancing for its San Ysidro retail property known as The Plaza at the Border, according to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF), which arranged the financing.

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The Business Calendar for the Week of March 21, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 21, 2016, and beyond.

County Construction Employment Climbs 7%

San Diego gained 4,800 construction jobs over a 12 month period, according to the Associated General Contractors of America’s data analysis.

Vista Medical Office Buildings Sold for $2.2 Million

Ronald L. and Jacqueline S. Reynolds Family Trust of San Diego has acquired two Vista medical office buildings for $2.2 million, according to CoStar Group and brokerage firm Lee & Associates.

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Cidara Therapeutics Announces Q4, Yearly Results

Cidara Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech working on potential anti-fungal medications, announced financial results Friday for the fourth quarter and full 2015 year.

County's Unemployment Rate Flat for February

San Diego’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February at 4.7 percent, as job gains kept pace with the growth of the county’s labor force.

Friday, March 18

Business Calendar for Week of March 21, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 21, 2016, and beyond.

Carlsbad Office Buildings Bring $43.3 Million

Massachusetts-based Cape Ann Investment Properties LLC has purchased two Carlsbad office buildings for $43.3 million, according to CoStar Group and brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc.

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Medical Office Buildings Sold for $2.2 Million

Ronald L. and Jacqueline S. Reynolds Family Trust of San Diego has acquired two Vista medical office buildings for $2.2 million, according to CoStar Group and brokerage firm Lee & Associates.

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Retail Center Owner Obtains $22.75M in Refinancing

Solana Beach-based property owner The Shamrock Group LLC has obtained $22.75 million in refinancing for its San Ysidro retail property known as The Plaza at the Border, according to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF), which arranged the financing.

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Unemployment Rate Is Flat for February

San Diego’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February at 4.7 percent, as job gains kept pace with the growth of the county’s labor force.

Tri-City Medical Center Replaces CEO

Tri-City Medical Center has appointed a new permanent CEO, without addressing what will happen to the old one.

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Thursday, March 17

Viterbi Donates $5 Million to The Old Globe Theater

Qualcomm Inc. cofounder Andrew Viterbi has given $5 million to San Diego’s Old Globe, the Balboa Park theater organization announced.

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Mary Gendron Named CIO/SVP at Qualcomm Inc.

Qualcomm Inc. announced March 17 that Mary Gendron joined the company as senior vice president and chief information officer. Gendron will lead Qualcomm’s global information technology organization.

Otay Mesa Industrial Building Sold for $2 Million

Locally based buyer Thomas Leslie Cantor has acquired an Otay Mesa industrial building for approximately $2 million in an all-cash transaction, according to brokerage firm Pacific Coast Commercial.

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ImageWare Systems Posts Q4, 2015 Financial Results

ImageWare Systems Inc. reported a net loss of $2.83 million, or 3 cents per share, on revenue of $902,000 during its fourth quarter. In the same quarter of 2014, ImageWare reported a net loss of $1.96 million, or 2 cents per share, on revenue of $1.24 million.

Tribune Publishing Wins Bid for Freedom Communications

Tribune Publishing Co., owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times, won the bid in a bankruptcy auction for the assets and real estate of Freedom Communications, Inc.

Geneticist J. Craig Venter to Receive George Washington Carver Award

Washington D.C.-based Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the largest biotech trade group in the world, has named La Jolla geneticist J. Craig Venter as the recipient of its 2016 George Washington Carver Award for innovation in industrial biotechnology.

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SeaWorld Announces it Will Stop Breeding Killer Whales

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. on Thursday said it would stop breeding killer whales across its theme parks, ending a legal battle with the California Coastal Commission.

Bumble Bee Foods Recalls 32,000 Cases of Tuna

Bumble Bee Foods LLC has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 32,000 cases of tuna it said could lead to life-threatening illnesses.

Subprime Loans Do Not Have to Lead to a Bust

Alternative-market mortgage loans, formerly known as subprime mortgages, have returned to prominence in the lending industry, and they’re just as impactful as ever to the broader economy.

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Rock the House Strengthens 2-1-1’s Connection to Community

The 2-1-1 San Diego “Rock the House” launch party raised more than $250,000 for its NextGen technology and its new 30,000-square-foot Connections Center. 2-1-1 San Diego is a free, 24-hour, confidential phone service and searchable online database for residents of San Diego County.

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Preparing for the Unpredictable

MEDICINE: Active Shooter Training Simulation Creates Conditions That Put Participants to the Test

The string of active shooter incidents across the country prompted San Diego-based Strategic Operations to stage a live-action training event — complete with explosives, actors, and ammunition.

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Policy Preferences

WORKFORCE: Employees Shun Blanket Benefits Coverage, Preferring To Quilt a Package That Fits Their Lifestyle and Needs

As competition for skilled workers increases, some businesses in the San Diego region are offering wider choices of employee benefits in order to retain their talent.

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Worst-Case Scenario

INSURANCE: Active Shooter Insurance Begins to Take Shape As Insurers Offer Financial Protection from Violence and Its Effects

Active shooter situations are joining the list of tragedies that can be insured through corporate policies. But active shooter insurance is still relatively rare, with no consensus yet on what a typical policy should look like.

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Platform Gives Motorsports Fans Gear, Guidance, and More

TECH: Co. Launched Its First Monetization Feature ‘Find a Professional’

Alex Littlewood put his house on the market and sold it last March to fund his startup, Motoroso Inc., an online marketplace for auto and powersports enthusiasts. He hasn’t looked back since.

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New Pharmacy, Lab Part of Sharp Grossmont’s Modernization

Sharp Grossmont Hospital opened a new laboratory and pharmacy this month, the first phase of a $60 million renovation project at the La Mesa hospital.

Powerhouse GE Taps Proximetry’s Talents for New Platform

It’s always nice when you are the little guy and the big guy turns to you for some specialized help.

New Developer Seeks to Avoid Running Afoul of Neighbors

Even by local standards for development controversies — which seem to flare up more frequently as San Diego County runs out of places to build things — the fight over the future of the defunct Escondido Country Club has been particularly nasty.

A Funny Thing Happened At Work: Team-Building Exercises

WORKFORCE: Improv Theater Connect Staffs Through Comedy

Corporate team building often gets a bad rap, with employers forcing staff to participate in goofy games such as sandcastle building and egg-and-spoon racing — all in the name of “building trust and communication.”

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Internet Gambling Among Challenges for Indian Gaming

GAMING: Casinos Must Adapt to Changing Tastes, Aging Customer Base

The growth of Internet gambling is the “most immediate challenge” facing American Indian tribes that rely on brick-and-mortar casinos to fund their governments.

Miniature Drone Takes Teaching Code to New Heights

EDUCATION: Co. Links Video Lessons to Operating New Consumer Product

Hansol Hong has a Kickstarter hit. The owner and CEO of Robolink Inc. recently convinced the Internet community to give his company the funds to mass-produce a quadcopter about the size of a cocktail napkin.

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New Investment Rules May Not Draw Crowd

FINANCE: $1M Annual Cap May Limit Appeal to Small Cos.

Crowdfunding appeared to get more interesting to most investors this past fall, when federal regulators unveiled new rules that would allow even those without large salaries to buy company shares through online crowdfunding portals. But experts are doubtful the new option will catch on quickly when it debuts in May.

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NWB’s ‘Air Force’ Is Mission Ready

TECH: Drones Analyze Variety of Environments

NWB Environmental Services LLC has launched an unmanned aircraft services program it believes will save the company and its clients time and money.

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New R&D Tax Credit Ditches Temp Status

FINANCE: It’s Permanent And More Far Reaching

A revamped tax credit recently passed by Congress will provide enormous benefit to innovative businesses, should they choose to use it. San Diego’s life science firms in particular should pay close attention.

Green Acres

AG: Avocado Farming Method May Boost Yield, Sustainability

Avocado farmers, struggling for years with soaring water prices, are starting to embrace a relatively untested planting method that could double their yield and might even curb water use.

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Wednesday, March 16

Three S.D. Shipyards Awarded Navy Contracts Potentially Worth $1.32B

The U.S. Navy has tapped three San Diego shipyards to conduct maintenance on its San Diego-based warships.

Hong Ma Named Chief Scientific Officer at Therapeutics Solutions

Therapeutics Solutions International Inc., an Oceanside-based company developing treatments for cancer and other diseases, announced Wednesday that Dr. Hong Ma has been appointed as chief scientific officer.

Regency Submits Plans for Costa Verde Center Expansion

Retail property owner and developer Regency Centers Corp. has submitted to the city formal plans for a previously announced $230 million expansion and redevelopment of its Costa Verde Center in University Towne Center.

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San Diego Ranks Ninth in U.S. for Retail Property Investment

San Diego ranks ninth among U.S. metro markets in the latest annual retail property investment report by brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.

Oceanside Apartment Property Sells for $2.7 Million

San Diego-based WSC Investment Partners LLC has purchased a 14-unit Oceanside apartment building for approximately $2.7 million, according to brokerage firm ACRE Investment Real Estate Services.

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Navy Awards HDR Architecture Inc. 5-Year, $30 Million Contract

The U.S. Navy awarded HDR Architecture Inc. a contract to provide architecture and engineering services that could be worth as much as $30 million over five years.

CFOs Bullish on Hiring in Next Six Months, Report Finds

About one in five San Diego Chief Financial Officers expect to expand their workforces in the next six months, a survey from Robert Half said Wednesday, up from about 10 percent last year.

Tuesday, March 15

Former Gas Station Property in San Diego Sells for $6 Million

Bella Lago LLC of Del Mar has purchased a former gas station property in San Diego’s Bay Park neighborhood, currently housing a convenience store and car wash, for $6 million, according to Voit Real Estate Services.

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Kimpton Completes $8 Million Renovation of Hotel Solamar

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has completed an $8 million renovation of its Hotel Solamar, at 435 Sixth Ave. in the Gaslamp Quarter.

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La Jolla Townhome Project Developer Obtains $16.25 Million in Financing

Local developer Silver Street Partners has obtained $16.25 million in construction financing for a planned 18-unit luxury townhome project in La Jolla, according to real estate investment banking firm George Smith Partners, which arranged the financing.

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Receives $6 Million Milestone Payment

La Jolla drugmaker Ligand Pharmaceuticals has earned a $6 million milestone payment from Irvine-based partner company Spectrum Pharmaceuticals.

PICO Holdings Reports Net Loss of $81.9 Million for 2015

PICO Holdings Inc., a company with interests in water resources and home building, announced an annual net loss of $81.9 million on Tuesday, compared with a loss of $54.2 million the year before.

AGC Awards Balfour Beatty for Santee Detention Facility

The Associated General Contractors of America named Balfour Beatty Construction the winner of its Alliant Build America award for Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence for the Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility in Santee.

Kratos Defense Receives $10.5 Million Contract

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said on March 15 that its Modular Systems Division recently received $10.5 million in contract awards from an undisclosed client.

Orexigen to Pay $60 Million for U.S. Rights to Obesity Drug

San Diego drugmaker Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. bought the U.S. rights to its flagship obesity drug from co-developer Takeda Pharmaceuticals and said it would enlist Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to sell the pill in Europe.

Monday, March 14

Tri-City Medical Center Board May Dismiss CEO Tim Moran

Oceanside’s Tri-City Medical Center may soon part ways with CEO Tim Moran less than two years after hiring him.

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LRAD Corp. Names Activist Shareholders, CEO to Resign

Activist shareholders named two directors to the board of LRAD Corp. and have achieved their goal of dismissing the company’s CEO.

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Kratos Awarded $11.2 Million From Unnamed U.S. Government Agency

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said that its RT Logic subsidiary received an $11.2 million task order from an unnamed U.S. government agency. The deal, announced March 8, calls for Kratos (Nasdaq: KTOS) to supply satellite and communication system products, hardware and equipment.

2015 Earnings Reported by Three Life Science Companies

Three San Diego life science firms reported earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2015: Mast Therapeutics Inc., Biocept Inc. and Mirati Therapeutics Inc.

Business Journal to Host Inaugural Mid-Year Real Estate Economic Update Event

Join the San Diego Business Journal and a panel of regional experts for an inaugural Mid-Year Economic Update as seen through the lens of the San Diego real estate market. This exclusive event will be held on Thursday, April 28, on the scenic 24th floor of 1 Columbia Place beginning at 7 a.m.

Craig Swenson Named President of Ashford University

Ashford University, a for-profit university owned by San Diego-based Bridgeport Education Inc., said Monday it was appointing Craig Swenson as its new president.

HomeStreet Bank Opening Two Branches in San Diego

Seattle-based HomeStreet Bank on Monday said it was expanding into San Diego with two branches opening this month.

Regulations Costly for Local Foreign Investment

There are more than 700 Japanese-based companies with offices located in Southern California, one of the highest concentrations of Japanese companies located outside of Japan.

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Best Supporting Role Goes to Donors of Seacrest Village

The Women’s Auxiliary of Seacrest Village Retirement Communities held its 38th Annual Gala, “Silver Screen,” at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine recently with Esther Fischer and Linda Platt serving as co-chairs of the Gala.

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View of the Top Shows Some Wonderful Selections for Buyers

The climate in San Diego is among the best in the world, but one that comes with a cost that shows no sign of slowing its climb. A review of median prices in 2015 for San Diego County revealed 10 ZIP codes with a median price of more than $1 million for sales of detached, single-family homes.

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Navigation Aids

Finding the Path of ‘Least Resistance’ For Getting Around

Recent city changes, with more on the way, seek to streamline the flow of drivers and pedestrians throughout downtown San Diego.

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Japanese Billionaire Invests $40 Million in Aspyrian Therapeutics

San Diego biotech Aspyrian Therapeutics has raised $40 million to pursue a new way to fight cancer.

Space Exploration

Quartyard and SILO Find Fertile Ground For Community Cultural Connections

Despite being inherently temporary, artsy “pop up” communities are making themselves quite at home in the empty lots of East Village. Pop up culture is a relatively new trend in big cities nationwide: a reaction, some say, to recession-fueled urban decay.

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Hotel Del Coronado Part of $6.5 Billion Portfolio Sale to Chinese Firm

The historic Hotel del Coronado is part of a portfolio of 16 U.S. hotels reportedly being sold by Blackstone Group LP to China’s Anbang Insurance Group, in a deal valued at approximately $6.5 billion.

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The Big Bang Theory

Area Looks for That One Giant Company or School That Will Create a New, Expansive Business Universe

While apartments and hotels have gone up downtown at a comfortable pace, it remains an open question whether there will be enough new office buildings to meet downtown boosters’ hopes for a vibrant commercial center, especially in East Village’s 35-block I.D.E.A. District.

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San Diego Apartment Property Sold for $3.4 Million

WLA Investments of Newport Beach has acquired an 18-unit apartment complex in San Diego’s Talmadge neighborhood for $3.4 million, according to brokerage firm ACI Apartments Inc.

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Changing Jobs

Downtown’s Labor Landscape Evolves Over the Years As Area Itself Transforms

The nature of work in downtown San Diego is changing once again.

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In Good Company

Independent Workers and Innovative Technology Change the Labor Landscape with Coworking Spaces

Coworking has been one of the fastest-growing entrepreneurial trends of the last decade, and downtown San Diego is no exception.

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Living Large and Small

Micro Units Join the Area’s Luxury Condos As Residential Mix Remains Bleak for Families

When it comes to millennial family formation, downtown residents may be better off talking to the U-Haul clerk than a real estate agent as the three-bedroom market is left to other parts of the county. Downtown — rich in luxury condos and apartments — instead seems to be making micro units a bigger part of the mix.

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Sunday, March 13

Vertex Pharmaceuticals to Expand Its San Diego Presence

Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals is expanding its presence in San Diego.

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A New Developer Eyes Former Escondido Country Club Site

Housing developer New Urban West Inc. of Santa Monica is examining possible development of the former Escondido Country Club, the future of which has long been the subject of controversy under its current property owner.

Reflexion Health Makes Interim CEO Permanent

Local health tech guru Dr. Joe Smith has been appointed the permanent CEO of Reflexion Health, a digital health company in downtown San Diego.

The Business Calendar for the Week of March 14, 2016

Some of the business events scheduled in the county for the week of March 14, 2016, and beyond.

Local Firm Acquires Las Vegas Condos for $7.7 Million

San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners LLC has acquired 39 remaining and unsold units within an 83-unit Las Vegas condominium community for $7.7 million, the company announced.

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Two Execs Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Launder Money From Illegal Butane Business

Two former executives of a Newport Beach-based butane manufacturer tied to the marijuana industry pleaded guilty March 11 in San Diego federal court to conspiring to launder money from their business.

San Diego Apartment Property Sells for $3.6 Million

Dan Feder of San Diego-based F&F Property Management Inc. has purchased a 25-unit apartment complex in the city’s Rolando neighborhood for $3.6 million, according to brokerage firm Apartment Realty Group (ARG).

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Coastal Commission Appoints Acting Executive Director

The California Coastal Commission appointed Jack Ainsworth acting executive director and discussed the process for hiring a new permanent leader in its Santa Monica meeting March 9.

Groups Meet to Discuss Strengthening U.S.-Mexico Economic Ties

More than a dozen business, trade and economic development organizations representing interests along the U.S.-Mexico border met to discuss strengthening border ties and economic promise of the border region, according to a news release from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Kratos Receives $5.49M Navy Contract

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. said on March 11 that it received a U.S. Navy contract valued at $5.49 million.

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Friday, March 11

S.D. Apartment Property Sells for $3.6 Million

Dan Feder of San Diego-based F&F Property Management Inc. has purchased a 25-unit apartment complex in the city’s Rolando neighborhood for $3.6 million, according to brokerage firm Apartment Realty Group (ARG).

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S.D. Firm Acquires Las Vegas Condos for $7.7 Million

San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners LLC has acquired 39 remaining and unsold units within an 83-unit Las Vegas condominium community for $7.7 million, the company announced.

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Developer Eyes Former Escondido Country Club Site

Housing developer New Urban West Inc. of Santa Monica is examining possible development of the former Escondido Country Club, the future of which has long been the subject of controversy under its current property owner.

Vertex Enters Long-term Lease, Will More Than Double Local Footprint

Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals is expanding its presence in San Diego.

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Business Calendar for Week of March 14, 2016

Some of the business events scheduled in the county for the week of March 14, 2016, and beyond.

Joe Smith Named Permanent CEO of Reflexion Health

Local health tech guru Dr. Joe Smith has been appointed the permanent CEO of Reflexion Health, a digital health company in downtown San Diego.

Thursday, March 10

Kratos Defense Reports Q4 Net Loss of $4M on Earnings of $177.5M

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc., the defense holding company based in the University Towne Center neighborhood, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $4 million, or 7 cents per share, on revenue of $177.5 million.

Surge Pricing

Increase In Demand Drives Prices Higher Despite Smaller, More Efficient Units

Real estate advisers suggest San Diego’s downtown real estate will move to provide smaller units, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re affordable.

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Echo Boom

Downtown Transformation at Frenzied Pace: 17 Projects Underway, 32 More Approved

From Little Italy to East Village, downtown San Diego continues to witness a steady post-recession stream of new building projects, especially apartments geared to the rising tide of millennial-age residents – 35 and younger – who prefer to live and work in vibrant urban spaces.

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Tyson & Mendes Brings Aboard Experienced Trial Lawyer

Susan L. Oliver is the newest San Diego partner at Tyson & Mendes LLP. A trial lawyer with more than 23 years of experience, Oliver has built a strong reputation for successfully defending a wide range of clients in professional and product liability, personal injury, business and employment cases, as well as complex civil litigation.

Lytx Buyer Sees Opportunities Down the Road

TECH: Lytx Said to To Have 66 Percent Of Emerging Market

The Chicago private equity firm buying Lytx Inc. wants its new acquisition to stay the course.

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Co. Deftly Avoids Prescribed Path to Market

PHARMA: Otonomy Cuts Usual Costs, Time With Middle Ear Drug

Local drugmaker Otonomy Inc. launched its lead drug Otiprio this month, bringing the asset from the lab to market in less than eight years and without the help of Big Pharma.

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Brewing Scene Experiences Changes as the Sector Expands

BEVERAGE: Twisted Manzanita Focuses Its Attention on Spirits

Santee’s Twisted Manzanita Ales & Spirits recently pulled the plug on its beer operations to focus on craft spirits, and the multivenue URBN Restaurant Group shut down brewing operations at its El Cajon brewpub.

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Online Platform Connects Homeowners and Contractors

TECH: It Includes A Mobile App and A B2B Component

Ron Blackburn and Craig Dennis took all of their favorite pieces of social media and combined them to create OurDesign, an online platform launching later this month to connect the construction industry.

S.D. Aerospace Sector Brings Home Business and Good Jobs

The number of aerospace workers in San Diego County has snowballed over the last decade to slightly more than 12,000, according to a new report.

Caution Is Creeping Into the Commercial Real Estate Sector

PROPERTY: Some Short-Term Investors Pull Back From Market

Few things are certain in commercial real estate investing, including how long the United States will remain the calm center of what has recently been a volatile global economy.

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Coalition Targets Regulations in Effort to Cut Housing Costs

HOUSING: Diverse Interests Realize Economic Importance of the Task

A local construction coalition is trying to reduce housing costs, one regulation at a time.

Construction Cos. Have Second Job: Finding Skilled Workers

BUILDING: Sector Has Aging Workforce, Lack Of Training Pipeline

When the recession hit San Diego, Taylor Trim and Supply Inc. downsized from 168 employees to about 46, with many of them switching careers, taking unemployment or leaving the area.

Home Battery System Plugs In To Your Outlet, Your Aesthetic

ENERGY: Easy-to-Use System Is Portable, Stylish And Needs No Installation

Local tech startup Orison is going up against the biggest name in energy storage with a sleek new product that could rival Tesla’s innovation.

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Fallbrook Shopping Center Sells for $23.6 Million

Gerrity Group of Solana Beach has acquired a grocery-anchored retail center in Fallbrook for $23.6 million, according to real estate services firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP (HFF).

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InfoSonics Corp. Reports Q4 Net Loss of $959,000

InfoSonics Corp., which produces wireless phones and tablets largely for the Latin American market, reported a fourth quarter net loss of $959,000, or 7 cents per share, on quarterly net sales of $10.2 million. In the same quarter one year ago, the business reported net income of $730,000, or a nickel per share, on revenue of $17.9 million.

Kyoto Prize Symposium to Feature Famed Chemist, Astrophysicist, Choreographer

Chemist Toyoki Kunitake, winner of the 2015 Kyoto Prize for advanced technology, will speak at 10 a.m. March 16 at Montezuma Hall of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at San Diego State University.

County's Credit Unions Loaned $11 Billion to Members in Fourth Quarter

San Diego County’s 19 credit unions loaned $11 billion to their members in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2015, up 18 percent from last year, as loan volume, deposits and memberships all hit new records, the California Credit Union League said.

Downtown Rising

Why go downtown? When San Diegans fell in love with the suburbs after World War II, people asked the question with a negative tone. Why go downtown? Nothing there but sailors and grit.

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Flatley Took Illumina From Startup to Star

TECH: CEO Steps Down; Co. in Sequencing Top Spot

Following a string of big news since the first of the year, San Diego’s Illumina Inc. announced a shakeup at headquarters — CEO Jay Flatley is stepping down.

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Make March Madness A Net Gain for Morale

Sport: Distractions Also Require Adept Management

Sports is a huge part of lender National Funding’s culture: it has a suite at Qualcomm Stadium, stepped in at the last minute to sponsor the most recent Holiday Bowl and has dozens of intense fans on staff eager to talk about their favorite teams.

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Tight Retail Market a Buffer From Closures

RETAIL: Sports Authority Sites Are Likely to Be Filled

San Diego County dodged the bullet when nationwide store closings were carried out in recent months by several major retailers, including Macy’s, Walmart and Sears.

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Ted Tollner Named President of S.D. Bowl Game Association

Former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ted Tollner has been named president of the San Diego Bowl Game Association, the organization said Thursday.

Bosa Buys Downtown Retail Building for $27 Million

Bosa Development Corp. has purchased a downtown San Diego retail building for $27 million, the latest of at least five separate downtown property acquisition deals made by the Vancouver, B.C-based company since December, totaling $132.2 million.

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Wednesday, March 9

Local Firm Completes $3 Million Renovation of Phoenix Apartments

San Diego-headquartered Sunrise Management has completed an approximately $3 million renovation and rebranding of four Phoenix-area apartment properties, which were recently acquired by San Francisco-based 29th Street Capital for nearly $19.3 million.

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Sempra Subsidiary to Partner With Sol Systems

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power announced it was partnering with solar energy finance and investment firm Sol Systems to explore investment opportunities for non-centralized energy generation projects.

Port District Begins Review of Hotels Planned Near Convention Center

San Diego port district commissioners have authorized staff to begin environmental and other preliminary studies of a new $270 million hotel development proposed for a downtown site behind San Diego Convention Center. The site was previously eyed for a planned $520 million expansion of the center.

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Biocept Inc. Signs Agreement With PPO FedMed

San Diego-based Biocept Inc., a company making liquid biopsies to improve the detection and treatment of cancer, inked a deal with preferred provider organization (PPO) network FedMed.

Cheryl Goodman Named Executive Director of Athena San Diego

Athena San Diego announced Cheryl Goodman as the new executive director, effective March 1. The company also announced its five new board members.

Median Home Price Rose 7 Percent in February

The median prices of previously owned San Diego homes rose 7 percent in the 12-month period ending in February, though sales dipped, especially for single-family homes, according to the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.

Mitek CEO James DeBello Named Chairman of the Board

The board of Mitek Systems Inc. named CEO James DeBello to the role of chairman, the technology company announced on March 9. DeBello takes the chairmanship from John Thornton, who stepped down from the board.

Navy Awards BAE Systems $47.3 Million Contract

The U.S. Navy awarded BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair its second contract in a week.

Tuesday, March 8

BusinessOnline Acquires Boston-Based Digital Marketing Agency

BusinessOnline, a San Diego-based digital marketing agency, announced it has acquired UpWord Search Marketing, a Boston-based digital agency specializing in search marketing, social media, content marketing and analytics.

Alternative Strategies Relocates to North Park

Local company Alternative Strategies announced that it moved to North Park from Mission Valley on March 7 as part of its expansion and rebranding.

Verve Wireless Takes Space at Cruzan’s Make Office Property in Carlsbad

Verve Wireless Inc. has leased nearly 30,000 square feet at the Make office complex in Carlsbad, as the New York-based company significantly expands its local presence, according to brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield.

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W.E. O’Neil Acquires Hearne Construction

W.E. O’Neil Construction Co. President John Finn announced the acquisition of Hearne Construction, a San-Diego based general contractor.

Elder Care Guides Changes Name, Rebrands

Local company Elder Care Guides announced March 8 its name change to Windward Life Care, reflecting a shifting emphasis in the care management industry toward aging well, proactive wellness planning and prevention.

Bizness Apps Moving Operations to San Diego

San Francisco-based Bizness Apps said it plans to move to San Diego in April, bringing nearly 100 jobs with it.

Qualcomm Directors Raise Dividend 10 Percent

Directors of Qualcomm Inc. raised the company’s dividend 10 percent, the company said March 8.

AMN Healthcare, National University Announce Partnership

San Diego-based AMN Healthcare, the largest health care staffing company in the nation, has partnered with National University to build educational programs to better prepare clinical professionals for the field.

Monday, March 7

Illumina President to Also Take on CEO Role in July

San Diego-based Illumina, the world’s largest maker of DNA sequencing machines, announced that its president, Francis deSouza, will be appointed CEO in July.

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San Diego Ranks 11th in U.S. for Office Property Investment According to Survey

San Diego placed 11th in the latest national ranking of U.S. office investment markets, slipping three notches from the year-ago listing by the brokerage company Marcus & Millichap.

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NuVasive Inc. Acquires Brazilian Company

San Diego medical device maker NuVasive Inc. announced that it is acquiring Mega Surgical, the exclusive distributor of NuVasive products in Brazil.

BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair Receives $28.2M Navy Deal

The U.S. Navy awarded BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair a $28.2 million contract modification for work on the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Higgins.

Law Firm One LLP Opens Del Mar Office

One LLP, an intellectual property, technology and media law firm, opened a new office in San Diego, the firm announced.

UC San Diego Health to Collaborate with Company for Cancer Care in Imperial Valley

UC San Diego Health is expanding its footprint in Imperial Valley by collaborating with Vantage Oncology to provide cancer care services in the region.

New SpringHill Suites Hotel Opening in Mission Valley

Owner and franchisee OTO Development of South Carolina plans a March 10 opening for its new 135-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Mission Valley.

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Sunday, March 6

4S Ranch Office Property Sells for $3.72 Million

Coseo Family Trust of San Diego has purchased a 4S Ranch office building for approximately $3.72 million, according to brokerage firm Colliers International.

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San Diego Joins Energy Secure Cities Coalition

San Diego joins seven other cities to form the Energy Secure Cities Coalition (ESCC), a new energy coalition that works to transition vehicles from using gasoline and diesel fuel to alternative fuels, like electricity and natural gas.

Harper Construction Co. Gets $25.1 Million Navy Deal

Harper Construction Co. Inc. will travel to Ventura County to perform its latest building project for the U.S. Navy.

The Business Calendar for the Week of March 7, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 7, 2016, and beyond.

Senomyx Inc. Reports Q4, Yearly Results

Senomyx Inc., a San Diego biotech that makes flavor-enhancers, announced financial earnings for the fourth quarter and full 2015 year.

Engineering Firm Buys Downtown Building for $2.75 Million

An affiliate of Irvine-based engineering and consulting firm Noreas Inc. has purchased a building near downtown San Diego for approximately $2.75 million, as it expands into the local market, according to brokerage firm Voit Real Estate Services.

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County's Unemployment Rate Is 4.7% for January

San Diego’s unemployment rate edged down to 4.7 percent in January, from a revised 4.8 percent the month before, as a smaller labor force offsets a net loss of 19,800 jobs.

Friday, March 4

Business Calendar for March 7, 2016

Some of the business events planned in the county for the week of March 7, 2016, and beyond.

4S Ranch Office Property Sold for $3.72 Million

Coseo Family Trust of San Diego has purchased a 4S Ranch office building for approximately $3.72 million, according to brokerage firm Colliers International.

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S.D.'s January Unemployment Rate Slightly Down to 4.7%

San Diego’s unemployment rate edged down to 4.7 percent in January, from a revised 4.8 percent the month before, as a smaller labor force offsets a net loss of 19,800 jobs.

Engineering Firm Purchases Downtown Building for $2.75 Million

An affiliate of Irvine-based engineering and consulting firm Noreas Inc. has purchased a building near downtown San Diego for approximately $2.75 million, as it expands into the local market, according to brokerage firm Voit Real Estate Services.

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Thursday, March 3

Pacific West Builders Awarded $9 Million Navy Contract

The U.S. Navy awarded Pacific West Builders, a small business based in National City, a $9 million project at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms. Under the deal, announced Feb. 29, the company will repair and rehabilitate Field Maintenance Facility Building 2000. Work is expected to last through the end of the year.

UC San Diego Receives Multimillion-Dollar Gift from Famed Pollster

The University of California, San Diego announced March 3 that it has accepted a gift from pollster, academic and social researcher Daniel Yankelovich.

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Employing Veterans Must Continue to Be a Priority

We’ve come far in just a short time in taking care of our veterans.

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KPBS, Union Bank Recognize Efforts of Some Local Heroes

As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, Union Bank joined KPBS to honor 18 inspirational individuals at the 18th Annual Local Heroes celebration recently.

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San Diego Has Nation's Second-Largest Millennial Population

San Diego has the second-largest millennial population per capita among the nation’s largest cities, but they are having a harder time finding work, according to an analysis Thursday from JLL Research.

Driving Efficiency Fuels Growth for Telematics Reseller

TECHNOLOGY: Firm Utilizes GPS Monitoring To Reduce Trucking Costs

Even though gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in more than five years, companies in charge of vehicle fleets are constantly trying to cut down on fuel costs.

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Company Taps Knowledge-Based Needs of Government

TECH: Redhorse’s Work Is Supporting More Than 20 Agencies

When David Inmon was ready to try his hand at entrepreneurship, one of his first tasks was choosing a name for his company.

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May 4 Opening Scheduled for Horton Plaza Park

A May 4 opening is scheduled for the redeveloped Horton Plaza Park, a new urban plaza and public gathering space next-door to Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego.

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Company Has Designs on Way to Build Smaller Projects

CONSTRUCTION: Firm Finds Success in Remodels, Retail Shops and Restaurants

Alfredo Jaime and Rodolfo Farber set out from Mexico with the same idea in mind for the construction industry: bringing their client’s visions to life.

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Curiosity, Aptitude Were Winning Combination for IT Expert

TECH: Her Business Provides Array of Services To Health Care, Science

Many successful entrepreneurs claim to have worked “from the ground up,” but Joyce Tang is likely one of the few who means it literally.

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Landscape Architect Is Blazing Her Own Trail of Beauty

DESIGN: Love of Land Motivates Vicki Estrada To Highlight Nature

Office campus tenants are not only desiring but increasingly demanding indoor-outdoor spaces that infuse their workplaces with fresh air, trees and other greenery. Even hospitals are taking steps to emulate relaxing resorts, installing plant-filled terraces and meditative gardens to take the scare factor out of receiving medical care.

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Celebrating Diversity

Special Report | Minority-Owned businesses

The San Diego region’s diverse population is increasingly reflected in the minority-owned businesses that provide a range of services, from tech support, to general contracting to logistics.

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Survey Finds Lack of Confidence in Big Picture

ECONOMY: Businesses Bullish But Only on Personal Prospects

San Diego business owners are more pessimistic about the national economy than they were last year though they remain confident about their personal prospects, according to a report released last month by Union Bank.

Paychecks and Benefits Are Only Part of the Package Today

WORKFORCE: Employees Expect Perks and Sense Of Purpose in Workplace

In competitive industries, the San Diego region’s employers often find themselves offering perks to workers to make them feel appreciated and to reduce attrition.

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Qualcomm Life Tests Incentives For Fitness Trackers

San Diego’s Qualcomm Life is partnering with mega health insurer UnitedHealthcare to incorporate wearable tech such as fitness trackers into its employer health plans.

Hotel Del Deal Heavyweight of 2015’s $1.47B in Hospitality Sales

Thanks to some big-ticket deals, San Diego County saw a total of $1.47 billion in hotel property sales transactions in 2015 – up 84 percent in total value from the prior year.

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Task Force Finds Model For Student Success at Thinkabit Lab

The private sector can offer a lot — a learning environment, technical knowledge and a measure of help — to economically disadvantaged students under an ambitious plan to bring more young people into high-demand scientific and tech jobs.

Many Businesses Unclear on Stormwater Rules Compliance

REGULATION: Most Small Industrial Cos. Are Unaware of Updated Permit

San Diego’s small industrial businesses are struggling to meet the demands of the state’s updated Industrial General Permit (IGP) and new stormwater regulations.

Group Takes Construction Site Training to New Heights

SAFTEY: Fall-Prevention Simulators Are Most Advanced On West Coast

Put on a harness and hang from the rafters and you might start to understand what it will feel like to save your own life if you fall while on a construction job.

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Low-Tech Innovation Provides Soldiers With Proper Cover

HEALTH: Surfer Sunscreen Inspires Pair To Develop Camo Face Paint With SPF

While the military develops robotic pack animals and “super vision” contact lenses, it’s surprising to see untapped innovation in something as low-tech as camouflage face paint.

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Leak May Cloud Future Sempra Profits

ENERGY: The Eventual Costs Are Difficult to Determine

Sempra Energy last month reported 16 percent earnings growth for 2015, beating analyst expectations, even as it faces $330 million in costs tied to subsidiary Southern California Gas Co.’s methane gas leak in Aliso Canyon.

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Qualcomm Plants Its Flag in 5G Territory

TECH: Move Could Put Co. in 5G Driver’s Seat

At Qualcomm Inc., the future is synonymous with five.

Mall Defeat Doesn’t Deter Lilac Hills

PROPERTY: Measure A Loss Provides Some Lessons

Thanks in part to an unusually high turnout for an off-cycle special election, developer Caruso Affiliated was defeated at the polls in Carlsbad after attempting to bypass lengthy state environmental review rules and get its lagoon-adjacent retail center project directly approved by voters.

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Keeping Current

ENERGY: Co.’s Wind Turbine Design Fill Gaps In Renewable Energy

As a longtime sailor, surfer, and engineer, Ned McMahon knows how to harness the wind.

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State Regulators Cite, Fine Three S.D. Manufacturers

California regulators on Wednesday said they issued work stop orders to three San Diego cabinet manufacturers for using saws without proper safety equipment and other infractions.

Poway Retail Center Sells for $6 Million

An entity recorded as Old Poway Village LLC of San Diego has purchased the Old Poway Village retail center for $6 million, according to brokerage company ECP Commercial.

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Summer Debut Planned for Dual-Branded Hilton Campus Downtown

Developer and owner T2 Hospitality plans a summer opening for a new dual-branded Hilton hotel campus near Little Italy, nearing completion on the site that formerly housed Tops Nightclub and later the popular Fat City restaurant.

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Navy Awards $156.6 Million Contract to General Dynamics NASSCO

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $156.6 million contract for shipyard work on the USS Essex, a large amphibious assault ship that joined the fleet in the 1990s.

Wednesday, March 2

San Diego Apartment Property Sold for $2.2 Million

Kleege Enterprises of San Diego, led by Bruce Kleege, has acquired a six-unit apartment property in San Diego’s Crown Point neighborhood for approximately $2.2 million, according to brokerage company Colliers International.

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Sorrento Therapeutics, Yuhan Form Joint Venture Company

San Diego-based Sorrento Therapeutics and South Korean pharmaceutical company Yuhan are forming a joint venture, ImmuneOncia Therapeutics, to develop and commercialize potential anti-cancer treatments.

Sequenom Signs Agreement with Anthem Blue Cross

San Diego’s Sequenom Inc. has inked an in-network agreement with Anthem Blue Cross, the company announced Wednesday. The deal, along with several cost-cutting measures, may help the diagnostic company recover from recent financial setbacks.

Redevelopment Planned After Retail Center Sells for $2.5 Million

Talmadge Gateway LP of San Diego has purchased a retail strip center in the city’s Talmadge neighborhood for $2.5 million, according to brokerage firm ACI Apartments Inc.

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Pinnacle International Buys Downtown Site for $10.9 Million

Pinnacle International Lands LLC of Vancouver, B.C., has purchased a downtown San Diego land parcel, previously entitled for a 22-story apartment and condo project, for $10.9 million, according to brokerage company Cushman & Wakefield.

Safdie Rabines Architects Chosen for UC San Diego Project

The University of California, San Diego selected local firm Safdie Rabines Architects as executive architect for the $12 million Southwest Fisheries Science Center renovation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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Tuesday, March 1

Qualcomm Agrees to Pay $7.5 Million to Settle SEC Investigation

Qualcomm Inc. said March 1 that it settled alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $7.5 million.

TearLab Corp. Announces Restructuring, Layoffs

San Diego’s TearLab Corp. is laying off 54 of its 134 employees as part of a strategic restructuring plan to reduce company expenses.

U.S. Navy Awards Three-Year Contracts to Four Companies

Four companies — Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., G2 Software Systems Inc., Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. and Science Applications International Corp. — received U.S. Navy contracts to provide technical support to SPAWAR, the San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

San Diego Council Approves Urban Agriculture Incentives

The San Diego City Council has unanimously approved a new urban agriculture incentive zone, designed to spur the growing of fresh produce in neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores.

Bosa Development Buys Downtown Office Tower for $53.2 Million

Vancouver, B.C-based Bosa Development has acquired the downtown San Diego office tower known as Five Thirty B for $53.2 million, according to the seller, Kearny Real Estate Co. of Los Angeles.

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Silvergate Bank Reports $8.1 Million in Net Income for 2015

La Jolla-based Silvergate Bank on Tuesday said its annual net income rose to a record $8.1 million last year, up nearly 60 percent from $5.1 million in 2014, despite income staying flat in the fourth quarter.

Bettie Youngs Appointed to City Ballet Board

Bettie Youngs has been appointed to a two-year term on the Board of Directors of City Ballet of San Diego.

OneRoof Energy Signs Agreement with UC Riverside

OneRoof Energy Inc., a residential solar services provider, has signed an agreement with the University of California, Riverside to test next-generation solar panels.

January Home Values Rose 7.9 Percent Year Over Year

Home values in San Diego and Carlsbad leapt 7.9 percent in January from the year before, as the Northwest and Rocky Mountain states recorded some of the highest growth in the nation, according to a report Tuesday from CoreLogic.