SDBJ WEEKLY EDITION
FINANCE: Local Biotech IPOs Were Market Forces in 2013
This has been a banner year for the life sciences initial public offering. Despite a recent downtick in IPO activity, San Diego has been a national leader in biotechnology and medical device companies going public this year.
DEFENSE: Company Is Doing Current Work; Decision in 2014
Northrop Grumman Corp. will learn in 2014 whether its early work on a U.S. Navy information technology program pays off.
PROPERTY: Hotel Complex, Eatery May Be Finishing Touches
Corky McMillin Cos. has plans for a $100 million, three-hotel project at the mixed-use Liberty Station in Point Loma, which represents the final phase of a decade-long transformation of the former naval training center site.
MEDICINE: Is First California Organization to Join the System
Palomar Health will be the first in California to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a group of about two dozen hospitals that are affiliated with the prestigious Mayo Clinic and can tap its resources.
With the two-year federal student loan default rate touching 10 percent, San Diego financial literacy website iGrad decided to survey college and university administrators nationwide to see if their students have the skills to survive the expense of higher education.
BIOTECH: Strategic Reprioritization Reduces Amount for M&A Activity
Volcano Corp. has authorized a $200 million share repurchase program — an initiative in line with advice from an activist investor who is reportedly grooming the company as an acquisition target.
ACQUISITIONS: Big Deals Dominate the Scene in 2013 As San Diego Is Sellers Market
A soaring stock market spurred a spate of San Diego company acquisitions this year, with six exceeding billion-dollar valuations.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Carlsbad Desalination Project Gets Green Light
The San Diego region saw a $1 billion dollar project get finished this year, and another one for about the same cost get underway.
PROPERTY: Activist Groups Clash With Area’s Shipyards Over Changes
Homes and heavy industry have coexisted — often uneasily — in Barrio Logan for nearly a century; 2013 turned into the year that the simmering issue boiled into a citywide matter.
PROPERTY: Lawsuit Challenges the Coastal Commission’s Approval
The long journey toward an expansion of San Diego Convention Center reached an important milestone this year, when the $520 million project received the blessings of the California Coastal Commission.
PROPERTY: Developers See Housing, Retail and Sporting Opportunities
If one had to declare a single neighborhood as the current development capital of San Diego County, the clear front-runner would be East Village.
TRAVEL: Tourism Authority to Restart Some Marketing Efforts
2014 will be a time of recuperation for local tourism promotion programs, which saw funding lopped off by more than 60 percent in 2013 as a result of political and legal disputes over the San Diego Tourism Marketing District.
GOVERNMENT: Labor Gains Power; Downtown Focus Fades for Both Parties
No matter who wins San Diego’s mayoral runoff election in early 2014 between City Council Members David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer, it won’t change the noticeable shift in the balance of power on the council that has taken place the past five years or how it impacted the business community during 2013.
HEALTH: Scripps, Kaiser, UC San Diego Have Plans For New Facilities
The completion of the $456 million Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital and the $225 million Scripps Proton Therapy Center highlighted a year in which several medical facilities, large and small, made strides toward opening.
TECH: Company Is San Diego’s Largest, Employs 31,000 Worldwide
Qualcomm Inc. — big and iconic and long past its splashy 25th anniversary in 2010 — continued to grow like a spry young company in 2013.
Father Joe’s Villages 12th annual Thanksgiving Day 5Krun/walk fundraiser drew more than 8,000 people. Presented by Wells Fargo, the event organizers reported a net of about $300,000 toward the outreach programs Father Joe’s makes to those in need in the San Diego community.
TECH: User-Friendly System Provides Tracking At the Granular Level
A $1,000 home energy bill was a wake-up call for Scott Steele. The former Motorola executive had recently moved into a 5,000-square-foot home in Poway and wanted to know more about where the electricity was going.
TOURISM: Tourism Authority Plans to Resume More Marketing Efforts
The planned $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center faces yet another legal hurdle after a local environmental group filed a lawsuit challenging the California Coastal Commission’s approval of the project.
Real Estate Column
San Diego County and the nation are in the midst of steady post-recession recovery when it comes to new construction projects, by most indicators; however, many contractors are not yet in a mood to celebrate.
Biotech/Health Care Column
One of the 11 recipients of Bill Gates’ call to build the better condom goes to a Mira Mesa-based company, which posits that a prophylactic crafted from beef tendons could be a market winner.
The Business of Law Column
Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP recently named Michael Maher managing partner. Maher succeeds Darryl Solberg, who has served in that capacity since 1997. Solberg remains an active partner in the firm and is looking forward to focusing solely on practicing law and client relationships.
PHARMA: Dermagraft Sales Decline Big Part of Decision
Irish drugmaker Shire PLC has halted construction of its more than 150,000-square-foot regenerative medicine building in Sorrento Mesa.
PHARMA: GSK and Avalon Creating Climate for Innovation
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline PLC is expanding its West Coast presence with several key moves in San Diego — and its unique partnership with La Jolla-based Avalon Ventures is front and center.
TOURISM: Hotel Proposal Seeks 175 Rooms; Cohn Plans Eatery
Port of San Diego officials in coming months will discuss long-term development prospects for waterfront areas like Harbor Island, where locally based Sunroad Enterprises plans to build a new 175-room hotel.
PROPERTY: Housing Market Changes Give Investors Incentive to Rent
Business partners Imran Clark and Darrell Kucan were among the risk-takers in the wake of the housing market collapse, buying houses mainly through short sales — in which banks approved offers below the amount owed on their loans — and often flipping houses in a few days.
The three finalists in San Diego Venture Group’s annual PitchFest have been selected from a list of more than 90 contestants: student housing search service OnMyBlock, “focused ultrasound” medical device startup Sonrgy Inc. and trust fund service provider TrustEgg.
STARTUPS: Co-Working Site Plans P.B. Location For Innovation, Inspiration
To Raymond Hivoral, the beach and entrepreneurship are like ice cream and a 90-degree day — they go together.
ENERGY: Program Is First in Nation, May Also Generate Revenue
The city of San Diego has a plan to reduce what it spends for electricity to power its streetlights — and maybe generate revenue in the process.
Bank merger activity slowed this year nationally, but prices paid are getting richer, according to a recent study by SNL Financial, a Virginia-based financial research firm.
FINANCE: Those Who Haven’t Saved May Find Golden Years Tarnished
As many older employees look at the time they have left before they retire, many realize they haven’t saved enough and are opting to continue working, local wealth advisers said.