San Diego Business Journal

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AECOM Signs $10 Million Lease at Emmes-Owned Downtown Tower

Engineering and consulting services provider AECOM Technology Corp. has signed a seven-year lease for approximately $10 million, to occupy a space at the 1 Columbia Place office tower in downtown San Diego, owned by New York-based Emmes Asset Management Co. LLC.

San Diego City Council Votes to Raise Minimum Wage

San Diego City Council has voted 6-3 to raise the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by January 2017.

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Official Start of U.S. Construction on $120M Cross-Border Airport Bridge Announced

Developers and San Diego civic leaders recently announced the official start of construction for a new $120 million cross-border pedestrian bridge linking Otay Mesa with Tijuana International Airport.

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Trigild Completes Retail Center Sales Totaling $42 Million

San Diego-based real estate services provider Trigild recently completed the sale of 37 strip retail centers in 17 states, in transactions totaling about $42 million.

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Pension Fund Buys Three Carmel Valley Office Buildings for $39.2M

West Sacramento-based CalSTRS, the pension fund of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, bought a three-building office portfolio in Carmel Valley for $39.2 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

Local Hotel Industry Seems to Have Put Downturn Behind It

TOURISM: Marketing Efforts Return; Metrics Show a Strong Sector

With regional marketing dollars now flowing freely and political snags in the rear-view mirror, experts said San Diego County’s hotel industry enters the second half of 2014 in a much better financial position than it did a year ago.

Mixed-Use and Mass Transit Combine to Meet Needs of Tomorrow

DEVELOPMENT: Input Sought on Plan for Trolley Linking Downtown, UTC

As demographic groups, millennials and retirees are both making strong cases for developing dense, walkable neighborhoods along mass-transit corridors, with shopping, dining and other amenities accessible without a car trip.

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Pension Fund Buys 3 Carmel Valley Office Buildings for $39.2 Million

West Sacramento-based CalSTRS, the pension fund of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, bought a three-building office portfolio in Carmel Valley for $39.2 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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North Embarcadero Makes Changes for the Better

PROPERTY: Additional Amenities Add to Public Appeal of Waterfront Site

The ever-changing face of San Diego’s downtown waterfront, now a busy hive of construction activity, is about to see completion of its newest addition — the $31 million first phase of the North Embarcadero improvement project.

Ride Share Cos. Must Land Permit at Airport

TRANSPORT: San Diego Has Not Authorized Any Operations

San Diego International Airport officials are examining how to respond to the fast-changing world of transportation services, now being disrupted by mobile app-enabled ride companies — such as Lyft and Uber — that compete with traditional taxis and shuttles.

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Course Correction

PROPERTY: Golf Facilities Face Strain Of Competition, Costs

The fate of the defunct Escondido Country Club is in the hands of that city’s voters, after supporters led by a local developer gathered enough signatures to challenge a recent City Council decision — declaring the entire 110-acre site as nondevelopment open space — on the November ballot.

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Otay Mesa Industrial Property Sold for $8.1 Million

A San Diego entity recorded as Niceride1 LLC has purchased an Otay Mesa industrial property for approximately $8.1 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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San Diego Office Buildings Part of $214.4 Million Portfolio Deal

Four San Diego office buildings are part of a seven-state, 37-property commercial portfolio acquired by an affiliate of Dallas-based Lone Star Funds for $214.4 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Kleinfelder Acquires Canadian Engineering Firm

San Diego-based Kleinfelder Inc., which provides construction engineering and architectural services, has acquired the privately held Hood Engineering & Technical Services of Edmonton, Alberta.

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Carlsbad Office Building Sold for $26.2 Million

A San Francisco-based affiliate of New York Life Investment Management LLC has purchased the Centerpoint Plaza office building in Carlsbad for approximately $26.2 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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IHG Plans New Dual-Branded Hotel in Downtown San Diego

U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group, also known as IHG, plans to build a dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites hotel in downtown San Diego, with a total of 332 rooms.

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Cohn’s Indigo Grill Reopens after $500,000 Makeover

San Diego-based Cohn Restaurant Group has reopened its Indigo Grill in Little Italy, following an extensive renovation of approximately $500,000.

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HCP Buys Torrey Pines Life Science Property for $43.7M

Property was 93 percent occupied when it was sold.

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San Diego Airport $80M Parking Plaza Project Back in Motion

San Diego International Airport is moving ahead with planning for a previously deferred parking plaza structure adjacent to Terminal 2.

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Destination XL Opens New Store in Mission Valley

The new store is the company's second in the San Diego area.

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Westcore Sells 9 Industrial Buildings for $88.5 Million

San Diego-based Westcore Properties has sold a nine-building industrial portfolio, which includes five in San Diego, for $88.5 million. The buyer was Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. of Los Angeles, according to statements from the buyer and seller.

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Realty Income Corp. Buys El Cajon Retail Center for $20.1 Million

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. has purchased a two-building community shopping center in El Cajon for approximately $20.1 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Renovation Brings Starbucks to Fenton Development in National City

A new drive-through Starbucks Coffee location is set to open in September at Southport Commercial Center in National City, as part of a renovation being completed by the property’s owner, H.G. Fenton Co.

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Starbucks Coming to Renovated Fenton Development in National City

A new drive-through Starbucks Coffee location is set to open in September at Southport Commercial Center in National City, as part of a renovation being completed by the property’s owner, H.G. Fenton Co.

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Westcore Sells Nine Industrial Buildings for $88.5 Million

San Diego-based Westcore Properties has sold a nine-building industrial portfolio, which includes five in San Diego, for $88.5 million. The buyer was Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. of Los Angeles, according to statements from the buyer and seller.

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City Gives Back to Brewers to Encourage Growth

Beverage: Move Indicative of Competition to Lure Successful Operations

San Diego City Council recently granted $300,000 in development fee reimbursements for expansions underway at Ballast Point Brewing & Sprits and AleSmith Brewing Co., and experts say other communities could eventually deploy similar strategies to attract operators in the fast-growing craft beer industry.

Aerial Tram Proposed For Downtown Transit

TOURISM: Gondola System Could Carry Tourists to the Zoo

San Diego County officials are examining the viability of establishing something along the lines of an “aerial gondola” that would link downtown San Diego with Balboa Park, giving riders a panoramic viewing experience in the process.

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Realty Income Buys El Cajon Retail Center for $20.1 Million

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. has purchased a two-building community shopping center in El Cajon for approximately $20.1 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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San Diego Riding High on List of Best Bicycling Cities

San Diego is among the nation’s 10 best cities for bicycling, on an unranked list recently published by USA Today.

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New Restaurants, Grocer Coming to Little Italy Apartment Tower

Two new restaurants and a natural foods grocer have been signed to occupy the ground floor of Ariel Suites, a recently completed 22-story luxury apartment tower at Beech Street and Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy.

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Trek’s Electra Bicycle Division Moves Headquarters to Encinitas

Electra Bicycle Co., a division of Trek Bicycle Corp., has signed a lease for space in Encinitas where it is relocating its global headquarters, according to brokerage company Lee & Associates.

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BBX Capital Corp. Acquires Solana Beach-Based Jer’s Chocolates

Solana Beach-headquartered candy maker Jer’s Chocolates has been acquired by BBX Sweet Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida-based BBX Capital Corp.

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Sorrento Mesa Industrial Buildings Sold for $18 Million

LGGS Sorrento LLC, a unit of Foster City-based Legacy Partners Commercial Acquisitions, has purchased a four-building industrial portfolio in Sorrento Mesa for approximately $18 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Parallel Capital Nears Completion on $12 Million in Office Renovations

San Diego-based investment firm Parallel Capital Partners is nearing completion on $12 million in renovations to its local portfolio of 26 office, laboratory and research-and-development properties.

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Cleveland Developer Buys Land Under Downtown Apartments for $6 Million

FC Cortez Hill Associates LP of Cleveland bought The Heritage, a 230-unit apartment property in downtown San Diego’s Cortez Hill neighborhood, for $6 million.

San Diego Receives $600,000 State Grant to Complete Southcrest Trails Park

Civic San Diego, which oversees development projects on behalf of the city of San Diego, has received more than $600,000 in a state grant to complete Southcrest Trails Park, in the southeast city neighborhoods of Southcrest and Shelltown.

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County Construction Contracts Up 60% in First 5 Months

Contracts for future construction in San Diego County rose 60 percent from a year ago in the first five months of 2014, topping $2.3 billion, according to data from McGraw Hill Construction.

Whole Foods Settles Allegations Of Overcharging

Specialty grocer Whole Foods Markets Inc. has agreed to pay nearly $800,000 in penalties and restitution for pricing overcharges, following a complaint filed by the city attorneys’ offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

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San Diego State to Start Building Mixed-Use South Campus Plaza

DEVELOPMENT: $142.7M Project Will Create More Of a Residential Campus

San Diego State University plans to begin construction in September on South Campus Plaza, a long-planned $142.7 million mixed-use project with 600 student housing units, retail offerings and a new parking structure.

S.D. Life Science Cluster Healthy

San Diego ranks third among U.S. cities for the economic health of its life sciences cluster, scoring high in a newly issued report on factors including research facilities, funding access and critical mass of startup and midtier companies.

Small Biotechs Add Up To Demand for Space

PROPERTY: REITs Play Bigger Role in Local Market

As big global pharmaceutical companies reduce their San Diego real estate footprints, plenty of smaller firms are moving to take up spaces in various configurations in markets like Torrey Pines.

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White Labs Changes Definition of ‘Green Beer’

BREWING: New Yeast Growing Process Extends Product Life While Reducing Waste

San Diego-based White Labs Inc. is looking to make sustainability a much more prominent ingredient in the recipes of commercial and home brewers of craft beer.

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Catching On

SeaFood: Aquafarm Eyes Growth for Itself and Industry

Thomas Grimm is a familiar face at local farmers markets, but few people beyond Carlsbad know that a good portion of the oysters, clams and mussels on their dinner plates come from a company he operates in a Carlsbad lagoon.

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Local Construction Contracts Up 60 Percent in First Five Months of 2014

Contracts for future construction in San Diego County rose 60 percent from a year ago in the first five months of 2014, topping $2.3 billion, according to data from McGraw Hill Construction.

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Hyatt Regency La Jolla Completes $12 Million Renovation

Hyatt Regency La Jolla has completed a $12 million renovation that included a makeover of the hotel’s 417 guestrooms, lobby, public areas and meeting space.

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Luxury-Oriented Duty Free Store Opening in San Ysidro

Duty Free City plans a late July opening for a new upscale duty-free retail store in San Ysidro, the first of approximately 25 new U.S. locations slated to be opened by the Florida-based retailer at border crossings with Mexico and Canada.

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Bluewater Grill Opening in Former Hotel Del Boathouse

Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurants of Newport Beach has a June 27 opening planned for Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill in Coronado, after recently acquiring and renovating the historic former Coronado Boathouse at Hotel del Coronado.

San Diego Ranks Third Nationally Among Life Science Clusters

San Diego ranks third among U.S. cities for the economic health of its life sciences cluster, scoring high in a newly issued report on factors including research facilities, funding access and critical mass of startup and midtier companies.

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Excel Trust Completes $167.6 Million Common Stock Offering

San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc. completed a public offering of common stock, with total proceeds of about $167.6 million and net proceeds of $160.6 million after underwriting and related expenses.

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Whole Foods Settles Price-Overcharge Case for $800,000

Specialty grocer Whole Foods Markets has agreed to pay nearly $800,000 in penalties and restitution for pricing overcharges, following a complaint filed by the city attorney’s offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Monica.