PROPERTY: Buyers Are Ready to Make the Move to Luxury Houses
Luxury housing sales in San Diego continued to climb this year, with most properties attracting multiple offers, and closing faster than since the onset of the recession, say local real estate agents active in this market.
ENERGY: State Leads the Nation for Solar Energy Systems
San Diego’s adaption of residential solar energy systems was so great last year it blew through a goal it wasn’t supposed to reach for another four years.
ENERGY: They Could Pass Costs to Customers, Increase Energy Efficiency
David Iwashita says the pending electrical rate hike will increase operating costs at the Lafayette Hotel, the Mid City business he manages, but the costs may not be as steep because of its recent renovations.
DESIGN: Structure Provides Energy Savings And Lifesaving Benefits
They call it a “living roof” for a few reasons. Not only does the roof on a diagnostics facility next to Palomar Medical Center contain myriad succulents and other native plants of the Escondido hillsides, it also exists as a healing tool.
TECH: Manufacturing Clients Draw Firm to Border Region
JOT Automation Inc., a Finnish manufacturer of high-tech automation equipment, will open a second office in San Diego in Otay Mesa next week to handle an increasing amount of business from both the telecommunications and automotive industries.
Torrey Pines Bank made a splash last year when it passed that $2 billion asset mark, but it shrunk a bit in the first quarter to $1.95 billion, still fairly big and San Diego’s third largest commercial bank.
Cyber: Buyer’s Experience, Capital Should Be Big Pluses
The proposed acquisition of Websense Inc. by Vista Equity Partners announced last week could result in a lot of upside for the Web security business firm, said several industry analysts.
SOFTWARE: Cloud-based Systems Are Marketed To Consultants and Planners
Every business and organization needs a strategic plan, some roadmap outlining what an organization’s goals are and how it expects to achieve them. But creating a strategy and putting it into action are two vastly different things.
ACCOUNTING: Forensic Accountants Pursue Financial Facts With Variety of Skills
Sifting through mountains of financial records to figure out the net worth of a person may not sound glamorous, but it’s the stuff that gets forensic accountants excited.
BofI Holding Inc., parent of BofI Federal Bank, continues getting larger as it expands its repertoire of loan offerings.
FINANCE: Hiring Is Across the Board, Salaries on the Rise
Always in fairly high demand, workers with accounting and finance experience are finding increased job opportunities as companies gradually expand operations, and competition for top talent ratchets up.
RETAIL: Appetite For Healthier Foods Spurs Growth of Chain
Sprouts Farmers Market LLC, the natural foods retailer whose origins go back to a fruit stand on El Cajon Boulevard in 1943, filed to go public earlier this month and raise about $300 million.
REAL ESTATE: Homes Above $1M Rising, But Still Below 2008 Median
San Diego’s median home prices continued climbing last month with the increases in the luxury category, above $1 million, rising faster than the rest of the market, say housing industry sources.
MANUFACTURING: Change Made Economic Sense
Fallbrook Technologies, the San Diego-based maker of gearless transmissions, is closing down its headquarters office and relocating to Texas.
LEADERSHIP: Analysts Take News in Stride, Shares Rise
Two San Diego public companies, Active Network and Encore Capital Group, replaced their chief executive officers, although one change occurred suddenly and without reason.
California Bank & Trust, San Diego’s largest locally based bank with about $11 billion in assets, reported a slightly better first quarter, netting $31.9 million, up from $29.7 million in net income in the same quarter a year earlier.
TRADE: Mexico is Top Trading Partner, Driven By Maquiladoras
The value of goods exported and imported through San Diego continues to grow, largely thanks to its biggest trading partner, Mexico, which makes up about 86 percent of the total trade, according to a recent report from a local think tank.
BANKING: Branch Banking Adapts to Technology Advances
Despite a quantum shift by more consumers doing their banking via the Internet and ATMs, most banks say they have no plans to eliminate their retail branch networks.
FINANCE: The CDC Has Loaned Nearly $4B In Its 35 Years
Now in its 35th year, small business lender San Diego-based CDC Small Business Finance can take some pride in the legacy it’s created.
Good borrowers may be tougher to find, but it’s much easier if you’ve got a sizable loan production network. That appears to be the case at Seacoast Commerce Bank based in Rancho Bernardo, which operates a dozen loan production offices outside the county where it has two branches. Besides five branches in California, it also has sites in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Sempra Energy, San Diego’s parent to San Diego Gas & Electric and other entities, reported first quarter net income of $178 million, down from $226 million in net income for the first quarter of 2012.
MANUFACTURING: Economic Impact Put at $299.5M and Growing
Things are ramping up at Societe Brewing Co. in San Diego. Opened about a year ago, the craft brewer is on track to produce about 2,400 barrels of beer this year but that will certainly rise when it installs two new tanks sometime this summer, says Doug Constantiner, chief executive officer.
WORKFORCE: Temp Placements Are Increasing; Skilled Workers Sought
San Diego’s job market is starting to show some traction based on the latest employment report that showed the region’s jobless rate falling to 7.7 percent in March.
TECHNOLOGY: After Mulling Its Options, Firm Drops Anchor in San Diego
Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Pascal Wiscour-Conter is a risk taker, but there are degrees of taking risk.
SERVICE: Cleanliness, Efficiency Are Draws for Health Care Customers
Having corralled most of this area’s largest hospitals as clients, Emerald Textiles is expanding into Los Angeles.
FINANCE: Home Flippers Flock To Lenders for ‘Easier’ Money
Hard money or private financing companies that make loans that banks would never touch are busier than ever these days.
Top executives exiting with lucrative golden parachutes when their companies are acquired isn’t new, but it’s less common among small community banks.
SPORTS: Golf Firm’s Clubs, Leadership and Marketing Win the Day
It’s one thing to grow rapidly. Then there’s grabbing market share to the point where you dominate it. That’s the story of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, now without peer in the worldwide sale of two categories of golf clubs: metalwoods, including drivers and fairway woods, and irons.
PROPERTY: Market Forces Said to Be at Play, Not an Overheating
San Diego’s housing market is clearly heating up with increases in median home prices in the past year at double-digit rates, giving rise to concerns that another bubble could be in the works.
SPORTS: Fences Are Closer; Team Looks for Ways to Be Competitive
The San Diego Padres moved in the fences this year so fans should expect lots more home runs and higher scoring games at Petco Park.
FINANCE: Rule Change Allows More Secrecy for Small Firms
With the broader stock market surging, investor appetite for new companies through initial public offerings is also percolating.
PROPERTY: Company Puts Capital Into Home Renovations
Having flipped houses during the depths of the recession, the guys at Renovation Realty knew their best payoffs were behind them.
TECH: Software Delivers Secure Cloud-Based Cash Management
Cash management may sound dull, but not if you’re handling billions of dollars daily for some 750 customers, including major multinational corporations such as Qualcomm Inc. and Nordstrom.
BANKING: Kearny Mesa Move Part of New Lending Strategy
Home Bank of California, one of the area’s smallest but most profitable lenders, found a new home as it shifts its strategy to pursue more business loans.
Reading proxy reports can be fun if you’re into that sort of thing, or if you’re a big shareholder or an employee of the affected companies.
FINANCE: Direct Lending Would Be Managed By a Firm
The board that oversees the $9.1 billion pension fund for San Diego County retirees is considering deploying some of that capital into direct business lending.
Torrey Pines Bank, now at $2 billion in assets and the third largest bank based in San Diego, continued to get bigger last year, increasing assets by 17 percent and its loan portfolio by 12 percent.
PROPERTY: Neighboring Counties Have Fewer Hurdles
As vacant land tabbed for building new homes becomes harder to find in San Diego, residential developers set their sights to the hinterlands in Riverside and Imperial counties, and beyond.
MARKET: Experts Are Advising Clients To Shift to Stocks
As the stock market continues its upward climb, more investors are moving back into equities, some belatedly, but local financial advisers say that there’s still plenty of upside left.
FINANCE: Financial Advisers Break Away From the Big Firms
Locally based broker-dealers that provide back office and support services to independent financial advisers are expanding their local operations as more of the advisers break away from big brokerages.
Another San Diego community bank is exiting the scene. San Diego Trust Bank, founded in 2003 and with three branches and $242 million in assets, agreed to be acquired by Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc., based in Irvine and with $1.2 billion in assets.
Seacoast Commerce Bank changed its business model last year to holding rather than selling its SBA loans, and naturally, its portfolio got a lot larger.
RETAIL: Store Slowly Expands In Costa Rica and Colombia
The folks at PriceSmart Inc. are well aware of how to do retail, whether it’s in this country where it made its name, or in Latin America and the Caribbean, where it now operates.
San Diego County Credit Union, the area’s largest with about $5.8 billion in assets, reported increased loans and profits, and decreased delinquencies for 2012.
FINANCE: Aim Is To Reduce Paperwork And Simplify Process
Believe it or not, there’s a federal government agency that’s actively trying to cut red tape—the U.S. Small Business Administration. The agency announced a series of proposed changes to the loan application process aimed at making it quicker, less paper intensive, and more efficient.
FINANCE: SEC Filing Comes at a Time When Taxes Are Coming Due
The heirs of the late Cubic Corp. founder Walter J. Zable plan to sell about $125 million in Cubic stock to satisfy the tax liability caused by the transfer of Zable’s assets, the company said.
REAL ESTATE: Scarce Land, Low Interest Rates, Motivate Buyers to Act
The increased demand for housing is spilling over to the purchase of new homes, say local builders. “There was an inflection point that happened in 2012,” said Paul Barnes, president of Shea Homes San Diego. “The light turned on inside a lot of people’s heads, and they got re-energized about home ownership.”
REAL ESTATE: Seller’s Market Drives Prices Up; Inventories Remain Tight
The continued dearth of available homes for sale in San Diego is driving up prices and causing much consternation among buyers, who often find their offers on properties too little or too late.
Regents Bank, now a part of Los Angeles-based Grandpoint Capital, grew bigger last year, having assimilated Escondido-based California Community Bank in November.
FINANCE: Tech Coast Angels Look for Startups That Deserve Backing
Yet another sign that a recovery is gaining power: More angels are out there, looking to help companies.