BY STACEY BENGTSON
Company executives offering free or low-priced goods and services to try to bring the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to San Diego say they’re happy to make a financial sacrifice.
Marketing, transportation and furniture companies are just some of the local firms participating in the coordinated effort.
“I’m willing to break even to get them down here because it will enhance the economy in San Diego,” said Rick Mickels, chief executive officer of Republic Van Lines, which is offering a minimum 30 percent discount for the families who will be moving to the area where the institute is based.
Guy Lannuzzi, president and founder of Mentus, a San Diego-based public relations company that helped put together San Diego’s proposal, also said he’s glad to help.
“This is extremely important research and having the headquarters here will bring a lot to the city,” Lannuzzi said. Mentus is offering its services at a discounted price to the institute.
In an effort to win the institute for San Diego, local leaders on March 16 offered a financial package that includes 10 years of free rent in a building in the Torrey Pines Science Park. San Diego’s financial incentive package exceeds $10.5 million. During the next 10 years, the institute will distribute some $3 billion in funding for stem cell research.
The San Diego Coalition, which was comprised of 20 local civic and biotech leaders, developed an attractive offer that includes 18,990 square feet of office space. The proposed site is within walking distance to public transportation and about 18 minutes by car to Lindbergh Field.
San Diego is competing against several other cities, including San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles.
The proposal includes staffing and administrative services from the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Spherion and Manpower Direct.
Prudential California Realty and the Willis Allen Co. are offering real estate assistance services. Science Application International Corp. has offered 60 hours of information technology support, and Heller Ehrman will provide 100 hours of free legal services. Ernst & Young said it will give 40 hours of free accounting services.
Here are some of the financial incentives prior to the discounts:
– The real estate lease package is estimated to have a market value of $8.9 million.
– Branding and marketing from Mentus is worth $120,000 to $150,000.
– Hotel costs range from $198,000 to $286,200. That includes 15 rooms discounted monthly for 10 years. The institute also will be able to use four separate San Diego conference centers. That package is estimated at $792,000 to $1.56 million.
– Transportation from San Diego-based Cloud 9 Shuttle is expected to range from $21,600 to $31,320.
– Republic Van Lines’ package is estimated at $250,000 to $500,000.
– San Diego Office Interiors is offering to donate $40,000 worth of office furniture.