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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Week in Review


In a story published in the Jan. 30 edition of the San Diego Business Journal, Scott Jones was identified as the founder of Ace Parking. The company was founded by his father, Evan Jones, who is deceased. The Business Journal regrets the error.

Quote of the Week

‘The issue of uninsured and under-insured should concern the business community, as it is one of the main reasons insurance premiums continue to rise for employers and co-pays and deductibles are increasing for employees.’

, Don Stanziano, spokesman for Scripps Health.

Click here for the story.

Friday, Jan. 20

Jobless Rate Slumps:

The state reported San Diego’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in December, a full point below November’s rate, and tied for third lowest in the state with three other counties.

The county is also below the average unemployment rate for California at 4.8 percent, and of the nation at 4.6 percent for the same month.

, Mike Allen

– – –

Toyota Bulks Up:

While the news from Ford was widespread factory closures, Toyota offered some better news. The Japanese automaker announced a $37 million addition to its Tijuana truck factory. When finished in 2007, the expansion will let Toyota build an additional 20,000 Tacoma pickups yearly for a total annual capacity of 50,000 vehicles. The plant, opened in 2004, is also capable of producing 200,000 Tacoma truck beds per year. It employs 800.

, Brad Graves

– – –

Pension Scrutiny:

Misleading disclosures and statements have characterized the city pension board’s financial reports and actuarial valuations, according to a massive report released by Navigant Consulting.

The report, commissioned by the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System board in August, investigated charges that previous members of SDCERS had violated their fiduciary duties, resulting in the city’s under-funded pension and resulting financial crisis.

, Pat Broderick

Monday, Jan. 23

Desert Venture:

Ace Parking Management, San Diego’s biggest parking lot operator, said it won a new airport contract for Palm Springs International Airport, taking over from an operator that held the prior contract for 29 years.

With the addition of Palm Springs, Ace now runs five airport operations, including Phoenix Sky Harbor, Portland International in Oregon, Tucson International in Arizona and Fresno-Yosemite International. Ace also has off-airport operations in Dallas, Houston, Seattle-Tacoma, Los Angeles, Oakland, Burbank, San Jose and San Francisco.

Ace, which said it is the largest privately held parking contractor in North America, operates lots in more than 400 locations in California, Arizona, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Founded in 1950 by Evan Jones, the company now has about 6,000 full-time and temporary employees and collected gross receipts last year of more than $350 million.

, Mike Allen

– – –

Fair Winds For Shipyard Hotel:

The financing package for the long-awaited $348 million Hilton San Diego Convention Center Hotel has been completed, the hotel’s developers announced.

The 32-story waterfront hotel near Eighth Avenue and Harbor Drive , most recently home to the Campbell Shipyard , will have 1,190 rooms, a 4-acre park and $2 million in public art.

San Diego National Bank provided a construction loan of $245 million. An additional $100 million in equity capital will be provided by the hotel’s owners, Hilton Hotel Corp. of Beverly Hills and ING Clarion, which has its headquarters in New York. Portman Holdings of Atlanta and Phelps Program Management of Aurora, Colo., are the developers.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the waterfront project was scheduled for Jan. 27. Construction at One Park Boulevard will start in March with completion expected in the fall of 2008, said Karen Weymann, assistant director of real estate for the San Diego Unified Port District, which oversees the county’s tidelands from the city of San Diego south to Imperial Beach.

The development team began looking for private financing in January 2004. Loan documents were signed this month.

The Hilton, which has been on the drawing boards since 2003, is considered the missing piece of the puzzle needed to increase business at the 2.6 million-square-foot San Diego Convention Center, since it will allow more large conventions to be held simultaneously.

The Hilton project is one of the largest convention center hotels in the country to be built without municipal funding. However, the Port District will invest a hefty sum by giving a rent reduction of $46.5 million to be applied during the first 11 years of operation. From then on, the port agency expects to receive about $6 million in annual rent. The lease runs for 66 years.

Aside from spending $26 million to build a six-story parking garage with space for 2,000 cars, the Port District spent $35 million for a bay-front environmental cleanup at the 12-acre site. The hotel will occupy 2.5 acres of the site.

, Connie Lewis

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Big IT Deal:

The county Board of Supervisors awarded Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. a contract to manage the county’s information technology and telecom services. The seven-year deal is valued at $667 million. El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp. currently provides the county’s IT services.

, Brad Graves


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