Quote of the Week
‘Both areas don’t have much land left for new development, but there are good opportunities to recycle some of this land.’
, Incoming Centre City Development Corp. chief Nancy Graham, comparing San Diego to West Palm Beach, Fla., where she served as mayor. Please turn to the
Friday, October 28
Saying ‘Unfair’ In Unison:
Six technology companies filed complaints with the European Commission alleging anti-competitive conduct by Qualcomm Inc.
The complaints , filed by Broadcom Corp., Ericsson, NEC Corp., Nokia Corp., Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. and Texas Instruments Inc. , call on the EU to investigate and stop alleged anti-competitive conduct in the licensing of patents for a new generation of cell phones and related devices.
Qualcomm, in a statement, countered that its licensing practices are “fair, reasonable and pro-competitive.” The San Diego company called the allegations “factually inaccurate and legally meritless.”
, Brad Graves
Monday, October 31
Too close to call. That’s how the SurveyUSA pollsters of 532 “likely” San Diego voters are describing the horse race between mayoral candidates Donna Frye and Jerry Sanders as they head into the final stretch toward Nov. 8.
The poll was conducted for KGTV Channel 10.
As of Oct. 31, the poll reported that Sanders gets 50 percent of the vote, up 2 points from an identical SurveyUSA poll five weeks ago, while Frye gets 48 percent, down 1 point.
But as far as the poll’s number crunchers are concerned, “the contest remains statistically even, and that turnout will determine the winner.”
, Pat Broderick
Tuesday, November 1
With the city of San Diego’s bill for auditing and legal consulting to finish an investigation into past errors and omissions in its financial reports rising above $15 million, City Attorney Michael Aguirre pressed hired auditing specialists from Kroll Inc. on Nov. 1 to provide more detailed billing records.
During a particularly volatile exchange, Aguirre said the lack of information was such that there was no telling what the consultants were doing, and demanded they provide more detail in the bills.
Kroll Inc. attorney Benito Romano said the details of how the company is working have been provided to the city manager’s office, but were not included in bills provided to the council to protect the confidentiality of people being interviewed, and the integrity of their investigation.
Aguirre said he’s never seen any hired law firm provide so little in the way of their work to ensure that city funds were properly being spent. He also asked whether the city was billed for interviews Kroll Inc. representatives did with the editorial board of the
San Diego Union-Tribune.
Stephen Dahlberg, another Kroll attorney, replied that it was.
Kroll and its associate law firm, New York-based Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, have been paid more than $6 million since being hired in February to act as the city’s audit committee, and resolve investigations into the city’s financial problems by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the county district attorney.
, Mike Allen
Wednesday, November 2
A state agency approved a preliminary environmental study for a proposed, 700-mile high-speed rail line from San Diego to the San Francisco Bay Area. The service envisioned by the California High Speed Rail Authority could be in use by 2020, the agency said.
The agency envisions a rail line traveling from Downtown San Diego to University City, then north on the Interstate 15 corridor through Escondido, Murrieta and Riverside, then west to Los Angeles. More environmental studies are planned, said one agency executive.
, Brad Graves
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Cutting A Loss:
Provide Commerce Inc., the San Diego-based parent firm of ProFlowers.com and other e-commerce sites selling food, reported a net loss of $23,000 on revenue of $26.8 million for its first quarter that ended Sept. 30.
That compared to a net loss of $497,000 on revenue of $19.9 million for the first quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Traded on Nasdaq under PRVD, shares closed at $24.35 on Nov. 2 and have ranged from $16.68 to $38.75 over the past 52 weeks.
, Mike Allen
Thursday, November 3
Crown Jewel Capital:
The posh Hotel del Coronado is likely to get refinanced , again.
According to an online newsletter by Commercial Real Estate Direct, Orlando, Fla.-based CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. sold its interest in a joint venture that owns the hotel to its partners, New York-based Kohlbergh Kravis Roberts & Co. and La Quinta-based KSL Resorts. They in turn plan to sell a 45 percent stake to Strategic Hotel Capital Inc. of Chicago in a deal that values the property at $745 million.
Under terms of the deal, Stragetic will pay $70 million for its interest and would become managing partner of the venture. Kohlbergh Kravis Roberts will own 41 percent and KSL, which would continue managing the 688-room property, will own 14 percent.
However, the recapitalization is subject to the new partnership refinancing the property.
Deutsche Bank holds a $400 million mortgage on the hotel. Since the recapitalization places the its value at $745 million, the new mortgage would exceed $500 million.
The hotel was built in 1888 and is designated a national landmark. It underwent a $55 million renovation and is in the midst of a $10 million upgrade that includes a spa and 78 luxury condominium units.
The property’s latest sale, the newsletter stated, “is a vivid example of just how healthy the hotel market has become.”
, Connie Lewis