City Certificates Get
AA- Credit Rating
Fitch Ratings affirmed a AA- credit rating on the city’s $115 million in certificates of participation, a type of bond, issued in 2007 to pay for a series of capital improvements including new fire stations, a City Hall, sports park and improvements to the Moonlight Amphitheatre.
The bulk of the funds used to make the $6 million annual debt service payments on the COPs comes from sales taxes that were increased by a half cent after the passage of a voter-approved proposition in 2006.
The report stated the city of nearly 94,000 is expected to have rising sales tax revenue as the economy rebounds, and the city should see benefits from increased retail development including a new car dealership and several hotels.
— Mike Allen
Architectural Firms Merge,
Keep Graham Downes Name
Graham Downes Architecture and Architectural Concepts Inc. have merged, and are now operating under the name Graham Downes Architecture.
Margit Whitlock, formerly principal of Architectural Concepts and now director of Graham Downes, said by phone April 20 that the two firms had competed and collaborated on projects for the past 18 years, and decided in January to combine into one company.
The merged firm, with a team of 20 designers and support personnel, is based at the Graham Downes Architecture office on National Avenue, in downtown San Diego’s East Village. It has satellite offices in Phoenix and Las Vegas.Graham Downes’ recent design
commissions include the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego and The Padre Hotel in Bakersfield.
— Lou Hirsh
IT Firm Relocates
To Scripps Ranch
GTC Systems Inc., a San Diego-based information technology services provider, has relocated its corporate offices to 9855 Businesspark Ave., in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood.
An April 11 company statement said this is the second relocation spurred by continued growth in its local business since the company’s founding in 1995. The company was started in San Diego’s Miramar district, then relocated to Kearny Mesa in 1997.
GTC Systems currently employs nearly 40 team members in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. The company helps corporate information technology departments — including commercial, education and government clients — create a “private cloud” using server and desktop virtualization technology.
— Lou Hirsh
Longtime Farming Entity
Is Ceasing Operations
Oceanside-based Harry Singh & Sons, among the nation’s largest growers of vine-ripened tomatoes, announced April 13 that it was ceasing operations and would not be producing a crop for the 2011 season.
A related company, Oceanside Pole Tomato Sales, which had Singh as its only supplier, also announced it was closing operations.
Krishna Singh, general manager of Harry Singh & Sons and grandson of the company’s namesake, said in a statement that the company would “explore all options” in efforts to reorganize and resume farming operations in 2012.
The company was started in 1940 and most recently employed 87 full-time
— Lou Hirsh
Habitat Restoration of
70 Acres Is Completed
The restoration of about 70 acres of some 280 acres belonging to a regional Wildlife Reserve was completed last month.
The project entailed the removal of some 67,000 cubic yards of soil beneath San Diego Bay to create new tidal channels and a marsh habitat to attract birds and fish.
The area is home to about 300 species of birds and 89 species of fish, many on the endangered species list.
Funding for the $3 million project came from the Unified Port of San Diego, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Coastal Conservancy.
— Mike Allen