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Regional Roundup



Chula Vista: Demolition Paves Way for Gaylord Hotel

Demolition of the last of 15 buildings in Chula Vista once belonging to Goodrich Corp.’s Aerostructures Group was scheduled to begin May 2 with a few ceremonial knockdowns led by Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox and San Diego Port Commissioners Mike Najera and Sylvia Rios.

The buildings are the last of the structures to be razed from a group of 63 buildings that once occupied the site. The project was started in 2005 after Goodrich vacated the property and moved operations to a site just north of its previous location.

The land was vacated to make way for the city’s redevelopment of 550 acres that includes the construction of a 1,500-room hotel and convention center by Gaylord Corp., as well as offices, retail and open space.

The cost of the last phase of the building demolition, expected to be completed in November, is $4.8 million, according to the San Diego Unified Port District.

, Mike Allen

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Vista: N. County Welcomes Super-Sized Wal-Mart Stores

Vista stands to be the site of one of the first Wal-Mart Supercenters in San Diego County when the Wal-Mart at 1800 University Drive is expanded by 30,000 square feet to accommodate a supermarket as well as retail goods. Another supercenter will open in Oceanside this year, the company said.

The expansion, which will increase the size of the Vista store to more than 90,000 square feet, had already been approved and plans are under administrative review before construction commences this year, said a spokeswoman.

, Mike Allen

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Escondido: Farmers Market Says It’s Time for Change

Downtown Escondido’s weekly farmers market adopts new hours this month.

The market is now open from 4 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday. It is held outdoors along Grand Avenue, between Kalmia Street and Broadway.

During fall and winter months, the market is open from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Hours are changed during spring and summer months to take advantage of later sunsets.

, Jessica Long

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San Marcos: Plan Won’t Be Up a Creek After Workshops

Ideas for a 100-acre mixed-use project in central San Marcos will be discussed next month.

Public workshops are scheduled for June 10 and 24 at the San Marcos Community Center to review the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan. The creek district area falls between San Marcos Boulevard and Discovery Street.

City officials are soliciting ideas for an “upscale, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use district” that would combine open space and recreational activities with retail, dining, entertainment, office and residential business in a multistory setting.

, Jessica Long

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San Diego: New Story Line Develops in Library System

The 4S Ranch Library , the 33rd branch of the San Diego County Library system , was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by elected officials and community leaders April 26.

Developed by Newland Communities, and designed by Fehlman LaBarre Architects, both in San Diego, the $3 million library features a children’s room, computer areas for all ages, a fireplace with seating, a community room, wireless Internet access, and self-service machines for checking out books. The contractor was K.D. Stahl Construction Group of Poway.

The 7,200-square-foot library is at 10433 Reserve Drive in San Diego, two miles west of Interstate 15 and Rancho Bernardo, north of state Route 56 and near the community’s 4S Commons town center shopping area and residential development.

, Pat Broderick

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Chula Vista: S. County EDC Garners Award for DVD

The Chula Vista-based South County Economic Development Council has received an Award of Merit from the California Association for Local Development for its “South San Diego County: Live, Work, Dream” video.

The eight-minute video, which showcases South County’s diversity and projects planned for South Bay, is distributed to companies considering moves to the area, as well as partner organizations working to attract business.

“Many companies benefit from the diversity, pro-business climate and the available and affordable land that South County has to offer,” said Jim Janney, SCEDC board president. “The DVD (digital video disc) has been a great tool for us to show what South County has to offer to businesses looking to expand or relocate to the region.”

The California Association for Local Development’s membership consists of public and private organizations, as well as individuals involved in creating and retaining jobs.

Comprised of business and community leaders, the nonprofit EDC was founded in 1989 to boost the economy and quality of life in South County. Grants from the county of San Diego, the San Diego Unified Port District and the cities of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego provide funding for the council.

, Pat Broderick

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Poway: School District Seeks More Funds for Huge Project

Due to escalating construction costs, the Poway Unified district is seeking $41.7 million in additional funds for its 24-school modernization project, according to Executive Director of Facilities Doug Mann.

In 2002, voters approved a 35-year, $198 million bond.

The district is planning to conduct a public survey and hopes to see a bond extension included on the ballot as early as spring 2008, officials said.

Meanwhile, district officials are moving forward to complete the original work outlined at 13 of the 24 campuses, said Mann.

, Liz Wiedemann

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El Cajon: Raise Your Glass and Give A Toast to Music

The city of El Cajon plans to put its eateries on display and raise money to improve its downtown simultaneously at A Toast to Music on June 30.

The East County city will be host to a showcase of several local wineries, breweries and restaurants at the sixth annual event set for 5 to 8 p.m. The event is limited to 400 guests, and tickets cost $60 per person or $115 for two.

For more information, call (619) 401-8858.

, Katie Weeks

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Santee: 20 Minutes From Everything, Consultant Says

Santee isn’t a sleepy rural town.

That’s the message that a coalition of three homebuilders hope to spread through a new Web site, www.newsanteehomes.com, about the East County city.

The Santee New Homes Marketing Council was formed in late 2006 by Standard Pacific Homes, William Lyon Homes and Pulte Homes. The group recently launched the Web site as part of a campaign to re-brand Santee as modern, convenient and affordable, said the firms’ marketing consultant, Sara Muller Fraunces.

She said 9,000 people have visited the site, which has information about Santee and links to the builders’ Web sites. The site focuses on Santee’s relatively low price for new homes , which start in the $300,000s. Along with the Web site, the council has started a direct mail and newspaper insert campaign.

“We’re reaching out to those outside of Santee to let them know it has been updated,” Fraunces said, adding that they are mainly targeting potential home buyers in the University Towne Center and Mission Valley areas.

“It’s 20 minutes to everything , the beach, the ballpark and Fashion Valley.”

, Katie Weeks

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La Mesa: Public Sentiment Prevails in Allison Debate

At its April 24 session, the La Mesa City Council dropped pursuit of changing the name of Allison Avenue.

At a prior meeting, the council approved an investigation into the costs and repercussions of changing Allison’s name to better reflect its redevelopment and role as a “civic center” area.

According to Assistant City Manager Dave Witt, the matter has died on the table.

“It was discussed over several meetings,” said Witt. “Some issues were just the inconvenience, the costs associated and then ultimately, there was a lot of public sentiment for keeping (the name) for historic purposes.”

, Andy Killion

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Del Mar: Council Meets in Earnest to Appoint Successor

At an April 30 meeting, the Del Mar City Council appointed Richard Earnest to serve the balance of City Councilman Jerry Finnell’s term, which ends in November 2010. Earnest is a former mayor of Del Mar and current president of the Del Mar Village Association.

Finnell submitted a letter of resignation April 24 indicating that he has resumed chemotherapy treatment for leukemia at the Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center. This was his second term as a member of the council.

In the letter announcing his immediate resignation, Finnell said the city deserves a council member able to devote sufficient time and energy to this position.

The council needed to appoint a successor or call for a special election, at a cost of $90,000, within 20 days from the commencement of the vacancy.

, Michelle Mowad

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Coronado: Make Mom’s Day by Touring Historic Homes

Folks looking for something different to do on Mother’s Day may want to head for Coronado this weekend.

Six private homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries will be open for viewing May 13 as part of a fund-raiser for the Coronado Historical Association, as well as the Coronado Museum of History and Art.

The self-guided walking tours run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and begin at the museum at 1100 Orange Ave. For information, call (619) 435-7242.

The homes may eventually become part of a city historic home district, said museum President Aileen Oya.

Tickets cost $25 for museum members and $30 for nonmembers. People buying tickets online at http://www.coronadohistory.org before May 11 receive a $5 discount.

, Brad Graves

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Encinitas: Nixon’s Growth Prompts Change in Software

Nixon Inc., an Encinitas-based maker of accessories for the fashion and action sports industry, has chosen Microsoft Dynamics NAV to manage its wholesale distribution.

Founded in 1997, Nixon replaced its old enterprise resource planning software with Microsoft Corp.’s ERP when the older software could no longer handle the manufacturing and distribution challenges that came with its 40 percent growth in annual revenue. OfficeOps LLC, a Microsoft certified partner, developed the Microsoft Dynamics NAV add-ons that will address Nixon’s production, inventory and distribution needs.

, Connie Lewis

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Carlsbad: Rubio’s Gears Up For Nationwide CFO Search

John Fuller, chief financial officer of Rubio’s Restaurants Inc., announced his resignation from the Carlsbad-based fast casual Mexican food chain effective May 18 to accept a position as CFO of San Diego-based JC Resorts, a privately owned hospitality company.

Fuller’s resignation did not result from a disagreement with the company, according to the announcement made in late April.

Rubio’s has retained a national executive search firm to assist in finding Fuller’s replacement. In the meantime, Frank Henigman, who has been with the company for one year as a controller, will serve as its acting chief financial officer.

, Connie Lewis

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San Diego: AV Builder Corp. Secures $6.6 Million Contract

San Diego-based AV Builder Corp. will rebuild 90 condominiums in Solana Beach under a $6.6 million contract from the Saratoga West Homeowner’s Association.

The reconstruction is scheduled to begin in the spring and include roofing and windows work, along with waterproofing and stucco repair, according to the general contractor’s marketing representative, Lindsay King.

AV Builder previously worked on reconstruction projects at San Diego State University’s Fraternity Row and Coronado’s El Mirador condos.

, Jaimy Lee

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Lemon Grove: T-Mobile, City Discussing 10-Year Deal

The City Council planned to consider a resolution to approve a lease agreement with T-Mobile to install a 6-foot cylinder atop an existing mast arm in the right of way at the corner of Massachusetts and San Miguel avenues at its May 1 meeting at the Lemon Grove Community Center.

The proposed project would also include an underground vault 11 feet deep, 17 feet long and 6 feet wide, containing all of the equipment associated with the cellular communications facility.

The initial term of the proposed agreement is 10 years. T-Mobile would pay the city $1,000 a month for use of the site, according to city documents.

, Michelle Mowad

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San Diego: Kaiser Drives Biz to Medical Services Company

San Diego Medical Services Enterprise LLC has been awarded a new contract as a medical transportation provider for the Kaiser Permanente health maintenance organization in San Diego County.

Under the contract, San Diego Medical Services will provide non-emergency medical transportation.

The two-year contract that began April 1 is expected to generate $2.2 million annually and has automatic one-year extensions, an April 27 press release states.

According to the San Diego Business Journal’s 2007 Book of Lists, Kaiser ranks No. 1 among HMOs with more than 480,000 local enrollees.

San Diego Medical Services Enterprise is a partnership between the city of San Diego and Rural/Metro Corp. of Scotts & #173;dale, Ariz.

, Andy Killion

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Imperial Beach: City Seeks Big Plan in Palm of Hands

Eminent domain could be the route the city of Imperial Beach takes to acquire a shopping center on the south side of Palm Avenue, between Seventh and Ninth streets.

The City Council was to consider a legal step toward eminent domain at its May 2 meeting, setting a March deadline for city action.

Separately, in closed session May 2, the council was to discuss strategy for property negotiations. The largest landowner in the redevelopment area is the Dimenstein family.

The 5.5-acre Palm Avenue commercial site hosts businesses such as the Goodwill and Baras thrift stores, Sav-U Foods, South Bay Drugs Pharmacy, Marco’s Italian Restaurant, North Island Credit Union and medical offices.

City officials envision a new mixed-use development on the site, and have given interested developers a July 12 deadline to submit proposals.

In an e-mail sent to the city April 17, family representative Zach Dimenstein asked the city to let the shopping center stay. Exterior improvements and additional parking might attract new tenants, he said in the message to city redevelopment chief Jerry Selby.

“We need to look at the option of going for a single as opposed to a home run,” Dimenstein said in his message.

, Brad Graves

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