Stories for August 2012

Friday, August 31

County Construction Contracts Down 9 Percent This Year

Contracts for future construction in San Diego County dropped 9 percent for the first seven months of 2012 compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from McGraw-Hill Construction.

Westcore Secures $70M in Financing for Recent Purchases

San Diego-based investment firm Westcore Properties has secured $70 million in permanent financing for four newly acquired industrial and office assets located in Northern and Southern California.

Miramar Manufacturer Expands Plant

Specialty Manufacturing Inc., a San Diego manufacturer of thermoformed components, said it recently completed a plant expansion and remodeling of its plant in the Miramar area.

Thursday, August 30

USD Economic Index Continues Its Rise

An index measuring the local economy rose 0.3 percent in July, the ninth month in a row that it has increased.

UTC Tower Developer Gets $188M in Financing

A joint venture that includes Houston-based developer Hines and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management has obtained $188 million in senior financing for the La Jolla Commons campus at University Towne Center, where construction is under way on a second office tower.

Spirit Airlines Plans Portland Flights

Spirit Airlines is adding new daily nonstop flights between San Diego and Portland, Ore., starting Nov. 8.

Wednesday, August 29

It’s Official: Padres Sold for $800M

The prolonged sale of the San Diego Padres was completed to a group headed by beer distributor Ron Fowler, and the O’Malley and Seidler families, the ballclub said.

New Developer Takes Wheel on Fat City Project

Hotel investment and management firm T2 Development of Newport Beach has taken over the dual-hotel project in the works at the former Fat City site in downtown San Diego.

Sequenom to Distribute Tests in Europe, Asia

San Diego-based Sequenom Inc. is expanding access to its prenatal testing services outside the U.S.

Upstart Football League Adds Familiar Names to Board

San Diego-based United States Football League said it added Chris Doleman, a defensive lineman who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, to its board of advisers.

Port District Reschedules Lane Field Project Workshop

The Port of San Diego has rescheduled a workshop, previously slated for Aug. 30, to discuss the latest conceptual design for the Lane Field hotel development project. The meeting has been changed to Sept. 11.

BofI Tallies Up Record Year

BofI Holding Co., parent of BofI Federal Bank, reported fiscal fourth quarter net profit of $8.2 million, compared with net profit of $5.5 million for the like quarter of 2011.

Sandwich Chain Opens Third Local Store, Plans More

Delaware-based Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has opened its third San Diego County location.

Medical Device Confab Crosses Borders

A guided bus tour of two medical manufacturing facilities in Baja California, Mexico, is being hosted by the Tijuana Economic Development Corp. in conjunction with the MEDevice Forum San Diego.

Tuesday, August 28

Columnist Tom Blair Sets a New Course

Tom Blair, the longtime columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune and former editor in chief of San Diego Magazine, has joined California Strategies LLC.

Trio of Life Sciences Buildings Sells for $51.2M

Investment firm Legacy Partners Commercial Inc. of Foster City has purchased three Torrey Pines life sciences buildings for $51.25 million, according to CoStar Group.

Weather Forecaster Sums Up Summer as a Scorcher

If you think this summer is hotter than most, you would be correct.

Port Gathering Offers New Look at Lane Field Hotel Plan

The latest conceptual designs for a proposed 400-room, dual-hotel development at the former Lane Field will be presented as part of a public workshop planned for Aug. 30 by the Port of San Diego.

College Administrator Gets 4 Year Contract Extension

The board of trustees for the San Diego Community College District recently approved extending the contract of its chancellor, Constance Carroll, for another four years through June 2016.

Monday, August 27

‘Small Cell’ Maker Attracts Qualcomm

Qualcomm Inc. said it acquired DesignArt Networks, an Israel-based designer of small cell base stations, and radio heads for an undisclosed price.

County Pension Fund Boasts 6.42 Percent Return

The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association said its $8.6 billion pension fund’s annual return for the fiscal year ended June 30 was 6.42 percent.

Rancho Bernardo Office Complex Sells for $21.5M

Brookwood Financial Partners LLC of Massachusetts has purchased the three-building Bernardo Executive Center office complex in Rancho Bernardo for $21.5 million. The seller was TA Associates Realty of Boston, according to CoStar Group.

Torrey Pines Bank Grows Net Income

Torrey Pines Bank reported second quarter net income of $5.1 million, up from net income of $3.7 million in the like quarter of last year.

AvalonBay Plans New Apartments in Vista

Virginia-based multifamily investor and developer AvalonBay Communities Inc. has purchased 7.29 acres of vacant land in Vista for a planned 220-unit apartment community.

Del Mar Luxury Hotel Is Seeking Offers in Slow Market

The pace of San Diego County hotel property sales has slowed down considerably since the first half of 2011, but a high-end resort in Del Mar could be among the next to change hands.

Tourism District Hopes Its Stay Is Extended

TOURISM: It Seeks 39.5 Year Charter, New Funding Structure

San Diego City Council in September is expected to decide the fate of the city’s soon-to-expire Tourism Marketing District, geared toward raising $1.2 billion for local tourism promotion over the next 40 years if it is renewed.

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Local Cancer Researcher Motivated by Personal Loss

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

Scripps Institute researcher Vaughn Smider, M.D., Ph.D. is tireless in his quest – a breast cancer study funded by the American Cancer Society.

Self-Health Experience

HEALTH: Golden Door Spa Finds Its Niche in Nirvana

In a region known for its fast-paced attractions and opulent resorts, it’s refreshing to see a local destination like Golden Door Spa encouraging guests to slow down and focus on managing their personal health and well-being.

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Construction Defect Cases Hinge on Ruling

LAW: State Supreme Court OKs Resolution Through Arbitration

Legal experts say a pivotal California Supreme Court decision, involving the Pinnacle Museum Tower condominium development in downtown San Diego, could have far-reaching statewide impact when it comes to deciding certain construction-defect cases.

Invention Gives Spinal Surgeons a New Option

MEDICINE: System Is Part of Minimally Invasive Procedure

Spinal Elements Inc., a Carlsbad-based spine technology company, has passed an important milestone: doctors have begun to conduct surgeries with the company’s new minimally invasive surgery lumbar system.

Chef Ramsay’s Renovation Is On the Menu

On Aug. 27, the folks at the Gaslamp’s Keating Hotel are presenting a special screening of “Hotel Hell,” the Fox television reality show in which bombastic British chef Gordon Ramsay plays tough guy to hoteliers who want to improve their operations and their business.

Jobs Will Come From Companies Already Here

ECONOMY: Attracting New Firms Is Just Part Of a Complete Strategy

A new leader is continuing with a new direction and is bringing new ideas for San Diego’s business climate. He’s already getting results just seven months into the job.

Envision Ramps Up to Plant Its Solar Trees

GREEN: Pre-Cast Columns Make for Faster Installation

Envision Solar International Inc. anticipates its latest technology will help it keep pace with growing demand for its solar-shaded parking products.

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American Cancer Society Free Programs and Services

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

Founded in 1913, the Society is the most experienced and largest non-profit cancer-fighting organization in the world.

Ecke Ranch Sells to Agribio Group

Ecke Ranch, the Encinitas-based family business long synonymous with poinsettias, will soon be part of the Dutch-based Agribio Group in a deal expected to close in September. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Matchmaking Site Hopes Users Love Its Micropayment Policy

SERVICE: Seeks Share of Market With Its Billing Model

What price does one pay to find that match made in heaven?

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Local Cancer Survivor Fights for Others – Realtor Rallies Community and Colleagues

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

Peggy Walkush is on a journey; a long walk, actually.

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Events with a Cause – Something for Everyone

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

American Cancer Society events are inspiring, uplifting, and bring the fight against cancer directly into every community.

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Advertorial: Holiday Planning Guide Supplement

Enlightened Hospitality Group takes the concept of the traditional holiday party and puts its own stamp on the experience.

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Using Social Media to Maximize Your Holiday Event Experience

Advertorial: Holiday Planning Guide Supplement

‘Tis the season for holiday parties and you’re making the list (and checking it twice) of “must haves” at this year’s bash. Beautiful bay front location at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego?

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San Diego Tops List as Meetings Destination

Advertorial: Holiday Planning Guide Supplement

America’s finest city has recently reinforced its reputation as one of the world’s finest meeting destinations after three San Diego event venues were honored by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) for being international industry leaders.

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Business Leaders – Key Health Advocates

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

Everyone has a role to play in fighting cancer, and that includes the business community.

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Incubator to Back Innovators of Cost-Saving Health Care

TECHNOLOGY: West Health Will Soon Invite Companies to Participate

Startups aspiring to lower the cost of health care will soon be invited to join a new incubator getting established under the West Health umbrella.

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Mail Pharmacy Expansion Brings Nearly 300 Jobs to the Region

HEALTH CARE: Firm To Process Half Billion Prescriptions Annually

UnitedHealth Group plans to add 250 jobs to a new pharmacy order processing facility in Mission Valley as it transitions 12 million of its members from contract vendor Medco to its subsidiary OptumRx.

China Gives Maxwell A Welcome Sales Jolt

TECHNOLOGY: Europe’s Woes Drag on Net Income

Europe’s economy may be hurting, but China is still growing and that bodes well for Maxwell Technologies Inc., which turned in a solid second quarter.

Downtown Landlords Work to Lure Tech-Oriented Tenants

REAL ESTATE: Urban Vibe Has Appeal; Tower Vacancy Is 18.7 Percent

Once home to the old-line financial services firm Morgan Stanley, the second floor of a downtown San Diego high-rise now houses a buzzing technology incubator with 18 companies looking to be the next Facebook or Twitter.

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Superior Court Is Being Shaped by the State’s Budget Ax

If you are a litigator or even in a firm that does any respectable amount of litigation, the world has changed. San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Trentacosta announced several dramatic reductions in court services to comply with reduced state funding of courts.

Merger Rumor Swirls as Banks Face Increasing Pressures

Maybe it was the summer doldrums that set tongues wagging, but sources said recently that three San Diego community banks are talking about the possibility of joining forces.

Cause Branding – The Power of Partnership

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

More than 70 percent of Americans say they “make it a point to buy brands from companies whose values are similar to my own,” according to recent research from Young & Rubicam.

American Cancer Society Salutes Sponsors

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

This summer volunteers of The American Cancer Society took up the challenge of Relay For Life in some 30 communities spanning San Diego County.

Holiday Cheer Abounds at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Race Track

Here in sunny San Diego, we don’t hear a whole lot of complaints about the weather; but sandy beaches and swaying palm trees don’t exactly evoke the same images of “holiday cheer” that snow and sleigh rides do.

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The Old Globe Shows It Can Also Stage a Great Gala

The Old Globe’s 2012 gala, “A Night in Tuscany,” raised $960,000 for the theater’s artistic and educational activities. Guests were welcomed by the Gala co-chairs Pamela Cesak, Jo Ann Kilty and Vicki Zeiger along with Managing Director Michael Murphy.

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Creating a Patient-Centered State-of-the-Art Environment

REAL ESTATE: New Office Brings Welcome Upgrades to Services

Often an unexpected ending can lead to a welcome fresh start.

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Waxie CEO Takes the Lead to a World with More Research – and More Birthdays

Advertorial: American Cancer Society Supplement

“I’ve always been a strong proponent for cancer research,” says Charles Wax, CEO of Waxie Sanitary Supply, the San Diego distributor and janitorial supply company his family has run since 1945.

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Healing Properties

PROPERTY: Medical Office Locations Involve Many Considerations

Health care providers have the same basic office needs as most other businesses, whether it’s the right amount of hassle-free parking, a well-maintained building with good signage that doesn’t confuse or turn off visitors, or ample space to grow with the customer base.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Friday, August 24

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Called an Economic Peril

San Diego’s economy could suffer an $11 billion hit, essentially being pushed off a fiscal cliff, if Congress and the White House fail to act by the end of the year when tax cuts and automatic cuts to federal spending take effect, according to a recent report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

Nassco Lands $104M Repair Deal, Closes Acquisition

General Dynamics Nassco, the last remaining shipbuilder on the West Coast that’s based in San Diego, was awarded a $104 million contract from the U.S. Navy to renovate and modernize the dock landing ship USS Comstock.

ViaSat CFO to Bow Out in December

ViaSat Inc. Chief Financial Officer Ronald Wangerin will leave the company in December. The Carlsbad-based satellite communications service provider said in a statement that Wangerin is resigning to pursue other opportunities.

Illinois Investor Commits to Buy MediciNova Stock

MediciNova Inc., a publicly traded San Diego biopharmaceutical company, is entering into a multimillion-dollar common stock purchase agreement with Chicago-based institutional investor Aspire Capital Fund LLC.

Pathfinder Picks Up Riverside Townhomes for $10.5M

Local real estate investment firm Pathfinder Partners LLC has acquired Tuscan Townhomes, a 63-unit luxury leased residential development in Riverside, for $10.5 million.

Thursday, August 23

Stock Exchange Says Cubic Is Out of Compliance

Cubic Corp., the San Diego defense contractor and provider of mass transit collection services, said it received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it’s not in compliance with its listing standards, specifically not filing its quarterly financial report for the June 30 quarter.

Boll Weevil Plans Santee Location

Operators of locally based Western-style burger restaurant chain Boll Weevil plan to open a new location in Santee, according to a filing with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Padres to Tap Talent of the Storm for at Least 2 More Years

The San Diego Padres announced that the team has extended its player development contract with the Single-A Lake Elsinore Storm for two more years, through the 2014 season.

Wednesday, August 22

Air Force Orders $87M in Unmanned Aircraft Upgrades

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway recently received an $87.3 million contract to retrofit up to 80 U.S. Air Force Reaper unmanned aircraft, applying heavier landing gear and modified bomb racks.

Angel Group Raises $10M

Tech Coast Angels, a network of angel investors with chapters in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as the Central Coast and Inland Empire, said it raised more than $10 million in total investment in 17 companies in the first half of this year.

Where to Go Now? Group Mulls Local Economy’s Direction

The San Diego chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, known more commonly as NAIOP, will examine new models for local economic development at a forum scheduled for Aug. 29.

Tuesday, August 21

Westcore Buys Fremont Industrial Park for $46M

Westcore Properties of San Diego has purchased Kato Industrial Park in Fremont for $45.6 million.

Phoenix Footwear Reports Loss, New Borrowing Power

Phoenix Footwear Group Inc., which produces the SoftWalk and Trotters shoe brands, recently reported a net loss of $470,000 on net sales of $3.15 million in the quarter ended June 30.

Critical Diagnostics Adds Distributors in Asia

San Diego-based Critical Diagnostics is expanding its presence in the Asia Pacific region by adding two distribution partners.

Monday, August 20

Dutch Firm to Buy Ecke Ranch

Ecke Ranch, long synonymous with poinsettias, will soon be part of the Dutch based Agribio Group, according to a statement released by the Encinitas-based grower.

Mail Pharmacy Expansion Brings Nearly 300 Jobs

UnitedHealth Group plans to add 250 jobs to a new pharmacy order processing facility in Mission Valley as it transitions 12 million of its members from contract vendor Medco to its subsidiary OptumRx.

Baja Bound: Spirit Airlines Plans Mexico Flights

Spirit Airlines will offer new daily nonstop flights from San Diego International Airport to Los Cabos, Mexico, starting Nov. 8, giving local travelers access to destinations including Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Realty Income’s Monthly Dividend Tops 15 Cents

Realty Income Corp. has increased its monthly cash dividend 3.4 percent, marking the 67th dividend increase since the Escondido-based company went public in 1994.

Business Course Geared Toward Military, Veterans

Active military and military veterans who would like to start or grow their own businesses can take advantage of a 10-week class offered in National City.

It’s Better Knee Replacements Through Chemistry, Literally

BIOTECH: Formula Is Expected to Slow Oxidation in Joint Part

There are vitamin-enriched foods, bottled water with added vitamins and now — taking it several steps further —vitamin-fortified knee replacements.

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To AT&T, NextWave’s Spectrum Is Alluring

TECHNOLOGY: Need Meets Necessity in Wireless Acquisition

AT&T’s proposed $600 million purchase of San Diego based NextWave Wireless is all about buying more spectrum to provide greater capacity for its customers.

App Invites You to Join The Parties

Progress report for a fast-growing tech business.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Victory Laps: Cubic Meets Its Olympic Challenges

TECHNOLOGY: Fare Collection, London Tube Run Smoothly at Games

The people staging the Summer Olympics in London worried about everything from terrorism to bad weather to a mass transit meltdown.

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There Is Plenty to Work With in Park Areas

PROPERTY: Right Commercial Projects Part of Crafting Hubs

Civic leaders are gearing up for big changes at San Diego’s iconic Balboa Park as it nears its 2015 centennial.

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Padres Sale Is Approved by MLB Owners

Major League Baseball owners gave their blessing on the sale of the San Diego Padres by majority owner John Moores to a group headed by the sons and nephews of Peter O’Malley, golfer Phil Mickelson, and local businessman Ron Fowler, who will serve as the control person for the group, the Padres announced.

The View From Local Charter Jet Businesses Is Pretty Good

AVIATION: Carriers See An Increase in Demand As a Good Economic Sign

Economists measure many factors, from building permits to help-wanted advertising, to assess the health of the overall economy.

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Making its Mark

PRODUCTION: Process of 3-D Printing Can Cut Costs, Deliver Quickly

Michael Armbruster was recently manufacturing novelty drink straws for a customer who’s considering getting them on the shelves for the holidays.

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Ledcor Forms New Entity to Focus on Public Works Projects

REAL ESTATE: Firm Broadens Its Reach And Project Expertise

Ledcor Construction Inc., with U.S. headquarters in San Diego, has moved to bolster its roster of new California projects, by tapping into the state’s continued moves to replace and upgrade aging school buildings.

Products, People and Culture Bring Arnette to Encinitas

RETAIL: Headquarters Looks To Create Place For Brand Interaction

An Arnette opening in Encinitas not only brings a retail store where action sports athletes can shop for eyewear, but also a focal point for community gatherings for surfers, skateboarders, and snowboarders.

Lindbergh Receives Kiosks to Expedite Travel Through Customs

TRAVEL: Vetting Process ‘Pre-Screens’ Low-Risk Travelers

International travelers arriving at Lindbergh Field can get through customs in less than five minutes by visiting two automated kiosks installed at the airport last month.

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Making Manufacturing Work

PRODUCTION: McCain Sees Formerly Outsourced Work Return to the U.S.

McCain Manufacturing, the outsource manufacturing division of McCain Inc., has expanded its North American powder coating operation in Vista, adding two cutting-edge installations that involve painting.

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Executive Profile: Eric Basu

Eric Basu is the CEO of Sentek Global, providers of government and commercial information technology solutions, including security, program management, strategic consulting, engineering, software development and acquisition support.

Junior Achievement Chapter Reaches a Pinnacle of Success

Junior Achievement USA awarded Junior Achievement of San Diego & Imperial Counties the Golden Summit Award. The award is given to local JA offices that have reached outstanding success in financial health, program quality, management effectiveness and program growth.

Developer Testing Waters On Chula Vista Bayfront

PROPERTY: City, Port Expect Investments of More Than $1.5B

If the economic pieces fall into place, a $700 million mixed-use residential project being planned by Pacifica Cos. of San Diego could be the first element of long-sought development to rise from the ground on Chula Vista’s bayfront, possibly in 2015.

Dole Extends Stay at 10th Avenue Terminal

REDEVELOPMENT: Port Opts for Cargo Operations

Dole Fresh Fruit Co., one of the largest tenants of the Port of San Diego, officially agreed to stay at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal for at least 15 more years in a new lease that could be extended to 2036.

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Medical Center Makes Its Debut in Escondido

HEALTH CARE: Innovation Plus Design Equals Efficiency

Art and science, nature and technology merge to create a state-of-the-art healing environment at the recently opened Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Curiosity Satisfied

SPACE: Local Company Snaps Images From Mars

San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems has perhaps the most visible role for the Mars mission — beaming back to Earth photos from its custom-made cameras attached to the Curiosity rover.

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MRC Smart Technology Solution

Advertorial: Supplement

We focus on document-driven companies and industries such as healthcare, manufacturing companies, legal firms, school districts or financial service institutions – spanning all types and sizes.

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What Makes for a Best Place to Work?

Advertorial: Best Places to Work Supplement

I was recently speaking with a colleague who shared with me, “It’s critical to not just be told but also to believe that what I do each day contributes to the success of the organization and that I’m respected for what I do.”

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San Diego’s Favorite Casino is Also One of San Diego’s Favorite Places to Work

Advertorial: Team Members at Valley View Casino & Hotel Have Hit The Jackpot

Guests aren’t the only ones winning at Valley View Casino & Hotel.

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Kaiser Permanente – A Different Approach to Delivering Health Care

Advertorial: Best Places to Work Supplement

At Kaiser Permanente, the way we deliver health care is different. We are the caregiver, the hospital, the laboratory, and the pharmacy.

What can a Business Account Analysis Checking Account do for my Business?

Advertorial: Best Places to Work Supplement

Business Account Analysis Checking is a non-interest-bearing account that pays an earnings credit, rather than interest.

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Friday, August 17

Carlsbad Firm Gets $58.3M Military Contract for 3-D Workstation

Ostendo Technologies Inc. of Carlsbad, which develops energy-efficient technologies used in computer displays and other applications, has been awarded a military contract of approximately $58.3 million for a synthetic-holographic 3-D workstation prototype.

San Diego Ranks 15th Among High-Tech Office Markets

San Diego places 15th in a ranking of the nation’s top 20 high-tech office markets, compiled by researchers at commercial brokerage firm CBRE.

Elcelyx Plans Clinical Trials With Series B Funds

Elcelyx Therapeutics of Carmel Valley plans to use $4 million of a $7 million extended series B private equity financing to advance clinical trials of its two product candidates Lovidia and NewMet.

Revenue Grows at AL International; Firm Reports Loss

AL International, holding company for Youngevity Essential Life Sciences, reported a second quarter net loss of $261,000 compared with a net loss of $96,000 for the same quarter of 2011.

Thursday, August 16

Mobile Marketing Firm Reports Net Loss, New Name

CommerceTel Corp., a San Diego provider of mobile marketing technologies, reported a second quarter net loss of $991,545, compared with a net loss of $997,985 for the like quarter of 2011.

Juno Finds a Mentor in Northrop

Northrop Grumman Corp., the giant defense contractor based in suburban Washington, D.C., has entered a mentor-protégé relationship with small defense contractor Juno Technologies Inc., Northrop announced.

Wednesday, August 15

Infosonics Grows Revenue, Pares Net Loss

Infosonics Corp., a San Diego provider of cell phones and related devices to distributors outside the country, reported a second quarter net loss of $265,000, compared with a net loss of $822,000 for the like quarter of 2011.

NTN Buzztime Reports Loss Despite Revenue Uptick

NTN Buzztime Inc., which provides gaming and entertainment services to restaurants and bars, posted a net operating loss in its second quarter ending June 30, despite a slight rise in revenue from the year-ago period.

Target Sets Job Fair to Fill 200 Positions in Escondido

Retailer Target Corp. will hold a job fair Aug. 17 and 18, to fill an expected 200 jobs at its new Escondido store scheduled to open in October.

Tuesday, August 14

CareFusion Has $3.6B in Sales, Net Income Climbs

CareFusion Corp., the San Diego medical device manufacturer, reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $110 million, up from $85 million in the like quarter of 2011.

Underwriters Exercise Options Following Peregrine IPO

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., which went public last week, said its underwriters on the public offering exercised all their options to purchase an additional 825,000 shares of common stock from the company at the offering price of $14.

Carmel Valley Retail Center Sells for $40.8M

Real estate investment firm Donahue Schriber of Costa Mesa has purchased the majority of the 107,000-square-foot Del Mar Heights Village shopping center in Carmel Valley.

Meritage Delves Into Phase 2 Pharmaceutical Study

Meritage Pharma Inc., a San Diego company with six employees, is initiating a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate oral budesonide suspension, or OBS, for treating adolescents and young adults with an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus.

Harbor Drive Night Closures Set Through Late August

Night closures of northbound lanes of North Harbor Drive will run through Aug. 29, as work continues on the $28.6 million Phase 1 of the North Embarcadero improvement project in downtown San Diego.

Monday, August 13

GA-ASI Works On IED Detection Device for the Military

The U.S. Army has enlisted the help of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. to improve technology to find roadside bombs.

Tek84 Piques Interest of Israeli Security

Tek84 Engineering Group, based in San Diego, said its new body scanner was recently approved for use in Israeli airports, and is currently being tested at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport.

Hospitality Firm Plans Two East Village Venues

San Diego-based Good Time Design LLC, which operates several downtown restaurants and bars including Block No. 16 Union & Spirits, Lucky’s Lunch Counter and Bub’s at the Ballpark, has acquired The Fleetwood restaurant and lounge in East Village and will convert it into two new venues.

Murphy to Help Choose Baldrige Winners, Again

Dr. Michael Murphy, chief medical officer at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, is among a panel of experts involved in selecting the 2012 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipients.

Gafcon Looks to Be Unifying Force for Public-Private Efforts

DEVELOPMENT: Firm Sees Need for Agenda-Free, Tech-Savvy Services

Construction management firm Gafcon Inc. recently made what it considers some key managerial moves of its own, as the San Diego company responds to deep and widespread changes impacting clients in the industry it has served for more than 25 years.

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California Bank & Trust Reports on Profits for First Half

California Bank & Trust, the largest subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation with nearly $11 billion in total assets, reported second quarter net income of $33.5 million, compared with net income of $38.9 million in the like quarter of 2011.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Merger Sets the Stage for More Multifamily Moves

REAL ESTATE: GLJ Joins Trammell; Firm Plans to Build

The party is getting crowded, but Dallas-based Trammell Crow Residential has entered Southern California’s popular apartment investment and construction market, by merging with Carlsbad-based multifamily developer GLJ Partners.

Game Day! Nonprofit Clients to See Chargers; Law Firm Pays Tab

Ten kids who might not otherwise be able to do so, will be cheering on the Chargers this fall, thanks to The Gomez Law Firm

Problem May Be Bigger Than Reform Measure

The passage of Proposition B pension reform initiative by a healthy majority of San Diego voters sent a clear message that taxpayers have had it with runaway costs involved in the care and feeding of public employees, especially those who have retired

The Business of Beauty

SERVICES: Academy’s Curriculum Covers Both Services and Operations

What most people don’t see when they’re enjoying a luxurious spa experience or salon pampering is the work that goes into training the service providers.

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Dean Puts Resources to Work For Business’s Next Generation

EDUCATION: College of Business Administration Adapts to Budget Climate

There was a time when it was easy enough for Michael Cunningham to apply classroom theory at New York University to his printing business, Cunningham Graphics

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Plan Puts More Arts, Entertainment on Downtown’s Marquee

Downtown San Diego has its iconic social and entertainment centers like the East Village and Gaslamp Quarter.

Higher Education, Training Make a World of Difference in Workplace

SCHOOLS: Public and Private Institutions Provide Avenues of Opportunity

A post-secondary education by American workers is increasingly the clearest pathway to the middle and upper classes. The day when people could leave high school and provide for their families by working in a local industry is fast disappearing from the American landscape.

Professional Profile: David Pyke

David Pyke is dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego. Formerly, he was professor of operations management, and associate dean at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Making Constructive Use of AB 32 Funds

San Diego is one of the world’s most modern and beautiful cities.

Sharp Finds a Higher Calling for Castoffs

HEALTH CARE: Kitchen Scraps Turned to Compost

Volumes of food that churn through hospitals is fodder for greener landscapes now that Sharp HealthCare is participating in the city of San Diego’s food waste composting program.

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Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

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Extra Money in the City’s Pocket Goes To Popular Programs

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is crowing these days, as well he should be. He issued a news release noting that the city has now refinanced 11 bond issues over the past three years, thereby saving $13.3 million in debt payments each year.

Peregrine Takes Flight as Public Company

STOCKS: Company Builds On Ultra CMOS Technology

Peregrine Semiconductor, a San Diego maker of radio frequency chips found in many wireless devices, made its public stock debut last week, raising about $77 million and giving the tech firm a market capitalization of about $400 million.

REIT Makes a Grand Entrance in Seattle Market

PROPERTY: American Assets Trust Pursues ‘Irreplaceable’ Properties

American Assets Trust Inc. recently entered the Seattle real estate market with a loud splash, agreeing to pay $229 million for a trophy office tower in nearby Bellevue, Wash. Robert Barton, chief financial officer of the San Diego-based real estate investment trust, says more acquisitions in that market are likely on the way, as the company stands by its emphasis on what it deems “irreplaceable” properties.

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Some Money and a Mentor Can Add Up to Education

Words Alive has selected 12 students from six San Diego County Juvenile Court and Community Schools as the 2012-2013 Words Alive Westreich Scholarship recipients.

NIH Grant Gives OrPro More Than Just Money

MEDICINE: Award Draws Interest to Firm’s New Drug

A monetary ripple in the funding waters could bring a wave of change to OrPro Therapeutics Inc.

Bringing it All Back Home; Outsourcing Loses its Appeal

MANUFACTURING: Six Sigma Quality Control Raises Quality

The rebounding economy is proving a boon to Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc.

Getting a Front Row Seat to Customers’ Thought Processes

RESEARCH: Firm’s Research Plumbs Depths Of Decision-Making

When Strategic Vision Inc. speaks, clients listen, and listen closely.

Space Race

TECHNOLOGY: AIS’ New Cloud Has Room, Resources and Security

Imagine your company has to sequence a portion of the 2.85 billion nucleotides in the human genome, a task common to San Diego area biotech companies.

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The Right Video Can Make Your Firm More Visible in Many Ways

MARKETING: Marketer Offers ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Video-Making Directions

America is the land of the do-it-yourselfer: the weekend building contractor, the artist with the studio in her spare bedroom. In the last few years, video producer Jill Addison has noticed do-it-yourselfers, including small business owners, making videos.

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Health Care Reform Comes Into Play for Employers

INSURANCE: Companies Deal With Rebates and The New Regulations

Employers are getting on board with implementing changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as two health reform provisions begin to take effect.

O’Malley Group Agrees to Buy the San Diego Padres

A group headed by Peter O’Malley, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, including local golf pro Phil Mickelson and local businessman Ron Fowler has agreed to purchase the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Friday, August 10

Coastal Panel OKs Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan

The California Coastal Commission has approved the latest revisions to Chula Vista’s bayfront master plan, clearing the way for up to $2 billion in new residential and commercial development to begin within the next four years.

Jack in the Box Income Drops to $11.6M

Jack in the Box Inc. reported fiscal 2012 third quarter net income of $11.6 million, down from $18.7 million in the like quarter of 2011.

Accumetrics Product Gaining Foothold in Canada

Two deals under way are making Sorrento Valley-based Accumetrics Inc.’s VerifyNow System more widely available in Canada.

RQ Is Fit for $39.5M Construction Job, Navy Decides

RQ Construction LLC of Carlsbad has received a $39.5 million task order to build a fitness center at Naval Base Coronado.

MEI Strikes Deal for Singapore Firm’s Cancer Therapy

MEI Pharma Inc. is moving forward with plans to purchase exclusive worldwide rights to S*BIO Pte. Ltd.’s investigational therapy, Pracinostat, an oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor with potential to be best-in-class.

Local Venture to Build Control Tower at Hawaii Military Base

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $7.3 million task order to a locally based joint venture, Rore-ITSI JV LLC, to build a ground control tower at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

Sales Surge 35 Percent at Chipmaker MaxLinear

MaxLinear Inc., a Carlsbad maker of radio frequency chips, reported a second quarter net loss of $2.6 million, compared with a net loss of $4.8 million in the like period of 2011.

Thursday, August 9

Bridgepoint Income Slips, Revenue Rises 7 Percent

Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego for-profit provider of online college courses, reported second quarter net income of $47.5 million, down from the like quarter in 2011 when it had $52.1 million in net profit.

Clinical Trials Specialist Verum Opens in Carlsbad

German-based contract research organization Verum is opening a new office in Carlsbad to make its clinical trial services more readily available to biotech and pharmaceutical clients in the region and throughout the nation.

Sur La Table Joining Fashion Valley Retail Roster

Seattle-based Sur La Table, which sells bakeware, cutlery and other cooking products, will open its second San Diego County store in the fall at Fashion Valley mall.

Tourism District’s New Mobile App Touts Coronado Sites

The Coronado Tourism Improvement District has released a free mobile application for iPhone and Android smartphones, highlighting key retail, restaurant and activity sites for visitors.

Wednesday, August 8

Viterbi Family Makes Major Gift to Medical Research

A $1 million gift by Andrew and Erna Viterbi and family is enabling Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to pursue a two-year neuroscience research initiative.

Leap Reports Customer Losses, Shares Take Tumble

Shares of Leap Wireless International Inc., parent of Cricket, the San Diego-based flat-rate wireless carrier, reached a 52-week low of $4.28 and closed at $4.49 after the company released its second quarter results showing a big loss in customers.

Imperial Beach Hotel Will Carry Marriott Luxury Brand

The hotel replacing the Seacoast Inn, a property built in the 1950s and since razed in Imperial Beach, is slated to open in spring 2013 under Marriott International Inc.’s Autograph Collection luxury brand, according to Allison Rolfe, director of planning for developer Pacifica Cos.

Developer Lowe Completes 2nd Phase of County Buildings

Developer Lowe Enterprises has completed construction of the second phase of the $500 million County Operations Center and annex project in Kearny Mesa, among the largest ongoing construction projects in San Diego County.

Tuesday, August 7

O’Malley Group Agrees to Buy Padres

A group headed by Peter O’Malley, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, including local golf pro Phil Mickelson and local businessman Ron Fowler has agreed to purchase the San Diego Padres baseball team.

Encore Capital’s Net Income Grows 13 Percent

Encore Capital Group, the San Diego collector of defaulted credit card debt, reported second quarter net income of $16.6 million, compared with net income of $14.7 million for the like quarter of 2011.

Genomatica Raises $41.5M in Series D Round

Genomatica Inc., a San Diego company that delivers new manufacturing processes to enable its partners to produce intermediate and basic chemicals from renewable raw materials, has raised $41.5 million in a Series D round of preferred stock financing.

SpringHill Suites Hotel Planned for Oceanside Gets Financing

Capital services firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, also known as HFF, has arranged a $25.1 million construction loan for development of a 150-room Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel in Oceanside.

Sentek Global Names President

Defense information technology specialist Sentek Global said recently that it promoted Andrew Nugent to president.

Ensign Group Grows Presence in County

The Ensign Group Inc. of Mission Viejo made its move to acquire the real estate and other assets of Palomar Vista Healthcare Center in Escondido after leasing the property for the better part of a decade.

ConVis Launches New Website

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, also known as ConVis, has launched a newly redesigned and retooled website,

City Refinances Bonds

The city of San Diego refinanced 11 different bonds it issued earlier, taking advantage of historic low interest rates, and saving taxpayers $13.3 million in annual debt service payments, according to Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office.

Monday, August 6

Active Network Reports Revenue Growth, $2.3M Loss

The Active Network Inc., the San Diego provider of online event registration and other technology services, reported a second quarter net loss of $2.3 million, compared with net income of $5.5 million in the like quarter of last year.

Hotel La Jolla Relaunched After $4M Makeover

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has completed a $4 million renovation and relaunched the 110-room Hotel La Jolla, one of three hotels the San Francisco-based company operates in the San Diego region.

Workspace Services Firm Regus Opens Ninth Local Location

Office services provider Regus PLC has opened its ninth local full-service business center at 350 10th Ave., in downtown San Diego’s DiamondView Tower.

Food Court Success Has Chain Hungry for More

DINING: Hot Dog on a Stick Looks to Expand With New Food

At age 66, Carlsbad-based Hot Dog on a Stick is looking to learn some new tricks, on the theory that its biggest fans don’t just crave corn dogs and fresh-squeezed lemonade at county fairs and mall food courts.

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Real Estate Roundup: The Saywitz Co. Closes A $2.5 Million Lease

he San Diego office of The Saywitz Co. recently negotiated a lease renewal and expansion for Brokerage and Logistics Solutions

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Competitive Climate for Commercial Appraisal Firms Creates Changes

PROPERTY: Increased Demand for Faster, More Accurate Services

San Diego appraisal firms like The Catling Co. are keeping busy in commercial real estate and other more specialized property arenas, even though demand for their services on residential deals has been downsized by the sluggish housing market.

DJO Takes New Tack In Arthritis Relief

HEALTH CARE: Novel Material Makes OA Nano Light and Strong

DJO Global is adding to its long line of nonsurgical orthopedic rehabilitation devices with the introduction of the OA Nano

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It’s Time to Steer Clear of This ‘Fiscal Cliff’

You may have seen the warning signs. We are moving closer to the “fiscal cliff” with each passing day.

Silvergate Bank Has Successful Second Quarter, First Half

Silvergate Bank turned in record profits for both its second quarter and first half, with its quarterly net income nearly double what it made in the same period of 2011.

Helicopter Warning System Avoids Obstacles and Mistakes

AVIATION: Nuisance Alerts Reduced; Database Has Map of Power Lines

Sandel Avionics Inc. is working to take the annoyance out of the helicopter cockpit. Instruments can often give false alarms about perceived dangers.

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Making an Aging Electrical Grid ‘Smarter’ Is the Goal

ENERGY: Technology Pinpoints the Source Of Power Failures

Locating the cause of a power loss in underground electrical circuits is fragmented, event-based and reactionary and can be a very time-consuming process.

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Real Estate Roudup: New Ownership at Ocean Ranch Plaza

Kearny Real Estate Co. and Cushman & Wakefield of San Diego announce the acquisition of the 106,000-square-foot Ocean Ranch Plaza located in Oceanside.

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New Enzyme Could Be a Rock Star

BIOTECH: Its Heat Tolerance Makes It Promising for Fracking

Locally based Verenium Corp. expects to introduce an addition to its line of eight products later this year now that the Environmental Protection Agency has given regulatory authorization to market its new cellulase enzyme for nonfood applications.

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Real Estate Roundup: Balfour Beatty, HMC Architects Earn National DBIA Award

The J. Paul Leonard Library and Sutro Library at San Francisco State University received an Honor Award in the Rehabilitation/Renovation/Restoration category from the Design Build Institute of America

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Consensus Building Key Part of Bayfront Plan

When you set out to develop a plan for a 556-acre waterfront development, there’s a right way to go about it — and a lot of other ways.

Seeing the Light Keeps Daylight Solutions Laser Focused

TECH: Company Leads Development of Molecular Detection Instruments

The economy’s sluggish recovery is boosting the fortunes of Rancho Bernardo-based Daylight Solutions Inc., a maker of laser-based molecular detection instruments used in defense, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.

Real Estate Roundup: Dialysis Firm Signs 64-Month Lease in Chula Vista

Cassidy Turley San Diego announced that Innovative Dialysis Systems of La Jolla LLC has signed a 64-month lease for medical/office space at Eastlake Professional Center in Chula Vista.

Escondido Is Still in the Development Game to Win

ECONOMY: Baseball Is Out, so City Turns Its Attention to Other Prospects

Despite a clunker of a deal with the San Diego Padres for a minor league ballpark, things are decidedly upbeat in Escondido, says Mayor Sam Abed.

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Real Estate Roudup: Property Purchased for The San Diego Reader

The San Diego office of Colliers International announces that the Holman Family Trust, owner of the San Diego Reader, has purchased the Art Union Building

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Giving business a reason to stay

ECONOMY: Vista Helps Company Consolidate And Save Money

ometimes being in the right place at the right time can be a key factor in economic development efforts.

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Municipal Securities Board Taps Goldstone

Jay Goldstone, chief operating officer for the city of San Diego, was named as chairman of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for a one-year term, the organization said.

Executive Profile: Mark Cafferty

As president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC, Mark Cafferty runs a nonprofit organization that is supported by more than 135 companies

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Behind Every Good Company Are Some Great Leaders

The Corporate Directors Forum will present the 2012 Director of the Year Awards on Sept. 27 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.


ECONOMY: Nearsourcing Brings Together Local Businesses

Survey the factory floor at Rancho Bernardo’s D&K Engineering Inc. and you will see kiosks, kiosks and more kiosks.

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Second Quarter Income Drops For Sempra

Sempra Energy reported second quarter net income of $62 million, down 88 percent from the like quarter of 2011 when it generated $503 million in net income.

Real Estate Roudup: Construction Begins On Scripps Encinitas Expansion

Construction workers set and anchored the first structural steel column recently for the Critical Care Building at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.

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The Paralympics Are A Team Effort for 2 Local Veterans

What with all the hoopla surrounding the 2012 Summer Games now under way in London, not many know about the Paralympic Games that follow on Aug. 29 and Sept. 9.

Big Changes Rearranging Medical Property Landscape

REAL ESTATE: Reforms, Possible Tax Increases Are Having Effect on Market

Big shifts in the way health care is delivered and financed — as well as potential upcoming changes in the way property sales proceeds are taxed — are having an impact on San Diego County’s medical office real estate market in 2012.

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AL Puts Tangy Taste in Supplement Biz

DIRECT SALES: Health Appeal Drives Sales of 400 Products; a Foray Into Coffee

Steve Wallach says a big reason behind his company’s explosive growth is the stagnant economy.

Defense, Clean-Tech Sectors Join Forces for Sustainability

GREEN: San Diego Positioned to Support Navy’s Efforts

Common goals for achieving energy independence are uniting the local clean-tech sector and the defense industry.

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Assisted-Living Projects Wait for Boomers to Make Their Move

CONSTRUCTION: Builders Don’t Expect Big Demand For Years to Come

Local construction companies — including Bycor General Contractors and Legacy Building Services Inc. — have recently made their mark

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Regional Report - San Diego

From the minds of two U.S. Navy frogmen there emerges … the latest in liquid refreshment.

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Friday, August 3

Sempra Sees Second Quarter Income Drop

Sempra Energy reported second quarter net income of $62 million, down 88 percent from the like quarter of 2011 when it generated $503 million in net income.

ServiceNow Loses $8.7M in Quarter; Revenue Rises 93 Percent

ServiceNow Inc., the San Diego provider of cloud-based information technology services to large corporations, reported a second quarter net loss of $8.7 million, compared with a net profit of $2 million in the like quarter of 2011.

County Construction Contracts Down 14 Percent in First Half

Contracts for future San Diego County construction declined 14 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared with the year-ago period, according to data from New York-based McGraw-Hill Construction.

GLJ Partners Merges with Trammell Crow Residential

GLJ Partners, a Carlsbad-based multifamily project developer, and Dallas-based Trammell Crow Residential have merged and will operate locally under the name Trammell Crow Residential.

SDG&E Takes Award for Smart Grid Deployment

Power Magazine is recognizing San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s smart grid deployment programs with the 2012 Power Smart Grid Award.

Thursday, August 2

Building Permit Activity Gives USD Index a Boost

An index measuring San Diego’s economy rose a tenth of 1 percent in June, the eighth consecutive time it’s moved up, propelled by a strong increase in the number of local building permits issued.

Local REIT Buying Washington Office Tower for $229M

San Diego-based American Assets Trust Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase a 27-story office tower in Bellevue, Wash., for approximately $229 million.

RQ Gets $32M Order for Naval Medical Center Work

RQ Construction LLC of Carlsbad has been awarded a $31.7 million task order for renovation work at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Survey Detects Optimism Among Small-Business Owners

San Diego small-business owners moved from being cautiously optimistic to more positive about their prospects, according to a recent survey done for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, August 1

Borrego Solar Garners $64M in Investment

Borrego Solar Systems Inc., a San Diego designer, installer and financier of solar energy systems, said it closed a $64.4 million fund for solar projects, receiving the investment from US Bank and National Cooperative Bank.

Buyers Drive New Vehicle Sales to 20 Percent Rise in First Half

New vehicle sales in San Diego County rose 20 percent in the first half of 2012 over the same period of 2011, according to a quarterly report by the trade group New Car Dealers Association San Diego County.

Mixed-use Broadway Lofts Sold for $19.7M

Denver-based AIMCO Properties LLC has purchased the 12-story Broadway Lofts apartment and retail building in downtown San Diego for $19.7 million.