Stories for December 2012

Monday, December 31

SeaWorld San Diego Parent Firm Files for IPO

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the Florida-based parent company of SeaWorld San Diego, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct an initial public offering of stock, which would raise at least $100 million.

REIT Acquires $114M Shopping Center Portfolio

San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. has closed on the purchase of three Southern California shopping centers and has a binding contract to acquire a fourth, in a portfolio transaction totaling $114 million.

Palomar Medical Center Project Takes Awards

Engineering News Record, a publication for design and construction related news, recently named the new Palomar Medical Center in Escondido the 2012 national Best of the Best Health Care Projects.

Sempra Completes Hawaii Wind Farm

San Diego-based Sempra Energy has recently completed a wind farm in Hawaii that will generate enough clean electricity to power about 10,000 homes.

App on Board: Company Gives Surfers a Real Wave Selection

TECH: American Wave Machines Can Offer Custom Rides

There is now an app for making waves. American Wave Machines of Solana Beach designs pools with technology that creates waves big enough to surf on. They can bring the familiar sport to places that are nowhere near the ocean.

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Builders’ Confidence Sets Carlsbad Projects in Motion

PROPERTY: Community’s Potential Energizes Retail And Housing Construction

An improving economy is spurring new progress on long-discussed development projects in places like Carlsbad, where work is proceeding on a large retail center and adjacent new homes on an 83-acre site known as La Costa Town Square.

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Mass Transit In London Has S.D. Connection

America’s Finest City has a direct link to old London Town. Cubic Transportation Systems, a unit of San Diego’s Cubic Corp., said recently it’s equipped London’s fleet of 8,500 buses with electronic fare boxes, or what are better known as contactless card readers that automatically subtract fares from boarding passengers. The project is part of an ongoing effort with public agency Transport for London, or TfL, to equip that city’s entire public transit system to accept debit and credit cards.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Del Mar Fairgrounds operators have signed an agreement with the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar, clearing the way for future renovations at the fairgrounds.

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Developer Gives Renters the Single-Family Option

The long battered home-building market has shown signs of life this year in San Diego County, with contracts for future residential construction up 11 percent from a year ago in the first 11 months of the year.

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UltraStar Sells 7 of Its Locations to East Coast Partnership

THEATERS: Movies Are Just Part of Entertainment Mix as Exhibitors Diversify

UltraStar Cinemas is selling off seven of its movie theater locations for approximately $13 million, as the Vista-based company and its rivals aim to diversify their role in the entertainment business beyond film exhibitor.

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Firm Covers a Lot of Ground With Projects

PROPERTY: Offerings Include Luxury and Entry-Level Sites

The coming year will likely be a busy one for locally based developer ColRich, which has several apartment and single-family projects either moving forward or nearing completion in 2013.

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Still In It to Win

SPORT: New Owner Gets Media, Event Firm That Chases Opportunities

Competitor Group is used to bringing like-minded companies together. It has acquired 17 companies in the endurance sports space during its five-year history.

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Giving the New Mayor a Land-Use To-Do List


Our new mayor is just now settling into his new office. So I offer up a few suggestions on issues in the planning, land-use and real estate arena that are in critical need of attention.

Implement Strategies to Reduce Your Stress


Handling unproductive stress in 2013 is something you might want to resolve to do.

This House Party Raises $660,000 to Help Hospitalized Kids

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego raised $660,000 at its ROMP Gala at the Rancho Valencia Resort. Proceeds will help RMHCSD provide critical support services to families with hospitalized children. The ROMP 2012 “Once Upon a Time” gala featured musical guests Boyz II Men.

Big Picture for Banks Is Good, According to FDIC Report

Any doubt that the banking industry is doing better will be dismissed when reading the latest report from the industry’s top regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Defective Breath Device Casts Shadow of Doubt Over DUI Arrests

This column is published on New Year’s Eve, so it is at least arguable this item should appear today. San Diego attorney Eric Ganci, a partner at Galente Ganci, APC, whose practice is exclusively Driving Under Influence defense work, discovered during the course of his work that a breath device used by California Highway Patrol and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department did not work properly, specifically the Intox EC/IR, manufactured by Intoximeters Inc.

Lessons From Lost Labor Lead to Lucrative Innovations

MANUFACTURING: Veridiam’s Training Efforts Get Bottom Line Results

San Diego-based Veridiam took an alarming hit three years ago when it lost 15 percent of its skilled labor workforce. The flight occurred after the metal components manufacturer acquired four businesses that tripled the firm’s size and revenues, but left employees unsettled.

Small Pharma Firm Thinks Big in Partnerships,Treatments

MEDICINE: Isis’ ‘Antisense’ Therapies Draw a Lot of Interest

Despite some market uncertainty for one of its top drugs, Kynamro, Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has positioned itself as a drug discovery frontrunner with its proprietary “antisense” therapies.

Satellite Structures Delivered in Highly Competitive Atmosphere

AEROSPACE: VST Earns Commercial and Government Contracts

Despite the ups and downs of the U.S. economy, San Diego remains a region of world-class manufacturing capabilities.

Westcore Completes $600M Buy

San Diego-based investment firm Westcore Properties has purchased a $600 million portfolio of industrial properties, with 110 buildings spanning approximately 11 million square feet in Northern California and the Midwest.

Recession Reconfigures Local Jobs Landscape

ECONOMY: Stratifying Effect Occurs as Midpaying Positions Take a Big Hit

San Diego took a beating in the Great Recession, but a new study reveals just how bad it was.

Chula Vista Advances Plans for University

SCHOOLS: Mayor Sees Vision ‘Coming Together’

Chula Vista, the county’s second largest city, has long dreamed of building a four-year university, and those dreams got a bit closer to becoming reality when it recently entered into a negotiating agreement with developer HomeFed Corp. to explore a wider pact to create the long desired project.

Health Care 2014 Means Big Costs And Big Changes

HEALTH: Employers Must Consider Options Now to Meet Reforms

San Diego health insurance brokers are calling 2013 “the calm before the storm,” with overall rates increasing 5 to 7 percent. They also predict that rate hikes could double — or more — for employers after the Affordable Care Act is fully launched in 2014. They recommend employers take steps now to help mitigate the mounting costs of health coverage.

New Year Invites Predictions About Business Prospects

ECONOMY: Experts at Event to Highlight the Key Trends for 2013

There’s no telling exactly what the future holds, but getting a grasp on what’s in store in 2013 is what this year’s San Diego Business Journal Economic Trends event is all about.

Friday, December 28

New Year Invites Predictions About Business Prospects

There’s no telling exactly what the future holds, but getting a grasp on what’s in store in 2013 is what this year’s San Diego Business Journal Economic Trends event is all about.

Sempra to Sell Portion of Arizona Plant

The Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District has agreed to purchase one 625-megawatt block of Sempra Energy’s 1,250-megawatt Mesquite Power natural gas-fired power plant located in Arizona for $371 million, according to the San Diego utility.

Otay Mesa Warehouse Part of $561M Property Sale

An Otay Mesa warehouse building is among 26 industrial properties recently acquired by a partnership that includes South Korea’s National Pension Service, for $561 million.

El Vitral Joins Restaurant Roster at Chula Vista Mall

Locally based Mexican restaurant El Vitral has opened its second San Diego County location at Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista.

Thursday, December 27

CEO to Leave Unique Small Business Lender

Michael McCraw, the longtime CEO of the California Southern Small Business Development Corp., announced recently that he plans to step down from his post. McCraw has held the job since 1989.

Hines Touts New UTC Tower as Largest ‘Net Zero’ Office Building

Planned efficiency features of the tower under construction at La Jolla Commons in UTC are expected to make it the nation’s largest “net zero” energy commercial office building, according to Houston-based developer Hines.

Sorrento Mesa Office Complex Sells for $14.1M

Lincoln Property Co. of Dallas has purchased the two-building Cornerstone Heights Corporate Center in Sorrento Mesa for $14.1 million, in a joint venture partnership with Maryland-based Artemis Real Estate Partners.

Spotlight Maker Finishes Year With Loss

Carlsbad-based Xenonics Holdings Inc. recently reported that it had a net loss of $2.19 million on revenue of $2.16 million during its most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

Wednesday, December 26

Retailers Hire, Jobless Rate Falls Several Notches

San Diego’s unemployment rate dipped by three-tenths of a percent in November to 8.3 percent, as the retail sector did its annual expansion in advance of the holiday shopping season.

Future Construction Contracts Down 17 Percent Locally; Residential Rises

San Diego County contracts for future construction, including residential and commercial projects, were down 17 percent from a year ago in the first 11 months of 2012.

As Old Year Fades, 2013 Auto Show Arrives

The 2013 San Diego International Auto Show runs Dec. 27-30 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Wilson Cos. Completes Receivership Sale of Ski Resort

San Diego-based Douglas Wilson Cos. has completed the $11.25 million receivership sale of 3,240 acres of Sierra Nevada land in Northern California, which includes the Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort.

Monday, December 24

FCC Approves Nextwave Sale

Nextwave Wireless, the San Diego holder of wireless spectrum licenses, said that its sale to AT&T Inc. was approved by the Federal Communications Commission, the last regulatory hurdle before the deal can be completed.

Chula Vista Apartment Communities Sold for $77M

San Francisco-based Jackson Square Properties LLC has purchased two Chula Vista apartment communities totaling 416 units for $77 million.

Verizon Wireless Makes Area Improvements to Service

Verizon Wireless introduced new territory to its 4G LTE cellphone network recently. The new areas include Fallbrook.

Sorrento Mesa Hotel Gets $1.2M Renovation

The Courtyard San Diego Sorrento Mesa/La Jolla recently underwent a $1.2 million renovation featuring updated guest rooms and a redesigned lobby.

Friday, December 21

Westcore Boosts Real Estate Portfolio with $600M Acquisition

San Diego-based investment firm Westcore Properties has purchased a $600 million portfolio of industrial properties, with 110 buildings spanning approximately 11 million square feet in Northern California and the Midwest.

ViaSat Lines Up $52M Communications Deal

ViaSat Inc., the Carlsbad-based maker of satellite communications equipment, said it obtained a one-year, $52 million contract to provide broadband satellite communications services to a U.S. government customer.

Golden Door Spa Sold for $24.8M

The Golden Door Spa in San Marcos has been sold for $24.8 million, according to the listing broker for seller Golden Door Owner LLC of New York City. The name of the buyer was not disclosed.

Del Mar Firm Buys Colorado Apartment Complex for $36M

Apartment investment firm Stratford Partners Real Estate of Del Mar has purchased a 254-unit apartment community in suburban Denver for $36.1 million.

MOGL Goes on a Mission to Fight Hunger

MOGL, a locally based restaurant loyalty service, recently announced that the company donated 200,000 meals through their Meal for a Meal Program to Feeding America.

Thursday, December 20

Health Firm Chooses San Diego as U.S. Headquarters

Reka Health Pte. Ltd., a mobile health technology company based in Singapore, recently announced the opening of the company’s U.S. headquarters in San Diego.

BeyondTrust Makes Another Acquisition

BeyondTrust, a Carlsbad-based network security provider, said it acquired New York-based Blackbird Group, a Windows Active Directory systems management firm for an undisclosed price.

National City Hotel Sold for $11.6M

Brighton Management of Diamond Bar has purchased the 180-room Clarion Hotel in National City for $11.65 million, according to CoStar Group.

Six Named to SDSU Business College Board

Six business executives with local, national and international ties were recently named to the board of directors for the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University.

Kia Classic Comes to Aviara in March

Kia Motors America and the LPGA recently announced that the fourth annual Kia Classic golf tournament will be held at the Aviara Golf Club at the Park Hyatt Resort in Carlsbad in 2013.

Joe’s Jeans Joins Retail Lineup at Fashion Valley

Clothing retailer Joe’s Jeans Inc. recently opened its 10th California retail store at Fashion Valley mall.

Wednesday, December 19

Autodesk Software Helps Tech Firm Organovo

San Diego-based Organovo Holdings Inc. announced it has teamed up with Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Autodesk Inc. to develop design software for its MMX bioprinter, a device that uses printing technology to build complex human tissues by substituting living cells for ink.

Legoland Hotel Set for April Opening

Construction on a new themed hotel at Legoland California Resort is ahead of schedule, with the property now slated to open on April 5, officials of the Carlsbad theme park recently announced.

National Cancer Institute Gives Boost to MabVax

MabVax Therapeutics Inc., a locally based biotechnology company, recently announced that the company received a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Ad-Supported Free Wi-Fi Now Available at Airport

Florida-based Advanced Wireless Group LLC has received a one-year contract to provide wireless Internet services (Wi-Fi) to travelers at San Diego International Airport. The ad-supported service is now available free to users.

From Fender to Smartphone: Audatex App Tracks Auto Repairs

Audatex, a locally based developer of software for use in the automotive insurance industry, recently announced the launch of an iPhone app that allows users to track their collision repair progress using a smartphone.

Tuesday, December 18

Cubic Buys Defense Business

Cubic Corp., the San Diego defense contractor and provider of mass transit fare collection systems, said it acquired the operating assets of NEK Special Programs Group, a subsidiary of NEK Advanced Securities Group Inc. for $52 million in cash.

BioMed Realty Trust Declares Stock Dividends

BioMed Realty Trust Inc. has declared a fourth quarter dividend of 23.5 cents per share of common stock, representing a 9.3 percent increase over the third quarter dividend.

Apartment Operator Gets $56M in Refinancing

Apartment investor and operator Universe Holdings Development Co. has obtained refinancing totaling more than $56 million on nine Southern California multifamily properties, including two in La Mesa.

Palomar Technologies Drives Exports, Receives Honors

Palomar Technologies, a Carlsbad maker of microelectronics and opto-electronic packaging systems, was named the 2012 Exporter of the Year by the San Diego North Economic Development Council at its annual business luncheon.

Monday, December 17

Deal Clears Way for Fairgrounds Work

Del Mar Fairgrounds operators have signed an agreement with the cities of Solana Beach and Del Mar, clearing the way for future renovations at the fairgrounds.

Moss Adams Acquires Silicon Valley Firm

Moss Adams LLP, a Seattle-based accounting firm that has an office in San Diego with about 73 employees, said it’s acquired Mohler, Nixon & Williams, based in Campbell, in a deal that beefs up Moss Adams’ presence in the Bay Area.

European Regulators Issue Negative Opinion on Isis Drug

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s experimental cholesterol drug, Kynamro, recently failed to get approval from a European Union regulatory committee because of its likelihood to cause liver damage and other severe side effects in patients.

Cytori Sells $20M in Stock

San Diego-based developer of stem cell therapies Cytori Therapeutics Inc. recently announced a public sale of $20 million in stock, at $2.85 per share.

Cymer Shareholders to Vote on ASML Deal Feb. 5

Cymer Inc., the San Diego maker of laser equipment used in the manufacture of semiconductors, set a special shareholders meeting for Feb. 5 to approve its proposed $2.55 billion sale to ASML Holding NV of Holland.

Students’ Success Ensures Community’s Success

Nurturing the next generation of business leaders requires a strategy for developing the skills and talents of young people.

Crystal Ball Gala Sees to a Brighter Future for Many Kids

Casa de Amparo held its 14th Annual Crystal Ball Gala at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club. Bassett Furniture was the title sponsor and Rick and Kaylee Huffman of Bassett were honorary chairs.

Real Estate Roundup

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

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Executive Profile: Anand Chandrasekher

Anand Chandrasekher is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Qualcomm Inc. He joined the company in August 2012, after nearly 25 years at Intel.

Wi-Fi Is Key to Curb Hospital Readmissions, Improve Care

WIRELESS: Hospitals Move to Improve Patient Monitoring and Outcomes

Local executives at Palomar Health and Scripps Health recently discussed plans to integrate wireless technologies in an effort to eliminate unnecessary care, improve in-patient care and try to connect doctors with patients beyond hospital walls.

We’re (Wireless) No. 1?

WIRELESS: Region Sees Technological Top Spot Being Within Its Reach

Who deserves the crown of wireless capital of the United States? In a world where people and things are increasingly connected by radios, San Diego could have bragging rights.

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Bank Makes Haste in Complying With Regulatory Demands

Talk about getting coal in your stocking. Vibra Bank, with a single office in Chula Vista, was hit with a consent order from its regulators, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the California Department of Financial Institutions, regarding some problems with risk management issues.

Students Draw Life Lessons From Law Firm’s ‘Figaro’ Excursion

You already know that SullivanHill Lewin Rez & Engel has partnered with Washington Elementary School to provide fourth- and fifth-graders an inside view of the legal profession.

Faltering Grocer’s Locations Have Good Potential

RETAIL: Consultants Help Market Review Sell-Off, Partnership Options

Don’t expect bargain-basement transaction prices if or when the local spaces occupied by Tesco Plc’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market go back on the block.

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Desalination Plant Arriving to Add Secure Source for Water

RESOURCES: Carlsbad Sees Water Purchase as Insurance Against Shortages

With Poseidon Resources’ Carlsbad Desalination Project officially approved and under way, the city of Carlsbad and builders of the plant say investing in an extra supply of the more costly desalinated water will guard Carlsbad businesses against future droughts and water shortages.

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It’s Garbage In and Fashion Out With Firm’s ‘Upcycled’ Apparel

APPAREL: Company’s Eco-Friendly Offerings Let You Wear the ‘Green’

The mess of plastic refuse floating around the beach inspired San Diego surfer Mark Wystrach and two friends to form The People’s Movement Inc., a company that makes shoes, T-shirts and accessories out of repurposed trash.

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Sempra Completes Solar Project

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, announced recently that it has completed construction of the first phase of a 92-megawatt photovoltaic solar power facility in Nevada.

SAIC’s 700 Job Cuts Hit Home With 50 Local Reductions

WORKFORCE: Company To Offer Support, Training To Affected Employees

SAIC Inc., which once made its home in San Diego but is now managed from McLean, Va., reported it will be cutting another 700 jobs from its payroll, including 50 in San Diego.

Film Festival Hopes Crowdfunding Will Raise Event Funds

The San Diego Film Festival has turned to the new social media concept of crowdfunding to raise $75,000 that will help cover the cost of staging its 2013 event next fall.

Bankers Vary in Views On TAG Expiration

BANKING: End Date Coming For Increased Insurance Level

Unless Congress extends deposit insurance guaranty coverage on transaction accounts above $250,000 by year-end, there could be a lot of money looking for a new home next year.

Mickelson to Take On Torrey Pines North

SPORTS: Golfer’s Design Team Looks to Create ‘Fun Challenge’

The future of the Torrey Pines municipal golf course — specifically its north course — is in the hands of San Diego native Phil Mickelson.

Having Experience as a Guide

COACHING: Executives Learn Valuable Lessons On Leadership and Life From Pat Hyndman

At age 98, Pat Hyndman has a perspective on business that few people can match. He takes the long view, one that goes back before the crash of 1929.

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Duty-Free Shop Arrives At Lindbergh Field

TRAVEL: Airport Catering to Increase in International Travel

San Diego International Airport recently debuted its first-ever duty free store, as the facility looks to bolster services catering to a growing contingent of international travelers to the region.

Acquisition Boosts Apartment Owners’ Local Portfolio

REAL ESTATE: Thousands Of Properties Change Hands With $16B Archstone Deal

Two of the nation’s largest apartment owners, Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc., are about to significantly boost their national and local footprints, with their recently announced $16 billion purchase of the assets and liabilities of Archstone Enterprise LP.

Grocery Store Expected to Draw a Retail Crowd

PROPERTY: Business Activity Seen as Key to Revitalizing the Area

The last pieces are falling into place for the long-awaited, $80 million mixed-use Mercado del Barrio development in San Diego’s Barrio Logan, which recently saw the opening of a new apartment complex and the neighborhood’s first major grocery store.

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An Inspired Team Works With a Purpose

Recently, as a winner of a local speaker search, I was afforded an opportunity to speak at TEDxSanDiego.

Friday, December 14

Local Investor Purchases Lakeside Lots for 200-Home Development

Local developer Dan Floit has purchased four residential lots in Lakeside, totaling 26.37 acres, for a planned development of 200 single-family homes and attached twin homes that will be available for lease.

Residential Lots at Carlsbad Development Sold for $14.1M

Developer Davidson Communities has purchased 63 residential lots, on 24.39 acres in the La Costa Town Square development in Carlsbad, for approximately $14.1 million.

Rhino Linings Makes Acquisition

Rhino Linings Corp., a privately held San Diego business that provides sprayed and rolled polyurethane for trucks and other uses, said it acquired BioBased Insulation, a division of Springdale, Ariz.-based BioBased Technologies LLC, for an undisclosed price.

Brightscope Names Top Performing Pension Plans

Brightscope Inc., the San Diego firm that rates 401(k) retirement plans and financial advisers, put out its fourth annual Top 30 Ratings List covering retirement plans with more than $1 billion in assets.

Thursday, December 13

Somaxon Has a Suitor in Pernix

Shares for San Diego-based Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc. have nearly doubled in price after it announced that it is being acquired for about $25 million in stock by Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc., a Houston-based maker of children’s medicine.

Cash Buyers Snap Up a Third of Homes in November

Median home prices in San Diego increased 14 percent to $358,000 in November compared to a year earlier, while buying activity continued to rise, according to a recent report from Dataquick Inc., the La Jolla real estate research firm.

Carlsbad Resort Among Top New Hotels in TripAdvisor Ranking

The recently opened Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa placed among the top 10 new luxury hotels in a recent ranking by the travel site based on user reviews.

Cars Recharge Beneath Zoo’s Solar Canopy

Kyocera Solar Inc., a locally based supplier of solar energy solutions and modules, recently announced that the company’s photovoltaic solar panels are powering the new canopy that charges electric vehicles at the San Diego Zoo.

Wednesday, December 12

Kearny Mesa Office Building Sells for $52.5M

GI Partners of Menlo Park has purchased the Lightwave Corporate Center office building in Kearny Mesa for $52.5 million, according to CoStar Group.

Isis, AstraZeneca Collaborate on Cancer Drugs

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. has teamed up with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC to develop drugs to treat cancer. Isis will receive $25 million upfront and another $6 million in the second quarter of 2013 if the research continues.

Sempra Completes Initial Phase of Solar Power Project

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, announced recently that it has completed construction of the first phase of a 92-megawatt photovoltaic solar power facility in Nevada.

Retired ‘Navy Mayor’ to Lead Energy Nonprofit

The California Center for Sustainable Energy recently announced the appointment of retired Rear Adm. Len Hering as executive director of the nonprofit organization.

Public Promenade Opening at Shelter Island

The Port of San Diego is officially opening the Shelter Island-America’s Cup Harbor public promenade, built as part of a larger commercial development project.

Tuesday, December 11

Zogenix Shares Touch All-Time Low

The stock price for San Diego-based pharmaceutical company Zogenix Inc. has plummeted to an all-time low after a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel strongly recommended against its painkiller Zohydro.

Downtown High-rise Sold for $49M

Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. has purchased the downtown San Diego office high-rise at 600 B St. for $49 million.

Isis Strikes Third Deal With Biogen Idec

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced recently that it has signed an agreement with Weston, Mass.-based Biogen Idec Inc. to develop drugs for three neurological diseases. Isis will receive an upfront payment of $30 million from the deal.

Mission Valley Courtyard Hotel Acquired for $85M

Carey Watermark Investors Inc. of New York City has purchased the 317-room Courtyard San Diego Mission Valley hotel for approximately $85 million.

RF Industries Accelerates Dividend

RF Industries, a maker and distributor of radio frequency connectors and cable assemblies, said its board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents and accelerated part of its 2013 dividend in this quarter.

Study Estimates Economic Impact of Big Bay Boom

That July 4 fireworks show on San Diego Bay called the Big Bay Boom, the one that fired all of its rockets at once and left many viewers feeling cheated, generated a total economic impact of $10.6 million, according to a recently released report from the Femanian Business & Economic Institute.

Monday, December 10

Hotel REIT Buys L’Auberge Del Mar for $77M

Maryland-based LaSalle Hotel Properties has purchased L’Auberge Del Mar for $76.9 million. The 120-room luxury resort in Del Mar had been placed on the market earlier this year by its prior owner, L-O Del Mar Holding Inc. of San Francisco.

Avelas Receives $7.65M in Series A Funding

Avelas Biosciences Inc., a San Diego-based developer of cancer diagnostic devices, has completed a $7.65 million Series A round of financing from La Jolla-based Avalon Ventures.

November Sales Rise at PriceSmart

PriceSmart Inc., the San Diego-based operator of 30 club warehouse stores mainly in the Caribbean and Latin America, said its November sales increased 13.2 percent to $183.7 million, compared with the same month last year.

Grocer Northgate Gonzalez Opening at Barrio Logan

Anaheim-based grocer Northgate Gonzalez Markets, which caters to the Latino community, plans to open its eighth San Diego County store Dec. 12 in San Diego’s Barrio Logan community.

Schools Project Seeks Business Exhibitors to Put the ‘Wow’ in Science

The San Diego Science Alliance is looking for local science organizations and high-tech businesses to exhibit at its 2013 High Tech Fair in February to encourage middle and high school students to explore STEM subjects.

Bigger, Better, Boston: BioSurplus Celebrates New Location

San Diego-based BioSurplus Inc., a provider of used lab instruments and equipment management services, opened its 20,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse in Watertown, Mass. recently.

Merging Banks Strive for Balance of Power on a Tight Rope

Bank mergers are always couched in terms to make them appear as if the banks are on equal footing, but that is rarely the case.

SAIC Could Reap $21M From Navy Deal

SAIC said recently that it received a U.S. Navy contract that could be worth as much as $21 million over five years

Mercy Ball Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Programs

Conrad Prebys and Debbie Turner were the title sponsors of the 42nd annual Mercy Ball held at The Grand Del Mar to benefit breast cancer care programs for the Scripps Cancer Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital. The event raised $200,000.

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Architects Mosher Drew announces that construction is complete on the new Booth Education Building at the Barnes Jr. Tennis Center in Ocean Beach.

Executive Profile: Susan Long

Diving Unlimited International Inc. is a diving equipment manufacturing company that specializes in drysuits and keeping divers warm.

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San Diego Ranks 17th in the Nation for Exports

COMMERCE: Two Local Agencies Help Companies Grow Exports

One of the best ways that San Diego companies can improve their bottom lines is to increase their exports, said two officials with organizations specializing in doing exactly that.

Swept Up in Foreign Trade Tide

Chad Grismer says his business, The Wheat Group, is having a fine year, but next year will be even better thanks in part to a federal program aimed at boosting exported goods.

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eucadia Gets Official Main Street Certification

Westfield Helps Build Community Rather Than Just Retail

Just before excavating equipment tore into the front of the former Robinsons-May building at Westfield Horton Plaza — kicking off work on a new downtown public-square park

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Downtown’s Columbia Center Tower Sold for $135M

A New York City-based investment group has purchased the 27-story Columbia Center office building in downtown San Diego for $135 million.

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Medical Device Company Has Bold Expansion Plans

BUSINESS: Recent Stock Offering, Acquisitions Part of Expansion Plans

With two new acquisitions and a $400 million public offering last week, San Diego-based medical device manufacturer Volcano Corp. is positioning itself to triple its business, said the company’s chief executive, Scott Huennekens

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Antenna Maker Looks for Ways That ‘Less’ Can Do More

TECH: Demand Is For Smaller, More Efficient Antennas

Millions of people love smartphones for their abundance of innovative features. Amazing things are also going on inside the phone where hidden antennas make the connections that make those features possible.

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Shift to Mobile Continues to Put Qualcomm’s Sales in High Gear

TECH: Company Surpasses Intel in Market Capitalization

There’s an old saying that the rich get richer. That’s certainly true in the case of Qualcomm Inc., which has been making worldwide headlines of late due to surging sales for its prowess in building state-of-the-art smartphone chipsets.

Microgrids are a Futuristic Model for Managing Electric Power

ENERGY: Microgrids Are More Efficient, Consume Less, at Less Cost

For the past 130 years, electric power has flowed from distant utility-owned power plants to consumers, whether commercial, industrial or residential customers hundreds of miles away.

ResMed Considers Headquarter Move

ResMed Inc., one of San Diego’s largest medical device companies, is evaluating whether it should move its headquarters outside of California.

Mission Beach’s Belmont Park Rides Again?

PROPERTY: Vision Is For 3-Year Makeover to Draw Tourists, Locals

The new operators of Belmont Park will soon embark on a multimillion-dollar revitalization of the historic Mission Beach attraction, aiming to diversify offerings for locals while restoring its place among San Diego’s tourism icons.

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Technology Tenants’ Space Demands Lead to Upgrades

PROPERTY: Expansion Considered at Tech Center In a Prime Submarket

Spurred in part by rising local space demand among technology firms, owner Beacon Capital Partners LLC has long-range plans in the works that could nearly triple the square footage of San Diego Tech Center in Sorrento Mesa, already among the region’s largest office campuses.

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Website Delivers Crowdsourcing For a Cause

San Diego-based Internet startup Allowance Manager, which creates money management education tools for the Web and mobile devices for kid


ECONOMY: Former Mayor to Put Experience To Work as Chamber CEO

Jerry Sanders was in good spirits last week, still getting used to the fact he is no longer mayor of San Diego.

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Firm’s Pens Spread the Word for Companies

MARKETING: Promotional Products Remain Popular

Promotional giveaways like pens imprinted with a business name may seem like the poor man’s mode of advertising, but not to San Diego-based National Pen Co.

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Return Customer Brings Nassco an Unusual Job

SHIPPING: It Will Build LNG-Powered Container Ships

One look at the back of this boat tells you this shipbuilding project is going to be different. General Dynamics Nassco has announced a commercial ship construction deal that will keep employees busy through early 2016.

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Main Street Project Takes a New Turn

PROPERTY: Kilroy Submits Revised Plans for Carmel Valley

Developer Kilroy Realty Corp. has revised plans for its $650 million, mixed-use “Main Street” project in Carmel Valley, which has been in the works for four years and represents the last large office and retail development expected to be built in that San Diego neighborhood.

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Firebird’s Uniqueness Lands Northrop a Deal

DEFENSE: Pilot Is Optional In New Category of Aircraft

Northrop Grumman Corp. is carving a unique niche for itself, producing military aircraft where the pilot is — well, optional.

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Friday, December 7

Everyone Counts to Receive 10-Year, Multimillion-Dollar Contract

Everyone Counts, a locally based provider of software as a service voting systems, recently received a 10-year contract from New Jersey to design the state’s voter registration system.

Nassco Starts Work on Second Mobile Landing Platform

General Dynamics Nassco, the last surviving shipbuilder on the West Coast, recently laid the keel for its second mobile landing platform ship. The ship will be named the USS John Glenn, after the first U.S. citizen to orbit the Earth.

Ethertronics Reports Revenue Surge

Ethertronics, a San Diego maker of antennas and other components for electronics manufacturers, said its revenue grew by more than 50 percent this year.

Cycling Odyssey to Begin in North County

The Amgen Tour of California, among the biggest professional cycling races in the nation, will begin its 750-mile, eight-day event in Escondido, city officials recently said.

Thursday, December 6

ResMed Considers Leaving the Golden State

ResMed Inc., one of San Diego’s largest medical device companies, is evaluating whether it should move its headquarters outside of California.

Downtown’s Columbia Center Tower Sold for $135M

A New York City-based investment group has purchased the 27-story Columbia Center office building in downtown San Diego for $135 million.

Washington Wealth Continues Fast Growth

Washington Wealth Management LLC, a San Diego based investment advisory firm, said it recruited two West Coast investment adviser groups to its platform: California Wealth Transitions and Overlake Partners.

U.S. Bank to Use Mitek for Mobile Payments

U.S. Bank recently announced a partnership with locally based software solutions provider Mitek Systems to provide mobile photo bill pay to U.S. Bank customers.

InfoSonics Beefs Up Smartphone Selection

InfoSonics Corp., a locally based wireless technology company, recently announced the launch of the verykool s735 smartphone.

Wednesday, December 5

Nassco to Build Container Ships That Run on Clean Fuel

General Dynamics Nassco has announced fresh shipbuilding work from the commercial sector. The Barrio Logan shipyard has a new contract to build a pair of container ships that will run on a unique fuel.

Passing the Baton: Competitor Group Acquired

Competitor Group Inc., the San Diego sports media publisher and organizer/owner of recreational events including the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon series, said its management team along with Calera Capital, a private equity firm, acquired CGI from Falconhead Capital for an undisclosed price.

Zion Market Plans First Quarter Opening at Former Sears Site

Locally based Zion Market is tentatively scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2013 at 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., in the Kearny Mesa space vacated last year by Sears.

San Diego Places Sixth in Travel Magazine Survey

San Diego ranked sixth overall in a recent online “America’s Favorite Cities” survey by Travel + Leisure Magazine. According to Travel + Leisure, the online survey asked readers to rate and comment on 35 major U.S. metro areas, in 66 categories.

BBB Torch Awards Honor Business Ethics

The San Diego Better Business Bureau recently announced the winners of the 15th annual BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics.

Tuesday, December 4

Harper Gets $54.3M Contract at Quantico; Award Could Increase

Harper Construction Co. Inc. of San Diego has been awarded a contract of approximately $54.3 million, to design and build student officer quarters at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

Japan Airlines Launches Region’s First Direct Tokyo Flights

Japan Airlines has launched its previously announced, first-ever direct service between San Diego International Airport and Narita International Airport in suburban Tokyo.

Qualcomm, Manpower Will Help Open Career Doors for Veterans

Qualcomm Inc. and Manpower San Diego have teamed up to serve military veterans of the post 9-11 era.

New Partnership Puts a Twist in Encore Capital’s Services

Encore Capital Group, the San Diego based collector of charged off credit card debt, announced a partnership with to provide that firm’s services to the 34 million distressed consumers it works with.

Holiday Bowl Pits Sun Belt Bruins

This year’s Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl will be a real bear fight.

Monday, December 3

Index Shows Region’s Economy Slowly Improving

An index measuring San Diego’s economy edged up three tenths of 1 percent in October, the tenth time it’s risen in the past 12 months.

Regents Completes Acquisition of Cal Community

Regents Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grandpoint Captial Inc. of Los Angeles, said it completed the purchase of Escondido-based California Community Bank Nov. 30.

Sorrento Mesa Office Building Sells for $34.1M

Locally based investment firm BCL Inc. and AEW Capital Management LLC of Boston have acquired the One Pacific Heights office building in Sorrento Mesa. The price was $34.1 million, according to CoStar Group.

Armory Building Gets New Owner in $7M Deal

A Sorrento Valley industrial building housing a U.S. Army Reserves armory has been acquired by locally based Peckham Family Trust for approximately $7 million, according to CoStar Group.

Escondido Apartments Sold for $4.9M

The Cove at Bear Valley, a 24-unit apartment complex in Escondido, has been sold for $4.9 million, according to CoStar Group.

Executive profile: Danna Korn

Danna Korn is CEO (chief energizing officer) and co-founder of Sonic Boom Wellness Inc. The Carlsbad-based software company has been a trailblazer in “gamifying” corporate wellness.

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Veterans Benefit From Stress Management Programs at the VA Hospital

HEALTH: PTSD Responds Well to Various Treatments

Sonya Norman, a psychologist and researcher at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in La Jolla said with San Diego having the largest population of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common.

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The U.S. Navy is working toward a goal of catapulting unmanned fixed-wing aircraft from its aircraft carriers, and it has progressed to what it calls deck handling trials.

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For Now, Bank Is Happy to Be on Path of Steady Progress

The Bank of Southern California showed what seems to be flat numbers through the end of the third quarter, but a closer look would uncover a different story.

Incoming Bar Association President Brings Hispanic Perspective

The San Diego County Bar Association is set to install Marcella McLaughlin as its 2013 president Dec. 7.

Digitaria’s Team Looks to Dominate Fields, Courts and Courses

MARKETING: Mobile Options Are a Must for Connecting With Fans

San Diego has suddenly become a digital sports hub, due in large part to the recent rapid growth of East Village-based marketing and technology agency Digitaria.

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Surgeons Can Count on Firm’s Medical Device

MEDICINE: Sponges Get RF Tag to Ensure They Are Recovered

Bill Blair recalled sitting at a table at a Greenwich Village eatery as his surgeon friend laid out a work-related challenge.

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Fallbrook Inks Deal With Midwest Firm

allbrook Technologies Inc., a San Diego maker of continuously variable transmissions, said it entered into an exclusive licensing arrangement with Team Industries Inc. for Fallbrook’s technology called NuVinci.

Parking Improvements Are Around the Corner

TECH: Solutions Include Using Apps, Pedestrian-Friendly Areas

Parking guidance technologies — from companies including Vista-based McCain Inc. and Streetline Inc. of Foster City — are helping curb frustration among time-strapped drivers searching for available spaces.

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‘Green Crude’ Still Fuels Investment Interest

ENERGY: Sapphire’s Funding Reaches More Than $350 Million

Clean-tech has generally fallen out of favor with venture capital investors, but not Sapphire Energy Inc.

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LightPointe Is Making Connections Worldwide

TECH: It Provides Crucial ‘Bridges’ for Wireless Data

LightPointe Communications Inc. doesn’t have the recognition of an ATT or Verizon, but its technology is just as critical to consumers in the 21st century wireless world.

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‘A Merger of Equals’ Brings Banks Together

FINANCE: Move by SDPB, CFB Driven by Dodd-Frank

Two small San Diego banks decided to join forces to navigate what is an increasingly tough road for smaller lenders.

Construction Industry Keeps Going on Green

BUILDING: Tenants Expect Energy Efficiency in Properties

Green construction and improvement projects already figure prominently in the work of local contracting firms

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Water Park Should Get Tourist Dollars Flowing

TOURISM: South County Site Boasts SeaWorld Brand

Tourism leaders are looking for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s water park acquisition and upcoming expansion in Chula Vista to create a big economic splash for the entire South County

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Working Well Is a Job in Itself

With millions of Americans feeling overworked, undervalued and anxious about their job prospects in this tough economy, workplace stress prevention training could be the answer to a more productive, less absent and healthier workforce

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Benefit Show Aims to Ride To the Rescue

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is organizing a benefit show to help performers stranded when the would-be equestrian spectacular “Valitar” closed the doors to its landmark burgundy tent off Interstate 5.

Firefighter’s Efforts for Safer San Diego Region Are Recognized

San Diego Regional Fire Foundation held its 2012 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year and Grants Awards ceremony recently.


EVENTS: A Passion for Music Led to a New Career in Events

The music bug bit Ray McKewon hard. It was 12 years ago when McKewon was asked to play the guitar in a band at a company function.

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T-Squared Professional Engineers of Vista provided the mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering design for the new Morrison Park Fire Station in Moreno Valley.

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