Stories for June 2011
Thursday, June 30
One of the most congested highways in San Diego, Interstate 805 south of Interstate 8, will be expanded by one lane in each direction thanks to a $100 million grant from the California Transportation Commission.
Wednesday, June 29
Anthony Thornley has taken over as interim president and CEO of Callaway Golf Co. following the resignation of President and Chief Executive Officer George Fellows.
San Diego’s economy continued to improve in May, according to the latest monthly report from the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.
Tuesday, June 28
First Foundation Inc., an Irvine-based holding company of both First Foundation Bank and a wealth advisory subsidiary, said it plans to open its third banking office in the University Towne Center area in October.
Monday, June 27
The board of Sempra Energy announced late June 27 that it has elected Debra L. Reed as chief executive officer of the $9 billion energy company.
PRODUCING: Costs, IP Concerns Influence Production Decisions
Contract manufacturing is returning to the U.S. and the San Diego region slowly and steadily, according to both the head of Carlsbad-based Outsource Manufacturing and a business adviser who helps companies decide where to place their manufacturing contracts.
TECHNOLOGY: 3 Deals Expand CommerceTel’s Mobile Marketing Efforts
Five-year-old mobile advertising and marketing technology service provider CommerceTel Corp. has a big appetite for growth, through acquisition.
TOURISM: Extensive Renovations ‘Refresh’ Downtown Property
An extensive $200 million makeover of downtown’s San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina is about a third complete, as work proceeds on what operators say is the largest renovation investment ever made by the hotel’s owner, Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts Inc.
TOURISM: Corporate Travelers Filling Local Luxury Resorts
While they’re not booking the room rates or racking up the revenue like they did before the recession, Park Hyatt Aviara and other local luxury resorts are crediting a rise in corporate group travel for a distinct uptick in visitors in 2011.
Private equity funds and opportunistic investors are taking advantage of the still fragile economy and depressed balance sheet of many lenders, pumping funds into banks that are making inroads in San Diego and other parts of California.
Erik Quade is the chief information officer of Technology Integration Group.
The Supreme Court of the United States exists to reverse the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as the saying goes.
Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County
The 7th Annual Ronald McDonald House Charities, San Diego’s Dream House Raffle awarded the grand prize winner Amado Evangelista $1 million.
Technological advances such as high-quality videoconferencing notwithstanding, business generally needs to be conducted in person. This is especially true when relationships need to be cultivated before deals can be made, whether cultural norms demand it or simply in order to build the necessary trust.
Name San Diego’s economic engines? You might say military and defense-related activities — perhaps wireless technology, even international trade or biotech research. But San Diego has an uncredited powerful engine helping drive its economy: arts and culture.
As new shopping center construction remains rare in San Diego County, some older established centers with solid customer traffic have recently changed hands.
MEDIA: Mike Glickenhaus Is Veteran Sales Leader
The San Diego Business Journal has hired Mike Glickenhaus as vice president and associate publisher, the newspaper said June 17. Glickenhaus started June 20.
INFORMATION: New Setup Expands Role of Technology Providers
At least a few of the companies on the San Diego Business Journal’s Technology Solutions Providers list are innovating with cloud computing as they manage growth.
TECHNOLOGY: Service Creates Online Option for Paying Rent, Other Fees
The folks at PayLease Inc. are facing the kind of problem most businesses love to have: They’re growing faster than their current space can accommodate.
CLEAN-TECH: San Diego Is Home to 41 Businesses Involved In Many Aspects of the Industry
San Diego County may never have the dramatic, large-scale wind farms seen in the mountain passes near Bakersfield or Tracy, said Michael Picker, senior adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown for renewable energy facilities. That being said, there is still some opportunity to convert wind into electricity in eastern San Diego County and western Imperial County.
TECHNOLOGY: Flow Of Investments Juice Up Energy Storage Sector
San Diego businesses are powered up to grow in the burgeoning industry of storing electricity.
LIFE SCIENCES: Newcomer BioNanomatrix Is Drawn To Area’s Top Institutions
San Diego, one of the world’s renowned realms of genomics research, has just added another jewel to its crown.
ELECTRONICS: 2 Companies Home to 41 Businesses Involved In Many Aspects of the Industry
The sale of DEI Holdings Inc., a publicly traded distributor of consumer electronic goods, to a Boston-based private equity firm is a sign that the economy is improving, according to a San Diego State University professor.
HOSPITALITY: Mexico-Based Cinepolis Locating U.S. Headquarters Locally
Coming to a theater near you: Drinks, finger foods and gourmet popcorn brought right to your movie seat, at the push of a button.
Soon, we’ll all know what we’re made of for just $100, in a manner of speaking. BioNanomatrix Inc., which is moving its offices and lab to America’s Finest City from the City of Brotherly Love and featured elsewhere in this issue, has been on a five-year quest for the Holy Grail of genomics research, the ability to sequence the human genome for $100 or less in eight hours or less
BIOTECH: Company Has Attracted $100M-Plus in Financing Since 2000
“In for a penny, in for a pound.” Apparently such is the case for investors involved in 11-year-old Ambit Biosciences Inc. The developer of small-molecule, anti-cancer compounds said June 10 that it has raised $30 million in a Series D round from 12 venture capital firms, including lead firm Apposite Capital LLP.
DEVELOPMENT: Target A Contender to Anchor 28-Acre Otay Mesa Site
Florida-based Regency Centers, which operates nearly 400 U.S. shopping centers including nine in San Diego County, plans to take on its big national rivals already serving the growing South County border region.
Friday, June 24
Excel Trust Inc., a retail-focused real estate investment trust with headquarters in San Diego, announced on June 23 the start of an underwritten public offering of 12.5 million shares of common stock, at $10.94 per share.
Thursday, June 23
Florida-based discount carrier Spirit Airlines announced June 23 that it will begin offering nonstop service between San Diego and Las Vegas Sept. 7.
Shares of WD-40 Co., the maker of the all-purpose lubricant and other household products, dropped about 5 percent in midday trading on the Nasdaq exchange June 23 to $39.49 following the company’s lowering of its fiscal year 2011 outlook for revenue and earnings.
Wednesday, June 22
Escondido-based Realty Income Corp., which invests in retail and related commercial properties, announced June 21 that its board of directors has declared an increase in the company’s common-stock monthly cash dividend.
Tuesday, June 21
Borrego Solar Systems Inc., an El Cajon-based designer and installer of solar energy systems, said June 21 that it closed another financing fund with its lenders for new energy projects in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
Monday, June 20
DEI Holdings Inc., the makers of Viper car alarms and other consumer electronic equipment, said June 20 that its shareholders voted to approve the sale of the company to Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC for $4.46 per share in cash, a 17 percent increase to an earlier offer DEI had received from the firm. The increase was due to an unsolicited offer from Gibson Guitar Corp.
Maryland-based Chesapeake Lodging Trust has acquired the 210-room Hotel Indigo, in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, for $55.5 million.
SeaWorld San Diego, operated by Florida-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, has opened a new attraction called Turtle Reef, in which visitors can view more than 60 threatened or endangered species of sea turtles.
PHILANTHROPY: Both Nonprofits and Companies Benefit From Relationships
Carlsbad-based Life Technologies Corp. and San Diego-based Sempra Energy are counted among the public companies that act as good corporate citizens in the communities where they reside.
There are three San Diego-based REITs eyeing the real estate market here and abroad. There are also many REITs that are located elsewhere but invest in San Diego. Many of the more than 200 listed REITs do business in San Diego.
ECONOMY: County Is A Leader in Wireless, Biotech, Defense and Sporting Goods Sectors
San Diego County leads the world in several vertical markets, and its public companies deserve much of the credit.
FINANCE: Businesses Related to Health Care Showing Explosive Growth
Given the sheer amount of brainpower that’s concentrated on the local life sciences sector, it’s not too surprising that so many of San Diego County’s fastest-growing public companies are in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
RESEARCH: 83 Local Institutes Contribute to Launch of More Than 600 Biotechs in the Area
Seven of the top 10 companies appearing on the San Diego Business Journal’s Largest Public Companies list are related to the life sciences.
TECHNOLOGY: Qualcomm’s Early Morning Phone Call Helps Region Become Major Wireless Hub
It’s a time that Roberto Padovani recalls vividly — the moment in 1989 when he and other engineers at Qualcomm Inc. proved that their novel wireless technology worked.
TECHNOLOGY: Company Takes Innovative Path With Genome Sequencer
Illumina Inc., which ranks No. 4 on the San Diego Business Journal’s list of Largest Public Companies, makes genetic analysis equipment that helps shed light on the innards of the human DNA. Among peers, it’s in the driver’s seat.
Bridgepoint Education is the title sponsor of the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops series which opens June 30.
LIST: Several Firms Not in the Top 50 Still Made Some Good Gains
Just like the Top 50 in market capitalization, the roster of 22 publicly traded San Diego County companies that hadn’t reached that ranking at the end of 2010 is heavily weighted in favor of companies tied in some way to health care.
FINANCE: Biotech Field Developments Could Spur Companies to Go Public
The year 2011 started out with January’s $564 million initial public offering of common stock by San Diego-based American Assets Trust Inc., among the largest U.S. IPOs in recent years by a real estate investment trust.
TECHNOLOGY: As 3G Gear Ages, Company Poised to Shift Shape Again
For San Diego’s largest and most successful public company, it’s not just about growing top line, or bottom line. It’s about growing the entire market.
ENERGY: Investors Fare Well Despite Market Cap Dip Over 5-Year Decline
For Sempra Energy, the San Diego-based holding company for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co., the emphasis in recent years has been a return to focus on its main utilities businesses.
LIFE SCIENCES: Firm Acts Quickly to Meet Changes, New Demand
Among public companies in San Diego’s booming life sciences sector, Life Technologies Corp. is by far the largest, especially in terms of sales.
MEDICINE: Firm Looks For Focused Expansion Of Medical Offerings
“It’s something old, but something new.” That’s a good way of describing public company CareFusion Corp., a provider of equipment used to reduce infections, manage medications in hospitals while preventing medication errors. The company has a history, but not on Wall Street.
When Irwin Jacobs left a teaching position at UC San Diego and co-founded a consulting firm called Linkabit with Andrew Viterbi in 1968, few could have imagined what would follow.
Two area business greats have been named as winners of the 2011 Marconi Society Fellowship and Prize.
Friday, June 17
San Diego County’s unemployment rate dipped to 9.6 percent in May, from a revised 9.8 percent unemployment in April, according to a June 17 report from the state’s Employment Development Department.
The San Diego Business Journal has hired Mike Glickenhaus as vice president and associate publisher, the newspaper said June 17.
Thursday, June 16
Employment prospects in San Diego won’t be much different in the third quarter as they were in the second quarter, which is fairly weak, based on the most recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released June 14.
Wednesday, June 15
San Diego-based commercial real estate brokerage firm Hughes Marino Inc. has established a new lease audit services division.
Monday, June 13
Two San Diegans were named as winners of the 2011 Marconi Society Fellowship and Prize, the society said June 7.
ENERGY: Market for Hybrid Electric Batteries Might Hit $4.5B By 2015
With the adoption rate for all-electric vehicles minuscule today, a San Diego company is aiming to sell its batteries to the much faster-growing hybrid electric auto industry.
FINANCE: Providing Personal Attention Key to Helping Elite Meet Goals
The bankers who manage the millions of dollars of assets belonging to their wealthiest customers aren’t just making educated guesses about how to do that.
Sandra Redman is a banker and philanthropist. She has more than 35 years of banking experience and is currently a senior vice president and private banking manager of the Rancho Santa Fe office of California Bank & Trust.
FINANCE: Trust, Communication Are Vital Components
Whether it’s in the form of new hires, expanded offices or increases in assets managed, large and small companies on the San Diego Business Journal’s Wealth Management Firms list are thriving.
Life Technologies Corp., one of the top public companies in San Diego as ranked by market cap, is named one of CIO Magazine’s 2011 CIO 100, a feature honoring the top large companies for their best use of IT.
REAL ESTATE: Compass Discovers Cash Is Key; A Revival in Spring Valley
Despite an ongoing malaise in residential buying and a dip in median prices in recent months, one real estate executive says San Diego is still a fantastic place to invest.
HOSPITALITY: Boutique Hotel Chain Gets Involved In 2 Prominent Properties
With two recently announced transactions, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC has significantly boosted its presence in the San Diego hotel market.
SPORTS: Konami Is On Board to Distribute The New Game Cards
With another generation comes another set of heroes. Yesterday, it might have been Babe Ruth or Ted Williams who fired the imaginations of baseball card-collecting boys.
BIOTECH: U.K. Launch of Compatible Devices Brings Useful Tools to Diabetics
With the British launch of the first insulin pump linked to the continuous glucose monitor developed by San Diego medical device company DexCom Inc., diabetics are steps closer to the holy grail of diabetes management: the artificial pancreas.
FINANCE: Parent of Pacific Trust Bank Buying Cerritos Lender for $17M Million
Buoyed by a capital infusion of $60 million last year, First PacTrust Bancorp Inc. put part of it to work last week when it agreed to purchase Gateway Bancorp, a Cerritos lender with $187 million in assets.
TRAVEL: Carrier Sees Opportunity in Serving North County Population
Nonagenarian businessman Ted Vallas is discovering just how difficult it is to get his proposed new Carlsbad-based commercial air carrier to lift off.
Money makes the world go around, so why should it be any different in legal circles? California Lawyer magazine recently named Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP partner Christopher Healey as a 2010 Attorney of the Year.
Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County
Petco Animal Supplies Inc., the San Diego-based retail chain, said June 9 that it acquired all the assets of Complete Petmart Inc., a Dayton, Ohio-based pet specialty chain with 29 stores, for an undisclosed price.
Armon Mills and Kay Coleman were honorary co-chairs of the San Diego Invitational Golf Tournament which was held on May 23 at The Santaluz Club.
As much as we may admire individuality and going it alone, it hasn’t been something we’ve done much as human beings over the millennia.
Recently, the city reached a landmark agreement that will save $714 million in the next 25 years on health care for city employees when they retire.
DEFENSE: Unmanned Aircraft Used in War Zones, U.S. Plains
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.’s unmanned aircraft called the Predator has logged more than 1 million hours over trouble spots far from home, such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sunrise Bank, based in Point Loma and with $232 million in assets, said it agreed to be acquired by Spokane, Wash.-based AmericanWest Bank for $18.5 million in cash.
DEVELOPMENT: Declining Supply Of New Condos Encourages Builders
Dwindling supply and improved financing fundamentals are putting companies like Vancouver-based Bosa Development Corp. back in the downtown San Diego housing game, following a long period in which product sat unsold thanks to overbuilding.
TRANSPORTATION: Air Traffic Statistics Rebounding at Lindbergh
San Diego’s bustling Lindbergh Field is reversing the adage “What goes up, must come down.” Air traffic, which has been down slightly for much of the Great Recession, is slowly winging its way back up to lofty levels, says the airport, both in terms of commercial air traffic and passenger activity.
Friday, June 10
Owner Lowe Enterprises has placed the 210-room Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa up for sale, according to the brokerage firm that was recently tapped to market the property, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Qualcomm Inc. said June 10 it agreed to acquire substantially all the assets of Rapid Bridge LLC, a San Diego-based inventor of advanced techniques for designing and making semiconductor products.
Thursday, June 9
Sunrise Bank, based in Point Loma and with $232 million in assets, said on June 9 that it agreed to be acquired by Spokane, Wash.-based AmericanWest Bank for $18.5 million in cash.
Solana Beach-based Amsolar Corp. said June 8 that it plans to install 23,000 solar panels at 20 schools in the San Diego Unified School District.
Tuesday, June 7
RF Industries Ltd., a San Diego distributor of cable assemblies and telecommunications devices, said June 7 it agreed to acquire Cables Unlimited Inc. in a cash and stock transaction valued at $5.6 million.
Monday, June 6
Legend3D Inc., the Carmel Valley-based three-dimensional film conversion studio, said it had to lay off 60 employees recently because of the lull in summer work in Hollywood.
First PacTrust Bancorp, the Chula Vista holding company for Pacific Trust Bank, said it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all the outstanding stock of Gateway Bancorp, the holding company of Cerritos-based Gateway Business Bank.
Barnhart Balfour Beatty has completed the $9.4 million Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman Training Center on the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado.
The recent Case-Shiller housing price index shows that prices fell in the first quarter to the lowest levels since the crash began.
The San Diego Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation raised $750,000 at its annual Promise Ball held on April 30 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.
Ken Sullivan is managing member and founder of RPC Property Tax Advisors
FINANCE: Increases In Room Tax, Other Proposals Considered
If you build it, they will come. Studies prove that to be true. But how do you pay for it?
Tourism: Mayor’s Team Tackles Challenges of Design And Regulatory Approval
He’s no caped crusader, but if Mayor Jerry Sanders has his way, Comic-Con’s annual crush of fanatical fans would have a lot more elbow room to march around the San Diego Convention Center in four short years.
EDUCATION: One-Year Session Starting June 27 Offers Hands-On Lessons
Dallas-based, privately held MediaTech Institute, which opened a 5,000-square-foot “Hollywood caliber” sound and video studio in central Oceanside in September, is starting a private school to train students for jobs in the entertainment industry.
HOSPITALITY: Few New Properties Expected In Next Couple of Years
With the news that a planned luxury hotel in downtown Escondido fell through recently, new hotel construction in San Diego is barely a whisper of what it once was, and it is limited to certain locations.
Nassco/General Dynamics Corp. said May 27 that it received a $744 million contract from the U.S. Navy that will complete the funding for two new ships.
HEALTH CARE: Facility Will House San Diego’s First Linear Accelerators
Medical care giant Scripps Health has broken ground on a $44 million, 41,000-square-foot radiation therapy center on an 8-acre parcel on John Jay Hopkins Drive in La Jolla.
TECHNOLOGY: Firm Provides Tools to Find Problems and Solutions
Less than three weeks into his new job as chief executive officer of SharePoint360, Kevin Harris is deeply immersed in getting the downtown San Diego company ready for the future.
FINANCE: Executive Finds Graceful Exit From Auto Loans Gone Sour
A new leasing program created by a San Diego business aims to create a win-win for lenders of defaulted car loans and the borrowers facing repossession of their cars.
TECHNOLOGY: Russian Satellites Give Boost to Firm’s Latest Offering
With the addition of 24 Russian satellites to its global positioning systems network, Qualcomm Inc.’s latest chipset now has use of more than 50 satellites to assure the access and accuracy of the GPS applications on cell phones that incorporate Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM7x30chips.
FINANCE: Cash Gets Stockpiled as Demand For Loans Subsides
Many local community banks continue sitting on cash piles, looking for good lending deals, but show reduced lending levels on their books.
Is June 8 doomed to be an Internet Armageddon? Jeremy Duimstra, who co-founded locally-based MJD Interactive and who teaches at the UC San Diego Extension, doesn’t think so, but says there could be a few hiccups on that fateful Wednesday.
TECHNOLOGY: ESET Secures TECHNOLOGY: ESET Secures Larger Share of Global Market
ESET LLC sales managers knew they were doing well — the San Diego-based anti-virus company saw its software consistently rank in the top 10s for both use and sales.
FINANCE: BrightScope Aims To Shed Light on Advisers
Now that they’ve tackled one murky business segment, evaluating the merits of retirement investment plans, the folks at BrightScope Inc. have set their sights on bringing more clarity to an even more mysterious industry — financial advice.
DEFENSE: Lockheed Martin Bringing 150 Jobs to Region
Minnesota will lose and San Diego stands to gain when Lockheed Martin Corp. increases its local work force by 150 jobs.
TOURISM: Business Is Up Significantly at Local Theme Parks
As it rides a continuing recovery for the amusement park industry, Legoland California in Carlsbad is thinking big — and small.
TOURISM: Renovations, Upgrades Part of Plans To Stay Competitive
Four San Diego area hotels are in the midst of renovations to bring the properties up-to-date and prepare them for the improving travel and business climate predicted — and hoped for — in the coming year.
ENERGY: Nonprofit’s 100 Member Companies Include Honeywell, Soitec, Kyocera
General Electric Co. is bringing a new dimension of collaboration to CleanTech San Diego’s growing membership ranks.
Friday, June 3
Sequenom Inc., a San Diego biotechnology company providing genetic analysis solutions, said June 2 that it secured $30 million in financing from Silicon Valley Bank’s local office.