Daily Business Report: Friday, June 18, 2021 – San Diego Metropolitan

‘Momentous Day’ as Port of San Diego, Chula Vista City Council
move forward on bayfront transformation project

As early as 2025, the Chula Vista bayfront could see the completion of a world class destination locale with completion of the Gaylord Chula Vista Resort and Convention Center — the centerpiece and catalyst project of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan.

To pave the way for the bayfront transformation, the Board of Port Commissioners and the Chula Vista City Council on Tuesday approved leasing, financing and construction documents, and established RIDA Chula Vista LLC as the port and city’s development partner on the project.

A central piece of the project is a 22-story, 1,600-room hotel with views of San Diego Bay and featuring a spa, recreational facilities, a pool with a lazy river and bike and boat rentals. The convention center will include restaurants and lounges, meeting rooms, an elevated ballroom and, according to the port, the largest exhibit hall in California.

“This is a momentous day and represents a significant achievement for the Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista. RIDA’s Gaylord Pacific project is key to unlocking the full potential of our beautiful Chula Vista Bayfront,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

According to port officials, the Gaylord Pacific project is expected to generate about $1.6 billion in economic impact during construction and an estimated $475 million per year once complete. 

The project will support 10,000 direct and indirect jobs through construction, nearly 1,500 permanent jobs on site, and nearly 3,900 jobs regionally per year, according to the port.

PHOTO: Rendering of the Chula Vista bayfront, which includes a 1,600-room, 22-story hotel and a convention center.


Module 1
Module 1 of the Central Solenoid in the final stages of testing. Courtesy General Atomic
General Atomics to ship world’s most
powerful magnet to ITER

After a decade of design and fabrication, General Atomics is ready to ship the first module of the Central Solenoid, the world’s most powerful magnet. It will become a central component of ITER, a machine that replicates the fusion power of the Sun. ITER is being built in southern France by 35 partner countries.

ITER’s mission is to prove energy from hydrogen fusion can be created and controlled on earth. Fusion energy is carbon-free, safe and economic. The materials to power society with hydrogen fusion for millions of years are readily abundant.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, ITER is almost 75 percent built. For the past 15 months, massive first-of-a-kind components have begun to arrive in France from three continents. When assembled together, they will make up the ITER Tokamak, a “sun on earth” to demonstrate fusion at industrial scale.

ITER is a collaboration of 35 partner countries: the European Union (plus the United Kingdom and Switzerland), China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States. Most of ITER’s funding is in the form of contributed components. This arrangement drives companies like General Atomics to expand their expertise in the futuristic technologies needed for fusion.

The Central Solenoid, the largest of ITER’s magnets, will be made up of six modules. It is one of the largest of the U.S. contributions to ITER.

Read more…


Redevelopment proposal at Navy’s
Old Town property creates waves

By Dave Schwab | sdnews.com

An environmental analysis is out on the NAVWAR redevelopment proposal to turn it into a transit hub with housing and airport connections, while pressure is building to downsize the project by a local group calling itself Save San Diego’s Character.

“Recently, the Navy initiated a direct mail campaign to notify residents and business owners of the impending renovation of the NAVWAR facility in Old Town offering five ‘alternatives’ to review and select a viable option,” said Patty Ducey-Brooks of Presidio Communications, speaking for Save San Diego’s Character. “The Navy proposes a version that has caused lots of concern regarding the character, integrity, and history of San Diego.”

In response, residents, and business owners in Midway, Old Town, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill, Point Loma, and Ocean Beach have enlisted an aggressive campaign to support Alternative 1, which encourages the Navy to rebuild a suitable facility for NAVWAR in Old Town.

A draft environmental impact statement on the NAVWAR redevelopment proposal is out for public review now until July 13, and there is a Wednesday, June 23 Zoom meeting scheduled on the project from 5:30-8 p.m.

Navy spokesperson Caitlin Rose Ostomel said the NAVWAR redevelopment project is still in the early environmental and planning stages.

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Coronado Brewing Company and SDSU partnership
promotes diversity in craft brewing industry

The Coronado Brewing Company has partnered with San Diego State University Global Campus to create an award to promote diversity and inclusion within the craft brewing industry.

The 25-year-old brewery — considered one of the most venerable operations in San Diego’s $1 billion craft brewing industry — has pledged $32,810 to support SDSU Global Campus’ Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program

Split evenly over five years, the award will fully cover the tuition for one student each year from an ethnic minority or a group historically underrepresented in the craft brewing industry. 

Coronado Brewing will also offer the awardee an internship with the company. 

Gifts of $6,562 per year will be awarded every December between this year and 2025.

Coronado Brewing CEO James Murray said the company’s senior leadership had been looking for ways to expand its efforts to promote inclusion and diversity within its ranks. When SDSU approached them with the idea of a partnership, the company jumped at the opportunity, Murray said. 

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St. Augustine Class
Students take part in a summer program at St. Augustine High School in 2020.  (Photo courtesy of St. Augustine High School)
Enrollment at local Catholic schools has surged
San Diego Catholic schools saw an uptick in demand because of their in-person options

By Jennifer McEntee

While many parents grappled over the past year with whether to send their children to public school online or in-person, others considered a pandemic-era education imbued with religion.

One example: Inquiries, applications and transfer requests at St. Augustine High School in North Park were at an all-time high this academic year, said the school’s director of admissions, Paul Sipper.

While it’s not uncommon to have a waitlist at the all-boys Roman Catholic private school, there was a new intensity among families hoping to secure one of the 700 spots for students in grades nine through 12, he said.

There were more than 300 applications for prospective incoming freshmen. Requests to transfer to St. Augustine from other schools tripled, some from well-regarded public schools in Coronado, Point Loma and Poway.

The draw: in-person education and athletics with requisite face masks and social distancing. When class-size limits called for more elbow room than a classroom could provide, students at St. Augustine were grouped into cohorts for alternating outdoor instruction.

“Parents saw how psychologically devastating being off campus was, so they sided with schools that had a plan,” said Sipper. “We earned the trust of our families and their friends.”

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3969 First Ave
Office building at 3969 First Ave.
Hillcrest office building sold for $3.1 million
to Karma Spa, an existing tenant

A two-story professional office building in the Hillcrest area of San Diego was sold for $3.1 million to an existing tenant, a spa business that will be its owner-user, Commercial Asset Advisors announced.

The 9,354-square-foot building is located at 3969 First Ave. The seller was CWC Income Properties 1 LLC, represented by CAA Principals Mike Conger and Brian Jenkins.

The building was purchased by 3969 1st Avenue LLC, which is the corporate name of the existing downstairs tenant, Karma Spa, with plans to expand into a portion of the upstairs space and generate additional income by leasing out the remaining space. Kyoko Wolf of JCA International Realty represented the buyer.

The buyer was able to take advantage of Small Business Administration (SBA) financing.


Flexjets Bombarier Global Express copy
Flexjet’s Bombardier Global Express
Flexjet, Viasat to bring in-flight
connectivity to Flexjet customers

Flexjet LLC, a leader in fractional private jet travel, and Viasat Inc. announced a  partnership to install Viasat’s industry-leading in-flight connectivity (IFC) system on select Flexjet fleets. 

The partnership is two-fold: it will provide Viasat’s high-speed Ka-band IFC service on Flexjet’s Embraer Praetor 600 super-mid cabin fleet, which serves transatlantic and domestic European routes; additionally, the partnership will provide Viasat’s Ku-band IFC service to Flexjet’s Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G450 and G650 aircraft with a path to transition these aircraft to Viasat’s Ka-band system in the future.

Flexjet will soon take delivery of another Embraer Praetor 600 with Viasat’s Ka-band system, making it the first fractional private jet operator to deliver a high-speed connectivity solution in the super-mid category. 


Alaska Airlines begins daily nonstop
flights to Santa Barbara from San Diego

Alaska Airlines on Thursday began daily nonstop service to Santa Barbara via Santa Barbara Airport from San Diego International Airport. Alaska Airlines is the only airline that offers nonstop service between the two destinations. This is Alaska Airlines’ 33rd nonstop destination from San Diego, the most of any other carrier.  

“We welcome the daily service to Santa Barbara and appreciate Alaska Airlines’ commitment to providing service to yet another California destination,” said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority president and CEO. “This nonstop service will provide greater travel flexibility for students, leisure, and business travelers heading to California’s Central Coast.” 

Santa Barbara is known for its bountiful beaches, vineyards and award-winning wineries as well as being home to the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


Scripps Health opens comprehensive rehab center

 Scripps Health has opened a new comprehensive rehabilitation services center, offering a full range of physical, occupational and speech therapy on an outpatient basis for those recovering from orthopedic, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputation, and other physical disorders and surgeries.

The center, located in Encinitas Ranch Town Center at 1092 N. El Camino Real, less than five miles from Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, replaces facilities that were previously located at the hospital. 

“Scripps has created a premier center to produce the best possible results for patients, thanks to the dedication of a highly skilled and experienced team of therapists and other staff members, and state-of-the-art programs and technologies,” said Johan Otter, Scripps assistant vice president, ancillary services who oversees rehabilitation services.

The new 20,000-square-foot center is equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment.


Study in mice suggests a new approach to treating periodontal disease

Our teeth are extremely tough, but neglectful oral hygiene practices and certain genetic disorders can still massively damage them. If this deterioration becomes bad enough, teeth can be permanently lost. In a recent study co-authored by José Luis Millán,

professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys, researchers identified a promising new strategy for helping the body regenerate a part of the tooth that is particularly difficult to repair.

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Sycuan awarded AAA Four Diamond Rating

Sycuan Casino Resort has been awarded the AAA Four Diamond Rating for the third consecutive year. Sycuan has held the award since the inception of its first hotel in 2019.

Hotel properties must pass AAA’s in-person professional inspection to be awarded a Diamond Designation. According to AAA, to receive a Four Diamond Rating an establishment must be upscale in all areas. This includes more refined and stylish accommodations, upscale décor style, full-service restaurants, impressive architectural features, extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.

AAA evaluates nearly 27,000 hotels throughout the year and only 6.5 percent make the Four Diamond list.