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Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, San Diego Metro Magazine

San Diego life sciences real estate market logs
second quarter gains as industry expands nationally

Lab space in San Diego made additional gains in the second quarter including an increase in lease rates and steady vacancy rates and construction activity. The metro’s gains are consistent with the 12 largest U.S. life sciences hubs, according to new national and local reports from CBRE

San Diego’s market-wide vacancy rate for life science space remained steady at 3.6 percent in the second quarter, up from 3.5 percent in the first quarter. Nationally, the average vacancy rate across the largest U.S. hubs registered 5.2 percent in the second quarter, down from 5.3 percent a year earlier.

Average asking rent in San Diego’s Central and Core Life Sciences markets increased by 4.01 percent to $77.88 in the second quarter, compared to $74.88 in the first. Nationally, average asking rent in the 12 largest markets increased by 5.8 percent in the second quarter from the first to $54.77 per square foot.

Meanwhile, developers have maintained construction activity locally and ramped up nationally in anticipation of more demand. In San Diego, demand hovered at 1.5 million square feet in the second quarter, with 4.7 million square feet of new and converted lab space under construction. Developers are expected to deliver 750,000 square feet in the metro in the second half of the year. Of the total amount under construction in San Diego, 23.5 percent is preleased. 

Despite a slowdown in VC funding at the beginning of the year, San Diego life sciences companies bounced back in the second quarter, bringing in $1.08 billion, an increase from funding raised in the first quarter of 2022 and fourth quarter of 2021.

To read the full Q2 San Diego Life Sciences report, click here.

City of San Diego expands access to solar 
power in low-income communities

Homeowners in City of San Diego communities who face the highest risk from climate change, yet historically have had lower access to renewable energy, will have the opportunity to install solar energy systems at little to no cost under the new San Diego Solar Equity Program.

As part of its franchise Energy Cooperation Agreement with the City of San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric is dedicating $10 million in shareholder funds toward an equity-focused incentive program. SDG&E selected the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), a San Diego-based national nonprofit, to design and administer the program to increase access to solar generation for income-qualified homeowners.

The San Diego Solar Equity Program will provide $1 million per year for 10 years to offset the cost of solar installations for income-qualified homeowners located within the city’s Communities of Concern as defined by San Diego’s Climate Equity Index.

The program aims to cover 100 percent of solar installation costs for systems up to 6.5 kilowatts at $4/watt. It also covers up to $3,500 for electrical panel upgrades for homes that need additional preparation for a solar installation.

Princess Cruises had planned a big return to San Diego.
Now it’s canceling nearly a dozen sailings

Saddled with what it says are staffing challenges, Princess Cruises announced this week that it had no choice but to cancel 11 fall sailings out of San Diego — right when it was to make its first large-scale return here in more than a decade.

While the cruise line still plans 13 Princess sailings starting later in the year, the now derailed voyages to Mexico, the California coast and Hawaii will mean 40,000 fewer passengers coming through San Diego. The Port of San Diego estimates that each time a cruise begins and ends in San Diego, it delivers a $2 million infusion into the local economy.

Read more…

Photo: The former fraternity house is located at bottom right, circled in red.
Champion Real Estate Company to convert former 
fraternity house near SDSU into student housing

Champion Real Estate Company has acquired a former fraternity house adjacent to San Diego State University for $12.7 million and intends to convert it into the firm’s first student housing property in San Diego. The property is at 5505-25 Lindo Paseo and will be named Victory at SDSU.

Champion SDSU, LLC, a subsidiary of Champion, will prepare construction drawings to secure a building permit to construct a 226-bed off-campus student housing project servicing San Diego State University students. Victory at SDSU will feature a study center, recreation center, pool and roof decks.  It will be leased by the bed and all beds will be fully furnished including televisions Sonos soundbars and other amenities. Stewart Hayes of JLL represented Champion and the seller.

“The San Diego student population has continued to grow as life science and technology firms expand into the area and with STEM labor in more demand,” said Garrett Champion, executive vice president with Champion Real Estate Company. “Our goal is to develop a property that provides a Class A living experience to students seeking the San Diego lifestyle.”

Champion has developed a half dozen properties in San Diego spanning two decades including the Gaslamp City Square project adjacent to Petco Park.

Lisa Kay assumes chair of San Diego Regional
Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Lisa Kay

Lisa Kay, chief operating officer of Environmental Health Sciences at NV5, has taken the chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors through December 2023. She has served on the board for four years.

Kay said that, during her time as board chair, she hopes to help further the Chamber’s mission of making the San Diego region the best place to live and work by ensuring the San Diego regional business community has the best opportunities and resources to be successful and sustainable.  

Kay has served as board vice-chair since January 2021 and chaired the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee from January 2018 through December 2020. Assuming the role of vice-chair will be Alessandra Lezama, CEO of TOOTRiS.

“Lisa’s insight and professional experience as a business owner is an asset to our organization and further enhances our work to ensure the business community voice is well represented and our member businesses have access to the resources and tools they need to thrive,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber.

Chula Vista City Council puts measure on ballot to
increase participation on boards and commissions

On Tuesday, the Chula Vista City Council voted to put a Charter Amendment on the November ballot which would remove the requirement that most board and commission members be qualified electors. This would allow residents of Chula Vista to participate on boards and commissions they are qualified to serve on, regardless of immigration status. The one exception would be the Redistricting Commission, because members are required to be registered voters of the city.

The ballot measure also includes modifications to the charter that would require more experience for the elected city attorney and allow the City Council to take action at special council meetings, use mail ballot elections to fill vacancies, and approve bonded debt under state general laws. These changes are intended to better organize, clarify, and modernize the city’s charter. The Charter Review Commission and the City Attorney’s Office worked with city staff for more than a year on this comprehensive review and update of the city’s charter.

County to host virtual monkeypox townhall tonight

San Diegans are invited to learn about monkeypox, the risks, and the County’s response to the local health emergency at a virtual monkeypox townhall from 6 to 7:30 tonight.

The event is hosted by County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. County Chief Medical Officer, Eric McDonald, M.D. will moderate the conversation, which will cover the County’s monkeypox education efforts, the risk to the public, along with prevention methods and treatment options.

Those interested in joining the virtual webinar can do so confidentially. Questions can be submitted in advance via an online portal on the County’s monkeypox webpage. In addition, there will be an option to submit questions via private chat during the session.

To receive the latest information about the local monkeypox outbreak on your phone, text COSD MONKEYPOX to 468-311. 

Researchers add monkeypox to wastewater surveillance

An ongoing program that monitors wastewater for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and which has effectively predicted subsequent surges in COVID-19 cases in San Diego has been expanded to detect the presence of monkeypox. Since the first confirmed case of monkeypox in California in late-May, reported cases have steadily risen in the state and across the country, now up to almost 100 in San Diego County and more than 1,300 in California. 

On Aug. 1, 2022, the state declared a public health emergency; San Diego County followed suit the next day. On Aug. 4, 2022, a federal public health emergency was declared with more than 7,000 cases reported nationwide. It is just the fifth such national emergency since 2001. The nation remains in a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.

Monitoring and testing for the monkeypox virus is a relatively simple add-on to the current wastewater surveillance program for SARS-CoV-2, said Rob Knight, professor and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at University of California San Diego. 

But with a twist. “It’s the same process as SARS-CoV-2 qPCR monitoring, except that we have been testing for a different virus. Monkeypox is a DNA virus, so it is a bit of a surprise that our process optimized for SARS-CoV-2, which is an RNA virus, works so well,” he said.

More background

Mendocino Farms opens milestone 50th location in Encinitas

Mendocino Farms, a fast-casual restaurant, will open in Encinitas on Aug. 23 — its 50th location. The location is 268 N. El Camino Real. The grand opening celebration for the beachside community will feature music, family-friendly activities and giveaways, like the “Golden Giveaway,” where two lucky guests whose meal is served on a golden tray will receive a $50 Mendocino Farms gift card each. 

Additionally, Encinitas residents can enjoy Mendocino Farms’ approachably adventurous menu with a free entrée offer when they sign up for a My Mendo account and select “San Diego-Encinitas” as their favorite location prior to Aug. 22. The offer is valid for a free sandwich, salad or bowl with any menu purchase during the first two weeks post-opening.

Mendocino Farms is also donating 50% of opening day sales to Community Resource Center and their food and nutrition program, providing San Diego North County residents with access to healthy food.

Geekplus appoints Numina Group as latest partner

Geekplus, a leader in autonomous mobile robot technology, with an office in San Diego, announced that Numina Group, a renowned software developer and integrator of warehouse automation solutions, has signed on to be its newest strategic partner in North America and has already begun implementing Geekplus technology.  

Numina, together with the client, chose Geekplus’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) based goods-to-person (G2P) solution to maximize picking productivity and profitability for the client’s growing sporting goods order fulfillment operation. The online sports retailer now benefits from Geekplus’s market-leading G2P technology with a fleet of P800 picking robots to automate picking and put away from 50,000 warehouse storage shelf positions.  

Nuvve partners with Vistra to help school districts electrify bus fleets

San Diego-based Nuvve , a leader in electrifying transportation, and Vistra, one of the largest competitive power generators and retail electricity providers in the country, have announced the first step in their partnership to help school districts modernize bus fleets.

The partnership between Nuvve and Vistra will help school districts access available grant funding from both federal and state agencies. These grants will make the transition cost-effective while also helping districts save on long-term transportation costs. Thus far, Vistra and Nuvve have helped school districts served by Vistra to apply for more than $4.5 million in grant funding to replace older, diesel school buses. 

Nuvve’s V2G technology allows districts to manage charging of their buses to ensure they are ready for their designated route. This advanced charging solution also allows districts to put energy back on the grid, providing an additional revenue source. Nuvve also offers smart fleet-management tools, helping transportation teams monitor battery levels by intelligently scheduling bus operation times and ensuring the bus has enough energy to complete its daily routes.

NuVasive announces departure of chief commercial officer

NuVasive Inc.  announced the resignation of Massimo Calafiore, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, to become the chief executive officer of a privately-held, orthopedics technology company. Upon Calafiore’s resignation, effective Aug. 31, 2022, his responsibilities will be reallocated among current members of management while the company aligns its commercial structure to its long-term strategy.

“On behalf of the NuVasive team, I would like to thank Massimo for his impact on our organization,” said Chris Barry, chief executive officer. “He has accomplished much during his tenure at NuVasive and we wish him great success in his new opportunity.”

Calafiore stated, “In my five years at NuVasive, I am very proud of our collective work to transform surgery, advance care and most importantly—change the lives of patients around the world. NuVasive is an amazing company, and I’m excited to see what it will accomplish through bringing world-class, innovative technology to market.”

‘Jurassic World: The Exhibition’ opens Oct. 21
at Westfield Mission Valley Mall for limited run

“Jurassic World: The Exhibition” comes to the Westfield Mission Valley Mall on Oct. 21 for a limited engagement. The exhibition is a family-friendly immersive 20,000-square-foot experience based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history. Visitors walk through the world-famous “Jurassic World” gates, explore richly themed environments and encounter life-sized Velociraptors, a Brachiosaurus, and the most fearsome dinosaur of all, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex. Guests will be able to imagine what it would have been like to roam among these breathtaking creatures and even interact with new baby dinosaurs, including “Bumpy” from the popular animated series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous is produced by Universal, DreamWorks Animation and Amblin Entertainment, and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Tickets go on sale on Aug. 26 at 1o a.m.

Fans can join the waitlist for first access to tickets before they go on sale and special pre-sale pricing! For more information, visit JurassicWorldExhibition.com/sandiego.