The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
On Friday, we reported that executives of San Diego’s The Amerland Group faced new lawsuits after a 136-unit residential complex for seniors in Vallejo went up in flames two years ago. This came after authorities had filed criminal charges of manslaughter and elder abuse against five executives at the company and a subsidiary.
Now, two leaders of The Amerland Group have formed a new company, C&C Development LLC. And they’ve now secured their first deal: Preliminary approval to borrow $15 million with assistance from the San Diego Housing Commission to refurbish and operate a housing complex for the elderly in Clairemont.
“And while the company’s founders say they had nothing to do with the project involved in the criminal charges, the men are using Amerland’s portfolio — and Amerland’s portfolio alone — to burnish their bonafides in front of the public agency,” reports Will Carless.
In other news:
• Planners are hoping for a do-over on a street east of downtown that cuts across the Logan Heights and Memorial neighborhoods. Right now it is a bleak industrial stretch. But Commercial Street has something other struggling areas don’t: a trolley running down it. The trolley might be the backbone of a strong skeleton that turns Commercial Street into the kind of route that India Street became for Little Italy: a main street for a revitalized urban area.
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• City and Sandag officials are setting the stage for investment in the street as it becomes clear that dreams of it becoming a thoroughfare for industry didn’t pan out.
• Rich Toscano began squawking in 2004 that home prices had gotten too high and we were in for a major correction. At the center of his thesis was one chart. Or, better, what turned out to be several charts comparing the ratio of home prices in San Diego to things like median incomes and rents. That series of charts has told San Diego’s housing boom and bust in the stark bluntness way only line graphs can. Now, the curve that has been on a steep decline for quite some time is turning north.
Are we on our way to another bubble? It is the first question to come.
Toscano has updated all of these graphs and what can you read from them? “Things are as murky as ever, but at least this can be said with confidence: on the whole, San Diego housing is neither really expensive nor really cheap.”
• As an aside, Inman Reports says that 46 percent of homes sold in San Diego during the first quarter this year were either in foreclosure or otherwise distressed. Also, the Curious Capitalist blog on Time.com still finds it puzzling that as San Diego’s market heats up, its inventory of homes for sale never seems to decline.
• The U-T asked several local economists whether we faced a double-dip recession and all of them said “no.” Kelly Cunningham, at National University, explained it like this: “A double-dip is not likely this year as San Diego benefits from the huge infusion of military spending.”
• Indeed, “The military’s $26.5 billion annual economic impact on San Diego is not likely to change significantly as the years progress, the Navy’s top officer, Adm. Gary Roughead, told a group of reporters Aug. 26 during a visit to San Diego,” reports the San Diego Business Journal.
• Was there an oil spill somewhere nearby?
• The U-T also highlighted the total compensation of local transportation officials as the paper continues to go around the county asking about public officials’ salary and benefits. MTS’s Paul Jablonski tops the list with $414,504 in combined wages and benefits.
• Also this weekend, the U-T called Barrio Logan a new “mecca” for artists. “These days, sculptors, painters, designers and other creative sorts are moving to Barrio Logan to test another radical theory.
“Can the arts unleash cityreviving, and recession-defying, economic forces?”
• Finally, Charger fans remain interested in whether troubled star receiver Vincent Jackson will ever decide to play again.
In an interview with the NFL Network Friday, Jackson said he’s prepared to hold out all year.
“We’re prepared for that,” Jackson said.
But then he said something else I wanted us all to ponder: “The union comes and talks to us about the lockout possibly next year and I’ve been financially smart.”
I can’t, for the life of me, figure this one out. Jackson is referring to is the very real possibility that there will be no NFL football in the 2011 season. Owners of the teams and the players union have been unable to forge a new labor deal and the owners are marching toward a lockout.
Jackson’s saying that holding out now sets him up better for this possibility. Perhaps one of you can explain to me why Jackson passing up the Chargers’ offer to play this year only for more than $3 million was the smart move even with a lockout next year.
But aside from that, what got me was how real this possibility of no football next year is becoming. I can’t imagine anything being more detrimental to a hoped-for 2012 vote on a new San Diego stadium than another brawl between rich players and even richer owners where the fans are guaranteed to lose.
Anyway, like Jackson, Charger fans should pay close attention to developments in this labor dispute. And please explain to me Jackson’s thinking if it’s possible.