By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor
Echo Pacific Construction Inc. has started construction on The Del Lago Academy, Campus of Applied Science in Escondido. The new bio-tech high school is part of the Escondido Union High School District’s $98 million general obligation bond measure. According to Chris Rowe, Owner and President of Echo Pacific, the high school will be one of the most advanced schools in Southern California with state-of-the-art technology integration.
The facility will meet standards set by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), a green building rating program for K-12 schools. The construction team consists of EUHSD Project Manager Mike Wise; Architect of Record BakerNowicki Design Studio; Echo Pacific field personnel including Superintendent Tommy Ruiz and Project Manager Andrew Rummerfield; and several local specialty contractors.
The project confirms San Diego’s focus on the future of biotechnology. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, however, starting in late 2010 San Diego has slipped into fourth place in the quarterly rankings for metropolitan areas for venture capital funding of biotech ventures. Signon San Diego reports that in the most recent quarter, San Diego has fallen to 10th place. San Diego has long been one of the largest science research clusters in the world, coming up with early-stage experimental drugs. However venture capital firms have shifted investments to less risky industries like computer software and health care services. The investments in biotech companies have been limited to those that have passed through the toughest phases of development.
In other news, Newmark Realty Capital Inc., a commercial mortgage banking firm, has arranged $120 million in construction and $124 million in permanent financing for a 248,882-square-foot Class A office complex leased by the US Government in San Diego.
The financing with a pension fund was arranged by George H. Mitsanas, a Principal of Newmark, along with Associate Vice President Peter Hillakas. Both loans will be serviced by Newmark. Over the past two years, the firm has arranged over $1 billion in financing for GSA leased properties owned by its clients.