Businesses in the News

 As of July 2013, coverage of San Leandro businesses can be found on 

Almost every week it seems that another San Leandro business is receiving positive press coverage for a new innovation or expansion. Please check back here periodically for links to some of these exciting stories.

Energy Recovery Inc., is supplying equipment for Chile desalination Plant
Bloomberg Business Week - July 16, 2013

Energy Recovery Inc., which supplies technology to the desalination industry, will install equipment at an Acciona SA (ANA) plant in Chile’s northern Atacama desert set to produce fresh water for local mining operations. The technology may save Acciona $1.9 million a year on power costs in a first phase of the desalination project, San Leandro, California-based Energy Recovery said today in a statement. A second phase may see annual savings rise by a further $1.5 million, it said without disclosing terms

Read article here.

Dick's Restaurant gets a fresh start from a son of a loyal customer
Contra Costa Times - July 12, 2013

From the outside, Dick's Restaurant & Cocktails looks much like it did when it opened in 1969. But on the inside, the son of a loyal customer is revamping the menu and refining the eatery's classic dishes with fresh ingredients.

Donald Dick, 51, is carrying out the vision of his late father, Herbert Dick, who ate at the retro restaurant bearing his family name up to three times a day for 40 years. His father died May 5 at the age of 75 after purchasing the restaurant in January to prevent its closure. No one is quite sure how the restaurant got its name, but it meant something to Herbert Dick.

Dick, known as Chef DonD and trained at Le Cordon Bleu, recalls his father saying, "'Our last name is on the sign. We need to take care of this.'"

Read article here.

Google is not the only one with super-high-speed internet plans  
Fortune Tech - June 18, 2013

Google has repeatedly grabbed headlines with its ambitious plan to wire more than a dozen cities with super-fast Internet service. But Google isn't the only game in town when it comes to superfast Internet connections. Among the cities that have introduced one gigabit fiber Internet connections is San Leandro, CA.....
.....The availability of fiber opens the door to entirely new uses for buildings that have had trouble attracting tenants.  The top floor in both a former Chrysler plant and shopping mall is moribund, and -- with the fiber Internet connections -- can now be reimagined as office and industrial space.

"You can take traditional and make something completely new out of it," Deborah Acosta, San Leandro's chief innovation officer, said.

Read article here.

Governor Hails Energy Efficient Building
San Leandro Times - June 6, 2013

The governor of California came to town to see where the next generation of electricians will train at a new-age building in San Leandro that produces as much electricity as it uses.

“This is big,” said governor Jerry Brown who came to San Leandro last Thursday for the ceremony.

The swirling white windmills tower over the Zero Net Energy Center at 14600 Catalina St. in the industrial zone. The building was just remodeled to make it years ahead in energy conservation. It’s covered with gleaming solar panels. Over the course of a year, the building will produce as much electricity as it consumes, say the electrical workers and contractors on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"This new building isn’t some way out idea. It’s practical and sensible," Brown said. "This is mainstream, but it’s bold,” Brown said. “We have one building here. Now we need thousands of these buildings...Let’s put more people to work at good wages taking care of things.”

Read article here.

Mercato MedSystems Raises Additional $6.5 Million - June 3, 2013

Mercator MedSystems, Inc., a privately-held medical technology company reinventing the treatment of disease deep inside the body, today announced the closing of a $6.5 million Series B financing. The funding will be used to initiate sales of its Cricket and Bullfrog Micro-Infusion devices – and support clinical validation of its product platform to treat peripheral artery disease.....

...San Leandro based Mercator MedSystems, Inc. is a venture-backed, privately held medical technology company spun out of The University of California, Berkeley. The company develops catheter-guided micro-infusion systems for targeted delivery of drugs and biologics to treat the root cause of significant medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, oncology, hypertension and heart disease.

Read article here.

Governor Opens Zero Net Energy Center - May 30, 2013 

Elected officials and union leaders celebrated the grand opening today of the Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro, which they said is the nation's first commercial building retrofit to achieve zero net energy.  The 46,000-square-foot former industrial facility on Catalina Street west of Interstate Highway 880 has been transformed into a training center for apprentice and journey-level electricians in Alameda County.

The center is sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 595 and the Northern California Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.  Byron Benton, a union training director, said while there are 20 zero net centers in the U.S., the San Leandro center is the only one that's a retrofit of an existing building.....

...Gov. Jerry Brown also spoke at the event, which was attended by more than 500 people.

Read article here.

SOS/Meals on Wheels Moves to Polvorosa Business Park
The Registry - April 18, 2013 

Harsch Investment Properties, a privately-held real estate investment, development and management-company, announces that SOS/Meals on Wheels has signed a lease for 4,916 square feet of space at Polvorosa Business Park. Moving from their current home in Hayward, Calif. will allow them to build a full kitchen, expand their territory and deliver more daily meals to local community members in need.

"We are very excited about our upcoming move to San Leandro. The continually increasing demand for senior nutrition in our communities and the disrepair of our current facility has driven the need for a larger and more efficient kitchen. Our Board of Directors and Harsch Investment Properties have worked hard to make this dream come true. Our mission is to take care of our homebound elders, which we consider to be an invaluable service that benefits everyone in our communities," said Connie McCabe, executive

Read article here.

Craft Beer Hops up the Spirit at Harry's Hofbrau
San Francisco Chronicle - April 14, 2013

On a Thursday night at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City, the counter staff in kitschy chef hats carve slabs of turkey and roast beef behind a cafeteria-style steam table. The line filing by is filled with shrieking babies and elderly couples, receiving mashed potatoes from an ice cream scoop, drowned in butterscotch-colored gravy.

Yet around the corner, in the bar, the scene is less Joe the Plumber and more Google: guys in their 20s sniffing tulip-shaped glasses of beer aged in bourbon barrels, their smartphones out to document the occasion.....

With the San Jose beer program successfully in place, Olcese turned his attention to Redwood City four months ago. Since overhauling that bar, he says, sales have jumped 47 percent from last year. San Leandro is next.

Read whole article here

Zinus Inc., takes 116 square feet in San Leandro
San Francisco Business Times - April 8, 2013

Zinus Inc., a mattress and bedding distributor, took 116,017 square feet in the Fairway Industrial Center at 1951 Fairway Drive in San Leandro. The company plans to expand from its current 48,000-square-foot space at 30799 Wiegman Road in Hayward, which serves as its U.S. sales and marketing base.
Zinus, based in Asia, also has offices in Canada, China and Korea. It makes mattresses, pillows, sleep foundations and slippers sold in stores such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sam’s Club and Walmart.

The company's San Leandro deal is one of the largest inked this year in the East Bay.

Read whole article here.

Zocalo Coffeehouse Named Best in Bay Area
San Leandro Patch - March 25, 2013

This San Leandro destination makes the Bay Area A-list. The Englander Sports Pub was a finalist in its category. Eighteen other local outfits were contenders.

San Leandro's got a lot to brag about these days: an ultra fast fber optic loop, a new Kaiser Hospital and now the best place in the Bay Area to have coffee. Zocalo Coffeehouse won the 2013 Bay Area A-list in its category in a region-wide competition that that drew more than 42,000 total votes.

Owners Tim Holmes and Mitch Huitema have created a lovely space that draws neighborhood residents out for a cup, businesspeople making deals, students in study groups and parents letting their tots burn off steam

Read whole article here.

Real Estate Deals of the Year
San Francisco Business Times - March 22, 2013

San Leandro hopes to burnish its tech cred thanks to a unique deal to lay several miles of fiber optic cables.

The city of 85,000 people struck an agreement with J. Patrick Kennedy, CEO of OSIsoft LLC, one of San Leandro’s largest employers, to set up a subterranean fiber network designed to attract businesses and give the municipality more bandwidth as well.

Under the deal, Kennedy agreed to pay $3 million to lay 11 miles of fiber cable by accessing a conduit through which the city already controls street lights and cameras. The city owns 10 percent of the 288 fiber optic strands laid and it can use those strands as it wishes for municipal needs. The rest of the cable is owned by Kennedy’s company, San Leandro Dark Fiber LLC.

Read whole article here

Botner Manufacturing take large San Leandro Property
The Registry - March 22, 2013

Dan Bergen of Colliers International, represented Botner Manufacturing Company in a long-term Lease transaction for 900 Aladdin Avenue, San Leandro. This 31,800+ SF, Free-Standing Manufacturing Building on 1.62 Acres was previously F.W. Spencer & Sons.... Botner Manufacturing Company, a Precision Fabrication Contract Manufacturer, has been a San Leandro success story for over 32 years.

This new location will allow Botner to modernize their engineering and equipment/production areas, to better serve their clients. Botner Manufacturing recently sold their 10000 Bigge Street property to their expanding neighbor, Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. This is truly a retention success story for San Leandro’s manufacturing industry, a critical component of our San Francisco Bay Area Economy.

Read whole article here

San Leandro's old Chrysler plant revved up for tech
San Francisco BusinessTimes-March 8, 2013

San Leandro plans to light up an enormous former Chrysler manufacturing plant with ultra-fast broadband fiber in the next 60 days, ushering in the next phase of the small city’s big plan to lure technology companies.

The hope is that tech firms and other ventures wanting lightning-quick Internet access will flock to the two-building complex, a 700,000-square-foot property known as Westgate Center that is anchored by Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Office Depot and Sports Authority

“Westgate can become the model for an advanced manufacturing center,” said Deborah Acosta San Leandro’s newly hired chief innovation officer, whose expansive vision for the site includes business incubators and co-working centers that will in turn produce independent companies.
Read whole article here.

Pasteurization technology Group’s Wastewater Disinfection Technology Wins Prestigious 2012 Katera Award
Yahoo Finance-February 7, 2013

Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) is pleased to announce that it has won the 2012 Resources Award for its patented wastewater disinfection technology that generates renewable energy.

The internationally recognized Katerva Award is known as the "Nobel Prize of Sustainability." PTG was selected the overall winner in the Materials and Resources category of the Katerva Awards, beating out eight other phenomenal ideas and technologies from countries that included Brazil, India, the Philippines, Sweden and the United States.

"We are deeply honored to have won the Katerva Materials & Resources Award for our sustainable wastewater disinfection technology," said Greg Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pasteurization Technology Group.

Read whole article here. 

Electricians spark rally for zero-net-energy usage
San Francisco Business Times-December 7, 2012

Except for three spiral wind turbines and a solar panel tree planted in front, the building at 14600 Catalina St. in San Leandro looks like the other nondescript industrial structures that surround it. The former data center is taking on new life as one of few buildings in the region and state that will produce as much energy as it uses, or even more. An East Bay electrician’s union bought the 46,000-square-foot building in 2010 to house a training center for apprentices. Union leaders saw an opportunity to teach future electricians about energy efficiency, and create a center that embodies the most current and sustainable practices. “We were willing to spend more up front because we know we’ll recuperate the costs in savings over time,” said Byron Benton, training director for the Alameda County Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. “We wanted to do this also because this is what we train our apprentices for.”

Read whole article here.

San Leandro lab PhaseSpace making virtual reality a household reality
Oakland Tribune - November 25, 2012
In the low-slung basement of the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, Nonny De La Peña, a documentary filmmaker, was fitting a helmet and goggles onto a woman dressed in a skirt and sweater. De La Peña carefully arranged the long cables extending like an umbilical cord from the oversized goggle headset to a computer.

The woman removed her glasses, ready to plug in to a virtual reality re-creation of a crisis at a food bank line where supplies run out. As a result, a man waiting for food goes into a diabetic coma.

Read whole article here.

San Leandro's new fiber network lures new company
San Francisco Business Times - November 23, 2012

Build it and businesses will come. That was Pat Kennedy’s hope in building a $5.5 million public-private fiber network in San Leandro, where he founded and runs OSIsoft LLC, an industrial equipment and processes management software firm.

Now a new cleantech company called Power Factors LLC, which monitors vast arrays of solar panels domestically and abroad, has proven Kennedy right by locating in this East Bay industrial city. Power Factors is a six-person startup run by power industry veterans. It monitors the performance of 20 solar power plants, including three large ones in California and 17 in Italy, collecting data from hundreds of thousands of data points per second 24 hours a day.

The fiber network it will access is run by Lit San Leandro, a public-private partnership between Kennedy and the city of San Leandro. It offers data transmission speeds 2,000 times faster than the average U.S. connection at relatively affordable prices.

“That is a very compelling reason for us to locate our network operations center in San Leandro,” said CEO Steve Hanawalt.

Read whole article here.

San Leandro 50-Acre Shoreline Project Moves Ahead
South County Post - October 26, 2012

After four years of planning in partnership with the City of San Leandro and a group of citizen volunteers, Cal-Coast Development is readying a project submittal for a 50-acre mixed-use development along the San Francisco Bay in San Leandro.

"The Shoreline Development has the potential to transform the large and vacant asphalt parking lots next to the boat harbor in the Marina into a high-quality dining and commercial area with walk and bike paths for the public,” said Mayor Stephen Cassidy. “Thanks to the work of an incredibly dedicated group of citizens, we have developed a vision of this site for San Leandrans and visitors to our community to enjoy for decades.”

The project is slated to include a 200-room hotel and conference facility, new restaurants, up to 250,000 square feet of office space, a community building, and 188 residential units in a variety of configurations. The development includes a small boat launch ramp and aquatic center to promote hand powered watercraft as well as a waterfront promenade with pedestrian piers, bike lanes and new park space.

Read whole article here.

Builder Supply Firm Found Way to Grow After Recession
San Francisco Business Times -  October 5, 2012

In 2010, US Superior Stone and Tile was paying over $40,000 a month in rent and reeling from a 40 percent drop in sales.

Two years later, the San Leandro-based supplier of granite, cabinets and tile is peddling its products in a sleek new showroom, and business has climbed about 30 percent.

The difference, manager Randi Siu says, was a roughly $8.39 million loan, about $3.73 million of which was backed by the Small Business Administration. The loan enabled the company to buy a larger facility in 2010. With all the space, US Superior can keep early twice as much merchandise on hand and has even taken on tenants to help with the mortgage payment, Siu said.

Read whole article here.

$9 Million Village Marketplace Project Stirs San Leandro
San Francisco Business Times - October 5, 2012

As downtown San Leandro continues its urban makeover, developer Innisfree Cos. is set to start construction on a shopping center in early November.

The 28,000-square-foot Village Marketplace, a $9 million construction project, will eventually house tenants such as Fresh & Easy, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, AT&T and Chipotle.

"This will create a centerpiece for the downtown," said David Irmer, head of Innisfree.

The firm paid $2.25 million for the 1.7-acre site, at 1550 East 14th St., which previously had a Lucky grocery store. San Leandro’s former redevelopment agency purchased the land in 2007 for $6 million, but sold it for less because Innisfree paid to demolish existing structures.

The city council approved the project in May, but the deal had to be approved by the a state oversight board in charge of former redevelopment sites. Despite the backup, Irmerexpects his tenants to open their doors in a year. The contractor, Lusardi Construction Co., will complete tenant improvements as it builds the exterior.

Read whole article here.

Bay Area becoming Center for Health Care Innovation
California Healthline - May 17, 2012

The San Francisco Bay Area is becoming something of an incubator for innovative, forward-looking health care delivery systems -- not really a surprise with Silicon Valley as the heart of technology and creative thinking.

Creating innovation-friendly "ecosystems" and fostering collaboration are woven into Bay Area strategies to encourage innovation and new ideas. Many of the same goals included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are echoed in Bay Area efforts to innovate -- using data to improve outcomes, managing health holistically, empowering patients, ensuring connectivity, lowering costs and delivering value.

The first -- and by many measures foremost -- of these Bay Area efforts is Kaiser Permanente's Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center, a living laboratory of mocked-up clinical environments where new ways of delivering health care can be tested. Kaiser launched the Garfield Center in San Leandro six years ago. The 37,000 square-foot facility may look like a Hollywood-style movie set, but its actors are very real physicians, nurses, patients, architects, engineers and technical experts.

Read whole article here.

OSIsoft Receives E Presidential Award for Exports

Wall Street Journal--Market - May 17, 2012

(BUSINESS WIRE) -- OSIsoft today was awarded the Presidential "E" Award for Exports by U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary John Bryson at the White House in Washington, D.C. The "E" Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

"Exporting continues to be a key component of our sales growth, and we are honored to receive the "E" Award," said J. Patrick Kennedy, OSIsoft's CEO and founder. "We have been doing business internationally since 1980 and have been exporting our product, the PI System, since 1986. Today we export the PI System to over 110 countries. Exports are a very important component of our growth and today represent over 50 percent of our business. Our employees are an important component of this growth; since 2007 we have added nearly 200 new positions in the U.S."

Read whole article here.

City Council OK'S Project for the Marina
San Leandro Times - April 5, 2012 

The City Council unanimously approved a development agreement on Monday night that would bring in a large hotel, restaurants, and residential development to the marina.

The city first hired Cal-Coast developers to oversee the revitalization of the marina in the the summer of 2008.  Since then, Cal-Coast President Ed Miller has met with the City Council and the Shoreline Citizens' Advisory Committee many times.  Last summer he virtually begged for a decision to be made about the marina's future so he could begin attracting potential clients to set up shop in his new development.

Read whole article here.

With Deep Ties, Long Memories, Remcho, Johansen Is Always In The Race
The Recorder - March 16, 2012

Pick just about any state political issue in the headlines these days and chances are Remcho, Johansen & Purcell is in the mix.

The battle over tax initiatives? The firm helped write rival school-funding measures, including one favored by the governor, headed for the November ballot.

Redistricting? The state Senate president hired the firm to pen an amicus curiaebrief supporting political maps drafted by a citizens commission.

How about the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara? Remcho, Johansen is in the game there, too, recently helping developers kill a referendum on a new $1 billion football palace.

It's a nice uptick in business for a political law firm that saw its litigation work ebb in a sour economy, said founding partner Robin Johansen.

"I've learned that when it's slow you should just enjoy it and the time off," Johansen said in a recent interview. "It's very hard to do, but I've gotten better at it because it's going to get crazy again."

Read the whole article here.

In San Leandro, A Drive To Get Wired
Wall Street Journal - March 14, 2012

Pat Kennedy believes high-speed communication is so essential to business that he is spending $3 million of his own money to build a fiber-optic loop in his hometown of San Leandro. The move is intended to help his software company expand and ramp up the technology industry in the East Bay.

Mr. Kennedy is chief executive of OSIsoft LLC, which does data monitoring for utilities, refineries and "anything with a smokestack." His company moves large amounts of data over the Internet each day and its data needs are growing.

Read the whole article here.

How One Man Built His City a Fiber Optic Network
Atlantic Cities - March 14, 2012

Patrick Kennedy looked into the future, and he didn't like what he saw.

Kennedy is CEO of the software company OSIsoft, and he worried that his data-rich business would be increasingly limited by the capacity of his city's telephone-style internet infrastructure. What seemed fast enough today would most certainly be far too slow five years down the line.

So Kennedy took action. He lobbied city officials in San Leandro, California, to make the switch from copper wires to higher-speed fiber optic cables. The city had already dug up its streets to lay down conduits to link up all its traffic lights; snaking some fiber optic cables through wouldn't be too much more work, he argued.

Read the whole article here.

Startup Cleans Wastewater, Makes Energy

San Leandro Patch - February 21, 2012

"San Leandro is the ideal place to do business," founder says, citing location, transportation, other manufacturing and a city government that "makes it easy to operate here."

A local startup has discovered how to disinfect wastewater without using toxic chemicals or costly electricity, while creating energy at the same time. Pasteurization Technology Group says it is the first and only company in the world to combine wastewater disinfection with renewable-energy generation.  The San Leandro startup is getting attention. Last year PTG garnered the Popular Science 2011 "Best of What’s New" Award and the 2011 BlueTech® Go-To-Market Strategy award. It recently received a second $1 million infusion of capital from EIC Ventures to expand.

Now the company is ramping up staffing in San Leandro to keep up with the increasing stream of inquiries from prospective customers. PTG's patented technology uses digester gas (often referred to as biogas, a natural by-product of wastewater treatment) as fuel to drive a turbine that generates renewable electricity.

Read the whole article here.

San Leandro Coke Plant Adds 'Clean' Vehicles
San Leandro Patch - February 16, 2012

You’ve heard of hiding in plain sight. One of San Leandro’s largest industrial sites has been “hiding” at 14655 Wicks Boulevard for more than 40 years. The Coca-Cola Production & Distribution Center is a state-of-the art facility that employs more than 400 people who can Coke, Sprite and other carbonated drinks for sale throughout Northern California.

The local facility also plastic bottles Dasani water, which has been criticized by environmental groups, although the plant has won awards for waste reduction, as Patch has reported in the past. 

Coke officials recently invited city and business leaders to tour the 500,000 square-foot plant (roughly the equivalent of eight football fields) to see their latest upgrade – the introduction of 56 fork lifts and pallet lifters that use hydrogen fuel cells to produce clean energy.

Read the whole article here.


Global Access Forum Helps San Leandro Businesses Reach New Markets

The Global Access Forum on Friday, May 20, 2011 at San Leandro's new Senior Community Center was attended by approximately 100 business and municipal leaders. The Forum brought together professionals from Ex-Im Bank, the SBA and the U.S. Department of Commerce to educate local companies on how to export goods and services to foreign markets. Attendees learned about federal financing mechanisms created to increase exports, and federal trade resources for identifying new markets. The panel of local business owners, including Hans Peter Michelet of San Leandro based Energy Recovery Inc., shared how they have used these programs and resources to increase their sales.

For video of the forum, please click below:

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