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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Cubic

July 19, 2019

If you've ever hopped on the tube in London or swiped your MTA card to take the L from Brooklyn into Manhattan, you have San Diego innovation to thank for it. Cubic's Transportation division is helping move millions of people throughout the world's most dynamic cities, including Sydney, London, New York, and more. Though Cubic is a global company, it is headquartered right here, in San Diego.

This week, the company reaffirmed its commitment to San Diego by breaking ground on a new campus. The two 125,000 square-foot, three-story buildings, developed in partnership with Cisterra Development, will bring its San Diego-based workforce together onto one centralized location in Kearny Mesa.

A long history in San Diego

In 1951, Walter J. Zable opened a small electronics company operating out of a modest storefront. Today, Cubic has 6,000 employees globally and three primary business units that do everything from increase mass transit efficiencies to train and protect our armed forces. Along the way, the company has developed a lot of "firsts"; from the world's first electronic scoreboard for a stadium to the first wholly contactless fare system in the U.S., meaning you can swipe a card (and in some cities, a smartphone) instead of scrounging for change to buy a bus ticket.

Since the beginning, San Diego has been a crucial part of Cubic's story. As the company began to win new contracts and bring innovations to market, it added new employees to keep up with the demands. However, these employees were spread throughout a few buildings in San Diego.

One Cubic headquarters

Cubic's new home base seeks to change that.

"Our culture is driven by One Cubic, which emphasizes collaboration across our businesses to share ideas, strategies, and expertise. We are thrilled our new campus will bring together our San Diego employees onto one centralized location where we can continue to achieve excellence through teamwork,” said Bradley H. Feldmann, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Cubic Corporation. If you're looking for jobs in San Diego, you might want to visit Cubic's career site.

This isn't Cisterra Development's first time working on a project of this magnitude. In San Diego and beyond, the developer has made a name for itself for creating cutting-edge space for San Diego strongholds including Sempra Energy (and it's downtown headquarters) as well as  Diamond View Tower, which houses numerous San Diego startups.

The new campus will also contain new landscaped common areas for employees, including a basketball court and open lawn, as well as a new café and fitness center.

With assistance from EDC, Cubic secured a CalCompetes Tax Credit worth $8.5 million. Locally, Cubic was also able to secure expedited processes through the City of San Diego, in addition to a Business Incentive Program and Business Cooperation Program award. In total, the incentives and expedited processes provided gave Cubic the necessary offsets and timeline confidence to commit to redeveloping its Kearny Mesa headquarters, and keeping San Diego as its home for decades to follow.

And not to be overlooked, Cubic's new campus will also provide access to one of San Diego's overlooked neighborhoods - Kearny Mesa. As Councilmember Chris Cate, who represents the city of San Diego's 6th district, said, "Kearny Mesa is going to be the hottest neighborhood in San Diego."

And we can thank Cubic for being (one of) the impetuses of this. The new campus is expected to be online by December 2020.

 

July 9, 2019

Serving the defense and transportation industries, Cubic Corporation is a global company with clients on nearly every continent. The company has called Kearny Mesa home for 50 years, currently based in an aging set of buildings that have not kept pace with the company's. Its facilities were divided onto two major campuses in the Kearny Mesa area, creating a lack of cohesion among its business units.

With competition for tech talent at an all-time high, Cubic’s leadership was concerned its outdated facilities would discourage potential hires. Cubic needed to modernize and redevelop its campus to help attract talent, while also providing adequate facilities for the next 50 years. Despite its long history as a San Diego company, Cubic was experiencing pressure to build its headquarters in a lower-cost state such Tennessee, Alabama, orFlorida, where Cubic had other growing operations. As a result, EDC worked hand-in-hand with Cubic’s team to secure the necessary incentives to keep San Diego a competitive option, despite pressure to relocate its facilities out-of-state.

Utilizing both state and local programs, EDC was able to leverage its expertise in incentives consulting in order to help this 50-year-old staple company stay in California. EDC developed a strategy to capture a number of incentive programs, which offset the cost of rebuilding its headquarters in San Diego. Additionally, EDC worked as an intermediary to both the City and State departments on behalf of cubic to ensure processes were staying on track and that the campus redevelopment was seen as a priority by all parties.

Cubic secured a CalCompetes Tax Credit worth $8.5 million. Locally, Cubic was able to secure expedited processes through the City of San Diego, in addition to a Business Incentive Program and Business Cooperation Program award. In total, the incentives and expedited processes provided gave Cubic the necessary offsets and timeline confidence to commit to redeveloping its Kearny Mesa headquarters, and keeping San Diego as its home for decades to follow.

ABOUT CUBIC CORPORATION: Cubic is an American public corporation providing diversified systems and services to the transportation and defense markets worldwide. Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major divisions: Cubic Transportation Systems, Cubic Mission Solutions and Cubic Global Defense. cubic.com

 

June 26, 2017

This op-ed was originally published by San Diego Union-Tribune, and authored by Matt Cole, Magda Marquet and Michelle Sterling.
 
This is a time of profound disruption in the global economic system: The rules of global commerce are shifting rapidly, the pace of innovation and competition is generating winners and losers, and political volatility around the world is creating an uncertain environment for businesses large and small.
 
Now, more than ever, it is time for cities to step up and lead. And to lead, they must be seen.
 
For San Diego companies, global connectivity matters. Whether it’s biotech or manufacturing, most businesses have customers outside of San Diego, which allows them to add jobs here at home. In 2015, San Diego exported more than $17 billion in goods overseas, as well as billions more in services like software, cybersecurity, engineering and research. Small- and medium-sized businesses produce 92 percent of those goods. According to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay higher wages, are less likely to go out of business and increase productivity of the domestic market.
 
Our competitive advantage here in San Diego is that we develop and produce life-saving and life-changing technologies better than almost anywhere else in the world.
 
Four years ago, Althea was a midsize life sciences company with great talent and a compelling business proposition. A personal relationship, and chance meeting at a trade show, began a relationship with Japanese multinational Ajinomoto that has drawn millions of dollars of investment into the region, and enabled Althea to become a global player in the development and manufacturing of biologics and innovative pharmaceuticals.
 
For Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corp., providing public transportation solutions is one example of where public-private partnerships can be applied. From Chicago to Sydney, Vancouver and London, Cubic-powered technology and services move 38 million people seamlessly on a daily basis. This form of service requires collaborative working relationships between metro governments, transportation authorities and the private sector. And more often than not, these relationships need to be built over time by political and civic leadership to be effective.
 
Most San Diegans know the name Qualcomm but are less familiar with the transformative impact that the company has had in the world through its innovation in wireless technologies that power the global economy. What started in 1985 as a startup co-founded by a UC San Diego professor has grown into a company that has invented the technologies that make smartphones indispensable in our lives. With each technology Qualcomm invents and with each employee it hires, people from Brazil to China are learning how San Diego is changing the world.
 
The 600 largest cities in the world account for 60 percent of the global economy, and that economy is increasingly crowded, confusing and contested. Metros need strong leadership, unified voices and targeted strategies to compete. This is why mayors around the world are uniting to take on big issues like climate change, trade and poverty. It is why the mayors of every major U.S. city are on the road like never before, opening doors for the expansion of their regional economies. It is why we, as the Global Competitiveness Council — the voice of the global business community here in the San Diego region — called on Mayor Kevin Faulconer to be on the road to help out.
 
The mayor responded to this call by the business community, and is traveling to Mexico City, Vancouver and London in 2017 to create civic and academic partnerships, to facilitate deals that create jobs for San Diegans, and, most importantly, to create a framework for engagement with our most important markets. Our hope is that companies of all sizes seize the opportunities the mayor is creating.
 
We know what an innovative, collaborative and life-changing place San Diego is; but now more than ever, we need our leadership telling that story here at home and around the world. Our economy depends on it.
 
Cole is president of Cubic Transportation Systems. Marquet is co-founder of Ajinomoto Althea and AltheaDX. Sterling is executive vice president of human resources at Qualcomm.
 
Mayors of every major U.S. city are on the road like never before, opening doors for the expansion of their regional economies.