San Diego apartments. Photo by Chris Stone

Rental marketplace website Apartmentlist.com reveals its March report, which finds that rents in San Diego are starting to rebound after falling a bit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report said rents are up 0.6% year-over-year, with median rates now at $1,576 for a 1-bedroom and $2,089 for a two-bedroom apartment. Year-over-year rent growth here was 1.9% at this time last year.

The report said the jump in rents was the second straight month of increases. In addition, San Diego’s year-over-year rent growth bests the statewide average of -4.9%, as well as the national average of -0.8%.

Something to cheer about if you’re a landlord.

Consider San Francisco owners suffered much more than those locally. Rents there were down a shocking 26% year-over-year. For a deeper dive into the data, check out the complete March Apartment List Rent Report.

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Self-driving truck technology startup TuSimple, which has offices here and Beijing, expects to file a prospectus to sell public stock as soon as this week, according to published reports in several news outlets. The startup has 50 pilot autonomous trucks hauling paid freight in the Southwest in a large-scale pilot project. These trucks are not quite totally self-driving. They carry a driver who can grab the steering wheel, if necessary. But the technology will soon be proven. TuSimple has partnered with truck maker Navistar International to sell its long-haul autonomous truck technology starting in 2024.

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Impressive funding announcement. Local biotech startup DTx Pharma. which is pursuing novel RNA-based therapeutics to treat the genetic sources of disease, completed a $100 million Series B financing on March 1. The financing was led by RA Capital Management with participation Access Biotechnology, Surveyor Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, and Logos Capital

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Lysulin, a San Diego-based maker of nutritional supplements for Type 2 diabetes, says it has introduced a new weight loss shake containing its patented formulation to better manage blood sugar. Company founder and CEO John Burd, said in a new release that this is an “important expansion” of the Lysulin product line, noting 15 clinical studies show meal replacements are effective in losing and maintaining weight, a key factor in Type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes.

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North County News…Nationwide discount clothing retailer Burlington Stores opened a new outlet in Vista on Feb. 26, with the day’s ceremonies featuring a $5,000 donation to Hannalei Elementary School. The funds will be used to support teachers and their classrooms so that they can purchase needed materials needed for students. The chain now operates three stores in San Diego.

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Now that we’ve got COVID-19 on the run with the roll-out of a massive vaccination effort, San Diego’s restaurant and retail sectors appear to be springing back to life. On Feb. 15, Del Mar’s One Paseo retail center welcomed California-themed lifestyle and design brand Serena & Lily. At 6,000 square feet, the store is the retailer’s largest in California. Meanwhile, chef Marco Provino is set to welcome customers to his new champagne bar and brunch eatery Breakfast and Bubbles this month in Hillcrest. Over in Mission Hills, eatery La Puerta is set to open its second outpost this month, which will offer a menu based on popular foods from Sinaloa, Mexico. And at Liberty Public Market, White Rice, chef Philip Esteban’s Filipino rice bowl food stall, will open in April, He is introducing traditional Filipino dishes to the general market.

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San Diego-based Founders First Capital Partners said it has closed a $9 million Series A financing round led by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. The money will be used to support underfunded and underrepresented entrepreneurs. The release said that with the funding they will be able to provide capital more flexible than traditional bank borrowing. The funding will also enable national expansion of its program.

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Finally, San Francisco Bay Area retailer Fry’s Electronics said it has closed 30 stores, including two in the region, after a long slow decline. The store said the decision to shutdown was a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.

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