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Phase One of Modesto’s State Route 132 West Project Completed

The City of Modesto celebrated the completion of Phase One of the State Route 132 West Project with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Rosemore Bridge. The $100 million project has been in the works for over 60 years so seeing it completed was truly a reason to celebrate.

Interwest’s Real Estate team provided Right of Way support by assisting with property appraisals, acquisitions and relocations of properties impacted by the project.

We’re proud to have the opportunity to be involved in such a great project. Read more about the project here.

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Project Highlights

Making Progress on the Acrisure Arena

We love seeing projects come to life! The new Acrisure Arena, a 300,000 sq ft event venue broke ground on June 2, 2021. The Interwest team has provided support for this project in a number of ways:

  • RFI’s
  • AIC Study
  • Plan checks
  • All required inspections

The construction crews have been hard at work trying to get the arena finished in time for the Firebirds Hockey season to get started. Our team is there to help keep things moving while ensuring everything will be safe for event-goers once it is open.

 

 

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Company Updates

Interwest Partners with the City of Laguna Woods to Provide Building Department Services

LAGUNA WOODS, CALaguna Woods has enlisted the services of Interwest Consulting Group, A SAFEbuilt Company (Interwest) to manage and coordinate their Building/Permitting Department.

The City plays a critical role in providing high-quality, dependable, and accessible solutions to their residents. Interwest’s Bill Hayes, CBO, who is serving as Building Official for the City, and the Interwest team will serve as an extension of city staff.  “The Laguna Woods Community has come to expect a high level of support from their local government—this includes reliable building inspections and an easy to use permitting process,” Bill states.

Aligned with the standards held by Laguna Woods, Interwest underwent a thorough evaluation process prior to partnering with the City. The process, which began in October 2021, included the review of a formal proposal followed by a series of interviews.  “The Interwest team understood that the interview process would be a challenging one,” Sr. Director of Business Development for Interwest, Steve Nero shares, “but we were confident that our extensive capabilities, local experience, and sheer determination to show the City that we are the best team for Laguna Woods, would shine through and result in a great partnership.”

Interwest’s Laguna Woods team is comprised of a Building Official, plan reviewers, inspectors, and permit technicians. They will work closely with City staff to help streamline building department services and improve the daily lives of those in the Laguna Woods community.

Interwest’s partnership with the City of Laguna Woods began on February 7, 2022.

About Interwest

With nearly 20 years of experience in the California market and the extended capabilities of their parent company, SAFEbuilt, Interwest supports a wide variety of clients with the highest level of service, expertise, and resources to municipalities and sovereign nations throughout the state.

Interwest maintains the largest staff of building safety professionals in California. With a deep bench of more than 250 building professionals dedicated to providing building safety services, their team of qualified and experienced professionals are available to support their clients with scalable solutions to meet workload demands. Interwest offers a diverse scope of community development services which makes them a reliable, one-source partner, capable of tackling time-sensitive projects with customized solutions.

SOURCE Interwest, A SAFEbuilt Company

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Company Updates

Interwest Consulting Group Joins Community Development Services Leader SAFEbuilt, updates corporate identity

ELK GROVE, CA – May 17, 2021 – SAFEbuilt, a leading community development services company, announces the completion of the integration of Interwest Consulting Group (Interwest) into the SAFEbuilt family of companies. As part of this process, Interwest subsidiaries Kutzmann, EsGil, and Broadspec will now be fully absorbed into the Interwest brand.

This has led to the need to rebrand in the form of a new Interwest website (www.interwestgrp.com) and updated visual identity, both of which launched today. The legacy websites for Kutzmann, EsGil, and BroadSpec now automatically redirect to the new site.

The brands, logos, locations, and employees from Kutzmann, BroadSpec, and EsGil will all be completely integrated into Interwest, and will conduct business under one unified company brand in California.

“Over the past year, we met with our clients and determined that in California, the Interwest brand was the most recognizable and scalable,” Paul Meschino, Interwest’s vice president of operations in California, said. “We’re confident that while Interwest is evolving to a single California brand, the people and service we deliver every day will remain the same. In fact, our clients will continue to work with the same people as before, and will also benefit from an expanded footprint, offering, and team.”

Interwest is now able to fully realize the benefits of being a part of the SAFEbuilt family of companies, including enhanced technology, more scalable systems, and processes designed to improve quality and efficiency for all their California clients, he added.

SAFEbuilt Chief Revenue Officer, Joe DeRosa, echoes those sentiments and adds that integrating Interwest into the SAFEbuilt family is a natural fit.

“SAFEbuilt’s mission is to help build better, safer communities,” he said. “The addition of an industry leader, like Interwest, helps us fulfill that mission–both in California and from a national perspective.”

By transitioning into one California brand, Interwest–now a SAFEbuilt company–will remain the leading provider of community development, building department, and professional services in the state.

About SAFEbuilt

SAFEbuilt is a leading outsourced building and professional services provider that improves flexibility, minimizes disruptions, and increases speed to revenue for more than 1,500 communities nationwide. Offering a breadth of professional services and support options, SAFEbuilt helps communities achieve their growth goals while meeting their budget needs. To learn more, visit SAFEbuilt.com.

About Interwest

With nearly 20 years of experience in the California market and the extended capabilities of its parent company, SAFEbuilt, Interwest is the leading provider of community development, building department, and professional services to a wide variety clients, municipalities, and sovereign nations throughout the state. To learn more, visit interwestgrp.com.

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Enchanted Hills Community Park

The Enchanted Hills Community Park began as 22 acres of blighted land, often used for illegal dumping of everything from tires and bottles to sofas and a boat! Now with lots of community elbow grease, Prop 68 funding secured and projects designs at 100%, the next year will see it emerge as a beautiful new green space, complete with a skate spot, accessible playgrounds, splash pad, basketball courts, exercise equipment, and much more!

Creating new parks out of underutilized land is a rewarding and challenging process that, for the City of Perris, began with an open field and a vision. The City knew they could do great things with this space with the proper resources, and in 2019, hired Interwest Consulting Group to provide grant writing and Community Engagement services to apply for a competitive Statewide Prop 68 Grant.

The application process is very involved and requires extensive data compilation, skilled grant writing and outreach creativity to produce a package to impress the State of California Grants Department Selection Committee. Interwest worked with the City to advertise, organize and deliver seven Community Engagement Events which included visits to the local high school and senior center, the chance for students and seniors to design their dream park, and a final outreach event at the project site with games, food, a rock wall, and a raffle. Each of these events were opportunities to inform residents of the City’s plans for the park and to hear which amenities were most important to the community. The data collected both through polls and personal conversations with locals was the driving force in the end design and was crucial to creating a compelling and unique grant application which captured the story of the community and its desires for the future.  Our team came up with a number of “wow factors” that we knew would impress the judges, including a series of intergenerational charrette exercises to encourage the youth to work with seniors to collaboratively develop park concepts.

The finished product was a work of art and our team felt we had a winning application on our hands. The State felt the same and awarded the City of Perris $8.5 million, the maximum award possible.  Not only did the grant win the award, but the State also utilized the grant application in their “best practice” grant guide booklet for the Round 4 in 2021. City staff repeatedly rave about our services, attention to detail, work ethic, work product and ability to over-deliver and continually impress. Said Richard Belmudez, City Manager, “Interwest Consulting Group is a great partner to the City of Perris. They were instrumental in the vision, financing and now construction of the 22-acre Enchanted Hills Park. Their passion, professionalism and commitment were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.”

With the grant awarded, our work is still not done! Interwest continues to partner with the City of Perris to oversee the design process and provide value engineering and plan checking of the park improvement plans, including grading, water and sewer, landscape improvement, electrical, and building plans. As the project progresses, Interwest will provide project and subconsultant management, inspection, and storm monitoring services.

Interwest firmly believes that “Parks Make Life Better” – now more than ever! We look forward to our continued partnership on this endeavor and to seeing the City’s dream of a beautiful new park become a reality. We also look forward to repeating this process as the City has retained us to apply for two new park grants in the coming year.

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Building Department Services for Sovereign Tribal Nations

Unlike our other public agency clients, many of the tribal government clients we serve do not have an established Building Safety Department or permit counter, or, for that matter, a City Hall. They do, however, have booming industrial and commercial development and a commitment to providing their residential and business community with safely built and responsibly maintained structures and facilities.

Interwest has the privilege of serving several sovereign tribal governments in California, and each has brought with them unique challenges and perspectives. When we began serving the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, we became their first ever building department. We collaborated with the Tribal Council, Pechanga Fire Department and their attorney to help establish and adopt their first building codes, using our knowledge of industry standards and local adoptions and their knowledge of the specific concerns and unique needs of their community. The result was a comprehensive building code which our Building Official, plan review, and inspection staff continue to enforce.

A few of the sovereign tribal governments with whom we have projects currently underway include:

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians – We’re providing plan review and inspections on projects including a new Agua Caliente Casino in Cathedral City, a new Travel and Fuel Station in Rancho Mirage, and a new Cultural Center in Palm Springs, including a spa building and a cultural museum. We also provide facility inspection on structures including golf course buildings, park buildings, and government center and permitting services.

The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians – Interwest serves as the tribe’s Building Department, providing Building Official, plan check, inspection, and permitting services on projects like their new Health Center facility and multiple tenant improvements and residential projects.

Table Mountain Rancheria, a tribe of Native American people from the Chukchansi band of Yakuts and the Monache tribe – We’re currently providing Building Official, plan review, and building inspection services to the tribe for their Table Mountain Casino, Hotel, and Entertainment Venue project, which will nearly double the amount of gaming floor space and add a 151-room. 12-story hotel.

The Tachi Yokut Tribe – We are providing plan review services for planned interior and exterior improvements and expansions to the Tachi Palace Casino Resort, adding about 24,000 sf of space and linking current amenities, such as the Coyote Entertainment Center, to create a more cohesive campus.  Construction is set to begin later this spring.

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Atherton Town Center

The Town of Atherton is known for being the most expensive zip code to call home in America, so it may surprise you to learn that the Town’s City Hall was comprised of an old building and 8 portable trailers. Recognizing the need for a functional and welcoming space for civic activities and community engagement, the Town created plans for a new $60 million Civic Center Complex, complete with council chambers, a library, and facilities for town administration and police department.

Though planning for the Town Center began in 2012, the project broke ground in 2019. It was crucial to the Town to have complete stakeholder buy-in and community involvement. Plans were drawn and changed several times to ensure that the project properly represented the vision of Town Leadership, reflected and preserved the rich cultural heritage of the Town, and respectful of concerns expressed by adjacent neighbors and Town stakeholders. Interwest Project Manager, Marty Hanneman, has effectively and successfully formed important partnerships and wonderful relationships with Town residents and vocal stakeholders as he responded to their questions and found solutions to their concerns throughout the planning, design, and construction of the project.

Once the plan was agreed upon and construction started, the project faced an unexpected and unanticipated challenge: the COVID pandemic. Like so many construction projects this year, the Town Center was put on hold for several months as the Town adopted and implemented health and safety best practices. Eventually the project was allowed to proceed, as the Town Center will be an essential service building; even so, moving forward remained difficult as several of the required suppliers and tradesmen were not considered to be essential workers. Even though months of productivity were lost, it is a testament to the team’s determination and dedication that the project is still on schedule. Limited staff are expected to move in under a temporary certificate of occupancy in July 2021 with the rest following shortly thereafter in October.

Interwest is proud to be a part of this marquee project for the Town of Atherton. “We’re really pleased with how the project is progressing given the challenges we’re all facing with COVID,” said Project Manager, Marty Hanneman. “This project is going to be a real showcase for the community as well as for all of the contractors and the larger team delivering the project.”

Interwest has served the Town of Atherton since 2011 providing Municipal Engineering, Building and Safety, GIS, and IT services, as well as technical assistance and support to the Town Manager, Town Council, appointed Committees, and the community on programs, policies, activities and projects.

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Supplement Your Revenue with a Temporary Transfer of Water Rights

Looking for alternative sources of revenue? Have you considered a short-term or temporary water transfer?

More and more cities are temporarily transferring a portion of their surface water and groundwater rights via a one-time transaction which serves to create an untapped revenue source for sellers and helps to stretch California’s water supplies in dry times for buyers. Whether it’s surface or groundwater, you may be able to make a temporary transfer of water without risk to your permanent water rights. A temporary water transfer is just that, a one-time, temporary transfer of a portion of a seller’s water right to a willing buyer.

Interwest staff have successfully led multiple temporary water transfers for public agencies in California resulting in millions of dollars of additional revenue to selling agencies. Our team has experience with permitting the transfer of both surface and groundwater.

Click here to learn more about water transfers and reach out to our staff to see if this makes sense for your agency.

 

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Tracking Homeless Camps through Mapping Technology

Most cities in California are facing the challenges that come with an increasing homeless population including litter, disease, environmental damages, public safety issues, affected property values, and, most significantly, the tole that that living on the street takes on the mental and physical health of these individuals. While resources and solutions are available, communication with and information on this population can be difficult to establish.

Working with the City of Rancho Cordova, Interwest GIS staff have created a map-based program to help document, track, and provide resources to homeless individuals and families. The Rancho Cordova Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), uses this tool to assist with identifying individuals in the homeless camps to provide resource information to potentially help them towards a more stable future.

The map-based application was created to allow HOT team members to locate, document, and capture images to assist in understanding the magnitude, concentration, and details concerning the homeless camps throughout the community. Using the ArcGIS Collector app on their smartphones, City staff can quickly document the location, characteristics of the camp, and people living there.

The information that was collected in the field is viewed by staff back at the office. Users login into ArcGIS Online to access the Homeless Camps Application to review and analyze the recently collected information. This helps to direct resources for cleanup activity near street right of ways, highway interchanges, creek ways, and vacant lots.

The City’s Homeless Outreach Team, comprised of a Homeless Navigator, a code enforcement officer and two police officers, assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the community.

Note: During the COVID pandemic, the enforcement of illegal homeless camps has been put on hold.

Click here to learn more about our GIS team.

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Interwest Hosts Lunch-and-Learn Webinars for the The Association of California Cities – Orange County

Interwest shares experiences and lessons learned through utilizing virtual building inspection services and creating virtual EOCs in response to COVID-19

Despite the unprecedented professional challenges that came with COVID-19, Interwest has taken various thoughtful and unique pro-active measures to keep our communities thriving. We continue to fulfill the goal of making our communities better places to live, work, and play by sharing what we’ve learned throughout the process.

In May of 2020, Interwest employees hosted lunch-and-learn webinars to members of the Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) on two topics: Virtual Building Inspections Best Practices & Pitfalls and Building Your City’s Virtual EOC and City Hall Services for COVID-19 and Beyond.

Virtual Building Inspections Best Practices & Pitfalls: Our experienced and certified building officials discuss utilizing various technologies and best practices to conduct virtual building inspections.  This information can help keep projects moving forward and minimize financial impacts to cities and constituents while protecting both staff and the public you serve.

Building Your City’s Virtual EOC and City Hall Services for COVID-19 and Beyond: Experienced local government city management executive, emergency manager, and author Jacob Green discusses lessons learned from COVID-19 virtual EOC activation and how these lessons can be applied to expanding virtual services throughout city hall and enhancing crisis leadership.

For more information about the support we can provide to you and your clients during this time, visit our COVID-19 Response page.

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