KCM Group News


09 Aug KCM Adds Construction Industry Veteran Jason Berge

As KCM Group continues to rapidly expand its portfolio of clients in 2018, the company recently added a new industry veteran and project manager, Jason Berge. With over 14 years of experience in construction project management, Berge has worked with industry giants including Jack in the Box, the University of California and on Cabela’s expansion across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to working with an extensive list of high-profile clients, Berge is a jack-of-all-trades in managing all aspects of design and construction on projects ranging from $3 million to $250 million. He’s managed projects in big-box retail, higher education, multi-family, healthcare, restaurant and industrial projects.

“We pride ourselves in hiring the best,” says KCM Group President Gordon Kovtun. “Jason’s wealth of experience in all aspects of construction management strengthens our already dynamic team of construction experts.”

“I’m thrilled to join such an esteemed team,” says Berge. “KCM Group is at the forefront of the construction field in San Diego, with perhaps the most exciting portfolio in the region. I’m looking forward to working alongside and learning from the best.”

Prior to joining KCM Group, Berge worked as a director of construction for Newport CM, senior project manager for Project One Integrated Services, construction project manager for Taisei Corporation, construction project manager for AIMCO and project engineer for Gerald Phipps, a privately-held construction contractor in Denver, Colorado. From his years of working in construction, Berge values his ability to coordinate multiple design and construction teams and solve complex issues onsite. Berge earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Colorado State University with a major in Business Administration and later obtained his Construction Management Certification from Colorado State University.

With many high-profile San Diego projects like the Comic-Con Museum, Plaza de Panama project, KIPP Academy School and Modern Times Brewery expansion on the horizon, Berge will add much-needed manpower and experience to the KCM Group team. Kovtun and the KCM Group leadership team remain committed to serving as advocates for San Diego project owners with seasoned construction managers.

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14 Dec California Stormwater and Erosion Control Industry Changes

In July, the State Water Resources Control Board fined the City of San Diego $4.6 million for non-compliance on stormwater, erosion and sedimentation control measures.

Next year, the State Water Board will issue an update to the California Construction General Permit that will completely change the rules for how construction sites and companies deal with stormwater- and erosion-related discharges into bodies of water. Currently, the permit rules attempt to curtail stormwater runoff and erosion that dislodge pieces of earth that can affect fish gills, beaches and water color (browning). The current permitting program has been administratively extended year after year since 2009.

While the Construction General Permit update specifics are unknown, the changes will be the first major set of changes of the Water Board under its new executive director, Eileen Sobeck. Sobeck, who joined the board after the Labor Day holiday weekend, will effectively oversee changes to the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) that regulates all potential pollutants.

These SWPPP regulations have become so complicated that many San Diego builders, developers, and construction firms now need the expertise of construction management firms with stormwater compliance experience to help navigate municipal codes and develop, implement and oversee stormwater- and erosion-control best management practices (BMPs) as licensed qualified SWPPP developers (QSDs) and qualified SWPPP practitioners (QSPs). It is quite possible that the update will serve as another complication that will increase this business trend.

Since the San Diego construction industry began booming after 2010, which was stymied by the Great Recession, many construction firms have seen an abundance of growth as QSDs and QSPs.  San Diego firm KCM Group, which is currently responsible for managing the Plaza de Panama Balboa Park project, is currently managing nearly 40 projects (as a QSP and QSD) that require stormwater and erosion-compliance.

Erika Horn – Senior Environmental Compliance Manager at KCM Group

At KCM Group Erika serves as an experienced environmental compliance manager, who specializes in environmental compliance programs for land development. Erika coordinates and provides specialized storm water training for land development personnel, construction superintendents and sub-contractors. Erika is a QSP, QSD, Certified Erosion Sediment and Storm Water Inspector (CESSWI) and a Certified Professional of Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC). Erika is active in the California Storm Water Quality Association (CASQA), the Building Industry Association (BIA) and the International Erosion Control Association (IECA). She currently serves on the San Diego BIA’s Storm Water Task Force.

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14 Dec San Diego Staple Hope-Admundson Merges with Nationwide Coffman Engineers

Hope-Admundson, a local company that was built on over 80 years of family history in the San Diego area, has merged with Coffman Engineers. Since 1993, Hope-Admundson has served as an architectural and engineering staple in the San Diego region specializing in building commercial, education, government, healthcare, life science, mixed-use and parking structures.

Before closing its doors on November 1, Hope-Amundson announced that their structural engineering services will not change. Their staff of 33, which includes 19-licensed engineers, will join a broader network of engineers that provide more engineering services, including structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and fire protection engineering services originally offered by Coffman. Their offices in downtown San Diego and Newport Beach, California, will also join the nationwide Coffman network of 12 offices serving clients across the United States and overseas.

In an announcement on the updated website Jim Admundson stated, “The best deals are the win-win. We will strategically help Coffman with their Southern California presence and for Hope-Amundson, this allows us to join a larger firm, offer our clients more services, and look for opportunities in other areas.”

The addition of Hope-Admundson office in San Diego comes during an exciting time of growth for Coffman as they are also strategically increasing their presence on the East Coast which includes the addition of a new office in the Washington, D.C. metro area in May 2017.

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14 Dec San Diego’s Prized Family Business, Jerome’s Furniture Opens New Location in Moreno Valley

In November, Jerome’s Furniture, San Diego’s most prized family-owned business, opened the doors to its newest showroom in the second largest city in Riverside County, Moreno Valley. City of Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Alberto Gutierrez and other community leaders joined the Navarra family, the owners of Jerome’s Furniture, and attended the grand opening event across from the Towngate Crossing Shopping Center off the Pomona Freeway.

“The location is ideal, and the market is deserving of a furniture retailer that puts customers first,” said Adrienne Navarra, senior vice president of Jerome’s Furniture in Furniture Today. “We’re doing so with an experience that places the heritage and warmth of our family business at the forefront. The showroom’s layout, design and customer interaction emphasizes our family of employees and the many people behind Jerome’s.”

Josh McKeown, a project manager with KCM Group, oversaw the Jerome’s Furniture project which involved the renovation of an existing 40,000 square-foot retail location at a total construction cost of just over one million dollars.  McKeown worked closely with the Navarra family to convert the space which was previously occupied by Sports Authority, a sporting goods retailer, into a Jerome’s Furniture showroom. The conversion included a new floor, wall finishes, interior partitions, millwork, mechanical systems and new energy-efficient LED fixtures.  An 8-year veteran with KCM Group, McKeown has many years of experience working for large commercial general contractors in both Texas and San Diego, which was critical to successfully opening the store under a tight two-month deadline.

“It was an honor to serve as project manager and advocate for the Navarra family on this project,” said McKeown. “They’re a San Diego staple and a big supporter of so much in our community. I’m proud of how we were able to finish this project on-budget and in time for the holiday season. Cheers to more families enjoying a comfortable couch at home during the holidays.”

With this Jerome’s Furniture project, McKeown worked directly with the general contractor, Halstead Construction, the architect, Gkkworks, and their subcontractors on behalf of the Navarra family.  The project had a very aggressive schedule and needed to be completed in less than 3 months to be open in time for Thanksgiving.

The latest Moreno Valley store at 12500 Day Street includes the company’s new warm warehouse concept which boasts of a very modern and industrial look and includes design elements such as polished concrete flooring, metal casework and a neutral color palette throughout the 40,300 square feet of showroom space. The new location will serve residents in Moreno Valley, Perris, Sun City, Hemet, Banning, Beaumont as well as the Eastern communities of Box Springs, Canyon Crest, Orange Crest, and Mission Grove. This Jerome’s Furniture showroom is the 14th store among other store locations in San Diego, Riverside, the Inland Empire, Orange County and Greater Los Angeles area.

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30 Nov KCM Group Continues to Grow with 3 New Hires

Nearing the end of this quarter, KCM Group is making tremendous strides in San Diego as it adds new projects spanning from the Plaza de Panama project in Balboa Park to the construction of the two new charter schools in 2018. As a result of this growth, KCM Group is adding 3 new employees to it’s bevy of construction experts. This new round of hires includes Brandon Bettes, Keely Craig and Thea Carroll.

Keely Craig
Keely will serve as an environmental compliance project manager with KCM Group. With eight years of experience working on linear projects, she specializes in providing general environmental compliance consulting for construction projects, biological services and companies seeking Clean Water Act permits.  At KCM Group, Craig also serves as a qualified storm water pollution prevention plan practitioner (QSP) and a certified erosion sediment and storm water Inspector (CESSWI).  Craig started in environmental compliance working on the longest power line in California—SoCal Edison’s controversial high voltage, wind energy power line—and earned a  bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Union College in New York.


Thea Carroll
KCM Group also recently added a project coordinator, Thea Carroll, who brings nearly ten years of experience supporting construction managers and environmental engineers. Carroll provides project coordination and support for the KCM Group environmental compliance management team and clients. While simultaneously attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and serving in the U.S. Army, Carroll gained experience working in a variety of positions ranging from production assistance in the shipbuilding industry to administrative support for engineers.


Brandon Bettes
Brandon is a project manager with almost 15 years of experience working in residential and commercial construction management. Having overseen projects ranging from smaller tenant improvements to $80 million high rises and resorts, he now is actively involved in KCM Group’s management efforts for the Balboa Park ‘Plaza de Panama’ project. Bettes earned a Bachelor’s degree in construction management with an emphasis in business and marketing at Northern Arizona University.


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12 Oct San Diego’s First Supportive Housing Community for Formerly Homeless Seniors Opens

Just before the summer came to an end, the doors swung open at Talmadge Gateway, San Diego’s first 100 percent supportive housing community for seniors who have been homeless and have ongoing medial needs. At the grand opening ceremony, California State Senator Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Todd Gloria joined the nonprofit affordable housing developer, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, and City Heights Community Development Corporation to celebrate.

“Talmadge Gateway is unique in that it not only gives these formerly homeless seniors a safe place to live, but it also offers wraparound supportive services designed to help them live stable, independent lives,” said Ken Sauder, Wakeland’s President & CEO. “Completing this property demonstrates Wakeland’s ongoing commitment to provide affordable and permanent supportive homes in the San Diego region to help alleviate our current housing crisis.”

Wakeland developed the 60-unit property, which includes 59 rentals and 1 managers’ unit, with the support of KCM Group that managed the construction project for Wakeland. The project was delivered on time and on budget. The City Heights Community Development Corporation also played a major role in the development of the project. Services at Talmadge Gateway will be provided primarily by the St. Paul’s Senior Services’ Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a program that supports seniors through providing in-home care, transportation and personalized medical services.

“The Housing First comprehensive approach is critical to getting more seniors and families off the streets and into a real home,” said Gordon Kovtun of the KCM Group. “This was truly an important project for KCM and the city. We’re proud to be a part of this effort that’s providing a real solution to the City of San Diego’s homeless seniors.”

“St. Paul’s has made a commitment to address the overwhelming growth of homeless seniors in San Diego,” said Cheryl Wilson, CEO, St. Paul’s Senior Services. “We’ve provided permanent housing to almost 100 seniors who were previously homeless or at risk of homelessness. Of those, 96 percent continue to live successfully in their new homes and in fact, thrive. We attribute our success to the comprehensive medical and social support provided by the St. Paul’s PACE program. For most of those who live on the streets, their social and health challenges need to be addressed before introducing them into permanent housing, and of course that support must continue once they have moved into their new home. Talmadge Gateway has given us the opportunity to take another 59 seniors off the street.  We’re very proud to be a part of this effort,” added Wilson.

The need for permanent supportive housing developments like Talmadge Gateway is strong in San Diego County, particularly for seniors. According to the 2017 San Diego Homeless Point-in-Time count, nearly one-third of San Diego County’s 9,116 homeless residents are seniors. Permanent supportive housing gives these residents a “forever home” where they can become stabilized and access community resources with the goal of staying housed for the long term. This combination of housing and services is known as the Housing First model and has helped some communities reduce chronic street homelessness by as much as 90 percent.

The $20.7 million Talmadge Gateway project gathered support from local community members early in the development process, with neighbors embracing the project’s goal of revitalizing a site that had previously been an auto storage lot with a vibrant new community of affordable homes that serve seniors.

“Community outreach from the very onset shows how a development such as Talmadge Gateway can fit into an older urban area and can complement the surrounding neighborhood,” said Fred Lindahl, a neighbor who serves as Board Chair of City Heights Community Development Corporation and formerly led the Kensington Talmadge Planning Group.

The development designed by Studio E Architects and built by Allgire General Contractors, features three stories of beautiful and functional homes above a ground floor with parking, community rooms and a multipurpose supportive care office. A second-floor terrace offers additional space for socializing, and special architectural details – like wide stairwells with porthole windows and cheerful paint colors – encourage active living. A unique feature of Talmadge Gateway is that the development also includes a new, 500-square foot storefront for commercial use and a 1940’s-era commercial building along El Cajon Boulevard that was renovated during construction.

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12 Oct San Diego Women in Construction Team Up and Join Habitat for Humanity to Build New Homes in Logan Heights

Women across the region in the construction industry from the Urban Land Institute to C&S Companies and KCM Group, participated in the San Diego Habitat for Humanity’s (SDHFH) Women Build Program. The SDHFH Women Build program promotes the involvement of women in the construction industry and works to recruit, nurture and train women to build and repair affordable homes in local neighborhoods.

According to Shandy Arwood, Director of Community Engagement at SDHFH, almost 200 women have participated and raised $150,000 to advance the SDHFH’s mission to build homes, communities and hope in San Diego County. During the Women Build event, a team of 8 women that included women from Andrew Lauren Interiors, C&S Companies, Urban Land Institute, Cornerstone Communities, KCM Group, Performance Drywall and BDS Construction raised nearly $18,000 and was recognized as the top friends and family team. The top corporate team was a group of 19 women from Balfour Beatty Construction that raised $19,636.

The event served as a benefit for four of 11 of SDHFH’s affordable home projects in Logan Heights as a part of National Women Build Week, which is sponsored nationally by Lowe’s. Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 to empower women to advocate for affordable housing and spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by many in communities across the country. This year, more than 17,000 women from across the country, volunteered at construction sites as part of Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week.

Lowe’s donated $2 million to Habitat’s National Women Build Week, which included more than 300 Habitat locations hosting National Women Build Week activities this year. The local San Diego event was also sponsored by some of the region’s biggest companies including Cox Communications, Northrop Grumman, Whiting-Turner, the Original Pink Box, Star 94.1, San Diego Catering Company, Loews Coronado, Starwood Hotels, Island Prime, Stone Brewery, H&E Equipment, EDCO and more.

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12 Oct Court Upholds Plaza de Panama Project, Issues Sweeping Rejection of All SOHO Claims

After years of litigation and delay, the City of San Diego Plaza de Panama Project is steps closer to a reality.  Earlier this summer, Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Pollack found “no basis” for the Save Our Heritage Organization’s (SOHO) claim that the project, which had been delayed by a prior unsuccessful SOHO lawsuit, now required a Supplemental Environment Impact Report as a result of that delay.

“After eight years of this arduous process, we truly believe that we’ve secured the comprehensive solution that San Diego residents, park visitors and stakeholders have been waiting for,” said Gordon Kovtun, Principal at KCM Group, which manages the construction of the project. “We’re ready to get to work to reclaim 6.3 acres of park land, add much-needed parking and free the plazas from chronic vehicular traffic to allow more San Diego families and children to enjoy our city’s crown jewel.”

Pollack ruled that the improvements designed to increase pedestrian access within Balboa Park were properly approved by the San Diego City Council. The improvements, collectively known as the Plaza de Panama Project, were approved unanimously by the City Planning Commission and approved twice by the City Council (each time with one opposing vote).

SOHO had endorsed a rival proposal, the so-called “Lewis Plan,” which would have built an extensive network of new roadways on the park’s hillsides and canyons and a underground garage below the Plaza de Panama, with three tunnel mouths to allow cars to enter the garage from the park’s core.

“Once again, a court has found that the City correctly followed environmental law in seeking to improve one of the City’s greatest treasures,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “SOHO’s lawsuits have served no purpose other than to delay a widely supported project, and to drive up costs for the taxpayers.”

The City is being represented by Deputy City Attorney Jana Michova Will, working in conjunction with the Plaza de Panama Committee and its attorney, Scott Williams of Selzer Caplan McMahon Vitek.

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12 Oct Wakeland to Build Beacon Apartments as a Solution for Homeless in East Village

Early next Summer, nonprofit affordable housing developer Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation and KCM Group, a local firm that manages construction projects, will break ground on an East Village development that will provide 44 supportive homes for people who have been homeless. The new permanent housing community, the Beacon Apartments, will replace a transitional living facility and is expected to promote safe, cleaner streets and help alleviate the City of San Diego’s growing need for permanent supportive housing.

“From the start, Wakeland’s mission has been to create housing that serves the community’s needs,” said Wakeland’s President and CEO, Ken Sauder. “We are committed to helping the City of San Diego work toward its goal of ending homelessness downtown by creating more permanent, affordable homes for people who have been homeless – like The Beacon Apartments. And we are delighted to have a stellar construction management firm in KCM Group to help in fulfilling that vision.”

The switch from transitional housing to permanent housing backs the city’s Housing First policy goals that give residents access to community resources with the goal of staying housed for the long term. The switch also reflects the federal and state policy shift.  The C Street development will offer services tailored to meet the individual needs of residents, including case management, behavioral health support, care coordination, peer support and skill-building classes.

“We need to continue to find ways to meet the City’s need for affordable housing. San Diego is plagued by a number of housing issues and it’s important that we address these needs,” said KCM Group’s Gordon Kovtun. “KCM Group is proud to support Wakeland, which has been at the forefront of finding housing solutions for San Diego.”

Statistics indicate that the Housing First model helps communities reduce chronic street homelessness by as much as 90 percent by promoting housing stability, mental and physical health, neighborhood safety and healthy communities. The approach is also considered cost-effective as studies show providing permanent housing costs just as much as covering the revolving door costs of emergency housing and crisis care.

Designed by the award-winning architecture firm, M.W. Steele Group, the development includes generous setbacks, tree-lined courtyard and lightwells to deliver natural illumination to residents and neighbors.

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