Optimum Group President Ali Sahabi, an award-winning developer, community leader and philanthropist, has been reappointed as president of the Building Industry Association Southern California Baldy View Chapter, serving for a second consecutive year in 2017, officials announced today.
BIA Baldy View Chapter Chief Executive Officer Carlos Rodriguez said the organization was excited to see Sahabi serve as president for another year. “His expertise, vision and spirit of collaboration will not only help those working locally within the industry, but will serve the greater region as well,” he said. “Mr. Sahabi has been a leader in our industry for decades and previously received the Builder of the Year award from the BIA Baldy View Chapter and also has been recognized with awards from the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Architects and the Southern California Association of Governments' Compass Blueprint Award.”
“There are many obstacles to addressing the housing shortage in the Inland Empire,” said BIA Baldy View Chapter Past President Randall Lewis. “Ali will provide strong leadership to the BIA and help pursue the policy reforms needed in our region.”
Sahabi is a longtime trailblazer in the Inland Empire, having spearheaded collaborative efforts for regional advancements that include the Green Valley Initiative, a cooperative project to promote clean technology enterprises that involved the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, multiple government and nonprofit organizations, businesses, school districts and universities, and virtually every city in the two-county region. The initiative helped to spark a movement toward renewable energies, nano-technologies and sustainable development and shaped partnerships that continue to this day.
“The BIA will continue to benefit greatly from the more than 25 years of experience Ali Sahabi brings to the table as an innovative industry leader that has successfully pursued residential, commercial and industrial projects across that state,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor’s Chairman James Ramos. “Ali is a respected leader and has consistently demonstrated that a commitment to economic development and our environment are not mutually exclusive.”
He was also the master planner of the mixed-use community of Dos Lagos in Corona, California, winner of the 2009 California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, and he endowed U.C. Riverside’s Center for Sustainable Suburban Development.
Sahabi has been recognized with awards and leadership positions from many organizations including the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority; Riverside Land Conservancy; Southern California Association of Governments; American Planning Association; American Institute of Architects; The Community Foundation Serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino; Community Action Partnership; University of California, Riverside; Fair Housing Council of Riverside County; and Western Riverside Council of Governments, and the University of Southern California, where he served on the Board of Councilors to the Sol Price School of Public Policy.
“Ali Sahabi is a champion of improving education in San Bernardino County,” said San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre. “I am pleased about the successful collaboration with the BIA evident in this year’s inaugural BIA Education Summit and look forward to continuing this effort next year.”
He currently serves as President of Optimum Group LLC, providing innovative real estate development and construction management services to government agencies, public and private companies and nonprofit organizations throughout Southern California.
“It’s my goal for the coming year to help facilitate collaboration among building professionals from all sectors of the industry,” Sahabi said. “I see my term as president to be a unique opportunity to bring professionals from various building-related associations together under our common goal to promote much-needed new construction and new projects throughout Southern California.”
The latest McKinsey Global Institute report estimates that California must build 3.5 million housing units by 2025 to satisfy pent-up demand and meet the needs of its growing population. California ranks 49th in the nation in housing units per capita, and the situation – particularly in our urban areas – is only getting worse. The report goes on to say that San Bernardino County has room for hundreds of thousands of housing units built near jobs and transit.
“With the Metrolink already connecting San Bernardino to downtown L.A. – and with several upgrades planned in the coming years – our Baldy View region is primed to become a hotbed of construction for a long time to come,” Sahabi said. “Clearly, it’s more important than ever to work collaboratively with those in the industry to promote responsible growth that is responsive to the region’s needs. and to advocate for reasonable policies that will enable us to do so.”
In accepting his award, Sahabi spoke of the responsibilities those in the profession have to promote quality-of-life issues for the regions they serve.
“Contractors and land developers do more than construct buildings,” Sahabi said. “They shape lives by creating environments for people to come together, interact and enrich their quality of life. There’s a philosophy behind the work that we do and I believe we all share the capacity to work together as an extended community to build a better future for our region.”