Buzz Talk with Jordan Teperman, Executive Vice President at HAVEN Developments
The Teperman name is well known for demolition around Toronto thanks to the family’s eponymous five-generation wrecking company, but Jordan Teperman has taken a different approach with his venture HAVEN Developments.
Alongside business partners Paolo Abate, Anthony Abate, and Nick Tsimidis, Teperman is now helping shape the city’s future, not just making way for it. Benefitting from Teperman’s real estate connections made through the family business as well as his previous experience as a lawyer, HAVEN has thrived in the hot Toronto housing market, among the country’s most competitive.
HAVEN currently has a number of projects in the city on the go, including the mid-rise SIX25BV condos and 400 The East Mall Stacked Towns. BuzzBuzzNews recently got in touch with Teperman to talk about the current business, his family roots and plans for the future.
BuzzBuzzNews: So why did you get into development?
Jordan Teperman: I was a lawyer. I went to work for a client who was a real estate developer operating in Ontario, the United States and internationally, and so I got my feet wet in that business. And then following that, I spent about nine years or so learning the business. Then, finally it was time just as the next generation was entering the wrecking business. I had the opportunity to acquire additional real estate to develop, so I took the opportunity and never looked back. Over those years it’s been helpful because I had a legal background and was very politically connected but also connected to some of the real drivers of the city in terms of development: consultants, planners, architects et cetera. The mixture was there, just the motivation on my end had to be there — and sure enough it was, and we built a company that now has 11 projects.
BBN: How steep was the learning curve?
JT: I grew up in the business. So, when we were kids, before I could even speak I was pointing at the Teperman signs in Toronto. People say there’s something in the blood, and I think it is in my blood, because there’s not many construction families that are five generations in this city. You have three, you hear about two, you hear about maybe four, but five is rare.
BBN: What are the most important lessons you learned growing up surrounded by the Teperman wrecking business?
JT: Honesty, hard work, and dedication were always the milestones of our family. Always delivering on what you were taught to do — the third generation and second generation Tepermans, who I happened to have known, were very much oriented in that regard.
BBN: What’s the story behind HAVEN?
JT: I was friends with brothers Paolo Abate and Anthony Abate, whose family had worked for the Greenpark Group for a long time. They were assembling real estate along the transit corridor, and our family had owned some properties along the transit corridor as well. We were getting together and said, “Maybe it’s time we come together and form a company.”
BBN: And what are the pillars of HAVEN?
JT: One: we believe in buying 500 metres from transit. Two: gold-standard consultants — so we only use the best of the best in the industry, guys that are well regarded and we put a real powerful team and mix together. And everybody that put this company together had the same common goal: transit, good consultants, and working as a team to achieve the milestones that we need to achieve.
BBN: SIX25BV definitely seems to embody those qualities. What can you tell us about that project?
JT: That project is unique in many ways. It’s unique because of who the architect is on it, Stephen Teeple, as well as a well regarded development architect who’s done some really cool things in the city. Two, the location between two subway points. Bessarion Station has always been referred to as a ghost station. But now, with all the development happening along there, that station is going to become a hub now. And my vision of Toronto is transit will become the hub of the community. So the subway station will become more than just a hop stop and go. It’s going to be a gathering point for community.
BBN: Do you have any future plans with HAVEN that you’d like to highlight?
JT: HAVEN’s future plans are to stay connected on the transit corridor, and as the Metrolinx corridor expands we’ll be looking to other markets that are part and parcel of the whole development. It’s not just the GTA. Now markets such as Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener, Bowmanville, Brooklin — all of these centres that were disregarded are now popular and definitely on the HAVEN focus.