A student by day and business owner by night, Tariq Adi, Chief Executive Officer of Adi Development Group, gave new meaning to applied learning. After founding the company in 2007 with his brother Saud, Adi enrolled in Sheridan’s Business Administration – Finance program, realizing the financial statements and contracts he was managing for a few homes would only become more complex as he set his sights on larger properties.
Soon Adi was applying skills that he learned in the classroom to his business in real-time. On one memorable occasion, he excused himself from class to close his first major land deal.
In less than a decade the 2012 graduate has led his company to $100-million in sales and $1-billion in new developments underway. Perhaps most notably, Adi’s landmark developments across the GTA have revitalized housing options for people in the suburbs, from cookie-cutter homes to modern design, and have earned the development firm 14 home builder association awards recognizing innovation in building design, sales and marketing and interior design.
His properties clearly resonate with buyers. The company sold every unit in one of his ‘Mod’rn’ condo properties before they even had a chance to build the sales centre, says Adi, whose latest project, Nautique Lakefront Residences in downtown Burlington, is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Adi’s foray into home design and development was born partly out of an unsuccessful quest to find a hip, urban yet affordable residence in the area for himself. Having grown up in Saudi Arabia, Adi came to Canada with his family in the late 1980s, settling in Montreal before moving to Burlington.
Despite the gap in the market for a younger, urban buyer in the city, Adi’s development plans in the area were met with skepticism. “The banks and other lenders told us we were crazy to build a designer condo in Burlington. They said it would never sell,” says Adi. Even the brothers’ parents weren’t keen on the plan and didn’t invest initially. So Tariq and Saud worked hard to find their own investors through brokers and private individuals to put up the cash alongside their own.
I want to build properties that will still be notable in 30 years.
The overwhelming response to the ‘Mod’rn’ project solidified Adi’s vision that there indeed was a market for their brand of design. “Maybe it was my firm belief in making it happen that is key to our success. I did not have a single doubt.”
Adi points to another reason for his company’s rise: focusing more on livability and quality design than profit margins. “I strongly believe that you get out of a career what you give,” he says. “I want to build properties that will still be notable in 30 years. It’s not about the money, it’s about leaving a legacy behind.”
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