LJM makes surprise donation of condo to Habitat for Humanity

Posted: February 02, 2017

GRIMSBY — LJM Developments has announced another Habitat for Humanity project in Grimsby. Source: Grimsby Lincoln News By Scott Rosts

During the Mayor’s Gala, hosted by Rotary @ Noon on Saturday night at Casablanca Winery Inn, LJM CEO Liaquat Mian announced the company will be donating a condo unit in the next phase of the Waterview Condominiums project to Habitat for Humanity Niagara. Mian received a standing ovation for his announcement at the gala, which itself was a fundraiser for Habitat.

The condo will be the third Habitat home in Grimsby. The first home was built on Main Street about six years ago, while in October Habitat announced a second home is being build at the corner of Central Avenue and Baker Road, also on donated land from Vera Engel-Ricer and her son David Engel of Dorchester Homes.

Shaheryar Mian, business development director for LJM, said they are excited to support the work of Habitat for Humanity, which provides qualifying families a no-down-payment, interest-free mortgage for their homes.

Donation by Liaquat Mian announced at
Grimsby Mayor’s Gala

“For us, it is very important to be part of the community and to find ways where we can give back in the best possible fashion,” said Shaheryar. “We look for many different ways of doing something humanitarian. We found the most direct impact we can have is to do something with our property.”

Shaheryar said the company knows affordable housing is a major issue in Niagara. The condo unit, he said, was a fitting way to give back and came about. The plan is for the company to build the unit and then turn it over to Habitat.

“That’s what we do best – building, so we thought we would provide everything built out to Habitat,” he said.

The unit, which according to Shaheryar would have a market value of about $250,000, will be part of the Waterview Condominiums project at 544 North Service Rd., in the Winston Road neighbourhood. Part of the second phase of the development, which will include 178 units, the goal is to have it ready by fall 2018 or spring 2019, he said.

Habitat Niagara CEO Alastair Davis said he was “blown away” Saturday night when the announcement was made a the Mayor’s Gala. He said the project will be the first of its kind for Habitat Niagara, which is currently building its 54th home in the region.

“It is the first time Habitat of Niagara has had a new condominium development donated to us. This is just incredible generosity,” said Davis. “Our mission is to provide families with a home, but this is proof that it doesn’t mean in every case that is has to follow the traditional model.”

Shaheryar said Mayor Bob Bentley was key in helping the company connect with Habitat for Humanity. He said the mayor and community at large has been very supportive of their efforts, so they’re excited to give back.

“This is the most we’ve given to a charitable organization,” said Shaheryar. “We’ve donated to various causes and housing is what we specialize in, but this is important and how we can have an impact.”

Davis said Bentley has been a key supporter for Habitat Niagara and the announcement at the gala led many others to inquire about opportunities to support the efforts of Habitat.

“This is such a tremendous community champion in terms of leadership. We are overwhelmed with the generosity of what’s occurring here in Grimsby,” said Davis.

Shaheryar said he hopes other builders will take their lead and consider giving back in a similar way.

“We would like to start a movement and encourage such gestures from other developers,” he said. “It’s an easy way to give back.”

Davis said all contributions, large or small, help Habitat in many ways. Whether it’s the land, or built homes, he said the organization is open to discussing options with community partners and businesses.

The home currently under construction is progressing well, said Davis, and will likely be turned over to the family sometime in June. The home was framed in one day just a couple of weeks ago, and insulation work is scheduled to begin this week.

Fundraising is ongoing for the project, he said. There are still a number of Adopt a Build Days left, where donors commit time and financial contributions to help with the build.

“It’s really critical for us to get sponsorship for these remaining days and to help make this dream of owning a home become reality for the family,” said Davis, adding it’s not only a way to give back, but also a great team-building initiative for local businesses or groups.

Complete information on available build days, along with other ways to support the Habitat builds, can be found on the organization’s website, or contact Karen Dolyniuk at 905-685-7395, ext. 205 or or Dawn Marie Cavasin at 905-685-7395, ext. 204 or Grimsby Lincoln News By Scott Rosts