Supporting Alberta-Area Builders and Charities with Continued Growth
Real estate developer AMRIK Developments, based in Edmonton, Alberta, serves various areas of the province. Harpreet Singh is the owner of AMRIK Developments—named after his paternal grandfather, Amrik Singh—and incorporated the organization in 2008.
The initial operations of AMRIK as a real estate company centred on buying and selling distressed assets like apartment buildings, coupled with other transactions that made sense for the then-nascent business. The company purchased land around Alberta over time and began working with land developers and home builders to develop land and build single-family homes, car washes, and more.
Once the lots were purchased, the AMRIK team would bring in preferred home builders to complete the home construction while they managed the inner workings of development, such as financing and marketing. Having started with only nine lots and growing that into hundreds, the company has become one of the foremost developers in its area through its significant growth.
AMRIK is a proud member of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), and Singh says that the affiliation has helped the company expand its network of contractors over the years. CHBA has allowed AMRIK to meet trades and contractors that may not have been available otherwise. The partnership has also given the company access to helpful industry information, which is further relayed to its builder groups. This information helps all involved to stay ahead of the curve in the industry.
The CHBA partnership forms a crucial part of the way AMRIK does business. “We’re so glad we’re a part of the CHBA now,” Singh affirms. “I don’t know what took us so long but… once we had the opportunity to make the leap, we’ve never looked back.”
AMRIK’s mission is to help builders in local communities find land opportunities, whether for residential, multi-family, condominium, or other building projects. The company provides marketing and financing services for the home builders it works with, and if land opportunities are not available, AMRIK will analyze the areas in which these builders operate to help them make informed purchasing decisions.
To illustrate the company’s success with its builders thus far, Singh gives the example of one of AMRIK’s main builders, one who was initially unsure of how to begin business in Alberta. AMRIK offered the builder lots in its first large land purchase, the Hills at Charlesworth neighbourhood in Edmonton, and offered financial support along with marketing and sales expertise. Singh adds that, at times, financing can be a problem for a builder because it may not be big enough to qualify for lines of credit or simply may not know the area well enough to market to it.
Buying can also present a significant challenge, as large developers do not always sell to smaller operations. In this case, through the efforts of AMRIK, the builder went from constructing five homes a year in one area to forty homes a year, a success that spurred even more builders to crop up in the AMRIK pipeline.
AMRIK Developments is not only concerned with its local community from a business perspective, but from a philanthropic one also. The company has been involved with community and charitable organizations for a long time, helping to sponsor, fundraise, or support local sports teams, drives, and charity events and societies. The company’s work with CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health hits home for everyone involved. As so many people worldwide and at the company itself have had loved ones facing mental health issues or have been impacted by them themselves, AMRIK looks to its builder partners to support this type of universal cause.
For both the company and its builders, the opportunity to give back to the community is hugely important, as is the ability to start a positive social movement. Singh cites the Chief Executive Officer of Cantiro Homes, George Cantalini, as the person who inspired him to take this attitude toward charitable actions and who taught him the importance of giving back.
“You don’t know what people are going through,” he explains. “We’re all in this together and we need to reflect on what the other person is going through.”
This attitude is also why the company emphasizes slow and controlled growth for itself to avoid industry burnout and continue to keep perspective on its actions. Singh mentions that a big part of the AMRIK calendar year is the annual CASA charity golf tournament, which is held in late August and is always a lot of fun.
The company has gone from large project to large project within the last year alone. In 2021, the company worked with JL Developments on a purchase of lots in Schonsee, North Edmonton. AMRIK purchased eighty-five lots from the city of Edmonton in May 2021 in a project that was, at the time, the largest development the company had partnered in.
Now, its biggest ongoing project concerns the Robinson subdivision in Leduc, Alberta. This one will be the largest development that AMRIK has been a part of to date, according to Singh, and is well underway. When looking at the developing market in broad focus, he admits that homebuilding right now is a little tougher than usual, mostly due to interest rate inflation, and the cost of supply and obtaining of goods. It is something of a fraught time for a lot of developers and homebuilders, especially with some Canadian markets being more strongly affected than others. Singh is confident, however, that Alberta will be able to remain strong throughout market fluctuations and will weather the storm; it will just need to be cautious.
When AMRIK Land Development Corporation began operations five years ago, it was with only a nine-lot subdivision. “We had no clue what we were doing,” he chuckles.
AMRIK not only survived and learned a lot along the way but today sports a fifty-lot subdivision with a further goal of 100 to 150 lots by 2023. AMRIK also has eyes on becoming a boutique land developer, dipping into buying, designing, and developing its own land exclusively for its collection of builders. This measured growth and doing right by its builders have led AMRIK Developments to great heights, and promise to be the values that will see it through the coming decade and beyond.