Local real estate agent and landlord Mendy Paris founded a new real estate investment firm HAVN Ventures with the promise of focusing not only on profit, but also on the good of the community.
The room was packed with HAVN and its Paris Realty team, investors and friends. Visitors grabbed some sushi, bustled around the noisy DJ, and watched photographs of HAVN houses pinned to the walls.
“Many firms don’t care about neighborhoods or gentrification because their number one goal is profit, profit, profit. Obviously we are also about profit, but for us this is more than that, ”explained Paris when asked about his goals for HAVN. “We’re going to do it a little differently. We’re going to do this with community impact projects. ”
Paris singled out the property he owns in Southington, downtown Bridgeport, and the Quinnipiac Marina at Fair Haven at a launch party. He said they are also developing project plans for properties in Westerly Rhode Island, New Jersey and Miami.
On some of these sites, Paris said they have “much better options” that they chose not to use in order not to upset local communities. “We’re not going to do any projects that repulse the community.”
He said they are looking for organizations or businesses with more impact on society than “much more lucrative options” like corporate headquarters. By developing real estate and abandoned buildings, Paris said he hopes mainly to expand housing and employment opportunities.
Paris pointed to New Haven Center for Continuing Education and Adult Education and Workforce Alliance in his commercial office buildings at 540, 560 and 580 Ella T. Grasso Blvd. as the type of tenants involved in the community that interests him.
“When I see programs that help communities, I would like them to be my tenants. In each of my projects, we always choose the path that best affects people. And in many cases it is not always more profitable, but I am like that. “
While Paris’ plans for HAVN extend beyond New Haven, he said he wants the name HAVN to be a tribute to his roots. In addition, according to him, “a refuge is a safe place for the community.”
Paris added that he is working to create free entrepreneurship seminars in his buildings. “We want to build leaders and invest in communities.”
To maintain their commitment to community-driven projects, Paris said they will and have already chosen some investors “wisely”.
“We don’t just take money. We hire people who have the same vision as us, because if you have the wrong investor, you have the wrong project. The investor promotes the project, the money manages the project. “
HAVN has just completed construction of its 50 Fitch office and has 12 employees.
COO Jonathan Perlich said most of HAVN’s employees are local and some are hired from New York. “We are trying to maintain the local atmosphere.”
Jessica Kennedy, Perlich’s friend, said she was most concerned about HAVN’s plans for the Quinnipiac Marina property.
While Perlich and Paris were showcasing their new office space and real estate photography, Paris described her marina ideas. The plans for the marina include floating houses and tiny houses.
Melinda Agron, Chief Architect at Newman Architects, said she is looking forward to the development of the Fitch Street property: “I am delighted to have a young group of investors in development who want to take advantage of all that New Haven has to offer and are doing. some transformations and changes that we hope will be really meaningful for the city. “
Historic preservation architects Laura Crossky and Mike Weisbrod from Hartford said they met with Paris to discuss plans for the project.
“Transforming buildings can help maintain the social fabric of communities,” Weisbrod said.
“This is just the beginning, but it is going in the right direction and I know that it is going in the right direction,” said Mona Mehrabi of Paris Realty.
HAVN analyst Yaroslav Prokopets agreed, saying: “This is where our roots come from, and we need to make sure that the business part of it is profit, as well as part of the community. You can’t just do business and not care about the people living in the area. “