Building locally, acting globally
His drive to help others spurred Shajiraj Nadarajalingam (Shaji Nada for short), the founder of Ideal Developments, who immigrated to Canada from Sri Lanka as a 19-year-old refugee, to launch Ideal Hope Foundation — a non-profit organization that has applied for charitable status. The non-profit is run by Sri Nithya Omkarananda (Omkara).
“Growing up over there, and experiencing what I did, created a blueprint within me,” he says.
“I vowed that, once I was a success here, I would go back and help my people.”
His overseas program, dubbed Build Haven, was launched last summer alongside the construction of Phase 1 of Modern Manors, a collection of 60 stacked townhomes that sold out in a matter of hours, according to Ideal’s sales and marketing director Natascha Pieper. The Markham-based builder introduced the stacked town concept to Richmond Hill, she says. And while it took a bit of time to educate the local buying public, “we quickly saw huge demand for the product,” largely owing to its relative affordability in an area where detached homes start at about $1.5 million.
The sellout of Modern Manors’ first phase has led to construction of 36 houses in the village of Naguleswaram in Sri Lanka, where Nada was born and raised amid a civil war that lasted from 1983 to 2009. An additional 24 homes are currently under development, equalling the 60 homes sold at Modern Manors.