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Where Are They Now? Part 5 of 5

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Where Are They Now? Part 5 of 5

Beyond Homes
Location: Calgary
Employees: 7
Annual Revenue: $5 million
Appeared in: November/December 2014

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Do not think for one minute that the downturn in Calgary right now thanks to plummeting oil prices will hinder the ambitions of Alkarim Devani and his innovative inner-city renovation company. Declining budgets have been just one reason Devani is doing a major pivot on his company. “We’ve shifted our focus. Our priority is to get families living in the inner city, but at a more affordable rate.”

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Beyond Homes is currently in the process of changing its name to Rndsqr, and will be out of the single family dwelling market entirely by 2017. Too bad: those modern new builds with lots of green features at the hand of Devani were gorgeous. He’ll bring the same forward-thinking design to the 20 townhomes he plans to build next year.

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These 1,200-sq.-ft. homes will come in rows of four and replace a single-family teardown in the city’s north or south end. He’s got five developments in the planning stage to be executed next year.

To sell these new builds, Devani will run a mobile showroom out of a 1969 Airstream. His slimmed-down employee roster of seven will be focusing on sales, marketing, and design. He’ll be contracting out the building of the townhomes.

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As a newly sprung townhome developer, however, Devani still plans to do things quite differently. “I’m working on exploring the lifestyle component. Instead of just developing where they live, I also want to help them with how they live.” To that end, he’s networking with local companies to build partnerships to support his townhomes.

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That may result in offering parking spaces for a car-sharing services or giving new buyers some free spin classes at a nearby studio. He plans to provide communal bikes for his new homes.

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At a price point of about $550,000, these new builds will help map out the kind of city Devani has always dreamed of. He can’t do much about the price of oil or the local economy, but he can keep building Calgary’s inner city to match his ideals.

—By Diane Peters

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