In a city teeming with developers and homebuilders, it takes something special to set a company apart. Garth Mann’s out-of-the-box thinking, incredible work ethic and go-get-’em attitude does just that for Statesman Group of Companies.
When Mann was studying at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo to become an optometrist, he subsidized his education with a summer job doing construction. He enjoyed it so much that even after graduating and establishing two practices, he continued developing projects as an entrepreneur.
“I had energy to burn and speculating in the development and restaurant business in my spare time gave me a real sense of accomplishment,” says Dr. Garth Mann, CEO and president of the Statesman Group of Companies.
Statesman was incorporated in 1976 and over the years it grew – so much so that Mann knew he had a decision to make. In his early 40s he found his future vision had more to do with development of properties than it did improving the vision of his many patients. Mann told his wife he was going to retire from optometry at 42 years old and put all of his focus into property development and building. The rest, as they say, is history.
This career change has proven to be a profound one, both for Mann and the communities he serves. Over the past 41 years his companies have left their mark in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Washington state and Arizona.
In the early years, Statesman focused on single-family homes across Calgary and in 1984 it became the first developer in Western Canada to build a maintenance-free villa lifestyle community. The warm reception this style of project received prompted Mann to expand the model to such areas as Priddis Green, Pump Hill Landing, Confederation Park, Glenmore Landing, Highwood in High River, Silver Springs and many communities in between.
Mann recognized that following the demographics and psychographics of the baby boomer generation provided a growth opportunity. Statesman became one of the first companies to focus on the varying needs of an aging population without sacrificing style and amazing amenities. Since the 1990s, the group has extensively developed senior housing, offering everything within the Manor Villages from complexes for mature adults to supportive-care facilities.
“We ended up with a company with experience as a general contractor that knows how to develop and build and accomplish multi-level buildings. However, we also had this background in the health-care profession, which proved to be a huge advantage,” says Mann.
CHANGING THE SYSTEM
Mann’s experience in health care was influential to the trajectory of the company. He studied the Canada Health Act with all of its various political nuances instituted by the provinces over the years and pinpointed a serious issue. As the population ages, it draws from the provincial health-care budget to a point where Canadians spend about 80 per cent of an actuarial assessment in the last 10 years of life. Now that the boomers are hitting their 70s, governments are facing huge budget deficits that require intelligent planning in order to protect the Canada Health Act.
Across Canada about 28 per cent of people have chronic conditions, and that number jumps to almost 60 per cent for Canadians over 65 years of age. These conditions, such as cardiorespiratory diseases, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain autoimmune disorders, obesity, anxiety, depression and even some cancers, are preventable.
It has been a huge undertaking, but the Statesman team set out to try to change the system to provide better health care of the population including seniors, while lessening the burden on the government. Mann started a new company called Advanced Medical Group by Statesman, by developing a state-of-art 160,000-square-foot facility in London, Ontario. Seniors in residences are supported on the upper two floors and medical practitioners and specialists including pharmacy, laboratory, pain therapy, vision care, dental care and even surgical suites are on the main and second floors. It is a progressive community complex for patient-centred care.
“Our vision and mission statement for Advanced Medical Group is to balance traditional medicine with lifestyle medicine to implement changes in patients’ lifestyles and to add life to years, perhaps even without medications. Lifestyle medicine is far less expensive to solve health issues than many traditional pharmaceutical resolves for preventable chronic diseases.”
Mann hopes to expand the model across the country to help the impending health-care crisis.
“We think we’re going to prove that we can save the government millions and possibly billions of dollars every year through innovative lifestyle treatment programs. The most important factor is Mi-VitalsTM which is our proprietary portal app monitoring patients for life.”
STANDING OUT IN A CROWD
From the very beginning, Statesman has offered a unique way of doing business. It has always been about offering the lifestyle customers want and need. All Statesman sales professionals ask the most important question, “How Do You Want to Live?”
Statesman strives to check all the boxes that meet the needs of the occupant, whether that is hiking trails or yoga classes or an on-site café. Each location is designed differently and the programs offered reflect the needs of the population living there. The company’s slogan, “What a Beautiful Way to Live,” goes beyond just building a home; the Statesman team literally looks at how people live their lives, not just how they live inside their dwellings.
“Everything is about improving the overall quality of people’s lives. It’s one of the things that dramatically separates us from other developers,” says Jamie McArthur, sales professional for Statesman.
“The opportunity to live the kind of quality life that our customers want to live – such as with a sports and wellness recreation centre – has proven to be an asset to the community,” says McArthur. “Many of our customers have been chasing their dream for a long time. Now they want to step back and enjoy a good quality of life.”
And that quality life can be lived in a variety of different styles of home. Do you want a weekend getaway? Statesman has it.
Looking for an investment property? Statesman makes it easy to own a suite and rent it out to get a great return on your investment.
Prefer a single-family cottage, or a villa, a vista town home or a terrace-style condo overlooking the Bow valley escarpment? Statesman has “the views” to fit every lifestyle and budget.
WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING
Statesman Group has developed communities for all needs and demographics. At 432 one- and two-bedroom suites, the Metropolitan is one of the largest purpose-built apartment complexes in Canada. Located on 11 Avenue and 12 Street SW, these luxury apartments appeal to recently singles and millennials. With a billiards room, two outdoor courtyards, on-site pub, exercise centre offering Pilates and yoga classes, and a great pet area, residents hardly have to leave their building. It has proven so popular that Statesman is extending the Met brand into the U.S. market.
The Statesman Group is involved in the health and wellness tourism and sports tourism movements as well, offering three incredible resort locations for customers and guests to visit for a vacation and their kid’s hockey or indoor soccer match. These properties are fantastic second homes or a grand place to recuperate and rehabilitate after a health issue. These recreational centres will have the infrastructure in place to help people recover from a health issue and work closely with local hospitals for proper support.
Statesman is planning new recreation centres in Pine Ridge Mountain overlooking Lake Windermere, British Columbia, with 700 residential units; Toscana Resort on two golf courses in Scottsdale, Arizona, will have 1,600 residential suites; and Pleasant Harbor Marina overlooking Puget Sound in Washington state provides views for over 800 sea-view villas and terraces.
Statesman is breaking ground next year on its Currie-Green Park-Village, which will be a lifestyle community for seniors to enjoy life with dignity. Statesman will bring customers the best quality marketplace cuisine after redeveloping the 1936 historic Mess Hall. It’s clear the developer is certainly unlike any other.
GIVING BACK TO CALGARIANS
One of Statesman’s most unique projects is its new 262-suite Fish Creek Park Manor Village that offers elegant residential options for seniors. Independent living and assisted living seniors can enjoy the amenities and services available to preserve their independence. Fish Creek Park Manor Village provides large suites with healthy diets and exercise classes including mindfulness and meditation classes to enhance memory with aging.
“We want to give back to Calgarians by developing this community as an educational centre for mitigating memory loss with aging,” says the Manor’s director, Brad Lohman. “Our Studies of Aging curriculum will address the needs for educating care providers in subjects of anatomy and physiology for properly understanding the aging process.”
Seniors from southern Alberta will find comfort in the skills brought forward with the opening of the Manor Village at Fish Creek Park in early 2018. Calgary’s media is also waiting for this opening event where experts from around the globe will have electronic access to collaborate on current research data.
“Our support team is convinced that vascular dementia is mitigated when treated early,” Lohman says.
SUPPORTING THE FUTURE
The Manor Village Group has done astonishing things over the past years but it is not finished yet. All of the Mann family is involved in Canada and the United States, dedicated to showing that keeping seniors isolated at home ends up costing the government more money for long-term care than it would to support programs for improving wellness and stimulating activities without loneliness, as is often seen with many seniors living alone for too long.
Dr. Mann’s son Jeff Mann maintains the business in Calgary and the Mann daughters Allison, Alana and Alissa, maintain the U.S.-based operations. While Garth Mann is not in any hurry to hand over the reins, he is confident that they will be in good hands with the next generation.
“I still really enjoy the visionary aspect in terms of developing new opportunities. Eventually I will pack it in but right now, I still offer something that benefits the company,” says Dr. Mann.