The GTA Construction Report Special Feature
In 1971 Reg and Loretta McEachen began Jen-Dan Ltd. with a simple idea: a construction business that, no matter how successful it became, would stay small and focus on service excellence and client relationships. Forty-five years later Jen-Dan Ltd. has indeed grown and tackles difficult to challenging, high-profile projects across the GTA. True to the founders’ vision, Jen-Dan Ltd. has retained its size, operating with just two crews, and focuses on providing the highest quality of work for clients.
Today, under the direction of second generation owner Daniel McEachen, Jen-Dan Ltd. specializes in hard and soft landscaping construction for GTA high-rise condominium projects. The company has been recognized several times for its work, including winning Landscape Ontario’s Award of Excellence in Commercial Construction Multi- Residential and Industrial for Couture The Condominium in 2014; Waterscapes At Waterview in 2015; Yorkland At Heron’s Hill in 2015; and Village Court at Waterview in 2016.
“In the early days my parents started Jen- Dan as a concrete company working on curb and sidewalk projects including small asphalt repairs,” says Daniel McEachen. “Then they worked on school board projects working on total rebuilds of school yards, installing soccer fields, basketball courts, fencing, baseball diamonds and tree planting.”
He explains that those early projects led to more landscaping work and eventually, when long term industrial commercial clients began working on high-rise condominiums, Jen-Dan Ltd. adapted to support their efforts. Today, Daniel says that 90 per cent of Jen-Dan’s work is on high-rise condominiums.
McEachen says the key to Jen-Dan’s success is working with quality suppliers and sub-trades as well as an excellent staff. “They help us stay on schedule. We handle most aspects of the projects with our staff. The only parts we will subcontract out is irrigation, large excavation, large asphalt paving areas and precast concrete.”
As with many projects, each comes with its own unique challenges. Typically one of the last trades on site during a project, it’s important for Jen-Dan Ltd. to complete jobs on time. Since the company can complete a variety of types of work on projects, including concrete walls, sidewalks, curbs, tree planting, unit paver installation and precast walls, there is better control over schedules, which helps clients on tight timelines. “Developers invest a lot of money to buy land, then have to wait for approvals to come through. By the time the first shovel hits the ground, they’re feeling pressure to complete the condominium and have the building units sold and occupied.”
Some of Jen-Dan Ltd.’s condominium projects have included: One Eleven Bathurst; Brant Park; King Charlotte; Treviso Phase 1 & 2; Burano; Murano; Garden Court; Yorkland At Heron’s Hill; Legacy; Ultra; Battery Park; Village Court At Waterview; Theatre Park; The Ninety; Glas; Parc Lofts; One Bedford; 18 Yonge Street; Encore; The Florian; One City Hall; Two Roxborough; 210 Simcoe; 32 Camden; 400 Wellington; and Lago and Riva del Lago.
Here’s what some of Jen-Dan’s project partners are saying:
Earthco Soil Mixtures
Earthco Soil Mixtures, a subsidiary of the G&L Group of Companies, is a leading supplier of topsoil and specialty manufactured soil. The company has been involved with a number of high profile projects, including the PanAm Games. Earthco Soil Mixtures has been working as a project partner with Jen-Dan for more than a decade.
Richard Outred, Earthco Soil Mixtures sales manager and product specialist, says his company provides the material Jen-Dan Ltd. uses on many of its projects. He says the two work closely as some of the last trades on site to ensure tight schedules are met. “We work with Jen-Dan Ltd. and the landscape architect early on to ensure they are specifying the right soils to support the right environment for the plant life.”
John Kudlowsky, G&L Group account manager, says working with a professional organization such as Jen-Dan Ltd., and knowing they complement each other’s efforts, makes projects much smoother for them and for the client. “Jen-Dan Ltd. is highly professional. The Awards of Excellence they have been recognized with are a testament to that.”
Outred says as a smaller company, Jen- Dan Ltd. is more actively hands on and communicating effectively with the team is easier. As a family company, they are a pleasure to work with. He says the companies share a mutual trust and respect that makes for long lasting and efficient partnerships.
“To be in the landscaping business for 45 years is impressive,” says Outred. “Jen- Dan Ltd. is reliable, efficient and respected in the industry. They are also a loyal customer and partner which makes it all that much better.”
Earthco Soil Mixtures and Jen-Dan Ltd. have partnered on several key projects including Treviso for Lanterra Developments; and Couture The Condominium, Yorkland At Heron’s Hill and Garden Court Condominium, all for Mattamy Homes (Formerly Monarch Group.)
Rockwood Forest Nurseries
In business for 30 years, Rockwood Forest Nurseries carries an extensive inventory of horticultural products and is a long time partner of Jen-Dan Ltd.
President Marc Ouellet says the reason companies such as his and Jen-Dan succeed and prove their longevity is because in the end they don’t work for money but for passion. At the foundation of that passion he says, is professionalism and commitment. “Jen-Dan is a quality, Grade A service company, whether it is completing concrete or landscaping work. The quality of their work and their ability to communicate are always top notch.”
Rockwood has partnered with Jen-Dan on several of its award winning projects and Ouellet says these also reflect the inherent quality in any Jen-Dan project.
He says since taking over the business Dan McEachen has done a phenomenal job with the company, backed by strong and capable staff. “He is definitely a people person, treating his staff like family and fully backing any commitment he makes to take on a project.”
McEachen, he says, is also a strong business person who knows what he needs, how he needs it done and when in order to satisfy project challenges. “I have a great deal of respect for Jen-Dan, its work and for Dan.”
Ouellet says his three decades working with horticultural products has been positive and he congratulates the construction industry for being proactive in making flora and fauna part of its efforts. “The work of Jen-Dan, the quality of their execution of what is intended is best in class, every time,” he says.
Donway Ford Lincoln
Donway Ford Lincoln has been a client of Jen-Dan, hiring the company to take on several projects around the 57-year old dealership.
Owner Terry Fisher says the key to longevity in business, whether it is automobile sales or landscaping and concrete work, is quality product, commitment to the client and excellent customer service. Jen-Dan he says, delivers on all of these.
“We want to congratulate Dan and Jen- Dan on 45 years in business and wish them continued success in the years to come. They are a pleasure to work with and someone we know we can consistently rely on to get the job done.”
Cooper Equipment Rentals
Cooper Equipment Rentals, known as the GTA’s compact equipment specialists, has been serving the region since 1972. The company recently acquired competitor SMS Rents with operations in northern and eastern Ontario and Quebec.
Providing equipment to contractors working within urban environments, CEO Darryl Cooper says his company’s relationship with Jen-Dan spans four decades and goes back to both companies’ previous ownership generation.
Cooper says his company’s close ties to Jen-Dan, and knowledge of how they do businesses, allows Cooper Equipment to know Jen-Dan’s specific job needs as soon as the call comes in.
Providing the proper tool and equipment solutions to get the job done right is what the company strives for every time. “Our guys will deal with Jen-Dan’s foreman directly, taking that burden off of Dan’s (McEachen) plate. Their job sites are often in very tight areas and we have vehicles and drivers that are specifically used to operating in that environment.”
Cooper says in addition, delivery and pick up can be scheduled within very specific time windows when required to avoid tying up the access to job sites for other trades and contractors.
The two business owners, Cooper says, have a deep respect for each others’ business. “We both want to see each other succeed and we work together to resolve issues and to try and make sure that each transaction is a win-win for both companies.”
Cooper says that although 45 years in business can open doors to new customers and suppliers because of the implied success, trust and reliability; at the end of the day, each project is judged independently. That Jen-Dan continues to succeed after 45 years demonstrates its success in delivering on each and every project.
“We want to congratulate Dan and the entire team at Jen-Dan on their milestone achievement. The loyalty they have shown Cooper Equipment over the past 40 years has been tremendous and we wish them only the best for the years ahead.”
For more information about Jen-Dan Ltd., visit http://www.jen-dan.com.