In 1969, after service as a naval pilot with 880 Squadron in Shearwater, John entered civilian life by finding employment with A E Lepage in Toronto in the field of Real Estate management. From 1970 to 1978, he was associated with Columbia Commonwealth Limited, a company that was actively involved in the development of regional shopping centres and office buildings throughout Canada and the United States. His responsibilities increased from Assistant to the President to Executive Vice President.
From 1978 to 1980, after selling his interest in Columbia Commonwealth Limited, John acted as a real estate advisor to a variety of companies and to the Ontario Government, and for his own account, redeveloped a shopping centre in Canada as well as engaged in development of residential properties in Georgia. He joined Campeau Corporation in 1980 and was initially responsible for its Shopping Centre Division. In 1983, he became also responsible for Campeau’s National Capital Region, which included the operation and development of office and industrial properties. In the same period he also became responsible for company’s portfolio in Western Canada and the Northern United States.
In 1985, upon departure from Campeau, Devan Properties Ltd. was founded by John van Haastrecht. The company was active in the acquisition, redevelopment and development of commercial properties through out Canada. Devan’s portfolio grew to eleven properties having a gross area in excess of 3,000,000 square feet and asset value of $360,000,000.
In 1998 the company was sold to Acktion Corporation and in 1999 the Devan assets were merged with the assets of the Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust. Devan’s management team led by John as CEO, became at the merger, the internalized management of the Trust. John resigned as President in January 2001.
For the last seven years John has been operating a real estate company called Vanreal Limited and has been involved in the total redevelopment of two major shopping centers. Involvement being in the form of ownership and supervision of the development process and day to day management. In addition John is currently serving on the board of a publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trust, A private international real estate company and is an advisor for three separate Real Estate Funds.
John is a graduate of the Royal Military College with an Applied Science Degree. In his personal life, John is married with two children and six grandchildren.
Ed note: Long-time readers of e-Veritas may recall that at the commencement of Reunion Weekend – 7076 John van Haastrecht, 6897 David Campbell, 6900 Yvon Côté and 7001 Harry Hamilton – all from the RMC Class of 1966 arrived at Panet House (almost under the Radar) after 1 ½ days of battling the elements (unrelenting rain storm & heavy head winds) to raise over $25,000.00 in support of the RMC Foundation.
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