Family owned and operated, SalDan Construction Group Ltd. is a construction company – residential, commercial, and civil – that’s come a long way from the early ’80s family basement in Sault Ste. Marie where it began. Today, the company’s presence has spread to Sudbury, Toronto, and everywhere in between.
SalDan has spent the last forty years building communities in Ontario. Highly regarded for its quality work and attention and commitment to doing a job well, this is a company that strives to bring true value to its customers. Today, it asserts itself as a well-known and trusted business, with a real reputation for delivering on promises.
Speaking with Vice President Joey Biasucci, the second generation of Biasuccis in the business, you quickly sense the family pride in the company’s growth as well as the optimism that permeates the company, where it seems that the ruling belief is anything is possible.
“SalDan Developments started in the 1980s and it was strictly residential. There we did some low-rise construction projects as well,” says Biasucci. “Then we incorporated SalDan General, which is our commercial wing, around 1994, and that kind of opened up another realm for us,” he shares.
“We ended up joining the carpenters’ union and that was the first kind of expansion that allowed us to take on large projects and get into some mid-rise buildings.” Among these, and cited as an example by Biasucci, was a large commercial-retail project in Ottawa.
Joey, along with his father current President Sam Biasucci, oversaw the 100,000 square-foot project personally for nearly a year. It was a great success, attracting brands such as LCBO, Shoppers Drug Mart, TD Bank and Staples among others.
Biasucci notes that, “our main area has been Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury, throughout southern Ontario and into the Ottawa region, and all points in between.” That’s quite a lot of territory for what began as a small contractor run from a basement in northern Ontario.
Further to expanding its ability to take on projects of this size, SalDan identified a gap in excavation and civil servicing capabilities in the construction sector, a situation which the company enthusiastically set out to rectify with the opening of JBX in 2007. As a kid Biasucci always loved heavy equipment and it seemed like a natural fit for him and the company. To this day he describes JBX as “his baby.”
“We opened in 2007 which allowed us to service ourselves for all things excavation, sewer and water. Now, that’s kind of taken on its own wings, and we even excavate for some of the other builders in Sault Ste. Marie.”
Biasucci makes clear the reason for the company’s continued expansion in services, capabilities and geographic market reach, and it’s simple: perform quality work, own your work, and you will be rewarded. Integrity is a big part of the SalDan Construction Group’s outlook on business.
“Our customers see the attention we give each job,” he says. “We give our attention to detail, to quality, to commitment, and I think that has spread from customer to customer to customer over the years. It’s afforded us the opportunity to do more work, to do bigger jobs.”
When asked to reflect on the company’s four decades of success, and whether or not his family ever imagined that the family business could grow to this scale, Biasucci smiles. “It’s a proud moment for us and my dad. It’s quite the accomplishment, especially with how difficult this industry is, how challenging and demanding it is.”
Surviving some devastating economic downturns to expand its market presence across the province was no easy feat, but surely that’s partly because this is a construction company where the president shows up to the job site each and every day. The same commitment is true of the vice-president who learned well from his father and holds to that legacy of quality and attentiveness.
The achievements and reliability of the company are recognized by its customers, but also generally across the market. With organizations like BILD, Canadian Home Builders Association, the Ontario Home Builders Association, and Holmes Approved behind it, it’s clear that the company’s integrity and ability has been stringently vetted and it is considered as a trusted provider of quality construction.
As Biasucci noted, “It means we’re established, and we know what we’re doing. Holmes Approved, they don’t affiliate with bad contractors. They stick you under the microscope and they comb through everything that you do,” which demonstrates to customers, in particular in the highly competitive southern Ontario market, that they are going to do what they promise.
Perhaps one of the most impressive traits of SalDan Construction Group Ltd. is its determination to not only do quality construction and renovation, but also to build communities in the cities it calls home.
In addition to participating in Habitat for Humanity projects, one of its most notable efforts is with the Algoma District School Board’s homebuilding program. For eighteen years, SalDan has been participating in this program to bring up the next generation of construction professionals.
Biasucci furnishes some insight into the program, “We provide the land, we provide the materials, we provide the industry knowledge and home warranty guidance, and ADSB provides the carpentry teachers and the staff for recruitment. It allows the students to essentially build a home on-site on the ground, apron on and pounding nails.”
The program has produced an average of three full-time young construction workers per year, many of whom end up on the SalDan Construction Group team. In fact, the company’s health and safety coordinator is a graduate of that program, and has been an important part of the team, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and SalDan’s continuing efforts to keep its people safe.
SalDan Construction Group Ltd. is facing the shortage of skilled labour head on, training its own to ensure that the next generation of builders has a career pathway and the tools and resources to be successful. This extends to all youth, but also to increasing the presence of women in the industry, which has long been a priority of the company.
“I’m living proof that there is no better way to learn this business but to get into it,” says Biasucci who, after a number of years playing hockey at competitive levels, easily transitioned into the family business. Eighteen years later, it has proven to be a sound decision with a great pay-off: he is keeping the family business strong alongside his family by continuing to provide exceptional construction services.
With countless exciting projects on deck and a great deal of land development taking place in the Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Toronto markets, there is no shortage of work for SalDan Construction Group Ltd. Or of opportunities to deliver value to its customers.
From single family homes in high-end subdivisions to new and renovated school projects, long-term care, and retirement facilities and commercial-retail projects, SalDan Construction Group has established itself as a real contender in the markets it serves. It recently sold out a subdivision in preconstruction for the first time ever in its northern Ontario markets, indicative of the strength of the market.
But regardless of market strength and ability to deliver on its promises, what is especially impressive about SalDan Construction Group is that while the business is generational, so too is the customer base.
Biasucci noted that SalDan is now building homes for the children who were born and raised in the first generation of SalDan homes from the 1980s, which is greatly pleasing to the company, as Biasucci points out.
Because, just like the homes it builds, SalDan Construction’s relationships with its customers are built to last.