Best and BASH developer happy to join Napanee family

Ahsan Ashraf, founder of BASH Developments Group Inc. and CEO of Best Developments Canada. Photo submitted.

Best Developments Canada and The BASH Developments Group Inc. will soon be make a big impression in Greater Napanee, with interesting developments — literally — in the works.

With the recent announcement that the Napanee arena, currently called the Strathcona Paper Centre, will soon be renamed the Best and BASH Arena, many in town are curious to learn more about the companies that purchased the naming rights. Ahsan Ashraf took time recently to chat about the new partnerships his companies have entered into with the Town of Greater Napanee.

Ashraf is the CEO of Best Developments Canada, a 20 year-old housing development company headquartered in Markham, Ontario, which he manages with his partner. He is also the founder of his own company, BASH Developments Group Inc. 

Best is “my partner’s company,” said Ashraf. “He has built… homes in the Markham area. I’m new in the business; I’ve been in it for the last five or six years.”

“We’ve done a lot of [land] acquisitions together where we work in an equal partnership. Some of the projects are in the early stages; some are in the middle phases… We’re delivering some of the homes by the end of next year,” Ashraf said.

One of those developments opening next year is Springside Meadows in Greater Napanee.

Best and BASH have a big stake in the town of Napanee — “like, very big,” Ashraf emphasized. “We have close to almost 350 to 500 acres of land in Napanee itself… and this is the first time we’re basically going with a master community,” he said. The companies have done subdivisions elsewhere before, but this is different.

According to a recent article in Better Homes and Gardens, a master-planned community is an extensive development made up of multiple different building types and uses. The community is planned and built by a development team that curates it to be functionally and aesthetically attractive. An entire community’s worth of properties are planned and built at once, which allows for additional functionality and integrated design. 

Springside Meadows will begin with close to 600 homes of various types, with the first move-ins expected in 2025 and early 2026. The company is also working on bringing another 2,200 homes to the town in the future. 

Springside Meadows site plan. Supplied photo.

Ashraf said this huge commitment is why the companies looked at getting the arena’s naming rights. He believes in giving back to the community of which he has become an intrinsic part.

Ashraf highlighted his belief that for a developer, partnership with a community is like being part of a family.

“This is a great community to work with, and… the people are very, very supportive,” he said. “The mayor, Terry Richardson, plus the Town, they’re very, very cooperative. They want to see development in the town, and we are there basically helping them out. This partnership — it’s like a family, right? That’s what we consider it… so we’re pretty happy, like we’re working in the right town.”

“We are making a long-term commitment to the Napanee area. It was an easy commitment for the company to make, given everything Napanee offers and its proximity to so much within a 30 km radius in either direction,” said Ashraf.

One member of Council had expressed concern when the name was announced that it included the word ‘arena’ and no longer contained the word ‘centre,’ as in community centre. Ashraf said he is “100 per cent flexible” with that. “I had a chat with the council and the mayor the other week, and as long as the name basically shows on the arena, or the centre, I’m fine with it.”

He was asked if he was also aware that there is a great desire in the town to have an indoor pool facility built.

“An indoor pool in the arena?” Ashraf said. He acknowledged he had not heard about that “in discussions right now. But hopefully, once we have our board up and running from the first of September, I will continue to talk with the Town and see what I can do for the betterment of the town.”

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