The Team

Martin Sacksner
Developer of Le Desaulniers

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Mr. Sacksner is proud to present his newest development in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Le Desaulniers is built on a lot that he originally purchased in 1999 as he knew the location would gentrify and become the next new hot spot.  He has had much success in real estate since the early 90’s. Some of his success include many large condo developments, as well as owning a successful property management company; Les Placements Sommet.

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An article was written by Megan Martin for the Montreal Gazette in 2015

At the age of 14, Martin Sacksner got a summer job painting his school. He would come home after a day’s work to his family’s apartment building, and prompted by the paint stains on his clothing, was often asked by tenants if he wouldn’t mind doing some odd jobs in their units. Small painting requests turned into minor renovations, and eventually, even demolition and construction, and before he knew it, Sacksner had grown his own small business, and was gaining priceless experience in real estate construction.

He continued working, and used the money he made to help supprt his studies through private high school, CEGEP, and finally McGill University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in finance and accounting.

“At that point some of my customers were my professors,” Sacksner said. “They owned properties that either needed some work, or had buildings they wanted me to manage on their behalf.”

Upon graduating from McGill in 1991, the business Sacksner had grown was quite successful, but he felt the need to move from using his hands to using his head.

“I really wanted to establish a future for myself in real estate,” he said. “So I called up a local real estate manager and successful businessman who I admired as a mentor, and I brazenly told him that I’d work for free for two years as long as I could learn the business and make connections.”

His offer was accepted, and although he was paid for his work, the lessons he learned about real estate and business management were invaluable.

Two years later, Sacksner was forced to quit his job and care for his terminally ill father, who was suffering from an extremely rare disease that required him to seek treatment as part of an exploratory research program in Boston.

“When my father finally succumbed, the year of no work and care for my father left me penniless again, and with no job or business prospects,” he said. “All I knew was that I wanted to spend my life with my new girlfriend - who thankfully is now my wife - and that I wanted to find work in real estate because that’s what I was truly passionate about.”

Unfortunately, the state of the real estate market in Montreal was not conducive to opportunity at that time. So, ever the entrepreneur, Sacksner was forced to get creative.

“I decided to cold call a company of young successful real estate operators who had success buying in Boston when the market was depressed and entice them to consider purchasing property in Montreal,” he explained. “Within minutes my attempts yielded a return call! I had convinced them, and in turn, I was their representative to acquire property in Montreal, which enabled me to do what I loved, in the city that I loved.”

After that, Sacksner was able to save enough seed money from those transactions to purchase some property and land, and subsequently launched what has been a fruitful career as a real estate developer.

Over the last 15 years he has focused on residential real estate ownership and management of apartment buildings, as well as the development of residential condominiums.

“What I love about real estate is that it encompasses many qualities and needs,” he said. “Being that it’s bricks and mortar, it’s very real, with a huge physical component, but you’re also constantly dealing with a vast array of people from tenants to suppliers, contractors and bankers, so at the same time it’s very much about relationships, and creating mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Over the years, managing and owning rental properties has given Sacksner a distinct appreciation for the importance of sound craftsmanship.

“I understand the value of quality because I know how it translates into easier and less costly maintenance over the long run,” he said. “This is evident in the construction and finishings of all my projects.”

Sacksner currently has properties in Montreal, the South Shore and Laval, and has successfully developed condo projects in several communities, including his latest project Le Desaulniers in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.  The 130-unit development provides buyers with a lot of options, and is located in a very trendy area, on Bossuet and Desaulniers Sts.

“I love creating something that endures and changes the landscape and dynamic of an area,” he said. “It’s also amazing to see how we impact people’s lives; I derive so much pleasure selling a condo to someone and watching them enjoy it and celebrate life cycle events in it, like getting married, having kids, everything.”

In the coming years, Sacksner says he hopes to explore opportunities elsewhere in North America, while maintaining and growing his Montreal operations.

“I am blessed to have a very loyal and experienced team working with me, which enables me to keep business development at the forefront,” he said. “I love the excitement of a challenge and pushing myself with new and innovative prospects.”

Despite the pace of his business, Sacksner says he has always been a family man at heart, as evidenced by the attention and compassion he showed his ailing father. So it comes as no surprise that he’s also a very involved father of three.

“I am extremely active as a lay leader in their school and summer camp,” he said. “Family, health, and community are all priorities in my life that give it meaning and richness, and I consider myself a very lucky man.”

Jean-Paul Ferland
General Contractor of Le Desaulniers

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Mr. Ferland has been a real estate contractor since the 1960's. Born & raised from a working class family in the Sud-Ouest of Montreal, he remembers when the cost of a 3 bedroom apartment in Griffintown was $5/month.

His passion for contruction began at a very early age and he has over 50 years of experience in the construction industry. Having led dozens of large condo developments both in the residential and commercial markets, "JP" is well known in the construction industry for his talent and work ethic.

Mr. Sacksner knew that his partnership with Mr. Ferlan would be a successful one.  The photo on the left shows their awards for their first development together in 2006. This condo development is very similar to the Desaulniers as you can see by the facade, doors and windows.