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Paul Bennett of Ashburnham Realty

Hear Ashurnham Realty's Paul Bennett's advice for business owners on whether to Lease, Buy or Build your commercial property.

To read more on Paul, head on over to the article our friends at Peterborough This Week by Bill Hodgins on Paul..

... Paul Bennett ... The 36-year-old real estate developer says he’s committed to this (Peterborough) city now. Sure, when he was younger he would have figured to have moved on by now but today he’s pretty sure he’s here to stay. So if that means pouring his efforts and resources into improving his hometown, his commitment makes a lot of sense. From the second floor of Ashburnham Realty’s Brock Street headquarters, Bennett drags a chair to a quiet corner to talk. Finding that quiet corner is a challenge right now, with construction crews in full reno-mode in the building’s first floor. It’s one of a few projects he has on the go right now. A few blocks away, he’s one of four investors behind VentureNorth, an entrepreneurship and business hub in the former Promenade Building in Peterborough’s downtown. The investors were united by their passion for creating and building successful ventures and their belief in Peterborough’s potential inspiring the group to invest more than $2 million in capital to launch VentureNorth. The commitment will extend into the future with 100 per cent of the net operating surpluses generated from the leases at the VentureNorth building, 270 George St. North, to be reinvested in start-ups, financial support for public partners and the funding of entrepreneur mentorship programs. But there is more. “The next big project upcoming is a big multi-use building in East City with some very exciting commercial tenants and some high end residential suites. “I am very excited about this as I was raised in East City,” Bennett says.The neighbourhood is where his home was located but he’s more a child of the city as a whole. Growing up, he actually went to school in the city’s north end. It’s where his family found a sitter so it meant using her address for school. That led to a little confusion as he grew up. He was a bit of an athlete, he says with a shrug, and a successful one too. There were actually people who suggested he was using his sitter’s address to further his athletic pursuits.He laughs as that now, but some people were pretty serious about it at the time. But his family stood behind him. Bennett, who has yet to marry and has no children, would later follow in his father Don’s footsteps to small extent.“Whenever he got ahead a little, he would buy another property,” he says of his father. Still, unlike his son, the elder Bennett never really took it further than that. A few four-plexes maybe, Bennett says, but nothing really beyond that.After high school, Bennett took off for Wilfred Laurier University to study Business and Economics, but then he found himself back here trying to build a career.As his business grew, he found himself getting more involved in community projects. VentureNorth is a part of that. Helping business grow in Peterborough is important to him. But he also holds board positions with the Downtown Business Improvement Area and Community Futures Peterborough. He’s involved with Junior Achievement as well....

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