About Azure

It Started With
A Shared Idea

Azure Urban Developments was formed in 2010 by John Thomas, a native of Ottawa who returned to the Nation’s Capital after spending 15 years living and working in cities around the world including, Toronto, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Azure’s vision is defined by these experiences and, simply stated, is to bring world-class architecture and design to Ottawa and to improve the physical and life aesthetic of the communities in which it develops. We aspire to be a boutique builder of quality multi-family residential products.

At the heart of our development philosophy is the principle of responsibility; responsibility to our City and responsibility to our local communities. It is our core belief that, as developers, we are merely trustees of the land on which we develop. Our ownership is brief yet the impact is long-lasting. As such, our developments aspire to be positive contributions to the City’s architectural narrative and they will respectfully treat landmark locations. In addition to the economic benefit our projects are destined to have on local land values, they will add a meaningful lifestyle lift to the local community by delivering local amenities and a people-first street-front experience to our developments.

The Azure Team

John A. Thomas

Founder, Azure Urban Developments

John A. Thomas is a seasoned international executive, having worked in a variety of strategic roles in Europe, the Middle East and Asia with a wide array of skills and experiences. John’s career commenced as a corporate lawyer practicing in various jurisdictions around the globe for ten years and saw him enter the real estate sector in 2006 in Abu Dhabi with a Government of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund (Mubadala Development Company), eventually becoming the Executive Director of Mubadala’s Real Estate & Hospitality Division. John’s real estate expertise cuts across a series of industry sectors (residential, commercial, hospitality and retail). While John’s professional experiences have focused on real estate, hospitality and the law and, not insignificantly, he brings to bear an extensive experience set (legal, commercial and financial) to these areas, what truly sets him apart is his strategic thinking and creativity. As Associate Director and Executive Director of Mubadala’s Real Estate & Hospitality division, John conceived a variety of strategic initiatives to enable the division to carry out its mandate as well as to enable the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to develop in a sustainable manner. These included setting the real estate development and hospitality industry strategies for MREH, formulating the division’s business plan, approaching and negotiating a series of joint ventures and acquisitions that ultimately became the core of MREH’s development strategy, and establishing Abu Dhabi’s first urban plan. John’s long-term vision has manifested itself in every element of his career.

Mitchell Kitagawa

Founder, Azure Urban Developments

Mitch is a partner at the law firm of Kelly Santini LLP. He practices insurance defence litigation which involves both personal injury and property claims. His work will often take him into the realm of architecture, engineering and construction. In 2004 he won the Regional Senior Justice Award. Mitch is originally from Mississauga, Ontario but has lived in Ottawa for the past thirty years. He has an undergraduate Honours degree in Criminology and Psychology and a Masters Degree in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. Mitch and John have been friends since they met 30 years ago in law school at the University of Ottawa. He is actively involved in his community with his church, Barrhaven United and volunteers his time with other charities such as Lawyers Feed the Hungry and the Special Olympics. He is a past president of the Ottawa Immigrant Services Organization.

Dan Belcourt

Director of Construction, AzureCon Inc.

⁣Dan Belcourt is the Director of Construction with AzureCon Inc. Dan is a dynamic leader in urban development, spearheading transformative projects at AzureCon Inc. with a focus on architecture, engineering, and construction, Dan’s expertise ensures exceptional results. His strategic vision and dedication have earned him recognition and accolades, driving positive change in the urban, suburban and commercial landscapes.

Cindy Mar

Director of Projects and Operations, Azure Urban Developments

Cindy Mar is a senior leader with over 20 years of operations and technology experience and has ⁣extensive knowledge and experience in project management and the systems⁣ development and implementation life cycle. She has led large, complex system⁣ implementations and organizational transformations, integrating process change⁣ and benefits into systems initiatives, in Canada, the US, and Europe. As a senior operational leader, she has led organizations through⁣ technology design and implementation; facilities design, planning and⁣ implementation; marketing and communications strategies; human resource and⁣ performance management; process redesign and improvement; accreditation;⁣ financial review and improvement; and faculty and staff development.⁣ Cindy is now combining all her areas of expertise in the real estate development⁣ and construction management industry and once again is working end-to-end⁣ involved in operations, finance, HR, project management, marketing, contracting,⁣ construction, hospitality/retail, and property management.

Kevin Crepeault

Director of Finance, Azure Urban Developments

Kevin Crepeault has 25 years of professional experience in all financial environments of the hotel business, including operational and construction projects. Kevin has held a senior financial role within a prominent national hotel asset owner and construction for the hotels Westin, Chateau Laurier and Marriott. During this time, Kevin learned and managed several aspects of the financial process, including the preparation of monthly financial statements, completion of balance sheet reconciliations, supervision of finance teams, accounts payable, payroll, accounts Receivable and internal audit, annual budget preparation, recruitment module integration and chairperson of health and safety. Most recently, Kevin has integrated and managed construction and operational expenditure procurement software at many hotel properties. Streamlining the process from procurement to payment, creating procedures and processes with a single focus in mind; bridging the gap between supplier and owner.

Paul Duguid

Senior Superintendent, AzureCon Inc.

Paul Duguid is a hands-on delivery professional with over 20 years of experience in the Ottawa construction industry. He prides himself on his ability to deliver projects on time and on budget. He has had senior supervising project roles for the past 15 years and has also functioned as a finishing foreman. As such, he has superior knowledge of the skilled trades with a keen eye for quality control.

Meera Thomas

⁣Creative Director, Azure Urban Developments

Meera Thomas currently studies in the field of Architecture at the University of Toronto. Her creativity and hands-on approach are vital to Azure Urban Developments’ evolving perspective of urban planning and development. With a focus on creating sustainable and vibrant communities, Meera’s work encompasses a wide range of projects and reflects her commitment to driving impactful and positive change in Ottawa’s growing urban landscape.

Ahmed Sharifi

Construction Project Coordinator, AzureCon Inc.

Ahmad Sharifi is a certified Project Manager and Project Coordinator with 14 years of experience in construction. He has led diverse teams in commercial and residential projects, delivering results within tight budgets and deadlines. His areas of expertise are site engineering, contract administration, scheduling, arbitration, shop drawings, financial control, resource allocation, take-off and estimating, quantity surveying, and subcontractor coordination.

Supporting Education

All of us at Azure Urban believe that education is a human right no matter where you live and it is one the pillars of who we are both as an organization and a team. Education has the ability to lift people and populations so we support and fund schools and organizations that promote education near and far.

Locally we have provided funding to St. George’s Elementary School and Pinecrest Public School helping those schools help those students most in need. We are also donors to the Carlington Community Health Center’s youth initiatives.

More globally, we have partnered with the Mali Rising Foundation to build and supply schools in remote villages in Mali, Africa. Mali Rising Foundation is made up of people from around the world who partner with families in remote villages to build middle schools for children who otherwise would face an hour or more walk to school each day. Mali Rising also fills these schools with everything kids need to turn a classroom into a better life – from teachers to textbooks. Today, twenty-eight village schools provide life-changing education to more than 4,000 children each year.

John has been a member of the Board of Directors of Mali Rising since 2021 and, in 2023, Azure Urban funded the construction of Sira Diop Middle School in the village of Kainsiga, Mali.

If you are an educational organization or school, looking for donors, please feel to reach out to us.

Learn more about Mali Rising Foundation