Real estate developer Patrick Jeune, FOX ’13, brings blighted properties back to life and helps rebuild the communities around them. The company he founded, J.P. Holdings Group, has done more than $30 million in residential sales and 300,000 square feet of construction in Philadelphia since 2015.
Anyone who knew Jeune as a Temple student wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s become a successful entrepreneur. That’s because his career was well underway almost as soon as he set foot on campus.
As a first-year student, he launched an event planning company that organized and marketed parties. Soon afterward, he started leasing apartments. As a sophomore—the year he says he was “bit by the real estate bug”—he purchased his first property.
Built to last
Since then, it’s been about more than just profits. He cares about what’s best for urban neighborhoods.
“I really enjoy taking a blighted, abandoned property or a vacant lot and building something beautiful, bringing it back to life,” he said. “And understanding that these buildings will be here forever—they will outlive me—I’m willing to do whatever it takes to leave my mark on the world, to make an impact, to give back to my community.”
To Jeune, a native Philadelphian, that also means doing right by the residents who live near his properties.
“On streets that I haven’t built on before, I might offer to clean the street or clean the neighbor’s property,” he said. “If I’m going to do concrete, I won’t just do my side—I’ll do my neighbor’s side as well.”
The secret to Jeune’s success is simple: Always learn more. When he needs to solve a problem, he goes to an expert in that field and learns from them.
When he wanted to learn about leasing as a first-year student, he convinced his landlord to let him try leasing the landlord’s apartments, taking advantage of the contacts and marketing chops he’d learned in his party business. When he needed to learn construction after purchasing his first property, he walked onto construction sites that he passed on his way to classes and persuaded the properties’ owners to let him help with construction management in exchange for leasing apartments.
A solid foundation
It’s an approach that couldn’t have worked without his Temple education, he says. He loved his classes and his professors, but for Jeune, Temple’s greatest contribution was its limitless opportunities for networking.
“The biggest thing for me was the exposure,” Jeune said. “It’s such a diverse school. You have people coming from so many different backgrounds. I was able to develop some life-changing relationships.”
And those relationships inspired him to pay it forward, welcoming opportunities to show others how to get started.
“When I speak to kids in high school who may be thinking about going to college, I always advise them to go because of the exposure,” he said. “You may not know what you want to do now, but you might have a roommate or a friend … and they might have an idea that you may gravitate to or help point you in the right direction.”
—By Hillel Hoffmann and Edirin Oputu