Karsten Rumpf arrived in Canada in 1965 with $200, two Italian table-soccer machines and a dream.
He placed the machines in bowling alleys and billiard salons, but real control was only possible in his own building. After operating hundreds of machines over two years he purchased his first building in 1967, opening an amusement arcade. He drew on the support of his parents as well, property owners based in Germany. His father taught him his life motto: Never over-leverage, never become dependent.
In 1974 Karsten’s company – the future Prime Properties – bought its first building in Montreal. Multiple similar purchases later became the primary downtown amusement arcade operator. In 1980 it acquired a first building in Toronto destined to become HMV Canada’s flagship store. Karsten branched out with purchases in Calgary, Alberta.
The lessons from successfully weathering real estate and political crises in Quebec in the 1980’s gave Karsten a renewed focus on sustainable financial stability and an adaptability to new realties. When opportunities appeared, he was positioned to make the most of them.
Through developments in Alberta and Ontario, and a holistic transition of older properties to different purposes, a new direction became clear: high-street retail in major city centres. Recognizing home video’s negative impact on the arcade business, Karsten converted and rented his arcade locations to high-end retailers.
Today, Karsten Rumpf has successfully and completely transitioned from property ownership to property management. Major commercial real estate landscapes throughout Canada, Germany, and the United States have felt his influence: Montreal’s vibrant St. Catherine Street; Toronto’s Yonge Street; Leipzig’s historic city center; downtown New York; Miami; all are among the stunning locations where he has made his presence and style known.
A Family Affair
Karsten Rumpf knows it takes the support and love of family to achieve one’s highest aspirations. His parents gave him a stupendous start: they imparted to him an ethos of trust, responsibility and commitment which Karsten, in turn, has passed on to his own family.
Karsten met his wife Bettina in the early 1980’s. She soon began working by his side, enabling him to expand his business in new and exciting ways. They have passed on a similar passion for the art of property development to their sons Richard and Daniel. Richard’s grasp of both new technology and design trends is the perfect complement his father’s command of timeless, classic detail, enabling him to make his unique mark on the business. Daniel, pursuing post-secondary education, intends to follow them into the world of property development and finance.
As a family, the Rumpf’s belief that social responsibility goes hand-in-hand with opportunity sees them deeply involved in philanthropy, be it funding archeological excavations, historic preservation projects, or multiple charitable endeavours.
The Future is Now
Nearly five decades have passed since Karsten Rumpf arrived in Canada with a vision. The tremendous values absorbed from his parents and passed on to his family remain at the core of Rumpf Highstreets mission: improve the world, one building at a time.