James R. Havens

Jim Havens founded Havens Limited in 1981 and represents and litigates for title companies, developers, management companies, construction firms, sellers, buyers, and lenders involved in real estate. In 1984, in response to his clients’ increasing need for title insurance, he founded Cardinal Title Insurance Agency, of which he is President and owner. He is also a managing general partner of various real estate development, construction, and management entities, which currently own and operate numerous commercial real estate investments in central Ohio.

Jim’s early involvement in real estate development began at age 11 when he started working as a laborer in his stepfather’s construction company. By the time he was 14, he was operating heavy equipment and had become a mason’s tender. At 16, he became a bricklayer and worked his way through college on large commercial construction projects. It was during those years that he became familiar with major contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, and the development process in central Ohio.

In 1978, while in law school, Jim gained practical legal experience by working as a law clerk and title searcher for a firm that specialized in savings and loan representation. After his acceptance into the bar, Jim opened his own practice and, soon after, chose to focus on construction and real estate development.

In 1992, Jim began forming several commercial real estate development partnerships. Through this variety of arrangements, he has developed, owned, and managed office buildings, office warehouse projects and medical office facilities.


Professional Contributions

Early in his career, Columbus realtor and developer Bob Weiler asked Jim to lecture on real estate at Capital University Law School. Since then he has lectured extensively to many of central Ohio’s commercial real estate organizations. Jim has also served as Education Chair of the Central Ohio NAIOP Chapters. During his three-year tenure, he worked with Tony Sanders, the Galbreath chair of the OSU Fisher College of Business MBA program, and selected a line-up of prominent real estate experts who served as course instructors – Jeffrey Palmquist, Tim Norris, Robert Weiler, Jon Rolwing, Tracy Allen, Donald Roberts, George Stecz, Don Hunter, Michael Young, David Pontia, Don Casto, Frank Kass, and Robert Schottenstein.

Public Service

Mr. Havens served as an elected Granville Township Trustee for three terms (1996-2008) and as trustee chair for 11 years. He formed and implemented Ohio’s first open space acquisition program under the newly enacted ORC 5705.19(HH). This program collected approximately $5 million in tax and unrestricted proceeds used to acquire 18 properties, involving 753 acres, in Granville Township.  Further details of the program are described at www.granvilletownship.org.

  • Honors & Engagements

    Member, Capital University Board of Trustee,
    Chair, Intergrity and Compliance Committee and Real Estate Task Force

    Past President – Central Ohio
    Land Title Association

    Guest Lecturer, Real Estate – OSU Moritz College of Law and Capital University Law School

    Business First “Who’s Who in The Law,
    Real Estate” January 1995

    161 Corridor Accord Member

    Licensed Real Estate Title Insurance Agent, 1983

    Steering Committee – Mid Ohio Regional
    Planning Commission (MORPC)

    Chairman – Granville Township Board of Trustees 1996 – 2007, member since 1996

    Member – Granville Township Board of
    Zoning Appeals & Commission 1991 – 1995

    Former member – Newark-Granville
    New Community Authority

  • Admitted

    1981, Ohio

  • Education

    Juris Doctor, Capital University Law School, 1981