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The history of John Mattson

John Mattson (1915–1995) created what was up until the mid-1960s one of Sweden’s largest construction and property companies.

John Mattson was born in 1915 on Väddö in Roslagen, the youngest of six children. He left school at fifteen to go to sea but later returned home. After completing his education, military service and a degree in civil engineering from Tekniska skolan (The Technical School), in 1945 he and his brother Einar Mattsson founded what would become John Mattson Byggnads AB. John soon took over the company while Einar founded his own company, Einar Mattson Byggnads AB.

Under John Mattson’s management, the following two decades saw steady growth for the construction company, which resulted in well-known landmarks like the Ella Gård terraced house neighbourhood in Täby, the third and fourth Hötorget buildings, Sergelgatan Ett, the Wenner-Gren Center and Kolmården Wildlife Park.

In 1965, John Mattson decided to sell the construction operations (now JM AB) to Industrivärden and instead concentrated operations on managing and developing properties. The new company – known as John Mattson Förvaltning AB – managed land in Larsberg and a number of residential properties in Baggeby/Bodal, in Östermalm in Stockholm and Sergelgatan Ett.

Developing Larsberg

John Mattson bought the undeveloped land in Larsberg in the middle of the 1950s. At that time, Larsberg was a rocky outcropping with unspoiled countryside, meadows and untilled soil. For the next few years from 1964 onwards, Larsberg grew according to John Mattson’s vision of a neighbourhood exemplifying the Swedish welfare state, with housing, local shopping centres, schools and multistorey car parks. The architect Bengt Gate worked on the city planning as well as the architecture, based on the era’s hope for a future made easier thanks to the automobile. Larsberg was constructed at a cost of SEK 140 million and was completed – the first time – in 1970.

Acquisitions and expansion

The company changed name to John Mattson Fastighets AB in 1988, when the master builder was still Chairman of the Board and Jan-Erik Lindstedt took over as CEO. The new property company continued to succeed, primarily through acquisitions and project development of existing and new properties. John Mattson passed away in 1995, 80 years old.

In 2008, John Mattson Fastighets AB went through an extensive change in structure. All of the properties in central Stockholm were divested and the company took steps toward becoming what it is today: a property company focused purely on housing in Lidingö. Today, John Mattson is one of Lidingö’s largest property companies, with portfolios in Larsberg, Käppala, Baggeby and Dalénum. Throughout the years, the company has developed and changed, but never abandoned the solid ground on which operations were built. Master builder John Mattson’s ideas are just as relevant today as when the company was founded nearly 50 years ago.

In 2015, he would have been 100 years old. He is a legend in construction circles not only because of his business success, but also because it was important to him to take an active part in the development of society, which made him one of the leading figures in Stockholm’s growth during the 1960s and 70s.

A brief history

1944

John Mattson Byggnads AB was founded. Over the next two decades, 113 projects were completed, mainly within Stockholm.

1966

John Mattson Byggnads AB was divested and operations focused on property management through John Mattson Förvaltning AB.

1970

Larsberg, with 1,200 apartments in 20 properties, was completed.

1995

Master builder John Mattson passed away.

2008

Infill development in Larsberg city centre resulted in the construction of 128 new apartments. In the same year, all of the Group’s commercial properties were divested and Kerstin Skarne became the sole owner.

2009

Malmstens Linköping University was completed and inaugurated by Crown Princess Victoria.

2011

The ICA supermarket in Larsberg was constructed.

2012

Upgrades were initiated in Larsberg and Baggeby.

2015

Possession was taken of 146 new build apartments in Dalénum.

2018

Infill development in Larsberg resulted in 80 apartments, Parkhusen.

Construction of U25, 74 apartments for young adults, began in Larsberg.

481 apartments in Käppala were acquired from Tagehus. Through Tagehus Holding AB, Johan Ljungberg became a shareholder and member of the Board of Directors.