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91 King Street Saint John, New Brunswick
After more than 6 months of negotiations, 91 King Street has been purchased by an investor. Integrity Real Estate Investments (IREI) is the proud new owner. The transaction was complicated as the property carried some restrictive covenants that had been imposed years ago when the land was owned by the Anglican church. IREI’s solicitor, Andrew Costin, a partner with the law firm of Gorman Nason, was instrumental in revising the restrictions to allow for the intended development of the property. Steve Carson from Develop Saint John played a key role in interfacing with the church representatives to reach a successful conclusion.
IREI, along with its investors, have plans to redevelop the property. Current zoning requires that the ground floor remain commercial but the upper floors will likely be converted to residential or complimentary uses. IREI and their consultants, Morgan Lanigan and Melissa Wakefield of EXP Architects Inc., are encouraged by early reviews of the existing structure during the due diligence period that suggest additional floors could be added to the building.
The “metro brown” & red aluminum siding covering much of the building’s character will be coming down and it’s intended that the building facade will be restored to its former glory. The building has some strong mid-century elements including terrazzo flooring which shall be preserved and built upon. IREI and EXP will be working closely together over the coming months on the project’s design and next steps.
This is fantastic news for uptown Saint John. This strategic corner has been sorely underutilized for years and it’s time has now come! The public can continue to watch for news of the development on Facebook and Twitter using #91King
Develop Saint John issued the following PRESS RELEASE related to the news.
Stephanie Turner represented both the Seller & Buyer in this commercial real estate transaction.
Despite the fact that they often screw it up (not you Huddle!)… the answer is yes! Especially since I’m fortunate to have a platform where I can help set the record straight.
I did an interview this week with a rookie Telegraph Journal reporter. She did not misquote me in the story but left out a lot of great stuff that would have made this a positive story! Things such as:
- I told her that it’s not unheard of for large redevelopment projects such as this to take as long as 4 years to sell. 1) The Bustins portfolio took 4 years and look at it now! (Thanks Historica!!). 2) Le Faubourg at 125 Prince William Street had been listed for several years and is FINALLY under agreement and is scheduled to close in 2017.
- Yes, I did say there are not many investors willing to take risk but I did not say there aren’t any… we just need more!
- 91 King has seen a flurry of activity since Irving Oil’s Home Office began construction across the square.
And lastly, when asked about the status of the retail market in uptown Saint John I could not stop gushing about the vibe uptown… the unique restaurants, pubs & micro breweries that are quickly putting Uptown Saint John on the map as a “foodie destination”. We have this growing cluster and it will attract more!
Missed the TJ article? You can read it below SOURCE: TODAY’S EDITION on-line at thttp://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/TelegraphJournal/#
Stephanie Turner, the agent handling 91 King, told Huddle she discovered the Twitter account (@91kingSJ) last week and has no idea who’s behind it. Though the account is comedic in nature, she said it could get people talking about building.
“I suppose it can’t hurt. The tweets are pretty light hearted and don’t have a strong business spin to them,” Turner says. “Last time I looked the account had about 50 followers but I didn’t notice if followers included Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Forever 21 or Sephora.”
“It’s a huge project…either rebuild or tear down and build new,” she said. “Either way, it takes an experienced developer with deep pockets and a willingness to take risk.”
Read some of the tweets and the rest of the HUDDLE STORY
The sky’s the limit for this former Woolworth’s building…literally! Zoning allows for up to 20 storeys. As an added bonus there are no heritage restrictions. What is the highest and best use? The ground floor must remain commercial (think shops, restaurants etc…) but the upper floors could be just about anything. Since Saint John is already experiencing high vacancy rates in the office leasing market, residential probably makes the most sense. Just imagine apartments and/or condos overlooking King’s Square. Floorplans have been designed to show what could be done including a proposed parking garage in the basement. Check it out…
Interested in seeing this in more detail? Click to download .pdf >>> Proposed Condo floorplan
Have ideas for this building? Tweet them! #91KING
Many people like the idea of closing South Market Street and turning it in to a pedestrian only area. I’ll admit there are many obstacles to overcome in making this idea a reality. What about City Market deliveries you may ask? I’m told that in european cities, where such streets are thriving, shops receive deliveries early in the a.m. to avoid conflict with the public using the space during business hours.
I came across some beautiful photos on-line of a lane in Auckland which was converted in to a restaurant/bakery. This particular lane already had a “roof” but it’s easy to imagine South Market Street enclosed overhead. It was even built on a slope… just like our street! What do you think?