SAINT JOHN – New Brunswick’s Cooke Aquaculture is buying the long-time vacant former Saint John synagogue building in the city’s uptown.
The company, which also has an office across the street, says it plans to redevelop the building to create “high-end” offices while maintaining much of the building’s historic characteristics.
“Our main objective for purchasing the building was to really save a unique historic building in the area,” says Cooke Aquaculture spokesperson Nell Halse. “It was an opportunity to do that and our plan is to restore it to a high standard and develop unique high-end offices. We certainly plan to maintain the exterior and there are a lot of interior qualities that we can incorporate into the restoration work.”
The former synagogue building was built around 146 years ago and has been vacant for about eight years. During that time, the city has been in control of the property and on the hunt for a developer.
Halse says exact details of the offices, how many employees it will hold or dates for the start and completion of the redevelopment have yet to be determined.
“Once the deal has finally closed, there is still some due diligence that has to happen, then the first thing we’ll do is make some investment in securing the building. There are some hazardous materials that have to be removed and to make sure that it’s structurally sound, that’s our first objective,” Halse says. “Then we will work with consultants to develop final plans for the restoration work. And then we will develop some timelines for when it is all going to happen.”
The new office Saint John office will help support Cooke Aquaculture’s global operations.
“Our headquarters for Cooke Aquaculture are in Charlotte County and that will remain that way. Blacks Harbour, St. George, all of those facilities we have there to support our New Brunswick aquaculture operations will stay the same,’ Halse says. “The growth in Saint John is really to support our global operations.”