SAINT JOHN – The bottom three floors of the old Woolworth’s building at 91 King St. are for lease and will be ready for occupancy by December of this year, according to a new listing on the Partners Global web site.
Roo Chang and her daughter Siobhán Riley, developers from Vancouver who moved to Saint John last fall, purchased the building earlier this spring and announced plans to develop commercial spaces on the ground floors and construct additional floors for up to 60 residential units.
According to the listing, the building is undergoing significant improvements on the exterior facade and interior renovations are taking place to create three floors of commercial space totaling 29,700 square feet.
The renovated building will have 18-foot ceilings and fully glazed storefronts along Charlotte Street and King Street to provide maximum natural light and exposure to activity on the streets outside.
The listing says the ground floor spaces would be ideal for a business like a restaurant, a big-box retail location, grocery store or pharmacy.
The redevelopment will include the addition of an underground parking garage.
Chang was in Saint John in April of last year and spent a lot of time walking the city streets, when she was struck by the possibilities for the building at the top of King Street and the Uptown in general.
“Every time I walked by [that building] I couldn’t get over how sad [it was] that it was standing there, thinking how beautiful this city is and the potential that it has to go back to the old glorious days,” said Chang in an interview with Huddle earlier this spring. “It’s just a matter of people [being] willing to do that.”
The lease terms would be five years at $25 per square foot.
Earlier this spring Chang and Riley also announced the purchase of the old Royal Bank building at 22 King Street.
That redevelopment will include a commercial tenant on the main floor and mezzanine level. It will also include several condos – some on the second floor and then two-floor “loft condos” on the third and fourth floors with spiral staircases connecting the two floors.
“Whenever I look at this building, I’m just so taken in by its heritage [features] and beauty and the beautiful setting in uptown Saint John,” said Chang at the time of the purchase. “Look at the [grandeur] of this building. The high ceiling, the crown mouldings…it’s breathtaking.”