SAINT JOHN – The city is starting a search for a new developer for the old Coast Guard site in uptown Saint John.
A good chunk property was intended to be the future of home of the New Brunswick Museum until the Progressive Conservative government pulled funding for the project back in December. Develop Saint John has posted a call for Expressions of Interest on its website to those interested in developing the property.
Develop Saint John CEO Steve Carson says the organization was always planning to put out a call to develop the rest of the coast guard site, but when the museum project fell through, the scope of what they were looking for suddenly got bigger.
“It’s something we would have done even with the museum project because it was just one portion of the site,” said Carson in an interview with Huddle. “We were planning to do this for the remainder of the site anyways, so now obviously, it incorporates the full site.”
The call comes as the remaining building on the property gets ready to come down.
“Part of the timing now is that while some of the buildings were demolished late last summer and into the fall, the large administration building the Coast Guard used to occupy is coming down in May,” said Carson. “It’s the right timing to reach out to the marketplace now.”
The old coast guard site, or “Fundy Quay” as it’s called, is a six-acre property located on Saint John’s inner harbour. Carson says they are looking for a single developer for the property.
“It really needs to be an integrated plan to bring the site to life. While the developer may have other partners, we’re hoping to find one developer that would be able to have the capacity and the relationships potentially with other developers to build out the full site,” he said.
Ideally, Develop Saint John would like to see a $100-million multi-year development that utilizes universal urban planning guidelines and encompassing mixed development, including retail, commercial, hotel, recreation, condominiums, townhouses, and apartment building complex. They also want green-spacing, and a public promenade skirting the site.
“It’s definitely going to be a mixed-use development site. It’s arguably the most prime piece of [undeveloped] real estate in Atlantic Canada,” said Carson. “Right now, we’ve got a high demand for residential in the urban core. There’s a lot of growth going on in the core … but we don’t have any residential [development] on the waterfront. Obviously, there are other commercial developments that could complement that.”
Deadline for submissions is May 7.
“We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to identify the developer before the end of May,” said Carson.