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  #41  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 1:17 PM
Southpaw78 Southpaw78 is offline
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Well according to an article in the TJ yesterday on redeveloping the Boardwalk, this is still on the radar with an announcement to come later this year....

I guess we can still keep our fingers crossed!
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  #42  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2013, 7:14 PM
RR Drummer RR Drummer is offline
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Originally Posted by Southpaw78 View Post
Well according to an article in the TJ yesterday on redeveloping the Boardwalk, this is still on the radar with an announcement to come later this year....

I guess we can still keep our fingers crossed!
Fingers and toes! Wow what extreme patience we need to exercise. This is way too drawn out for my liking. Time will tell, however, I'm still optimistic.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2013, 5:09 PM
Southpaw78 Southpaw78 is offline
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There is an article in the TJ today indicating Waterfront Development is "very, very close" to signing a deal with an announcement to come in September on who the developer is.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2013, 11:36 PM
SaintJohner SaintJohner is offline
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Odd

I don't like to be the one to question this, because I want this to happen badly, but... with the vacancy rate at 9.7, well recent stats show 9.5... I know build it and they will come, but do we take that chance and have it sit close to empty for 5 - 10 years ( that probably wouldn't happen but you never know ).

Then adding in the cruise ship that comes here 20 times each summer is cutting back to 11 visits and using a smaller ship, so that will be a loss of 35 - 40 thousand visitors. One of the main reasons of the redevelopment was because of the increased numbers in cruise ships... but why build it when they are cutting back there services.

Finally, the upcoming LNG and pipeline construction will bring in workers, but they will only be here while the construction is going on, once its finished there will be no need to stay. So we are looking at a couple 100 people staying around to do maintenance on the pipeline in the SJ area, then 500 -1000 working at the LNG... now add in the people who have family's, most of them will probably end up in the suburbs ( 400-700 in Rothesay, Quispam, Hampton and so on).... Ya I know I went a little over board... I'm sure everything will turn out better than that, but it doesn't hurt to look at the possibilities.

I'm just fearing another Boom and Bust... which has hurt us to much... we need to start gaining more full time jobs instead of these jobs that last a few months to a year.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2013, 12:38 PM
Wolkenkratzerliebhab Wolkenkratzerliebhab is offline
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Originally Posted by Southpaw78 View Post
There is an article in the TJ today indicating Waterfront Development is "very, very close" to signing a deal with an announcement to come in September on who the developer is.
It's also interesting to note that the paper said that the project also will be estimated at a minimum of at least a $125-million, $50-million more than the old proposal which was $75-million, giver or take a quarter.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2013, 1:10 PM
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Here is the article from the Telegraph Journal


City inches closer to waterfront deal

April CunninghamTelegraph-Journal
26 Jul 2013 09:43AM

SAINT JOHN – Officials are closing in on a more than $100-million waterfront development deal that would see retail, commercial, residential and hospitality space on the Saint John Harbour.

Saint John Waterfront Development will ask Common Council on Monday to approve a little more than $200,000 in legal, survey and environmental planning costs that would only be spent once a deal is signed.

“We’re working behind the scenes to align all this very quickly once signatures are had,” said Kent MacIntyre, general manager of the waterfront agency.

“We are getting very, very close to signing off on a deal.”

While MacIntyre would not say when he expects the yet-to-be-named developer to finalize the purchase of the former Coast Guard site uptown – an area now known as the Fundy Quay – he said officials are expecting to make an announcement in September.

“People will be quite excited and they’ll be pleased with the credibility of the developer,” he said. “We have a very significant player we’re working with, and this is a development company that’s all about quality.”

Talks have been underway with the developer for almost a year.

Council will be asked Monday to approve $85,000 to cover tender specifications to develop the sea wall, $65,000 in survey, legal and public relations fees and $70,000 in environmental remediation planning.

MacIntyre said there are petroleum hydrocarbons and other contaminants in the soil, discovered from a previous assessment, but he said the amount is not particularly concerning and typical for light-industrial sites.

The city will pay for remediation as the project unfolds, he said, because “it’s our responsibility to hand them a property that’s build-able.” Those costs are not expected to exceed $1 million.

As soon as the Canadian developer signs the deal, it could take up to a year before construction begins, he said. The company will need to go through several processes to work with city planners and finalize development plans.

The project, a high-density build, will be split into four phases and constructed over seven years, MacIntyre said.

Councillors say the report asking for pre-approval on environmental and legal fees points to the imminent nature of the deal.

“It’s very close or we wouldn’t be spending that kind of money to get it signed,” said Coun. Gerry Lowe, who added the name of the developer has not been told to council members, because of competitive reasons.

“It will be a big development and hopefully it’s a start to get people thinking positive,” he said. “People won’t wait for two years for things to come, they’ll spend the money once they realize good things will come and there will be employment.”

Coun. Ray Strowbridge won’t be present at Monday’s meeting because of a vacation but said he would vote in favour of approving the costs if he was there.

“We need to do everything we can to get the Fundy Quay project closed and moving forward,” he said.

He added that next to the Hilton and Market Square, it will be the biggest development in the history of the Saint John waterfront.

“It’s vital,” he said. “It’s going to increase the tax base, increase employment, increase tourism, and will help further develop our waterfront because right now it’s underdeveloped and it’s one of our biggest natural assets that’s not being used to its fullest potential.”

The city purchased the property for $2.8 million in February of 2011 but the Halifax-based Hardman Group, which owns Market Square, opted to walk away from an $85-million proposal.

“Saint John has been on the cusp of these big things in the past and never quite achieved it,” said Coun. Bill Farren. “Well this is one of those big things that has always eluded Saint Johners and it’s about to unfold in a very positive way.”
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2013, 1:56 PM
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I really hope this goes through. What a change this will bring to the uptown area!
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 28, 2013, 10:08 PM
UptownJeff UptownJeff is offline
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OK - someone must have some rumours on who the developer is??
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 1:29 PM
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Kent MacIntyre was on CBC Radio this morning talking about the development: http://www.cbc.ca/informationmorning...plans-develop/

Highlights/New Information:
- "Upwards of 4 buildings" on the site - mixed use for the majority of them. This means ground floor retail, a few floors of commercial with residential above for the most part.
- The hotel component is not yet confirmed, will depend on market conditions.
- Residential component will be a combination of condos and rentals.
- The Department of Fisheries and Oceans lease on the building(s?) continues until "mid-year 2017". Phases 1 and 2 can go forward while DFO still occupies the other portion of the site.
- Phase 1 will be a mixed-use building (retal-commercial-residential) on the northwestern portion of the site.
- Phase 2 will be another mixed-use building on the Water Street-side parking lot. He didn't specify residential for this one so this might be the phase they're considering for the hotel.
- Harbour passage to extend around the perimeter of the site.
- He mentions "density factor/buildout" several times, both here and in the paper - this seems to suggest we'll have more intensive development on the site than the Hardman proposal called for.

I know it's all due dilligence and whatnot but my god I am anxious to see this started.

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Originally Posted by UptownJeff View Post
OK - someone must have some rumours on who the developer is??
It's the best kept secret in town! Anyone I've talked to either doesn't know or is vehemently tight-lipped. We know from the paper it's a Canadian developer, so my best guess would be someone out of Halifax: Armour, Fares or Southwest.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 1:59 PM
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It's concerning that this project proposal continues to downsize over time.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 2:28 PM
Ire Narissis Ire Narissis is offline
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Originally Posted by SaintJohner View Post
Then adding in the cruise ship that comes here 20 times each summer is cutting back to 11 visits and using a smaller ship, so that will be a loss of 35 - 40 thousand visitors. One of the main reasons of the redevelopment was because of the increased numbers in cruise ships... but why build it when they are cutting back there services.
It's a little bit disingenuous to cite the visitation rate of a single ship. I'm not saying you're wrong, but let's talk in terms of overall visitors--considering that multiple lines visit the city, we should rule out that one line's decrease in traffic wouldn't be made up for by other lines' increases.

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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
It's concerning that this project proposal continues to downsize over time.
I'm a little confused; we're talking about a $125m proposal in place of an $85m one... how is that downsizing? Or are you using an even earlier proposal as your point of reference?
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 3:51 PM
michael_d40 michael_d40 is offline
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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
It's concerning that this project proposal continues to downsize over time.
Hmm... According to the Hardman Group's website, their concept was only $75 million.

http://www.hardmangroup.ca/developme...oastguard.html
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 7:33 PM
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I'm speaking primarily in regards to the size (and number) of buildings being planned/proposed. The original proposal had, IIRC, 5 or 6 buildings, including a hotel. Now we're hearing 4 with the possiblity of no hotel. The cost of developing the Coast Guard property, whether $75 or $125, can be deceiving, and just because it costs more does not necessarily mean you're going to receive more.

Last edited by JHikka; Jul 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 7:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
I'm speaking primarily in regards to the size (and number) of buildings being planned/proposed. The original proposal had, IIRC, 5 or 6 buildings, including a hotel. Now we're hearing 4 with the possiblity of no hotel. The cost of developing the Coast Guard property, whether $75 or $125, can be deceiving.
True enough. The estimated cost of the Incredible Shrinking Events Centre in Moncton continues to creep up despite the fact that the number of seats in the arena keep getting revised downwards......
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 29, 2013, 11:57 PM
HardTruth HardTruth is offline
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Originally Posted by Fischbob View Post
- The hotel component is not yet confirmed, will depend on market conditions.
Well if they know the stats at all, this wont happen.

I can see why you are all excited to see something built on the site because its been hideous for so long but think about this:

The city has currently:

- The highest unemployment of any metro in Canada
- One of the highest apartment vacancy rates in Canada
- highest hotel vacancy of major centres in Atlantic Canada
- High commercial vacancy rate
- stagnant population growth

If shovels do actually hit the ground on this proposal (which will be miniscule in height / scale in comparison to Hardman) you will all begin to wish they had waited for a better time.

Business confidence is low in the city now and developers know that, nobody in their right mind would come blazing in at this moment and build anything substantial. That's why they are saying "multi-phase development". Phase 1 will be small and they will use it to judge the market for future development. They will end up stalling after phase one for many years, and may even back out if current market conditions don't drastically rebound.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2013, 11:42 AM
nwalbert nwalbert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
I'm speaking primarily in regards to the size (and number) of buildings being planned/proposed. The original proposal had, IIRC, 5 or 6 buildings, including a hotel. Now we're hearing 4 with the possiblity of no hotel. The cost of developing the Coast Guard property, whether $75 or $125, can be deceiving, and just because it costs more does not necessarily mean you're going to receive more.
Personally I would much rather see 4 large buildings than 5 smaller ones. I have no idea what the final project will look like, but the fact that the price tag has jumped by 66% does not seem to indicate it will be a less significant project.

I find it very difficult to find anything negative about this news. This will be a unique project to NB and something that should further enhance the downtown core at a time when there is already tremendous momentum around the core.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2013, 1:17 PM
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Originally Posted by nwalbert View Post
I find it very difficult to find anything negative about this news. This will be a unique project to NB and something that should further enhance the downtown core at a time when there is already tremendous momentum around the core.
Agreed. I'm guarding my expectations until we can take full stock of the proposal, but I trust the work that SJDC is doing behind the scenes. This is the organization that's helped us achieve Market Square, the Imperial Theatre and City Market restorations, Harbour Station, the Pedway, and Harbour Passage. They had almost everything in place with the Hardman proposal and the land transfer delay at the federal level was the only thing that kept it from moving forward then. I have confidence in their ability to get everything lined up again.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2013, 1:21 PM
michael_d40 michael_d40 is offline
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As seen in the Turner Drake & Partners Ltd June survey, it appears that our Class A office vacancy is sitting at only 3.88%. Which is the lowest in the Maritimes. Anything under 5% is deemed as full, because what's available would be fragmented smaller spaces throughout the city, and not suitable for a company of a large size. Yes - overall vacancy rates in GSJ are high. But a part of that is because of the current restructuring and movement of the City Hall building (Class B - 16.57%) Class C is very high at at 39.41%. However, the Fundy Quay development would be Class A, which is exactly what we are lacking at the moment.

Class A vacancy rates for other cities in our region;

Saint John - 3.88%
Moncton - 6.30%
St. John's - 6.65%
Halifax - 7.00%
Fredericton - 7.13%

Also - Regarding the highest apartment vacancy rates - Not a fair statement. Yes, I'm aware of what reports say. However, if one eliminates all of the shacks from the North, and South End from that data, what would our true vacancy rate be? A lot of the apartments in those areas are sitting vacant because they are complete dumps that are not fit to live in. In my office, there's always many people moving to the city for work, and not a soul has moved to the North End. Can't say I blame them.
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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2013, 1:40 PM
Wolkenkratzerliebhab Wolkenkratzerliebhab is offline
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According to the paper the project will not only feature a hotel, but will be high density not that this is going to make any difference to Hard Truth because I'm sure he, or she, will find something negative to say even if it means they have to make it up!
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  #60  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2013, 2:23 PM
nwalbert nwalbert is offline
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Originally Posted by michael_d40 View Post
Class A vacancy rates for other cities in our region;

Saint John - 3.88%
Moncton - 6.30%
St. John's - 6.65%
Halifax - 7.00%
Fredericton - 7.13%
Wow! Greats stats and good insight. This is a really exciting project, hopefully we can get some graphics soon!
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