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Moncton’s Next ‘Three Sisters’-Style Development?

By Sam Macdonald Sep 26, 2022 | 7:04 AM

Property at 1 Foundry Street in Moncton developer John Lafford purchased, with ongoing construction of Three Sisters development in background. Image: Sam Macdonald

John Lafford is not slowing down his development plans for downtown Moncton. His recent purchase of land across the street from his most skyline-changing apartment towers is proof of that.

Lafford is the owner of Sackville-based Lafford Properties and J.N. Lafford Realty Inc. He’s also the driving force behind the Three Sisters, a large three-building apartment development on 20 Record Street.

The developer purchased property closer to the Petitcodiac River last month, at 1 Foundry Street.

“There’s no big schematic there, we bought the land to develop it – not right away, but we are going to,” Lafford said in a call with Huddle.

Lafford said he plans to start development on the one-acre property in the next three or four years. He said he’s confident Moncton’s strong demand for housing will persist and that that city has incentivized downtown-core development.

“I mean, buying this land downtown, there is an incentive for us too, which is a pretty nice thing. The city will give us a tax abatement over 10 years since we’re developing land downtown – that’s attractive,” said Lafford.

While he was mum on details, Lafford said the land will eventually be home to a similar development as the one he’s working on across the street. He is considering taking advantage of Moncton’s early-stage density bonusing program for developments that include affordable housing units.

“I think it would be the same development as we’re doing here on the Three Sisters. There’d potentially be some commercial on the ground floor and then some tower above with residential,” said Lafford.

“It’s kind of logical that we take that piece of land across the street because we can continue what we’re doing.”

The property, a stone’s throw away from the Moncton Riverfront Park and Betts Sportsplex, is the former home of the Northumberland Cooperative Dairy Distribution Centre and the Workers Co-op Auto Centre.

Information on the provincial property database shows the property was purchased in August for $850,000 and that it has a 2022 assessment value of $618,100.

The last transaction listed on the database was November 2014, when it was purchased for $1.13 million by its previous owner.

Lafford told Huddle his priority right now is the Three Sisters — a three-tower, 15-storey 450-apartment residential development at the former site of a prospective parking lot for the Blue Cross Centre that was voted down by council in 2019.

“We’re right where we want to be,” said Lafford, noting that the first tower’s super-structure work is complete. “We’re going to get it weather-tight, hopefully by winter and be able to work on the inside,” he said.

Sam Macdonald is a reporter with Huddle in Moncton, an Acadia Broadcasting partner. Send him your feedback and story ideas: macdonalds@huddle.today.


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