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The former home of the New Brunswick Museum exhibition centre in Saint John. Image: Submitted/New Brunswick Museum

New Vacancies In Two Uptown Buildings Seen As Opportunity

By Brad Perry Oct 28, 2022 | 9:00 AM

There is growing concern from some in Saint John after vacancies opened up this week in two uptown buildings.

But some community leaders see it as an opportunity to welcome new businesses to the city’s uptown core.

The New Brunswick Museum closed its doors in Market Square, leaving a three-level space up for grabs.

Pizza Hut also left its long-time location in nearby Brunswick Square for a new spot on the city’s east side.

Nancy Tissington, the executive director of Uptown Saint John Inc., said the vacancies are “certainly a concern.”

“But one thing I’ve learned in this position for the last number of years is that it’s also opportunity. It’s an opportunity for someone new to come in and share that space,” Tissington said Thursday.

“It’s a matter of who can we think about to come in and activate those spaces as we are doing in public space, which is what our goal is.”

RELATED: Brunswick Square Vacancies A ‘Blemish’ For Saint John

Mayor Donna Reardon said she also believes there is real opportunity for the vacant spaces.

Market Square is owned by the city but leased to The Hardman Group to manage, she said.

“We have some opportunities there to negotiate with whoever to get some businesses in there,” said Reardon.

“It’s a big space and it has a library in there. Because of that, the public is in there quite a bit.”

Brunswick Square is privately owned by Ontario-based Slate Asset Management, but Reardon said the city is working with the owners to try and move the facility forward.

The mayor said she hopes ongoing development in the city’s south-central peninsula will lead to new opportunities.

“The peninsula is only 2.5 square kilometres, so as we see a lot of the vacant space being developed, I think it’s inevitable that things will begin to happen,” said Reardon.


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