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A conceptual rendering developed for illustration purposes for the city's federal funding application to redevelop the former Lantic Sugar site. Image: Submitted

Saint John looks to revitalize former Lantic Sugar site

By Brad Perry Sep 6, 2023 | 7:30 AM

Saint John is looking to transform the former Lantic Sugar site on the central peninsula into public green space.

But officials say millions of dollars worth of work will be needed before the site can be accessible to the public.

City staff unveiled the proposed $10.4-million plan during a recent meeting of the city’s finance committee.

They plan to apply for $4.2 million in funding through the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, with the city covering the remaining $6.2 million.

“The former Lantic Sugar site is vacant, not suitable for development and not accessible to residents without necessary adaptation measures to deal with storm surges and sea level rise,” said a staff report to the committee.

Ian Fogan, the city’s commissioner of utilities and infrastructure, said they plan to raise a roughly three-hectare portion of the site by several feet and install a short seawall to protect it from extreme storm surge.

The funding would also be used to add stormwater capacity to the central peninsula neighbourhood, he said.

In addition to the green space, city staff said the site could also be home to commercial development in the future.

The Central Neighbourhood Secondary Plan lists several proposals for developing the area as a “new recreation and entertainment site.”

“Green space is planned for the most southwest portion of the site with a lookout to Partridge Island,” said the staff report.

The plan also includes “using the portion of the site to the north of the CN line as a space for concerts and festivals.”

“The work on that portion of the site is not included in this application but the green space included in the application could be planned with use as a temporary concert site in mind.”

Fogan said raising the site would have widespread benefits beyond the area in question.

“There’s lots of different parts of the central peninsula that are subject to storm surge, so this is part of the infrastructure to eventually protect the entire peninsula,” he said.

Fogan noted that the stormwater investment, estimated to be around $4.2 million, is necessary even without converting the site to a development/green space-ready site.

City staff said funding and work could be spread over five years and considered in future capital budgets if approved.


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