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Councillor sees ‘exciting opportunity’ for Brunswick Square

By Brad Perry Apr 8, 2024 | 1:18 PM

A Saint John city councillor says he is excited about what the future holds for a major piece of uptown real estate.

The owners of Brunswick Square have decided to put the shopping centre, office tower, and parking garage up for sale.

CBRE Limited and TD Securities Inc. recently published a flyer for the property, describing it as a “strategically located mixed-use asset that is ideally positioned for significant revenue upside through leasing, repositioning, or redevelopment.”

“This is a really exciting opportunity to start fresh, to have a new investor in the community come in with some new vision for the space,” David Hickey said in an interview on Monday.

“Whether that means retail, whether that means restaurants, whether that means, I don’t know, new pickleball courts on the first on the first floor, I think Saint Johners are ready for it and eager for it because [Brunswick Square] has been such a significant drain on the community over the last while.”

RELATED: Brunswick Square in Saint John for sale

Built in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Brunswick Square accounts for most of the city block between Union Street, King Street, Chipman Hill, and Germain Street.

However, the shopping centre has struggled to attract and retain tenants in recent years. The Cora restaurant was the most recent long-term business to leave in March.

According to the flyer, there is a vacancy rate of around 48 per cent in the shopping centre and 45 per cent in the office tower.

Hickey said the challenges facing Brunswick Square are the same ones being faced by interior retail as a whole.

“I think it’s really important to start to have these bigger conversations about what the vision looks like and what next steps look like,” he said.

Brunswick Square is currently owned by Slate Office REIT, which purchased the property from Fortis in 2015 for nearly $57.3 million.

A spokesperson for the Toronto-based company told our newsroom on Monday that they have nothing to share at this time.