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Fredericton buys large vacant properties downtown to sell to the province

New Brunswick's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The city of Fredericton has bought one of the largest vacant properties in the downtown area that will house a new provincial justice building and a potential new performing arts centre.

The site will also have space for commercial and residential uses, said the city in a release on Monday.

The property is located at the southwest corner of King and Regent streets, extending east along King and south to Brunswick Street.

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The city said it will pay $8.25 million for the property and immediately sell the King Street parcel to the province for approximately $2.4 million.

The city will also collect $1 million in annual property taxes from the justice building development.

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For now, the city said the King/Regent street parcel could be a potential location for the new performing arts centre, while the Brunswick Street parcel would be the site of a mix of “high-density commercial and residential uses.”

“This is a once-in-a-generation investment that will serve as an economic anchor in our growing downtown and support our restaurants, hotels, shops, and other businesses,” said Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers in a press release.

Fredericton buys large vacant properties downtown to sell to the province - image

The president of Downtown Fredericton Inc., Mike Babineau, says news of the deal comes at a critical time for businesses.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for downtown business owners, many of whom have struggled this last year,” he said. “This investment in the growth of the downtown is a wonderful light at the end of a very long tunnel.”

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According to the city, the province will also be getting the NB Power land further east on King Street in a separate transaction.

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