Friday, June 20, 2008

Saint John Board of Trade Excited to see Magnitude of Investment in the Waterfront

The Saint John Board of Trade supports the Saint John Port Authority in its endeavours to develop and diversify our working Port. The development of Long Wharf is significant to the continuing rejuvenation of the Saint John Waterfront and the economic development of the City of Saint John.  The MOU presented by the Saint John Port Authority and Irving Oil is great news for our working port.  An improved revenue stream from Long Wharf, not to mention the improvements proposed for the property, and the financial support required for the formation of a continuous strip of operational Port property at the southern tip of the peninsula will have a lasting positive impact.

The building of a new Irving Oil Headquarters on the site would add aesthetic value to the location as well as the financial benefit to the Port Authority through the equal value land transfer (the Port is actually gaining accessible waterfront) and the Uptown merchants in keeping the Irving Oil Limited employees in the Uptown area. The fact that the cruise ships will still be able to utilize the port side of Long Wharf only adds to the benefit of a redeveloped working port. The construction jobs associated with this new building and the addition to the City’s skyline will signify to other companies that Saint John is capable of housing the headquarters of a multinational company. 

“We are excited to see investment of this magnitude in the waterfront.  We know this building will set a powerful benchmark for other projects of this kind through its leading-edge architectural and environmental elements.  These, combined with the planned enhancement of Harbour Passage and Fort La Tour, make this development a clear win for the entire community” said Dr. Michael Barry, Chair of the Saint John Board of Trade.

“We are proud to be one of several groups that encouraged Irving Oil to look at the uptown for its new building location, Irving Oil, the Saint John Port Authority, and all other stakeholders should be commended for their efforts to make this project a reality”  continued Dr. Barry.  “It is great to see Irving Oil reaffirm its commitment to Saint John as its home base.” 

“The structure we saw enveiled today is nothing short of inspirational.  It is more than just a leasehold improvement to the Long Wharf site, it is something workers can be proud to construct and Saint Johners will be proud to incorporate into its skyline” said Dr. Michael Barry.

This is the first step of many required for this to happen" cautioned Dr. Barry.  "We think that the fact that this first step is being brought to the public for consultation is great and represents what the people of Saint John have been looking for - more public consultation in the development of their city."  The Saint John Board of Trade looks forward to the feedback from its members and the community in the upcoming weeks and months.

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