“Flip Saint John” has been Keith Brideau’s mission statement ever since he became involved with real estate development in New Brunswick. He grew up in the Old North End of the city and obtained a degree in Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB), specializing in risk management. But Keith soon discovered his passion lay in real estate and formed his first property business in 2007, co-founding Historica Group soon afterwards. His expertise proved invaluable when it came to saving the city’s underdeveloped and underused heritage buildings. Motivated to create an urban living experience in Uptown Saint John, while recognizing a niche market worth investing in, Keith took on some big redevelopment projects.
Historica Group’s portfolio is impressive. It includes a brownstone Italianate-style building dating to 1878 on historic Prince William Street originally built as a hotel and now used as a mix of commercial, office and residential space; a 1912 industrial six-storey brick building now home to an art gallery, artist studios and innovative IT specialists, all creating a breeding ground for ideas; and the former Hayward and Warwick buildings in the Trinity Royal Preservation Area—Historica’s most recent acquisitions—which Keith plans to rehabilitate for a variety of uses.
“I always knew there was a lot of potential in these heritage buildings,” he says. “I just didn’t realize how much. We’re now on our 7th and 8th buildings.”
Keith Brideau is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Residential Space of the Year Award from Uptown Saint John in 2010, the Board of Trade’s 2011 Young Entrepreneur Award and a UNB Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.
When he is not contributing to the renaissance of Saint John, he keeps busy on the city’s planning advisory committee and as a director of Uptown Saint John Inc.