Saint John – Walking into the newest units of Historica Development’s Parrtown Place, you wouldn’t know that the now exposed brick walls and wood-beamed ceilings were home to dated office spaces less than two years ago.
“When we first went in, there were a few offices in the building…the building was deserted,”said Operations Manager Tiffany Mokhtari. “It felt run down, it was terrible.”
Close to completion, Historica’s most recent addition to its portfolio of residential and commercial properties, Parrtown Place, will see its first tenants move in April.1.
Completely renovated, including a new roof and all new windows, the building has 25 units consisting of 14 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom suites.
“We had to gut the whole thing…everything was stripped. Everything has been brand new…nothing was saved,” Mokhtari said.
The new units, designed by Margot Brideau, feature in-suite laundry, a dishwasher, an electric fireplace, LED lighting and lighted mirrors. Units to the back of the building each have a balcony, with the building set to have its own rooftop patio that will contain barbecues and patio furniture.
Parking is available in a lot off the back or at Market Square, said Mokhtari.
Comparing the building to some of Historica’s past projects, which include Park Place on Canterbury Street and Bustin’s on Germain Street, Mokhtari described Parrtown Place as a step above the rest.
“These are the most high-end we’ve done so far,” she said. “There is nothing else like them in Saint John…”
According to Mokhtari, the building is about 70 percent rented at this point, with some repeat tenants as well as new tenants, which she said have mostly been coming from the Kennebecasis Valley.
“These people are 50-something years old, their kids are in University, they’ve sold their homes…they want to live the Uptown life.”
Units begin at $1,300, plus utilities, for one bedroom, ranging to over $2,200 for a two-bedroom. Sizes of the units vary, with most one-bedrooms coming in at around 900 square feet, and two-bedroom units at 1200 square feet, said Mokhtari.
According to president and founder Keith Brideau, the group has well over 20 buildings, with close to 200 units spanning residential, commercial and retail.
For Mokhtari, providing living spaces in the Uptown is just one piece of the change she has seen over the last few years.
“We want people to come and live Uptown and enjoy it…look how much changed when Picaroons opened and Five and Dime…everything around has been transforming,” Mokhtari said.