Council approves development of luxury apartment building in downtown Fredericton

Plans for a new seven-unit, two-storey rental property on Aberdeen Street in Fredericton, aren't sitting well with people living in the area.

Construction will start next month and should be finished in the next 7 to 8 months

Developer Tony George is happy council approved his application to tear down his rental property at 279 Abderdeen St., which will allow him to rebuild a brand new luxury unit. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Fredericton city council approved plans for a brand new luxury apartment building to go up in the downtown later this year.

The current multi-unit rental property located at 279 Aberdeen St. will be torn down, allowing developer, Tony George of AJ Investments Ltd., to rebuild the new luxury building.

"The place is a dump, really, run down bad — I couldn't fix it anymore," George said at Monday night's city council meeting.

But the new seven unit, two storey rental property isn't sitting well with people living in the area.

Some residents have written letters to the city and have spoken out about their concerns at at a previous council meeting, taking issue with tenants who have lived in George's current building.

The local developer said he can't understand why people in the neighborhood are upset with his plans.

"I mean, come on, drive by and take a look at it and then see the plan we're going to put up," he said.

"It's day and night."

Coun. John MacDermid was the only person to vote against the application. 

Police called to the area

He said the current property is an eyesore to the public and tenants have been troublesome.

The home was also the scene of a standoff last August, where a man barricaded himself inside the apartment building for seven hours, forcing police to use tear gas to get him out.

In 2015, firefighters discovered a body in the attic after a suspicious fire broke out at the building. Police said the body was unrelated to the fire. 

"This past summer there were two major police incidents. One of them closed the street down for 18 hours," he said.

MacDermid also feels council could be sending the wrong message to local developers.

"You have a problem property and the developer is essentially being rewarded for improving the property," he said.

"There's nothing wrong with that, except on the scale of how bad the property was to begin with."

Coun. John MacDermid was the only one who voted against the application, stating the designs don't fit with the spirit of the neighbourhood. (Submitted )

George has developed several luxury buildings in Fredericton, including 215 Queen St. 

He feels his new developments are suited for working professionals, which will be the case for the Aberdeen Street property.

Work will start next month on the new building and is expected to be completed in the next seven to eight months. 

About the Author

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore recently moved from Corner Brook, NL to join the CBC team in Fredericton. He's an associate producer with Information Morning.