Fredericton building site unearths old stone foundation

A developer excavating to build a new apartment building in downtown Fredericton on a site that was once was a sawmill, then a city dump, has hired an archaeologist after a stone foundation was unearthed.

Developer bought land for $100 from city, now must hire archaeologist for thousands of dollars

A developer excavating a downtown Fredericton site for a new apartment building had to hire an architect because his workers unearthed an old stone foundation. 2:02

A developer whose company is building a new apartment building in downtown Fredericton has hired an archaeological consultant after excavations at the site unearthed remnants of stone foundation.        

An archaeologist first noticed the foundation in the pit where developer Tony George's crews were digging and called the province's heritage department.

The department ordered George to hire a consultant to monitor work on the site — the future home of a nine-storey, 48-unit luxury apartment building beside the Royal Canadian Legion.

We thought it was a bargain, but it's not a bargain now.- Developer Tony George.

"It's going to run us quite a few thousand bucks. That's not expected, but we had no choice," said George.

After trying to sell the property that once was home to a sawmill and then a dump for many years,  the city closed a deal with George to sell it for $100 because it would cost him $1.1 million to dig it up and fill it back with rock.

"We thought it was a bargain, but it's not a bargain now," said George.

The system worked the way it should, said Susan Blair, president of the Association of Professional Archaeologists of New Brunswick.

"We really don't want to be doing things that are going to set back developers and the kinds of activities that are happening around here," said Blair.

"I guess I would wish that everybody can walk away with the things that they want to in hand, so we can have development happening in timely and efficient manners, but at the same time that our collective heritage is also protected."

The apartment building is scheduled to go up next spring.