New Brunswick

Cooke Aquaculture relocating headquarters in uptown Saint John

Seafood giant Cooke Aquaculture is the latest newcomer north of Union Street in uptown Saint John.

Cooke's plans for beleaguered blocks north of Union Street include cleaning up derelict properties

Cooke Aquaculture is poised to move into a new headquarters at 40 Wellington Row this fall. Previously, the three-storey office building was home to the law firm Clark Drummie. (Julia Wright / CBC)

Seafood giant Cooke Aquaculture is the latest newcomer north of Union Street in uptown Saint John.

Earlier this month, a new sign on 40 Wellington Row announced the presence of the global seafood giant — on track to generate $1.8-billion in annual sales, with over 3,000 employees worldwide and numerous divisions including Kelly Cove Salmon, True North Salmon, GMG Fish Services Ltd., Shoreland Transport, and Charlotte Feeds & Northeast Nutrition.

The three-storey office building on the corner of Wellington Row and Carleton Street formerly belonged to the law firm Clark Drummie from 1976 to 2007.

Cooke's renovations on the site, authorized by the City of Saint John in 2015, are valued at $750,000.

Derelict properties to be demolished

Cooke's plans for 40 Wellington Row include purchasing some neighbouring derelict properties to add parking capacity.

Vacant properties in the immediate vicinity include the city-owned Jelly Bean houses on Wellington Row, and the long-vacant former Shaarei Zedek synagogue on Carleton Street, which common council recently voted to demolish. Part of the historic Stone Church on Carleton Street was torn down last fall.

The long-vacant former Shaarei Zedek synagogue on Carleton Street, which common council recently voted to demolish, is across the street from Cooke's new headquarters. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

The company's relocation is scheduled just prior to the opening of the new, 9,500-square foot NB Liquor location Commercial Properties Ltd. is currently building on Union Street and Wellington Row.

Increased profile in uptown Saint John

Cooke Aquaculture has long maintained a presence in Saint John, where company co-founder and CEO Glenn Cooke lives and sits on the board of directors for the Saint John Port Authority.

The company's Saint John operations have been centralized in a smaller office at 255 Metcalf Street the North End since 2004.

Cooke Aquaculture's former Saint John office at 255 Metcalf Street. (Julia Wright / CBC)

The new headquarters will be a second Cooke outpost in the uptown.

In 2013, the company bought Lord's Lobster, a long-running Saint John City Market institution, and rebranded the fish-and-chip shop as North Market Seafood.

The move is expected to take place in late October.

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