New Brunswick

Threatened Risteen building in Fredericton considered for heritage designation

The City of Fredericton has halted any work on the Risteen building in downtown Fredericton for 60 days, so council can assess whether the property should be brought under the heritage preservation bylaw and its future decided by the heritage review board.

Development blocked for 60 days while council considers fate of 1820s stone cut building

The historic Risteen Building is at risk of being torn down to accommodate an apartment complex. (Joe McDonald/CBC)

The City of Fredericton has halted any work on the Risteen building in downtown Fredericton for 60 days, so council can assess whether the property should be brought under the heritage preservation bylaw and its future decided by the heritage review board.

A temporary order to cease activity was issued to developer Gabriel Elzayat when his application to demolish the building was submitted.

"And if (councillors) elect to designate it, then the bylaw needs to be amended and it becomes part of the heritage bylaw area," said Juan Estepa, the manager of heritage and urban design with the city.

That could take months, said Estepa.

"Then it's up to the Preservation Review Board to consider the demolition request and any development that may happen on that property," he said.

The first cut stone building in New Brunswick, the Risteen building was built in the 1820s by Anthony Lockwood, surveyor general of New Brunswick.

It later became the Risteen Sash and Door factory, supplying many of the finishings to houses and buildings around the city. 

Elzayat wants to build apartments on the site. He owns several buildings in the immediate area that are also expected to be part of the development. He did not wish to comment on the council order. 

"This developer bought the property knowing that this was a potential situation, and it was a risk he was prepared to take," Estepa said.

Corrections

  • A secondary headline incorrectly said that the heritage review board would consider the fate of the building. In fact, it's council that has 60 days to consider the building's future.
    Apr 26, 2019 1:56 PM AT

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