New Brunswick

Moncton company offers to buy St. Stephen town hall

A Moncton-based real estate company, Heritage Development, has offered to buy the town of St. Stephen’s town hall.

Heritage Development will go through the building, see if it's salvageable

The St. Stephen town hall dates from the mid-1880s and is a national historic site. (Courtesy of Hendrik Slegtenhorst )

A Moncton-based real estate company, Heritage Development, has offered to buy the town of St. Stephen's town hall. 

"We believe they are coming to the table so that they can save the building," said Allan MacEachern, mayor of St. Stephen.

The River Arts Resource Council suggested the building to the company, after opposing the town's decision to tear it down earlier this year. 
We are taking the 30 days to take a closer look to see if it can be salvaged and saved.- Ross Carpenter, Heritage Development

"We were asked to look at the old post office and we see that certainly as an asset to the town, the old historic property," said Ross Carpenter, vice-president of Heritage Development. 

"So we are taking the 30 days to take a closer look to see if it can be salvaged and saved."

"At the end of the thirty days we will know if the property can be saved," he said. "If it can, we will secure it structurally so it can withstand another winter and then put a plan together, a long term plan, to redevelop it."

He said if the building cannot be salvaged, they will let the town decide what to do.

The company has restored heritage properties in St. Stephen in the past, notably Ganong Place, the original Ganong's candy factory. 

Carpenter would not give any monetary details of the offer. 

Building in unstable condition 

Mayor MacEachern said the building has mold issues, leaking water and air quality issues.

"If they accept it, they are going to repair the building and stabilize it right away. That's one of our concerns, is stabilization, it's not in a safe state right now," he said.

The building was designed by Thomas Fuller, the architect behind the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and the Halifax Armoury, and has stood since 1885. 

It served as the town's post office and town hall.

"If you want to go back in time, it should never have gotten to the state of repairs it is in today," MacEachern said. "I mean it should have been maintained over the years."