Heritage group can have 'whatever it wants' from doomed buildings
PMV Canada spokesman says 2 older Main Street buildings will be first to come down
A Saint John group hopes to salvage heritage features from a collection of buildings slated for demolition in the city's old north end.
Heritage Saint John 2017 has reached out to PMV Canada, the company that owns the vacant residential properties around the intersection of Main and Albert streets.
- Saint John to demolish vacant building owned by PMV Canada
- What's happening to 47 boarded-up buildings in Saint John?
"We could repurpose some of those materials, not see them end up in landfills like other demolitions," said Janelle Russell, Heritage Saint John's vice-president.
"There's, of course, the front trim, there's staircases, banisters. ... A lot of the buildings in this area are made out of virgin wood, so they're very strong, and the wood is still good and solid.
'If they offered them for sale ... they would make a buck. People can go down there and start fixing them up as individuals. I think it will work."- Gerry Lowe, councillor
Dave Loten, PMV's chief operating officer, told CBC News on Friday that the heritage group can have "whatever it wants" from the buildings.
He said his staff has already started to remove trash from a three-storey apartment building at 126 Main to reduce tipping costs when the bulk of construction debris arrives at the landfill.
Disposal of construction debris is about one-quarter the cost of regular trash.
Two buildings at 120 and 126 Main will be the first to be removed.
Loten said he would like to construct a new building on the properties, which are adjacent to each other.
A line of boarded-up apartment houses across the street from the two buildings will also come down in coming weeks, he said.
Neighbour wants them gone
Coun. Gerry Lowe said PMV Canada should try selling some of the buildings individually before resorting to demolition.
"If they offered them for sale ... they would make a buck," Lowe said. "People can go down there and start fixing them up as individuals. I think it will work."
Neighbour Carolyn Roberts doubted the Main and Albert buildings will ever be renovated.
"Those places need to be torn down," Roberts said. "They're just abandoned, people [are] setting fires.
"It's just not safe for the kids."