Rundown, rat-infested former Saint John motel soon to be sold
Former Fairport motel and restaurant now a source of complaints from neighbours
The former Fairport motel and restaurant, a once-popular spot in west Saint John that is now falling apart and attracting rats, will be sold to a private buyer, the provincial government says.
"The property in question has received high levels of interest," said Jeff Hull of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Fairport property on Manawagonish Road came into the department's hands in November after an attempted tax sale in January 2016.
For decades it was a popular eatery but has been vacant for years.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure assumes control of properties seized by the Department of Finance for non-payment of taxes.
Residents have complained to the city about the condition of the old Fairport property.
The ground around some of the units is littered with building debris and a section of porch roof is rotted through and threatens to collapse.
Mice and rats come out.- Joseph Arditti, neighbour
Siding is peeling off the building and rodents and raccoons are believed to be living inside.
"It's discouraging ... that thing can be standing there," said Coun. Gerry Lowe.
"And the people who control it are in Fredericton. They don't talk to the neighbours, they don't talk to the people who complain."
Joseph Arditti, whose Horsler Drive home borders the property at the rear, said he is among those forced to call the city in the past.
"Mice and rats come out. As a result, I was infested with mice inside the house. I called pest control, they came in, they put some traps inside the house. Poison. And all around the house."
Arditti said he now spends $600 a year to maintain pest control services.
Not much help to tax base
In his statement to CBC, Hull said the department has "worked closely with the City of Saint John to ensure that the property meets all of the requirements for the relevant bylaws and that it is made ready for sale."
Service New Brunswick tax records demonstrate how rundown and unused properties like the former Fairport hurt the city's bottom line.
In 2012 the property was assessed at $308,000.
Its 2016 assessment was $116,900 with a property tax bill of $3,130.
The adjacent White House Court townhouse development, on the site of the former White House Lodge, has 23 units.
Each is assessed at between $200,000 and $210,000, for a total tax bill in excess of $85,000.