SAINT JOHN – A former Catholic rectory in southern Saint John may soon house a five-unit residential building.
The city’s Planning Advisory Committee has approved a zoning change request for the former rectory of St. John the Baptist Church on Broad Street.
Inside, there will be a single one-bedroom apartment, two one-bedroom apartments with a boudoir in each, and two two-bedroom apartments.
Matthew Carr said he was delighted to breathe new life into the three-story building, which has been vacant for nearly 15 years.
“When I first stumbled across 54 Broad Street, I was just very excited about the architecture and the opportunity to retain much of its century-old history,” Carr told the committee Tuesday night.
David and Mary-Gwen Alston, owners of Timber Top Adventures in Dominion Park, purchased the church and parsonage in June with the intention of turning the church into an indoor climbing hall.
But the couple said it had no use for the parsonage and immediately put it back on the market.
Carr said the layout of the building is really conducive to having five almost specially built apartments inside.
All five suites will have similar features, materials and finishes, he said. There will be two units on the first floor, two on the second floor and one unit on the third floor.
All work will be done within the existing envelope of the structure and there will be no additions or extensions, he said, except for the stairs or balconies needed for fire safety.
Carr said some of the exterior upgrades will include repairing and replacing the flat roof as needed, “tastefully” upgrading windows with better insulation, restoring period doors where possible, and repairing windows. traditional red brick if necessary.
“I am passionate about architecture, design and development and happy to continue,” he said.
Com. Gerry Lowe, who has lived right up the street for almost three decades, said he believes the project is a perfect fit for the community.
He asked Carr what the rental prices might look like for the five units in the building.
“We haven’t hit exact rents yet,” Carr said, noting that they will likely be on the “low end” of the overall apartment price spectrum.
“I think that will become market value at that time for one and two bedroom apartments, but I understand there is a sensitivity to affordability.”
The case will now be before the Common Council for a public hearing, which is scheduled for November 1.
Brad Perry is the Chief Information Officer with CHSJ / Country 94, Huddle content partners.