Renovations are expected to start within a number of week at the Saint John City Hall building, as new local owners step in to take over the major uptown office tower.

Service New Brunswick records show the company paid $3 million for the property, less than half the asessed value of $7.5 million. City councillors approved a 15 year lease for four floors of the storey building Monday night.

Mayor Don Darling says that it is essentially the same agreement reached with the building’s previous owners, Se-Fish Associates Ltd., in November of 2017.

That contract is projected to see rent costs reduced by just over $700,000 from the previous lease agreement for each year of the 15-year term. The city’s draft 2019 operating budget allocates about $1.2 million for city hall rent, down from $1.9 million this year.

As part of the lease agreement the city will reduce its footprint from six floors down to four. Some offices moving to a municipally owned in the nearby Saint John City Market tower. In addition, some municipal departments, including those of the city manager and the mayor. It will move down to the council chamber level off the building’s lobby. The city shares space in the building with other organizations and private companies, large areas over several floors are vacant.

Source: CBC

Fulya Altunyay/ [email protected]