Centennial Building would become hotel, residential units under developer's plan

·2 min read

A proposal to turn the Centennial Building in Fredericton into a hotel and residential units has earned the approval of the city's planning advisory committee.

Centennial Heritage Properties bought the building from the provincial government last year for $4 million. The developer's plans for the building also include a restaurant.

"Generally speaking, the building is divided up into four floors for residential, 2.5 floors for hotel and the rest is retail, fitness, office admin and lobby space on the ground floor," said Tony Dakiv, senior planner with the City of Fredericton

It's been a long, uncertain journey for the modernist office building. The government began to vacate its offices there in 2013, after the construction of Chancery Place across the street.

Brian Gallant's Liberal government planned to turn the building into a new courthouse in 2017. But that project was cancelled the next year when Progressive Conservative Blaine Higgs became premier.

City of Fredericton
City of Fredericton

Architect John Feeney says the design team has tried to maintain the building's modern style features.

"A lot of the character defining elements or identified suggestions were made about what kind of intervention could and should take place, and we followed those guidelines and really tried to, where possible, maintain elements and reuse materials and retain the character of the building," he said.

The new design will see a penthouse level, balconies, and windows added to the building.

Under the city's heritage resources inventory the building is marked "significant."

Dakiv said that despite its heritage significance, the building does not have provincial heritage designation.

"Staff feel that the proposed design strikes a reasonable balance between respecting the building's heritage character and the need to successfully house new market-based land uses," he said.

Bernadet Samulski with St. Dunstan's Catholic Church, which sits adjacent to the building on Regent Street, said the church was disappointed that its "iconic structure" didn't seem to have been taken into account in the design plans.

"It would have been nice to have seen how the church fits or doesn't fit into this whole scheme."

John Leroux/ Supplied
John Leroux/ Supplied

The Centennial Building opened in 1967. It was constructed when the provinces and territories received money from the federal government for Canada's centennial.

The application still has to go through city council.