Incorporated in 2008 by Keith Brideau and private investors, Historica Developments manages and develops properties in Saint John, N.B.’s heritage-rich uptown core. The company’s first major development was the revival of the former Aberdeen Hotel on a city block bordered by Canterbury, Princess and Prince William streets. After close to two years of intense work, the brick building dating back to 1878 eventually became home to popular pubs, including Big Tide Brewing Company, Eighty Three Bar Arcade, offices and high quality residential suites.
The high demand for the residential units — which were rented out before the project was complete — indicated there was an unsatisfied need for high-quality rentals in Saint John’s historic Uptown, fueling Historica’s vision to further develop some of the city’s grandest, yet most under-utilized architectural treasures.
Over time, Historica purchased and tastefully renovated numerous buildings that had deteriorated over time, such as “Historica Riviera,” at 93 Prince William St., offering stunning views of the Saint John harbour, and “Historica Royale,” at 80 King St., which houses a trendy boutique shoe store and three stories of high-end loft apartments. Other projects include “The Warehouse,” formerly known as the Hayward & Warwick buildings, which housed a well-known china and gift store. The building has since been transformed to include Refresh Spa, Flewwelling Photography, a number of upscale apartments and the Historica Developments head office.
Most recently, Historica redeveloped the Canterbury Carpark on Canterbury Street and attracted Picaroons, Pomodori Pizza, and the Buckland Merrifield Gallery, and built several chic apartments on the upper floors. They also just completed the time-honored Bustin’s furniture building on Germain Street, which runs along Grannan Lane to Canterbury Street — quickly creating one of the city’s newest hot spots. The building is home to Italian by Night, Five & Dime, Marci’s, Rogue Coffee, and several loft apartments and office spaces.
All of the company’s 12 properties — purchased through Historica’s various holding companies, including Historica Properties and Historica Quattro — are located in the city’s heritage preservation districts. That means the buildings are painstakingly restored to modern standards, while respecting the original architectural style.
Historica continues to invest in Saint John’s uptown with further projects expected over the coming months and years, building an even stronger portfolio of high-quality residential, commercial and office space.