‘High-end offices’: major renos for historic Saint John building – New Brunswick

Cooke Aquaculture plans to take its time renovating the historic building that once housed Shaarei Zedek synagogue in Saint John, according to Nell Halse, the company’s vice-president of communications.

“The building, once it’s restored, will be high-end offices,” Halse said. “It will be done well.”

The former synagogue was originally built in 1871 as a Calvinist church but was bought by the city’s Jewish community in 1919.

The two-storey, Neo-Gothic brick structure, which sits on the corner of Wellington Row and Carleton Street, was decommissioned as a house of worship in November 2008 and taken over by the city.

In September, city council gave up trying to find a buyer to save the 146-year-old building and declared it surplus, which meant it could be torn down.

The synagogue was decommissioned as a house of worship in 2008. (Julia Wright / CBC)

“This is a pretty big purchase for us,” Halse said. “We took a number of years to renovate the building on Wellington Row. We expect it will take a little while to finalize the plans, see the restoration complete and have people working in the building.”

Changes north of Union Street

In 2016, the global seafood giant — which employs over 3,000 employees worldwide at Kelly Cove Salmon, True North Salmon, GMG Fish Services Ltd., Shoreland Transport, and Charlotte Feeds & Northeast Nutrition — invested approximately $750,000 in its new global headquarters at 40 Wellington Row while keeping its headquarters in Charlotte County.

“We totally gutted that building and it took a number of years,” said Halse, “but it’s beautiful office space today.”

Cooke Aquaculture’s new global headquarters at 40 Wellington Row is directly across the street from the synagogue building. (Julia Wright / CBC)

The company hasn’t yet made public a timeline or expected costs for the synagogue renovations.

“We are fortunate to have good people in the company who did a fabulous job with the building we’re in now on…

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