The Light at the End of the Tunnel





    And another one bites the dust. What you see is the remains of what was once a 4 family rental property at the corner of Watson and Duke.  Since it has been demolished my best guess is that it was empty and not generating revenue while the taxes kept coming in.

    In any normal city outside of Saint John N.B. and I stress “normal city” that building probably would have generated about $3500 to $4000 per month in gross revenue. Subtract water and sewage, heat, hydro, taxes and you would probably be left with a few hundred dollars in your pocket. Then after a five or ten years you could probably sell the building and make a pretty good chunk of change as a capital gain. But then again I said any normal city.

    The assessment on the building on the Watson Street property has gone up year after year after year until the property taxes were over $4300 per year. Throw in rising water and sewage rates, increased heat and hydro costs, increased maintenance costs, against the inability to generate reasonable rental income, falling property values and you have the perfect storm, ……a growing negative return on your investment and in this case the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train.

    In 2010 the number of derelict and boarded up buildings in Saint John was 200 give or take a few. Since 2010 how many of those buildings have since been demolished leaving behind empty lots,…..with limited demand? Equally important is what is the derelict and boarded up count in 2017.

    To be brutally honest as I write this article I find myself sitting here shaking my head in disbelief.  Just this past week we’ve had a Common Council actually debating whether to proceed with a three phase transportation study to the tune of $600,000 that will define Saint John’s transportation requirements for the next 25 years when we don’t even know if the City will have enough revenue for the 2018 operating budget. What the hell are they thinking?

    That oncoming train not only applies to many over burdened and over taxed  property owners in Saint John, it may very well could apply to the City itself, if… Common Council doesn’t understand that we have far more serious issues to deal with than future transplantation requirements.

    Think about it.