This may get a little wild but bear with me and I'll try to be as organized as possible.
In case you haven't guessed I'm talking about this morning's press conference about the York Street Station in Fredericton.
I'll try to keep these blogs to the point but I doubt I'll be able to keep them short.
First, here is a link to an article in today's Daily Gleaner. Shawn Berry interviewed me late yesterday afternoon in anticipation of today's news.
Secondly, I'm pasting the official release that was given to everyone at the Centennial Building today.
(You won't have to be of legal drinking age to go into the station. Or to read this article.)
Sept 18, 2009
Details of York Street train station liquor outlet announced
Details of the plan to refurbish Fredericton's York Street train station into an Alcool NB Liquor retail outlet were announced today by Alcool NB Liquor.
Greg Byrne, minister of finance and minister responsible for the New Brunswick Liquor Corp., said that he is very pleased that such a positive solution has been found to the issue surrounding renovations of the former CP Railway station.
"This is great news for Fredericton, and the newly refurbished station will assure that the station is restored to its former prominence in the city centre area," said Byrne. "The new building will enhance the capital city and be enjoyed for many, many years.
"The new liquor outlet will be about 1,247 sq. metres (about 13,425 sq. ft.), and will incorporate the existing 318-sq.-metre (3,425-sq.-ft) train station, as well as a new, 929-sq.-metre (10,000 sq. ft.) structure at the rear.
The outlet is scheduled to open in August 2010.
"The train station area will house a wine boutique and product sampling counter, with a food preparation area and room for specialty product displays," said Dana Clendenning, president and CEO of Alcool NB Liquor. The products, checkouts, cold room, warehouse and offices will be located in the new structure, and each will be open to the other.
"The exterior of the station will be restored by J.D. Irving Ltd., as per the federal Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act.
The interior brick walls will remain intact, and the historical detail will be incorporated in the interior décor. The new store will be a unique concept for Alcool NB Liquor.
"This is such a good-news story for residents of Fredericton and the supporters of local heritage," said Environment Minister Rick Miles. "I believe that this project will stimulate enhancements to the downtown area of the city."
Alcool NB Liquor will lease the refurbished building and new structure under a 20-year lease. The location meets all of the corporation's key criteria, including a central and visible location, ample customer parking, easy access, and improved service to the downtown core.
"During the past 15 years we have worked continuously to realize a viable development that would enable the restoration of the train station," said Stew Valcour, vice-president, J.D. Irving Ltd. "We are very pleased to be working with Alcool NB Liquor. We appreciate the support that many in the community have given to these efforts. As part of our commitment we will be ensuring a trail access as part of the Sentier NB Trails network. During the next three weeks we will begin the replacement of the roof, which will secure the train station for the winter."
"I would like to congratulate everyone at Alcool NB Liquor and J.D. Irving Ltd. who were involved in bringing this matter to a resolution," said Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside. "I think it is wonderful news for Fredericton."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Nora Lacey, communications, Alcool NB Liquor, 506-452-6453; Mary Keith, communications J.D.Irving Ltd., 506-632-5122; Marc Belliveau, communications, Department of Finance, 506-453-4138
All stakeholders involved have been told that they have the full support of myself and the membership of the Fredericton Friends of the Railway Inc.
I am very happy about this.
Thankfully I was not required to be at the head table for the announcement.
MLAs Rick Miles and Greg Byrne, Stew Valcour - Vice-President of J.D. Irving, Fredericton Mayor and good pal of mine Brad Woodside and President and CEO of Alcool NB Liquor were seated at the front.
I was introduced by Rick Miles as well as representatives of other groups that were in attendance.
Absolutely every media outlet in the province was there and I was interviewed by pretty well all of them!
It's going to be difficult to link to them all but I will try.
All I can say is to watch the news if you are here in New Brunswick.
It's funny but the most extensive coverage will be at Charle's blog! http://charlesotherpersonality.blogspot.com/
I'm serious! He was right there for everything!
He interviewed me on video and recorded me being interviewed by the television stations.
Just go there. He already has a picture up of the artist's rendering of how the station will look.
Much more to come.