Saint John Common Council Initiates Real Estate Alignment to Drive Economic Development

Common Council has passed a resolution to signal it is giving the green light to the initial phase of a Real Estate Services alignment as outlined in the Roadmap for Smart Growth.

The appointment of a contract Director of Strategic Real Estate Services (Director) will allow for evaluation and development of a new structure optimizing operational efficiency and effectiveness of the various real estate practices in the city. Mr. Steve Carson will assume the role of Director, Strategic Real Estate Services for the City of Saint John, effective immediately. Between now and the end of September he will also continue as Enterprise Saint John’s CEO in order to assist ESJ’s board with the recruitment and orientation of his successor.

“The City is pleased to have Mr. Carson join us to help guide the strategic alignment of the City’s real estate practices,” says Jeff Trail, City Manager. “He has extensive networks and experience working with all levels of government, private business, economic development and corporate real estate management. This will enable us to move forward quickly to provide the strategic leadership, knowledge and expertise necessary to deliver upon our real estate and tax-base growth goals in the Roadmap for Smart Growth.”

Reporting to the City Manager initially, the Director of Strategic Real Estate Services will begin the alignment process through a discovery phase—gathering operational, financial and governance information; assessing the challenges and opportunities within the current structures of Saint John Industrial Parks, Saint John Waterfront Development and the City’s in-house real estate division; and conducting stakeholder engagement. Based on the findings, the Director will provide options for Common Council consideration. Following adoption, the Director will lead the delivery of an aligned Real Estate Services practice that is strategic, results-oriented, resource conscious and accountable.

Prior to joining the City, Mr. Carson was CEO of Enterprise Saint John (ESJ). “Steve has contributed so much to Enterprise Saint John. Although we are sorry to see him go, we know the City of Saint John will benefit from his experience and skill,” says Martin Chiasson, interim Chair, ESJ.

The Roadmap for Smart Growth created a strong foundation for growth-based results in three key areas: population, jobs and tax-base growth. Alignment of Saint John’s real estate services must be achieved in order to advance development priorities, provide greater coordination with the private sector and sales and marketing, achieve annual targets, and to improve the City’s ability to generate revenues.

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