Lease approved for Irving Oil

A 99-year lease of Long Wharf to Irving Oil Ltd. has been approved by the federal government, paving the way for the company to build its $30-million world headquarters on the waterfront.

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A 99-year lease of Long Wharf to Irving Oil Ltd. has been approved by the federal government, paving the way for the company to build its $30-million world headquarters on the waterfront.

Saint John MP Rodney Weston received word from Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird on Thursday.

“We’ve got it,” he said. “The federal approvals are in place for the Long Wharf project to proceed. This is huge. It’s one step closer to ensuring there will be a $30-million investment in this community.”

Securing the Long Wharf leasing deal was one of four election promises Weston made and a crucial step for those who support developing the area.

“This has been a hurdle,” Weston said. “If anybody wanders through the bureaucracy, they know it’s no small feat.”

The deal would also see Irving Oil hand over the former Lantic Sugar site, which it has a tentative deal to buy from the city for $1.2 million, for a section of Long Wharf where its new headquarters would be built.

Weston declined to divulge any other lease details. The MP said his pitch to the federal minister hinged on the fact that no federal dollars were needed.