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Small businesses in Sackville, NB, have been given a lease notice notice

For the past seven years, Miriam Lapp and her partner have run a small bookstore near Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB

Just as they were starting to flourish as a business, a letter arrived a week ago saying there was a plan to redevelop properties at 26, 28 and 30 York Street.

All leases, including that of Blind Forest Books, expire next spring.

“We are shocked. We are angry. We are a small family. My partner and I have three children. Last year we paid off our business loans and we were really starting to get going,” Lapp said.

Lapp said she had heard rumors that the properties had been sold, but was still blindsided by the news and felt like the rug was being pulled out from under her.

The letter came from landowners Right Coast Realty, part of Atlantic Industries Limited (AIL).

In an email to CTV News, AIL Vice President of Finance Wendy Alder confirmed that all tenants have been notified effective April 30, 2025.

“I cannot provide any additional details at this time,” Alder said.

A total of four small businesses will have to relocate.

Shops such as Sweet Yummyland and The Little Pantry have only been open on York Street for a few weeks.

“I can’t believe the poor people who run the pantry just moved into this new space and are now moving,” said Carla VanBeselaere, a professor at Mount Allison University and a regular customer. “They have given the economy here a tremendous boost.”

VanBeselaere understands that this is a business transaction and that the store owners do not own the property.

“I realize that redeveloping and revitalizing the city is important. It’s a shame, the timing,” said VanBeselaere.

Mount Allison student Emma Beck often goes to the bookstore after work and class.

“You get to know the people who work there and things like that. They’re just trying to do business,” Beck said. “It’s a little disappointing.”

The owners of the other three businesses involved politely declined to be interviewed by CTV News, but Amanda Feindel, co-owner of Cackling Goose Market, said this will certainly have an impact on her business as well.

“Absolutely. We have become really proud of York Street in Sackville over the last ten years. Many small businesses have sprung up which have become a fun place for people to walk by and look into unique shops. Not the usual big stores We all offer different services. Different flavors. Yes, we will certainly miss the companies here,” says Feindel.

Lapp hopes to move, but thinks it will be difficult to find a new space, even with eleven months’ notice.

“People come to Sackville because we have all these nice shops,” Lapp said. ‘What will it be like when they’re gone? It’s such a part of the community.”

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