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Excitement grows for opening of Area 506 container village in Saint John

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SAINT JOHN -

With more than thirty modified shipping containers now set up along the uptown waterfront, and more set to arrive soon, the Area 506 container village is starting to take shape.

The container village, which will include retail shops, a 120-foot long graffiti alley, a waterfront beer garden, stage, and more, is slated to open to the public next month – the culmination of a project that’s been a year and a half in the making.

“We started our infrastructure build last fall in terms of the undergrounds, the next step was just last weekend where we brought in most of our shipping containers,” says Area 506 founder Ray Gracewood.

“The last two months or so we’ve been focused on creating the retail containers, so that’s the welding work, the electrical work, the carpentry work – all the things that need to happen before the shipping containers get on site.”

The shipping container village concept will be familiar to Area 506 festival-goers, but this time it won’t be dismantled when the concert series is done.

“We always had anticipated six years ago to say wouldn’t it be cool if we could have a permanent home where we could really lean in and really create an opportunity not just for people from Saint John but also the province,” says Terry Wagner, director of partner success. “And for us to be really proud of where we’re from.”

The new container village will open just in time for the arrival of the Oasis of the Seas on June 8 – a cruise ship that has a passenger capacity of 5400 people.

“We’ll have an open house that first week as well,” says Wagner. “And we’ve just announced our first concert in our waterfront concert series happening with July Talk on June 11.”

There will be 54 containers in total.

“At the end of the day I think it’s a special and unique property for the Saint John waterfront,” adds Gracewood.

“I think it’s very specific to this area being a port city, and I think it’s going to be a really unique experience for people to come and visit.”

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