Moncton couple plans to turn historic church rectory into boutique hotel
MONCTON -- Kara Campbell and her husband, Paul Scharnberg, have been in the business of flipping houses and apartment complexes for quite some time.
"We were both doing it before we even met each other, so once we met each other, it was just a natural fit to keep going with it," said Campbell, who owns the old St. Bernard's Rectory.
Just recently the couple decided to take on a project of a much larger scale.
"It just happened to be that this place came along and we saw that it was on the market and we knew that it would be a special thing for us to do together, and that's why we ventured into this project," Campbell said.
This 105-year old rectory, sitting next door to St. Bernard's Church on Botsford Street, has been vacant for the last five years, but they plan to upgrade it into a nine-suite boutique hotel.
"Actually, it wasn't as scary as you might think, because we've seen a lot of scary buildings in Moncton already," Campbell said.
While renovations in the 1960s modernized most of the interior, Scharnberg says they'll be working with the city's heritage community to ensure the exterior keeps its historic charm.
"There's virtually nothing we want to change with the outside of this building," Scharnberg said. "This building is beautiful."
Demolition has already begun inside the three-storey structure, with quite a bit of work set to be done.
"It's an older building, so it needs to be taken to stud, and brought back correctly," Scharnberg. "Check the structure and make sure it's up to code, and then electrical and plumbing, everything needs to be modernized and brought back correctly."
Campbell remains optimistic that the building will be beautiful once again.
"Other than the damage that we saw, we just saw the potential and the opportunity here that it could be amazing again, because it was an amazing building back in its day," Campbell said. "We want to bring that back."