No ill will intended behind St. Edward’s land purchase, says buyer
By Craig Westcott/August 12, 2022
A spokesperson for Pine Bud Properties, the holding company that bought St. Edward’s cemetery extension in an auction of properties owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, says there was no ill intent involved in the purchase, and that the company didn’t know the local cemetery committee planned to use the 2.3 acres of ground to expand its graveyard.
“We put a bid in on what we just thought was a piece of land,” said Patricia Allan, Pine Bud’s manager. “We knew that it had no access directly from one of the main roads, but we just put in a bid and we won, and knew nothing about it being connected with the cemetery. It didn’t say that anywhere in the bidding process… It was just land that they had an outline of in the tendering process and we put a bid in… We just figured land is never a bad thing to have in your pocket kind of thing.”
Pine Bud also bought St. Edward’s Rectory and a piece of Church land in Outer Cove.
Allan didn’t know if know if anyone else bid on it. “I guess the cemetery committee mustn’t have known it was up for bid, or they probably would have put in a bid themselves,” Allan said. “We knew it was between the school and the cemetery and it butts up against some other people’s land who have houses on a different street there, and then there is another block of land there that I think borders onto the T’railway. It was just a piece of land that we put a bid in on. There was no harm intended. We didn’t know it was a cemetery, or anything like that.”
Allan said the company has no particular plans for the land as yet. The company owns residential and commercial properties, but is not in the business of building houses itself.
She isn’t sure how Pine Bud will access the land.
“Not particularly as of right now,” Allan said. “We knew that we didn’t have any main road access and (thought) maybe we could buy an adjoining piece or make an agreement with somebody, or maybe we will just sell it down the road. We just saw an opportunity for a piece of land to bid on and that was it, really.”
Allan seemed surprised the cemetery committee members are upset by what transpired. She said someone from her office told her the committee had left a message and they did call them back and leave a voice mail, but didn’t hear back.
“It would be a long ways away before anything was to happen on our end,” Allan said, in terms of developing the land.
“It was all public information and anybody could make a bid,” Allan said. “It’s too bad they (the cemetery committee) had that misunderstanding (that it wasn’t for sale)… I hope they’re not too upset. We just put a bid in, we had no idea (the cemetery committee had plans for the land).”
Allan said as far as she knows, the soccer field by the school and Church wasn’t for sale.
As for the Rectory, the plans for that are uncertain too.
“It’s just a house there now,” said Allan. “We’ll probably fix it up. It’s a bit dated. We’ll probably rent it, sell it, I don’t know, something along those lines.”
Allan said the company’s ownership had no intention of causing any ill will.
“We figured the properties were going to be sold anyway, so we might as well put a bid in, kind of thing,” she explained.