He’s flipped houses, apartments and commercial buildings, but his ultimate goal is to flip Saint John.

Keith Brideau, the founder and vice-president of the development company Historica, says he wants Saint John to be one of the best cities in Canada, and sees no reason why it shouldn’t be. The 30-year-old saw a niche in uptown Saint John for redeveloping older buildings, and has already renovated several major properties into modern, upscale suites surrounded by restaurants and shops.

His most recent project was the King Street Historica Royale – upscale apartments with a rooftop patio, and The Urban Shoe Myth and Silver Daisy Designs on the ground level.

What Brideau is trying to do is create an urban lifestyle in uptown Saint John similar to that in bigger cities such as Toronto, he said in an interview Friday.

“I want Saint John to feel like it’s a big city, and I want it to catch on. I want it to be urban, and a place where people can have fun and live and enjoy themselves,” Brideau said.

“Uptown is where the heart is in the city, and if we want to see the city grow we really have to focus there and come together, and a lot of us have to use our foresight, vision and energy to go that same direction and bring uptown back to life like it used to be. And if we do that then we’ll start to see more people moving to the city.”

This week, Brideau was honoured with the Young Entrepreneur award at the Saint John Board of Trade’s 2011 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards. The award recognizes young business leaders (age 30 and under) just beginning to make their mark.

Read the full story at the New Brunswick Business Journal.