ST. JOHN | Town officials want to attract more high-end retail businesses and restaurants to the U.S. 41 corridor, but an effort to market the area will have to wait.
The St. John Town Council recently rejected a proposal presented by Town Manager Steve Kil to hire Solomon, Cordwell & Buenz, an international architecture, interior design and planning firm based in Chicago.
The firm had submitted a bid not to exceed $20,000 to create a marketing plan and an 8- to 10-page full-color marketing publication about the town. Solomon, Cordwell & Buenz was the only firm to submit a bid.
The council deferred action on the marketing proposal until more bids are solicited.
“Typically we like to get three bids,” council member Greg Volk said.
Kil said he also contacted the Northwest Indiana Forum for marketing assistance.
“They said they market all of Northwest Indiana and won’t key in on our community,” Kil said.
After the closing of the Kmart on U.S. 41, the St. John Economic Development Committee formed to create a plan to attract more upscale businesses to the town.
Sears Holdings Corp. has paid for the lease at the Kmart site through October, Kil said.