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ST. JOHN | Major commercial activity could be coming to St. John.

During a presentation Monday about efforts to create an updated comprehensive plan in the municipality, officials said a Boyer shopping center is being planned for the east side of U.S. 41 near 96th Place.

Town Manager Steve Kil said the planning for that project is still in the early stages. It could go before the town's Plan Commission for approval in January and February.

Kil estimated construction could start next spring or summer and take about 12 to 16 months to complete.

Kil said he couldn't comment on which businesses would locate in the development.

Residents have speculated a Mariano's location could be in store for that area, but Kil said that isn't happening at this time.

He said town officials are constantly contacting potential businesses about locating in St. John. Kil said the municipality has reached out to Mariano's.

"They're not coming now," Kil said.

Residents also are curious about what is going to happen with the former Kmart property near 95th Avenue and U.S. 41.

Kil said that property is owned by Garden Properties in New Jersey. He said that company has no immediate plans to sell it. He said Garden Properties would only lease the property at this time, but it's possible the company could have a different perspective about the site if the Boyer development moves forward.

Christine Carlyle, of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, explained a concept for a potential town center that could include a commercial area that's not on U.S. 41.

The concept showed what such a commercial center could look like on Joliet Street.

Several Joliet Street residents were concerned about losing their homes that have been in their families for decades if a commercial center advanced.

Kil said there are no plans set in stone about the town center concept.

Monday's presentation included a visualization that showed what such a center would look like if property owners decided to sell their land in that area and businesses opened there.

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