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The former Coast Guard site development could include retail, residential and commercial properties. (CBC)

The former Coast Guard site in Saint John is close to having a development deal in place, according to the Saint John Waterfront Development Corp.

The organization is in discussions with a developer about a project estimated to be between $80 million and $100 million, said general manager Kent MacIntyre.

"We are progressing quite nicely with a developer and we'll have something to say in the near future," he said, declining to divulge any details.

"The end is near for this project for developing that site. I can safely say that."

In July, MacIntyre expected to announce a multi-million dollar deal to develop the prime waterfront property by the end of the summer.

At that time, he suggested it might include retail, residential and commercial properties, which could bring in at least $1 million in tax revenue for the city.

Development discussed for almost a decade

The city has been talking about developing the site, now dubbed the Fundy Quay, for almost a decade.

Six years ago, the Hardman Group entered into a memorandum of understanding with the city to bring an "urban community" to the waterfront property.

The plan was to start with a hotel and condominiums, then add office and retail space.

But those plans were shelved after Irving Oil Ltd. shelved it plans to build a world headquarters at the adjacent site, Long Wharf.

Now the city is looking to develop both properties, said Mayor Mel Norton.

"It's one of the last pieces of our downtown core that are undeveloped," he said.

"It's those kinds of assets that this community has that we want to see developed and we want to see leveraged for not only for the benefit for people in the community but also the whole province really."

The city bought the old Coast Guard site from Fisheries and Oceans Canada for $2.8 million in January 2011.

Waterfront Saint John looked at 20 proposals for developing the site before narrowing it down to the one currently being considered.

The mayor would like to see a four-pad arena at the Long Wharf site.