Work is now underway to give many Birdsboro residents what they have long been hoping for.
Ground was broken Friday on The Shops at St. Mark's Square, a small shopping center at West First and South Furnace streets.
The center got its name from the nearby St. Mark's Lutheran Church, from which developers purchased the five-acre property last year.
The center will include a Boyer's Food Market, the Schuylkill County-company's fourth in Berks County.
"This will be one of our larger stores, not our largest, but on a larger scale and it will have every feature that everybody in this town is looking for," said Dean Walker, president, Boyer's Food Markets, adding that the store will create about 85 jobs when it opens later this year.
Birdsboro has been without a grocery store since the IGA closed a few years ago, prompting borough leaders to launch an effort to bring Boyer's to town.
"It's a town that we've been looking at for a long time," Walker said. "We're really excited. This is a great fit for us and a great fit for the community."
Plans also show a Subway restaurant and a dry-cleaning business in the shopping center.
A Dollar General store is set to open on the old IGA site at 100 Chestnut St. The Tennessee-based retailer already has nearly a dozen stores in Berks County.