Right on Target: City Approves Retail Store Conditions

The city’s approval conditions were spot on this week, with unanimous approval for Target to move into the old Sport Chalet retail building without any changes to the conditions from the Planning Commission.
Barring an appeal within 15 days of the decision, Target will move forward with work to install one of its small-market stores in the Town Center location at the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway.
“I think that it makes it a complete center that meets all of our needs there,” Commissioner Rick Gunter said.
Target will have to install shopping cart corrals that do not reduce the number of parking spaces on-site, limit product delivery to between 5 a.m. and midnight during non-peak business hours, add signage to help direct customers throughout the parking lots and improve pedestrian paths and walkways.
Six months after the store’s opening, the city will conduct a parking and traffic impact review to assess whether Target needs to make any changes to improve its parking or effect on local traffic. This condition is because available parking, including shared parking in the area, falls just short of meeting the city’s normal requirements for a retail center at that square footage.
“This facility, through no fault of the current property owners or managers, was not permitted with the proper number of parking spaces,” said Commissioner Jeffrey McConnell, who also mentioned there being routine issues with pedestrians and motorists in the parking lots. “These are all things I can’t do much about at this point. I think one of the best things about the current management of this site is that they are flexible and want to make sure the site works well and people will want to continue going there.”
With a combination of surface parking and roof parking, the site has 171 parking spaces of its own, but it will be able to take advantage of sharing the parking deck in Town Center and parking at other nearby businesses.
The small-market Target will differ from most Target locations in that it will be substantially smaller and will carry products marketed specifically to local clientele. The company has recently implemented this site design for urban locations where the full-size stores are not pragmatic.
“It is a very new concept for us,” explained John Dewes, a regional development manager for Target. “It’s been in operation for about three years. They’re anywhere from a 10th to a third of the size of our full size stores. We were trying to get into certain areas — Manhattan for instance. There was no way we would be able to build a full size store in Manhattan, downtown Chicago or any of the major metropolitan areas in our country.”
The store will have between 50 and 75 employees, with a typical shift consisting of between 15 and 20 employees on the clock. The store will contain a Starbucks and CVS Pharmacy and will sell alcohol. Dewes said this site will have at least twice the parking that such stores have and that some locations, such as the one in Berkeley, don’t even have parking.
“We see this as an infill and quick service type operation,” Dewes said. “We have done studies on that, and [customers] are generally in there for 15 to 20 minutes, whereas with our big stores, it’s usually more than an hour.”
There was a sizable audience, considering it was a commission meeting with one agenda item, and there were no voices of opposition.
“It’s going to be good for the city and it’s going to be good for the other businesses in the Town Center,” said Pat Anderson, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

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