Target Opens to Delight of City, Shoppers

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Target store team leader Geoffrey Weaver does the honors at a ribboncutting on Tuesday as LCF City Councilman Leonard Pieroni, Mayor Terry Walker, Councilmen Michael Davitt and Gregory Brown and state Sen. Anthony Portantino rally ’round.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Target store team leader Geoffrey Weaver does the honors at a ribboncutting on Tuesday as LCF City Councilman Leonard Pieroni, Mayor Terry Walker, Councilmen Michael Davitt and Gregory Brown and state Sen. Anthony Portantino rally ’round.

With the ceremonial cutting of a bright red ribbon amid balloons and fanfare, the new era of Target shopping began in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday afternoon.
A contingent of dignitaries including state Sen. Anthony Portantino and city leaders welcomed the “small format” store at 965 Town Center Drive with speeches, smiles and proclamations, and the first shoppers began to make their selections and head to checkout.
“I live a block away, so I love the Town Center,” Portantino told a cheering crowd. “I was part of it when it was created, and I’m really excited as a Target shopper to welcome you.”
LCF Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Pat Anderson, who emceed the event, was beaming as throngs of people walked by to enter the store.
“This is their new business model,” Anderson said of the smaller dimensions Target chose for the store. “An inventory geared toward the community they serve.”
She said the store, which distributed coupons to shoppers Tuesday, has a large inventory with a reduced number of items. It does not have an automotive department or garden center, because while the average Target is about 150,000 square feet, LCF’s is 45,000 square feet.
Inside the store, officials and the general public appeared to enjoy the selection of clothing, food, free samples and more.
Though the official grand opening is set for Sunday, Oct. 21, the store — which employs about 100 people — is currently open to shoppers, according to store team leader Geoffrey Weaver. A 2007 La Cañada High School graduate, Weaver was the first official to address a large crowd that gathered just before 4:30 p.m. for what had been billed as a Very Important Guest event.
“This is honestly, honestly such an exciting day,” said Weaver minutes before he cut the ceremonial ribbon. “As somebody that grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, being able to be here and open this store, it’s truly an honor.”
Not long afterward, Stephanie Ito was pushing a cart though the store as her sons Miles, 11, and Zachary, 9, tagged along. She said she was excited the LCF location was open because they shop at Target stores so frequently.
“We drove by and saw a big crowd and I was like ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s open finally,’” the LCF resident said. “We’d been waiting a long time for a great, all-around shop to open here. It’s a great, welcome addition. And it will provide a lot of jobs, too, so that’s good.”
City Manager Mark Alexander said the store — occupying a building that had been vacant since Sport Chalet closed around April 2016 —would generate sales tax, increase property tax values and create jobs for local residents.
“It certainly provides synergy for the entire center and the community,” Alexander said.
City Councilman Gregory Brown said the council recognizes it will have to deal with parking issues from the center but said that’s better than having empty stores.
“We’re going to monitor it very closely,” Brown said. “Target has to come back to the City Council in six months to discuss parking, and their officials are very aware of the potential issues involved.”
Officials have noted there are about 170 spaces on the store’s roof. Shopping carts are equipped with locks to stop them from getting past the curb of the front entrance and gumming up traffic.
Brown said he was mayor in 2006 and chaired the meeting at which the Town Center was approved. In the bigger picture, he said, the Target opening was a dream come true.
After the City Council’s meeting on Tuesday night, Mayor Terry Walker said she was impressed by the quality of bedding she saw at the store earlier in the day and was excited about Target’s arrival.
“I will definitely be shopping there because it’s in our community,” Walker said.

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