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Thread: Urban Target

  1. #1

    Urban Target

    We have a proposal to place a Target store in an existing shopping center. It would involve the demolition of part of the center.

    The proposed store is in a new overlay district that requires that the building be 25' from the ROW along a major road. In this case it would be the side of the Target building.

    Target refuses to meet almost all of the conditions of the overlay. Instead they have applied for 5 variances. The political support is there to allow the variances to be approved.

    Target argues that this is the corporate plan that requires all of their parking be on their lot. They will be putting a large parking lot on the side of the building facing the street (which is strictly forbidden by the overlay).

    I want to know if there are any examples of Target stores that have located in infill areas/urban areas that are placed up to the lot line or very close to a street. Pictures if you have them would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Whenever a business requests a variance or special treatment, we have an Alderman/Plan Commissioner who always argues that "corporate image and policy is not grounds for a variance, corprations don't make the ordinance, the City does." It seems that communities get so excited to get a large development like Target that they don't even think about the consequences. If you cannot find any examples of Target stores with small setbacks, try finding other big box stores like Wal-Mart or a grocery store that have adhered to similar setback requirements.

    Check out this link - looks like there is a Target in downtown Minneapolis.

    http://news.mpr.org/features/200110/...et/index.shtml
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    City of White Plains (NY) currently has a large urban retail center being built that will have a Target. (this is the 3rd) I work for the County,, but the City of White Plains could probably get you the best info.

    The project is part of a larger project...that include 2 or 3 30-story buildings (with upscale residential component)

    Here is a brief description from a County Referral...

    Construction of a three-level, 445,000 square foot retail/restaurant/theater development (85 feet in height) and a seven level, 1,914 space parking garage (42 feet in height) on a 7.17-acre site. Three existing buildings with 346,135 square feet of floor area (primarily the former Macys) plus a 1,155 space parking garage (Main/Martine) now on the site will be demolished. Two level commercial retail building (225,00 sq. ft ) and restaurants (45,000 sq. ft.) - one level underground and the other at street level. The third level would house a 21-screen movie theater complex with a total of 5,100 seats with the main entrance on Mamaroneck Ave. (total of 122,000 sq. ft.). Two levels of the parking garage would be below grade. Two enclosed walkway connections between the garage and the commercial building are proposed - one below grade and one above the street.

    I think the parking garage has gotten bigger than what was originally proposed.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    oh..... the building is right to the street..... absolutely no setback.

    Development in our area is a bit the reverse of many other places.... the suburbs make it almost impossible for commercial development to expand from what it was in the 70's... if you want high square footage...to the urban centers you go.

    People in our area are not intimidated by parking garages... I have worked in an area where this was a big road block to downtown retail.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

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    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    Where I work, to prove a variance, you have to have a physical hardship with the natural features of the property that make development impossible. I would assume your municipality is similar. This would not fly in my area. The applicant would just be told to change the code, which would most likely be approved anyway.

  6. #6
    Well, the argument for the variance in this case is that they have a physical hardship and are a unique property. Their property is more than 1/4 mile deep and they are the largest parcel in the area. So, the politics are buying this as a physical hardship.

    We had the same parcel come up with a Home Depot six months ago. It was a slightly better proposal, but still did not come anywhere close to meeting the setback requirement. It was approved, but Home Depot put a hold on all building projects. Now they are back with a worse proposal (148' setback instead of 25') for Target.

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    Cyburbian SlaveToTheGrind's avatar
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    In my city, I am the staff representative to the Board of Adjustment. We don't have many variance requests, (I can usually persuade them otherwise) maybe 8 or so a year. For the most part, the BOA has held the line that staff has taken. I guess is depends what the powers that be say to you for your staff report. I have my own opinions but when my boss tells me otherwise, I have to go with what he says. I'd like to keep my good paying job.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you allow these, you might as well forget about the overlay district. Remind people of why the city enacted it in the first place. I think you can successfully argue that there is no real hardship (that would stand up to a court challenge) and then suggest practical alternatives to meet the intent of the overlay district.

    One such option is to place the building as required (but require a street facade instead of a side wall!) and place parking to the side. A second alternative would be to allow the building to be set back, but require a continuous development of the street frontage with outlots. These buildings should be oriented to the street, screen most of the frontage, and be constructed simultaneously with the Target.

    Lastly, be consistent. Hold Home Depot and any other big boxes to the same requirements.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Jewel, the primary supermarket chain for Chicago, perfers to have a huge cheap buildings fronted by a massive parking lot, but will make them more neighborhood friendly if pushed. Many times they front the sidewalk with the store and put the parking lot next to it (and usually make them pretty small to boot), I've also seen them put the parking on top of the store. I don't have any pictures though, but I can put it on my list to get some.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Re: Urban Target

    Originally posted by cowley.11
    I want to know if there are any examples of Target stores that have located in infill areas/urban areas that are placed up to the lot line or very close to a street. Pictures if you have them would be greatly appreciated!!
    There's a Target in an urban-scale shopping center in University Heights, Ohio, that might be just what you're looking for. (I'm in Cleveland for a couple of days; I'll try to stop by, take some pictures with the digital camera, and post 'em here in a few days.)
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Well, the proposal went before the Area Commission (first step in our community and which I serve on). The vote was 5 in favor and 3 opposed. Basically those voting in favor don't believe the overlay should apply to this property.

    It goes before the BZA in a few weeks. I'll post the results.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    There's an urban Target in the Buckhead section of Atlanta. Here is a pic of it:

    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  13. #13
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    http://www.ci.white-plains.ny.us/new...s/projects.htm

    Here is the link to the White Plains target... it is in the White Plains City Center Project. Only one of the tower is built so far... but the retail center is almost complete.

    off-topic... same page shows all the other large scale residential development going on (high rise)
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

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