August 17, 2013 in City

Graffiti takes aim at Target developer

By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photoBuy this photo

A political graffiti was painted overnight Thursday on the entrance to the Blackwood subdivision where real estate developer Dave Black lives.
(Full-size photo)

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The developer of a controversial Target big-box store on the South Hill appears to be the target of graffiti spray-painted at the entrance of the subdivision where he lives.

Someone used a handmade stencil to paint the word “TARGET,” along with the store’s familiar target symbol, on an entrance wall to Blackwood, where developer Dave Black lives. The subdivision is at Hatch Road and Blackwood Lane.

Police received a report of the vandalism on Friday morning; the unidentified person who filed the complaint said it had occurred sometime overnight.

Monique Cotton, Spokane police spokeswoman, said the incident was referred to a police neighborhood conditions officer for follow-up. No suspects were identified.

Black was not immediately available for comment.

The vandal or vandals left behind the stencil and a roll of black tape used to piece together the pattern and to attach it to the wall for painting.

Black is currently developing a 15-acre site at South Regal Street and Palouse Highway for a new Target store, a project that has drawn opposition from the Southgate Neighborhood.

Ted Teske, vice chairman of the neighborhood council, said that while the Target store has faced neighborhood opposition, protesting the project does not justify criminal vandalism.

“There is a process in place, and we need to follow it,” he said. “I hope this is an isolated incident.”

Teske and other neighborhood representatives have been arguing that if new retail businesses are going to be developed there, they should be built in a more modern urban style rather than the suburban layout common for big-box development.

That includes creating pedestrian-friendly layouts and putting parking at the rear of the store with entrances on both the front and back.

He said the Target project is likely not to meet that standard, but that the final building plans were still under review at City Hall.

Site preparation is currently underway.

John Eckert, a resident of Blackwood, said that the subdivision’s defaced wall originally had a “Blackwood” sign identifying the locale, but some of the letters had been removed in earlier incidents of vandalism. The remaining letters were then taken down, he said.

Even before Thursday night’s incident, Eckert said, the homeowners’ association was planning to place a new sign at the entrance.

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