Spokane developer Dave Black confirmed on Friday that national retailer Target Corp. will build a 135,000-square foot building on the corner of Palouse Highway and South Regal Street.
The announcement came as no surprise to many South Hill residents. Concerns by neighbors in the area of the proposed store have produced months of discussion, leading to agreements by Black’s company to address safety, pedestrian access and building size.
Friday’s announcement explained for the first time that Target, based in Minneapolis, is buying 10.6 acres of the 15-acre commercial site for its new Spokane store.
Black said Target will pay roughly $4.4 million for its portion of the land. Black and a local investment group acquired the undeveloped commercial site a decade ago, when the property was still owned by a family who once farmed there.
Negotiations with Target over the land-sharing arrangement continued until this week, Black said.
The commercial development, in the Southgate Spokane neighborhood, will be called Regal Plaza.
Black’s property group will own the remaining 4.4 acres to develop four retail buildings in the same area. Black said a number of national tenants will take those buildings, but no leases have been signed.
Ted Teske, a member of the Southgate Neighborhood Council, said neighbors don’t believe the city kept the project within the guidelines of a district center — the urban plan that urges more pedestrian features, less sprawl and a design priority on small rather than mammoth businesses.
“I’d say it scored a 2 or a 3 out of 10” on that scale, Teske said during a Friday groundbreaking at the site.
Teske said he feels the Target project is a useful lesson in how to work with the city to adhere to the intentions of the Southgate district center. “We’ll apply the lesson here as we move on with the next two projects” which involve two different nearby land parcels totaling roughly 30 acres.
Those two other projected developments in Southgate are the KXLY property west of the Target land, and the Little Maverick property, north of Target.
Black said he would have liked Target to consider a more vertical footprint for the site, but it regarded that option as unworkable. The Target South Hill store will be a single 27-foot high single-level store covering a large section of the back half of the 15 acre site.
“As a developer we wanted it more vertical, but Target prohibits multistory stores in a project like this,” he said.
Black said transportation concerns will be addressed by adding a stoplight and crosswalk at the Regal-Palouse Highway intersection.
The overall features of the project have been designed by Bernardo-Wills Architects, of Spokane. It will include a community plaza, an art fountain, benches, pavers and outdoor seating. Those features are part of efforts to make the project more focused on pedestrian use and community interaction.
MulvannyG2 Architecture, of Portland, is Target’s architect for its building.
Target plans to begin construction in October, expecting to open the new store in July 2014.
Black said he’s had five offers by retail companies ready to move into the new development. All five of those stores currently don’t have Spokane locations, he said.
“When a Target picks a location, that helps other companies decide to look at becoming part of the development,” Black said. “They tend to feel a little better about considering an area if Target has selected it as a location,” he said.
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