San Francisco News

Target gets input from San Francisco residents

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The trendy discount store, Target, is closer than it has ever been to opening stores in the city and could have some first-of-its-kind features.

Target executives met Wednesday night with people at Geary Boulevard and Masonic Avenue -- one of the two sites where it wants to put in a store. They are on a careful mission to gain acceptance in the city.

One of the things that adds to San Francisco's charm is that it's not smothered by a lot of large commercial chain stores. But those chain stores that are allowed into the circle, have to go through a special approval process. This is the beginning of that process for Target.

In a city historically suspicious of big box stores, the reception at the meeting was warm.

San Francisco residents, who travel to the Target in Colma, were equally satisfied to hear that Target wants to move into the old Mervyn's department store at the corner of Geary and Masonic. It would be San Francisco's first Target location.

"It would be great. This [Colma store] is 10 miles from where I live, that would be two, so I wouldn't have to drive as far," says San Francisco resident Paula Judge.

But the big concern is traffic.

"I doubt that Mervyns attracted the same kind of traffic that Target can attract," says San Francisco resident Maria Parreiras.

Residents want bike and rideshare accommodations, more bus service at the busy intersection, and they want services that meet urban needs.

"Would you consider delivering since we have so many people who want to walk or use their bikes?" says San Francisco resident Kat Anderson.

Those are the kinds of suggestions Target wants to hear because it says this will be its first urban concept store customized for San Francisco.

"San Francisco is a very hip market and we understand that, and we will be designing accordingly," says Target regional development manager John Dewes.

"I would encourage you to use as much renewable energy as possible and alternative energy sources in building this," says San Francisco resident Duff Bennett.

At the same time, Target is proposing an equal-sized store at the Metreon, South of Market.

Both stores would provide 200 jobs each and if they pass muster, they could open by the spring of 2012.

Target says it has not even projected a tax base yet. It says it was looking to pass the initiation phase before it even submitted an application for a commercial use permit. That will be its next step.

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target, san francisco news, alan wang
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