Commentary by Thomas Shess--Retail giant Target is thinking small when it comes to opening its mini-store concept in selected urban nodes. The Midwest retailer announced recently it will add North Park to its aggressive list of new small format store openings. Company spokesperson said 130 similar mini general merchandise outlets will open by 2019.
Targeting the former Wang’s restaurant site as its new North Park location (University and Ray Sts.), the 30,000+ square foot commercial footprint will include a CVS Pharmacy. And, in many ways will resemble Target’s operation in South Park, which opened in October 2015.
|Earlier last year|
Getting approval of big-box outlets in North Park has had a stormy past. When Food-for-Less tried to ramrod a walled structure along University Avenue in the late 1990s, the community revolted.
Community planning groups 20 years ago won the day by insisting that North Park’s heritage of small shop be preserved over the quick fix big box retailers. Kudos to then-City Councilpersons Christine Kehoe and Toni Atkins for supporting the vision held by the North Park Community Planning Committee, North Park Main Street and the North Park Community Association.
North Park’s remarkable turnaround from a blighted neighborhood in the early 1990s to the overwhelming success story it is today is due to hands-on governance by residents allied with localized planning groups and a business community willing to compromise for the best interest of the populace.
Target is set to open its new North Park store in November.
Thomas Shess and Phyllis Shess founded North Park News in 1993 and have reported on North Park’s historic turnaround over the years.