Target to open State Street store
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporterfspielman@suntimes.com February 15, 2011 11:08AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
After months of negotiations and planning, Target made it official Tuesday:
The store known for bargain chic will become the retail anchor of the former Carson Pirie Scott store at 1 S. State.
The building is a Chicago landmark designed by renowned architect Louis Sullivan.
The urban format known as CityTarget will offer “affordable fresh food,” apartment essentials, trendy fashions and exclusive designer collections tailor-made for city residents and commuters.
In other words, no lawn and patio sets. Merchandise will be “sized more proportionately” for urban customers.
The store is expected to open by October, 2012, maybe sooner.
“The demographics of this downtown area ... [are] extraordinary. The amount of people who live down here, the people who work down here all in close proximity, the subway access in and out of this block — fantastic. So, we expect to do really, really well. We’re very excited about it,” said John Griffith, Target’s executive vice-president for property development.
The grocery section will be a welcome addition for college students and other Loop residents who have precious few food shopping alternatives. The so-called “Fresh Concept” will allow area residents to do roughly 60 percent of their food shopping at Target, with the exception of fresh baked goods, meat and seafood.
Carsons announced in 2006 that it was closing the State Street store that had been a Loop fixture for more than a century.
Since then, the city has pumped $24.4 million in tax-increment financing (TIF) funds into the landmark building to help developer Joseph Freed renovate and restore it.
The city subsidy helped improve interior office space, upgrade mechanical systems and restore the building’s terra cotta façade and cast-iron ornamentation. The corroded cast iron was more than a century old.
Griffith was asked whether the prolonged recession or the challenges posed by a landmark building were the biggest impediments to the long-stalled project. He replied, “All of the above.”
“Floor-loading capacity, structural issues, vision glass to the outside. Making the product selection and assortment work for the guests in this immediate area, bringing in loading docks that can’t accommodate full-sized semi-trailers. How do you work within the local traffic jurisdictions, delivering power capacity into a 100-year-old building. All of those things. It’s challenging,” he said.
Mayor Daley is thrilled the project is finally becoming a reality. He called it “great news for State Street.”
“State Street is not just State Street. It’s Michigan Ave. It’s Wabash. It’s Dearborn. It’s Wacker. It’s Clark. It’s Roosevelt Road It’s all of it. ... Everything is connected. So, this is vitally important. And it’s changing. You can see both ends change. You can see the middle changing. And it’s very dynamic,” the mayor said.
He added, “The core of the city is the key ,,, Most cities fail because they don’t have a core. And it’s very difficult for cores to come back. This city always kept the core strong.”