Other sites for Target?

I’ve heard it said many times that the Pine Ridge site really is the only suitable site in Oak Ridge that meets Target’s size and traffic count criteria, but enough people were questioning that fact after Mr. Monday’s letter to the Editor on Monday that I went back to the City Manager to find out.

His response?

Monday’s property was considered early on and due to access and wetlands there was not enough developable land left.  

And, since so many folks seem to be asking the same questions, he forwarded me the list of other sites that were evaluated:

I can tell you about the sites that have been discussed and what I know. I really do not think that the public realizes how large this project is.

1. The old Food City site on Illinois – The entire site is approximately 10 acres. Target alone needs approximately 19 acres. Also, the building is approximately 30,000 sq. ft. Target alone is at least 180,000 sq. ft.

2. Big Lots area – to make the site larger the waterway has to be moved. This is a very expensive process and still will not yield enough space for just the Super Target.

3. Museum site – already been turned down by the Museum Board

4. Mall site – Unless the owners can get the restrictions lifted by all of the owners and tenants, it will not happen. In addition, even with the proposed changes, it will be difficult to place a Super Target on that site with the layouts and parking demands. I suggest talking to the owners to get their opinion.

5. Bob Monday owns just over 40 acres of property, but a significant portion is encumbered by water. The main reason that Target will not locate on that site is because there is currently no access to Illinois. In addition, there is just enough room for a Super Target, but not the other 220,000 sq. ft. that is proposed. Losing that amount of new retail would severely weaken the financial models

6. The next piece is the driving range. It is located on a landfill.

7. The arboretum is out.

8. Commerce Park is out

9. The church owns 11 acres next to the cemetery with limited access   [NM: not sure what this refers to]

10. I, along with my staff, looked at many smaller parcels on our GIS, but could not piece together a tract large enough to accommodate a development of this size.

11. National Fitness Site. Home Depot tried to get a co-anchor when they built, but Target said no. It is our understanding Target wants to locate on Illinois. In addition, with the new shops and office buildings that have been constructed, there is not enough room on the site.

12. Have the people read our frequently asked questions.  Do they realize what could go on this site without any additional approval? I know the public does not believe us, but eventually something will locate there.

13. GBT would love to find another site, because of the high construction costs. GBT has already done their own land review and came to the same conclusion.

14. We have explained to several other developers that if they will bring legitimate proposals, we will work with them. All we have so far is vague commentaries, but not a legitimate proposal.

Go ahead and download the FAQ’s.  It’s important to understand the details, and it seems that too many people are getting caught up in chasing “de tails” every time a new rumor is floated by someone who doesn’t like the current site — whether for their own environmental reasons, their own financial interest in another site, or whatever.

12 thoughts on “Other sites for Target?

  1. A few quick comments:

    4. I, and many other residents I’ve talked with, remain unconvinced that a SuperTarget (a big box store almost as large as the current Oak Ridge Wal-Mart) is truly needed or desirable to address Oak Ridgers’ concerns about shopping. (A standard-model Target would be more suited to local folks’ desires, which are not for the grocery component of SuperTarget, and would require less land, among other considerations.) But that’s another issue… As for the restrictions that the big company in Arkansas imposed on the mall property, I have a strong hunch that a successful negotiation could be completed with the right inducements from this end…

    5. Bob Monday says that he has worked out a new access plan since a year ago when he talked with city staff.

    9. I believe this refers to the land at the northeast corner of Bethel Valley Road and Kerr Hollow Road (a.k.a. South Illinois Ave) — it’s next to the Oak Ridge Memorial Park (cemetery).

    13. Isn’t it fascinating how often discussions of this Crestpointe scheme segue away from discussing it as a proposal to meet city needs toward discussing it as a proposal to meet GBT’s objectives?

  2. 4. That may be true for you, and some that you’ve talked to. I, and many I’ve talked to, would be DELIGHTED to do at least some of our grocery shopping at a SuperTarget, because they carry a number of items that no one else in town does.

    That doesn’t mean they’ll drive anyone else out of business; it means that people will be able to get what they want without leaving town to get it.

    What troubles me is that we have a serious unmet need in retail, our sales tax revenues are declining because of the neglect in this area, and it seems that our citizens — at least a vocal portion — are doing everything possible to ensure that the void remains and our tax dollars continue to go elsewhere.

    How very short-sighted that is.

  3. Short-sighted indeed.
    I, for one, would like to have another grocery store to compete with Wal-Mart and Kroger. (Who counts Food City? They shot themselves’s foot when they remodeled and compressed. They do have a good foreign foods selection, as well as beer)

  4. Ellen:

    I am out in the community everyday and speak to many people. We must run in completely differant circles since everyone I talk for want Target and want it to be a Super Target. Although they may not agree with the 10.5 they do agree that Target would be an asset to the community. At this point anything would. We are retail deprived in this area. To attract new residents we are going to have to offer them some sort of shopping and we surely do not have any. Now Belk is talking about closing here. Pretty soon Wal Mart will become a monopoly and prices will be regulated accordingly. Competition is a necessary part of the economy. We have to look forward not backward. We need to become progressive not a horse a buggy town. Change is always hard but you grow with change.

  5. No 9.

    Faith Promise Church submitted site plans for the site between the cemetary and the arboreteum before or during the South Illinois widening/remodeling project, but one must be really familiar with the roadway to get there on the first attempt.

    I do not know if the church still owns the property.

  6. Faith Promise Church sold that tract to another church (I forget which one).

    The owner named on city online tax records is “Church Oak Ridge.”

  7. Girlfriend:
    Do you know the reason WHY Belks is closing?

    Bos: I agree about Food City; I always stopped there because it was convenient, but now it out of the way.

    The location between the Arboretum and the cemetery wouldn’t be good for a location: As The Chief mentioned it’s not an easy place to access, on top of that you would have no direction it could expand into (it’s essentially in a corner with little access.)

    What about the location across the road from the cemetery? There’s a good amount of open field in that area that could be put to good use.

    Has anyone considered an alternate reason people decide to shop outside Oak Ridge– beyond just shopping?
    We need to look to the younger genration to encourage shopping in Oak Ridge: Where does anyone go in OR to sit and talk? From the ones I talked to- they don’t, they go to Knoxville to hang out.
    Looking around, the only places I can see people can to to “hang out” is
    A: The bookstore
    b: The Icecream parlor
    C: …?

  8. Pingback: Citizen Netmom » Facts about Crestpointe

  9. Miscellaneous Ramblings

    The former Faith Promise site is now owned by the Oak Ridge Baptist Church. They are about to begin construction of a new facility there. Their current building on LaSalle is for sale.

    This is not just about a Super Target. It’s about 450,000 square feet of new retail, the net new sales tax and other significant benefits to the school system and the community at large that brings.

    Who are we to second guess a very experienced, very successful developer such as GBT and a excellent retailer such as Target. Neither would be making the substanial investment in this community that they propose if they weren’t all be certain of the demand and therefore their (and our) ultimate success.

    From a developement perspective, the Monday property is encumbered by “waters of the state”, a floodplain, wetlands and a conservation easement. Of the 43 acres, at best 25 could be used for development. The developable land for the most part is steep and heavily wooded. For anything other than residential use, access directly to Illinois Avenue would be a must. Monday, with the help of the City has made several attempts to acquire that access be has been unsuccessful. The current properly owners have simply been unwilling to sell.

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