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.
Monday’s property was considered early on and due to access and wetlands there was not enough developable land left.Â Â
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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 accessÂ Â [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.Â 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.Â 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.