Plans for Scotts Valley Target Head to the Planning Board
Last October, when Scotts Valley Mayor Derek Timm learned that the community had been chosen by Target Corp. as a site for one of his next locations, he was thrilled.
âI called the city manager and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this,’ he said, recalling the exchange with Tina Friend about the company’s decision. to move into the old Kmart building. âShe was driving and she literally missed her exit.
Now, with the Planning Commission remote public hearing on the project scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 13, the community is preparing to have a say in the development.
Just before the novel coronavirus arrived, in November 2019, Timm discovered that Kmart executives were finally unplugging the 58,000 square foot Scotts Valley storefront at 270 Mount Hermon Road, which he says has been neglected for years. When they closed the doors a few months later, it was the opening salute in a painful roadblock better known as the year 2020. After all, the department store was in the top 10 of all shippers from city ââsales tax. Scotts Valley was counting on that because it doesn’t bring in as much property tax as other communities.
In no time, Timm was appointed to lead the search for a new senior tenant at the mall’s shopping complex.
âWe were in the middle of the pandemic,â said Timm. “The only major retailer that was still expanding in the United States was Target.”
They knew the Minneapolis-based company would have to handle a complex series of ownership, lease and sublet contracts for the space, but they had the enthusiastic support of owner Kevin Pratt, with Scotts Valley Phase II, LP, to make sure everything is going well. , he said.
The community’s roller coaster ride of wooing Target is the tale of two economic downturns. Target had hoped to build a 143,000 square foot store on La Madrona Drive, but pulled out in 2009, citing the subprime mortgage crisis.
Fast forward to the next US financial crash, and Target is in a completely opposite position. Having managed to stay open as many other businesses were forced to close during much of the pandemic, Target now has $ 4 billion to invest in growth over the next few years.
â2020 has been a banner year thanks to the work of our team and their commitment to serving our clients in the face of unprecedented demand,â Target CFO Michael Fiddelke said in a March press release. “The bold investments planned for the next few years will expand the key capabilities of stores, order management and supply chain to foster deeper engagement with new loyal customers, market share gains continuous and profitable long-term growth. â
A report completed as Target contemplated the vacant La Madrona plot hints at the windfall the community could see from the new deal, as it estimated sales tax revenue at nearly half a million dollars a year .
A spokesperson for Target said they couldn’t be happier with their new digs.
âWe are delighted to provide an easy, safe and convenient shopping experience for new customers to the community with this new Target store,â she said, adding that the population density and accessibility of the site were two factors that made the location so attractive. âWe are working closely with local leaders to identify where we can best serve a neighborhood.â
Timm says that while he knew that Target reps had arrived over the summer to spot the Kmart pod, he wasn’t sure if Scotts Valley would be selected for the. multi-store purchase of Transformco Properties, the parent company of Kmart and Sears.
âAs a city, we weren’t sure – until they actually closed – if the deal was going to go through,â he said. âLanding this at that point was really empowering for the city and the community.â
While 90% of the money for the renovation is expected to go to interior design, Target plans to invest the money in the renovation of the commercial plaza, Timm said.
âThis center is quite tired from an appearance and feel,â he said. “It will re-energize some of the empty window facades.”
The city received advice from retail expert Bob Gibbs, who once estimated Santa Cruz was missing 85% of potential sales dollars.
Gibbs has preached the belief that Target will draw shoppers to Scotts Valley mom and pop stores, but some aren’t so sure.
Tyler Best, 41, owner of Cali Style, located in the next mall, says the Target deal is a popular topic of conversation in the skate and clothing store.
He’s worried, to say the least, and yet he hopes Gibbs’ theory turns out to be about the money.
Best and his 19-year-old employee, Wyatt Brown, agree on one thing.
âI’d rather see a Trader Joe’s,â Brown said. “At least it’s not Walmart.”
Brown admits he’ll likely end up shopping at Target, but wonders if the renovation will cause more traffic jams.
Asked about the traffic issues, Timm said he expects the target to restore lost traffic and may even reduce congestion on Route 1 – since residents of Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley will not have not to go to the Capitola store or Watsonville to the store.
âIt was one of the busiest Kmarts in the country in terms of sales volume,â he said. “It really serves this northern end of the county.”
For a year and a half, Jonny Diepersloot, 20, has been working intermittently on the Sandwiches du Togo site from where the faded red of the sun on the Kmart sign is clearly visible.
As the owner’s son, he was aware of the vagaries of working life in this corner of the community. And during the pandemic, the situation became quite dismal.
âI’m excited,â he said. “I hope it will attract more business in this whole area.”
He’ll likely go down the toy aisles to look for the Lego brick sets he collects out of nostalgia for the time his mom and dad would accidentally step on loose parts on the floor, he says.
At Capitola Target, Ben Walker, a 42-year-old teacher from Santa Cruz, says a location in Scotts Valley would be nice. He imagines making a stopover on the way to or from work in Santa Clara.
âHonestly, I don’t really like this target,â he said, referring to what he sees as the wobbly layout of the Capitola Mall store. “I actually prefer the Watsonville target.”
While he’s not particularly thrilled that this is a ‘big box’ store making inroads in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, he can certainly see why.
âThere’s a part of me that’s like, ‘Do we really need three targets in this area? “, He said. âIf we keep buying from them, they will keep comingâ¦. My money is the talker. “
Walker is also not convinced that the local infrastructure will be able to handle all of the increased action in the Scotts Valley as the community grows.
âWhat concerns me is that I don’t think they have a plan for all the traffic it will attract,â he said. “At some point it’s going to be crazy.”
And while Timm pointed to the city’s recently adopted traffic plan, pedestrian and vehicle traffic could be an important topic at the next public hearing.
The meeting will be available on Zoom, via the Planning Commission agenda at the City of Scotts Valley Online Agenda Center: scottsvalley.org/AgendaCenter