Chain store targets ’12 opening

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San Francisco shoppers could be strolling the aisles of two Target stores in The City by spring 2012.

Wednesday night was the first time officials from the retail store chain talked openly about their hopes to open two stores in San Francisco, one at a former Mervyns site at Geary Boulevard and Masonic Avenue and the second at the Metreon in the South of Market area.

The Minneapolis-based corporation has more than 1,700 stores nationwide, including locations in Daly City and Colma, which are the closest sites for San Franciscans to purchase the chain’s household items such as beauty and health products, appliances, home furnishings, clothes and pet supplies.

The stores in San Francisco are part of a nationwide plan to open more urban locations. This week, the company opened a site in Manhattan, N.Y., according to a company official.

Target architect Thom Lasley presented preliminary plans for the Mervyns site — which could feature wind turbines and “warm”-colored screens on the exterior — during a community meeting Wednesday hosted inside the Mervyns building the company aims to occupy.

The plan is to take up two floors of the site, covering 100,000 square feet. The store would offer electronics, apparel and home goods on the bottom floor, with an expanded grocery selection and pharmacy on the second floor, according to store officials.

Few details were revealed about the plans for the Metreon during the meeting with approximately 150 people, but Target Regional Development Manager John Dewes said the two locations would employ between 400 and 500 people.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, whose district includes the Masonic Avenue location, previously told The Examiner that a Target store could be beneficial to the economy.

“People are very excited about it,” Alioto-Pier has said. “They’re creating tons of jobs. Construction jobs. Long-term jobs.”

She said Target will boost The City’s sales tax revenue — money that other cities are currently receiving from San Francisco shoppers.

The Target stores could still face hurdles, as the plans, including special approval for chain stores, still need to receive stamps of approval from city agencies. Company officials said they have yet to apply for the needed permits, but are looking to secure them by the end of the year and begin construction in early 2011.

While San Francisco has been historically resistant to retail chains, residents are supporting Target “so they don’t have to go all the way down to Serramonte Center” to shop at the store, Supervisor Eric Mar, who represents the Richmond district, previously told The Examiner.

Other concerns, including traffic, were raised by nearby residents. Jennifer Soloway, who lives on nearby Ewing Terrace, worried that without some traffic strategy, a Target would make her commute even worse that it is currently.

“We are thrilled to have a Target … but I think it is going to be a driving destination. Right now, it’s practically impossible for me to get out of Ewing Terrace onto Masonic.”

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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