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Developer: Second Target store ‘worst-kept secret’

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A second Target store may be coming to the city.

At its meeting June 5, Springfield City Council heard first readings of a handful of bills related to the Sunshine Towne Center, a $54 million planned development for the southeast corner of West Sunshine Street and West Bypass.

Though written explanations to the bills referred to the development as having an unnamed anchor tenant, Springfield Economic Vitality Director Amanda Ohlensehlen confirmed the news.

“The proposed anchor tenant is Target,” she said, though she noted the agreement with the nation’s eighth-largest retail chain is contingent upon contracts with the developer.

Tom Walker, owner of Retail Realty Group LLC, based in suburban St. Louis, is looking to transform roughly 23 acres into a 148,000-square-foot Target store with 50,000 square feet in additional retail space and three standalone parcels, one of them a 7,500-square-foot restaurant. 

Walker said he would like to start construction this summer with a store opening day in April 2025. It will take roughly 12 months to build the Target store, he said.

The development is estimated to generate $60 million-$70 million in annual sales volume, including $45 million-$55 million from the Target store, according to Ohlensehlen’s report.

For Minneapolis-based Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), the $30 million new store would be a prototype 30,000 square feet larger than the Target on East Primrose Street, and it would include a fulfillment center for online sales.

The new Target would generate 100-270 new jobs – 180 on average, with 40% of those full time. The corporate starting wage is $15 per hour with employer-provided health care available, Ohlensehlen said.

She noted Springfield’s Target store was the corporation’s busiest in Missouri in 2022, and the 37th busiest store systemwide. Target’s website identifies 1,954 locations in the United States.

Council has been asked to approve the annexation of part of the property into the city; rezone the property to a highway commercial district with a conditional overlay; approve a major commercial subdivision; and authorize the development of a community improvement district with an infrastructure reimbursement agreement for Walker’s Springfield West Partners LLC.

The estimated cost of the project approaches the $54 million mark, with $29.5 million for the Target store, $7 million-$8 million for the standalone parcels, $10 million for the retail shops and $6 million for site work and infrastructure, according to Ohlensehlen. In her presentation to council, she rounded the estimate up to a total cost of $60 million.

Addressing council, Walker acknowledged that rumors of the store have been circulating. He said news travels fast.

“This has been the worst-kept secret that I’ve ever had in Springfield,” he said.

Walker has some experience in the area, having developed the Walmart Supercenter on the southwest corner of the intersection approximately two decades ago. He also developed the Walmart Supercenter in Ozark.

The proposed Target is east of developer Tom Rankin’s Springfield Plaza shopping center, across the Sunshine and West Bypass intersection.

Walker said he compared the traffic count for the intersection at the time of the Walmart development with today’s count, and it reflects an increase of nearly 10,000 cars per day.

Ohlensehlen described the incentive structure of the infrastructure reimbursement agreement, which would cover $6 million in reimbursable public improvement costs. That figure includes $4 million in public improvements along West Sunshine Street, West Bypass and South Moore Road. The agreement would capture half of the city’s 1-cent, half-cent and eighth-cent sales taxes generated by the development to reimburse the developer for improvements for a term of 15 years or until the reimbursable costs are paid at an interest rate of 6% annually on the unpaid balance.

The agreement also would apply a new 1-cent sales and use tax within a community improvement district to cover $2 million of reimbursable project costs, covering internal streets, sidewalks and stormwater conveyance.

An analysis by city staff shows with a conservative estimate based on 1% growth in taxable sales, the reimbursements would be paid off in 10 years.

Ohlensehlen said the project would bring an estimated 140 construction jobs, comprising 40 prevailing wage jobs related to infrastructure work and 100 jobs related to the vertical construction of buildings.

Walker noted that while he had permission to name the tenant, the second Target for the city is not a done deal.

“The official announcement will come from Target; it will not come from us,” he said.

An email and phone call to Target’s corporate media office were not returned by press time.


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