Last edited 2:54 p.m., June 8, 2023 [Editor's Note: An earlier version of the article had a larger project total for Sunshine Towne Center]
A second Target store may be coming to the city.
At its meeting last night, Springfield City Council heard first readings of four 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.
“I see some of you all smiling,” she said. “I do have permission by the developer and that anchor tenant to actually name them this evening. … The proposed anchor tenant is Target. Of course, this is all still contingent and dependent on several agreements and contracts that the developer is working out.”
That developer is Tom Walker, owner of Retail Realty Group LLC, based in suburban St. Louis. Walker is looking to transform roughly 23 acres into a 148,000-square-foot Target store, 50,000 square feet in additional retail space and three standalone parcels, one of which would be 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 11-12 months to build the Target structure itself, he said.
The development is estimated to generate $60 million-$70 million in annual sales volume, with $45 million-$55 million of that generated by the Target store, according to Ohlensehlen’s report.
The $30 million new store would be a prototype for Minneapolis-based Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) that would be 30,000 square feet larger than the Target on East Primrose Street.
“That is going to allow for a fulfillment center, which will help with the demand for online sales and for order pickup and delivery,” Ohlensehlen said.
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 existing Target was the corporation’s busiest store in Missouri in 2022, and the 37th busiest systemwide. Target’s website identifies 1,954 locations in the United States.
It’s a deal that includes many parts, including necessary council approval of the annexation of part of the property into the city, a rezoning of the property to a highway commercial district with a conditional overlay, approval of a major commercial subdivision and authorization of an infrastructure reimbursement agreement with Walker’s Springfield West Partners LLC.
Ohlensehlen said the construction cost 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.
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 also 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. The planned improvements would address failures in the level of service of roads service roads, as rated by the Missouri Department of Transportation. He said for the first time in his career, MoDOT agreed with the first traffic study submitted.
“I clearly identified the improvements that are necessary,” he said.
He described the establishment of thoroughfares that would keep truck traffic away from residential neighborhoods. He also described stormwater plans that involve underground detention on the Target site.
“It’s all about aesthetics to them; they want the best-looking shopping center they can possibly come up with,” he said.
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 the 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.
“Target is still not completely committed to this site, even though we’re 90% of the way there,” he said. “The official announcement will come from Target; it will not come from us.”
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.