Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Target expands central Philly footprint with new store planned for NoLibs

by Jacob Adelman Staff Writer, Philadelphia Inquirer

Target Corp. is opening its biggest central Philadelphia store yet at the former Destination Maternity warehouse headquarters at Fifth and Spring Garden Streets, a heavily trafficked area for commuters to Center City and the growing neighborhoods that surround it.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said in a release Monday that it had signed a lease for an approximately 47,000-square-foot space at the building, with plans to open in July 2018.

The store will feature a grocery section, with fresh produce and grab-and-go items, as well as clothing, sporting goods, and beauty products, a pharmacy operated by CVS Health, and other offerings, Target said.

“We think guests in the Northern Liberties and Fishtown communities will enjoy the quick-trip shopping experience that only Target can provide,” senior vice president Mark Schindele said in the release.
The retailer will occupy the southern part of the structure, facing a parking lot with 100 designated spots, Matt Handel, leasing director for the building’s owner, Alliance HSP, said in an interview.

The building also will be home to Yards Brewing Co., which aims to complete its move into a 70,000-square-foot space by the end of this year, as well as the Philadelphia Department of Records and Archives, which is to occupy a 68,000-square-foot section of the property.

Alliance acquired the building, in a mostly industrial and commercial corner of Northern Liberties, in 2014 from Destination Maternity Corp., which has relocated to Moorestown. The Target deal leaves the property 100 percent leased, Bryn Mawr-based Alliance said in its own release.

“We pieced together a blend of tenants with different needs, allowing us to allocate the existing building’s strongest physical attributes accordingly,” Max Ryan, Alliance’s director of development, said in the release. “Target will have visibility from Spring Garden Street and [I-]676, as well as prominent surface parking directly in front of their premises.”

The Target store will be the retailer’s fifth in Philadelphia to deploy its "flexible format" approach involving smaller, urban-oriented alternatives to its big-box stores. Two such stores are currently operating in Center City, with an additional two under development in Fairmount and  Roxborough.

Target also has been looking to open a store at the planned Lincoln Square mixed-use complex in South Philadelphia at Broad Street and Washington Avenue, according to a legal filing concerning a nearby property.

The space at Fifth and Spring Garden will be Target’s largest in what is sometimes called Greater Center City, bounded by Tasker and Girard Avenues between the Schuylkill and the Delaware River.

The site is different from Target’s other central Philadelphia locations in that it lacks their population density and easy walkability.

Though some recent real estate activity points to more residential uses around the newly announced site, its selection seems based on its ability to draw from the heavy vehicular traffic along Spring Garden and Callowhill Street and other busy arteries nearby, said Steinberg, who was not involved in the deal.

"They like the existing fundamentals," he said. "The fact that density could improve here is just a bonus for them."
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