City Target Aims to Open in City’s Central West End at Cortex

nextSTL has learned Target Corporation recently signed a letter of intent to develop a CityTarget in the Cortex technology and innovation district. The store is one of the discount retailer’s urban concepts. These outlets are typically smaller than traditional Target stores, ranging in size from 80,000 to 160,000 square feet. There are currently eight CityTarget stores nationwide.

Founded in 2002, Cortex is a hub for tech and bioscience research, development, and commercialization. The 200-acre district spans the Central West End and Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods. Construction on the Cortex store is not expected to break ground until 2016.

Target has stated Boston is the only city slated for CityTarget development in 2015. Earlier this month the company announced it will open 15 stores in 2015. The Boston CityTarget, eight TargetExpress locations, and six general merchandise stores. Operating 1,790 outlets, Minneapolis-based Target is the second biggest discount retailer in the United States behind only Walmart.

The St. Louis CityTarget will be located at the northwest corner of Forest Park and Vandeventer avenues in midtown. This is directly across the street from the new 380,000 square foot Ikea currently under construction. The 164-unit 465-bed Standard, a five-story luxury student apartment development, at the northeast corner of the intersection is expected to open this fall.

City of St. Louis - IKEA{Ikea site plan – City Target site at upper right}

CityTarget sells a selection of its most popular merchandise with the urban consumer in mind. Nothing is sold in bulk. Shoppers looking for large furniture pieces will have to walk across Forest Park to Ikea. Store offerings also include smaller pack sizes and scaled down homewares.

The company’s strategic growth plan is focused on reaching shoppers in urban centers with new formats like CityTarget and TargetExpress. Averaging approximately 20,000 square feet, TargetExpress is the company’s newest and smallest configuration.

The TargetExpress format is comparable to CVS and Walgreens. It gives on-the-go shoppers access to a pharmacy and convenience store. However, TargetExpress general merchandise additionally include traditional Target components like groceries, bedding, and electronics.

It’s not clear whether the planned store will utilize structured parking, but it seems likely. The 1.63-acre site (71,000 square feet) is adjacent to the Gerhart Building which is undergoing a full renovation into apartments and retail space. To the north is the repair facility for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department vehicles, and to the west, several buildings owned by the Salvation Army.

gerhart{the Gerhart Block is undergoing an $8M renovation}

The Forest Park and Vandeventer intersection has been closely watched by Cortex followers ever since nextSTL first broke news of the Ikea development in March of 2013. At the southwest corner the Ikea is being built on land that was once part of an expansive Laclede Gas maintenance facility.

At the northwest corner the three-story American Bakery Company brick building complex constructed in 1901. It was demolished by Cortex in 2011 to prepare the CityTarget site for future development. In 1920 one hundred and sixty-five employees toiled at the bakery. Production capacity was 6,000 one-pound loaves of bread hourly.

A Mobil gas station and car wash was razed at the northeast corner to make room for The Standard apartments, as first reported here in February of last year. The project is part of a housing boom in, and surrounding, Cortex. More than 2,000 residential units are planned or being developed near Forest Park and east to Saint Louis University roughly along Forest Park Avenue.

The southeast corner of the intersection has been expected to be developed as a retail hub since the idea was first posted by nextSTL in July 2013. Dubbed Midtown Station, rumors continue about possible tenants, but sources tell this site development is still in the early stages. That high profile corner is dotted with multiple property owners, and planning for environmental remediation of the former Federal Mogul is said to have not yet begun.

Reached for comment, Target¬†spokeswoman Kristen Emmons told nextSTL, “St. Louis is a great community for Target and we continue to explore opportunities to serve guests there. However, I do not have any information to share regarding a new store at this time.”