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Target Proposes New 'Elevated' Store Uptown

By Rivkela Brodsky
Copyright © 2011 Albuquerque Journal Journal Staff Writer
          Target wants to build a $20 million "elevated" store — which would have escalators for customers and their shopping carts from the parking lot to the doors — on a dirt lot immediately south of ABQ Uptown.
        The retailer, which has looked at putting a store in the area in the past, is planning a 165,000-square-foot raised-level Target that would include some fresh groceries and bakery items.
        However, it will need approval from the City Council, because it exceeds the area's sector plan maximum of 90,000 square feet.
        Target and Hunt Development Group, the firm that developed and manages ABQ Uptown, told the Journal about the proposal during an open house on the project Wednesday at the Albuquerque Marriott.
        "Target has come up with a unique concept, a unique design that will fit well in the Uptown area," Jim Dobbie, senior vice president of development for Hunt Development Group, told the Journal.
        The store would feature parking on the ground level and elevators and escalators for customers to get into Target, one level up from the parking lot. Special escalators would also accommodate shopping carts for the trip back to the lot.
        The store would have expanded grocery offerings with fresh produce, packaged meats and some bakery items — an element that will come to Albuquerque's four existing Targets this year.
        The raised-level design is similar to what has been used in other states to fit a Target into a small urban site, according to a short video playing at the open house. The outside of the building will be designed with community input so it blends with the look of the neighborhood, and native landscaping will be used, according to the video.
        The open house was the beginning of an "open process to show everybody what we're thinking," Dobbie said.
        The architecture for the building is still being developed, said Kim Hayden, Target development manager for the Southwest. Target architects, as well as local architect firm Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, are working on the project.
        Target has been leasing, but not using, the former Macy's space at Coronado's west end for the past five years and had considered putting a Target there, Hayden said.
        "We had looked at the possibility of that, but nothing ever came of it," she said.
        "We felt this was a better site from an access standpoint," said Shannon Eldridge, the Southwest regional real estate manager for Target.
        There is also residential and additional retail planned for the Uptown location, although the design is not final.
        One building on the northeast corner of the site would feature about 7,000 square feet of retail on the first floor and some type of residential units in three stories above the retail space, Dobbie said. Another building on the corner of Louisiana and Uptown Loop would be a one-story 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot retail space.
        Target would be built first, Dobbie said.
        Target and Hunt officials say it will take about a year to get all the approvals needed to start on the Target project and another year to build, bringing the anticipated opening date to 2013.

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