Could a TargetExpress be in store for the new Carolina Square development on West Franklin Street?
While Jeff Furman, vice president of development with Northwood Ravin, declined to comment, his recent presentation to the town’s Community Design Commission meeting offered some clues.
The commission was asked to review a concept plan for a new design of Building B, one of three planned buildings across from the Franklin-Church street intersection. The building originally had 23,000 square feet of small retail spaces around a central pool and courtyard.
But since starting five years ago, Furman said, project officials have been asked to bring in an urban market. The space, as designed, is not big enough for a potential tenant’s needs, he said.
Never miss a local story.
“I can’t talk about who it is ..., but I can say we have made some progress on those requests,” he said.
The new design combines the available space to create a 16,000-square-foot store, he said, with a storeroom in back. That would leave space for a smaller storefront at the project’s western edge, he said.
“This is what you would see as you come into Carolina Square from Franklin Street,” Furman said.
“We obviously have target mix of users who we want,” he said. “We try to be very thoughtful, but anytime we put somebody in, of course, they want to put their own fingerprint on the building, so that causes a ripple of changes.”
The commissioners’ questions and Furman’s responses also hinted at a Target store as the potential tenant: the awnings are now red and, Furman said, will be part of a future signage plan. A shopping cart corral would be located on the first floor, he said.
Target has been rolling out more urban footprints, including several TargetExpress stores in the last year. At least two of those stores are roughly 16,000 square feet and located near college campuses.
One is a TargetExpress opening this summer in Brookline, Mass., near Boston College. The store, according to Target marketing materials, will sell fresh groceries, health and beauty items, tech gear, home and dorm essentials, some clothing and Boston Fan Gear.
While products are limited in smaller stores, customers can shop online from their laptop, phone or tablet and pick up orders at the checkout. (Take a tour of the smaller store concept, bit.ly/1OWUzrn)
While Target officials recently denied having plans for a downtown Chapel Hill store, the truth may be just around the corner.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to emerge from the cloud of secrecy here pretty soon,” Furman said.