The City of Goleta is in deliberations with the Target Corporation regarding plans to open a prospective new store in the region.
The American retail company approached the city’s staff in mid-March with a proposal involving several properties for sale or lease on the northeast corner of Los Carneros Way and Hollister Avenue. Target took the subsequent step to apply for development permits and applied for a Planner Consultation in late August after several meetings with city officials.
According to Goleta City Manager Daniel Singer, the corporation is currently auditing the available locations for their profit-making potential.
“What they are doing is kind of a preliminary assessment in order to determine whether the site they are looking at is even worth them putting in an application for,” Singer said. “It is kind of a pre-step to what would normally be an applicant coming in and saying, ‘Here’s the project; now study it.’”
Singer said officials expect Target to reach a decision within four to six weeks and property owners expect “hard and fast” answers by the end of October.
Target aims to complete the preliminary steps for development analysis by Thanksgiving, according to Goleta’s Director of Planning and Environmental Services Steve Chase.
“Target is engaged in due diligence, which includes contact with planning staff on policies, standards and practices contained in the general plan, zoning code and other city ordinances,” Chase said in a statement. “That is what a planner consultation is all about — clarifying the rules of the road and estimating time and costs involved in a public planning process. There really is not much more to share until the planner consultation process is completed and discussions with Target have ensued.”
Despite the corporation’s steps towards construction, Singer said previous attempts to build a Target in Goleta have fallen short.
“A lot of it is traffic [concerns]; also, just the size of the store,” Singer said. “[Another issue is] being able to find a location that can accommodate parking and traffic and is appropriately suited for that kind of intense use. There’s not a lot of vacant land around town that is large enough to accommodate it.”
According to Singer, the city would require evidence of local consumer support for the store before it advances beyond the theoretical planning stages.
“It is hard for me to say because on the one hand their proposition has some merit, but they are trying to put a pretty big building in a relatively tight spot,” Singer said. “Maybe I’d give it a 50-50 chance.”