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VOL. 125 | NO. 14 | Friday, January 22, 2010

Facelift Planned for Colonial Target

By Eric Smith

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The Target store at 601 Colonial Road in the East Central/Poplar Perkins area of East Memphis is getting a $2.5 million facelift. Target Corp. plans to renovate the exterior, create a new entrance and expand the store by about 3,000 square feet. -- PHOTO BY ERIC SMITH

A popular but aged East Memphis shopping destination is finally getting a much-needed makeover.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has filed a $2.5 million building permit with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to renovate and slightly expand its 30-year-old, 122,857-square-foot store at 601 Colonial Road in the East Central/Poplar Perkins area of East Memphis.

The plans to renovate the store have changed in the past year. When Target appeared before the Land Use Control Board in May seeking approval for the expansion, the board approved the company’s plans, which then were much more extensive.

Originally, Target planned to enhance its façade and significantly expand the building’s east side facing Colonial Road.

But Jim Tucker, design project manager in Target’s architecture department, said the company revised its initial design, scaling back from its previous, more aggressive expansion plan. The project now calls for remodeling the front entrance – adding a little more than 3,000 square feet to the store – plus bringing a new food and guest service area to the front of the store.

The interior will be renovated, bringing an “increased grocery component,” Tucker said, including some aisles with fresh foods.

“This is a good store and we’re happy to spruce it up and keep it going.”

–  Jim Tucker, Target design project manager

“We are planning to do a remodeling of that store, which we hope that the citizens of Memphis will find enjoyable,” he said. “It’s an older store and it really does need some work. I think by the time we’re finished with this renovation, our guests will find a store that is new in appearance both inside and out.”

‘Figured out’

The building, which Target calls its “Memphis Central” store, sits on 9.1 acres at the intersection of Spottswood Avenue and Colonial Road. Its formal address is on Colonial, even though the storefront faces Spottswood. The Class B department store backs up to Southern Avenue.

Formally the building was owned by Dayton-Hudson Corp., Target’s previous name. The Shelby County Assessor of Property’s 2009 appraisal of the building, zoned “Store Discount,” was $7.5 million.

Tucker said the store will remain open during the renovation process, slated to begin in June and wrap up in October.

“It’s a tired old store, and it has needed some help for a while, but it’s taken us awhile to figure out what to do with it,” Tucker said. “I think we’ve got it figured out this time and we’re looking forward to getting it done.”

Despite recently building a store nearby at 5959 Poplar Ave. in the Ridgeway Trace Center at Poplar and Interstate 240, Target decided to move forward with the renovation and expansion of its central location because of positive sales.

“This is a good store, and we’re happy to spruce it up and keep it going,” Tucker said.

The architect of record is Minneapolis-based RSP Architects Ltd., and the general contractor is MCDR Construction LLC.

Continued growth

Target operates eight stores in the Memphis metropolitan area, including three in Memphis, one in Cordova, one in Germantown, one in Collierville, one in Olive Branch and one in Horn Lake.

The company this week also filed a $750,000 permit application with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement to perform minor remodeling on its Germantown store at 9235 Poplar Ave. (U.S. 72).

Built in 1991, the 123,740-square-foot Germantown store sits on 11.02 acres along the south side of Poplar Avenue.

Its 2009 appraised value was $10 million.

MCDR Construction, the general contractor that built the aforementioned new Ridgeway Trace Center store, also is listed as the contractor for the Germantown project.

A call to MCDR wasn’t immediately returned.

Danny Buring, partner at The Shopping Center Group of Memphis, called the Colonial Road renovation further evidence of Target’s commitment to the Memphis market.

“They’re continuing to spend money, whether it’s adding new stores or remodeling or tweaking,” Buring said. “They’re a great retailer.”

He also said the addition of more grocery items will be a boon to the store, helping enhance services for people who are looking for a one-stop shopping experience like the one available at Target’s new Ridgeway Trace store.

“When all these guys quit spending money to add new stores … they’re all trying to figure out how to push revenues up, and I think one of the ways, at least for Target to do that, was to test this grocery component,” Buring said. “And the store at Poplar and I-240 was one of the first two or three stores to do that, and I think it was very successful.”

PROPERTY SALES 23 23 1,365
MORTGAGES 21 21 1,068
BUILDING PERMITS 117 117 3,173