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Target Submits Preliminary Proposal to Take Over Kmart’s Goleta Location

Plans call for remodeling existing building along with adjacent retail space; Santa Barbara small store still in works.​

Target has submitted a preliminary application to the city of Goleta to takeover and remodel the building now housing Kmart near the corner of Storke Road and Hollister Avenue. Last week, the Minneapolis-based company submitted a dozen pages that outlined a general plan to move into the Kmart building. The city of Goleta will evaluate the proposal and get back to the company. The documents submitted to the Goleta Planning Department show plans for a redesign of the Storke Plaza Retail Center, with Target as the anchor tenant and a new sign and facade program for the nearby row of businesses that include Cajun Kitchen, Subway and the Indo China Market.

“We were informed last week that Target will be replacing Kmart,” Councilman Roger Aceves confirmed to Noozhawk. “They have submitted a preliminary application for interior and facade improvements. I am very excited, as our community has been begging Target to find a location in our city.”

Target did not offer any specifics on the proposal, but confirmed the Goleta interest. “We are certainly looking for opportunities in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area,” said Jacqueline DeBuse, a spokeswoman for Target. “Filing an application is just one of the many steps in the process. We are interested in the area, and we believe there is an opportunity to serve guests in that area.” DeBuse said to the degree that Target has interest in Goleta, it would not affect the planned small format store already deep in the planning process in Santa Barbara. It is unclear if Kmart plans to sell the remainder of its lease to Target, or how exactly Target will take over the spot. Calls to Kmart’s parent company, Sears, were not returned.

The documents submitted to the city show colored renderings of buildings at 6865 Hollister, the site of the current Kmart, and 6861, the nearby retail properties anchored by Cajun Kitchen. The proposed Target would be about 116,578 square feet. The architect listed on the submittal is MCG Architecture. Goleta Associate Planner Joe E. Pearson II is one of the planners assigned to the project. The architects also submitted a landscape plan, with Western redbud, catalina ironwood, California sycamore and coast live oak trees replacing some lemon-scented gum, jacaranda and canary island pine trees on the site.

Target has long sought a Goleta location, dating back to the early 2000s. The company got close with sites near Los Carneros Road on Santa Barbara Airport property, next to Goleta. The closest Target stores to Santa Barbara are in Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Maria.

In the early 2000s, Santa Barbara was cold to a Target on city-owned airport property because the liberal City Council majority at the time viewed it as a “low-paying retailer” that was not unionized.

Efforts to build a Target in Goleta also fizzled, with Target pulling out because of high impact fees proposed prior to approval. In October 2017, Target announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage to $11, which is now the California minimum wage, along with a commitment to increasing the minimum hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020.

The community has long desired a Target, popular for its trendy-chic discount store items. The new store would be near one of the most impacted and congested intersections on the South Coast — at the corner of Hollister Avenue and Storke Road. Goleta has approved hundreds of new housings units within a two-mile radius of the site.

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