Center City Meets Target Store Lease Deadline

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 5:30 pm
Alice Dreger

Above: Interior of a small-format, urban-style Target store in Hyde Park, Chicago, near the University of Chicago.

Looks like plans for the Target store downtown are on target.

ELi reported last summer that an external consultant’s review of the Center City District deal included a look at the lease between Ballein Management and Target Corporation that was signed on April 12, 2017. According to the consultant, “The lease is predicated on the completion of the Center City District in its entirety, including adjacent garage parking, stipulating the store’s white box must be delivered by September 1, 2018, to avoid penalty.

“White box” means when a space is completed externally and is provided to a tenant or owner for completing internally.

This past Friday, August 31, the City’s weekly construction bulletin contained this news: “the Target space has received a TCO to turnover to Target and their contractor.” A “TCO” is a “temporary certificate of occupancy.” So, the deadline was met just on time.

Reached by ELi today, Jacque DeBuse, Communications specialist for Target, tells ELi, "Target's East Lansing downtown location will be the first small-format Target store in the state of Michigan and represents our continued effort to open more stores near college campuses and in densely populated urban and suburban markets. Nationwide, Target has prioritized opening small-format stores to serve guests with an experience that is tailored to meet their local needs."

DeBuse continues, "At Target, our teams are working hard on final plans and preparations for the East Lansing downtown store. Part of those details includes the store's product assortment, such as the food and beverage offerings, which will be finalized closer to opening."

She says, "The store is still on track to open in 2019, and we'll have more specific timing on our grand opening date as we get closer. We are excited about joining the downtown community and look forward to serving East Lansing guests in the coming year."

The Target lease was named by the Center City District developers and city staff as the major reason the project had to move fast through planning and approval.

The small-format, urban-style Target store was a major selling point of the project because it is set to include a grocery, something many – including City planners and City Council – have wanted downtown, to promote downtown living among a diverse demographic.

Urban groceries are being viewed by development experts as a key component of revitalizing downtowns, because they make it easier for city-dwellers to walk, bus, and bike to shop, making life without a car more feasible.

The Lansing State Journal recently broke the story that an urban-format Meijer store will be located in a new project on Michigan Avenue, near the Lugnuts’ Stadium, and MSU included a grocery, called Spartan Market, at 1855 Place, its new complex at the southwest corner of Harrison Road and Kalamazoo Street.

The Target store in East Lansing will be about 22,000 square feet, occupying most of the first floor of the building now being constructed on Grand River Avenue. (The rest of the first floor will be lobby space for the apartments above.)

ELi talked to Target’s representatives in March 2017 and learned then that the Target in East Lansing “will provide a quick-trip shopping experience with a customized assortment mix” of groceries and other products, including apartment supplies, cosmetics, and a selection of clothing from brands Target carries.

The grocery is expected to “offer a selection of both raw and prepared meats,” vegetables and fruits, herbs, yogurts, frozen foods, and beverages.

The East Lansing store will also offer “order pickup,” which enables customers to shop on Target’s website and pick orders up at the store with no shipping charge. (The Okemos Target store now offers this feature.) There’s no word yet on where pick-up will be for drivers.

The latest estimates are that the new Center City District parking garage on Albert Avenue will open in late spring 2019. The garage has to be open when the store opens, because the deal worked out provides leased, dedicated parking in the garage for Target customers.


This article was updated after publication on September 4 to include the information provided by the Target representative. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info