Santa Barbara gets a look at plans for its mini Target store

The Tribune — February 19, 2018

An existing design feature at Target’s new Santa Barbara store is a half-circle arch that provides a convenient location for the company’s trademark bulls-eye logo. Target officials presented the Architectural Board of Review with their proposed changes for the 32,000-square-foot State Street building, which is substantially smaller than the retailer’s normal size. 

Santa Barbara is getting a new, mini Target and a Starbucks, all inside a 32,000-square-foot-building. That’s a quarter the size of a normal Target.

Representatives from Minneapolis-based Target Corp. offered the first glimpse of the project at last week’s Architectural Board of Review meeting. The store is set to go inside the Galleria building at 3891 State St. on the southwest corner of La Cumbre Road.

The Target won’t be the double-level giant, with specially designed escalators to transport shopping carts, as is the case in Oxnard. Instead, Santa Barbarans will get a small-scale store, and a “grab-and-go” Starbucks.

The ABR, in general, supported the project, but asked the Target executives to make some changes, and come back on March 12 for another shot.

“We want to open this year, in fact we are going to open this year, so, yes, we need to get this done,” John Dewes, regional development manager for Target, told ABR chairman Kirk Gradin.

Dewes explained how a Target that is 32,000 square feet works at the site when most other Target stores are between 120,000 and 150,000 square feet.

“The whole idea is that it is a different concept from our full-size stores, which is what most of our people and most of our guests know,” Dewes said. “These small formats are for more suburban areas. They are much more neighborhood designed.”

Small-format stores in other areas, he said, range from about 12,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.

“It is much more of a convenience model where our guests will use this as an infill, oftentimes to come in and pick up specific items they may be out of,” Dewes said. “But they may still use our large-format stores — although in this area there are not any nearby — for their larger shopping needs.

“It is a much quicker shopping experience.”

Bill Huntress, lead design project architect for Target, said the goal was to tie the architecture into the surrounding area, particularly the nearby Marc apartment development, which opened in 2017.

The Galleria building was designed by Berkus, a well-regarded local architect who died in 2012, and was almost demolished after an 89-unit apartment project was approved for the site. Target, however, bought out the lease for the project and is now looking to bring in its store, with only a few tweaks to the building.

Target plans to add several windows to the façade along State Street to allow people to see in and “realize there is a new activity there and try to pull them into the building,” Huntress said.

Windows also would be added to the La Cumbre Road side, where Target wants to use “glazing” so people can get glimpses inside.

Target also plans to lease some space for a “grab-and-go” Starbucks “because the one across the street is too far,” ABR member David Watkins joked.

The Galleria features a half-circle arch at the top of the building facing State Street. The circle, Huntress said, actually lends itself well to the Target logo. Target plans to put glass inside the opening of the circle, as well as its familiar red and white bulls-eye logo.

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