Target buys space for retail store downtown
Target, the national discount department store, will open a store at the base of the 24-story Newmark condo tower on Second Avenue between Pike and Union streets.
Seattle Times business reporter
Target is coming to downtown Seattle.
The national discount department-store chain has bought the three-story office and retail space at the base of the 24-story Newmark condo tower on Second Avenue between Pike and Union streets.
The 103,000-square-foot commercial space, known since 2008 as Pike Plaza, will be home to a smaller-format Target store, the seller, Seattle-based HAL Real Estate, said in a prepared statement.
But it will be at least a year before a store opens, Target spokeswoman Sarah Bakken said. The Minneapolis-based company first must obtain city permits and reconfigure the space to fit its needs, she said.
Target paid $15.5 million for the property, according to county records. The purchase includes a 250-stall underground garage.
Bakken couldn't say whether the store would occupy all three floors. Even if it does, it would be smaller than the 135,000 square feet in a typical Target.
While most of Target's 1,700 stores are suburban, single-story big boxes surrounded by parking lots, in recent years the chain has moved into more urban areas and built or occupied buildings with several floors, or parking garages or both.
The Target in the Northgate North complex in North Seattle is one example. "We are not a one-size-fits-all company," Bakken said.
One Target store in Brooklyn, N.Y., has no dedicated parking. Earlier this month, the chain opened a store in New York's East Harlem, its first in Manhattan. Target operates stores in downtown Minneapolis and the Chicago Loop, and it also is exploring sites for its first store in San Francisco.
Kate Joncas, president of the Downtown Seattle Association, hailed Target's plans as a sign of confidence in downtown, and she said it would provide another incentive for people to both live and work in the city center.
With its mix of style and value, "Target is definitely one type of store that isn't in downtown at all now," Joncas said. "It's a great national brand to have."
HAL President Dana Behar echoed those sentiments. "This will be a great addition to the downtown retail environment and will undoubtedly enhance its position as a 24-hour city," he said in a prepared statement.
Target already operates 21 stores in King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties, according to the company's Web site.
The Newmark tower was built in 1991. Its 191 apartments were converted to condos later in the decade. HAL acquired 100 percent interest in the retail mall at the base in 1998 and converted it to a mix of office and retail uses.
Washington Mutual was leasing 84,000 square feet in the building at the time of the bank's collapse in 2008. That lease expired last summer, and since then, the space has been mostly vacant.
A shoe store and souvenir shop are the only tenants now, said Gabriel Grant, HAL vice president.
The building, between the Pike Place Market and downtown's major retail destinations, is surrounded by a mix of older buildings and newer high-rises, including the Russell Investments Center — formerly the WaMu Center — and the luxury Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue condo tower.
Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or email@example.com
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