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Land deal inked: Second Target coming to Springfield

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A real estate deal has cleared the way for Springfield’s second Target store – part of a $60 million development plan on the city’s west side.

The Greene County assessor’s office recorded a warranty deed Dec. 18 transferring property to Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) from Springfield West Partners LLC within a commercial subdivision described as Sunshine Towne Center.

Curtis Jared, president and CEO of Jared Enterprises Inc., said Springfield West Partners, which comprises him and St. Louis-area developer Tom Walker, sold property for a west Springfield Target store at the southeast corner of the Sunshine Street and West Bypass intersection. He did not disclose the financial terms of the deal with Target.

Jared described Walker, who appeared before Springfield City Council regarding the possible Target development last summer, as the project lead.

“It’s his field of expertise, so he’s taking point,” Jared said.

Walker, who, through Jared, declined to comment for this article, told council in June that plans called for the site to be transformed into a $30 million, 148,000-square-foot Target store with 50,000 square feet of additional retail space and three standalone parcels, one of them a 7,500-square-foot restaurant site.

The new Target would be about 30,000 square feet larger than the existing Target store on East Primrose Street, due to a fulfillment center for online sales. It would generate roughly 180 new jobs, with 40% of them full time, according to a report last year by Amanda Ohlensehlen, director of Economic Vitality for the city. Walker noted the Target store would take about 12 months to build.

Jared added that Walker will manage off-site and on-site infrastructure, while Jared leads the development side.

“Divide and conquer,” he said. “There’s plenty of work to go around.”

The 23-acre site was previously occupied by Elite Homes Center, a manufactured and modular home dealer. Elite’s stock of mobile homes has been moved from the site.

Second large retailer coming
Jared said Springfield West Partners retained 42% ownership of the site and is developing some of the remainder of the property for another large retail user, though he did not name it.

“I try to respect what people don’t want us to say so they can make their own announcement when they’re ready,” he said. “I think Springfield will be pleased with it.”

Jared said he expects the site for his development to be ready to begin in early February and be finished by fall. He expects to announce off-site tenants by March. 

“Those users should start coming up out of the ground by late summer or early fall, when our site work, utilities and structures are all put in place,” he said.

Much of the infrastructure for the large retailer would be completed by fall, as well, he said.

“It’s an area of town that needs some revitalization, and it’s nice to see some development out there,” Jared said, citing the Walmart Supercenter and Menards nearby, as well as highway access to Republic.

He added that he expects the development to spur additional projects.

“It’s good for Springfield,” he said.

Complex project
Jared said it has taken over 18 months to get to this stage.

“The bigger the deal, the bigger the headaches, and I say that jokingly serious,” he said. “There’s just a lot of stuff that goes into it, and it’s never as smooth as you’d like it to be. You’re working with a lot of different personalities, and not everyone understands timelines and all the things that have to be queued up and ready to go.”

Working with the city of Springfield and with the Missouri Department of Transportation on infrastructure deals also can be a challenge, he said.

“There’s a whole slew of things,” he said. “Everyone always thinks it’d be great to be a developer, but it’s not for the faint of heart.”

In June, council approved annexation and rezoning of the property to highway commercial.

The estimated cost of the project at the time was $54 million, including $29.5 million for the Target store, $7 million-$8 million for the standalone parcels, $10 million for the retail shops and $6 million for site work and infrastructure, Ohlensehlen said. She rounded the total estimated cost to $60 million.

Danny Perches, assistant director of Economic Vitality, said Springfield West Partners has agreed to petition for a community improvement district to impose a district sales tax to reimburse the cost of internal streets. The district will encompass the entire development excluding the Target site, he said, noting the petition has not yet been filed.

The infrastructure reimbursement agreement would cover $6 million in reimbursable public improvement costs, capturing half each of the city’s 1-cent, half-cent and eighth-cent sales taxes generated by the development to reimburse the developer for improvements for a term of 15 years or until reimbursable costs are paid in full.

The agreement would apply a new 1-cent sales and use tax within a CID to cover $2 million of reimbursable project costs.

With a conservative estimate by city staff based on 1% growth in taxable sales, reimbursements are expected to be paid off in 10 years.

The project is expected to bring 140 construction jobs, including 40 prevailing wage jobs for infrastructure work and 100 jobs related to building construction.

Jared said Walker’s expertise has gotten the project to this point.

“A lot of this falls on Tom Walker and his expertise in developing large sites like this that he’s accustomed to,” he said. “This is really where he excels.”

Jared said an undeveloped site is a rarity in Springfield, and a larger deal can be tricky to put together.

Appearing before City Council at the June 5 meeting last year, Walker said the agreement with Target was not a done deal, and an official announcement would have to come from the Minneapolis-based retailer. The property purchase appears to make the plan official.

At the time, Walker noted, “This has been the worst-kept secret that I’ve ever had in Springfield.”

Perches put a lot of work into the agreement, according to Jared.

“A lot of it came down to working with the timeline that they had,” Perches said. “Whenever they identified their timeline of when they needed to close on a property, we worked with Target based on Target’s timeline and did our best to work backwards from that. We got a lot of staff involved in that review process and made sure we did our best to be timely with reviews, and any feedback from developers; we shared that with them as soon as possible.”

Perches described a back-and-forth process that ensured quick communication.

“I commend our staff team,” he said. “They were eager to help out on the project. We got everyone together in one room and hashed it all out on what we needed to do to make sure the project stayed on their timeline.”

Perches said the development is a positive indicator for the city.

“We’re just excited about the opportunities with that development in general, and certainly with the growth that we’ve seen in Springfield,” he said. “We haven’t seen that growth in quite a while, and all of us in the city are excited about the potential and what that can mean for the rest of the city.”

Springfield’s existing Target store on Primrose Street was the company’s busiest Missouri store in 2022 and the 37th busiest store systemwide, according to the company. There are 1,956 Target stores in the United States, the company website states.

A request for comment to Target’s corporate press office was not returned by press time.

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