By Mary O’KEEFE
As reported previously, a Target is moving into the now vacant Sport Chalet at 2 Sport Chalet Drive in La Cañada Flintridge. Sport Chalet was the anchor store within the Town Center complex, but closed its doors in 2016. Last week, Target announced it would be bringing a 45,865-square-foot store to the location, which is much smaller than the normal size of about 130,000 square feet.
“[The store] will be tailored to fit the needs of the residents the store will serve,” said Kristy Walker, Target spokesperson.
The store will have a robust beauty assortment, a grocery with fresh produce and grab-and-go items, a pharmacy and a Starbucks, Walker added.
In addition, there will be an assortment of home and décor essentials, kids apparel, accessories, back-to-school items and sports items.
“If [customers] want to place an order online, they can pick it up at the store within an hour,” Walker said.
Pat Anderson, president and CEO of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, said she has had mixed reviews of the new Target since the news broke.
“Mostly positive,” she said.
The concerns seem to be the size of the store with many thinking that the LCF Target will be on the same scale as the larger stores in areas like Pasadena and Glendale. Anderson said once it is realized that this store is much smaller, concerns will be set aside.
“We won’t be altering the size of the space,” Walker said.
“There are many who are very happy Target is coming in,” Anderson added.
Sport Chalet’s closure has been felt in the Crescenta Valley area. It was a place where residents could get last minute sport items, like shoes, socks and equipment. Since it closed, shoppers had to travel either to Pasadena or Glendale for items and, with the Foothill (210) Freeway construction, that becomes more like a day trip than a quick drive.
Anderson said there are three reasons this is good for LCF: The Sport Chalet building was a very large vacant space, the store will create lots of new job opportunities for adults and students in the area and the tax dollar revenue that will be generated by the store will greatly benefit the city, which in turn will help pay for services like parks, medians and roadway construction.
This type of new, smaller, customized store is something Target has been doing within its corporation.
“Most recently, [Target] has opened on college campuses at USC and UC Irvine, which is [a] 20,000-square-foot [space],” Walker said.
According to a Target statement, the corporation “plans to operate more than 130 small-format stores by the end of 2019.”
“Target is an employer that values the individuals who come together as a team to serve guests in the community. Target provides team members with opportunities to build and develop skills for their careers. Target employs more than 17,400 team members in the greater Los Angeles area, and the opening of Target’s July 2018 La Cañada small-format store will bring dozens more jobs to the community,” according to the statement.
Another concern is parking. Walker said there are 147 rooftop parking spaces and 27 spots on the mezzanine.
Anderson expects the first few weeks of the store’s opening will be a little nightmarish as far as parking, but will soon smooth out.
“The City of La Cañada Flintridge is excited about the addition of a new Target store at the Town Center. The new, small-store format will be a welcome addition to our residents and the business community,” La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Michael Davitt stated in a press release.
Target has signed the lease with IDS Real Estate Group and is planning an opening in July 2018. Applications for new jobs at Target will be accepted about eight weeks prior to the opening.