A rare sight these days, erection of a new SuperTarget store, is set to begin this spring in Woodbury.
A year after being idled by the economic downturn, a 40-acre development with a 174,000-square-foot SuperTarget as the centerpiece will get off the ground as soon as the weather allows and the city gives its final approval, expected on March 10.
The plan got an overwhelmingly positive reception this week at a neighborhood meeting.
The SuperTarget, off Woodbury Drive between Commerce Drive and Tamarack Road near Interstate 94, is slated to open in the spring of 2011, said Jaci Bell, real estate development manager for Target Corp. About 250 jobs will be created.
Target Corp. isn't planning to open any SuperTarget stores this year, said spokeswoman Sarah Bakken. Instead, the company is focusing on revamping its 340 U.S. stores, scaling back on capital investments but still keeping stores fresh and relevant, she said.
"We are definitely not going away from SuperTargets," Bakken said, but the company is trying to be more strategic in fitting different types of stores to the needs of different communities.
Woodbury's 140,000-square-foot Target Greatland store, just a few miles from the planned SuperTarget, will undergo a major upgrade this summer, she added. It is one of hundreds of Target stores that will be made over into a "PFresh" store.
SuperTargets offer household goods, clothing and electronics, but also include a full-service supermarket. PFresh stores offer general merchandise, Bakken said, and a more limited range of fresh produce, meats and bakery items aimed at consumers picking up food for a meal or two instead of for the week's grocery shopping.
The Woodbury project had some fitful starts. In the summer of 2008, the developer's plan was rejected because it hadn't met the city's standards for storm-water management funding, road improvements, parking conditions and other factors. A revised plan won the City Council's backing in October 2008 -- just when the economy began to unravel.
"That's what really put the brakes on it," said Paul Maenner of Woodbury Partners LLC, which owns the site. Things are now back on track.
Even in tough economic times, SuperTargets spur investment interest, he said, and there are still opportunities in the market. A handful of companies have already expressed interest in filling the ancillary buildings envisioned around the SuperTarget.
"Basically, our job is to set the table" for Target Corp.'s plan, Maenner said. "We're crafting this around their needs."
Jim Anderson • 612-673-7199