Artist's rendering of a Target store at the Galleria in Santa Barbara, located at the corner of State Street and La Cumbre Road

The news that a Target will open in 2018 has electrified Santa Barbarans. Guaranteed to add to the traffic jams on upper State, the 34,000-square-foot mini-Target will be occupying the Galleria space on the corner of La Cumbre Road and State Street, said a press release from the company. It’ll be much smaller than the Target stores many travel to shop at in Ventura and Oxnard, which have retail floors of 220,000 and 150,000 square feet, respectively.

The mini-Target has a “curated assortment of home goods, apparel and more as well as a pick-up point for online orders,” according to Mark Schindele, a senior vice president at Target. About 50-70 jobs will be created at the retail shop, which is expected to open in October 2018.

The property is being leased from Gryphon Capital, LLC, a retail developer that just acquired the Galleria spot, said managing partner Chris Shane. County Assessor records show the property changed hands on December 13, with Gryphon acquiring it from Watabun USA for about $12.5 million. Watabun had planned apartments for the site a couple years back.

Santa Barbarans who still shop in stores have longed for a Target for years, led most vocally by Indy columnist Starshine Roshell, who often mentions the chain and once jokingly created a petition in her column for a store that went viral. “My two biggest concerns,” she said of the planned new store, “is that it’s within walking distance to my house (danger!), and now everyone in Santa Barbara will be wearing the same clothes as I do. … My selfish self has been pining for a closer Target for decades, but my more conscientious side does worry about local businesses.”

The commonly heard refrain “but what about parking?” was answered by George Buell, community development director for the City of Santa Barbara. Target will be taking a “retail for retail” space, he explained, with small areas of floor space being added. The existing parking does not conform to the city’s current code, but since there’s no change in use, Target will be allowed to add 15 offsite spaces, to go behind the Grace Village project. The current 88 spaces will go up to 103.

The plans so far show a comprehensive interior remodel and some demolition, and have yet to be finalized. Exterior changes will go before the Architectural Board of Review, Buell said.

Editor’s Note: This story was corrected to reflect the nonconforming parking solution.


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