'City Target' store to open in Loop in 2012

February 15, 2011 2:50:20 PM PST
A boost for State Street: Target will open a store with food, clothes and household items in the space once leased by Carson Pirie Scott.

The State Street store, called "City Target," will occupy the first and second floor of the Sullivan Center, 1 S. State Street. The main part of the building has been empty since Carson Pirie Scott moved out in 2007. With the retailer, 85 percent of the building will be leased.

State Street, that Great Street, has had many faces over the year from legendary retailers and funny-looking streetlamps to a mall that didn't go over so well. Sears came, left, and then returned. Marshall Fields became Macy's, and in 2007 Carson's left, leaving Louis Sullivan's national historic landmark building empty. While the Sullivan Center found several tenants for its other floors, the ground floor was vacant until now.

City Target -- the smaller, urban version of the suburban big box merchant -- will offer fresh food, basic urban living items and some clothing. Because of the landmark status, Target cannot touch the building's historic features.

"You'll still come in and say this is definitely a Target store. But you'll walk into this building and see the stately historic columns, the extraordinary vision glass having penetration into the box inviting people in. Things that you don't see in that suburban location," said John Griffith, Target executive vice president.

The retailer hopes to open in fall of 2012, but is trying to expedite that date to get a base of shoppers, which includes a growing number of downtown residents.

"Just activity associated with having doors open hasn't been part of the central corner, State and Madison, for years, so we're pretty excited about the bump that State Street receives at this location, but the spillover will effect locations all along State Street," said Ty Tabing, executive director Chicago Loop Alliance.

The deal to land Target took time and negotiation. The city has spent $24 million in Tax Increment Financing money on Sullivan Center. Mayor Richard M. Daley, who is often criticized for too strong a downtown focus, said it's an investment that will pay dividends for a long time.

"The core of the city is the key. If you don't have the core, those cities fail. They can't come back. This city has always kept the core strong," Mayor Daley said.

The Loop is home to a sizeable student population. With that growth there is a market for groceries, which will be part of the new store.

According to company officials, the State Street City Target will create 200 jobs.