Thursday, August 11, 2011

What to Expect of the New Target Store and the City Center Upgrade? Is Better Enough?

Image: studioneleven

Change is coming to the City Center complex at Geary and Masonic, and most everyone seems to agree it’s good. A new Target outpost will bring a lot of color – heavy on the red – to the space once claimed by the bland Mervyn’s department store. The City Center campus will undergo a make-over as well with a new “refined color palette” for the exterior. Anza Vista residents and those from nearby neighborhoods want a more attractive and vibrant complex. Some welcome Target specifically; others just want the gaping Mervyn’s spot filled. Both Target and City Center received a positive nod from the Planning Commission last month, with a few reservations. On Thursday, August 11th City Center will return to the planning board with modifications on outdoor design treatments.

Here’s what neighbors and shoppers can expect in March 2013 when Target is expected to open its second San Francisco store:

  • Target will fill 106,135 square feet on two levels – a combination of the old Mervyn’s and Good Guy’s spaces
  • Office Depot is downsizing significantly – shrinking its footprint by 14,000 square – and Target might expand into the vacated area
  • All 601 parking spaces will remain; bike parking will increase just a bit from 28 to 42 spaces plus a bike storage area
  • New signage – 15 foot directional signs in the parking lots -- will help rescue shoppers now bewildered by the trek to and from stores
  • Ten months of full construction
  • A more-noticeably branded center with outlet names showcased on the exterior
  • A proposed soaring sign tower -- from the current 20 ft to 35 feet -- unless the Planning Department requires a scaling back, as expected
  • A moderate amount of new landscaping to green some of the perimeter and parking lots

City Center will not be improving the ivy-covered blighted median along its Geary side. “We haven’t gone outside our property,” Adam Miller of City Center explained to a July 15 gathering of interested neighbors. And there won’t be much greening of the parking expanses since designers are reluctant to dig very deep on the multi-layered lots. Motorists can expect green walls – vertical landscaping – along the Geary exterior.

The Planning Department and the Municipal Transportation Agency negotiated two neighborhood investments from the development: new signal lights on Masonic. One will guide southbound left-turn traffic at O’Farrell to improve access to the rear parking lots. And one at Ewing for the small Ewing Terrace residential area. The projects represent a $500,000 expenditure. Target is considering financial assistance to the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, the Jewish Vocational Services, and other local organizations – but no word on helping GLBT groups, even after the ongoing controversy over financing anti-gay candidates in Minnesota and trying to block same-sex marriage advocates from sidewalks along a few of its California outlets.

Once it clears the Planning Commission, Target and City Center will seek building permits and approval by the Board of Supervisors.


  1. Great post, thanks. I think you mean a possible opening of Target City Center in Spring 2013, not 2012.

  2. Yes, bad slip here on the date. Thanks for catching it Bryan. Going to change it in main text now.

  3. Thanks for the update Michael. See you on the Sep 11th. Bike party!!!