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Local News

Target Expected to Take a Step Forward in Quest for Goleta Store

City official says company likely to resubmit project proposal within next week or two

Local Target lovers could soon be a smidge closer to seeing the retail giant plant its roots in Goleta when the store resubmits a project proposal to the city. According to a city planning official, that’s expected to happen within the next week or so.

Target representatives have been calling the Planning Department more frequently and with more specific questions related to completing the proposal application, senior planner Scott Kolwitz told Noozhawk last week.

The Minneapolis-based company has been working since last June to resubmit the application plans to build a two-story, 164,800-square-foot podium store at the intersection of Hollister Avenue and Los Carneros Way, which would include ground-floor parking.

City planners sent back the initial application, which they received in May, noting that more information was needed to move forward in the planning process.

“We are expecting an application re-submittal shortly,” Kolwitz said.

Kolwitz could not confirm whether Target is in escrow — the process of actively purchasing — the property, but he said the city does have an option to consider the purchase.

Target spokeswoman Anne Christensen would not disclose any information regarding a timeframe for re-submittal or purchase, but confirmed the company’s interest.

“The Santa Barbara area is a great market for Target and we continue to consider new opportunities to serve our guests there,” Christensen said. “However, I currently do not have any information to share at this time.”

Locals have had Target on the mind since November 2011, when the Goleta City Council unanimously voted to authorize a public planning process to see whether changes could be made to the General Plan for the Target purchase.

The planning process, which was estimated at the time to take more than two years, analyzes possible amendments to allow the site to develop a big-box store, change the property’s land-use designation to regional commercial from general commercial, and to realign the intersection of Los Carneros Way at Hollister.

Kolwitz said Target has been considering re-submittal to clarify some 34 items pointed out by the city planners as requiring more information. Fundamental questions and design and technical issues make up the bulk of the list, he said.

“For us to fully vet the project, there were additional pieces of information that we needed,” Kolwitz said. “It was a mixed bag of questions.”

Even if Target submits an application soon and it’s deemed “complete” in a 30-day review process, the project is still considered in the “beginning stages,” he added.

The city would then be able to work on the next pieces of the puzzle, which include additional design review, starting an environmental review process in earnest, and involving public input.

Kolwitz said he couldn’t estimate a timeframe, especially with the added complication of the project involving Goleta and Santa Barbara County land. The project would require demolishing a former FedEx building, the Goleta Valley Athletic Club, an area where a Chevron gas station used to be located and another small building, not to mention reconfiguring a major roadway.

“There is interest in it, clearly, from the applicant and from the community,” Kolwitz said.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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