Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 9:50 pm | Fair 52º


Goleta Kmart Closing in October, Paving Way For Target Store

Developers of shopping center at 6865 Hollister also plan a massive overhaul

Interior of Kmart store. Click to view larger
Kmart announced this week that it will be closing its Goleta store in October, presumably making way for a Target store at the same location. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

With Target on the way, Kmart has bowed out of Goleta.

The big box store, known for its low-priced clothing, merchandise and Martha Stewart, will close its doors after several decades in the Good Land. 

The company made the announcement to its employees on Thursday. By the end of October, Kmart with be nothing but a memory — and a large vacant building. 

The developers of the shopping center where Kmart sits at 6865 Hollister plan a massive overhaul, with plans to bring in popular discount retailer Target. The shopping center owners also want to bring in a Starbucks and revamp the strip of nearby retail properties, anchored by Cajun Kitchen.

The Goleta Design Review Board will take a look at a preliminary application on July 24. 

Business leaders have long clamored for a Target in Goleta. 

"The Chamber is pleased to learn of the new business Target coming into an existing location for local shoppers," said Kristen Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. "Goletans have asked for a Target for a long time. The added benefit is the proposed renovation of the Kmart building, parking lot and associated shopping center that sorely needs updating."

Target has long sought a Goleta location, dating back to the early 2000s. The company had gotten close on two occasions in the past 15 years, both in Goleta and on Santa Barbara airport property near Goleta, but a myriad of political and economic pitfalls uphended the proposals.

In October 2017, Target announced plans to raise its minimum hourly wage to $11, which is now the California minimum wage, along with a commitment to increasing the minimum hourly wage to $15 by the end of 2020.

In the early 2000s, Santa Barbara was cold to a Target on city-owned airport property because the City Council majority, led by Das Williams and Helene Schneider, at the time viewed it as a “low-paying retailer” that was not unionized.

Efforts to build a Target in Goleta also fizzled, with the company pulling out because of high development-impact fees charged by the city proposed prior to approval.

The community has long desired a Target, popular for its trendy-chic discount store items.

Kmart for decades was the only place on the north end of town to purchase discount items. Ross Dress for Less chiseled into that market share when it went up in the Camino Real Shopping Center in 1999.

Kmart was an attractive spot for generations of UCSB students and Goleta families to stock up on household supplies. It's unclear how long the Target approval process will take and how long the building will be vacant. 

  Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina 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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