A new Target is planned for Portland, along Highway 181 just North of Broadway Boulevard.
According to the Target corporate website, the retail mega-chain has plans in place to build a 128,500 sq. ft. store. The developer is McLeod Cobb Investments, led by Meredith and Michael McLeod-Cobb, who are the same developers of the Chick-Fil-A, Freddy's and Auto Zone in Portland.
It's a plan that has been two years in the making Portland City Manager Randy Wright told KRIS 6 News.
"It’s a competitive process nowadays, with the retail market the way it is, it’s very difficult to attract big box stores," he said. "This project requires the city to participate with a development agreement and will contribute back a certain percentage of sales tax revenues to the developer for the cost associated with the development."
That development agreement will cost the city nearly $13 million in sales tax revenues.
Wright says that the cost made sense because residents have asked for this type of growth.
"As soon as I found out it was confirmed I text messaged all my family," Portland resident Dorothy Torres said. "I wanted them to know, ‘hey Target’s coming in, it’s another place we can go to.’ I’m very excited, my family is too."
Torres says that Target is a welcome site, and will replace stores that have closed in Portland over the years, such as Kmart.
"I know that in past years we had some of the other department stores close down, so it’s just another option that we have to be able to get some clothing and accessories and what have you without having to go over the bridge," she said.
While going over the bridge is a detractor for Torres, it isn't for two Corpus Christi residents who say they are excited to shop at the new Target store because it means less traffic. They say the current Target location at South Padre Island Drive and South Staples Street is congested and they tend to avoid shopping there.
"To avoid traffic, for sure," Natalie Gillespie said. "That Staples intersection in Corpus is just the worst."
Mary Harris lives in Calallen and said while she wished a Target would be built in that area, she will drive over the bridge to shop at the one in Portland.
"Less traffic, less traffic, less people," Harris said. "There will be people, but it won’t be, because there’s 15 stores where the Corpus Target is. This will be, I come into Target and leave."
Wright said the city conducted surveys and residents asked for expanded shopping. He said Target is a direct response to that request.
"Everything we do in Portland is about making a better place to live. Our motto is we build community that creates families," Wright said. "So everything that we’re doing day to day is what can we make, how can we make our community better? What do our citizens want? And we know from the surveys we’ve done they want expanded shopping, this is a perfect opportunity to meet their needs and meet the needs of the entire North Bay area."
Wright tells KRIS 6 News site work will begin in November and is expected to take 14 months.
The new location would be the second Target store for the Coastal Bend.
The first was opened in the new Moore Plaza in late 1989.
There are currently nearly 2,000 stores worldwide.