Target Corp. eyes historic Carson’s site on Chicago’s State Street for new store.
Discount giant Target Corp. is in talks for a full-line store that could include groceries at the historic Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building on State Street.
A spokeswoman for the firm that owns the building, Joseph Freed & Associates LLC, says talks with Target are at an advanced stage for a lease at the store designed by architect Louis Sullivan more than 110 years ago.
“There are serious conversations going on,” she says, declining to provide specifics.
Real estate sources say Target has been scouting in recent months for big downtown and River North sites, including the Carson’s building at 1 S. State Street. The landmark building has been rechristened Sullivan Center as part of Chicago-based Freed’s efforts to redevelop the property since Carson’s closed its department store about three years ago.
Landing Target, which has built an image as a stylish discounter in apparel and home furnishings, would boost Mayor Richard M. Daley’s bid to bolster downtown’s residential and retail mix. It also would be a major victory for Freed, which has only one tenant at Sullivan Center, a small restaurant, and is battling foreclosure up the street at the newly opened Block 37 mall.
“It would be a huge boon and shot in the arm for State Street,” says Bruce Kaplan, a retail broker at the Chicago office CB Richard Ellis Inc. who’s tracked retail vacancies on State for 20 years. “Target is really the state of the art in department stores and the kind of brick-and-mortar store positioned to succeed in the future.”
The retailer is looking to occupy about 80,000 square feet on no more than two stories, which would make the State Street outlet almost half the size of its new SuperTarget suburban stores. Such space will be a challenge to find in and around the Loop. Indeed, Target has looked periodically for a downtown site for at least a decade. It also has been trying to get into Manhattan for years and is poised to open its first store in East Harlem this year….