Lake Bluff considering Target
Updated: February 12, 2013 5:56PM
LAKE BLUFF — A zoning application submitted by developers to open a Target store on the former 14-acre Shepard Chevrolet site is expected to go before the Lake Bluff Plan Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
“This is a preliminary meeting,” Village Administrator Drew Irvin said during his report to the Lake Bluff Village Board Monday night.
The village received a zoning application late last month from Target Stores Inc. and McVickers Development LLC to allow for redevelopment of 930 Carriage Park Lane for an approximately 139,000 square-foot Target store as well as three outlots, Irvin said.
The tenants of the outlots have not been named within the application materials, Irvin added.
The property is currently zoned for commercial use and would need to be rezoned for retail if Target and other stores open there.
“I think it’s important to note that a 139,000 square-foot store is their regular store, it’s not a SuperTarget,” Trustee John Josephitis said. SuperTarget stores combine a regular Target retail store with a full grocery store attached.
Irvin also said that the Target under consideration in Lake Bluff will not have a grocery store. “No deli, no bakery,” he said, but it would offer pre-packaged food items.
The Lake Bluff proposal “is probably only 5,000 square feet off (bigger than) the Highland Park (Target) store, with similar offerings,” Irvin said.
But the two stores would differ in architectural styling, Irvin noted.
Heather Sexton, the architect involved in the Lake Bluff proposal, worked on repurposing the former Carson Pirie Scott building downtown, he said. Target opened a store in a portion of the historic structure, now known as the Sullivan Center, in 2012.
Now, developers are working to satisfy Lake Bluff’s design standards in an effort to make the store fit in with this community, Irvin said.
The Shepard Chevrolet site has been vacant since 2011 and is a prime retail spot in the village that may bring back lost sales tax revenue.
Earlier in the meeting, Lake Bluff Finance Director Susan Griffin said the village’s sales tax revenue was down 4 percent during the first half of the fiscal year and could be down 8 percent at year’s end if sales don’t pick up within the village.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that sales tax is coming in at about $165,000 a month,” Griffin said. “There were times when we had $200,000 to $220,000 (in sales tax revenue) per month in years past.”
Griffin said that while unemployment has dipped slightly, “people are still skittish. They’re only spending when they need to spend. The big ticket items are not there,” she said.