Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 26, 2012

Hidden Target

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

So it’s pretty common for me to ignore the Staff Communications part of most agendas, because that’s where all the boring stuff goes.   Of course, ignoring the Staff Communications part of Monday’s Planning Board meeting meant that I missed the part about an update on the Target building, which included a redesign of the building.

So here is a slide of the old design:

And the new one:

The major differences are the the additions of some more windows to nowhere (meaning that they don’t actually serve any purpose than just exist as glass, edited for clarity) on the front elevation.   Which is better than no windows and a larger tower treatment type thing on the front elevation which looks like an entrance but is not really an entrance.

The biggest difference is in the rear elevation where Target just gave up on trying to make it look pretty by trying to make it look visually different in places and instead went for a more uniform look, which, while not idea looks a whole lot better than the original.    It’s the back of a really big building, they might as well own the back of a building look.

So here’s my beef about this redesign process.  It should have been on the regular agenda instead of just staff communications.   This is a pretty important design process, people should know about it, but this substantial redesign was relegated to the staff communications portion even though the Planning Board talked about the issue for a good hour.  Next time, appropriately agendize these things people.

In other Planning Board news, the CVS is definitely moving forward on Park Street.   When discussing upcoming agenda items, City Staff mentioned that the development proposal for the CVS and a Chase Bank was coming up at a future Planning Board meeting.   The proposal will be for the Good Chevrolet site which is probably better known as where the ice skating rink was this winter.    So keep an eye out for that one om future agendas and I imagine that CVS will get an equal amount of supporters and detractors for a move to Park Street.


  1. I agree with you Lauren — I vote that we go back to the old process! Up until recently, the public has been well informed about the design processes of our development projects and have been given ample time to make pubic comments on the design before final planning board approval.

    But something changed with Alameda Landing, and I don’t understand why? There has been only one public hearing on the Target design. Even though we have two architects on the planning board, staff has decided they are better suited than the planning board to work with the developer on the design of the Target building. The Target design process has been broken up into several parts, with the shell and foundation being first. The parking lot layout (very important), the signage, the street furniture, the public art, and the bike rack design process will follow. At least one of the architects on the planning board has called for more changes to the design, and I asked for more windows — I can’t imagine this massive building without more windows. The board has asked twice to see colors and samples of the materials that will be used for the exterior shell (something that historically has always been shared with the board and the public before final board approval); however, the next meeting on the Target design will be another staff communication and not an agenda item. This is such an odd process, I’m not sure if the board requests and public comments are part of the public record since it was just a staff communication? I’m also not sure if during this odd process if the board has approved the landscaping for the entire site?

    Based on previous design processes – we’re in the beginning stages of getting our arms around what this building will look like. This building is massive in size; it is the equivalent of one city block, and it will set the tone for the rest of the shopping center, so it’s important that we get it right. For both Bridgeside and South Shore shopping centers, there were public design workshops where the public got to view the displays, see the colors, and touch the materials that were being proposed for the buildings. And there were certainly more than one public hearing on the design.

    Catellus will reveal their retail leasing strategy for Alameda Landing at the May 17th Economic Development Commission meeting. Hopefully we’ll get some insight on the tenant mix for Phase 11 – Fifth Street.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 26, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  2. Target has a two story store model which has plenty of windows and fits in more with the surrounding community. Take a look at the 140,000-square foot store being constructed at the Colonial Brookwood Mall in Alabama. It’s actually quite nice and not so massive. It’s scheduled to open in March of 2013.

    Here’s what the developer had to say about the opening:

    Merrill Stewart, president of Stewart Perry, said work is going “very well,” with the opening set for March 2013. “Target is very excited,” Stewart said. “It will really be an outstanding architectural addition to the west end of Brookwood mall. Retail, properly done, is a nice amenity to many communities and neighborhoods and this will meet that mark.”

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 26, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

  3. How much is Target Contributing to Our New Parks and Aquatic Center.

    Target Corp. Confirms Deal to Build New Store in San Clemente

    As we’ve discussed in previous blogs (found here and here), the plan for building a Target in San Clemente came about when the City of San Clemente was looking for ways to fund the construction of the La Pata/Vista Hermosa Community Park, a 45-acre park with various sport’s fields and an aquatics center. With the purchase of the left-over land in the La Pata/Vista Hermosa area, Target is contributing $13.8 million towards the necessary $23 million to build the park. Therefore, not only is there a brand new community park and aquatics center coming to San Clemente, but now residents get to enjoy a 142,000 square foot Target store. The Community Park and Target are both expected to be completed by the end of 2011, so San Clemente residents have some exciting new pieces of infrastructure to look forward to in the near future

    Comment by John — April 26, 2012 @ 9:10 pm

  4. Karen, I agree.. I’d much rather see a two-story target in this location, similar to the one in Walnut Creek where the parking is located underneath the store. I think that both Catellus is extracting a lot of public benefit from the site and its (newly constructed) access to the tunnel. At the very least, someone at Catellus should be explaining why the economics of a two story Target wouldn’t work (which might be understandable due to the soil conditions – this site appears to be on bay fill and would require extensive pilings if the sales floor was not at grade).

    As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this store is typical suburban nonsense dressed up with some benches and nice landscaping, and I wonder why no one at the city is pushing back on this. Frankly, I understand the need to get Target in (with the associated sales tax revenue,) but I think it’s shortsighted move to not improve the urban design of the store. At the very least, this store will be around for 30 years. I’m proud to live in such a walkable and bikeable city, and I think that the design of Alameda Landing needs to better compliment this environment.

    Comment by jmz — April 30, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

  5. jmz, no one is pushing back because its in the West End, people here just tend to accept whatever comes. Its just the way things are, and have always been. You will rarely ever see West Enders at Planning Bd. or Council meetings. I wonder if WABA has even come out with a position this shopping center.?

    Comment by John P. — April 30, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  6. The Del monte buildinig is up for sale Target should move there. It is more centrally located and would be a good re-unse of an historic building.

    Comment by joelsf — May 1, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  7. In January the Planning Board approved the Planned Amendment for Alameda Landing which includes the Target site plan, and now we’re in the design review stage of the process. This is one of the reasons I don’t like this incremental approach to the approval process; you can’t go back and make changes once it’s been approved.

    But the main point of my post is that the design review part of the process for the Target building has been delegated to staff instead of the PB which is a departure from our normal process on projects this size.

    About a month ago, I sat in on one of the PB meetings while an owner was trying to get his plans approved to build a house on a vacant lot on Clinton Ave. My understanding is that he had been trying for over a year to get approvals, but was unsuccessful. About 3 people from the neighborhood showed up to protest the plans and the planning board refused to approve it. They continued it giving the owner more time to come up with a plan that “fits in with the surrounding community.”

    I truly get the importance of a building fitting in with the surrounding community, but it’s also important that a 140,000 sq ft building that will anchor the Alameda Landing Shopping center fit in with the surrounding community as well.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 1, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  8. I still think they should have moved to the De Monte building, but as they are completing the outside it doesn’t look so bad. They just need some of those large palm trees around it….but my biggest hope is they have locks on the shopping carts so you can’t take them out of the parking lot. I saw a parking cart from Trader Joes on Poggi and Atlantic the other day…that is like 5 miles away.

    Comment by joelsf — July 3, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

  9. I know this has nothing to do with the subject, but I am tired of the no plastic bags law in Alameda. The 10 cents per paper bag is ridiculous they were free before…paper or plastic? We have a ton on paper bags at home but we forget them when we go to the store….and if you bring cloth bags they sorta expect you to bag your own grocery’s. And if they keep charging each bag they sell the money should be donated to an enviromental cause. Why should bags be free one day and cost the next…you can still go to Oakland and they will give you a free bag….paper or plastic.

    Comment by joelsf — July 3, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

  10. Stand by joelsf, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Go to the ACI Garbage site and find out how they’re going to start sorting through your garbage bins and fine you if you’re not putting your garbage in the right garbage container…all in the name of preserving landfill for future generations.

    Comment by Jack Richard — July 3, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

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