South Park residents oppose plans for TargetExpress

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SAN DIEGO – National retailer Target Corp. plans to open a TargetExpress store in South Park in July, and residents are already voicing opposition.

“We don’t really feel like Target is the best fit — not the best thing for this neighborhood,” said Susan Hoffman, a South Park resident.

The TargetExpress store will take over the space of the old Gala Foods site. The store would offer fresh produce, a pharmacy, beauty products and other goods.

“Target, Wal-Mart, the big box retailers in general are looking at more opportunities in urban settings,” said Erik Bruvold, president of National University’s Institute for Policy research. 

Bruvold said it is only natural that Target would choose South Park because when it comes to retail, South Park is underserved.

“There’s about double more the acreage provided to retail in Rancho Penasquitos than down in South Park,” Bruvold said.

The TargetExpress will fill 19,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by the supermarket. 

Saad Hirmez, who owns the property, said residents had requested higher-end markets like Trader Joes or Whole Foods to fill the space.

“It was available for all of them, it was marketed and they apparently passed on,” said Hirmez.

Of all the retailers that were interested, Hirmez said Target was the clear choice.

“We felt that what Target was going to offer was a better fit for ourselves and the community,” he said.

“It doesn’t fit at all,” said Hoffman. “We don’t want the big box stores here and it’s definitely a concern.”

San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria said he has been in close contact with Target representatives. He said the corporation has promised it does not plan to alter the architecture or footprint of the existing property. Any improvements will be focused on the interior of the store.

Gloria said drawings of the new store are expected to be completed in November. The retailer promised the council president it would attend neighborhood meetings to share the plans.


  • Joe Cresser

    I am a South Park resident (home owner with a family). I welcome Target with open arms. Where do I sign up for the group that is in favor of Target? I tried e-mailing them, but I haven’t received a response.

  • JPor2gee

    I”m super Excited that Target is coming into south park and living down the street it will be VERY convienant to walk to target and get my weekly shopping done!. I too welcome Target with Open Arms.

    • Tom

      I live in Logan, and we don’t need it. We already have a neighborhood Walmart, plus lots of grocery stores and the like. Having these stores in the neighborhood is very convenient, so I don’t see what the problem is with opening up one in South Park.

  • Ms.P

    Long time home owner in South Park who opposes Target….no open arms welcome here! Target is rushing into our small, few block, walkable neighborhood full of successful independent businesses we love and support. They are playing catch up with WalmartExpress and they have both found a city that routinely gives development and formula stores with $$$$ a rubber stamp so they can slip into and avoid any community plan oversight. We have over 70 businesses-retail and restaurants in our historical neighborhood South Park, independently owned and many owners actually live in the neighborhood. These small mom and pop businesses are a huge part of our success as a neighborhood. They went through our community plan oversight but if you are Target$$$$ and trying out a new “experimental store” you can slip right in and experiment away.

    Mr Bruvold from this article is way off comparing South Park, a small, historical neighborhood of around 5,500 residents packed into a few blocks to Rancho Penasquitos with 55,000 plus residents. We are not underserved by retail in South Park, Mr Bruvold , we are underserved by big chain, formula store retail. We are doing just fine without them! I invite all of you, especially Mr. Bruvold, to come to our next neighborhood Walkabout and see what a successful, walkable, charming neighborhood full of mom and pop businesses looks and feels like before the bright, shiny big chain store invades us with their new “experimental” store.

    Also, neighbors in Mission Hills, heads up, you are likely the next experimental site- I hear talk of Target’s competitor looking into your neighborhood. At least they are doing preliminary research and calling residents in Mission Hills for opinion- we were totally blind-sided here with this Target Express and are still kept in the blind of their experimental plan until after Target gets their rubber stamp approval from the city to start their renovations.

    • Joan LaRose

      You can protest with your dollars. Just don’t shop there. Your reply, and the attitude of most of those who oppose this concept, smacks of NIMBYism. I’m sure you understand that acronym, but just in case – NOT IN MY BACKYARD. I learned long ago the cliche, “There is nothing more constant than change.” South Park is not the neighborhood it was 20 years ago, and it’s not the neighborhood it will be 20 years hence. Time moves on. So should you. And if you just cannot bring yourself to patronize a nice, clean store with basic necessities stocked and freshly turned over, well, then go ahead and boycott it. The rest of us will make up for you.

  • Sean D.

    Gala was a hellhole. Expired dry goods left and right, unbelievably high prices, uncared for deteriorating building (complete with leaking ceiling, vents caked with dust, vertical blinds in the front of the store with missing slats, and up until a few months ago a weird smell that was very reminiscent of cat urine) that rivaled the old AppleTree store in O.B. for sheer gross-out factor. Only reason I went there on rare occasion was for the cheap Barton’s vodka and maybe a tomato or two.
    I welcome this new Target as well.
    Not all of us have the disposable income to shop at the little ritzy boutiques that have popped up here over the years, and we aren’t going anywhere!

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