Alameda Target open for business

Alameda Target open for business

Michele Ellson

Alamedans have been known to be less than enthusiastic about the idea of chain stores on the Island. But people who stopped and shopped at Alameda’s new Target store Tuesday night were quick to declare their excitement that the discount retailer had opened an outlet in town.

“I love it,” said Meka Brown, who was strolling the toy aisle during the store’s VIP opening Tuesday evening. “I like that I don’t have to drive to Richmond or San Rafael.”

The store - which is at 2700 Fifth Street, behind the Posey Tube - officially opens for business today, the first of several new shops and eateries slated to open at the Alameda Landing shopping center over the course of the next year. But hundreds of shoppers got a sneak peek Monday evening, filling their shopping carts and snacking on treats provided by local food vendors at a festive VIP opening.

“It’s a long time coming, something we’ve all been working toward,” said Sean Whiskeman of Catellus, which is developing Alameda Landing.

Shoppers said they travel off-Island to Target and rival Walmart to save money – one shopper who drove by to see if the store was open Monday said the prices were comparable to Walmart’s – and that they’re glad to have an on-Island option.

“Anything that they bring to Alameda – it’s going to be safe,” Brown said.

Muriel Montague, an Island resident and College of Alameda employee, said she was happy Target is here – and looking forward to keeping her tax dollars local. She said she thinks the city’s estimate that the store will generate $350,000 a year in tax revenue for Alameda is too low; city leaders are hopeful the store and others to be built in the shopping center will stem the off-Island sales tax tide.

“I think it will generate more than that,” Montague said.

Target had sought to place a store at Alameda South Shore Center, but abandoned those plans in 2007; at that point, some speculated that the store could end up in the Alameda Landing development. The development stalled for several years on a deep recession and ownership changes at Catellus, but restarted in 2012.

The 139,000-square-foot Target store will anchor a 23-acre, 291,000-square-foot shopping center that is expected to house a Michaels craft store, Safeway, Sleep Train, and chain eateries Panda Express, Habit Burger Grill and Corner Bakery Café. Catellus representatives have said they are hopeful the rest of the shopping center will be open for business by summer 2014.

In addition to the shopping center, the Alameda Landing development will include 275 new homes.

Read the rest of our Alameda Landing coverage here.


Submitted by Ron Salsig (not verified) on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

Where the heck IS the store, and how do I get there? That is the question I am most often asked.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

Ron, thank you for asking the very obvious question the story should have answered (and will answer, after I update). The store is at 2700 Fifth Street.

Submitted by James (not verified) on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

I don't mind the Target being here, but why does the shopping center have to be filled with chain stores and restaurants??

Sleep Train, and chain eateries Panda Express, Habit Burger Grill and Corner Bakery Café?? Yuck. I'm all for retail space and shopping, but why go with the nasty strip mall style?

Alameda is not the suburbs. It's a beautiful island town, and we should be focused on green space, biking, buses, and waking. Not strip malls and cars.

Submitted by Marlene (not verified) on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

How about a Baja Fresh!

Submitted by old native (not verified) on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

A bad idea who's time has come.
Get ready for heated parking wars and a jammed up Posey tube come black Friday. I hope I'm wrong.

Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Wed, Oct 9, 2013

Chain eateries? I suppose this and In-n-Out Burger are the best we can offer students at College of Alameda for convenient meals? Why no private restaurants at this mall, too risky, rents too high?

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

Hi Mary: The folks at Catellus have said they're reaching out to local businesses, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on whether any end up at Alameda Landing.

Submitted by Betty Howell (not verified) on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

Yuke, more garbage to buy from China...count me out.

Submitted by Jan Greene on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

I stopped in yesterday and every employee I encountered was friendly, helpful and seemed happy to be there. It's early still and some are still learning the ropes, but they handled it well. You can argue about traffic and big boxes, but jobs on the West end seem like a good thing.

Submitted by carol (not verified) on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

The strangest thing I found at new Target is something labeled an "hourglass". The sand runs thru at less than 3 minutes. But then, it is made in China. Is a Chinese hour only 3 minutes?

Submitted by Cynthia (not verified) on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

Husband and I went yesterday ... liked it quite a bit. Kind of bridges the gap for clothing between the discount stores and the high-end boutiques we have.

While we DO really enjoy Alameda's restaurants, there are times when we want In N' Out or some other chains.

Submitted by Wader (not verified) on Thu, Oct 10, 2013

My only concern is the traffic and the Posey tube clogged with traffic. It's already bad, but this will definitely cause backups, especially with those unfamiliar with Alameda and being unsure of how to get through the tube and where to turn.

Submitted by jessica (not verified) on Fri, Oct 11, 2013

This is a total bummer. One of the charms of Alameda is that there are so many mom and pop shops. I've always preferred Target over Walmart. I'm afraid after some time goes by, I'll give in to Target's allure and I'm thinking that others will only hold out so long as well. I do a lot of this type of shopping online, hoping I can keep it that way. I really hope this doesn't put the smaller shops out of business.

Submitted by Tynnifer (not verified) on Sun, Oct 13, 2013

I am thrilled. I love Target and now I won't have to drive so far. I will still shop local when it's warranted. Mostly I buy kids' clothes, unless I am hand making those (not) or buying boutique styles hand made by someone else (not) then I need to buy manufactured clothes. I also buy cosmetics there. Again I am not going to make my own, or buy hand-crafted chi chi stuff, I just want to buy some shampoo and get on with my life. I would normally shop at CVS or Walgreen's for those, and those are certainly not "mom and pops" either. I for one can't wait to check out the Target.

Submitted by Alameda Navy Brat (not verified) on Mon, Oct 14, 2013

I've been twice now. Once on a weekday and once on Sunday. The weekend vibe is definitely different. The store was crowded and it was actually difficult to navigate down the grocery aisles. I asked quite a few people in the store where they were from. No surprise, most that I asked said Oakland. Oakland has so few general department stores this does not surprise me. The tube is bound to be impacted. How could it not be? I saw a van parked at Target that had a sign on it that said it was a shuttle from Target to/from Oakland 12th Street BART. (Michelle, maybe you can verify what this shuttle is for - employees/customers/both?). So we locals will want to be aware that we can get there by going around the back way and avoiding Webster. Get yourself to Marina Village Shopping Center. Drive along the road that runs along the SIDE of the CVS store. Just follow that straight (through the business park area) and it will lead you to Target. You will see Target in front of you and you can make a left turn and pull into its lot. It is a hassle free way for those on most of the island to get there. I was coming back from an appointment in Oakland Friday and as I was exiting the tube coming back into Alameda I had to slam on my brakes. The car in front of me slowed to a virtual crawl. I am guessing it was looking for Target.... So that is the other thing that would be interesting to monitor. How many accidents exiting the tube are caused by NO clear signage as to how to get to Target? It can only get worse after a big Safeway goes in. Again, downtown Oakland and West Oakland lack much grocery shopping. People will want to flock to it. I also wonder how much business Lucky's and CVS in Marina Village shopping center will lose because of Target/Safeway going in. How will this impact Napa Auto Parts, Pagano's, South Shore? Will we have another ghost shopping center like Harbor Bay Landing and Neptune Plaza soon at Marina Village Shopping Center? I will probably go to Target once every few months or so to browse around and shop, but I prefer to give my money to local small businesses as much as possible.

Submitted by Michele Ellson on Mon, Oct 14, 2013

Hey ANB - The shuttle is available to employees and customers (schedule here: Alameda Landing's residents and businesses (including Target) are required to pay into a fund that is used to ease traffic congestion.