After years of both opposition and support, Target confirmed plans Wednesday to open a store in San Diego’s laid-back Ocean Beach neighborhood sometime next year.
“Target has long been pursuing a site on Newport Avenue to serve the surrounding community,” Jacqueline DeBuse, a communications representative with Target, told NBC 7.
DeBuse said the company’s goal is to “bring an easy, convenient and affordable retail option” to the quirky beachside community that’s currently home to much smaller businesses.
The store is part of Target’s master plan to open what it calls “small-format stores” in urban areas and in dense suburban neighborhoods – namely places where a full-size Target store may not fit. These smaller stores aim to offer an assortment of products that cater specifically to the community in which the store stands.
The idea of putting a Target in OB drew much controversy in August 2017, when tempers flared at an Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting where some residents expressed concern.
At that meeting, some locals held signs protesting the possibility of adding the big box retailer to the neighborhood. Some locals worried that OB’s free-spirited, unique character would disappear in the shadow of a chain store.
Other opponents were concerned that a Target store would bring too much competition for surrounding businesses, possibly causing some of the smaller mom-and-pop stores in the area to shutter.
However, other locals supported the idea of a Target in the community, saying they would love to be able to shop for household necessities without having to leave the comfort of Ocean Beach.
According to DeBuse, Target will hire around 50 employees to staff the OB location. The exact date of the location’s opening has yet to be released.