After years of both opposition and support, a small-scale Target store will open Wednesday in San Diego's free-spirited, laid-back Ocean Beach community.
The 18,000-square-foot store is located at 4864 Newport Ave. It’s the retailer’s third so-called "small-format" Target in San Diego County and the 25th Target store in the greater San Diego area.
Target announced plans to build the store in OB last October. The plans had been in the works since August 2017, when just the idea of putting a Target store in the beachside community stirred controversy.
At that time, tempers flared at an Ocean Beach Planning Board meeting where some residents expressed concern over the possibility of adding the big box retailer to the neighborhood. Some locals worried OB’s 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.
On the other side of the coin, some 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.
Now, that convenience is a reality.
The Target location will soft-open all week beginning Wednesday. It’s grand opening will be held Sunday at 8 a.m. with an in-store celebration open to all guests.
According to Target, this OB store is part of the company'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.
Currently, in San Diego, there are small-format Target stores in South Park, North Park and now Ocean Beach. Another is planned for Spring Valley, projected to open in 2020.
With the addition of the Ocean Beach location, Target said the company now operates 98 small-format stores nationwide. Target plans to open approximately 30 more small-format stores per year over the next few years.
The new OB Target employs approximately 50 people, the retailer said. Featured merchandise at that location includes beach and seasonal essentials, plus curated collections of apparel for adults and children, health, personal care and beauty products, home and décor essentials, fresh groceries, produce and grab-and-go items.
In an effort to keep in theme with the community, Target said the store "highlights Ocean Beach’s unique history" and features a collage from local photographer Steve Rowell, which will be on permanent display.
Barbara Iacometti, president of Ocean Beach MainStreet Association said the retailer is a solid addition to the beachside community.
"The Target team has demonstrated their commitment to being a good neighbor— from how they designed the store to what they stock on their shelves — and we look forward to welcoming them to the neighborhood," she said.
The store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The location will also offer order pickup, allowing customers to order items online and pick them up at the store within an hour.