Target, the retail giant rumored for some time to be coming to Moscow, has delivered plans to the city for a store at the Palouse Mall.
Bill Belknap, Moscow deputy city supervisor of community planning and design, indicated Friday morning in an email that his office received the plans.
Belknap said the plans indicate the store would be approximately 60,000 square feet in size. That includes 20,000 square feet of space added to the west end of the former Macy’s space.
The city could issue a permit for the space’s exterior renovation in as soon as two weeks. At this point, Belknap said the city has only received the building plans and is not yet aware of a potential opening date for the store.
A statement from Target on Friday said the company is not ready to share more information.
“At Target, we continuously explore possible locations for new stores, including in the Moscow area,” a Target spokesperson wrote in an email several weeks ago. “We are currently focused on new store growth with our small-format stores, which are smaller than our general merchandise Target stores and are located in dense urban and suburban neighborhoods as well as near college campuses. I can tell you we are pursuing the opportunity to reach guests in the area, but at this time, we’re not at a point where we can share any new store plans.”
Gina Taruscio, executive director of the locally based Partnership for Economic Prosperity, said a Target store would be an overall positive addition to the area.
“We need viable and strong businesses to locate not only in Latah County but in the mall,” she said.
Taruscio said PEP mostly focuses on business retention and expansion in Latah County, with some of its efforts going toward business recruitment.
PEP did not recruit Target but she said the organization will welcome the store.
Taruscio said the presence of Target could have a negative effect on local businesses that are already struggling, but she believes competition is ultimately good for the business community.
She said it helps encourage businesses to improve their business practices and customer service, which benefits the consumer.
The excitement for Target was evident on social media Friday. By late afternoon, a 10 a.m. Daily News Facebook post about the news had been seen by nearly 60,000 Facebook users, was shared more than 600 times and elicited more than 450 comments.
“Wonderful news,” wrote Facebook user J.K. Welch on the post. “Hope this has a positive effect on the rest of the mall. Maybe encourage some more stores to open up since Target is there.”
“BEST. DAY. EVER,” wrote Stephanie Morrow Horn.
“Omgosh yes this is exactly what Moscow needs!!! I’m so excited!!!” wrote Christa Cothren.
Not everyone, however, shared in the excitement.
“Less Big Box. More Mom and Pop. Unite Moscow. Say No to Target,” wrote Ray Payton.
Late last month, the former Macy’s department store on the west end of the Palouse Mall appeared to be under construction for a new tenant, with large piles of construction debris being moved from the space into the parking lot.
Justin Rasmussen, a broker at Kiemle Hagood in Moscow, said at the time it had long been rumored that Target was opening a store in Moscow, specifically at the Palouse Mall. Rasmussen said Target officials did a market tour in Moscow about two years ago. At that point, they were only interested in opening a small-format store, the type mentioned in the Target email.
Macy’s and Bon Marché served for 37 years as anchor stores at the Palouse Mall. Macy’s employed 47 people, according to a news release from Macy’s in 2016 at the time of its closing.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at email@example.com.