The cost of doing business in Simi Valley might be a bit too expensive if you’re a big box store like Target. Of course, the need for a new Target store at Madera and Los Angeles may be open for debate (a Target exists at Sycamore and Cochran and nearby the proposed new location in Moorpark). Nevertheless, Target has been trying now for a while to get the new store rolling and it’s been slow going.
According to an article in The Ventura County Star, Target is going back to the city and asking for new terms in an effort to reduce construction costs. So far, the requirements have included a million dollar plus storm drain system overhaul, two bus turnout lanes, and landscaping requirements that will make the new Target store look like every other new building and shopping center constructed in Simi Valley in the past 5 years, with faux towers and faux stone facades.
From The Star:
If at least $2 million can’t be shaved from Target’s plan to build in the west end of Simi Valley, store officials say they might have to scrap the project.
The company hopes to renegotiate the terms of its contract to remove some of the city requirements that make the project “financially unfeasible,” said one Target official.
“Target is not exempt from current economic conditions,” said Anna Anderson, a Target spokeswoman.
But she added Target is working with city officials to find something “mutually acceptable.”
So in this economy, the current plan is too expensive. Will the City of Simi Valley be flexible? They should be. Despite the argument that another Target isn’t necessary, they’ll be successful in that space, resulting in sales tax revenue and new jobs in Simi Valley. The city can also stand firm and keep the plan as-is, which may very well result in Target walking away from the deal.
Interestingly, the most expensive portions of the proposed development include infrastructure enhancements, like the storm drainage improvement. However, with the newly developed Target store comes a new assessment of the property’s value which will undoubtedly result in an increase in property tax for the shopping center. It seems reasonable, in an effort to keep the project moving forward, that the city might consider contributing to infrastructure costs to keep this rolling and bring these new jobs into town. Time will tell…
In the meantime, enjoy this amateur video of mine from about 7 months ago while we geared up for local elections, and hear my borderline obnoxious view on government influence on local construction.