Goleta Gets Ready For First View of Proposed Target

This article, written by Joshua Molina, was originally published on July 23, 2018 in Noozhawk.

The shopping mall developers behind the plan to bring Target to Goleta will take their popular proposal to the city’s Design Review Board for a conceptual review on Tuesday.

Merlone Geier Partners of San Diego, the owners of the property, Urban Arena, also of San Diego, MCG Architecture, based in Irvine, and Stantec of Santa Barbara want to overhaul the Storke Plaza Retail Center on the 6800 block of Hollister Avenue.

The companies submitted new plans on July 2.

Plans call for upgrades to two commercial buildings on the site — the 116,578-square-foot big box retail building which currently houses Kmart, and the 17,912-square-foot adjacent multi-tenant building, which houses Cajun Kitchen, Sam’s to Go, Subway and other shops.

“I’ve been hearing from many Goleta residents, both their enthusiasm over increased shopping and job opportunities, as well as concerns about increased traffic and parking impacts this development may bring,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said Monday.

“I share both their enthusiasm and their concerns. I’ll be following and carefully reviewing the project proposal and its potential mitigations as it proceeds through our planning process.”

The property owner is proposing major façade renovations to both buildings located on the site. The multi-tenant building would get a new canopy, higher parapet walls and a smattering of new material and colors.

On the Kmart building, plans propose removing the existing garden center and outdoor storage area to create a second Target entrance on the west side of the building. To accommodate the new entrance, the property owner plans to redesign the parking lot layout.

As for the building, the façade improvements include removing the “mission style” parapet element, replacing the existing canopy with a new extended metal canopy, modernizing the architectural style, and using new material and colors, according to a city staff report.

The proposed colors for both of the buildings include gray and beige stucco/composite panels in the color palette of cask oak, grey oak, and red.

The developer also wants to make landscape improvements, adding raised planters around the primary building and planting additional trees throughout the site.

“It looks to me like a tremendous improvement,” Goleta Councilman Michael Bennett said of the plans. “It is going change a lot as far as what it looks like, that is going to be for the better.”

Bennett noted that the rest of the shopping center, which houses Jack In The Box, Rusty’s Pizza and Chipotle and other stores, is owned by a separate company and is not part of the development.

The Kmart, at 6865 Hollister Ave., is set to close in October.

The Goleta location is reportedly one of the Top 10 performing Kmarts in the nation, Bennett said, adding that he still expects a Target to bring more traffic to the area.

“I would expect that the Target will get more use than the Kmart, but I don’t know what the difference will be. I don’t know what the impact will be other than the residents do support it. I have heard no negative comments.”