I wrote recently of hints that the dormant Park Avenue shopping center on the site of the old University Mall was showing signs of life, particularly that a Target might soon be coming as an anchor tenant.
It's happened. They announced a deal with Target today. Site work is now underway. The store should open by October 2010.
No other tenants announced. It remains to be seen if the drawing above, carried on the Park Avenue website, of the dream of a mixed use development of retail, office and residential, will come to pass.
Having driven leventy miles to Target yesterday to buy a toaster, I welcome the news.
UPDATE: This will NOT be a "super Target" with a full general merchandise portion and a full supermarket. It will be what's known as an "expanded food format" Target, a company spokesman said. Its grocery offerings will include some fresh produce (fruit and bagged lettuce, for example) and some fresh meats. This will make it more inclusive than existing Targets in the LR area, but not be the chain's largest version.
In answer to questions about the so-far missing residential, office and other components of the developments touted by city leaders, a spokesman for the developer said it was hoped the firming of an anchor stir would spur interest in other developments on the property.
STRODE NEWS RELEASE
Strode Property Company of Dallas, Texas, today announced Target (NYSE:TGT) will build a new store at Strode¹s Park Avenue development in midtown Little Rock. The Target will open in October 2010 and preliminary site work is underway.
"This is a tremendous boost for the Park Avenue development and for the city
of Little Rock," said Chuck Keller of Strode Property. "Target is the number
one anchor tenant preferred by other retailers. Target's plan to locate in
Park Avenue testifies to the renewed strength in the Little Rock core retail
market and advances our efforts in the continued redevelopment of the
University Avenue corridor."
Details of the Target deal were not disclosed and no other tenants have been
confirmed at this point. Park Avenue is being developed as a mixed-use
open-air complex on University Avenue, near the corner of Markham Street.
"I'm elated to see the construction of the Target development, particularly
considering the nature of the national economy," said Little Rock Mayor Mark
Stodola. "It is proof positive that national retailers are discovering the
overall strength of the Little Rock market, and I am excited that Target has
chosen the Park Avenue site as one of only 12 stores scheduled to open in
2010. It will be a great addition to Midtown, which continues to be the
center hub of our city."
Strode also developed Midtowne Little Rock, an upscale shopping center that
has attracted a host of specialty retailers and restaurants. Midtowne
includes the state's first Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and The Container
Store. The development, which opened in October 2006, also includes Jos A.
Bank, Cantina Laredo and other retailers and restaurants.
"We have taken significant strides over the past three years to enhance the
Little Rock retail environment," Keller said. "It¹s a great pleasure to land
another national retailer like Target to attract more shoppers to central
About Strode Property Company
Strode Property Company was founded in 1979 by James E. Strode, and
specializes in developing high-quality urban retail shopping centers and
credit build-to-suit opportunities. Over 30 successful years, the company
has developed and managed over five million square feet of retail shopping
and build-to-suit properties.
For more information regarding the development, visit