Target, city staff at ‘impasse’

Target hasn’t arrived in Campbell River yet, but city staff are already at an “impasse” with the department store and its design plans

Target hasn’t arrived in Campbell River yet, but city staff are already at an “impasse” with the department store surrounding its design plans.

The issue lies with the eastern outside wall of the current Zellers building – the side facing Discovery Passage.

City planning staff are concerned Target is not doing enough to make that end of the building

shopper-friendly. It currently houses the loading bay and faces the Source and an empty commercial lot.

“The east elevation has received very little design attention in the overall design program,” said Ross Blackwell, the city’s land use manager, in a report to council. “The east elevation has received minimal attention in the design program and creates a relatively hostile point.”

Blackwell said the facade is “monotonous” and gives off an industrial feel, not conducive to a shopping centre.

He said the city would like to see Target implement landscaping, lighting and or some other form of “hard or soft design treatments” to spruce things up.

Blackwell said city staff have had several productive meetings with Target representatives and its consultant which have led to positive adjustments to the store’s design. However, things haven’t gone as smoothly when it comes to the eastern side of the building.

“To date, dialogue around this specific east building elevation has not been able to bridge an evident impasse on deficiencies in the design program,” Blackwell said. “The proposed development is not entirely consistent with the development permit guidelines.”

Campbell River is one of 18 B.C. communities that will see Zellers transformed in to a Target store next year. Campbell River’s location is expected to open in the spring of 2013.The U.S.-based retailer announced in January 2011 it was acquiring the leases of 189 Zellers stores in a $1.8 billion deal with Hudson Bay Co., which owns Zellers.

In Campbell River’s case, the conversion will require changes to the inside and outside of the building.

The entrance to the store will be located further to the east, towards the ocean, and the garden centre will be removed. A pharmacy will be located to the right of the front doors.

The company plans to partner with the original artist to paint the existing First Nation art panels on the back of the building.

Other changes include new benches, bike stands, accessible ramps, coloured concrete, round red bollards and trash cans in front of the store.

City council was expected to make a decision on Target’s development permit at its meeting Tuesday night after the Mirror went to press.