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Former Robinson's Store to Become New Home for Target


PASADENA — The former Robinson's department store in Pasadena's Playhouse District is being transformed into the first multilevel Target store in the country.

Having won final approval recently from the city's Design Review Commission, Minnesota-based Target Stores was issued a building permit last week.

Contractors have already begun renovating the interior of the three-story structure to accommodate two levels of retail sales in the building at 777 E. Colorado Blvd., company spokeswoman Carolyn Brookter said. The exterior will change little, she said.

Scheduled to open in March, the 163,000-square-foot Pasadena Target will be the second-largest of the nationwide discount chain's 557 stores, which average about 120,000 square feet.

May Co., former owner of the Robinson's building, sold the structure earlier this year to Target as part of a companywide retrenching announced last fall.

Pasadena city officials have welcomed Target with open arms because the new store will serve as the retailing anchor for Pasadena's Playhouse District and bring jobs and revenue to the city.

Target will invest roughly $15 million in renovating the interior and making minor changes on the outside of the building, estimated lead architect Brian Tiedge of McClellan Cruz Gaylord & Associates in Pasadena.

He said Target is sinking a substantial portion of that money into the construction of elevators, which will be built inside the store and in the three-level parking structure behind the building. The company plans to install four large elevators, capable of carrying several shoppers and their shopping carts at a time, in the center of the shopping areas. The third floor will be used for office space and storage.

Target officials say they are committed to maintaining the "historic characteristics" of the 35-year-old building and are complying with strict design criteria that the city applies to landmark structures.

Exterior improvements will include two 900-square-foot additions in floor space to the first and second levels of the store. The additions will provide room for an outdoor dining area and, on the second floor, a customer service station, Tiedge said. Target also plans to increase the amount of lighting in and around the parking structure.

City officials say the Target store will aid ongoing efforts to renovate the central area.

Based on Target's sales estimates, the city should rake in $32,500 in sales tax revenue during the first year and $37,000 the fifth year. City officials said that would be substantially more than the revenue generated by Robinson's.

Target has estimated that the store will eventually employ 200 to 250 people, of which 10% to 15% will be full-time. The company has told city officials that it will hire about 90% of the workers from the local area.

Target has six other outlets in the San Gabriel Valley, including stores in La Verne, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Covina, Duarte and Puente Hills.

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