Normally, this isn't the spot for store openings, but the City Target location at 7th and Figueroa is a worthy exception. It's the anchor of a refashioned retail complex, but more importantly it provides some lift for the one area that downtown has been struggling with: Interest from national retail chains. Typically, this group is slow to commit to any downtown transformation, and in L.A.'s case the timing was especially bad. With the recession badly impacting retail sales - and often resulting in store closings - the big chains generally put expansion on the back burner, especially in an iffy shopping district like downtown L.A. Target's arrival could change that, though it's worth noting that only 60 percent of the FIGat7th shopping center is leased, according to the Downtown News. An executive at Brookfield Properties, which owns the property, said talks are ongoing with other merchants. They better be - a nearly half-empty shopping center would not give off encouraging vibes. Still, it's hard to imagine Target not doing well, regardless of what happens to the rest of the property. From the DN:
[Carmen Moch, Target group vice president], said they anticipate an early morning rush of customers stopping in for small items before work, a busy lunch hour and a big end-of-the workday crowd. One of the principal challenges in coming Downtown was parking, Moch said. That was resolved with some changes to the large parking structure behind the mall, which also serves a pair of office towers. [Bert Dezzutti, senior vice president of Brookfield Properties,] said 500 of the facility's 2,400 spaces have been dedicated solely for the retail center. The lower levels are reserved for shoppers while office workers are directed to the upper floors. When it comes to bringing goods to the car, Target is echoing a plan in effect at a New York City store. After hitting the check-out line, customers can leave their items with a Target employee while they get their vehicle. They then drive to a ground floor loading area and the purchases are delivered to the car.