Sizing Up Target’s New Down-Sized Urban Stores

rosslyn_target
The site of the new Target in Rosslyn, Virginia. Photo: Dan Malouff

Love ’em or hate ’em, big box stores are shrinking their footprints in an effort to fit into city locations.

Target just opened its fourth store in the urban DC area. The newest is only the second to come in a small-scale size, and Dan Malouff at Beyond DC scoped it out:

A miniature Target is now open in Rosslyn, occupying the ground floor of an office tower. At less than a sixth the size of a typical suburban Target, it shows how retailers are adapting to America’s increasingly urban reality.

The store had a soft opening last week, and an official opening Sunday. At 23,000 square feet, it’s about the size of a large Trader Joe’s, or a small Safeway. It’s minuscule compared to normal Target stores, which often top 150,000 square feet.

And yet, it’s got a little of everything, just like a normal Target.

A few years ago, when I lived in a Ballston high rise, I’d have killed to have a Target on the Orange Line. The only department stores I had easy access to were the Macy’s in Ballston and downtown DC. And, for a recent college grad spending way too much on housing, Macy’s wasn’t in my budget for housewares.

Malouff points out that other suburban retailers are nosing into the city too:

It’s not just Target and Walmart looking to get in on this game. Other chains are launching a new breed of mid-size stores, like this mini Target, in a race to fill the urban retail niche.

In 2013, Walgreens opened a new “flagship” store in Chinatown. At 23,000 square feet, it’s almost exactly the same size as the new Rosslyn Target, and twice a normal Walgreens.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Systemic Failure shares an outrageous but sadly predictable story in which a driver who killed a cyclist was let off easy, in part because he was partially blind. Urban Milwaukee reports on a Wisconsin program that has cut drunk driving deaths in the state dramatically. And BikeWalkLee explains why it’s asking state representatives in Florida for stronger protections for cyclists and pedestrians.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Can Richmond Transition to a Multi-Modal City?

|
There’s a whole lot of potential in Richmond, Virginia. This smaller southern city has many of the right ingredients for a walkable, bike-friendly city, says Dan Malouff at Beyond DC: It’s small, with only a million people in its whole metro area, but it has a relatively large downtown and some very high quality urban […]

Can Richmond Transition to a Multi-Modal City?

|
There’s a whole lot of potential in Richmond, Virginia. This smaller southern city has many of the right ingredients for a walkable, bike-friendly city, says Dan Malouff at Beyond DC: It’s small, with only a million people in its whole metro area, but it has a relatively large downtown and some very high quality urban […]

Most New DC Walmarts Get Failing Grade as Urban Buildings

|
Walmart’s anxiously anticipated move into cities is well underway in our nation’s capital. The first two stores in Washington, DC, open today. How has the retail giant adapted its monolithic suburban stores and gigantic parking lots to city settings? Richard Layman at Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space has been evaluating how the DC Walmarts […]

In Seattle, Neighbors Compel CVS to Build a More Urban Drug Store

|
A lot of the time, neighborhood-level development fights play out like this story from Arlington, Virginia: Miles Grant at Network blog The Green Miles writes that this transit-accessible D.C. suburb recently saw the opening of 122 units of new affordable housing, which drew 3,600 applications. But Grant points out that there would be more affordable housing […]