Ellicott Board Hears Target Site Plans | News, Sports, Jobs

Kevin Van Hise, Kimley-Horn landscape architect, discussing the site plan for the new Target location with the Ellicott Zoning Board of Appeals/Planning Board. PJ photo by Dennis Phillips

WEST ELLICOTT – Site plan improvements have been approved for the arrival of the new retail chain along Fairmount Avenue.

On Thursday, the Ellicott Zoning Board of Appeals/Planning Board approved the site plan proposal for the new Target that will be located at the former Kmart in the plaza that already houses Home Depot and Wegmans.

Kevin Van Hise, Kimley-Horn landscape architect, and Aaron Hemquist, Target senior development manager, discussed the site plan with the board during the meeting. Van Hise said the improvements will include repairs to the parking lot, which will be completely repaved, and sidewalks in front of the store. Also, Target officials would like to add drive-up stalls along the west side of the building where Kmart’s garden center was located for customers who purchase items online to pick up at the store.

Target officials also seek to modify how vehicles enter the plaza off of Southwestern Drive, going from a driveway entrance to “full access.” Van Hise said drivers would be able to turn right or left, in or out of the plaza after the change. He said they are already in discussions with county officials about any possible changes. Any modification to Southwestern Drive would require approval from the county.

Other site improvements include new building signage, landscaping and maintenance of existing stormwater basin vegetation. Also, the truck loading dock will be depressed to be at floor level. There will also be a CVS and Starbucks located inside the Target.

Target confirmed in November of last year it planned to open a new store at the former Kmart location at 975 Fairmount Ave. in West Ellicott.

A planned opening date hasn’t been announced, and it’s not known how many workers the store will employ.

“We’re excited to bring an easy, safe and convenient shopping experience to new guests in this community with this new Target store,” a Target spokesperson said last November. “As we get closer to opening the store, we’ll have more specific details to share — including how the shopping experience will be tailored to serve local guests and the grand opening date.”

Kmart closed its longtime West Ellicott store in 2019.

Once open, Target’s entry into Chautauqua County will come with one of the bigger stores in the company’s aggressive expansion push. During its annual investor meeting in New York City, Target officials discussed the company’s plan to open 30 new stores ranging from midsize locations in dense suburban areas to small stores in cities like Charleston, South Carolina. The company’s typical store size had been 144,000 square feet, but over the past few years, Target has designed new stores as small as 15,000 square feet.

The former Kmart location in West Ellicott is a 117,360-square-foot building.

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