Steamboat Springs Boulder developer Byron Chrisman confirmed Wednesday he has contracted to sell eight acres in the Curve Subdivsion to the Target Corp.
Chrisman said it's his understanding that Target is studying the feasibility of building a 125,000-square-foot general merchandise store on the site, which fronts on U.S. 40 along the city's near west side.
The property is across Curve Court, immediately east of the Steamboat Pilot/Today and Hayden Valley Press offices.
Target executive Dean Zurmely could not be reached at his Minneapolis office for comment on Wednesday.
Target Corp. describes itself as "America's upscale mass merchandiser" on its Web site.
In addition to its general merchandise Target stores, Target Corp. owns the Mervyn's California chain and such well-known department store names as Marshall Field's, Dayton's and Hudson's.
Target has garnered media attention in the past several years by hiring European designers to contribute product designs for its line of houseware items.
The parcel of land Chrisman has contracted to sell to Target is the same one that already has city planning approvals in place for a motel, restaurant, apartment house, office building and a combined office/retail building, he confirmed.
Target is buying the property outright, Chrisman said.
But the contract, signed "three or four weeks ago," is conditioned on Target's feasibility study and its ability to obtain city planning approvals.
Chrisman said the contract gives Target five months to complete the feasibility study and its other preliminary work on the project.
Chrisman added it is his sense that Target would lose interest in the Steamboat market if the proposal to build a store created a community uproar.
"They'd probably just go away," Chrisman said. "There are a lot of places they could go."
Chrisman developed the west-end shopping center that houses Clark's Market.
He isn't shy about saying he thinks a Target store would help fill the remaining empty retail shops in the shopping center.
"I'd like to see it happen enough that we sold the land to Target for less than what we would have otherwise," Chrisman said. "Target and Clark's would be a fantastic anchor."
At the same time, Chrisman speculated that Target probably agreed to pay more for his parcel than they pay for real estate in other markets.
Chrisman said it was his impression that Target needs additional land to build the store.
Another neighboring property owner, Bill Petrillo, confirmed Wednesday he is close to signing a contract with Target Corp. for the 3.08 acres that he owns just to the east of Chrisman's property.
Petrillo lives on the property, where he operates a welding business, Storm Mountain Equipment.
Two other businesses lease land from Petrillo's: Norm's Auto Repair and Handcrafted Log Homes Inc., operated by Tom Wood.
Petrillo said Target is asking for a two-year contract, and it's a little complicated for him to sort out all the details of moving his own business and terminating his leases with the other businesses.
But, he is hopeful the deal can be done.
Target Corp. has not formally contacted the city of Steamboat Springs Planning Department about its plans.
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