Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is Target Targeting Marion?

The Southern Illinoisan is reporting today that Target is apparently the corporation looking to build a regional distribution center east of Marion southwest of Route 13 and Crabtree School Road.

Last night the Marion City Council annexed the property for the new center after the city engineer Glenn Clarida publicly provided more details about the project.

The property - 149.5 acres - is owned by Marion attorney Ron Osman. On Monday, the council, at Osman's request, annexed his property from the county into the city. That makes the city responsible for infrastructure improvements at the site, including road, water and sewer.

"The site development plan calls for a 1.3 million-square-foot warehouse with a 35-foot ceiling and 253,000-square-foot shipping center with a 24-foot ceiling," Clarida said. "Combined, that's 200,000 square feet larger than the Circuit City distribution center."

To measure it another way. That's more than 35 acres under roof.

Other details revealed included a new entrance off of Route 13 into the new industrial park as well as improvements to Crabtree School Road; plus new water and sewer lines, all totaling around $2.2 million. Clarida and the city expect the state will help on the roadwork and additional grants or low interest loans will likely be made available for the other infrastructure.

The city still isn't releasing the name, but apparently the contact number passed out to the media last night is for Target Communications of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

To give an idea of how active a distribution center might be consider the new one Target is building near Allenwood, Pennsylvania. There the company plans to send "have a truck in or out of the facility every seven minutes each day except Christmas."

According to the company's 2006 Annual Report Target built 113 new stores last year in 36 states, closed some older ones for a net gain of 91. At the time they planned another 100 net new stores each year for the "foreseeable future, potentially doubling" the current store base by 2021.

As to distribution centers they added three in 2006 for a total of 25 and planned to open two more this year. The company had 79 stores in Illinois in 2006. Based in Minnesota the company has been around since incorporating in 1902.

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