Target might be included in El Centro development

June 07, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

Plans to build a 32-acre development along North Imperial Avenue near Cruickshank Drive in El Centro might include a Target discount store.

"Target has shown interest in more than one location in the Imperial Valley," said El Centro Mayor Cheryl Walker, adding that no commitment has been made by the Minneapolis-based company. "We're monitoring the situation."

A Target employee, who after discussing the issue said she could not speak for Target, said the company has no immediate plans for this area, and that the company looks at 200 to 300 different sites for stores per year.

"There are lots of communities that we look at at any given time," the woman said.

The other community Target is reportedly considering is Calexico.

Oscar Rodriquez, El Centro economic development director, confirmed Target is considering the area.

"I can tell you they are looking at a couple locations, including a couple in El Centro," Rodriquez said.


One of those locations includes an area directly across Imperial Avenue from Northgate in north El Centro.Meanwhile, construction of the Northgate Plaza is about a year behind schedule. Construction was originally scheduled to begin last summer.

Rodriquez said the city is seeking a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for infrastructure work. He also said once remaining issues are ironed out with the state Department of Transportation ground should be broken in about 30 to 60 days.

The plaza is expected to be the new, expanded home of El Centro Motors, and Food 4 Less. El Centro Motors is the local Ford and Mercury dealer currently on Fourth and Main streets.

El Centro Motors co-owner Dennis Nesselhauf said the delay with Caltrans is due to pending approval for a traffic signal at Cruickshank.

"We are waiting for a permit from Caltrans for a signal so we can get permits for the city to start construction," he said, adding it doesn't make sense to get the construction permits before the infrastructure is in place.

Nesselhauf said another delay relates to some engineering studies by Food 4 Less, and a right-of-way needed for a sewer line.

"We're just waiting to break ground," he said. "All of our building plans have been OK'd."

El Centro Motors will move its $7 million inventory from five lots spread over four acres to a single, 15-acre parcel.

"We're anxious to get it going," Nesselhauf said.

The project will fill the vacant plot between Wal-Mart and The Movies in Imperial. The proposed project site is a subdivision of 32 acres, creating 14 commercial lots. The plaza will consist of a mix of retail stores and the auto mall. Construction is expected to occur in six phases and include two new streets. Development of the project involves extending Treshill Road east toward Highway 86 and putting up a three-way stop sign at the corners of La Brucherie and Bradshaw roads.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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