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Santa Rosa planners OK Coddingtown Target store



Plans for a Target store at Coddingtown mall cleared a key hurdle Thursday when the Santa Rosa Planning Commission granted a permit for

Gottschalks building at Coddingtown. (PD FILE, 2012)

the big-box retailer.

Commissioners said they welcomed what would be Target’s second Santa Rosa location and hoped it would help revitalize the 1960s-era mall, which is trying to attract more popular tenants.

“You can’t build it fast enough for me,” said Patti Cisco, commission chairwoman.

The project was approved on a 4-0 vote. It now heads to the Design Review Board June 21.

The 143,000-square-foot, single-story building would replace the vacant two-story former Gottschalks department store building, which would be demolished. It would also replace some smaller shops on the mall’s southern end. The store will employ 200 to 250 people.

The project faced little opposition and planning staff recommended approval. A department store is consistent with the general commercial zoning in the area, but projects over 50,000 square feet need use permits.

The city received two letters on the project, both supportive. Ben Johnson, who grew up in Santa Rosa and now lives in Seattle, wrote of his fond memories getting ice cream at the mall as a youngster and working at Wetzel’s Pretzels as a teen. He said he is saddened to see the high vacancy rates at the mall today.

“I truly believe this is what Coddingtown needs in order to get back to the days where people flocked to the mall in high numbers,” Johnson wrote.

Marty Bennett, co-chair of the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County, spoke against the project. He claimed it would create 200 “low-wage jobs,” most with no health benefits. He urged the city to complete a community impact report on the project.

But John Dewes, a Target official, said 60 percent of its workers are full-time and receive benefits, and the rest are part-timers, about half of whom also get some benefits. He also said the store would have less than 10,000-square-feet for groceries for sale, calling it a “incidental use.”

Because Gottschalks was two floors and Target will be just one, the project will result in a net reduction in retail space at Coddingtown, according to city planner Bill Rose.

“Greater Coddingtown will actually be smaller by about 60,000 square feet,” Rose said.

The staff report praised the building for its “tasteful design” that will incorporate elements that add “character and definition” to the building.

The project would have 327 parking spaces and feature a loading bay for four trucks on the east side of the building.

In a preliminary review, the design review board has suggested Target consider several revisions, including screening the delivery areas, adding more benches and planters, installing wider sidewalks and creating an outdoor plaza.

12 Responses to “Santa Rosa planners OK Coddingtown Target store”

  1. Chuck G says:

    Just another box store in a dumpy area. More crime for a crime riddled area.

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  2. Chuck G says:

    Bottom line, no one likes to shop here anymore. Codding Town has survived the last 5 years on a prayer. Where else can you go and smell like cigarette smoke because you walked in one of the many entrances to the stores and passed through smoke rings blown by the employees who take their breaks outside. The scenery is awful, the parking lots broken down, and just not the greatest place to enjoy a shopping experience. I’ll pass thank you.

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  3. Richard Martin says:

    Most Target jobs are less than 16 hours a week pay no benefits and are very low pay. $9.00 an hr take it or leave it policy of the compamy Brass. Their motto is partially pay less and they mean it when they are evaluating their employees. More than half of the local Target employees have not had a pay raise in the past three years.

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  4. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I’m going way back, but I remember when Coddingtown was an open air mall. I loved going there. On rainy or overcast days I could really smell the caramel and the popcorn which beckoned me to come hither and enjoy. I couldn’t resist. I still miss that caramel corn shop.

    Hey, that’s a idea! Make the mall smell delicious again and people will come.

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  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I have to say I love that new Whole Foods grocery. It’s really a trip in there.

    But another Target? Please say it isn’t true! And will our tax money help SIMON build it so SIMON won’t have to spend their billions? Just wondering.

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  6. Canthisbe says:

    “Marty Bennett, co-chair of the Living Wage Coalition of Sonoma County, spoke against the project. He claimed it would create 200 “low-wage jobs,” most with no health benefits. He urged the city to complete a community impact report on the project”.

    How many jobs does the Living Wage Coalition provide and what do they pay their empolyee(s)?

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  7. Barak Obama says:

    Good job Richard!! As a far left liberal my job was to ruin the American economy and take jobs away from people. Lets put in more parks instead!!

    We dont need jobs and businesses anymore, The goal is to make a socialist state.

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  8. Richard James Emory says:

    Coddington needs to be demolished. Large malls like this are dinasours as evidenced by the store front vacancies in the mall.

    It glory days of the 1960′s are not coming back. Between Penneys and Macys there is a vast wasteland of junk shops, store fronts that have been vacant for years, a Korean massage parlor and little else.

    Even Macys uses this place to off load the goods it can’t sell at other Macy stores.

    It time to start anew with fresh ideas and maybe a public park would fit into the space nicely.

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  9. Grapevines says:

    Lure Nordstrom’s to Coddingtown?? The place is dying, when was the last time you were in there? There’s no way Coddingtown is going to lure Nordstrom’s in there. They’d be lucky to get a Wally-mart.

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  10. Steveguy says:

    Target is perfect. The people that live in the stack and pack housing envisioned, you know, for the thousands of SMART Train commuters that have jobs in Marin County !

    Oh wait, Marin County doesn’t want more jobs, and if attempted, they sue.

    ‘Targeted’ growth, with a vision that has never worked. Maybe the Windsor apartment folks can commute to Coddingtown for jobs, and vice-versa. Ohh, the Rohnert Park train commuters and the Petaluma ones need jobs too ! They can just work at each others ‘transit-oriented communities’. Umm, wait, what’s in this Kool-Aid ? Oh my

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  11. sports fan says:

    Since Coddingtown can’t lure Nordstrom north to Wine Country, a Target must better fit the demographics! Looks like I will continue to head south to shop.

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  12. Old Timer says:

    Loved it when it was Liberty House!

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