SEATTLE - Target is planning to open a retail store just down the street from Pike Place Market and some say it highlights a growing trend in the neighborhood.
"I think it's just becoming more accessible to the everyday person," said Anisa Shenas, who lives in the Belltown neighborhood. "The majority of people that live in my building are my age, they're young professionals, and they're just looking to get by in this recession."
"We knew it was coming, and we just had all our fingers and toes crossed," said Kate Joncas, president of the Downtown Seattle Association, "and we're just so excited about the announcement today."
The announcement came today from HAL Real Estate Investments, Inc., which finalized a deal to sell to Target the 103,442 square foot retail and garage space bound by 2nd Avenue, Pike Street, and Union Street, the Pike Plaza.
Target plans to open a new smaller-format store in the building, said HAL. With the remodeling required, the store will likely not open until 2012 or later, said Joncas.
"This will be a great addition to the downtown retail environment and will undoubtedly enhance its position as a 24-hour city," said HAL President Dana Behar in a statement.
For now, to shop at a "big box" store, people downtown have to drive almost to Shoreline for a K-Mart; Northgate or White Center to shop at Target; Renton or Lynnwood to find a Walmart.
"Depending on the parking situation... I think it could be great convenience, especially for the downtown core," said Jackson Chao, who lives nearby.
"There's a higher demand for goods and services, people are kind of coming back more in the city. I work downtown, it's really convenient for me to be in the area," said Shenas.
Street guitarist Josh Pudliner welcomed the addition.
"It would definitely bring a lot more people, which would bring me a lot more business," he said.
One person who lives in the condos above the proposed store is concerned about parking and foot traffic below.
"Just having that right at where i live, I mean, it already feels congested sometimes," said Bryan Barrows.
Target joins several chains that have opened up downtown -- like Hard Rock Cafe, Old Navy, Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack -- businesses that have in the past few years given downtown Seattle a more mainstream shopper-friendly environment.
"It says great things about our market, because Target's identified downtown Seattle as a place they want to be, where they think they can do good business," Joncas said. "So I hope that's going to send a message to other businesses who are going to locate here."
With 55,000 residents living downtown, 180,000 employees working downtown, and all the tourists who visit the museums and the Pike Place Market, it could be good business for the retail giant.