2012-05-17 / Community

WLV offcials approve new Target store

Shopping center coming to Russell Ranch
By Christy Fenner

ON TARGET—A new Target store will be built at this site on Russell Ranch Road in Westlake Village. 
WENDY PIERRO/Acorn Newspapers ON TARGET—A new Target store will be built at this site on Russell Ranch Road in Westlake Village. WENDY PIERRO/Acorn Newspapers Last week’s approval of the Shoppes at Westlake Village retail project, including a new Target store that some residents vehemently opposed, is expected to give the local economy a shot in the arm.

Officials said the new 243,500-square-foot shopping center, slated to begin construction in nine to 12 months and open to the public in March 2014, will provide an increase in jobs, tax revenue and developer fees for the City of Westlake Village.

Located on Russell Ranch Road just north of the 101 Freeway and east of Lindero Canyon Road, the center will generate approximately $857,000 in sales tax revenue in the first year and $24.5 million over 20 years, a city report said.

In addition to Target, there will be a Total Woman gym, retail shops and restaurants.

Landscape architect Lee Newman described the center as having a “homey residential feel” that is based on a Napa Valley theme and is reminiscent of an old-world environment.

Facades of differing heights, a layering of pitched roofs and various decorative elements will give the center a distinctive look.

Outdoor spaces will be landscaped with trees, plants and vines and will include dining areas with fountains and fire pits.

The shopping center will have three access points and will accommodate more than 975 parking spaces.

Local developer Dan Selleck is the builder.

In a 4-0 vote by the City Council on May 9, the zoning of the so-called Lot C site near the Westlake Village Costco was changed from office to commercial retail.

Also approved was an oak tree permit allowing for the removal and relocation of oak trees.

“ An agreement like this doesn’t happen often in our city,” planning director Scott Wolfe said. “Many times the city will impose conditions on a developer for certain amenities they want to see in a project. There are limits on what a city can impose unless an agreement like this is in place.”

The conditions of the agreement require Selleck to pay the city $3.4 million in developer fees. The first installment will be due before the city issues a building permit to Target. The second installment will be paid to the city before Target can open its doors.

“In the event Target closes and sells the property, certain uses would not be allowed by the City Council and would have to go before the council for permits and approval,” Wolfe said.

Opponents of the new shopping center worried about an increase in noise and traffic for the surrounding area. But proponents liked the convenience of a retail center and the idea of not having to drive to Newbury Park to reach the nearest Target.

“This is a city in the country with a village atmosphere, and I think that is what we are achieving here,” said Philippa Klessig, Westlake Village mayor pro tem.

The Target center is seen as the last and best hope for the long vacant site in Westlake’s prime commercial zone north of the freeway.

An earlier citizens referendum disallowed construction of large home improvement stores on the property, such as Lowe’s, and attempts to build offices on the site failed due to the slow economy and current high vacancy rates.

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