Downtown Denver Target set to open by summer 2018, will offer fresh produce, home decor, pharmacy and more

Smaller-format store will be located at 16th, California streets


Target will open a 28,000-square-foot store in summer 2018 at the corner of 16th and California streets in downtown Denver.

Target will open a 28,000-square-foot store in summer 2018 at the corner of 16th and California streets in downtown Denver.

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After more than a decade of false hopes and false starts, it’s finally happening: Target is coming to downtown Denver and will open its new store by next summer, the Minneapolis-based retailer announced Tuesday.

The 28,000-square-foot “one-stop shop” at 16th and California streets will feature a custom mix of merchandise specifically tailored for Denver’s downtown dwellers and workers, a Target spokeswoman said.

That includes fresh produce and grab-and-go food; home decor and home office supplies; personal care and beauty products; entertainment and electronics; and men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. The store will also feature a CVS Pharmacy and Target’s online Order Pickup service.

“Grocery is definitely a category that will be a priority and that we’ll lead with in this store, as well as the home and office offerings, knowing there are a lot of people who work near this store,” spokeswoman Kristy Welker said. “We really take a close look at the guest demographics. We know there are a lot of young working professionals in this area. The assortment will be catered toward them.”

The store, part of Target’s efforts to operate more than 130 small-format stores by the end of 2019, will anchor the top two levels of the California Mall building, which is owned by Gart Properties and Rifkin Family Investment Company.

News of the lease negotiations broke in February shortly before the Denver City Council approved a $4 million incentive package to help draw the retailer downtown. The lease was finalized Monday.

“Target is thrilled to bring our first small-format store to Colorado and be part of a thriving community in downtown Denver,” said Mark Schindele, senior vice president of Target properties, in a statement. “The modern design of our downtown Denver store will showcase unique features for people who live, work and play in this neighborhood, including a third-level glass atrium that offers views up and down the 16th Street Mall.”

The building at 1600 California St. has been more than half-empty since owners shuttered a second-story food court in 2006. Existing ground-floor tenants Chipotle, Red Robin, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Great Clips will stay on.

“We were waiting for the right opportunity, and we weren’t exactly sure what that opportunity might be — this is a whole other level,” said Mark Sidell, president of Gart Properties. “This represents really meaningful sales volumes, lots of people visiting the store every day, and it also checks an important box in the list of the things you need to be able to live, work and play downtown and not have to run out to some suburb to get what in many cases are essentials.”

At 28,000 square feet, the downtown store will be less than a quarter of the size of a typical 130,000-square-foot Target, Welker said. The retailer currently operates 36 small-format stores nationwide, all in dense urban and suburban neighborhoods and on college campuses.

“We will make adjustments to the store assortment if we hear from guests that they have specific needs/wants,” she said.

The Denver store should open no later than summer 2018, although a springtime opening is possible, Welker said.

“Downtown Denver retail is on a roll, and we expect this trend to continue,” said Tami Door, CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership.