There is a flurry of speculation happening today about the possibility of Target opening a store in Midtown, specifically at Mack and Woodward along the under-construction QLine (a.k.a. M1-Rail).

The Detroit Free Press was the first to get the ball rolling on the story that their sources say a mixed use development is in the works at the corner of Mack and Woodward while at the International Conference of Shopping Centers at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.

The corner of the talked about development at Mack and Woodward.
The corner of the talked about development at Mack and Woodward.

While Target had been one of the big national chain stores mentioned, it has not been confirmed – but it sure has the Detroiternet abuzz. Per the Freep:

It would feature a newly constructed 25,000-square-foot anchor store at the corner, plus an additional 25,000-square-feet of retail space and restaurants. That extra retail and restaurant space would mostly line Woodward, but would involve a small 5,000-square-foot retail building on Mack where there is now a parking lot, according to the project’s preliminary site plans.

The development also could have a new 560-space parking deck and potential space for a new hotel, offices and student housing.

If a Target is indeed involved in the final project, it’d be a “flexible footprint” which at one time was called TargetExpress. To give you comparison, a full-sized suburban Target averages about 135,000 square feet; this is about five and a half times smaller. Earlier today, it was reported that Bethesda, MD is getting one of these curated stores.

Example of Target Express. Target Corporate Media.
Example of Target Express. Target Corporate Media.

From the Washingtonian:

For Bethesda, this will mean catering to the working families in the area with men’s, women’s, and kid’s clothing and accessories; toys and sports gear; home and décor products; and fresh food and quick meal items; health and beauty and a pharmacy with order pickup; and portable technology accessories.

Under construction QLine station across from the talked about development. Daily Detroit photo.
Under construction QLine station across from the talked about development. Daily Detroit photo.

The development would be in walking distance of the new Little Caesars Arena, as well as multiple new apartment projects that are currently under construction.

Tentatively construction would begin next year, and the development would be open by 2018. However, MLive is reporting that Target is saying it’s “speculative” to say a Detroit store is in the works.

“There are no finalized plans or deals for a confirmed store in the Detroit area,” Welker said, adding that the company is “continuously scouting locations for new stores.”

(Target spokeswoman) Kristy Welker said the box-store retailer is prioritizing urban markets and college campuses for its “flexible footprint” store growth.

I reached out to Professional Property Management and Howard Schwartz Commercial Real Estate for additional information but did not hear back as of this writing. So to be clear, there is no hard confirmation that Target is coming to Detroit, and the plans for the project are preliminary – they’re not finalized yet.

So what do you think? Are you excited about the idea of a Target coming to the midtown/downtown area? Or is it Skipper’s rule – you’ll believe it when you see it?

Editor’s Note: Updated from a previous version for clarification of the types of Targets.

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