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Target Location May Be Landing In San Diego's Ocean Beach Neighborhood

July 6, 2017

First it was a Starbucks, then a Rite Aid, then a CVS moved in, and now residents of San Diego's Ocean Beach are battling to ensure that a Target Express location does not take over the Newport Avenue Antique Center space after the retail behemoth has made a bid to purchase the building. 

A spokesperson for Councilwoman Lori Zapf's office has confirmed that Target is trying to purchase the 30,000-square-foot lot currently occupied by Newport Avenue Antique Center at 4864 Newport to install a Target Express location. Although the majority of longtime Ocean Beach residents are devoted to keeping the community's small town feel and not being invaded by big name corporate brands, online reactions to Target potentially moving into the longtime "hippie" neighborhood were mixed - ranging from joyful acceptance, to people going to the length of starting a Change.org petition in hopes of keeping the retail giant from entering OB.  

"😞I love that place [Antique Center]," said commenter Megan LeGlue on the popular Facebook Group Social Ocean Beach. "I always find the best antiques there. I even purchased my wedding cake topper there. I'm going to be sad to see it go. I feel like everything that makes OB quaint and unique is changing."

Target Express is a small-format version from the mega-retailer, carrying smaller quantities of everyday products, including grocery and pharmacy items, home goods and basic clothing. The 6th location of Target Express opened in South Park in 2015 to similar controversy. 

"Target employs locals," said Brittany Marie Cerrie on Social Ocean Beach. "I'm excited to see some struggling neighbors have the chance for more jobs!"

The 18,000 square-foot Antique Center building, owned by Scott Allgaier and Craig Gerwig, is considered the largest building on Newport Avenue. The site has been listed on the market for $6,500,000 since at least the beginning of the year but has had a hard time selling due to deed restrictions with its parking lot. Currently the building owners are trying to rescind an agreement that deeded South Beach Bar & Grille the right to use 31 of the building's 33 parking spaces for its diners.  Prior to becoming a destination for antiques, the building was occupied by Cornets Five & Dime store. 

The fate of the Antique Center and the 88 tenants currently renting space within the cooperative business is still unknown at this time, but it is looking more and more likely that Target Express may be moving in by year's end. We reached out to Target's media relations department for comment but have not heard back.