Target Officially Out Of San Diego East Village Amidst Growing Concerns Over Increased Crime

October 5, 2023

We hate to say we told you so, but as reported back in August, the highly-anticipated Target store scheduled to open on the base floor of a new luxury high rise in San Diego's East Village is no more due to concerns over crime.

In May 2021, news broke that the ground floor and basement of Cisterra Development's 22-story Radian high-rise apartment tower in San Diego's East Village would include a 36,000-square-foot "urban" Target, which was slated to unveil when the project was scheduled to be completed in March 2023. After missing its contractually obligated March deadline, the big box retailer extended its planned opening date until this summer, then pushed it to October 2023, and most recently delayed it into early 2024. This past August, we reported that Target would be pulling out of the Radian project, despite having an executed lease in place with a corporate-backed guarantee. 

Today, it was confirmed that Target is officially out of the planned East Village location, despite already paying $600,000 for construction of most of the store. It is believed the company has growing concerns over increased homelessness and crime in the East Village neighborhood. Just last week, news broke that Target planned on closing nine stores in major cities across four states due to theft and organized crime.  

"We have a 15-year lease with them and they are making payments so they may change their mind again at any time," explained Cisterra Development Principal Jason R. Wood. 

We reached out to Cisterra Development to confirm back in mid-August when we first heard of Targets plans to no longer move forward with the East Village San Diego branch. At that time, a representative responded stating that he had also heard this "rumor" but firmly believed Target was still opening at Radian. 

"We have a fully executed lease with Target and they were actually just out at the building last week to do a final walk accepting the completion of our landlord construction obligations," wrote Wood on August 11, 2023. "Our most recent communications with senior leadership at Target was focused on a delay of the opening from the previously planned date of October, 2023 to a yet to be announced date in early 2024.  The lease permits this delayed opening. There has been no communications between Target and Cisterra about the store not being opened pursuant to the lease."

Target has opened several of its small format stores around San Diego County in recently years, including in North Park, Ocean Beach, on the UCSD campus, and in several other communities. The highly-anticipated East Village branch was set to be downtown's first Target location. Target had completed over 90% of their interior tenant construction improvements at the East Village property before backing out of the project altogether. 

"We routinely assess our current projects, and have made the decision to no longer pursue a store in this location," commented Target spokesperson Jim Joice in a statement. "We continue to operate 27 stores in San Diego."

Cisterra has several other downtown San Diego projects, including DiamondView Tower, Sempra Energy's headquarters and was tasked to lead the development of the once-forthcoming 7th & Market. The latter was previously set to house the city's first Ritz-Carlton hotel, before Cisterra announced earlier this year that the luxury hotel pulled the plug on its 2016 agreement to develop the city-owned land at 7th Avenue and Market Street in East Village.