It’s official: Target will open a store in downtown San Diego

Rendering of Radian.
The ground floor and basement of Cisterra’s Radian project will feature a 36,000-square-foot Target slated to open when the project is completed in 2023. The exterior of the existing, historic Farkas Store Fixtures building on the site today will be incorporated into the design.
(Courtesy, Cisterra Development)

Big-box brand will use future high-rise’s ground floor and basement levels for a small-format store


Target is coming to downtown San Diego in two years courtesy of a 22-story Cisterra apartment tower that is slated to break ground in July.

The prolific San Diego-based developer announced this week that the national retailer has signed a lease for 36,000 square feet at its newly renamed Radian project, meaning the big-box brand will use the building’s ground floor and basement levels for one of its small-format stores.

Although Target has not said when it expects to open, the entire project is on track to be completed in the summer of 2023, the developer said.

“Radian will add new housing and provide a long-awaited Target store in a centrally located and highly accessible area of downtown San Diego,” said Cisterra Chairman Steven Black in a statement.

Founded in 1999, Cisterra has contributed to the evolution of downtown’s skyline with the DiamondView Tower and Sempra Energy buildings near Petco Park. It is also the developer behind 7th & Market, a forthcoming Ritz Carlton-anchored project that includes apartments, office space and a high-end grocery store.

Radian is located at 659 Ninth Ave. along the south side of G Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue in East Village. It shares a block with Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop, and is across the street from Grocery Outlet.

The future 253-foot high-rise will include the two-level retail space as a reimagining of the existing Farkas Store Fixtures building familiar to downtown denizens. Cisterra had the main building, built in 1932 as the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company Garage, designated as a historic resource. The development plan calls for facades to be retained and restored to preserve the site’s historical significance and the original structure’s art-deco style.

Above Target, the developer will erect five levels of parking and 16 stories of apartments — or 241 units — with a resident amenity package that includes a rooftop pool deck and views of Petco Park. Units will range in size from 623-square-foot studios to 1,951-square-foot three-bedroom apartments and will be offered at market rates. The developer is also planning to put an indoor-outdoor fitness center, dog run and self-service dog wash on the seventh floor.

Cisterra has elected to pay an estimated $2.8 million fee in lieu of building subsidized units, as is allowed by the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance.

The $145 million project received unanimous support from San Diego’s Historical Resources Board in July and won approval from the Planning Commission in September. The developer then finalized a long-term ground lease with the Lee family, which owns the land, and formalized a long-standing relationship with Target.

“We signed the Target lease, signed the ground lease, closed our debt financing and removed all contingencies from our equity financing,” said Jason Wood, who is a principal with the firm. “So now it’s 100 percent a go in all directions.”

Target has not disclosed specific plans for the downtown location, but the small footprint is similar to miniature stores in South Park, North Park, Ocean Beach and Spring Valley. The format has allowed the retailer to nab space in urban areas and dense suburban communities where its big boxes don’t fit. Stores typically offer a neighborhood-tailored selection of beauty, apparel and grocery items.

The downtown venue will likely sell both groceries and alcohol, according to documents submitted to the Planning Commission and based on the approvals secured by the developer.