Week of August 20, 2001
Blockbuster Deal of the Week
from Site Selection's exclusive New Plant database
Project on Short Fuse
Cedar Falls, Iowa, Lands Target's
900-Employee Distribution Center
By JACK LYNE
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Fast-expanding Target (www.target.com) has picked Cedar Falls, Iowa, for a mammoth 900-employee distribution center.
Target's 1.35 million-sq.-ft. (121,500-sq.-m.) facility is on the fast track, with construction scheduled to start in September. Cedar Falls' ability to facilitate the short-fuse project was a major reason for its win over a short list that included Clear Lake and Mason City, Iowa, and North Mankato, Minn. Target also looked at sites in "several surrounding states," company officials said.
"We selected the Cedar Falls site because of the area's excellent highway access and transportation costs, its work force, and its quality of life," said Target spokesperson Kristin Jahnke. Jahnke also cited "city officials' responsiveness in getting the project done and their capacity to meet our schedule. And the Cedar Falls site was ready to develop."
Study Validates Labor SupplyObviously, a large labor pool was an major concern for the 900-employee facility.
With 105,000 residents, the Waterloo-Falls Creek metro was the most populous short-list contender. The metro buttressed its labor credentials with a recently completed study of work-force availability. Conducted by the University of Northern Iowa's Institute for Decision-Making, the study found that 27 percent of currently employed local residents would be "willing to change employment under the right conditions." Target's wages meet one of those "right conditions."
Target spurred a labor flood when its Waterloo store that opened in 1982 drew 3,000 applicants for some 150 jobs. The store recently doubled its size as it was expanded into a 180,000-sq.-ft., 300-employee (16,200-sq.-m.) SuperTarget. The SuperTarget, which includes Waterloo's first-ever Starbucks, opened only a week before the Falls Creek announcement.
Satisfying the Speed NeedTarget's ambitious expansion plans made speed essential. The slowed economy is giving a business bump up to the Minneapolis-based company's 1,348 stores in 46 U.S. states. With its more upscale merchandise than rivals Wal-Mart and Kmart, Target is drawing customers who've previously shopped at more pricey department stores.
Eager to capitalize, Target is opening 33 new stores this year, a third of them SuperTargets on average spanning 170,000 sq. ft. (15,300 sq. m.).
The company is also rapidly expanding its distribution network. Other centers are under construction in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Phoenix, while a Huntsville, Ala., center just opened.
The Cedar Falls City Council accommodated the fast-track schedule for Target's 13th distribution center by rezoning the site from agricultural to light industrial. The council suspended the requirement to approve rezonings at three successive meetings. The zoning change came at about the same time that Target eliminated North Mankato.
$11 Million in IncentivesTarget will receive a state and local incentive package valued at $11 million, including a free site. Cedar Falls will purchase the tract for $1.9 million and donate it to Target, possibly financing the buy with a bond issue.
City officials stressed that Target's incentives are standard for any firm locating in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park area.
Other incentives included:
©2001 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.