LAUDERHILL, FL-Going head-to-head with arch-rival Wal-Mart, Target Corp. has leased almost two-thirds of the former 284,000-sf Universal Plaza shopping center at the southwest corner of Commercial Boulevard and University Drive in this central Broward County community.

The traffic count is 100,000 cars day, according to Boca Raton-based Woolbright Development which owns the center and the 18-acre tract.

Woolbright paid Principal Mutual $7.63 million or $423,888 per acre ($9.73 per sf) for the property. Miami’s Terranova Corp. handled the transaction last month.

The Lauderhill SuperTarget will be part of a $25 million renovation of the shopping center. Most of Universal Plaza, erected in 1980, is being razed to make way for the store.

Although Lauderhill will have the first SuperTarget in the region, the company is reportedly scouting for at least one location each in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Other sites throughout Florida are also being considered.

There were 16 SuperTargets around the country last year. They reportedly have been generating sales about 50% higher than the chain’s conventional 90,000-sf to 125,000-sf stores.

SuperTargets feature the company’s Archer Farms, which is a complete supermarket selling perishables and packaged groceries. At its annual meeting in May, Target announced plans for 200 SuperTargets over the next 10 years.

Target, however, has a late start in the large-store format. Wal-Mart already has 835 of its Supercenters in operation, including a half-dozen under construction or announced for South Florida. Wal-Mart is the industry’s acknowledged Supercenter leader.

Another direct Target competitor offering one-stop shopping is Kmart with its estimated 100 Super Kmarts around the country.

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