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MINNEAPOLIS-The growth in office space of Target Corp. has played a large part in stabilizing the Downtown office market. A recent example is the locally based discount chain’s decision to lease 73,000 sf of office space at City Center Downtown. The building’s third floor, once home to a food court, is now entirely filled with offices, and Target will take part of the second floor as well. Overall, the expansion gives Target well over 300,000 sf at City Center alone, says Jim Montez, a senior associate for Bloomington-based United Properties.

When Target moved into its two new corporate-owned headquarters buildings at S. 10th St. and in the Nicollet Mall with more than two million sf several years ago, some wondered if the retailer would be ever return to the multi-tenant building market, Montez says. He estimates that Target has about 3.5 million sf of office space overall Downtown, counting its recent deals, and the growth seems likely to continue.

“They plan to add some 600 stores in the next five years, up 40%,” Montez says. “Will they need to increase their office space by that amount? I don’t know. But they will probably have to add to some degree.”

But Target has also been a magnet for other tenants–vendors who want to set up offices near Target’s headquarters. The trend started more than five years ago, but has mushroomed in recent years with such marquee names as Disney, Rubbermaid, Clorox and Revlon, Montez says. Estimates are that Target-related vendors now take up some 200,000 sf of office space Downtown. The trend started with vendors finding it worth their while to have sales offices near Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, AR. “They see the value in being close to their customer,” Montez says.

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