Monday, June 09, 2008

Kingman missed the 'Target' (again)

If you missed the Sunday paper yesterday, you missed an article about Kingman missing out on a new retail store named Target. Actually missing the target on Target this time was in response to a rumor that had been making the rounds the last few months.

Here is the link to the article.

Lets take a peak at some parts of the article and add a few comments...

Anna Goeppinger is the Target spokesperson who confirmed the news. She said when looking to open new locations, Target searches for communities of 100,000 people or more.

There you have it folks... the RAIDers were right I guess.

But why did Bullhead City get a Target??

Though she was unable to confirm why Bullhead City had been selected as a Target location, Goeppinger noted population isn't the only thing the company considers.

"Another thing we look into is transportation - how accessible is this location to both guests and distributors?" Goeppinger said.

In other words, Bullhead City's placement between Lake Havasu and Kingman, as well its adjacent position to Laughlin may also have had played a part in its selection.


The Bullhead City location for Target is right on their long and winding Hwy. 95 that runs from the very north part of Bullhead City towards the very south parts of Mohave Valley. Also the Bullhead Parkway basically feeds right into the location. For Bullhead City and the immediate area this is probably the best location there is.

For us wanna-be Target shoppers in Kingman a better location would have been around the airport area and the business park in that area, and for the Lake Havasu Target shopper... they'd probably would have liked the location better on the south side of Mohave Valley. My guess is that Target didn't open up business with the other Mohave County communities first in mind though.

Go back to the year 2005 for a minute. A group of developers had approached the city of Kingman to inquire on the resident owned 168 parcel located in the vicinity of what is known as today as Kingman Crossing. The developers were in negotiations with the private land owners on the north side of Interstate 40 for about 110 acres... but wanted to also purchase land on the south side to the tune of another 110 acres. If successful... the developers looked to build an interchange for Interstate access bringing the potential for high amounts of traffic from all directions.

I'm sure you know the rest of the story as to how much money was going to be sought from tax payers in Kingman to pay for the construction of said interchange (if you need a reminder... the answer was zero dollars).

The developers knew, back then, the advantages of Interstate frontage and the value it would have for the project. Retail giants like Target were interested in opening up right here in merry old Kingman... as long as they could have access to the Interstate.

Before any new local readers get ready to blast the local community group that is currently protecting us all from runaway tattoo parlors and rogue slaughterhouses for the demise of this project back in 2005, relax... it wasn't them that put a halt to the proposed project. No, we can thank a former city manager more than anyone else on that matter.

That is right, the city turned down market price for some land that is not being used (to the tune of some millions of dollars) AND turned down a 'free' public infrastructure project.

Now this is just a guess... but an offer like that will come around again sometime in... probably never. Even though there is still a proposal out there for an interchange at the Kingman Crossing vicinity... the now land owners and developers (a different group than the ones that made the proposal in 2005) aren't willing to build a true connecting interchange for free AND the other proposed interchange to the east of Kingman Crossing will rely 100% on tax payer funds if it is to ever be built (yeah 70% of those funds for phase 1 would come from the state highway department ADOT... but those funds still come from tax payers like you and me).

I didn't start this post to lament about the past... even though I just did lament about the past.

Mostly it was about why Target may have settled on Bullhead City. The location is as good as it gets for that community and was likely the reason they went forward even though there isn't the 100,000 people in the community. But I wonder if the location in Bullhead is as accessible as a location along a major Interstate?? The Target spokesperson above implied that access was a big deal, big enough anyway to look past the population count of the community.

I suppose that the only way this question is answered is when there is some land in Kingman that comes with Interstate access. I'm sure Target has no plans to locate in Kingman, but it sure would be interesting to see what reaction (if any) from major retailers would be if it were ever announced that a deal has been struck to improve public infrastructure along the Interstate.

Meanwhile shopping and entertainment choices will likely be limited in Kingman until either some Interstate frontage is developed or... until 70,000 more people move within the city limits.

Now that the 'new' Target rumor has been officially debunked... maybe the editor at the Miner can get someone out on all those rumors about the out of control tattoo parlors and slaughterhouses set to invade our fragile village.

If you click on the article link... be sure to read the comments that have been posted so far. Good stuff.

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