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Target could soon rise near downtown San Juan Capistrano as this department store chain eyes on the space where Ralphs on Del Obispo sits.

The Target Corporation proposes to replace Ralphs with one of its small-format stores. It is meant to offer an easy option for shoppers in dense suburban neighborhoods.

“Target’s interest in locating a store within San Juan Capistrano is rooted in the growing desire of residents of local neighborhoods to not have to leave their community to get their basic daily goods and services, as well as many residents seeking to take advantage of shopping online,” the company said in a letter to San Juan Capistrano City.

City Manager Ben Siegel mentioned to The Capistrano Dispatch that Target submitted a floor plan. It features a section for groceries, Starbucks, a pharmacy, and other items usually found at Target stores.

Siegel added that the city does not anticipate additional traffic caused by the potential change from Ralphs to Target.

The owner of the property where Ralphs currently sits, Andrew Stroscher, said that he spoke with the grocery store company about the building’s lease renewal. He said they did not reach an agreement.

According to Stroscher, he gave Ralphs the chance to stay, but they couldn’t come to a deal with them.

Stroscher also said that if he and Target move forward with the plans, all of the changeovers are expected to occur in 2020.

As of writing, Ralphs had not responded to a request for any comment about this matter.

According to the city, this past June, Target submitted an application to the city. It proposed to adjust the façade of the existing building. The company also suggested to install new signage and make accessibility improvements to the parking lot.

In its June 6 letter, the company said that it plans to make various improvements to the building. From repainting and stabilizing to restoring the clay tile roof, it wants to improve them all. It also wants to enhance the building’s energy efficiency by updating the plumbing and mechanical systems. Implementing LED lighting systems is also part of its plans.

Target also pointed out its respect to the community aesthetic as it integrates its store into the community. Both of its signage and Ralph’s signage is red. It means that the new signs should blend in harmoniously with the other existing design elements in the center, Target noted.

As Target potentially moves in and plans are laid out to put in a Chick-fil-A where the former Citibank building sits, Stroscher thinks this as an opportunity to “spruce” up the shopping center that has been standing since the 1980s. The land where the center sits has been a family possession since the 1880s, Stroscher said.

Since the installation of three new building-mounted signs that exceed city standards is part of Target’s proposal, Siegel said that approval from the city’s Planning Commission should be attained first.

Siegel wrote in an email that the Planning Commission, at a duly noticed public hearing, would review the proposed signs, along with the related façade improvements, since they are integrated. “We anticipate presenting Target’s application to the Planning Commission sometime in September,” he added.

Siegel also said Target also requested for its proposal to go under Design Review Committee (DRC) before it reaches the Planning Commission. Review of the proposal by DRC is tentatively on Aug. 22.

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