Big-box retailer targets midtown

If a pending real estate deal closes without a hitch, Overton Square could be the site of the newest Target store.

The big-name retailer is targeting Midtown, and the proposal is getting some mixed reviews from people who live near the area.

People who like the idea say a Target is sorely needed in Midtown Memphis. Those who don't worry that big-box retailers have no place amid the culture of Midtown Memphis.

Target is already waiting to close on a deal to assume 9 of Overton Square's 11 acres.

"It's less than half the distance to the current closest target store," said Jeff Sanford. Sanford runs the Center City Commission. He said with Midtown and Downtown so close to each other, both will benefit.

"There really isn't a lot of room in the corridor of downtown for big-box retail," he said.

It will mean relief for the growing downtown residential population, now forced to drive several miles.

"Downtown and midtown could benefit from a big retailer like target," said Midtown resident Kari Owens.

What isn't clear is whether current businesses will get caught in the crossfire. Most Target stores are between 11 and 12 acres. Some businesses may be forced to make way.

Target isn't talking. But people who enjoy the shops there are. They're upbeat about a nearby Target, but don't want it in Overton Square.

"I actually really don't like that because I really like the quaintness of this area," said Midtown resident Jessica McGrath. "It really makes midtown with all of these little shops here."