Expansions for Target and Dillard's put on hold

Friday, July 11, 2008 | 9:09 p.m. CDT; updated 2:13 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 28, 2008

COLUMBIA — Proposed expansions to the Target and Dillard’s stores at Columbia Mall have been postponed, said a spokeswoman for the mall.

Sonja Derboven, common area coordinator for the Columbia Mall, said the mall worked with the city to allow Target and Dillard’s to expand, but it is up to the stores to actually start the construction. She does not know why or for how long the stores postponed the expansions.

The Columbia City Council approved the Target expansion in July 2007 and the Dillard’s expansion in March 2005.

Target spokeswoman Katie Benscoter said that while the store was being considered for remodeling, there was never a specific schedule for the expansion. She added that all decisions must go through the corporate office, which is continuing to evaluate the Columbia store and all of the others.

“We are continuing to look at our stores periodically to make sure they’re providing proper guest experience,” she said.

She added that the store in Columbia Mall is still meeting the company’s standards, so it will not be remodeled anytime soon.

Derboven said the Target and Dillard’s stores asked the mall to obtain permission for the expansions. The City Council approved the Target plan even though it would mean the number of parking spaces would not meet the ratio required by the city.

Plans submitted to and approved by the council show it would add 26,810 square feet to the pre-existing 101,969 square feet. The expansion also would include a new 297-space lot and would reduce the percentage of open space for the entire mall property from 13.5 percent to 9.6 percent, according to an Aug. 1, 2007, report to the council from Planning and Development Director Tim Teddy.

Plans also call for the paving over of stormwater detention ponds on the south side of the mall and the installation of porous pavement to move that detention underground, according to Teddy’s report.

The Dillard’s expansion would add a second 46,000-square-foot floor. Dillard’s spokeswoman Julie Bull said the expansion is not on the schedule for 2008 or 2009, so it will not happen “in the near future.”

“We keep our options with expansions open,” she said.

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