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Target Would Hit Bullseye With Monkey Junction Location, Brokers Say

By Cece Nunn, posted Mar 10, 2023
A plan for a nearly 150,000-square-foot addition to the Villages at Myrtle Grove was reviewed by New Hanover County officials last year. (Courtesy of New Hanover County)
National retail chain Target has been considering entering the retail submarket of Monkey Junction for more than a decade, a commercial real estate broker said this week.

Recently, an employee of Wilmington's only existing Target, off New Centre Drive, told a shopper and news outlets, including the Business Journal, that Target will be opening a new store in Monkey Junction in 2025. No exact location was shared and efforts to contact a Target corporate representative were unsuccessful this week.

In October, the owners of The Villages at Myrtle Grove (pictured below), a Home Depot- and Staples-anchored center off Carolina Beach and Piner roads in the Myrtle Grove/Monkey Junction area, submitted plans to New Hanover County for a nearly 150,000-square-foot retail building on vacant land next to Staples.

"Choosing the site next to Home Depot was a smart move and they should do very well there," said Hansen Matthews, partner in Wilmington-based real estate firm Maus, Warwick, Matthews & Co., who is not involved in a Target deal and speaking of the potential construction. "An added benefit to the community is that having the store there should reduce a lot of cross-town traffic."

According to the plans by Paramounte Engineering Inc. for The Villages at Myrtle Grove owner Big V Properties, the size of Staples would be slightly reduced for the new building. 

"This project is still in the review process," said Rebekah Roth, New Hanover County's planning and land use director, in an email Thursday. "Since it was discussed at the TRC meeting [in October], the applicant has been working to address the comments they received and has not submitted a revised plan for re-review at this point."

The plans say the proposed building and parking area are in a previously approved future development pad for The Villages at Myrtle Grove, 5613 Carolina Beach Road, which was purchased by Big V Properties for $9.5 million in 2016. 

Another Wilmington-based broker, Nick Silivanch of Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate (who is also not involved in a transaction with Target), said of the potential store, "Why would they build there? Because Walmart's got four locations – Leland, Monkey Junction, midtown and Porters Neck – and they [Target] only have one in the market, so naturally putting one diagonal from a Walmart makes sense."

According to the Target website's list of upcoming stores in North Carolina, the chain expects to open a 148,000-square-foot store in Southern Pines and an 80,000-square-foot store in the Outer Banks.

In a news release in November 2022, Target officials said larger stores will be coming in 2023.

"Target’s new larger-format stores optimize additional space and new design elements, and at nearly 150,000 square feet, the locations are more than 20,000 square feet larger than the chain average," the release stated. "While the retailer will continue to open stores of all sizes, it will focus on this larger footprint in the next few years. Target also will bring its reimagined store design — which features a more open layout and localized elements to inspire and serve its guests — to future remodels as well as new stores across its chain."
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