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San Rafael Target Approved Following Years Of Debate

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Target store in Mountain View (AP)

Target store in Mountain View (AP)

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SAN RAFAEL (CBS 5) – A six-year battle over plans to build a Target in East San Rafael ended early Friday morning with a narrow 3-2 City Council vote that changed zoning regulations to allow the store. The vote hasn’t ended the debate over the long-term impact on the city’s economy.

When completed, the new Shoreline Parkway Target is expected to be 137,000 square feet, slightly larger than an existing store just up Highway 101 in Novato.

The project calls for the creation of 260 temporary jobs for the construction of the facility and 250 retail positions once the store actually opens. Area residents hope many of the jobs come from the surrounding community.

“We’re struggling to get more jobs. There’s a lot of people, it’s very hard to put food on the table right now,” said Roberto Hernandez.

The city will get about $3 million for the construction, about $650,000 in taxes and the Minesota-based chain agreed to pitch-in $25,000 a-year for ten years to fund libraries and other community needs.

Despite the added revenue to city coffers, supermarket owner Andy Bachich said all of San Rafael lost with the approval of the Target store.

“They do $5-million out of a town like San Rafael. That money has to come from somewhere. It’s going to come from (smaller) stores,” said Bachich, who said his market gave the city $100,000 last year. “For every single cause, every week, we get donations that we give out, and so that was my strategy. When I started knocking on doors at Trader Joes, the Whole Foods, all the big guys to try to get donations, I would get stonewalled, they would say, ‘take to corporate.’”

Bachich said that, unlike the contributions of small stores, Target is giving a small percentage of their take.

“It’s not that I’m against Target, per se, it’s really the big corporations. They take from communities, and don’t give back,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved.)

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