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Project head touts landscape for Target

By Paul Huggins · 340-2395

The new Target remains on schedule to be ready for retailers to start moving in September.

March saw the installation of lighting and telephone conduit and light pole bases, and by the end of April the curbing, light poles, data and phone lines and drop ceiling should be installed, said Bill Schuh, project superintendent for the general contractor, Stewart Perry.

Though still three months away from installing landscaping, the blueprints will ease the minds of members of the Decatur Beautification Board. During its monthly meeting Monday, members shared concerns about whether Target would have irrigation.

They said the beautiful landscaping installed at Leon Sheffield Elementary School was all for naught because of the dry winter and early spring.

Target, the anchor of the new shopping center called The Crossings of Decatur, is the first major retailer to build in Decatur since the city approved a landscape ordinance in 2003. So it’s also the first retailer required to install landscape irrigation, which the ordinance mandates for businesses with more than 100 parking spaces. Target has 582.

Each planter and each parking lot island with a tree or shrub planted in it will have irrigation, said Schuh.

Target does things right, he added, pointing out the store also will have decorative sidewalks and drop ceiling tiles to give the store a more polished look.

The Decatur Planning Department said the landscape plan meets all the requirements of the landscape ordinance but does not go beyond requirements.

“They don’t go overboard,” said Hannah Pearson, planning technician, “but it will be like night and day compared to Wal-Mart, which came in when there was no ordinance.

“I think what we’ll enjoy is we won’t have a mass of concrete,” she said, comparing the plan to Lowe’s home improvement warehouse on Beltline Road Southwest.

The plan calls for 130 trees: autumn blaze maples, gingkoes, crepe myrtles, London planes, lace bark elms and Japanese zelkovas. There also will be 756 shrubs: Sherwood abelia, cleyeras, dwarf Burford hollies, dwarf yaupon hollies, Little Henry iteas, dwarf nandinas and Green Giant arborvitaes. The ground cover will consist of 14,035 lirope plants.

The 128,000-square-foot store is the third largest of the four Target floor plans. Though not a Super Target with a full grocery store, it will have a grocery section with refrigerated items.

Retail managers expect to start equipping the store Sept. 6 with a grand opening Oct. 4.

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