Target CEO Brian Cornell said Tuesday he wants to expand the corporation’s presence in Chicago, but whether or not these plans will involve physical expansion throughout the city is still unclear.
In a speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, Cornell called the city a “critically important market,” and said the company has “an opportunity to expand and serve different neighborhoods across Chicago.”
Target has 86 stores in the Chicago area, including 20 downtown, according to Cornell. Since 2016, he added, the company has opened 12 new stores in Chicago.
“We’re also really excited about the fact that we are opening up this summer a new distribution center in Little Village,” Cornell said.
That facility is on the site of now-demolished power plant. Hilco Redevelopment Partners, which developed the new facility, also handled demolition, and ran into controversy when the implosion of a smokestack last April filled the air with a thick cloud of dust that coated the surrounding neighborhood.
Cornell said the distribution center would employ 2,000 people earning about $18 per hour.
Members of the club addressed questions to Cornell, which were presented by the Club’s President David Snyder. One member asked if Target had plans to open in the Water Tower Place space being vacated by Macy’s; that department store had announced earlier this year it was closing the Water Tower store.
Although Target inquired about the location earlier this year, Cornell said they had nothing to announce regarding a new location there or anywhere else in Chicago, just that “we are actively looking for new opportunities to invest in the city.”