The Norman Transcript

February 15, 2010

Moore passes $2M tax rebate for Target

By Andrew Knittle and Peggy Laizure

The City of Moore's Economic Development Authority voted unanimously Monday evening to approve a sales tax rebate to Target Corporation, who wants to build a 135,000-square-foot retail store on SW 19th Street west of Fritts Boulevard in Moore.

Target would not pay the asking price for the property owned by Terry Fritts and said the only way they would build in Moore is if the city would help pay the nearly $2 million difference.

Although they don't do as much business as Wal-mart, Target stores average $30 million a year in sales, Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said.

Deidre Ebrey, director of economic development for the City of Moore, said cities incentivize big box stores like Target and Wal-mart for one simple reason.

"They serve as anchors for developments and draw traffic to the area," Ebrey said. "There's no doubt about it... developers bank on these big stores to bring other stores to the area."

She also said the Target will bring new dollars into the city and doesn't see the addition of another giant retail store as a bad thing for nearby businesses.

Similar rebates have been used by the city to attract stores to the Shops at Moore development on the east side of Interstate 35, which includes Best Buy and JCPennys and boasts more than 350,000-square-feet in retail space, Ebrey said.

Mayor Glenn Lewis reminded residents the tax rebate is not a sales tax or ad valorem increase.

Chris Lundy, manager of public partnerships with the Target Corporation, told city council members at an earlier meeting that if the rebate is passed, ground would be broken in April and it should be open for business by April 2011.

Lundy also said the Moore location is one of only a few new stores Target will be built in the nation in 2010.