Target Express to Move into Newport Ave Antique Center

by on July 5, 2017 · 62 comments

in Ocean Beach

Is this the future of the Newport Ave Antique Center?


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The OB Rag has heard from numerous sources that Target Express intends to purchase the Newport Avenue Antique Center on the main commercial street in Ocean Beach.  The “junior Target” will open, reportedly, at the end of summer.

The Antique Center, owned by Craig Gerwig, is arguably the largest building on Newport.

This has huge implications for Ocean Beach and the conditions on Newport.

The antique business inside the building has been for sale for some time. Then the building / property went up for sale as well.

We reported on this in April of this year:

It’s the end of the era of the mega-antique mall in Ocean Beach.

The 18,000 square foot Antique Center building – which takes up a large portion of the north side of the 4800 block along Newport Avenue – is up for sale or lease. The Antique Center business is also for sale.

Our report continue:

The old era ends. The sale of the building – one of the last mega-antique malls – is being handled by the Franco Realty Group. The asking price is $6,500,000. The entire lot is 29,956 square feet. Here is how the realtor indices:

… for lease or sale one of OB’s largest commercial properties along the main business corridor. This is a unique opportunity for a new landlord to reposition a coastal trophy asset. Ocean Beach is currently experiencing tremendous growth along Newport Ave.

At this point, we do not know the actual sale price.

Perhaps Target thinks it will be a huge benefit for local residents to be able to go to Newport for a Target Express instead of driving to Sports Arena.

Perhaps a company the size of Target is the only enterprise that could handle such a large transaction and building sale.

Does Target really think they won’t impact local businesses?

We do know there is a parking hang-up. Supposedly, the deed restriction with the restaurant South Beach Grill  allows them to use parking at the Antique parking lot for zone requirements. This has been a likely and major problem for any potential buyer.

If the deal does go through, will there even be adequate parking even if allowance for South Beach Grill parking is released?

What exactly are the parking requirements for a large retail operation?

Surely they would require exponentially more parking.  This does not even begin to address the congestion on Newport with significantly more daily traffic trips.

This could be a re-play of the 7-Eleven effort to move into the dry cleaning business at Sunset Cliffs and Narragansett. Or it could even be a repeat of what happened with Starbucks when it moved into OB in 2001. Or maybe not.

Craig Gerwig, the building owner, also sits on the Board of Directors of the OB Mainstreet Association.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Kirk Mather July 5, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Find it hard to fathom with the South Beach parking restrictions. Pretty hard to imagine even if the parking lot was all their’s. Although the market in the old Bank building managed to get permitted. Maybe 30 minute spots would suffice? Even then the South Beach spots might restrict hours and why would Target agree to that?

Interested to see how this plays out.


Grant Walpole July 5, 2017 at 3:35 pm

This will fundamentally change the character of Newport Ave. It must be stopped. It Target gets enough bad publicity from this they will be discouraged. Stay tuned for calls to action…


Bryan July 5, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Corporate America should stay out of OB. Starbucks was bad enough. The charm dies when the money hounds show up.
I love O.B., just have a look at my photo albums, but if a Target comes into O.B. I will not return.


Kathy September 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm

I can’t believe the people of Ocean Beach would allow this to happen! I will no longer go to Ocean Beach if they let corporate america in the neighborhood. This just makes me so sad. Old San Diego is lost forever.


Tyler July 6, 2017 at 6:00 am

Yeah! Let’s fight to keep this spot closed for years with blight because no non-corporate entity can afford to lease it! That idealism will truly show em! The selfish NIMBYism where you cut off your hand to spite your face here is amazing

Get real. At least this will help middle class families and save gas on trips to midway.


Geoff Page July 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

I’m finally realizing you are just a troll, Tyler. Why The Rag allows your comments is a testimony to the editor dude’s patience. I’ve never seen a positive comment from you, just crap like this.


OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:24 pm

That idealism will truly show em!
{{Didn’T Phase Starbucks though.}}
OB for OBceans..


Cuss Varmint July 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm

south beach parking is only 6:00 pm to 8:00 am, according to signage.


Deanna Polk July 5, 2017 at 5:20 pm

The parking vultures have already bought up every bit of parking in Ocean Beach. There is simply not enough parking available to handle this type of business. And yes, it will detract from locally owned and operated businesses in O.B. NO!


Rick Williams July 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

There are many locals like myself who don’t drive much and prefer to walk or ride a bicycle, the lack of parking might promote less car use. I for one would welcome a modern clean store over the blighted antique shops.


Kathy September 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm

I agree NO NO NO!!!


Gary Hardin July 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

The beginning of the end to OB. I’m utterly devasted that this is happening. I go to this Antique Mall once a week. Please say it ain’t so.


Tom G. July 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

I’m sure there are some who think of convenience first, over and above community character. I am not one of them. I’ve lived here since ’62 and am absolutely unequivocally against any corporate presence on our three block long main drag. I know there will people who disagree, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t speak my mind. NO TO TARGET IN OB.


OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:18 pm



Jacob Stella July 5, 2017 at 8:20 pm

A Target EXPRESS means it’s a scaled down version of the larger, eliminating the need for massive amount of parking. The charm of OB will never leave. It’s the people that have been here for decades, the great bars and restaurants and let’s not forget the Pacific Ocean! Calm down.


Robert Burns July 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm

In my opinion this project is far worse for O.B. than Starbucks for which I never had opposition. And, it may blow up in the face of the O.B.M.A. The zoning rules will have to be explored and the impact on the community (even if fully legal under the zoning rules) needs to be addressed. This is a bit of a deja vu on Walmart boxing up a community except that O.B. is a SPECIAL community.


Marc Snelling July 10, 2017 at 9:54 am

Now it’s an issue? Back in the ‘No $tarbucks in OB’ days gentrification was seemingly not talked about as much as it is now. These days $tarbucks and gentrification are widely talked about – like the chicken and the egg – what comes first? The protests back then were not just about corporate coffee shops versus mom and pop – but the thin edge of the wedge for gentrification in OB. The “Starbucks Effect” as some have dubbed it.


Christo July 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm

You all do know that prior to being a antique store- the building housed a general merchandise chain store called Coronet?


Robert Burns July 5, 2017 at 10:51 pm
Zig July 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm
Sylvia Lange July 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I am astounded that this would even be considered as this will fundamentally change the character of Ocean Beach, and not for the good. I’m all for progress and change when it enhances life. But Target?? Are you kidding me?


OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm



Tara July 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

OB is meant for small business owners. Keep it to the locals!!! Leave OB alone!!!


OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:21 pm

HeaR HeaR
KeeP OB Unique.


Chaz Lomack July 6, 2017 at 12:42 am

Not surprising in the slightest after seeing how well the Target Express in South Park went. Much more parking at that location though. OB will make a huge deal about it (change is scary and corporations are evil) but nobody will be able to come up with an idea for the property that the internet hasn’t already killed or more importantly that $6.5+ million for the space outright.

I don’t expect this to go up without a fight from the people, I just don’t see the point.


Mary July 6, 2017 at 2:17 am

This is a charming old community! Let corporate America go where the charm has already been removed! Leave our OB community as is…we love it just fine the way it is!


nostalgic July 6, 2017 at 8:11 am

What does our community plan call for in terms of sign restrictions?
” Ocean Beach Sign Enhancement District (Sign District) – The Sign District was created in 1991 for the purpose of maintaining, preserving, and promoting the distinctive commercial signs of Ocean Beach and to regulate identification of commercial enterprises within the Ocean Beach community’s Newport Avenue commercial core area. Neon tubing and other design elements that reference the 1920’s to 1940’s era are encouraged, if feasible, as elements in new or renovated signs. ” Welcome to the neon Target symbol. I have no more information about the Sign District at all or who administers it.


Stu July 6, 2017 at 10:05 am

A Target Express Interesting They could just call it Cornet . Sell the same stuff and it would be just like old Newport St. My daughter left her doll in Cornet 25 yrs ago came back 2 weeks latter and it was onthe shelf. They let her have it back Target probably would too.
If it doesn’t work it will be a vacent building again.


Frank Gormlie July 6, 2017 at 11:27 am

Channel 10 News last night:

“A spokesperson for Councilwoman Lori Zapf’s office confirmed there is a move by Target to purchase the property of Newport Avenue Antique Center and that type of permit does not have to go before city council.”


Chris July 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm

The one that opened in South Park did not turn out the be the evil neighbor everyone thought it was going to be. Just about everyone I know who protested that store going in there (it replaced an IGA grocery store) now admit they are happy it’s there. It hasn’t changed the character of the area at all. What would you rather have go in there? Another bar/and or restaurant? Awhile ago I mentioned it would be a great spot to consolidate all the tasting rooms like which done down in Baja but an idea like that is just not going to happen. I think people are making way too big of a deal about this (and in the end will probably shop there lol).


Robert Burns July 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm

This is a limited comment. I used to live in South Park and shop at that I.G.A. grocery store. It had an huge parking lot. The parking and traffic situations are not remotely comparable.


Chris July 6, 2017 at 4:52 pm

I seriously doubt many people outside of OB are going to be making the trip for the purpose of shopping at the Target Express. The majority of people shopping there will be local residents, a large percentage of who will be able to walk.


Tom 2 July 6, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Yes Target Express will be corporate, albeit pseudo-hip millennial.
Balanced against that, the primary audience they’ll serve will be residents of OB, with tourists a secondary market. No one will drive from elsewhere to shop at a tiny Target in OB. In contrast, the vast majority of the customers of the various antique shops are from outside of OB. I’m not against the antique stores, or bars & tasting rooms, or shops aimed at tourists, but having another business in OB to serve OB residents could be positive.
To me, the cost/benefit of Target Express comes down to what will they actually stock in the store? Will they bring things to residents that complement what is already available in OB, saving us trips to Midway or beyond? What items have high enough turnover to be worth stocking in a tiny Target in OB? [They supposedly do different mixes for different locations.] In my lifetime retail has gone from neighborhood (small chain) stores like Cornet plus national catalog superstores like Sears, to malls, big box malls, and now online. If the next phase is neighborhood storefronts backed by logistics for same day pickups of online orders (Target Express, Amazon/Whole Foods, etc.), does the greater ability to shop in OB make up for the corporate organization?


john July 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

Excellent points.
We almost all purchase items from corporations. I think it does save auto trips. ( less environmental impact) Finally, if the store is exists and is being historically rehabilitated, then its a plus for Newport Ave. historic district. The physical buildings in the district is what matters. The tenant will be successful if the community finds it service valuable. If not, then the tenant will leave. The physical character of the building (s) is what should be reviewed. OB Planning needs to see this project.


nostalgic July 6, 2017 at 9:12 pm

There may not be a project. There may be nothing to permit. One retail moves out and another moves in. It has the commercial property rights. Were there restrictions on chain stores in the recently-replaced community plan?


Debi Snyder July 6, 2017 at 4:10 pm

NOOOOOO!! That will Ruin OB!! Dang go anywhere else but OB!


OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:27 pm



OBdada July 9, 2017 at 10:28 pm



Robert Burns July 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Interesting analysis, thanks.


M July 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm

The owners of apple tree owne the South Park store and now they come to ob to bite them you know in the ?


Kirk Mather July 6, 2017 at 10:29 pm

Just the messenger, but here is some info in case rumors are true.


Kirk Mather July 6, 2017 at 10:29 pm
Zig July 6, 2017 at 11:28 pm

In the entire slide show, 95 to 100% of the items can be purchased now at AppleTree, CVS, or SuperMax, all within a 4 minute walk. Maybe the competition will lower prices for everyone.

The worst part of Target there would be the bright red and white lights and suburban strip mall design. Hopefully that can be toned down a lot.


jettyboy July 7, 2017 at 8:52 am

My two cents. All the beer joints bring in way more traffic than this will.
To always resist change, and keep things the same sounds a bit “Trumpian”.
Newport Ave. is NOT OB. The people that live here are what makes OB a special place.


nostalgic July 7, 2017 at 9:34 am

The signs, the signs! Those larger-than-life targets! Who administers the “OB Sign District”? Perhaps the city has jurisdiction. Municipal Code for the “Ocean Beach Sign Enhancement District”:
“All signs are subject to the abatement procedures as set forth in Chapter 12,
Article 1, Division 5, (Sign Violations and Enforcement Procedures), except
that those signs specifically prohibited in this district and typically allowed in
the Sign Regulations, which are not in compliance with this section shall not
be subject to abatement.”
Anybody understand what that means?

(Added 12-9-1997 by O-18451 N.


Robert Burns July 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

It is the badge of legislative ineptitude on par with requiring approval by a City Manager that hasn’t existed for years. That inept language indicates to me that O.B. Sign Enhancement District sign regulations conflicting with City-wide sign regulations are illusory (if not fraudulent) and preempted (nullified) by the City-wide sign regulations.


AF July 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm

I shopped at Cornet for years until it went out of business. There is no correlation between Cornet and Target. If you ever shopped there (Cornet) you know exactly what I’m talking about. That said, though I’m no fan of Rite Aide, it made no sense to open another store of this variety (CVS) in our community. I’m still trying to understand how that deal was made. CVS seems to be a ghost store with a scant number of shoppers so maybe it’s more of a tax right off for the CVS corp., but if Target opens, rest assured Rite Aide will suffer. As will O.B. Hardware, Olive Tree, Apple Tree et all.
What I would like to see happen with this space would be one thing that O.B. could surely use: affordable housing. A mixed-use area with studios and artist lofts perhaps. To say, as one person did earlier in this feed, that Newport St. is not O.B., is in my opinion incorrect. No one thing “is” O.B. We are multi faceted and Newport St. is certainly part of O.B. and a big part. We gravitate to the pier for sunsets and we meander up the streets for tacos, treasures and more. I’ve lived in or worked in O.B. since 1968 and my voice, just all Obecians voices, matter. Let’s bring this to a town hall meeting. Let’s discuss this and let locals be the deciding factor.


rick callejon July 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm

A public discussion of a proposed 7-11 at Narragansett and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. resulted in the Southland Corporation’s decision to drop the idea.


AF July 8, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Thanks for mentioning that Rick!


Richard Agee July 8, 2017 at 9:49 am

Target should move in where CVS is , it does not seem like CVS is that busy, people seem to use Rite Aid more and Target would have a huge parking lot.


Robert Burns July 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm

I agree. And the folks who worship corporate rule could be happy.


AF July 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

It would certainly be odd if Target opened on Newport considering that the express stores, as well as many of the giant Target stores have a CVS pharmacy located inside. I doubt that anyone, proponent of Target or not, would think that O.B. needs two CVS’


Grant Walpole July 9, 2017 at 8:47 am

And back in the day when we tried to stop Starbucks, We gave them so much bad PR that McDonald’s dropped a plan for a store on Newport.
Resistance works!


Colleen Dietzel July 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Unfortunately mom and pops stores are being driven out by high rents (that is why we fought so hard to keep out Starbucks because large corporations can afford the high rents). I can understand the owners dilemma. Who can he sell to. That is why I like AF’s idea about mixed use with affordable housing. The city just allocated 80 million for the homeless issue. One of the fastest growing demographics of the homeless are the elderly. 6 1/2 million isn’t a lot to the city. Seniors drive less so the parking issue wouldn’t be so bad. I don’t know all the pros and cons but I am emailing Conrad Wear, our OB rep from Lori Zapf’s office, and asking him. We also need to see what all our community groups are thinking. I don’t have the energy to take the lead on this issue but I will offer meeting space at the Ocean Beach Green Center/The Green Store if anyone wants to meet. We do need an organized voice of opposition. There is an online petition at: And as always, the media wants to know what OB is up to. And, I am sure they check the OBRag for updates.


Dr. Jack Hammer July 10, 2017 at 6:35 am

What I would like to know is who actually supports this idea… apart from the Air BnB crowd who are unaware of the other places said goods could be found (ie, RiteAid, CVS, Apple Tree…).

As the residential landscape continues to shift, along with it comes a change in the commercial landscape.

So perhaps if these STVRs are reigned in, the demand for a satellite Target would be deemed unnecessary…?

Just a thought. (As I am 100% against the idea of a Target on Newport…)


Debbie July 10, 2017 at 4:11 pm

It appears the seller supports this idea. The realtors who are a part of the transaction support the idea. And the Main Street Association and other business owners must support the idea since there has been no word (at least in this article) of their opposition.


AF July 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm
Robert Burns July 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

O.B.MA. has been in the dark. This is a stealth project.


Geoff Page July 11, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Where oh where is Byron Wear on this one?


rick callejon July 11, 2017 at 10:24 pm

most likely, Byron be greasin’ the skids


Jenn July 12, 2017 at 7:50 am

Highly doubt OBMA is in the ‘dark’, since Craig is a very active member and close friends with Claudia. What people seem to be missing is, just like with CVS, is that this is a landlord/owner decision, not a community one. Not to say that the communtiy is without a voice…But facts are facts.
If Target is a strong community partner (as they are known to be) and provided a benefit/resource to our less mobile residents, reinvest monies back into the community, provide jobs and serve a need, that’s a win. I don’t shop there often but when I do, it’s for items not found at RA or CVS.
Curious if this outrage occured when Super Max moved in? They sell cheap made in china crap, aren’t Mom&Pop, and not really involved in the community etc etc…
Personally I don’t see T as potential competion for places like Olive Tree. I live on the south side, am lazy so walking an extra block or three to save $ isn’t happening, and I will still choose to support a mom&pop over corp. all day every day. Even IF Target sold $3 rotisserie chicken and deeply discounted craft beer. I have a feeling many others in OB take the same approach and THATS part of what makes OB, OB.
However, if I need something only a store like Target carries, I will be MORE than happy to be able to walk there vs. driving over the hill.
The biggest challenge here, as others have pointed out is the $6M price tag. That is going to be very limiting for most mom&pops. I will certainly miss the Antiques Mall, as I browsed often and purchased occasionally. Would love a bowling alley or other OB type business to move in but there are worse options.

I wonder if Target would be willing to hang a sign that says ‘Cornet’ instead? Seems like that would sway many to their favor ;)


Robert Burns July 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

Convert your doubt to action. Speak with the O.B.M.A.


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