Target in downtown Iowa City sets opening date in August

Small-format store 'game-changer' for community

The new Target in downtown Iowa City is planned to open on August 16. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. (Liz Mar
The new Target in downtown Iowa City is planned to open on August 16. Photographed on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Target will have a grand opening for its small-format store in downtown Iowa City Aug. 16, downtown Iowa City and Target officials told The Gazette.

There will be a soft opening before on Aug. 12, store director Kaitlin Schager said, but online orders won’t be functional until the grand opening.

The 24,000-square foot store, located on 111-123 E Washington St., will be a fraction of the size of a typical Target store, which is around 130,000 square feet. It’ll offer a mix of groceries, dorm decor, beauty products and technology accessories.

“It’s really a game-changer for the community,” said Nancy Bird, Iowa City Downtown District executive director. “It’s a very large destination store with a great reputation.”

The two-story building will have almost exclusively groceries on the first level with beauty, tech and home sections on the second floor, Schager said.

Schager, a University of Iowa alumna, said she’s excited to “bring something different to downtown.”

“We’re the first small format in Iowa, so that’s really exciting for us, too,” Schager said.

Shelving and checkout stations already are set up in the store.


“If you were downtown, you’d see a lot of red shirts scurrying around getting ready for the opening,” Bird said. “It’s a beehive of activity.”

Target, Schager said, sought to “take a little piece of Iowa City into” the store. It will feature many aspects of the Younkers store, including its flooring and front door paneling, that stood at that site.

Target first opened small-format stores in 2012, now with locations in urban areas and college campuses across the country. As of June 2019, there were almost 100 locations.

The University of Minnesota, Ohio State University and Michigan State University are among other schools in the Midwest to have a small-format Target store.

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