New Target brings jobs to Oakland/Emeryville area

February 28, 2011 7:32:33 PM PST
A popular discount store opens Sunday on the Oakland-Emeryville border, and that means hundreds of new jobs for the area. City leaders hope this store is on target to give a big financial boost to a city that really needs one.

Everything is nearly ready for Sunday's grand opening of a Target store on the Oakland-Emeryville border. In this cash-strapped stretch of the East Bay, the doors can't seem to open soon enough.

"I think it's a good symbol because Oakland has been ignored and greenlined by a lot of the national chains," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Technically the store is located in Oakland, but Emeryville's border is just a few feet away. So the two cities will share the sales tax revenues. Since Emeryville paid for the streets and the rest of the infrastructure, it will collect most of the money. But the deal still allows Oakland to bring in as much as $200,000 every year.

The mayor says if people would just buy 25 percent more of their products in the city of Oakland, that would shave $10 million off the city's $40 million deficit.

In these tough times Emeryville has seen a 15 percent drop in sales tax, but the city's economic development director, Helen Bean, says a discount store like Target is exactly what has been missing.

"This store was vacant several years," said Bean. "It used to be the Expo, before that it was Kmart. So, we've been really looking forward to a tenant like Target to come in and really revitalize this area."

It is a hope for revitalization that also comes with a promising reality of more than 300 new jobs.

Store manager Sal Vela says 95 percent of the employees are just like him -- East Bay residents.

"To get to the 300 number that I talked about we processed over 4,000 applications," he said.

And there are still a handful of jobs to go around.


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