Bethel Target expansion approved despite opposition from some neighbors

Despite opposition from some neighbors, the proposed expansion of the Target store on Stony Hill Road was recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Despite opposition from some neighbors, the proposed expansion of the Target store on Stony Hill Road was recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media

BETHEL — Despite opposition from some neighbors, the proposed expansion of the Target store on Stony Hill Road was recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In addition to expanding the existing building to meet storage capacity needs and improve operational efficiencies, the retailer plans to modify the parking lot and add a Starbucks coffee bar inside the store.

Along with an uptick in online orders for pick-up, the Bethel store has seen an increased need for inventory storage. Due to the lack of on-site storage space, Target has been leasing an additional 11,800 square-feet in an off-site facility.

The roughly 13,000-square-foot building expansion will allow the store to house all its inventory in a new storage and fulfillment area that will be added to the eastern side of the building.

Target also plans to relocate its eight existing drive-up stalls to that side of the building, and add 16 more to accommodate the increase in online orders for pick-up.

Relocating the drive-up stalls would not only reduce pedestrian traffic at the main entrance, according to civil engineer Brandon Robuck, but allow employees to deliver pick-up orders to the drive-up stalls directly from the new storage and fulfillment area.

The Bethel store was last remodeled in 2011, according to Target real estate negotiator and development manager John Dietrich, who said the recently approved project will include some interior reconfigurations and updates.

The partial in-store remodel will include the creation of a new employee lounge and training conference room, as well as the addition of a Starbucks coffee bar.

The Starbucks will be adjacent to the store’s café and snack bar area, which has been closed since last year due to the pandemic and converted into a fulfillment storage space. Target is looking to reopen the snack bar and utilize roughly 2,000 square-feet for that area of the store.

Target is also looking to widen the entrance to the parking area and remove five parking spaces near the entrance to improve circulation.

The Planning and Zoning Commission also approved last week the retailer’s request for a zoning regulation change to reduce the number of required parking spaces at the site, as well as a text amendment pertaining to maximum floor area.