HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - The centerpiece of Hoover's new development "The Grove" is set to open next week.
What you may see as a new shopping opportunity, Hoover city leaders see as a chance for a lot more sales tax revenue at a time where it's badly needed. It is also a chance for jobs. Target managers have seen three people apply for every one job available.
"I think it's going to be huge," Target store management team member Jonathan Sawtelle said. "We are actually standing in the largest SuperTarget in the U.S., providing close to three-hundred jobs for the local county. And I think it's really going to have a good impact on the economy locally."
Almost 200,000 square feet of space is almost ready to welcome shoppers who have been watching this store grow for months, and waiting for it to open for even longer.
"I've been mayor for 5 years and people have been asking me when target's gonna open," Mayor Petelos said. "So I'm glad to tell them next week it will open."
A Kohl's and Lowe's stores were supposed to open at the same time, but they've decided to delay year because of the economy. That doesn't dampen the mayor's enthusiasm for this opening at a time where the city's sales tax revenues are still down. Petelos believes this new Target will draw in shoppers that might not have come to Hoover otherwise, rather than steal business away from other local stores.
"I think it'll draw outside," Petelos said. "I think because it's the largest target in Alabama, the fact that the merchandising is going to be excellent, the fact that it's close to 200,000 sq. feet, it's going to bring in people from a regional shopping area."
The Target team says it's not frightened by surveys that show consumers are still very cautious.
"A store like this in this area is going to be exciting a lot of people and do very well, especially at first," Sawtelle said. "This holiday season I'm expecting to do very well."