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Target hopes to bring third store to county

(ran PW, PS editions)

Target could be turning its bull's-eye toward Mitchell Ranch Plaza.

The Minnesota retailer last week submitted plans to open a third store in the county, solidifying its push into Pasco. There already are stores in Port Richey and Wesley Chapel.

The company on Friday filed construction plans with the county for a 123,735-square-foot anchor store and a 10,800-square-foot garden center on 11 acres east of Little Road and south of State Road 54 at Mitchell Ranch Plaza.

Target spokeswoman Paula Thornton-Greear said Tuesday that "at this time we don't want to confirm anything until all our i's are dotted and our t's are crossed."

The plans, however, list specs for a "Target Seven Springs at Mitchell Ranch Plaza" with 580 parking spaces.

The size of the proposed building would accommodate a regular Target store in lieu of one of the chain's larger SuperTargets, which offer shoppers groceries in addition to a retail store.

The Tampa Bay area's first SuperTarget opened in March 2002 at County Line Road and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Wesley Chapel.

The company operates 1,226 Target stores, including 118 SuperTargets, in the United States. There are 11 SuperTargets in Florida.

Trinity is home to a Wal-Mart Supercenter at the opposite corner of State Road 54 and Little Road. The 205,000-square-foot store opened in March 2001 with a grocery and about 500 employees.

_ Staff writer James Thorner contributed to this report.