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Target aiming for space in S. Broad St.'s Lincoln Square project, filing shows

Target Corp. is looking to open a store in the Lincoln Square mixed-use complex under development on South Broad Street, as the retailer continues its push into some of Philadelphia's most densely populated neighborhoods, according to a recent court filing.

Target's original aim had been to include a 35,000-square-foot store in a project proposed by developer Bart Blatstein right across Broad Street from Lincoln Square, but it changed its focus after Blatstein's project was delayed by a dispute over the underlying property's sale, according to documents filed last month with Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court.

The Lincoln Square location on the northwest corner of Broad Street and Washington Avenue would be Philadelphia's fifth to use Target's "flexible format" approach involving smaller, urban-oriented alternatives to the Minneapolis-based retailer's big-box stores. Two of the smaller stores are currently operating in Center City, with an additional two under development in Fairmount and Upper Roxborough.

With a Broad and Washington store, Target apparently hopes to serve increasingly affluent nearby neighborhoods such as Graduate Hospital and Passyunk Square that are outside easy shopping range of South Philadelphia's big-box retail districts near the Schuylkill and the Delaware River, said Jacob Cooper, a managing director with brokerage MSC Retail in Philadelphia.

"From a geographic standpoint, it's right smack-dab in the middle of all those stores, as well as the rapidly growing residential neighborhoods," said Cooper, who is not involved in leasing for Lincoln Square or Target.

The Lincoln Square project consists of a new apartment building along Washington Avenue with 322 residential units and lower-floor retail. A separate retail structure along the north of the site would incorporate a historic train shed.

Project plans submitted to the city's design-review board show a grocery store in the train-shed structure, implying that Target would likely occupy space available for large-format retail on the apartment building's second floor.

Leo Addimando, managing partner of Lincoln Square's developer, Alterra Property Group, did not return a phone message. Blatstein lawyer Rona Rosen and Target spokeswoman Kristy Welker had no immediate comment.

The legal filing identifying Lincoln Square as a Target location is part of a lawsuit alleging that the owner of the land where  Blatstein planned his project is unjustly breaking an agreement to sell him the property.