Target coming to downtown Iowa City

Target has confirmed plans to open a store location in downtown Iowa City.


Tate Hildyard

The soon-to-be location of a new Target is seen in downtown Iowa City on Aug. 30. (Tate Hildyard/ The Daily Iowan)

Rachel Steil, News Reporter

Retail giant Target has officially confirmed plans to open up a new store location in downtown Iowa City.

The company has signed a lease for a 24,000 square-foot space at 115 E. Washington St. An opening date has not yet been announced, but a sign posted on the front of the building reads “Coming Summer 2020!”

“We’re excited to bring an easy, convenient shopping experience to additional guests in the community with this new Target store,” a Target spokesperson said in an email to The Daily Iowan.

According to the company’s website, Target is dedicated to opening small-format stores in order to serve more customers located in urban areas and near college campuses. The end result is the company’s new string of stores called TargetExpress.

Location of TargetExpress’ Iowa City store:


The TargetExpress stores are tailored to the needs of urban populations and students. The Target website said that TargetExpress stores carry merchandise such as fresh produce, food and snacks, pharmacy, home, seasonal, electronics, beauty, and more.

“As we get closer to opening the store, we’ll have more specific details to share — including how the shopping experience will be tailored to serve local guests and the grand opening date,” said a Target spokesperson.

City Manager Geoff Fruin said the University of Iowa campus and dense housing downtown were most likely important factors in Target’s location decision.

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“Target will add to an already strong retail environment by providing a wide selection of general merchandise that is currently not offered in the immediate area,” Fruin said in an email to the DI. “Target will be filling a space that has been vacant for several years.”

It is expected that the surrounding area will provide the new Target with the majority of its clientele.

“The store will bring a new line of merchandise to the area that will support the entire community, but specifically the large population that lives and works in and around downtown,” Fruin said. “I expect it will be a welcome addition to the Iowa City community.”

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UI junior Emina Bakalbasic was shocked and excited when she heard a Target location will be so close to campus, and she looks forward to the convenience and low prices.

“I love Target’s prices,” Bakalbasic said. “It is always the cheapest option for me.”

She added that the new Target location will likely provide UI students with basic goods for affordable prices.

“We have a CVS, but CVS can be kind of expensive,” Bakalbasic explained. “I’ll get some basic items that would cost me 30 or 40 dollars at Target and end up spending $80 at CVS.”

According to Bakalbasic, Target’s main appeal is its offer of a price match guarantee to ensure low prices for customers.

“There’s more options, and the whole price match guarantee is super cool,” Bakalbasic said.

Fruin expects that it will be a positive experience for everyone involved.

“We hope and believe that Target will help lift the entire downtown retail environment and that existing stores will benefit from their presence in the area,” Fruin said.