Target is opening a new store at the former home of Kmart on Center Street in Auburn. Kmart closed a year ago. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — There’s the Nice List, the Naughty List and the You’re Getting A Target List.

The inside of the former Kmart on Center Street in Auburn was relatively empty Wednesday. A new Target is coming to the location with opening details to come, according to the retailer. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Hey, Auburn, great news.

The former Kmart building on Center Street will be home to a new Target, which appeared in a list of locations for upcoming store openings on the retailer’s corporate website, along with 43 other sites across the country, under the header “Here’s a peek at where we’re coming next . . .”

“I can confirm Target has plans to open a store on Auburn Center Street,” spokeswoman Aryn Ridge said Wednesday morning. “We’re excited to bring an easy, safe and convenient shopping experience to new guests in the Auburn community with this new Target store. Located at 603 Center St., the store will be approximately 105,000 square feet. 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.”

Kmart closed there just over a year ago after a 38-year run. UHaul Moving and Storage had been interested in the address, even getting Planning Board approval for a storage facility and retail there, but apparently hit a snag.

Eric Cousens, Auburn’s director of planning and permitting, said Kmart had been working with UHaul and was interested in having that business fill out Kmart’s lease term in the building, which runs through July 2021.


The property owner, First Berkshire Properties, signaled to the city at about the same time that it was working with a national retailer interested in the space. Cousens said he has been talking with a consultant working for the national retailer but had not known who they were representing.

“If it was Target, it would be a great addition to the retail offerings that are in the community,” Cousens said Wednesday morning, prior to Target’s confirmation.

Target has stores in Augusta, Topsham, South Portland, Biddeford and Bangor.

According to the retailer’s coming soon site: “We’re always exploring locations for new stores. But how do we decide where to open a new Target next? We look at a number of factors, like how we can best meet a community’s needs, site constraints, other area Target stores and more. And each step of the way, we work closely with local officials and guests to develop stores that truly make shopping easy, inspiring and affordable.”

Attempts to reach a representative for the property owner were unsuccessful.

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