State of Pay

I know a lot of stuff has closed and a few things have opened and then closed again. And I missed a lot of it. It was a lot easier to write about stuff going on downtown and on campus when I was downtown and on campus every day. I can’t hope to catch up, but I miss writing for fun, so here I am thinking about the new State Street Target store. (Sorry for not making a Target pun in the title, just seemed too obvious)

All About Ann Arbor has some photos on their website and embedded below:

The close-ups of the merchandise racks made it hard for me to imagine how a Target fit into the old Urban Outfitters (and before that, the original State Theater) space.
The U-M Student Yearbook posted a couple more that helped me out a little bit:

That brick wall, that the Target logo is painted on, is the back wall of the space. This is obviously a much smaller space than your typical Target.

That’s an excellent question. When Target opens a small-format store in a city space like this, they tend to concentrate on grocery and household items to serve apartment and dorm dwellers. Here’s the map from Target’s website:

A map of the Ann Arbor State Street Target store.

State Street is on the right of that map, the back wall is on the left. The way the captions of the various icons crowd together and overlap on this map doesn’t do this layout any favors.

Judging by the “toys/games” icon, this store may well sell some Lego sets, but probably won’t keep a lot of them in stock. Downtown and campus has kind of needed a grocery since White Market closed a few years ago. For general merchandise, I bet when they have a designer exclusive clothing line they will make room for those items. I might go check it out and take some photos sometime soon. In the meantime, here are a bunch more photos and an article from MLive.

When the State Theater originally opened in the 40s, it was one enormous screen for 1700 seats.

State Theatre Under Renovation, February 1979.” (C) The Ann Arbor News

The Ann Arbor News photo above dates from 1979, when they split the theater into four smaller screens.

When the theater originally closed a few years after the screen split, the ground floor theaters were gutted and became the space where Urban Outfitters opened in the late 80s. (The two upstairs theaters were preserved, we’ve talked about them before. The current incarnation of the State Theater contains four screens but I think they’re all 2010s built — will update when someone corrects me.) The wall retained the natural brick, but with an enormous, painted “urban outfitters” brand mark that loomed over the fitting rooms.

As for Urban Outfitters — it moved to Briarwood. I don’t spend much time at Briarwood these days, but I’ve been in there enough to take a glance at the new space, which is where Hollister used to be, in the long corridor between Center Court and Sears. It looks a lot like other Urban Outfitters stores in malls in other cities, like Somerset and Great Lakes Crossing. I’m not really the core demographic for UO, but it’s kind of cool that Briarwood has a place that sells vinyl records, right?

Meanwhile, across town on Carpenter Road, the Ypsilanti Target store dropped its facade in February, right around the same time the Meijer store next door started to receive its exterior refresh. The dark-wood finish and bullseye I captured a few years ago quickly vanished:

I love the labelscar and the beige of the original entrance visible here. (C)A2RS

It was replaced with a vinyl banner that reads “target” and remains over the entrance to this day.

Yes, this is an old photo, but it still looks like this today and probably will in a month or so when that Halloween snowfall drops. (C)A2RS

4 Replies to “State of Pay”

  1. I agree, it’s great to read the old Unofficial, Unresearched Blog™️ again.

    I can’t believe they already took down the faux wood on the Carpenter Rd Target. Seems like it was their look of the future, and now it’s back to boring.

      1. Oh, good. I mean, you can’t partner with Chip and Joanna Gaines and be opposed to a rustic woodgrain look. [This comment sponsored by Hearth and Home by Magnolia™️]

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