Morning Mystery: Is a new Target store coming to Loudoun County?

(Updated 3:52 p.m. with statement from Loudoun County Supervisor Matt Letourneau.)
OK, it’s not the morning anymore, but it was when we started working on our latest mystery. And this one could be a doozy. The Burn has found information that may indicate a new Target store location is being considered for Loudoun County.

Let’s walk you through what we have learned. For years and years now, we’ve been waiting for the retail part of the Arcola Center project to get underway.

The Arcola Center is huge development going up near the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Dulles West Boulevard. That’s just north of Highway 50 and the South Riding area.

The project is massive and includes residential development, flex space/warehouse units, and more. But there have also long been plans for The Shops at Arcola, a retail center with restaurants and stores.

At one point, the two big anchors were supposed to be a Wegmans grocery store and a Kohl’s department store. Many area residents surely remember the disappointing news when Wegmans announced they were pulling out of the project back in 2020.

As far as we have heard, the Kohl’s store is still in the pipeline — and now — new schematics showing a proposed layout for The Shops at Arcola Center have popped up in the county’s land development system.

Plans submitted to Loudoun County show a proposed retail center — including two large anchor stores — for The Shops at Arcola development.

And that’s where the hints of a Target store appear. In the plans, we can clearly see two large retail stores, plus nine additional smaller retail buildings.

One of the large buildings (far left) is earmarked at roughly 55,000 s.f. and it just so happens that 55,000 s.f. is one of the building designs that Kohl’s has been using for its stores.

The other main building (top) is even larger — approximately 148,000 s.f. And what do you know — 148,000 s.f. is the exact size of a new, larger Target store model that the brand has recently unveiled.

Even more telling — the shape of the building on the plans filed in Loudoun County closely resembles the shape of plans for other Target stores elsewhere in the United States.

Take a look at the image below of a 148,000 s.f. Target being built near Spartanburg SC. Now compare that to the largest building on the plans submitted in Loudoun. They’re extremely similar — right down to the apparent drive-up lanes on the left side for people picking up orders.

Outline of a Target store being built in Spartanburg SC.

It’s important to stress that plans submitted to the county can change as the project moves through the various permissions and permitting phases.

And it’s possible the Target-like store image used on the plans is just wishful thinking on the part of the developers — or a placeholder — or maybe it’s something under negotiation, but there’s no done deal.

Other buildings in the proposed center include a gas station with an adjacent car wash building, plus seven other retail spots, including some with drive-thru lanes for possible restaurants.

The Burn tried to reach the developers of The Shops at Arcola, but the phone number listed on the paperwork just went to a busy signal — something rarely heard these days.

In another odd twist, when we went by the address listed as the developer’s office, the tenant in that space said he had never heard of The Shops at Arcola and said there was no one involved in commercial development working there.

In the meanwhile, we reached out to local leaders for more information. County Supervisor Matt Letourneau from the Dulles district told us the following: “Target has always been one of my top-tier targets — no pun intended and would be a great fit for the Dulles South area, but there is nothing I can report at this time.”

(Image at top: Target)