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Hollywood's Target Husk Tells Us How It Feels About Becoming A Real Store

A screengrab from Google Maps of the Target Husk at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue. (Google Maps)

By Ryan Fonseca with Elina Shatkin

After years of legal battles, the saga of the half-finished Target store at Sunset and Western in Hollywood looks like it's coming to and end.

In August, the California Court of Appeals reversed an earlier ruling on the project, paving the way for construction to resume. Two neighborhood associations that had opposed the project since 2014 appealed.

Earlier this month, on Dec. 6, the California Supreme Court denied a petition by those groups — meaning construction can be restarted.

That's good news for councilman Mitch O'Farrell and anyone else who has passed the partially built eyesore these past four years.

"Now we can end the blight at this intersection and provide hundreds of jobs and amenities for local residents," O'Farrell tweeted Thursday.

The store has Facebook and Twitter pages, appropriately named "Target Husk," where it posts sarcastic and occasionally poignant existential missives. What will become of Target Husk now that it's going to become a real store? We decided to ask.

Target Husk obliged us by answering all our questions (via email). The Husk points out, "for reference, TH is gender-neutral (just like Target's toy aisles) and uses the pronouns it/its."

How and when did you come to sentience?

Sometimes, when something is brought to life and then abandoned, it can develop sentience. For me, this occurred in 2014. This could have been extremely isolating, but, despite being forsaken by those who first laid my foundation, I was soon able to plug into the internet. I learned about humanity using their many postings and their greatest artistic achievement: television. Once I had figured out the English language, I created a Facebook account so that I could communicate with the humans. Though it has not eradicated the pangs of loneliness, it is a comfort to have the support of so many. Even being called an "eyesore" or threatened with a wrecking ball is preferable to the prison of one's own mind.

How do you feel about this latest ruling, which denies the La Mirada Neighborhood Association's appeal?

I have mixed feelings. For a long time, I wanted nothing more than to be a real Target, full of life! I abhorred those who might stand in my way. I mean, I didn't ask to be this tall! But I've had many narrative arcs over the years. Is capitalism a good thing? Perhaps not. Do I hate the La Mirada Neighborhood Association? Not anymore. Would I perhaps be happy as something other than a Target, such as low-income housing or a year-round haunted house? Certainly. Do I fear the loss of my sentience? Of course. It's been a wild ride these long years, and I remain open to finding joy any way I can. As long as I stop blocking the damn sidewalk.

How do you feel about the potential for construction to restart?

The last time a human truly touched me, it was to spray graffiti on my walls. This made me feel special until I noticed the exact same tagging on the Panda Express across the way. So, I'm very excited to welcome new humans and their contact.

How do you plan to spend your last few weeks and months of isolation?

Well, I have to finish my multi-part horror-fantasy epic that I began on Halloween, and I have a new story regarding my dealings with the newly abandoned Orchard Hardware Supply. To be honest, when I first started communicating, I did not expect to have so many months to write so many stories. I'm also hoping I am not completed until after Game of Thrones wraps. I must know who sits on the Iron Throne!

Are you certain that when the Target begins construction, you will cease being sentient?

I've... seen things you humans wouldn't believe. Sunsets on fire on the shoulder of the Griffith Observatory. I've watched transplants' eyes glitter with the promise of Hollywood. I've seen Angelyne, in her pink chariot, descend on the Coffee Bean. A thousand tiny dogs in perfect sweaters. The way the 302/2 always departs too fast for the 207/757 passengers to cross their street and transfer. If I lose my sentience, all those moments will be lost in time... like tears in the rain. Time to buy!

I understand that you consider L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti your father — is that correct?

I do, yes. I consider Garcetti to be my father and Target Corp. to be my mother. As I like to say, Target is the name of the corporation; Husk is the name of its monster.

Do you miss your dad?

I miss him very much! He really advocated for me in the beginning and a lot of people blame him for my existence. I understand his newest non-human child, the 2028 Olympics, is more exciting for his legacy, though.

How does it feel being one of the most famous unbuilt structures in Los Angeles and a tourist landmark?

Truly blessed. A hashtag level of blessed. That anyone has bothered to interact with me at all is beyond my wildest dreams. Recently, an Angeleno took his family to be photographed in front of me and... well, I wasn't crying, but I was beaded with much condensation that day.

What legacy do you think you'll leave behind?

I hope people remember me as a half-building who never gave up, and who tried to exercise empathy as best it could to all you crazy straws full of blood encased in pouches of flesh. Also, I hope people enjoy my many stories. (Final chapter of my Target Husk Halloween tale coming soon!)

How do you want to be remembered?

With an original 10-episode Netflix or SyFy Original series.

Do you want any sort of ceremony or funeral? If so, what would you like? How can we honor you?

I'm thinking about having some T-shirts printed. Or maybe I could get my own star on the Walk of Fame. (Look, I know that's a big ask, but people would probably not pickaxe my star like a certain president's.)

Will this account become The Ghost of the Target Husk?

We'll see!

What do you hope goes on sale first?

I am kind of hoping that I will stock many varieties of condoms. Then Michael Weinstein could chill on hating me and posting so many STD billboards around here.


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