I’m now doing a monthly update post about what new locations are opening up in the next month, as well as any updates about locations that are still in the early stages of development. Of course, you can also check out my Locations page to see the latest information, ask about a new location or post your own update about a location near you in the comments section. I try to keep my list of new locations updated on that page, as well as keep track of upcoming locations that don’t necessarily have concrete opening dates, but we’ve all heard or read about opening, sometime in the future. If there’s a specific area that you are interested in finding out about, post a comment on the Locations page. I might not have any information, but someone else often does know something helpful.
What locations are opening up in November?
|AUGUSTA, GA||November 16, 2011|
|RELOCATION – ANCASTER, ON, CANADA||November 17, 2011|
I’d love to have a guest post or two from anyone that attends the opening day for any of the new locations. It doesn’t need to be anything elaborate just your take on the new store and maybe a picture or two. If you’re interested you can check out my Guest Post page for details about how to submit your post.
Now, for some news on proposed locations in Pharr, Texas; Wheaton, Maryland; and Ukiah, California.
Well, it looks like the location in Pharr will be opening in March 2012. However, there’s a bit of controversy brewing right now and they’ve just started to clear the site. First, there’s the matter of 48 live oak trees that are being moved or just taken down on the site. Of the trees, 20 of them will be transplanted to other a golf course and some city parks around the town, eight of them will be kept by Costco for the parking area I’m sure, and the rest of them were not healthy enough or too large for transplanting. Plus, Costco also has plans to plant 84 new trees on the site. But of course, that has some people upset, even though it’s not like live oaks are a really spectacular or rare tree (speaking as someone who lived in Texas). I guess some people wanted Costco to build on a different location to save the trees, or to build around the trees. Both of which would have made the project probably less desirable or more expensive for Costco.
The second bit of controversy is over the city of Pharr paying Costco $11 million to get them to agree to build there. Of course, there will be a big benefit to the city through additional jobs and higher sales tax revenue. But sometimes people don’t see that aspect, they just get upset at the fact that tax money is being used to lure a business to their area, even though it happens all the time. Pharr paid Costco $6.5 million upfront, which included $5 million to help the company purchase land at 1501 W. Kelly Ave. and $1.5 million for construction. In addition, Costco will receive $1.5 million per year for the first three years that they are open. City Manager Fred Sandoval believes that sales tax revenue will repay the city’s cost in about five years. The new warehouse will also provide jobs for around 120 employees. The new location which will be 148,000 square feet will also have a gas station. It is hoped that this will spur further development in the area, as well as draw shoppers from around the region and even Mexico.
- For more information: The Monitor: Pharr Costco to open in March; city lured warehouse store with $11M incentive
Costco and Westfield representatives met with members of the Wheaton community to discuss plans for the new warehouse, but mostly it is the inclusion of an 8-pump gas station (serving 16 cars at a time) that will be discussed I am sure. The gas station is at the center of much debate that has been going on for a long time. The location of the new store is not zoned for a gas station and will require an exemption for Costco to be allowed to build. The county is providing Costco with a $4 million construction subsidy. So, people are upset about the gas station and talso the subsidy. The proposed gas station is very close to an existing residential area and that’s the basis of the problem. It all comes down to pollution and vastly increased traffic as a result of the gas station. Of course, to me it seems that just having the store and a mall there at all has already or will cause the increase in traffic, and to some extent more pollution from car fumes. So, we will see what happens with the gas station zoning change. Currently the store is slated to be opened in early 2013.
- For more information: Wheaton Patch: Costco and Westfield Meet with Neighbors Tonight
Well, after much discussion Costco has decided that they will definitely build a new warehouse just southeast of Ukiah. Costco has already submitted preliminary plans to the city, as well as forking out $300,000 for an environmental impact survey. The environmental study is expected to take about eight months, which seems like a long time but considering how long this has been going on already, it’s not that bad. This is a big step in a years long (like a decade) attempt by Costco to build a store in this area. The city wanted the store to build in a shopping center within city limits, but other developers were trying to lure Costco to build in an unincorporated area to the north of the city. But the new development was voted down by voters in 2009, so the city benefits hugely from that. Currently the city of Ukiah has a budget deficit of just under $1 million per year, the increased tax revenue from Costco is expected to cover that deficit and then some. The new 137,620 square foot warehouse, complete with 16-pump gas station, will be located on a 15 acre plot south of an existing shopping center that currently includes a Staples, Friedman’s Home Improvement and Walmart.
As it stands, I’m going to guess that this location will open sometime in late 2012 or early 2013.
- For more information: Press Democrat: Costco moves forward with plans for Ukiah store