Since I didn’t do a locations update for June as I was on holiday, this month there’s a whole lot of news to report. Lots of new locations being confirmed and several updates on the building and permitting process for others. I must apologize because this is a really long post since it is basically two months of updates. So let’s get to it!
Mount Vernon, Virginia – Opening August 8, 2013
The new Mount Vernon Costco location on Richmond Highway is scheduled to open Thursday, August 8. While construction on Costco is still moving full speed ahead, they are also accepting applications for employment before the opening. An office has been set up at the Mount Vernon Crossroads Shopping Center where applications are being accepted.
New Orleans, Louisiana – Opening September 19(ish), 2013
The much anticipated first Costco location in New Orleans will be opening in September, possibly on September 19, though Costco has not confirmed an exact date yet. The 148,000-square-foot warehouse store on South Carrollton Avenue has almost complete construction. The new location will have all the standard stuff, including a pharmacy, tire center, gas station, and about 670 parking spaces. The new location will have around 75 full-time employees and 75 part-time employees.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Opening October 3, 2013
The new Costco location in Sioux Falls, near 41st Street and Grange Avenue, is about two months from opening its doors on October 3. They have started the hiring process for the 250 employees they will need for the new store; you can apply online through the Costco.com website. The manager, Bruce Miles a native of South Dakota, previously managed one of the Costco locations in Kansas City. While you can always sign up for a new membership through Costco.com, Costco will also be sending representatives to local businesses to sell memberships and will open a temporary location on West 41st Street to sell them to the public by the end of August.
Fort Wayne, Indiana – Opening October 16, 2013
In early July, construction began on the new 150,000 square foot Costco location in Fort Wayne on Lima Road just south of Interstate 69. Melanie Crysler will be the new warehouse manager after a stint as assistant manager at Costco in Detroit. There will be 160 – 180 workers at the new location, some transferring in from other locations but also plenty of new hires from within the community. This new location is scheduled to open on October 16, 2013, so just two and a half months away.
Lexington, Kentucky – Opening October 17, 2013
Construction is progressing nicely on the new Lexington Costco at Man o’ War and Polo Club Boulevards in Lexington’s Hamburg retail district. The new location, Lexington’s first Costco, is scheduled to open on October 17, 2013. I imagine that in the next week or two they will start hiring for this location as well.
As was rumoured last year, Costco is coming to Wichita on the site of the former Beechcraft property. The Beechcraft CEO, Bill Boisture, confirmed that indeed Costco will be taking over what used to be the Beechcraft pistons production plant. Of course, he later said the generic “big box store”, I’m guessing Costco told him to hush until the deal was finalized. While Beechcraft will still retain some of its property, it will shrink to just 20% of what it is now. Apparently though, Costco has a 17.5 acre parcel under contract currently. However, the deal is taking some time to close due to the bankruptcy filing by Hawker Beechcraft. It looks like Costco will not begin construction on the new location located at the corner of Kellogg and Webb until the end of this year, with hopes to open by Summer 2014. The city is working with Costco to put a light at Corporate Hills Drive, which would be the main entrance to the store.
- Kansas.com: Have You Heard?: Beechcraft CEO confirms Costco is taking part of the company’s property
Costco has plans to build their fifth Houston area location on a 14 acre plot of land at the southwest corner of the I-10 and Grand Parkway intersection in Katy. This new location will be part of a planned shopping center surrounded by multiple smaller buildings for other businesses and retailers. The new location will fall within the Cimarron Municipal Utility District, which in 2003 entered into a limited purpose annexation deal with Houston as part of a strategic partnership agreement with the city. Under the terms of the agreement, the Cimarron MUD and the city of Houston split a one-cent sales tax levied on all commercial properties in the area, excluding property taxes. On July 17 the Houston city council voted to grant Costco $1 million in tax rebates in exchange for infrastructure work undertaken by Costco. There is also an agreement in place that splits sales tax revenue between the Cimarron Municipal Utility District and the city of Houston, even though the new Costco location is not technically in the city of Houston. This is all kind of confusing and has to do with the Municipal Utility District agreements, apparently. While there was some confusion and dissension on the city council because of the sales tax incentive to Costco, the city will eventually take home $8-9 million in revenues that would have otherwise gone elsewhere had the company settled on another site.
Yesterday there were a couple of big votes on incentive packages from the city and county for a shopping mall in Mobile that could house a new Costco location. The new location would just be Costco’s fourth location in the state of Alabama. County Commissioner Carl says in these times it is difficult to lure any new business without providing some sort incentive, although he does not feel comfortable talking specifically about what the county is offering. And he’s also not 100% certain he’ll vote in favour of the new project. The city would provide 1.4 cents of the city’s 5-cent sales tax to go back to developers for 20 years. I like this quote: “This is a no brainer, you got a swamp down there that we aren’t making one cent and they are going to produce $200 million and 1,200 jobs,” said councilman Fred Richardson. The good news is that the votes passed for both the city and county to offer tax incentives to get the new Mobile mall project moving. The Mobile County commission will give 0.3% of its sales tax back to the developer and the city will give back 1.4%, that means that nearly two cents on every dollar spent at what is now a grassy field will go back to the developer. The developer believes they will be ready to break ground on the project in February 2014. So, it looks like Costco will be coming to Mobile late next year or in early 2015. But the good news is that, there will eventually be a new Costco.
Columbia, South Carolina
Costco has interest in building a new warehouse in Columbia on a 17 acre parcel located on Piney Grove Road at Fernandina Road. Apparently, Costco has been looking for a suitable location in the Columbia area for several years. The deal is far from final and no plans have been submitted, but it certainly seems like there could be a Costco coming to Columbia in the next year or so. This would be the fifth Costco location in South Carolina, and would be great for shoppers in Columbia since their nearest Costco location is more than 60 miles away in August, Georgia.
Raritan Township, New Jersey
It looks like Raritan Township will be getting a new Costco store by the end of 2014. The new store will be located on the site of the former Yale Materials facilities. The 44 acre site will be developed by Raritan Junction LLC, a part of Garden Commercial Properties, according to plans approved by the township planning board in June. The new Costco location will take up the majority of the land with 25.5 acres going toward its new 150,000 square foot warehouse. Of the remaining land, 5 acres will be turned over to the township including an athletic field and a 110-space parking lot located across Junction Road from Hunterdon Central High School. There have also been three other building separate building plots totalling 11 acres that will be used for additional retail and commercial development. Before any construction or building starts on a new Costco location, the developer will realign Junction Road to line up with the Foran Boulevard Extension entrance to the Raritan Town Square development (another property owned by the same developer) where a traffic light will be installed. There was a problem with groundwater contamination, however, that is being dealt with and should not impede the development of the site.
Lower Macungie, Pennsylvania
The proposed Costco that was part of the Hamilton Crossings shopping center project was stopped before it even started as a result of the Lehigh County Commissioners voting down the Tax Increment Financing plan needed to help fund the project in Lower Macungie Township. The East Penn school district had approved the TIF plan in May. The TIF funding would have mitigated some of the burden of costly geologic remediation needed on the 63-acre Krocks Road property necessitated by previous mining activity on the site. However, the developer is hoping to amend the agreement to get the county on board. The plan that the county rejected would have meant that the county and East Penn school district would have had to agree to forego 50% of the tax dollars for a 20 year period that would allow the developer to carry out the necessary works on the property and get the project moving forward. This funding plan would equate to the developer getting about $7 million in tax dollars over that 20 year period, while East Penn school district would have taken in about $600,000 per year and Lehigh county would have taken in around $135,000 per year. The property in questions is currently owned by the Diocese of Allentown and generates very little tax revenue. You’d think that some development and tax revenue would be better than derelict property that isn’t generating any significant revenue, not to mention the jobs created by such a project.
Rochester, New York
The new Costco location in Rochester that will be part of the CityGate mixed used development, received much needed approval this month from the city council. The city council agreed to necessary zoning changes to allow for the Costco store. The new CityGate development is planned for the old Iola campus at East Henrietta and Westfall roads. Costco is hoping to have full site approval by the end of August. But it definitely seems like this is one big step forward towards getting the new Costco built.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors today is scheduled to consider moving forward with a request to meet with Costco officials regarding a potential store within county limits, but such a meeting would likely violate an exclusive negotiating agreement (ENA) the city has with the corporation. There’s a complicated agreement in place between the city of Ukiah and Costco that will remain in place until “completion of the entitlement process,” which includes approval of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the permitting process for the proposed store on Airport Park Boulevard. The EIR will be up before the Ukiah Planning Commission on August 9. If they certify or approve it, then it will have to go before the Ukiah City Council. At that point, the site development permit would come back before the commission, tentatively on September 25. The new 148,000 square foot Costco store is planned for a 15.33 acres plot between the Ken Fowler Auto Center and the southern end of Airport Park Boulevard. However, there is apparently quite a bit of debate about the suitability of the site because of the amount of infrastructure changes that would be necessary, according the county and they would prefer that Costco build on the former Masonite site just north of Ukiah’s city limits. However, the Assistant City Manager, Sage Sangiacomo, says that the access issues for a planned buildout of the Redwood Business Park will be addressed with or without Costco. So it is kind of convoluted, but it seems that the city of Ukiah wants the Costco location to be built within city limits and the county of Mendocino would prefer it be built on a piece of scruffy wasteland in the county, and outside the city limits. The site that the county wants Costco to build on was supposed to be a large shopping mall site that was unable to get going because of problems with the county planning board, as well as being rejected in some fashion by voters in 2009. After all of that, Costco started discussions with the city of Ukiah about building a new location within the city limits. But now, the county have realized that no one is going to develop the land so they’re wanting to take another crack at it, it seems. If I were Costco, I’m not sure I’d be interested in moving the location to possibly have protracted and difficult planning sessions with the county again, especially after they have already paid the $400,000 fee for the EIR for the site in Ukiah. I can’t wait to see how this little soap opera turns out.
- The Ukiah Daily Journal: City: Costco can’t meet with the county
- The Ukiah Daily Journal: Costco tops county supervisors’ Tuesday meeting agenda
Costco is interested in building a new store near Auburn, however, their proposed site is on land that is currently owned by Placer County. Costco is proposing a 148,000 square foot warehouse be built on what was formerly the DeWitt Center county complex, to do that they are proposing a ground lease on 16 acres with the county. To that end, Costco has begun the necessary environmental review and entitlement process with the county. The new Costco would be built alongside an existing Home Depot. According to county officials, the Placer County Board of Supervisors will consider the ground lease by late summer or early fall. The overall process would take an estimated 15 to 18 months. So, it could take up to 2.5 years before the new Costco store would be open, if all goes smoothly. While some tenants in the existing buildings would need to find new premises, they have been on short term leases with the county in anticipation of redevelopment of the area. The buildings are more than 70 years old, so it is costly to maintain them and would be cost prohibitive to update the telephone and data wiring for future use. Not to mention, the buildings are made of unreinforced masonry that doesn’t meet seismic safety standards. So, it sounds like it would be good for the county if Costco were to build on the site.
Holiday Closures and Hours
- Costco Canada
- Civic Holiday: Monday, August 5, 2013: all Costco Canada locations OPEN; exceptions Sudbury warehouse and the Province of New Brunswick will be CLOSED; Province of Nova Scotia will open 12 pm to 6 pm.
- Regatta Day: Wednesday, August 7, 2013: all Costco Canada locations OPEN; exception Newfoundland warehouse will be CLOSED. Date subject to change.