There’s quite a bit of news this month and a flurry of new openings towards the end of August and the beginning of September. Most of the news is about stores that will be opening, or at least should be opening, in 2016 sometime. It even looks like there is forward progress on a couple of stores that have been taking years and years to get to the point where they might actually start building in the next year.
I still have a number of places on my Locations page listed as possibly opening in 2015, now obviously they won’t all pan out, but until I can confirm that they won’t be I’m just keeping them listed with that date. I think I should have a bit more clarity on these openings by the end of September, so just bear with me please.
|August & September Openings:|
|KAMINOYAMA, YAMAGATA, JAPAN||August 20, 2015|
|NONOICHI, ISHAKAWA, JAPAN||August 21, 2015|
|IMIZA, TOYAMA, JAPAN||August 22, 2015|
|ZHONGLI (CHUNGLI), TAOYUAN, TAIWAN||August 23, 2015|
|GONGSE, KOREA||August 24, 2015|
|SUNBURY-ON-THAMES, UK||August 26, 2015|
|GETAFE (MADRID), SPAIN||September 1, 2015|
|WOODLAND HILLS, CALIFORNIA||September 12, 2015|
The new Costco in Branford is one step closer to reality. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted four to one at an early July meeting to grant approval. The site of the new Costco is near Exit 56 and has drawn criticism from some in the area that say it is too big and will bring traffic issues to the area. The site plan still needs to be approved by the State Wetlands and Traffic Commissions before the Branford Planning and Zoning Commission can grant final approval. Obviously, this is all a bit of a slow process, but hopefully Costco will manage to get all of the necessary approvals and be open in 2016.
The Metro Planning Commission for Louisville unanimously voted to grant permission for the necessary zoning changes needed by Costco to build a new location on Bardstown Road. The site was formerly Showcase Cinema but that has been closed for years and years. Only part of the site needed to be rezoned to C-2 Commercial (heavy use commercial) zoning, as the majority of the site was already zoned appropriately for Costco. The new 150,000 square foot store will also have a gas station, tire center, and liquor store, as well as bike racks. The only requirement from the planning commission was that there be connections between the Costco site and its neighboring commercial sites in future development. Costco expects to start construction on this new location next spring with an opening in late Summer or Fall 2016.
- The Courier-Journal: Rezoning backed for Bardstown Rd. Costco
- WDRB.com: Zoning approved for planned Costco on Bardstown Road
So after some initial friction, the Hanford City Council unanimously agreed on a way to pay for $8.5 million in perks for the new Costco to be built on East Lacey Boulevard. These perks were part of an agreement with the developer that was approved last year and include about $2 million of reduced development impact fees and $6.48 million to relocate a portion of East Lacey Boulevard and build a roundabout where it meets Highway 43. The decision wasn’t really to pay or not pay, but rather, how to pay. The money will be paid from city loans and will require that a portion of the sales and property taxes for the next five to seven years as well as the development’s impact fees, go towards repayment of the loans. The new Costco should be open some time in 2016 but there are still a number of things that need to be done before construction can actually start, including final approval of the site plans. After that approval is granted, the city still needs to acquire right-of-way for several properties along the north side of East Lacey Boulevard but the developer is hoping that all of that will be dealt with and they will be able to begin construction by winter.
La Vista/Omaha, Nebraska
It looks like the Omaha area is going to get a second Costco in La Vista. At the end of July, preliminary plans were submitted to the city of La Vista for a new 154,000 square foot Costco that will be located near Interstate 80 and Giles Road, near the Cabela’s in La Vista’s Southport West development. It seems that this is a booming area with lots of new stores and hotels being built in the last year or so. The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for August 20, but they are unsure if the Costco plans will be on the agenda. Once the planning commission approves the plans, the City Council will still need to grant approval, as well. No word on when they’ll start construction or how long that will take, but I’d guess that a Fall 2016 opening isn’t out of the question.
Yorktown, New York
Costco has been trying to get approval for a new location in Yorktown for six long, arduous years. There’s been lots of opposition from people in the area and there’s just been seemingly endless delays. All of the delays, regulatory changes, and legal rigamarole has added about $6 million more to the price for Costco, and on a project that was only supposed to run $2.5 million initially, that is a huge overrun. A big part of the expense was from environmental regulation changes at the state level. Of course, if it hadn’t taken so long to get things approved initially those might not have had such a massive cost impact. A lot of the legal trouble has stemmed from Costco’s desire to have a gas station as well. There was a lawsuit filed in April 2015 by a citizen’s group after the board approved gas stations for the someday to be new Costco and an existing BJ’s. There will also be major expenses of $3 million for making changes to nearby roadways including two lanes in both directions on Route 202 from Costco to Strang Boulevard, as well as a pedestrian crossing from FDR Park to the bus stop across the street. Plus, now a couple of guys on the board think there need to be more changes to help out cyclists (because he is one). Here’s what the Costco traffic engineer, Phillip Grealy, had to say:“We’re going beyond our traffic needs. We’re solving some existing problems that nobody’s really giving us credit for. I’ve seen people almost get killed waiting for a bus at that corner, and nobody’s doing anything about it. We’re going to take care of it. We should get credit for that.” On top of all of that, they want Costco to change the flow of their parking lot and the Town Board will need to legally clear the way for an exemption for Costco to have 25 foot light poles in their parking lot, instead of the current maximum of 16 foot. Costco will be returning to the Planning Board in August for what I am sure we all hope is final site plan review so that they can get on with the building and actually hit their latest target of opening in November 2016. Sounds like this store has been a mammoth expense and a whole lot of aggravation, huh?
At the end of July, Costco finally closed a deal for a 15.39 acre parcel of land in Redmond for $16 million. This purchase has been years in the making. Way back in 2009 Costco was trying to build a new location on this exact same piece of land and even had their plans approved the Redmond City Council but talks with the land owner broke down, however, they’ve finally made a deal. The property is located south of Union Hill Road at the corner of Northeast 76th Street and 188th Avenue Northeast. The surrounding area is made up of industrial, retail, and office space and is across the street from a gravel pit. The city of Redmond has received a permit application from Costco but no word on store size or when construction might begin but apparently they are targeting an opening in Fall 2016.
- Redmond Reporter: Costco purchases 15.39 acres of land in southeast Redmond for $16 million
- The Seattle Times: Costco Wholesale’s Redmond warehouse to open in 2016
Costco has finally gotten approval from Bellingham to start clearing the site of their new warehouse off West Bakerview Road. The new warehouse will be a very spacious 162,000 square foot with a 24-pump gas station and a (hopefully) generous 800 parking spots. This is a great improvement over the existing Bellingham location that is just 133,000 square foot and far too busy to be so small. Before Costco can begin actual construction they will need to submit stormwater drainage and road construction plans to the city so that they can obtain building permits. As part of this project, the city is building a new stormwater treatment pond that will serve Costco, as well as two retail centers and a residential development planned in the area west of Interstate 5 and north of West Bakerview. Costco will be paying $1.5 million of the $4.5 million price of the treatment pond and other retailers that move into the area will be asked to pay their fair share too. As part of an agreement with Fred Meyer last year, the new Costco location will not open before August 2016. This agreement was a result of an appeal from Fred Meyer regarding the approval of wetlands, stormwater and street modifications along West Bakerview to accommodate the new Costco. So, I’m guessing it’s going to be a late Summer or Fall 2016 opening for the new Costco.