The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

January 20, 2009

The Redmond Costco Moves Forward (Updated 9/19/15)

Filed under: Redmond — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 2:01 am

Update 4 (9/19/15):  Almost six years after the last update to this post, there’s a new update to report:  Even though I had assumed that this project was dead in the water many years ago, it seems that it has recently been revived, and actual construction work on the site has finally begun.  Looks like Redmond is getting a Costco after all…

Update 3 (9/9/09):  An article over at the Redmond Reporter about a recent public Q&A session with Redmond mayor John Marchione contains the following information about this project:

One resident asked about the plans of Costco coming to Redmond. Marchione confirmed that Costco planned to open in store on Union Hill, but negotiations between the land owner and Costco have stalled, putting the plans on hold. He declined to comment further about the Costco development, but did say he is optimistic that a deal will get done.

I’ve heard mixed messages about the status of this project, ranging from it being on hold for economic reasons to having been cancelled completely.  Either way, I’m guessing it’ll be quite some time before we see anything happening here, assuming anything happens at all.

Update 2 (1/20) : Another version of this post has now been posted at Kirkland Views, which discusses the potential effect that a Costco in Redmond may have on the Kirkland store, which is a significant source of sales tax revenue for the City of Kirkland.  That article may be found here.

Update (1/20) :  In response to an inquiry, I have received the following information from Asma Jeelani, the City of Redmond project planner working on this application:

  • The application for the Costco store itself has been approved;
  • A public hearing for the gas station has been scheduled for February 9th (as mentioned below);
  • The city is working with the applicant on civil construction plans;
  • Construction of infrastructure and roads for this project is expected to begin by April 1st.

I will also post any further updates that I hear of on this.

I am just now getting around to some of the things that I missed around here last month while I was either trying to hide from the weather, run away from it or celebrate it in some festive manner, all while trying to convince myself somehow to believe in fairy tales.  It turns out that there’s a surprising amount of stuff going on around here, so I am trying to catch up on some of the things that I missed, and try to get a couple of other projects underway.

For some time now, we have known that Costco has been planning to build a new warehouse in Redmond out near Union Hill Road, although for one reason or another, the process has been delayed for some time.  Initially, the proposal made in 1997 when the portions of the current Cadman site it will be built on was purchased was for it to be open by Fall of 2008, but since we now are into 2009 and nothing appears to have happened yet, we can assume that this schedule has been pushed back.  There was some concern when a proposed Costco store in Bellevue was cancelled that it might affect the proposed Redmond location as well, but since it turns out that the cancellation in Bellevue was more the result of zoning issues and red tape than economic issues, the Redmond location would not be affected.

In mid-November,  three land use applications were filed with the City of Redmond pertaining to the Costco store and its site which shed some light on the proposed Costco store’s location, and what else might be done with the area.  Two of the three applications pertain to the Costco store itself and the Costco gas station which will be located on the premises.  Included in the application for the store is the tree preservation plan shown above, which not only shows how the site will be landscaped, but also how the site will be laid out.  The store itself looks like it should have virtually the same layout as the Woodinville store that opened a couple of years ago.  The third application deals with plats  for the Costco site and seven other sites in the area totaling 60 acres,  as part of what will eventually be known as the Union Hill Corporate Center.  This application also deals with construction of the necessary roads, as outlined below.

Click image for an interactive map

Click image for an interactive map

Based on the information in the land use application, we can also get a better idea of the location as well.  The new Costco store will be located at the corner of NE 76th Street and 188th Ave. NE, which turns out to be an intersection which does not even exist currently.  There are two different segments of 188th, one short segment north of Union Hill Road next to the Millennium campus, and one that goes from 202 up to NE 68th, passing through a residential neighborhood and next to the Genie Industries plant.  Under the proposal, 188th Ave. NE would be extended from NE 68thto Union Hill Road, creating another link between the two major roads.  NE 76th  (which passes between the Target and Fred Meyer stores about a half mile west of here) would also be slightly extended to intersect with the newly extended 188th.  The map above shows the site of the Costco store in blue, the other proposed sites in gray below, and the proposed road additions in red.

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29 Comments »

  1. So what happens to the wetlands and ponds? Are they just filled in? Who builds all these new roads?

    Comment by Mr. Curious — January 20, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

    • There are no wetlands and ponds, it’s been a gravel mining operation since before the depression.

      Comment by Frank — April 6, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  2. When I still lived in WA, I lived not far from there. I thought that Genie Industries owned most of the undeveloped land in that area. Bad part about the location tho is it will add a lot of traffic to Union Hill, which we used to take to avoid the backups on 202.

    Where are they wanting to put gas pumps at the one in Kirkland? I don’t see where they would have room for them as that parking lot was always full.

    Comment by Skye — January 20, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

  3. Is this still going to happen? I heard rumors that the deal was off because City of Redmond was being too “difficult”, and that Costco would be going instead to Fall City.

    Comment by JimBo — May 3, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

    • I can’t say for sure what’s going on right now, but the information I have indicates that all the City of Redmond permit approvals are in place now, and that construction should be beginning shortly. I don’t see any evidence that the city is getting in the way of anything though.

      Comment by Brian Lutz — May 3, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

      • It looks like Costco will NOT go ahead this year.

        The City of Redmond has now posted a draft version of their 2010-2015 Transportation Improvement Program. Projects C52 (188th Ave NE Extension) and C50 (NE 76th Street Extension), which were scheduled for construction in 2009 (as part of the 2009-2014) plan are now scheduled for 2010. Those projects are necessary for development of the proposed Costco store.

        I emailed the City of Redmond and they said “Costco and the property owner still working on development details so the schedule for the Costco is uncertain at this point. The City has a development agreement with the property owner so before the Costco project could move forward the NE 76th and NE 188th Extensions need to be built.”

        Comment by Joe — June 18, 2009 @ 10:46 am

    • Went on to the City of Redmond’s development review page (http://redmond.gov/insidecityhall/planning/devreview/pdf/SERedmond.pdf) and saw:

      “Construction of a 160,500 square foot Costco Store with 644 parking spaces and a service station on 15.4 acres of land. Project on hold until economy turns.”

      Comment by Joe — July 20, 2009 @ 8:01 am

  4. Have you heard any more news about Costco opening. I’ve been seeing some activity lately from Costco on my stormwater page. I’m guessing they still have it in the short-term plans?

    Comment by Bob Yoder — December 3, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  5. any new updates???

    Comment by laura — September 13, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    • On June 16, 2010, the City of Redmond held a “Stakeholders Meeting for the NE 76th Street Preliminary Corridor Design” (https://www.ci.redmond.wa.us/connectingredmond/studies/pdfs/NE76StMtg06162010FinalSummary.pdf).

      According to the meeting summary, “a Taylor Development representative reported that the proposed Costco store has been permitted, but has been delayed due economic conditions. No construction is currently scheduled. The same explanation was offered for improvements to 188th Avenue NE: The design is approved and the project is permitted, so it is ready to go
      forward in conjunction with the development.”

      The good news is that the Taylor Development representative did not say the Costco project is dead. The bad news is that there are no signs that the Costco project will go ahead any time soon.

      Comment by Joe Hachey — September 16, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

  6. I noticed the sign was pulled and it looks as if they are plotting the land out into smaller sections in Redmond Costco location? Any word on this?

    Comment by Allen Denman — September 28, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

  7. Latest update on the Redmond city planning pages is that the Costco is approved, but the project is “on hold until the economy improves”. However, we have a friend who works at the Costco hq in Issaquah and says that the project is dead and that once again the City of Redmond managed to upset Costco to such an extent that they cancelled the plans! Given that Redmond already managed to lose the Costco HQ to Issaquah a few years back (the original Costco site for their HQ is ironically less than 1/2 mile from this new location but is now a Home Depot and Fred Meyer) I would not be in the least surprised if the city has managed to lose the only potential tenant for what is a derelict site adjacent to a gravel pit!

    Comment by Simon — January 9, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  8. Started clearing trees today east of UPS on Union Hill road, does anyone know if this a precursor to a new Costco in Redmond?

    Comment by golferdave42 — March 30, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  9. what is wrong with city gov’t?? does it think there is an advntage to discourageing Costco once again?
    Costco has a proven record of being a good neighbor, has a huge tax base, rated to be a great employer with solid benefits and little turn over. We seem to spend money on new development and streets while preserving the awkward and time-wasting one-way streets on Cleveland and Redmond Way, yet discourage a great company’s development in Redmond.
    We should be bending over backwards to woo such a great company!

    Comment by Helen — April 6, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

  10. Does anyone know if Costco is going in? Lots of construction right now off of Union Hill.

    Comment by David Moore — April 13, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  11. I believe that the work on Union Hill road is all releated to the two road projects – the extension through UPS ground to provide a new route through, and then the initial parts of the Novelty Hill Road project. Nothing to suggest any work on the Costco I’m afraid.
    As for the City Of Redmond website, their latest Business Development project update is still the one dated October 28th, 2010, so no new news there…..

    Comment by Simon — April 15, 2011 @ 8:44 am

  12. Construction is now underway on the 188th Ave NE extension to Union Hill Rd and the NE 76th St extension to 188th Ave. Both of these extensions were originally to be built along with the Costco development at the NW corner of 76th and 188th.

    I think there are plans for a FedEx facility at the SW corner of 76th and 188th and I suspect that is what is driving the road construction. Has anyone heard whether the construction might also mean that the Costco development may be coming back to life too?

    Comment by Joe Hachey — November 16, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

  13. Now that it’s 2013, has there been any new news about a Costco coming to Redmond? I live in Redmond and work at the Kirkland Costco and it would sure be nice to not have to commute considering I live on Union Hill LOL.

    Comment by Sierra — July 29, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    • As far as I can tell, Costco has completely abandoned these plans.

      Comment by Brian Lutz — July 30, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

  14. So I have consistently been one who has said “this is dead”, but in conversation with someone working in the area land that would be impacted if it went ahead, I am hearing that there is some life to the conversations. In fact, “very much alive and in conversation with the city” was the quote. However, this is a single source and I have no further verification. Ear to the ground and see what else happens….

    Comment by Simon — August 8, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  15. The 188th Ave NE extension to Union Hill Rd and the NE 76th St extension to 188th Ave NE are both complete. The proposed Costco site at the NW corner of 76th and 188th is graded and looks ready for future development, but there are no signs or other indications that development is imminent.

    Comment by Joe Hachey — October 3, 2013 @ 6:40 am

    • Almost 2 years to the day after my comment that it wasn’t dead. I had about given up hope, but, yes, saw that same report yesterday. Finally!

      Interesting that apparently one of the early sticking points I heard about was the demands that Redmond made on Costco completing the roads. The roads are now completed, the final stage of Union Hill improvements (the “city” part which was not done at the time the county finished their work) is underway, and now Costco completes the purchase. Let us all hope that this time the city does not demand too much (third time lucky perhaps) and we get the Costco. The tax revenue could even pay for Props 1 and 2! (Ha!)

      Comment by Simon — August 1, 2015 @ 5:46 pm

  16. Grading has started. I rode past the site coming home from work on Friday and saw a trackhoe and dozer parked on site and they had clearly moved some dirt around on site earlier in the day.

    Comment by Joe Hachey — September 13, 2015 @ 6:38 am

    • they are moving a lot of dirt now, I counted 15 trucks on 202 headed to North Bend loaded down.

      Comment by Caryn Anderson — September 25, 2015 @ 8:12 am

  17. Costco finally has all of their permits, except for the gas station. Over the past two weeks they’ve mobilized a couple of job trailers, a dozer, and several backhoes on to site. Today, it looks like they’re actually moving some dirt around. Hopefully it’s now full-steam ahead.

    Comment by Joe Hachey — February 19, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

  18. I see a big board in front of the site saying “COSTCO warehouse coming in fall 2016”.

    Comment by ARun — March 16, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

  19. If anyone is interested, the permits are on the King County site, and you can see the detailed site plans etc. Permit viewer is at https://land.redmond.gov/CAP/Permit/View/ByPermitNumber/BLDG-2015-04061, The site plan is viewable (pdf download) in the attachment details link on the permits page. To me it looks pretty much identical to that submitted in 2009 and shown on the top of this page (Warehouse is in the NW corner, gas station in the SW corner with a side entrance up from 76th street. I must say I think the parking looks pretty limited given how busy I would expect it to be…..

    Comment by Simon — June 26, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

  20. Coscto’s website says that they will open the Redmond location in October: http://www.costco.com/new-locations.html

    Comment by JSamm — September 19, 2016 @ 10:28 am


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