April 25--CENTRAL POINT -- Costco Wholesale is moving forward on its new warehouse store off of Table Rock Road after a series of appeals delayed the project by more than a year.
Dave Messner, senior vice president for real estate, said Monday the Issaquah, Washington-based retailer will soon close on its acquisition of 18.28 acres at the southwest corner of Hamrick and Table Rock roads, followed by construction of a 161,992-square-foot warehouse and fuel station.
"Now that we're through with appeals, we'll probably close in the next two or three weeks and then pick up the permits," Messner said.
The Central Point Planning Commission approved the project in January 2016. However, zoning and traffic impact appeals by a local land-use consultant, Cal Martin, and attorney David J. Smith, stymied action for the next 14 months. In March 2016, the Central Point City Council agreed with the town's Planning Commission , denying two appeals from local residents. Last September, the State Land Use Board of Appeals affirmed Central Point's approval of Costco's permit.
But Martin and Smith pressed on to the Oregon Court of Appeals. On Feb. 1, the appellate court affirmed the Land Use Board of Appeals' decision.
The combined construction costs for the warehouse and fueling station is valued at $13.3 million, Central Point Development Director Tom Humphrey said. That excludes the cost of land and improvements to the surrounding land. Costco's permit and systems development charge fees, payable to Central Point, are $1.6 million,
"We're anticipating for Costco to come in with a check and pick up their building permits," Humphrey said. "They're currently working on conditions that were associated with approval of the conditional use permit last year, and once they satisfy those requirements to the degree they consolidate existing lots, they'll close on the property."
He said Costco anticipates being able to complete its building in four months.
The new Costco will be 20 percent larger than the existing location adjacent to Crater Lake Highway that was built in 1991 and expanded a couple of years later. The fueling station will be double the size of the present one.
Messner said Costco had little choice but to move if it were going to expand to meet shopping demand.
"We were boxed in on both sides," he said. "Costco has changed a lot over the last 25 years. We didn't have a gas station when we first opened our Medford store, and the amount of fresh food, deli items, and food offerings has really grown over that time."
Costco operates 508 domestic warehouses and 729 overall. Messner said the company adds about 20 stores annually.
"There are typically four or five relocations each year," he said. "Either the market has changed, or we've outgrown our facility."
Costco quickly outgrew its north Medford location, for which it paid $1.9 million 26 years ago. After unsuccessfully pursuing property near the Northgate Marketplace off Highway 238, the company turned its attention to Central Point.
"They will be expected to make some interim improvements because the work the county is doing on Table Rock Road has been delayed to some degree because of other infrastructure and right-of-way acquisition," Humphrey said. "We think it will be a great new project in the city. It's already having a ripple effect on other adjoining properties, and there's been a lot of interest expressed in developing nearby sites along Biddle Road."
-- Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.
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