It’s pretty clear that Costco is here to stay in Issaquah.
Costco has been working with city staff to add 1.5 million square feet – most likely office space – to its complex.
According to Keith Niven, the city’s economic development director, 1.25 million square feet will be office and the additional .25 million square feet could be additional retail, perhaps even a car wash.
The current warehouse/store is approximately 150,000 square feet. The Pickering Place area is zoned urban core, which would allow residential use, most likely apartment or condominiums. However, it’s too soon to know if Costco will choose to build any residential properties.
The development agreement, which the city hopes to have zipped up by September, will be for 30 years. Under the Central Issaquah Plan, Costco could decide to build over four stories by paying $1.25 million into the city’s density bonus pot. Code will allow a building as high as 125-feet; 85-feet would be about twice the height of Costco’s current office height.
Niven said Costco is also willing to pay $23.75 million for road improvements to get its 1.5 million square feet.
Costco will leave seven to eight acres of open space on the east side of Issaquah Creek.
As part of the North Issaquah transportation improvements, Costco will commit to 48 percent of $50 million. Sheldon Lynne, the city’s public works engineering director said with grants received or in process, it could bring Issaquah’s cost of the improvements to zero. Overruns up to $50 million would be split 50/50 between Costco and the city.
The city’s development commission will look at the entire land plan, showing buildings, plazas and parking before anything is approved. The environmental impact study already completed for the Central Issaquah Plan should speed up the a state environmental policy act review.
Councilmember Stacy Goodman said she was impressed that Costco wants to make this sort of long-term commitment to Issaquah. Councilmember Nina Milligan was happy to see Costco “lay down roots here.”